I have posted much more information about the denial of tenure to ID-friendly astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez here.
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.
Come to think of it, here’s a business op for Gonzalez’s U: Just think what your official astronomers could charge for naming a planet after some airhead! [or blockhead]
17 Replies to “Denial of tenure to ID-friendly astronomer – Mere bigotry or a money issue?”
People keep saying that ID does not make predictions. So, I quickly listed a few in respond to them. Maybe you guys can add on.
1. ID predicts that most DNA are not junk.
2. ID predicts that the Earth is designed for life, esp. human life, and is so situated in Galaxy for Scientific Discovery.
(Read and Support Gonzalez. Buy copies of The Privileged Planet and give to your friends to strengthen their faith in Design, and to win over the materialistic-minded.)
3. ID predicts that the so-called bad designs in Biology are actually superb designs, eg. the human eye.
4. ID predicts there will built-in redundancy in the genes and DNA for contingency
5. ID predicts that IC parts never evolve into IC bio-system
6. ID predicts that biosystems evolve or are made whole – the eyes with all its parts, and nerves, and blood vessels, brain region for vision.
7. Left legs always come with right legs. Symmetry. 1+1, 2+2, 3+3 legs, etc.
8. Left fins always come with right fins
9. Left wings always come with right wings
10. male organs always appear at the same time as female organs
11. upper jaw come with lower jaw
Matthew, it seems that #7, 8, and 9 are all saying the same thing, just with different body parts. You could probably collapse those down into one.
(Symmetry is an interesting observation. I haven’t seen it discussed much. Is this something the Darwinians have an explanation for? [this isn’t a polemic/rhetorical question; I’m really asking a question] Has it been presented as necessarily supporting design?)
What about left and right handedness? Is this not a disadvantage from a survival perspective? Fighting well with both hands would be and advantage over just one.
What about animals? Do they exhibit the same single-handedness as most humans?
While your first list seems reasonable, your second list contains nothing that seems to be unique to ID. Indeed, these are all predictions that could be made by Darwinists based on survival advantage. Furthermore, if ID predicts symetry as a sign of design, then it follows that asymetrical (or non-symetrical) critters are not designed (and there are plenty of these).
Handedness is a very common feature in non-human animals. For example, in food tests with dogs, it was discovered early on that dogs are “handed” and, as a result, will preferentially choose the dish on their dominant side. As a result, food trials are always done twice, with the two choices in opposite positions each time.
As far as survival advantage, I fail to see how handedness would be a disadvantage. As a martial artist, I can say first-hand that being left handed, right handed or ambidextrious has little impact on one’s ability to fight. I am strongly left handed but I can defend myself equally well with my right hand as a result of training. In a wild setting, any critter unable to adequately defend themselves from attack will be eliminated, regardless of handedness. This seems to make the point of handedness rather moot.
Theoretical science doesn’t cost as much as experimental. Gonzalez is generally in the business of making sense of raw astronomical and cosmological observations obtained by others using billion dollar telescopes and whatnot. The proof of the pudding isn’t whether he can obtain funding to pay for time on big scopes but rather whether his analyses are found worthy by his peers for publishing. By the latter measure Gonzalez is quite successful.
1. The non-existence (or existence) of junk DNA does not follow logically from ID. Maybe the designer decided to build in some wiggle room. I don’t see how that constitutes a prediction that is consistent with the theory.
2. This is a tautology. Since we are here, the earth must be habitable – regardless of design or not. So, ID may be consistent with this observation, but it’s hardly a prediction…
3. Funny, I’ve heard elsewhere that “intelligent” design does not imply “perfect” design. If that’s true, then there is no way for ID to predict the efficacy of designs.
4. See #1 and #3.
5. Okay, that makes sense… and it seems to follow. I guess the debate from there is if this is consistent with observations.
6. I agree, similar to #5.
So, we’re down to two predictions (which are almost definitional to what ID is claiming in the first place – which is find).
are you sure “predict” is the right term to use? To predict is to foretell the future. Is it really a profound prediction to foretell that right legs will come with left legs?
Both ID and evolution predict that the designs in nature will work.
One more thing:
There are starfish with five legs. One of them doesn’t have a symmetrical mate. 🙂 Does this mean that starfish aren’t designed?
