A Handy Graphic/Timeline of Gonzalez’s Publication Drop

| 44 Comments

Intelligent Design is a career-killer. There’s just no two ways about it. And not because of how peers treat the ID supporter; they throw their own productivity under the bus, to use Casey Luskin’s overworked cliche. We saw the same thing with Behe and Dembski. Behe has published ONE peer-reviewed paper in the last decade. And Dembski… well, does anybody even know where he works these days?

All hyperbole aside, let’s look at Gonzalez’s publication track record…

Continue reading at Neurotopia

44 Comments

I think the data speak for themselves there.

We should follow this data wherever it leads. Right to the same conclusion the tenure committee made. Scientific career dead-end.

I think that Gonzalez is trying to show by example that “intelligent design” may indeed be poor design. For, unless he thinks he can make a lifetime career out of martyrdom, this instance of intelligent design is a dismal failure.

Now if they could just show why poor design in organisms happens to comport with evolutionary predictions…

Anyway, though, he’s proven that even good brains can produce junk, something that was never in dispute, but which IDists seem intent on demonstrating over, and over, and over, and over.…

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

I wanna see that graph for EVERYONE now! Do Behe, do Behe!

That’s easy, it flatlines.

Actually, I’d like to see the same graph for all of the ISU astronomy department, tenured or on track for tenure, to see how he compares with other apples.

Flint, you can’t do all tenured and untenured, you would have to do it at least by cohort. Faculty expectations change all the time. they even change during the 6-7 years as you approach your tenure year. It is up to the faculty member (and hopefully a good mentor and chair ) to be up on all of these things. and ultimately, publication numbers are forgiven if you bring in BIG grants (not diddly book grants or hobby grants, e.g. DI money). At smaller, undergrad institutions these things may count favorably for you, but not at a research university.

And it wasn’t as though it wrote the Privileged Planet on his own – he had a co-author. He should have had time to write his book and continue research and publishing papers.

I think we (the non-DI crowd) have given them a talking point here by initially saying that Gonzalez tenure rejection was not due (or only slightly due) to his work on ID. We are now arguing whether whether the contents of the released emails were “slightly” or “a lot”, a silly argument. Hindsight - show that his work on ID was, indeed, to be considered in his performance (not just a hobby), and on that basis alone would be enough to disqualify him. There is no room for ID in science, just as any astrologer or phrenologist or homeopath would be shut out. We need not shy away from making the point, time and again, ID is NOT science in any form. There is often a complaint that the scientific community and journals exclude IDers - we need not apologize for this, but strongly say, “yes, and rightly so”. Finally, we should not be cowed by the creationist/ID argument that science is not “inclusive” or that it unfairly excludes the supernatural (see Dinesh). This is what science is, by definition. It has proven its worth in the past. If they can’t work within the naturalistic framework required by science let them think up some other name for their “research” but they don’t get to play in our club.

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 7, column 8, byte 257 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187

Flint:

Actually, I’d like to see the same graph for all of the ISU astronomy department, tenured or on track for tenure, to see how he compares with other apples.

In line with Randy’s comment, perhaps one might add, “up to the time they were tenured.”

I’ll repeat here a comment I made on Thoughts from Kansas:

The fundamental error the Disco ‘Tute folks and their defenders are making is to imagine that the award of tenure is a sort of merit badge for past accomplishments. It isn’t. It is a bet on a person’s likely future accomplishments. And Gonzalez is a bad bet in that respect. For example, given Gonzalez’ abysmal record of bringing in extramural funding for research, he would be unable to support Ph.D. students, pay research assistants, or pay for telescope time, and hence his likely productivity in his specialty in the future would be severely compromised. He’s a bad bet from that perspective, and that alone is sufficient grounds to not tenure him.

RBH

The truth is that the theory of evolution has never been really proved according to the scientific method, the supposed evolution of humankind is just an illusion, people aren‘t getting better but worse, the amazing technological advancement may not only destroy the natural environment but humankind, were there a nuclear world war none of us would survive, and egocentric philosophical thinking is taking us on that direction.

