All the evolution denialists are up in arms because one of their own, Guillermo Gonzalez, was denied tenure. It’s persecution they cry! Let’s write a letter to ISU they cry! And now Denyse O’Leary says, “It’s a conspiracy!”
How tiresome. Could a kind reader make me an animated gif of a man climbing up on a cross for me? This persecution complex of the IDers needs a graphic.
There are a number of good reasons why Gonzalez might have been denied tenure (and so far I haven’t seen Gonzalez himself cry persecution – just his fans at UC)
It’s getting so old. If you criticize them it’s persecution! If you don’t let them teach religion in public schools it’s persecution! If you do something as simple as make a list of who the denialists are it’s persecution! Now if an advocate of ID doesn’t get tenure it’s persecution!
Maybe they’ve forgotten what persecution means? It seems that many Christians complain about persecution in this modern day, but what kind of persecution is having members of your religion in charge of all three branches of government? How about having television stations committed to spreading your message, and even all the networks on Sunday morning showing religious programming? How can they claim persecution despite all of these things?
Ed Brayton also wonders and provides some reasonable explanations for why someone like Gonzalez might not get tenure. The IDers for instance, point out his publication record as a sign he should be given tenure but, sorry, it’s not publications people, it’s money. You gotta bring in the dough hand over fist if you’re going to get tenure, you have to justify the space you occupy and your salary, as well as showing you can teach, participate in the university community, and not piss of your department. I know that here at UVA they compute your value in dollars per square foot. That is, the grant money you bring in over the square footage of your lab space. It seems a little harsh, but that’s just how universities work and how they compute your value. Just ask Rob Knop over at Galactic Interactions, it’s hard out there for an astronomer.
All that aside, I still like Denyse O’Leary’s explanation of how they are persecuted in this day and age. It’s apparently a conspiracy!
If you are a Christian or theist or anyone who thinks that the universe shows evidence of meaning, purpose, or design, listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: You need to think carefully about wasting time, energy, and money in the Western academic system IF, by chance, whatever you are doing undermines materialism.
Now, materialism is shot to pieces anyway, and has been ever since quantum mechanics began to be understood. But hordes of tenured mediocrities still compel tax money from the public to defend their dissolving empire, and persecute anyone who threatens it.
Consider the case of Guillermo Gonzalez. He is a young astronomer who was denied tenure at Iowa State University a few weeks ago, in a case that seems to me a classic in determining whether the current Western university system is simply biased against anyone who thinks that the universe is top down instead of bottom up, or otherwise thinks there is meaning in the universe:
Ahh, two pieces of denialist claptrap in rapid succession. First note the irrational appeal to quantum mechanics, the Rorschach blot of scientific theories for perpetrators of psuedoscientific BS usually based on a misunderstanding of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Never mind trying to explain to these people that the constant in Heisenberg’s Uncertainty principle is h-bar or 1.05 x 10(-34) J*s. For those who don’t know this is a very small number, and what it means is that quantum mechanics doesn’t really mean anything relevant for a particle much bigger than an atom – we should stick to Newtonian mechanics for daily life. I like how she says, “ever since quantum mechanics began to be understood”, when in reality it’s ever since quantum mechanics began to be misunderstood.
Second note the conspiracy. It’s a conspiracy! Evil materialist atheists are conspiring to keep out a wonderful man just because he believes in God! How dare they? They’re doing it to protect their precious, precious grant money! They’re lying and conspiring to enrich themselves with RO1s and NSF grants!
Well, they don’t. This is absurd. There isn’t a materialist conspiracy to protect scientific orthodoxy, as we’ve discussed before this conspiratorial thinking is the sign of a weak mind. And even if his peers at ISU decided he didn’t deserve tenure because of his pro-ID ideas, that’s not a conspiracy against ID, it’s called the sensible protection of the university’s reputation by members of the faculty. It would be perfectly justified, in my opinion, to block someone from getting tenure over their ID stance in a science department, because ID isn’t science. It’s an effort to undermine science. It’s denialism.