Another Iowa State professor speaks out

| 18 Comments

In their desperate flailing to rescue their golden boy at Iowa State, Guillermo Gonzalez, the Discovery Institute has made another mistake: they tried to do a hatchet job on another Iowa State faculty member, Hector Avalos—he was attacked because he was promoted when Gonzalez wasn't, and he also happens to be an atheist, never mind that these were completely different departments and completely different people. Avalos has responded directly to the DI attacks at Pharyngula.

Once again, the DI has exposed itself as a nest of bumbling incompetents. I'm actually beginning to feel some sympathy for Gonzalez—how would you like to be volunteered to be a martyr for the cause? That's actually what's happening now: the kind of circus being erected around a fairly ordinary tenure case is going to be deeply counterproductive to Gonzalez's future career.

18 Comments

The really funny thing about all of this is that the Disclaimery Institute has probably buried any chance that Gonzales might have had for tenure at any reputable institution. They’ve done a bang-up job of shining a bright light on all of the disreputable baggage GG is dragging behind him. For this, we should thank them.

That’s beautiful.

Avalos looks like just the sort of guy who does skeptical analysis of the Bible, and whether you like what he says or not, he’s clearly not one who hides away the “embarrassing bits” of religion. The excerpts suggest that he’s highly qualified for discussions in classrooms and conferences (I’d balance him out, not because I agree with his opponents, but so that the discussion continues).

That’s not what’s so beautiful, though. Disco’s opposing him for his views on religion, and comparing his success in getting tenure with Gonzalez’s denial of tenure. What’s the issue in common? Evidently religion. Avalos is purportedly “atheist” and accepted, while Gonzalez is an IDist apologist-astronomer and rejected. Once again, they note that ID is rejected for being religious, while Avalos is not rejected for not being religious.

Even Disco knows that Gonzalez wasn’t rejected simply for believing in religion. They know that the issue they care about is the idea that Gonzalez is rejected for potentially mixing ID/religion with science, even if they can’t demonstrate that this is the reason for denial of tenure.

ID/religion is rejected, a purported atheist is not, and Disco implicitly characterizes it that way. Sounds like everything is going right so far (Gonzalez oughtn’t be rejected for being an IDist, but if there is reason to think he’d teach it as science, that would be a strong cause for rejecting him). And the pretense that ID is science is barely observed even in name any more.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/35s39o

I asked this question at Pharyngula, and I figured I’d ask it here: is Gonzalez making any effort, either publicly or within Iowa State, to appeal, fight or contest the denial of tenure? Is he at all active in the DI’s efforts, or are they just going on without his advice or consent?

Up until this point, most of the scientific community has appeared relatively unperturbed by the ID/Creationist’s niggling. Real scientists have real work to do.

However, I wonder if the childish pranksters at the Discovery Institute have thought about the consequences of getting the entire scientific community really pissed-off. They didn’t foresee Dover as a rout, and they are certainly coming up short on this one.

Yes, Gonzalez is appealing the decision - the president of ISU is expected to announce the result of the appeal next month.

I asked this question at Pharyngula, and I figured I’d ask it here: is Gonzalez making any effort, either publicly or within Iowa State, to appeal, fight or contest the denial of tenure?

According to a news item in Nature, Gonzalez is appealing on grounds that his support of ID is part of his religious beliefs, and the university is guilty of religious discrimination against him. Discussed on Pharyngula

Gonzalez, who has been at Iowa State in Ames since 2001, was denied tenure on 9 March. He is now appealing the decision on the grounds that his religious belief, not the quality of his science, was the basis for turning down his application. “I’m concerned my views on intelligent design were a factor,” he says.

GAME OVER

Direct link to Nature for those who subscribe.

Reginald: thanks for the answers.

the kind of circus being erected around a fairly ordinary tenure case is going to be deeply counterproductive to Gonzalez’s future career.