“And Dembski… well, does anybody even know where he works these days?”

Oh…Dembski is working somewhere? Oh yeah…”senior fellow” at a creationist think tank. That’s good. After all, someone of his great intellect shouldn’t be tied up at some second-rate institution like Baylor…for the sake of *all* involved.

Sword:

The truth is that the theory of evolution has never been really proved according to the scientific method, the supposed evolution of humankind is just an illusion, people aren‘t getting better but worse, the amazing technological advancement may not only destroy the natural environment but humankind, were there a nuclear world war none of us would survive, and egocentric philosophical thinking is taking us on that direction.

Wow. So much stupidity in one sentence.

Sword:

The truth is that the theory of evolution has never been really proved according to the scientific method, the supposed evolution of humankind is just an illusion, people aren‘t getting better but worse, the amazing technological advancement may not only destroy the natural environment but humankind, were there a nuclear world war none of us would survive, and egocentric philosophical thinking is taking us on that direction.

That is the single most moronic pile of drivel I’ve encountered since lunch. Please learn to think before pretending to be smart. Your ticket back home to Nilbog awaits.

Sword:

The truth is that the theory of evolution has never been really proved according to the scientific method, the supposed evolution of humankind is just an illusion, people aren‘t getting better but worse, the amazing technological advancement may not only destroy the natural environment but humankind, were there a nuclear world war none of us would survive, and egocentric philosophical thinking is taking us on that direction.

It is refreshing to meet someone, who thinks that evolution might make people “better” in some philosophical sense.

I am afraid that the theory of evolution does not predict anything of the sort. It might predict (in a limited sense), what kind of things you are likely to regard as good or bad.

Technology (or some other thing) may well destroy us, if we do not learn to use them without damaging the environment.

Obviously, you are concerned about the nature and you would like to preserve it, rather than exploit it. Abandoning science may not be the best way to achieve this goal.

It is quite true that scientific knowledge enters in political decisions only rarely, and when it does, it is almost always through military technology.

Regards

Eric

Sword said:

The truth is that the theory of evolution has never been really proved according to the scientific method, the supposed evolution of humankind is just an illusion, people aren‘t getting better but worse, the amazing technological advancement may not only destroy the natural environment but humankind, were there a nuclear world war none of us would survive, and egocentric philosophical thinking is taking us on that direction.

You would be more convincing if you understood the concepts of sentences and periods. Here is a hint. A period is different from a comma, both are called “punctuation”. This topic was introduced in the first grade. Are you really 6 years old?

To respond to sword’s commonly made point, there is no doubt that so far technological tool using primates are so far a huge success. IIRC, 1/2 of the large animal biomass on the planet is human and a lot of the rest is cow. We are the dominant species of our biosphere.

But as Arthur C. Clarke, points out, long term the jury is still out on whether intelligence is going to be a successful adaptation. We might be extinct in a few hundred years. Or, if the galaxy is as empty as it appears, we could own the whole spiral in a few million years.

The choice is collectively ours to make. The second choice isn’t going to happen because some religious bigot waves a book around and claims 2 pages of 4,000 year old mythology explains the universe. It will be humans with science and wisdom working toward an ambitious goal.

raven Wrote:

The choice is collectively ours to make. The second choice isn’t going to happen because some religious bigot waves a book around and claims 2 pages of 4,000 year old mythology explains the universe. It will be humans with science and wisdom working toward an ambitious goal.

Given the mega-disasters that have occurred in the past, if the human species ever has to pass through a bottleneck in the future (either natural or man-made), it may come down to who is making the most babies. It reminds me of that science fiction novel, A Canticle for Leibowitz.

I read A Canticle for Leibowitz in grade school. Have a hardback copy and a paperback.

Some SciFi doesn’t age well. We no longer associate with the natives on Mars or chop through the jungles of Venus. Miller’s book isn’t the least bit obsolete.