Let’s not forget that there are two broad classes of symetry in nature: radial (such as starfishes and other echinoderms) and bilatteral (such as humans and dogs and most other animals). The non-symetrical animals to which I was referring were sponges, which posses no symetry at all on the macro level.
sponges, which posses no symetry at all on the macro level
Huh? A lot of them, probably a majority, are perfectly symetrical box shapes!
“Huh? A lot of them, probably a majority, are perfectly symetrical box shapes!”
…and dressed in saddle shoes and squarepants.
“1. The non-existence (or existence) of junk DNA does not follow logically from ID. Maybe the designer decided to build in some wiggle room.”
That’s true but the non-existence of junk DNA anyway strongly support ID for another reason.
We have two different and complementary hypoteses: NDE and ID. To the best of our knowledge it is quite impossible that NDE could produce a DNA with some billion pairs in “only” 2 or 3 billio years. This means that wuth very high confidence the following implication holds:
NDE -> (high percentage of junk DNA)
So, if we should (and I’m sure this will be the case) instead find that only a modest percentage of DNA is really junk, this will AUTOMATICALLY falsify a strong implication of NDE. The last step is to apply a classical logical argument, modus tollens which states:
A -> B , ~B => ~A
(if A then B; B is false; therefore A is false)
In our case this simply means the falsification of the NDE hypothesis.
Here is the link to the Iowa State Faculty Handbook. The link was sent to me in the response to my email, in which I was told,
“Like most research universities, Iowa State has an extensive process of evaluating faculty for tenure. The procedure is prescribed in the Faculty Handbook.”
Here is a link to the “ISU Atheist and Agnostic Society” which features, among others, Hector Avalos.
The “Resurrection Debate” in the Audio section between Dr. Craig and Avalos was revealing.
Now, ID prediction #11
(upper jaw, lower jaw)(cont’d)
upper set of teeth = lower set of teeth
Left-right symmetry AGAIN.
Designer must have mathematical functions built-into the DNA. Hey! for the jaws, that’s a parabola curve, right?
y = ax^2 + bx + c
(Constants a,b,c vary according to diet and enviroment)
One maths function for human jaws, another for chimp, another for gorilla, orang utan, monkeys…
What are the maths functions for the shape of the eyes? eye brows? ears?
Perhaps all the shapes in the bio-structure can be described with a DNA-Maths-Function. For the head, you need a 3-dimensional function.
The number of cells, hairs, etc. on the left and the right must be equal – guaranteed by another DNA-Maths- function.
Then there must exist self-check_self-repair mechanisms for the DNA-Maths-functions should they get corrupted by mutations.
Earlier on, I think DaveScot mentioned about dynamically linked libraries, instruction sets, Hex dump, etc. Add to that check-sum-number.
And compiler. The pre-compiled DNA-Maths-Function must be translatable to A, C, T, G sequences.
By the way, they have already discovered memory addresses for every spot on the skin.
Read DNA zipcode.
Then there must be memory addresses for every spot of the heart, liver, stomach, brain, etc.
“In our case this simply means the falsification of the NDE hypothesis.”
Although, by itself – even if true – this does not affirm ID as a correct hypothesis.
“To the best of our knowledge it is quite impossible that NDE could produce a DNA with some billion pairs in Ã¢â‚¬Å“onlyÃ¢â‚¬Â 2 or 3 billio years.”
This appears to be the main point of contention, it seems, and the pivotal point of your argument. If someone does not agree with that postulate, then the rest of the argument does not follow.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Although, by itself – even if true – this does not affirm ID as a correct hypothesis.”
I think it does provided that we use the more general term “blind evolution” instead of NDE. Please remember that blind evolution and ID are mutually exclusive hypoteses.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“–To the best of our knowledge it is quite impossible that NDE could produce a DNA with some billion pairs in Ã¢â‚¬Å“onlyÃ¢â‚¬Â 2 or 3 billio years.–
This appears to be the main point of contention, it seems, and the pivotal point of your argument. If someone does not agree with that postulate, then the rest of the argument does not follow.”
That’s possible but this person should explain how blind evolution could have tuned some billion pairs within the very short time at disposal.