Intelligent Design

Leveraging Dover Against Iowa State University

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– According to World Magazine they have two professors at Iowa State on record saying they voted against tenure for Guillermo Gonzalez based partly upon his assocation with the Intelligent Design movement.

– According to Federal Judge John Jones in the Dover case ID is religion not science and thus cannot be taught in a public school as doing so violates the first amendment establishment clause.

– According to Guillermo Gonzalez he never taught ID in any Iowa State classroom. Thus he kept his religion apart from the school where he teaches. Indeed Guillermo has 68 papers on astronomy published in refereed journals, over 1500 citations to those papers, co-authored an article that made the cover of Scientific American, was featured in Science Magazine, and co-authored an advanced astronomy textbook last year used by at least a half dozen major universities that I know of today including Iowa State. Guillermo’s work in his field is nothing short of outstanding.

Connecting the three dots above leads inevitably to the conclusion that Guillermo is a victim of religious discrimination by a publically funded institution. A clear violation of the first amendment establishment of religion clause counterweight – the freedom of religion clause – as well as the first amendment freedom of speech clause – both of which protect Guillermo in his personal life outside the school against this very kind of discrimination.

Judge Jones handed us a lemon when he ruled that ID was religion. Someone once told me “If God gives you lemons, make lemonade!” I suggest we start rallying our legal talent now and prepare to teach Iowa State a very expensive lesson that will make other universities think twice about sternberging anyone else. Two can play the Dover game.

19 Replies to “Leveraging Dover Against Iowa State University

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    First amendment
    “ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. ”

    Though materialists disagree with me that materialism is a religion, A law mandating the teaching of only materialism is in effect a backdoor way of requiring the teaching of only atheism. Thus the government is in actuality making a law respecting the establishment of a religion. From the language of the first amendment, It is clear the government should take a neutral position on this matter and let “the controversy be taught” Science is best served when no presumption is considered true prior to investigation. The evidence itself has greatest weight in empirical science. Any philosophical bias that the scientists may have prior to investigation has been proven many times throughout history to only impede the progress of science.

  2. 2
    russ says:

    Although this argument highlights the hypocrisy of the university nicely, I don’t think a court case will work. While the University establishment is apparently willing to make false claims about the reason for Gonzalez’ tenure-denial, I don’t think Guillermo would be willing to argue something in court that he doesn’t believe. If he was unprincipled like them, he wouldn’t be in this position in the first place.

  3. 3
    bFast says:

    DaveScot, is “sternberging” your term? It surely is a shoe that fits in this context.

    I would personally rather not see courts get involved in this issue. I would much rather see congress get involved as they did with Sternberg. If I were an American I would be writing my congressman, suggesting just such a congressional review in this matter.

    bornagain77, I fully agree with your view that materialism is religion which should held separate from government by the establishment clause.

    russ:

    While the University establishment is apparently willing to make false claims about the reason for Gonzalez’ tenure-denial, I don’t think Guillermo would be willing to argue something in court that he doesn’t believe.

    I don’t get your point. What would Gonzalez have to argue that he doesn’t believe? If I was in his boots I could, with clear conscience, argue that I was the victim of religious discrimination.

  4. 4

    […] But what’s not reasonable is to try to protect tenure by keeping people out arbitrarily, by denying tenure for political reasons. As a strategy it’s great and perfectly understandable — but it also undercuts the very reasons tenure is important. […]

  5. 5
    DaveScot says:

    bfast

    As far as I know I was the first person to make a verb out of Professor Rick Sternberg’s last name.

    russ

    I understand that Guillermo doesn’t believe ID is religion but his personal opinion has no bearing and he needn’t make any statement that he personally believes ID is not religion. He only needs to argue that ID is religion in the opinion of federal courts. If the justice system considers ID religion then Guillermo had his civil rights violated by Iowa State University. There can be only two outcomes – the court hearing Guillermo holds that ID is not religion and thus his civil rights were not violated (a win for ID) or the court holds that his civil rights were violated and rules that universities cannot use ID to discriminate against faculty on that basis (also a win for ID). I don’t see any downside. Either way ID comes out better for it.

  6. 6
    russ says:

    Dave, according to a lawyer friend of mine, the deposition in the case of Gonzalez vs. ISU might go something like this:

    Defense Lawyer: Professor G, do you believe that ID is religion?

    GG: No, I believe it is science, not religion.

    Defense Lawyer: So you believe that you were denied tenure because of your scientific opinions, not your religious opinions, is that correct?

    GG: That is correct.

    Defense Lawyer: So then you believe that you have not been the victim of religious discrimination.

    GG: That is correct. I have not been the victim of religious discrimination.

    Defense Lawyer: Then how is it that you are suing for religious discrimination when you agree with us that religious discrimination never occured?

    GG: [Shrugs shoulders and turns to his own attorney hoping for an answer]

    So where would the case go from there? Maybe some actual lawyers have an answer.