Bottlenecks who knows? The deep time ecologists claim we have overshot the carrying capacity of the planet and there will be a dieoff. Their big argument is when and how many. Really we just have to find out as the future comes at the rate of one day at a time.

But as Arthur C. Clarke, points out, long term the jury is still out on whether intelligence is going to be a successful adaptation. We might be extinct in a few hundred years. Or, if the galaxy is as empty as it appears, we could own the whole spiral in a few million years.

It’s not a bad point, however it tends to mislead people who don’t know much about evolution (not regular posters, but the elusive lurkers, IOW).

Intelligence has been very successful in evolutionary terms, that is, it has had a spectacular short-term success. And since evolution does not look ahead, and cannot be “objectively” judged by long-term success of traits, we typically do not judge intelligence by its ability to last, or lack thereof.

Indeed, evolution’s decided (well established in the fossil record) inability to select for long-term survivabililty is another reason to doubt creationism and ID. Surely a discernable designer would think ahead, at least a little.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Intelligence has been very successful in evolutionary terms, that is, it has had a spectacular short-term success.

Yes, biologically, evolution is blind. It tends to drive species towards local optimums that may not be long term optimums.

So evolution or the biosphere could care less about us and our success or failure. But OTOH, we care or should. As far as we know, we are the first species that can even look behind or ahead enough to even think about success or failure or define those terms.

RBH:

I’ll repeat here a comment I made on Thoughts from Kansas:

The fundamental error the Disco ‘Tute folks and their defenders are making is to imagine that the award of tenure is a sort of merit badge for past accomplishments. It isn’t. It is a bet on a person’s likely future accomplishments. And Gonzalez is a bad bet in that respect. For example, given Gonzalez’ abysmal record of bringing in extramural funding for research, he would be unable to support Ph.D. students, pay research assistants, or pay for telescope time, and hence his likely productivity in his specialty in the future would be severely compromised. He’s a bad bet from that perspective, and that alone is sufficient grounds to not tenure him.

RBH

Your opinion is noted but why don’t you put your degree in psychology to use and start treating some of the participants here for their irrational antipathy toward Guillermo Gonzalez?

Phaedrus:

I think we (the non-DI crowd) have given them a talking point here by initially saying that Gonzalez tenure rejection was not due (or only slightly due) to his work on ID. We are now arguing whether whether the contents of the released emails were “slightly” or “a lot”, a silly argument. Hindsight - show that his work on ID was, indeed, to be considered in his performance (not just a hobby), and on that basis alone would be enough to disqualify him. There is no room for ID in science, just as any astrologer or phrenologist or homeopath would be shut out. We need not shy away from making the point, time and again, ID is NOT science in any form. There is often a complaint that the scientific community and journals exclude IDers - we need not apologize for this, but strongly say, “yes, and rightly so”. Finally, we should not be cowed by the creationist/ID argument that science is not “inclusive” or that it unfairly excludes the supernatural (see Dinesh). This is what science is, by definition. It has proven its worth in the past. If they can’t work within the naturalistic framework required by science let them think up some other name for their “research” but they don’t get to play in our club.

At least they can’t cut it in an environment that is open. On the other hand there is some pretty strange “science” going on in the highly classified bowels of the Pentagon, and even in the proprietary “research” taking place in some industries. Pseudo-science such as cold-fusion, isomer weapons, paranormal phenomena, and other “research potentially important to national security” seeks places where peer review is not effective.

So far, however, ID doesn’t seem to have made it in those venues either. It doesn’t appear to be a national security issue, nor does it promise any products that would support a business (other than publishing books for the popular market; and it may not even do that profitably).

Robert O’Brien wrote

Your opinion is noted but why don’t you put your degree in psychology to use and start treating some of the participants here for their irrational antipathy toward Guillermo Gonzalez?

