A few readers have asked in comments or emailed me regarding the tenure denial of Iowa State astronomer (and Discovery Institute fellow) Guillermo Gonzalez. I noted that I’ve not written about it because I’ve just not been around much lately due to travel, and because others are covering it quite well themselves (including lots of coverage over at The Panda’s Thumb.) There are so many angles to the story–the reasons for tenure denial, the “academic freedom” issue (and is it really “academic freedom” to espouse anti-scientific beliefs in a scientific department?), the tenure process itself, Gonzalez’s martyrdom and use by the DI (in spite of the probable irreparable damage it may cause his career), many others. Of course, to those of us in the reality-based community, we see this as yet another strike against Intelligent Design, but others (via Uncommon Descent) still manage to see this as a victory:
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.
Would it surprise anyone to find out that the author of this paragraph isn’t trained in science, and isn’t an academic, but was Jeb Bush’s lawyer in the Terri Schiavo case?:
Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC and a nationally recognized trial lawyer who represented Governor Jeb Bush in the Terri Schiavo case.
Perhaps he’s angling to take Phillip Johnson’s place….