  7. 7
    russ says:

    “I don’t get your point. What would Gonzalez have to argue that he doesn’t believe? If I was in his boots I could, with clear conscience, argue that I was the victim of religious discrimination.”

    – bFast

    The university may have believed they were committing an act of religious discrimination, but if Gonzalez doesn’t believe ID is religion, then he’s going to have to make some argument other than “ID is religion because Judge Jones says so”. I think you have to actually agree [under oath] with your own legal position during a deposition. To do that he would have to stipulate (agree) that ID is indeed religion.

    If he wants to say “They denied me tenure because I’m a Christian”, then that’s another thing. But I don’t think he can sign on to the proposition that ID is religion ’cause Judge Jones decreed it so unless he’s willing to say he agrees with the judge.

  8. 8
    Jehu says:

    if Gonzalez doesn’t believe ID is religion, then he’s going to have to make some argument other than “ID is religion because Judge Jones says so”. I think you have to actually agree [under oath] with your own legal position during a deposition.

    I don’t think that is correct. Gonzalez doesn’t have to believe ID is a religion. The issue is whether ID is legally recognized as a religion and if Gonzalez was descriminated against based on his belief in ID.

  9. 9
    russ says:

    Jehu:

    I don’t think Judge Jones’ ruling constitutes recognition of ID as religion. The Dover case is not legal precedent for anything. The case would have to have been appealed and ID ruled a religion by an appeals court for it to have any legal precedent.

    The Dover case no more constituted the government’s recognition of ID as religion than the judge’s ruling in “Miracle on 42nd Street” established the government’s recognition of department store Santa, Kris Kringle as Santa Claus! Judge Jones’ decision doesn’t even bind a judge in New Mexico, Arkansas or California from ruling in any particular way in a case whose facts are 100% identical to those in Dover.

  10. 10
    russ says:

    To recap, the government does not recognize ID as religion. Judge Jones’ decision is not case law. It is not binding legal precedent for anything. It may have had an effect on public opinion, but not the law.

  11. 11
    tribune7 says:

    GG: That is correct. I have not been the victim of religious discrimination.

    Defense Lawyer: Then how is it that you are suing for religious discrimination when you agree with us that religious discrimination never occured?

    GG: Because according to the federal courts I.D. is a religion, and if the federal courts are right my rights have been violated regardless of my opinion. So what is it?

    Dave Scott is right. The point isn’t to collect damages but to illustrate absurdity. It would a great victory for another fed judget to rule it is not a religion.

  12. 12
    Mung says:

    One court ruling ID is religion amd one ruling ID is not religion is the thing higher court decisions are made of :).

    Would he appeal the decision that ID is not religion?

  13. 13
    Janice says:

    russ, use &ltblockquote>your quote goes here&lt/blockquote>. That isn’t showing up as a quote because I’ve used escapes and therefore the tags aren’t functioning as tags.

    And surely all Gonzalez would have to do would be something like the following.

    Defense Lawyer: So you believe that you were denied tenure because of your scientific opinions, not your religious opinions, is that correct?

    GG: No, that is not correct. I was denied tenure because the tenure committee members (sotto voce, “ignorant dolts that they are”) believe that ID is religion and, therefore, that my scientific opinions are religious opinions.

  14. 14
    Apollos says:

    Hi Janice, I think you may need to put semicolons after your &lt and &gt (&lt; &gt; = <>)

    The browser-side preview javascript doesn’t work exactly the same as the server side parsing code, which can lead to frustrating disparity between previewed and posted comments.

    Hope this helps

  15. 15
    Larry Fafarman says:

    In their lawsuit against UC, Christian schools are essentially claiming that they teach religion as science so that they can argue that UC is violating the Constitution’s free exercise clause — see

    http://im-from-missouri.blogsp.....ies-v.html

    Judge Jones handed us a lemon when he ruled that ID was religion. Someone once told me “If God gives you lemons, make lemonade!”

    Judge Jones used the “Lemon test,” so the version I like is, “if life gives you Lemon tests, make Lemonade!”

  16. 16
    Janice says:

    Thank you very much Apollos. Haven’t used javascript for years so, going from memory, I can only say that memory doesn’t always serve.

  17. 17
    mgarelick says:

    It seems to me that this would be sufficient for Gonzalez not to prevail: assuming that he was denied tenure because of his views on ID, it was because he believes (or has expressed and argued the belief) that ID is science. Whether or not ID is actually religion is a side issue.

  18. 18
    russ says:

    <blockquote>I’m trying to blockquote
    </blockquote>.

  19. 19

    […] But what’s not reasonable is to try to protect tenure by keeping people out arbitrarily, by denying tenure for political reasons. As a strategy it’s great and perfectly understandable — but it also undercuts the very reasons tenure is important. […]

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