In the first six years of my 20-year professorial career at a private liberal arts college where research was not then encouraged I brought in more extramural federal research funding than Gonzalez did in his first six years at a research university. I could buy equipment and pay (undergraduate) research assistants; Gonzalez couldn’t. That failure to obtain independent extramural funding is a clear indication that he would not accomplish much. That’s the kiss of death in a research university.

And I haven’t done cognitive psychology in 17 years, but have worked with evolutionary algorithms in applied contexts for a living over that time.

The seeming antipathy toward GG is in fact antipathy toward the anti-science agenda of the Disco ‘tute in which he participates. Gonzalez is in part a victim of their machinations, having been turned into academic toxic waste by his “friends.” Their lethal intellectual effect is similar to that of Ken Ham at Answers in Genesis, whose half a dozen YEC Ph.D. “scientists” also do no actual science.

RBH

A period is different from a comma, both are called “punctuation”.

I wonder if that misuse of a comma was intentional. For many posters here I would assume so, but not for raven.

Yes, biologically, evolution is blind. It tends to drive species towards local optimums that may not be long term optimums.

So evolution or the biosphere could care less about us and our success or failure. But OTOH, we care or should. As far as we know, we are the first species that can even look behind or ahead enough to even think about success or failure or define those terms.

On the other hand, our ability to foresee seems to be handicapped by our cognition and psychology, which have evolved mostly to fulfill relatively short-term goals.

And unfortunately, creos and IDists hamper our goals for a well-designed future, through their denial of the limitations forced upon us by non-teleological evolution. For if we were to believe in ID, we might suppose that everything is unfolding according to plan.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Intelligence has been very successful in evolutionary terms, that is, it has had a spectacular short-term success.

I assume that you mean human intelligence, as evidenced by the large rapid growth in their numbers and spread. But there doesn’t seem to be a corresponding relationship between numbers and intelligence in other species, or even differentially among humans. So I think we may need to attribute the growth to something more specific, like effective rapacity (effectiveness being the defining characteristic of intelligence), which is self-limiting.

P.S.

I wonder if that misuse of a comma was intentional. For many posters here I would assume so, but not for raven.

There wasn’t actually any misuse of commas in Sword’s sentence; it was a list of clauses separated by commas, with an “and” before the last clause, which is perfectly grammatical by standard prescriptive rules taught in elementary school. (Had Sword used “and” instead of commas, it could have been properly criticized as a run-on sentence.)

I assume that you mean human intelligence, as evidenced by the large rapid growth in their numbers and spread.

That was the context, yes.

But as far intelligence in other species go, it has seemed to be of value to many organisms, while obviously other species have done quite well without much, or even any (using typical scientific conceptions associated with that word), intelligence.

Back to hominins, though, the success of hominin intelligence during most of the course of evolution looks like it may have had more to do with inventing a niche for our ancestors, rather than that it was of any great competitive advantage (and some think it may have been mostly sexual selection anyway—but even in that scenario intelligence was used for tool making quite early) against the teeth and claws of bears and cats. It worked well enough to be selected.

Just filling in the much that I had left out previously. Your comments did too, as of course “intelligence” is not some factor apart from the rest of our evolved desires, needs, and purposes, no matter how much IDists insist that it is.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

I have this strong temptation to ask NGL where he/she had lunch, so that I can avoid the place in the future…

But I think I’ll resist the temptation.

Henry

OK, now-this post really gets to the point. This is the relevant issue in deciding tenure cases at major research Universities. The lack of primary authorship in and of itself is sufficient to deny tenure at a major research University. Heck, there are probably a lot of intermediate schools and even some teaching Universities that would like to see at least one primary authorship paper.

And that is all that needs to be said. His support for ID need only come up in so far as it was not a relevant factor.

Aside from that I do quibble with removing reviews and reanalyses from the record. More may be expected, but those are relevant research contributions. They don’t count as much as original analyses or primary articles. But they do count.

