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Hysteria in Iowa


Guillermo Gonzalez, ID theorist extraordinaire, spoke last night (9/28) at University of Northern Iowa (UNI). He was invited to speak there by the local chapter of Sigma Xi back in August. When the biology professors there caught wind of it in mid-September, they organized a petition statement very similar to the one organized by Hector Avalos et al. at Gonzalez’s home institution, Iowa State University (reported on this blog earlier — go here). As a result, the local media was extremely interested in his talk. Indeed, it was reported in just about every major Iowa paper. Not surprisingly, the auditorium was packed. When Gonzalez arrived last night, he found that someone had posted outside the auditorium a huge blowup of the petition statement with all its signatures and a signup sheet for people to add their signatures.

They also had documents from the AAAS and NAS about ID outside. Inside they had written on the blackboard an NAS web address giving a pro-evolution pdf file. On another blackboard they advertised a talk in late October by an ID critic. What’s life without a little intimidation! There were students, faculty and locals in the audience. The whole biology department was there. Even so, Gonzalez acquitted himself well. Hector Avalos, who has now assumed the role full-time Gonzalez stalker, was there and asked the same thing he wrote about in his letter to the editor in the Des Moines Register that I blogged the other day (go here). And of course, the Wedge Document came up (no ID Q&A is complete without it).

Friends, what are our opponents so worried about? All we want to do is crush Darwinian materialism and the secular ideology that has been built on it.

[...] Guillermo Gonzalez, Privileged Planet astronomer and longtime target of atheist materialists, has been denied tenure. Fact sheet folllows. [...] Habitable Zone astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez denied tenure | Uncommon Descent
"Friends, what are our opponents so worried about?" You mean, apart from the fact that their religious system will exposed as just that ? "All we want to do is crush Darwinian materialism and the secular ideology that has been built on it". Is that all ? Goodness, why didn't you say so ? Mats
"I wonder if the blackboard would have enough room on it to write out all of the directions that would be required to build an organism from scratch?" That depends. How small can you write? In any case if someone makes a serious attempt I'm buying chalk futures... DaveScot
Since naturalism implies reductionism they could always write on that blackboard the natural law that everything comes down to...that is, if they knew what it was. ;) Gumpngreen
[...] UPDATE: Dembski blogs about the latest in the Iowa saga. [...] Ochuk’s blog » Blog Archive » ISU Controversy
Instead of posting the petition, why dont they just post the specific, reproducible, chemical steps that would lead from non-life to an extremely simple, self-reproducing organism? Until that happens, how can anyone (scientifically) rule out ID? BTW, I wonder if the blackboard would have enough room on it to write out all of the directions that would be required to build an organism from scratch? Tim Sverduk
Bill: "Friends, what are our opponents so worried about? All we want to do is crush Darwinian materialism and the secular ideology that has been built on it." Precisely. We're dealing with religious zealots here, not scientists. It's fundamentally important that we realize this and deal with it in an appropriate manner. I like to sum this up in the three p's: patience, persistence, and proper conduct. David crandaddy
How can the darwinites accuse I.D. of being religious when they're the ones who always want to talk about God? mmadigan
[...] At Uncommom Descent Dr. Dembski presented the next: Hysteria in Iowa [...] Teleological Blog » The Good Report of Guillermo Gonzalez, Author of The Privileged Planet
Actually, I should say Kudos to the faculty members for inviting Gonzalez! See:http://tinyurl.com/8pub4 "Paul Shand, UNI professor of physics and president-elect of Sigma Xi, the science research society that sponsored the event, said the discussion went very well, and the goal of exchanging ideas in a civil way was accomplished." [a bit of humor] Ahem, Paul, don't you know permitting an IDist to express his view before such a distinguished group of individuals as Sigma Xi faculty members is lending ID credibility, especially will all the newspapers in Iowa wanting to report on it. Darwinists are trying to portray IDists as Flat Earther's, and bringing out faculty members, especially under Sigma Xi sponsorship, to hear Gonzalez is not consistent with the way Darwinists wish to portray IDists. Look at what you've done! Now the board of regents are inviting IDists to be treated like they're respectable citizens in the university! see: http://tinyurl.com/8khkd From the article: Iowa City Regent Robert Downer said he supports open forums on Intelligent Design. Downer said despite the scientific controversy surrounding Intelligent Design, it is a subject that deserves scrutiny. "I do feel universities are places where all points of view should be expressed in a respectful manner as a part of the furtherance of academic inquiry and exposure of students and others to all points of view....We encourage debate. That is how students learn - through robust debate on all kinds of issues...that is what college is all about: to explore and learn. From that standpoint, the debate is wholesome and healthy." Salvador scordova
My e-mail to the 3 (Iowa State) Stooges and Dr. Go Hello All. I have noted this petition controversy with some interest because I am interested in ID... Huperborea
Will Sigma Xi issue an edict: “any chpater that invites IDists to Sigma Xi events again will be subject to retaliation.”?
Indeed yes. The floggings will continue until morale (and obedience) improves! DonaldM
"Sigma Xi was founded in 1886 as an honor society for scientists and engineers....Today, Sigma Xi is a society of about 95,000 scientists and engineers. Throughout its history, more than 150 Sigma Xi members have received the Nobel Prize." 150 Nobel Laureates in Sigma Xi and they're rolling out the red carpet for our man, Guillermo Gonzalez! By the way Evolutionist, Lynn Margulis is Sigma Xi President, and evolutionist Francisco Ayala, immediate past president. This is too funny! Will Sigma Xi issue an edict: "any chpater that invites IDists to Sigma Xi events again will be subject to retaliation."? Kudos for the students in that chapter! scordova
Well, what I meant was that after corresponding with two or three columnists who've written unfavorably of ID (including Michael Scott Moore who wrote the Der Spiegel piece and who's been pretty cool, by the way) and reading many more media types' take on ID it became obvious that most have no idea what ID is. They're mostly repeating, almost verbatim, what prominent Darwinists say ID is. I don't blame them completely. A degree in journalism doesn't require courses in critical thinking, philosophy, or biology so it's easier to simply quote guys they're told are experts. In any case, the media shapes and affects the debate as much, if not more, than anyone in the debate. I was hoping someone here knew of anything written on the topic. lpadron
The fourth estate is now trying to get the egg off its face for the hysterical, inaccurate reporting surrounding Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans. And just when people had almost forgotten about the MSM trying to change the outcome of a federal election with CBS' "60 Minutes" publishing in the 12th hour poorly forged documents pertaining to George Bush's military service. Can the MSM spell "Chicken Little"? I knew they could. ;-) Focus on the fact that GW is making two USSC justice appointments and has plenty of time to get in a third. This will do more to change the face of America for the better than anything else I can think of as activist courts making liberal legislation from the bench is the only thing left standing in the way of adults taking over the country. DaveScot
Rumors whispered behind closed doors at Iowa State claim that Avalos was once subjected to intense doses of x-rays to no avail: not one honest bone was found in his body. It's just as well. A crooked theory deserves as many crooked advocates it can get. I apologize if that's unkind and out of line with this forum. On a more serious note though, does anyone know of literature regarding the media's role in this debate? For my money, the fourth estate is even more problematic than those holed up in Camp Darwin. Any knowledge of any study about their role would be appreciated. lpadron

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