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Professors admit they’ll deny tenure to IDers

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At Telic Thoughts, Mike Gene points out that PZ Myers would vote against tenure to an IDer: PZ Myers on Tenure and ID.

The question about tenure denial has been a question I’ve been trying to get reporters to inquire about since last Fall. As far as I can tell, the question has been mostly evaded or been obscured until recently.

If tenure is to be denied, how about hiring? If ID is grounds for denying tenure, then logically why should it stop there? How about the granting of PhDs, or master’s degrees, or bachelor’s degrees, or even entry into college? Sadly I must remind the readers that John Rennie hinted students exposed to criticism of Darwinian evolution should even be limited in their ability to enter college: Dawinism In Education.

Now that Judge Jones has ruled ID is religion, this raises interesting constitutional issues. If ID is religion (and I use that in the sense of a hypothetical), is it then lawful to deny tenure or diplomas because one accepts ID? Is it constitutional to have Darwinian evolution taught in a way that infringes on the ID viewpoint? Is this a civil rights issue?


Regarding undergraduates, not just tenure cases, take a look at this Akron Biology Faculty Members Decry Daniel Ely
Indeed, if undergraduate majors in our biology department revealed such profound misconceptions about basic evolutionary biology we would have serious misgivings about conferring their degrees in biology. 3 members of the Akron Biology Faculty
This is distressing. scordova
I find PZ Meyer's remarks concerning. But I agree with MikeGene that it's good people like PZ Meyers at least admit they will discriminate against IDers. vaughn

Thanks for the comments everyone.

The transcript of the Sternberg Interview on NPR can be found at Profile: Intelligent Design and Academic Freedom (Transcript), and it also touches on several professors:

HAGERTY: NPR talked with 18 university professors and scientists who subscribe to intelligent design. Most would not speak on the record for fear of losing their jobs. One untenured professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia wrote that talking to NPR would be, quote, "the kiss of death." Another said, `There is no way I would reveal myself prior to obtaining tenure.'

And the audio can be found here NPR: ID and academic freedom

The unidentified woman in the transcript was Christine Chenette, president of the IDEA GMU chapter, a senior in Electrical Engineering who also studied under a pro-ID PhD biologist from GMU, Gordon Wilson. She is one of the few people in the country to have studied biology from a pro-ID perspective. Just wanted her to get credit for her hard work in putting together the premeire of our club on NPR.


Is it factual that a very small percentage of working scientists embrace, or would even remotely consider teleological thought? Probably so, and it's no wonder. As has been common practice at many universities, candidates for tenured positions are routinely denied tenure; or in other words fired from their jobs, if they dare to deviate from the prevailing gospel of Neo Darwinism.

PZ Meyers, Biologist and Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, freely admits his bias on his blog: "I do not object to differences in opinion among my colleagues. I do object to keeping fools around". In his 'tenure review' he's taken the position that Baylor inductee Francis Beckwith "should not be tenured", and has further stated, "I get to vote on tenure decisions at my university, and I can assure you that if someone comes up who claims that ID 'theory' is science, I will vote against them. … when they're advocating lunacy in their profession, then it's bye-bye time."

It's a good thing that Richard Sternberg, a Staff Scientist at the NIH, and a Research Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution is still working. After publishing a peer reviewed article by Stephen Meyer supporting teleological evidences (8/4/04 article in The Proceedings / National Museum of Natural History), Sternberg was roundly lambasted, and accused of publishing a 'fraudulent' article by his superiors and colleagues.

In an NPR interview, Sternberg relates how Smithsonian Special Council James McVay warned him that the Institution had outlined a strategy to have him "investigated and discredited". They subsequently spread rumors that Sternberg was not really a scientist (although he has two Ph.D's in Biology), and took his 'key' away, effectively revoking access to laboratories and research materials at the Institution.

Does this sound in any way political? But wait. Could this simply be another example of 'survival of the fittest'?

Or might I propose a corollary: 'Survival by staying off their XXXX-list.'

Is it really a big secret that ID professors are being denied tenure? I suspect that the utterence even the slightest smidgen of support for ID is enough to have somebody drawn and quartered. This is how the atheistic Darwinian overlords control thought and expression. This is how ID research is derided and denied. This is how scientific advancement is being held back. This makes me wonder how ID theory can make a dent in academic circles. If the professors aren't there to nuture your ID scientists, then who who will persue the research? Jazmine
Knowledge -- of evidential, mathematical, biochemical, and information-theoretic problems with blind-watchmaker Darwinism -- has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. Anyone with a reasonably well-integrated education in these technical disciplines (assuming an IQ above room temperature) can figure out that these problems are insurmountable in terms of Darwinian mechanisms. Thus, there are those in academia who insist on trying to impose what might be likened to an anti-theocracy. They can't make their case on the basis of evidence, mathematics, chemistry, or any other solid argumentation, so they attempt to have their challengers excommunicated. GilDodgen
To oppose critical analysis of neo-Darwinian evolution on the grounds that it is as well established as the roundness of the earth is an obvious attempt to indoctrinate students with secular religion. To deny tenure or a degree or a position because a person is skeptical of neo-Darwinism or other materialist explanations of nature is point of view discrimination. I am as firmly convinced as ever that we are engaged in a civil rights battle. Fortunately, it is one I believe we are ultimately destined to win because people just aren't as stupid as the secularist priesthood would like for them to be. Myers and his ilk are bigots who are desperately trying to defend their worldview and are quite content to use any tactic they can to ensure that any competing worldview is not tolerated. crandaddy
I am not amused. Frankly, I am not surprised either. I think if they start threatening to deny IDists their degrees we're going to see a lot of non-science majors taking courses about evolution. Unfortunately that means Dr. MacNeill's course would be a bit lop-sided. ;) jasonng

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