Sword:

The truth is that the theory of evolution has never been really proved according to the scientific method, the supposed evolution of humankind is just an illusion, people aren‘t getting better but worse, the amazing technological advancement may not only destroy the natural environment but humankind, were there a nuclear world war none of us would survive, and egocentric philosophical thinking is taking us on that direction.

In case you missed it, this post has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution. Just the “egocentric philosophical thinking” of the Fine Tuning argument, as presented in the form of the Privileged Planet. Ironic, huh?

The truth is that the theory of evolution has never been really proved according to the scientific method

Oh I dunno. What is the “scientific method”?

* Examine the existing data

* Synthesize a provisional explanation

* Try to figure out what sort of things are predicted or excluded by your proposed explanation.

* Go gather pertinent data on these details.

* Loop back to step 1 indefinitely, eventually approaching asymptotic closure.

After 15 decades of unrelenting critical analysis, it seems about as absolutely “proven” as one could rationally expect.

Oops - te hee - I used the word “rational”.

Robert O’Brien:

RBH:

I’ll repeat here a comment I made on Thoughts from Kansas:

The fundamental error the Disco ‘Tute folks and their defenders are making is to imagine that the award of tenure is a sort of merit badge for past accomplishments. It isn’t. It is a bet on a person’s likely future accomplishments. And Gonzalez is a bad bet in that respect. For example, given Gonzalez’ abysmal record of bringing in extramural funding for research, he would be unable to support Ph.D. students, pay research assistants, or pay for telescope time, and hence his likely productivity in his specialty in the future would be severely compromised. He’s a bad bet from that perspective, and that alone is sufficient grounds to not tenure him.

RBH

Your opinion is noted but why don’t you put your degree in psychology to use and start treating some of the participants here for their irrational antipathy toward Guillermo Gonzalez?

Why don’t you put your knowledge of logic to use and demonstrate that anyone here actually holds any “irrational antipathy” towards Gonzalez, troll?

OK, folks, it’s my turn to deal with teh stoopid…

Sword Wrote:

The truth is that the theory of evolution has never been really proved according to the scientific method,

Which just goes to show you do not understand science. Nothing is ever conclusively proven. Many things are accepted as fact, because they are indicated by the preponderance of evidence, but absolute proof is the preserve of mathematics, not science.

Having said that, evolutionary theory is as close to demionstrated fact as anything in science could ever get.

the supposed evolution of humankind is just an illusion,

Yawn … wake me up when you find a 2-million-year-old but anatomically modern human skeleton, then.

people aren‘t getting better but worse,

What does this have to do with evolution?

And how do you define “better” and “worse”? How do you achieve consensus for these criteria?

the amazing technological advancement may not only destroy the natural environment but humankind,

Well, it may. That does not give us any indication of how likely such an eventuality is, though. Did you have a point to make?

were there a nuclear world war none of us would survive,

If you mean humans, yes, some would survive. There are places where no-one would send their nukes; there are societies that are sufficiently low-tech that they could survive the destruction of all modern manufacturing / raw-materials-extraction capability. Humanity would only go extinct if the nuclear winter is so severe as to prevent the growth of all plant life for several years.

and egocentric philosophical thinking is taking us on that direction.

Erm … well, maybe you should start with just the thinking part, then. I realise it would be new to you, but, hey, you never know - you might like it.

Having said that, evolutionary theory is as close to demionstrated fact as anything in science could ever get.

Evolution is as close to demonstrated fact as anything in science could ever get. Evolutionary theory isn’t a fact, it’s a framework that explains why that fact is a fact.

Robert OBrien Wrote:

Your opinion is noted but why don’t you put your degree in psychology to use and start treating some of the participants here for their irrational antipathy toward Guillermo Gonzalez?

First, the antipathy is not towards Gonzalez - it is towards the DI’s attempt to project the view that there was something illegitimate about his failure to earn a tenured position.

Second, it is entirely rational. The DI is trying to obtain a priveleged status for Gonzalez because he supports their worldview and he once possessed the potential to be a second tenured scientist supporting ID. Sadly for Gonzalez, he let his pursuit of ID distract him from what he needed to do to obtain tenure - science.

