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Two profs suing Bryan College

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Re new statement of faith:

wo tenured Bryan College professors that were notified their employment will be terminated on May 17 after they failed to acknowledge the college’s recent “clarification” on the origins of man in their contract renewal are suing the college in Rhea County Chancery Court.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Monday, states that when the Bryan College Board of Trustees approved a “clarification” to the school’s statement of faith saying that man descended from Adam and Eve and did not evolve from other species, it was effectively altering the Bryan College statement of faith. The school’s charter expressly forbids an alteration to the college’s statement of faith.

Developing.

48 Replies to “Two profs suing Bryan College

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    of related note, Darwinists simply have no empirical evidence that Darwinian processes can change one bacteria into another bacteria much less change a supposed chimp-like creature into a human.

    Scant search for the Maker
    Excerpt: But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms.
    – Alan H. Linton – emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol.
    http://www.timeshighereducatio.....ode=159282

    “Any transition of form is pure fantasy. There is no demonstration of it.”
    Doug Axe – co-author of Science & Human Origins – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxMmLakH2LQ

    Thou Shalt Not Put Evolutionary Theory to a Test – Douglas Axe – July 18, 2012
    Excerpt: “For example, McBride criticizes me for not mentioning genetic drift in my discussion of human origins, apparently without realizing that the result of Durrett and Schmidt rules drift out. Each and every specific genetic change needed to produce humans from apes would have to have conferred a significant selective advantage in order for humans to have appeared in the available time (i.e. the mutations cannot be ‘neutral’). Any aspect of the transition that requires two or more mutations to act in combination in order to increase fitness would take way too long (>100 million years).
    My challenge to McBride, and everyone else who believes the evolutionary story of human origins, is not to provide the list of mutations that did the trick, but rather a list of mutations that can do it. Otherwise they’re in the position of insisting that something is a scientific fact without having the faintest idea how it even could be.”
    Doug Axe PhD.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62351.html

    Science & Human Origins: Interview With Dr. Douglas Axe (podcast on the strict limits found for changing proteins to other very similar proteins) – July 2012
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....3_53-07_00

    Thus with no actual empirical evidence demonstrating the feasibility that a chimp-like creature can change into a human, by unguided Darwinian processes, then the Darwinian position is as as much, if not much more, of a ‘faith position’ as the Theist’s position is.

    Darwin and the Mathematicians – David Berlinski
    “The formation within geological time of a human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field, is as unlikely as the separation by chance of the atmosphere into its components.”
    Kurt Gödel, was a preeminent mathematician/logician who is considered one of the greatest to have ever lived.
    Of Note: Godel was/is a Christian Theist!
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....cians.html

  2. 2
    LarTanner says:

    So…academics being ‘expelled’ for thoughtcrime by a policy of religious orthodoxy. Seems familiar.

  3. 3
    Joe says:

    No, they are being expelled for failing to live up to their contract.

  4. 4
    franklin says:

    No, they are being expelled for failing to live up to their contract.

    Just to be clear and consistent, Joe, you would agree that when Guillermo_Gonzalez was passed over for tenure was justified since he failed to fulfill his contract obligations of generating funding for original research, failure to publish any results of original research conducted during his probationary period at Iowa State University, as well as his failure to successfully mentor any graduate students to advanced degrees constitute a breach of contract while under his probationary period?

  5. 5
    Robert Byers says:

    If the school can determine its beliefs then how can some profs say no?
    Thats the reason for the school. Bible truths. if the profs don’t teach otherwise then they could stay. it should be about what is taught and not what is believed.

  6. 6
    Joe says:

    franklin- You can sure spew false propaganda. Gonzalez was denied tenure because of the rantings of ignorant atheists that had tenure.

  7. 7
    franklin says:

    joe:

    franklin- You can sure spew false propaganda. Gonzalez was denied tenure because of the rantings of ignorant atheists that had tenure.

    Well no, joe, gonzalez was denied tenure because he failed to meet his contractual obligations to qualify for tenure. For example one of the key tenants required for tenure is the successful mentoring of students in advanced degrees (i.e., masters and Ph.D.). How many students did Gonzalez mentor in his time at Iowa state university…..NONE! Epic fail on his part.

    Also, for whatever reason, he failed to meet publication requirements as well despite previous warnings by his tenure committee…..not a good idea to ignore the suggestions of your tenure committee….another epic fail on his part.

