A Young Earth creationist, Marcus Ross, enrolled in a post-graduate program at the University of Rhode Island to get a PhD in geology so he could teach at Liberty University (Falwell’s fundie factory), and he got one, despite not believing a word he wrote in his thesis.
Should he have gotten that PhD? After all, the work he did was apparently good enough.
If you believe the Earth is 6,000 years old, but you parrot the things the board wants to hear (otherwise known as “facts”), you’re intellectually dishonest, and thus violating everything science stands for. So no.
(Whether or not you’ve also broken one of the Ten Commandments (the one about false witness) depends on your interpretation of the text. I don’t speak enough Hebrew to say.)
He stated he regards paleontology as one “paradigm”, and scripture as another, demonstrating his complete ignorance of the scientific method.
This renders him incapable of performing real research. All he did was mindlessly gather facts (the stamp collector approach to science, as I’m sure I’ve called it at one point). That doesn’t deserve a PhD, and the fact that the thesis committee failed to catch it reflects very poorly on them. If they knew about his Young Earth beliefs (which it would appear they did) but didn’t question him on them, I’d say it’s time for a few people on said committee to resign.
Ross made a mockery of academics and science, and the University of Rhode Island destroyed whatever credibility it may have had.
If I had a PhD in geology (or a related field) from the URI, I’d be rather upset at them pissing on my accomplishments like this.
People make me angry.
(Incidentally, something similar has happened before, but the advisor involved was much more embarrassing that time.)