Popper's Ghost Wrote:

There wasn’t actually any misuse of commas in Sword’s sentence; it was a list of clauses separated by commas, with an “and” before the last clause, which is perfectly grammatical by standard prescriptive rules taught in elementary school. (Had Sword used “and” instead of commas, it could have been properly criticized as a run-on sentence.)

I disagree. The ideas expressed in Sword’s clauses were not sufficiently connected to require seperation only by commas. They should more properly have been separated by semicolons, or they could have been written as separate sentences.

It is just unfortunate that Raven’s criticism also contained a misused comma.

Poppers Ghost Wrote:

Evolution is as close to demonstrated fact as anything in science could ever get. Evolutionary theory isn’t a fact, it’s a framework that explains why that fact is a fact.

Good point. Perhaps I should have said that the mechanisms described in modern evolutionary theory (MET) are as close to demonstrated fact as anything in science ever gets. The theory of evolution describes and explains the fact of evolution (i.e. the observation that biological entities change over time).

Robert O’Brien:

Your opinion is noted but why don’t you put your degree in psychology to use and start treating some of the participants here for their irrational antipathy toward Guillermo Gonzalez?

Robert O’Brien, Goedel’s ontological argument and the Leibniz’s Law very clearly prove that offering tenure to Prof Gonzalez is not a viable option.

[You said these two things prove that polytheism is not a viable option. I asked you to demonstrate you actually understand these topics by proving something obvious. Like invisible pink unicorns do not exist or that more than one chimp exist. Now let us see if you can disprove my assertion or point out where my impeccable logic has gone astray]

I disagree.

If you disagree that it is grammatical, you are flat-out wrong.

The ideas expressed in Sword’s clauses were not sufficiently connected to require seperation only by commas.

This is a subjective complaint about style, not grammar. (It also contains a misspelling – didn’t you learn to spell in elementary school?) And you’re wrong here too, because the clauses form a connected series, each one supporting the next. Using multiple semicolons is atrocious, and separating these clauses into individual sentences really would look like the writing of someone 6 years old, or something written for someone 6 years old. You’re just reaching, in a way that you never would if you agreed with Sword. It’s not intellectually honest.

It is just unfortunate that Raven’s criticism also contained a misused comma.

There’s more to it than that – the suggestion that Sword’s writing was that of a 6-year-old was wrong, stupid, and intellectually dishonest.

Perhaps I should have said that the mechanisms described in modern evolutionary theory (MET) are as close to demonstrated fact as anything in science ever gets.

No, you shouldn’t have, because they aren’t. There’s a good reason that biologists do make this radical claim of evolution; making the claim of MET suggests that you don’t understand the reasons for the former. See, e.g., http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evo[…]on-fact.html:

Biologists consider the existence of biological evolution to be a fact. It can be demonstrated today and the historical evidence for its occurrence in the past is overwhelming. However, biologists readily admit that they are less certain of the exact mechanism of evolution; there are several theories of the mechanism of evolution.

Let me try to make crystal clear what is established beyond reasonable doubt, and what needs further study, about evolution. Evolution as a process that has always gone on in the history of the earth can be doubted only by those who are ignorant of the evidence or are resistant to evidence, owing to emotional blocks or to plain bigotry. By contrast, the mechanisms that bring evolution about certainly need study and clarification. There are no alternatives to evolution as history that can withstand critical examination. Yet we are constantly learning new and important facts about evolutionary mechanisms.

- Theodosius Dobzhansky “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution”, American Biology Teacher vol. 35 (March 1973) reprinted in Evolution versus Creationism, J. Peter Zetterberg ed., ORYX Press, Phoenix AZ 1983

etc.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Ethan Rop published on December 6, 2007 12:26 PM.

Tangled Bank #94 was the previous entry in this blog.

A Handy Graphic/Timeline of Behe’s Publication Drop is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.361

Site Meter