    There are, of course, other points of failure on his part that I am also sure you will ignore and blame his failures on some persecution conspiracy.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    Franklin, why are you continuing to be spreading false and/or calculatedly misleading assertions after the disclosure has long since come out that documents how the motives were hostility to his design views, in the teeth of sterling work that in fact significantly outshone those who kicked him out? This tells us a lot, and none of it good. KF

  9. 9
    franklin says:

    kfL

    Franklin, why are you continuing to be spreading false and/or calculatedly misleading assertions after the disclosure has long since come out that documents how the motives were hostility to his design views, in the teeth of sterling work that in fact significantly outshone those who kicked him out? This tells us a lot, and none of it good. KF

    nothing I have posted is false or misleading.

    Can you, kf, provide a list or number of graduate students that Gonzalez successfully mentored to the completion of their degrees during his 7 year hiatus at Iowa State? Or is the number as I posted….ZERO?

    He did no ‘sterling’ work while at Iowa State….that was one of his failures. His postdoc mentor even stated that, sadly, he did nothing of significance while at Iowa State University. Can you provide a list of significant research findings generated by Gonzalez while he was at Iowa State?

    ISu felt that his past performance warranted a shot at tenure at their University. Unfortunately, he was not able to perform well once he found himself on his own without the protection and guidance of a mentor.

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: On the OP, it is to be noted that the school is named after William Jennings Bryan and is a specifically religious institution, evidently not state supported. (This is a highly material point of difference from the state university put up as a “parallel.”) Such a school would fit within Bryan’s view that a denominational school not linked to the state is different from a public educational institution; indeed he explicitly wrote that such a school could be formed by the evolutionists. I think the school here is obviously learning that unchangeable laws of the Medes and Persians don’t work very well in praxis given our finitude and fallibility. I would add, that such schools would be well advised to consider that the focus of warrant for the Christian faith highlights the prophesied messiah, who in accordance with prophecies of centuries standing suffered a passion, died and rose from death with 500+ witnesses. In that context, one can hold that one’s view of scripture and the world is decisively shaped by that keystone truth — and the view of said scriptures by the Messiah who proved his authority by so rising from the dead, which has led on to the transformational change of millions by the impact of encounter with the living God through the Messiah. One may then ask what is a reasonable response to the text, the history worldview issues, questions of science and linked epistemology and phil, but obviously there will be some significant room for reasonable and responsible diversity on such. KF

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Franklin: You are simply spinning away on false and misleading talking points, in the teeth of evidence long since made quite public; cf. for instance here at UD for a summary by our own VJT. And, FYI, you are trying to dismiss and talk down a pioneer of exoplanet investigations. KF

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: ENV article:

    >> http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....04817.html

    Stellar Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez Denied Fair Hearing by Iowa State Board of Regents
    Anika Smith February 7, 2008 10:35 AM | Permalink

    The Board of Regents of the State of Iowa has denied the tenure appeal of Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez, Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Iowa State University (ISU). Dr. Gonzalez’s appeal has been ongoing since the summer of 2007, when he was first denied tenure by ISU.

    “We are extremely disappointed that the Board of Regents refused to give Dr. Gonzalez a fair hearing in his appeal,” said Gonzalez’s attorney Chuck Hurley. “They say in Iowa that academic freedom is supposed to be the ‘foundation of the university.’ That foundation is cracked.”

    ISU has consistently maintained that Dr. Gonzalez’s tenure denial has nothing to do with intelligent design (ID). But secret e-mails exchanged by ISU faculty who voted against his tenure and statements in Dr. Gonzalez’s tenure file showed that intelligent design was the overriding factor in his tenure denial. The Board of Regents refused to admit much of this evidence into the record in Dr. Gonzalez’s appeal.

    “The Board of Regents would not allow into the record extensive e-mail documentation showing that Dr. Gonzalez was denied tenure not due to his academic record, but because he supports intelligent design,” said Casey Luskin, Program Officer in Public Policy and Legal Affairs at Discovery Institute, where Gonzalez is a senior fellow. “Then the Board refused to grant Dr. Gonzalez the right to be heard through oral arguments. Does it come as any surprise that now they denied his appeal?”

    “They’ve denied his due process rights throughout this entire appeal,” Luskin continued. “This kangaroo court decided its verdict long before today’s deliberations even began.”

    “The most disheartening part of this appeal is that they refused Dr. Gonzalez the opportunity to present his case fully to the Board and to have face-to-face contact with the Board through oral arguments,” said Chuck Hurley.

    “The Board of Regents had an opportunity to give justice to an outstanding scientist who is a leader in his field,” Luskin concluded. “Instead, they caved in to political pressure and threw academic freedom to the wind.” >>

  13. 13
    franklin says:

    kf:

    Franklin: You are simply spinning away on false and misleading talking points, in the teeth of evidence long since made quite public; cf. for instance here at UD for a summary by our own VJT. And, FYI, you are trying to dismiss and talk down a pioneer of exoplanet investigations. KF

    I’ll take that as a ‘no, I cannot supply a list or number of graduate students successfully mentored by Gonzalez at ISU’. Which is no surprise since the record is quite clear and unambiguous on this issue.

