Can developmental biology and creationism mix?

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The day we caught the train...


This is a little article that I found rather interesting, a guy who is a biologist was fired from his lab and he claims it's because he openly admitted believing in creationism.

For those who do not want to read the whole article, the main idea is that a scientist who was working at the Woods Hole research center in Cape Cod, which studies how aquatic animals respond to chemical contaminants by examining ". . . mechanisms from a comparative/evolutionary perspective."

He claims that he was asked to resign by his superiors after admitting not believing in evolution. He also claims that he asked to switch projects to get a project which does not involve evolution, which he was denied because at Woods Hole everything is related to evolution. In the end he did resign and he claims that it was a very traumatizing experience, yet when he was hired he did not think of telling everyone that he did not believe in what they were studying.

My favorite part of the article is:
Eugenie C. Scott, executive director for the National Center for Science Education, which defends the teaching of evolution in public schools, said Abraham was clearly being disingenuous when he applied for the job because he was hired to work in the field of developmental biology.

"It is inconceivable that someone working in developmental biology at a major research institution would not be expected to deal intimately with evolution," she said. "A flight school hiring instructors wouldn't ask whether they accepted that the earth was spherical; they would assume it. Similarly, Woods Hole would have assumed that someone hired to work in developmental biology would accept that evolution occurred. It's part and parcel of the science these days."

I absolutely agree with this statement, how could a biologist possibly work on evolution and not believe in it? It's just too crazy! But this kind of problem can possibly be a starting point for new kinds of job interviews for jobs/doctorates related to subjects like evolution where religious beliefs will not be able to be forgotten.

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  • Dec 08, 2007

I must admit, it's a little mind boggling: applying to work in a lab that is researching the theory of evolution when you don't believe it yourself. How could you think to accomplish anything if you didn't believe in it? Surely he must have held some sort of belief in the notion: why else would he hold a degree in it?

On the flip side: being fired just because you don't believe in something I don't think is enough justification. It'd be different if he didn't believe in it AND his work was bad and not completed. Does it matter if he doesn't believe in it - as long as he is doing the work?

Though I suppose one would then just come back and argue how can you work on something without believing in it? If you think it's not true then why put any effort into it?

Perhaps his research then could have been used in a positive way: if he is actively seeking out a way to disprove the theory of evolution - then in doing so or lack there of finding any evidence - he would only be strengthening their theories...

Then again, he wasn't applying for work in a 'disproving the theory of evolution' lab.

Anyways, I'll leave my ramblings there X-P Interesting article cerealjoe :)

Human kind cannot gain anything without first giving up something in return.



ぬいぐるみ !


maybe they were trying to prove to themsevles that evolution is real/fake...but it's interesting to see such a thing because most biologists believe in evolution or a theory thereof...




He wasn't doing his job as a result of his beliefs, so they decided it wouldn't be good to have him on the project. If someone refuses to do their job, they can be fired for that. It's like hiring a history teacher who refuses to teach about the Holocaust at all, but will teach anything else, because they believe the Holocaust never happened. If this guy did his job regardless of his beliefs, he wouldn't have had to stop working there just as a history teacher who doesn't believe in the Holocaust could keep teaching history if they did their job in full anyway.

  • Dec 09, 2007



You came along and cut me loose


When I first saw this article... I did a double-take. Wow, I'm a biologist and I believe in God. I also believe in certain things that deal with evolution. People don't ask at school wether you believe in God or not... they want to make sure that you know and understand what you're being taught... not your thoughts about it. Just because you are taught that something is true doesn't mean you have to agree with it or believe in it fully or at all.

I think the guy might've been fired because of his beliefs. I'm sure that there are clergy members who got the job because they liked the concept of God or Theology in general (I've seen some on the History channel), but didn't believe in Him. Though... if that clergy member said that he didn't believe in God he'd probably get fired, but if he still taught about God and others believed what he said and understood it to be true... he'd still technically be saving souls, right? Just like a professor teaching a class... as long as he teaches what they tell him to, he doesn't have to believe in a word that comes out of his own mouth.

Interesting topic, cerealjoe. I believe Intelligent Design... and I believe in evolution... its bound to happen because of the time-lapse anyways. Its all about faith and beliefs... and that is always up to the individual. Just because I believe in God wouldn't make me a poor choice as a Biology teacher if I knew what I needed to teach. Just like a preacher who doesn't believe in God, but knows what he needs to teach and does it in the correct mannor and still brings others to believe in God.

If the guy omitted certain things in his work that he was supposed to do for his job... then yes, he should've been fired.
If not.. then no.


Back to Basics


It wouldn't have done him any good anyways. If he works on something that he didn't believe to be true, he'd just be lying to himself. But if it doesn't affect his work it would've been okay...

"If faced with a life or death situation, an average person would choose life; a hero also chooses life, just not for himself"
"Knowledge is Power. But Power unused accomplishes nothing"

  • Dec 13, 2007

i hope nothing will ever mix with creationism...

  • Dec 26, 2007

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