Sunday, May 27, 2007

"Maybe I should have waited until after I received tenure"

With the publication of the book The Privileged Planet by Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez, the dawning of Darwin's demise continued to brighten.

But now it appears that Darwin's frantic factophobes continue to flail at the dawning light, this time in the American heartland of IOWA.

But the dawn cometh nevertheless.

In the Iowa case, the denial of tenure to highly published Iowa State University astronomer Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez appears very suspiciously related to his interest in the intelligent design ("ID") movement. Specifically, Dr. Gonzalez' book The Privileged Planet went crossways with a bunch of faculty at ISU. As reported (http://www.townhall.com/content/81453ff7-8192-4605-8607-b3d917686303) by World Magazine, May 26, 2007:
"Two years ago, on the heels of Gonzalez publishing his pro-ID book The Privileged Planet, Iowa State religious studies professor Hector Avalos circulated a petition calling for university faculty to denounce ID as non-science. Avalos, an avowed atheist, procured the signatures of 120 faculty members and generated what Gonzalez calls "an extreme level of hostility against me."

As the World Magazine article reports, Gonzalez ruefully comments, "Maybe I should have waited until after I received tenure."

Gonzalez has appealed the tenure denial, a process that has a very low chance of success. The appeal, filed May 8, has a drop-dead date of June 6 for possible reversal by ISU President Gregory Geoffroy.

So how should the folks who desire truth and open inquiry respond? I like the answer posted May 27, 2007, on Townhall.com
(http://www.townhall.com/content/81453ff7-8192-4605-8607-b3d917686303)
by Ken Connor, Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC. Connor is a nationally recognized trial lawyer who represented Governor Jeb Bush in the Terri Schiavo case. Connor's commentary suggests to us that the folks who want their version of "science" to be a speech-free zone are now running scared - really scared. Here is Connor's take:
"It seems that many scientists and academicians who hold views contrary to Dr. Gonzalez have concluded that the best way to avoid debate about the evidence for intelligent design is to simply deny jobs to those who will not affirm their atheistic worldview. The fact that these scientists, who are supposedly open to following the evidence wherever it leads, have resorted to blatant discrimination to avoid having this conversation speaks volumes about the weakness of their position. They realize their arguments are not sufficient to defeat the intelligent design movement and they must, therefore, shut their opponents out of the conversation. All the evidence suggests that it is unjust that Dr. Gonzalez was denied tenure and that this ruling should be overturned on appeal. Nevertheless, what happened to Dr. Gonzalez is a reflection of the growing strength of the intelligent design movement, not its weakness."

So .... Take heart! Stand up! Speak out! Go buy a a few copies of The Privileged Planet and spread them around.

Surely, the dawn cometh!

Respectfully submitted,
D.U.

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