Looks like that was the whole idea. His career at ISU was fizzling out and after 7 years he had to know that tenure was as likely as a red dwarf going nova. So he and the DI played the martyr card. Probably disappointed that no Roman centurions showed up with a cross and some nails.

And PZ is right, no real university is going to want to replay the crucifixion scene with GG after another 7 years of space filling.

But not to worry. GG will do just fine as a hero and martyr in the antiscience reality denying movement. Where else are they going to find an astronomer who was nailed to the cross of academic standards? Probably end up teaching creation astronomy at Ham’s museum or some bible college somewhere.

According to a news item in Nature, Gonzalez is appealing on grounds that his support of ID is part of his religious beliefs, and the university is guilty of religious discrimination against him.

Hmm. I’m confused. Isn’t Intelligent Design supposed to be pure science and have nothing whatsoever to do with religion?

Hmm. I’m confused. Isn’t Intelligent Design supposed to be pure science and have nothing whatsoever to do with religion?

That’s what Guillermo Gonzalez claimed in 2005:

Is intelligent design science?

By William Dillon, Staff Writer 09/06/2005

… “I think it is outrageous for another professor to be so intolerant of another professor’s research that they then try to shut down that professor’s research,” Gonzalez said. …

“Intelligent design is a method of detection, looking for and detecting particular objective elements of design in nature,” Gonzalez said, noting that “objective” means it does not depend on any prior philosophical or religious assumptions. “Anybody with any religious background can look at the data and reach the same conclusions,” he said. …

Gonzalez is not appealing on religious grounds. He says ID is not religious, or at least his ID isn’t. Read to the bottom of the linked page.

He says ID is not religious, or at least his ID isn’t. Read to the bottom of the linked page.

Well he will lose big time. Intelligent design has as its central feature, a Designer. Flying Spaghetti Monster, Zeus et al., Vishnu, Cthulhu, or whatever. Of course, we all know that its real name is Jehova. They keep trying to hide the T. rex of their theory but it won’t work.

ID has been around for 200 years and gone nowhere. What next, the evil spirits theory of diseases and phlogiston?

These guys like Ham and the DIers are all operating under the strategy that there is no such thing as bad publicity. They really don’t care how ridiculous they seem to thinking beings. That is not their target audience.

Gonzalez is not appealing on religious grounds. He says ID is not religious, or at least his ID isn’t. Read to the bottom of the linked page.

says the quote at the bottom of the Discovery Institutes News spin.

great reliability there.

face it, it doesn’t matter WHAT he tries to spin ID as:

-as has been previously (much) discussed, it seems pretty obvious that there were plenty of other reasons to deny tenure in this case

-there is simply no WAY to spin his support of ID into something worthy of tenure. If he claims it’s religion, he rejects his own theory, if he claims it is science, he has no evidentiary support for that claim whatsoever.

he screwed himself, he knows it well and was repeatedly warned, and is now rapidly trying, ala Dembski, to create a niche for himself as martyr in the ID “movement”.

turn the page.

“Intelligent design is a method of detection, looking for and detecting particular objective elements of design in nature,” Gonzalez said, noting that “objective” means it does not depend on any prior philosophical or religious assumptions. “Anybody with any religious background can look at the data and reach the same conclusions,” he said…

So ID is not religion, but anyone with “any religious background” will know how to infer design “objectively.” Riiight.

These IDiots can’t even stay consistent from one sentence to the next…

These guys like Ham and the DIers are all operating under the strategy that there is no such thing as bad publicity. They really don’t care how ridiculous they seem to thinking beings. That is not their target audience.

>>>>>I guess that would make Ken Ham the Paris Hilton of creation science!

Re “I guess that would make Ken Ham the Paris Hilton of creation science!”

I wonder which of them you just insulted - Ham, or Hilton? ;)

I wonder which of them you just insulted - Ham, or Hilton? ;)

I wonder if either of them would recognize the insult to begin with.

http://searchlost.net/ if there is anything better than being loved, it’s loving.

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