Chronicle of Higher Education 12-07-07 Anti-Evolution Biologist Sues Woods Hole

Chronicle of Higher Education
Anti-Evolution Biologist Sues Woods Hole
A biologist filed suit this week against the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,
claiming that the academic facility terminated him because of his religious beliefs
that oppose evolution, according to an article in The Boston Globe today.
In 2004, Nathaniel Abraham was a postdoctoral fellow working for Mark E. Hahn,
a Woods Hole senior scientist who studies how chemicals in the environment,
including pollution, affect marine organisms. According to the Globe, Mr.
Abraham told his supervisor that he did not believe in evolution and was asked to
resign a month later. Mr. Hahn stated that Mr. Abraham should have known the
job and the lab’s research grant from the National Institutes of Health involved
using evolution to study how the chemical systems in marine organisms change
over time. Mr. Hahn said that Mr. Abraham should have known that evolution
was integral to the lab’s work because it was clear in the job description and in
the grant proposal.
The lab’s Web site, lists three topics of study in bold type, one of which is
“Receptor Evolution and Diversity.” The site says that the lab researches the
biochemical and molecular mechanisms that control how marine life interacts
with its environment. “Our general approach is to examine these mechanisms
from a comparative/evolutionary perspective,” it says.
Mr. Abraham’s lawyer told the Globe that his client offered to make
accommodations but that he was subject to harassment.
Earlier this year, an astronomer from Iowa State University claimed that he
was denied tenure because of his belief in intelligent design. —Richard