The Discovery Institute's a-comin' to Iowa

Like the gift that never stops giving, the Discovery Institute is taking its dog and pony show on the road, and heading right here to Iowa in order to plead (via press conference) Discovery Institute fellow Guillermo Gonzalez's case for tenure. You may recall the Iowa State assistant professor of astronomy was denied tenure there this past May, and he and the DI have contended that this was due to his support for intelligent design, rather than any other issues with his performance or scholarship.

Not content to simply leave it at that, Gonzalez has appealed his tenure denial, and is continuing to do so all the way to the Board of Regents, which will visit the issue in February. However, as PZ and Wes highlight, the DI is kick-starting their "Gonzalez as martyr" case a bit early. More after the jump...

Both the Des Moines Register and the Ames Tribune suggest the Discovery Institute found something juicy in the thousands of pages of documents they received via a Freedom of Information act:

Advocates for Gonzalez said in a release distributed Tuesday that they will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. Monday in Des Moines. There, they said, they will discuss documents they contend will prove that Gonzalez "lost his job" because he supports intelligent design, not because he was deficient as a scholar. Gonzalez's backers say an appeal to the Iowa Board of Regents and possibly a lawsuit would be the next steps.

***

Lawyers for Guillermo Gonzalez, an assistant professor at Iowa State University, say they have thousands of pages of internal documents that point to "conspiracy and deceit" among ISU employees surrounding the tenure denial of the Intelligent Design proponent.

I teach on Monday and unfortunately can't be in two cities at once, but perhaps someone will attend...

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That silly Iowa State physics fellow who was denied tenure has finally admitted to something sensible. First: Gonzalez said in an e-mail Monday that he is applying for tenure-track positions in case the Regents do not act in his favor. Good for him! Tenure denials happen all the time, and smart…
Hector Avalos sent me his response to the Discovery Institute's 'shocking' revelation that people had been discussing Guillermo Gonzalez's affiliation with Intelligent Design creationism before they denied him tenure. It's a classic pointless objection: of course they were, and of course his openly…

Could be almost interesting, considering how skilled creationists are at quote mining. I'm expecting something along the lines of:

"Mr. Gonzales is... an intelligent... design... proponent who... should be... fired... to protect... evolution."

Much like a bible code, this will be put together from a letter that is about 10 paragraphs long.

sinned34 - I think you are corect! Hallele-effing-luya!

I'm guessing what they have is akin to what Sternberg waved about after his alledged martyrdom - some e-mail from a collegue who was angry that this ID creationist supporter was sullying the reputation of his department and ISU. That will then be trumped as 'evidence' that Gonzalez was denied tenure for his viewpoint on ID. Of course no actual defence of Gonzalez's scholarship, grant attainment, grad student supervision during his time at ISU will be given. The ID choir of course will be satisfied nevertheless that this is perfectly good evidence.

That's my prediction.

As far as I can tell, there is no reason to doubt that the explanation given for Gonzlaez's denial of tenure is true, but, more to the point, IF Gonzalez's claims are true, he still has no case. The college would have been well within its rights not to tenure someone who publishes pseudoscience and woo, so it doesn't matter if, in fact, it did.

By CJColucci (not verified) on 03 Dec 2007 #permalink

...unless the DI wants to argue in a lawsuit that ID is in fact scientific. But they've already said that they don't want judge's 'deciding' if ID is science or not (after the pasting they got in Dover, they would have sang the opposite tune had they won). Of course holding simultaneously mutually contradictory viewpoints would be nothing new for creIDists.

The PR blitz continues.

It's all they have.