    I don’t have to ‘take down’ Gonzalez since he tanked his career all on his own.

  14. 14
    franklin says:

    …a closer look at Mr. Gonzalez’s case raises some questions about his recent scholarship and whether he has lived up to his early promise. …

    Under normal circumstances, Mr. Gonzalez’s publication record would be stellar and would warrant his earning tenure at most universities, according to Mr. Hirsch [a scholar who analyzed the publication record]. But Mr. Gonzalez completed the best scholarship, as judged by his peers, while doing postdoctoral work at the University of Texas at Austin and at the University of Washington, where he received his Ph.D. His record has trailed off since then.

    “It looks like it slowed down considerably,” said Mr. Hirsch…. “It’s not clear that he started new things, or anything on his own, in the period he was an assistant professor at Iowa State.”

    That pattern may have hurt his case. “Tenure review only deals with his work since he came to Iowa State,” said John McCarroll, a spokesman for the university.

    When considering a tenure case, faculty committees try to anticipate what kind of work a professor will accomplish in the future. “The only reason the previous record is relevant is the extent to which it can predict future performance,” said Mr. Hirsch. “Generally, it’s a good indication, but in some cases it’s not.”

    David L. Lambert, director of the McDonald Observatory at Texas, supervised Mr. Gonzalez during his postdoctoral fellowship there in the early to mid-1990s. … [H]e is not aware of any important new work by Mr. Gonzalez since he arrived at Iowa State, such as branching off into different directions of research. “I don’t know what else he has done,” Mr. Lambert said. …

    Mr. Gonzalez said he does not have any grants through NASA or the National Science Foundation, the two agencies that would normally support his research…. He arrived at Iowa State in 2001, but none of his graduate students there have thus far completed their doctoral work

    http://www.expelledexposed.com.....h/gonzalez

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    Franklin, the evidence on what actually happened is in the links as provided. VJT’s summary is accurate:

    * Dr. Gonzalez was subjected to a secret campaign of vilification and ridicule by colleagues in the Department of Physics and Astronomy who explicitly wanted to get rid of him because of his pro-intelligent design views, not his scholarship.

    * Dr. Gonzalez’s work and views on intelligent design were repeatedly attacked during department tenure deliberations.

    * Dr. Gonzalez’s colleagues secretly plotted to evade the law by suppressing evidence that could be used against them in court to supply proof of a hostile work environment.

    * One of Dr. Gonzalez’s colleagues admitted to another faculty member that the Department of Physics and Astronomy had violated the principle of academic freedom “massively” when it came to Gonzalez, while other colleagues expressed qualms that their secret plotting against Gonzalez was unethical or dishonest.

    * Dr. Gonzalez’s department chair misled the public after the fact by insisting that “intelligent design was not a major or even a big factor in this decision” — even though he had privately told colleagues that Gonzalez’s support for intelligent design alone “disqualifies him from serving as a science educator.”

    * In voting to reject tenure for Dr. Gonzalez, members of the Department of Physics and Astronomy all but ignored recommendations made by the majority of their own outside scientific reviewers, who thought Gonzalez clearly deserved tenure. [Cf source materials here]

    I am confident that, apart from the ideological factor and associated agitation led by atheists, Gonzalez would have been a no brainer for tenure. The attempt to ruthlessly trash his reputation by half truths, misrepresentations and denials or dismissal of the dmonstrated facts simply tells us just what sort of agendas and tactics we are dealing with. And expelled exposed is a capital illustration of the blame the targetted victim mentality that I am talking about. The message you are sending is that you are party to the indefensible, ruthless and implacable, and can only be defeated rather than reasoned with. KF

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: It is worth noting from VJT’s linked article on GG’s record at Iowa, which is obviously being made the focus of a trash the victim attack:

    Why Dr. Gonzalez was really denied tenure at Iowa State University in 2007

    Coyne denigrates the academic achievements of Dr. Gonzalez, noting that he was denied tenure at Iowa State University in 2008 (actually, it was 2007) and suggesting that the reason for this was not his advocacy of Intelligent Design (as Dr. Gonzalez had alleged), but “his lack of scholarship, students, and his poor funding” – a totally false allegation which has been thoroughly refuted in an Evolution News and Views post by John West, a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute, which shows that Dr. Gonzalez had published 68 refereed articles in science journals, that in 2006, the year he was up for tenure, Gonzalez published more total articles than all other tenured astronomers at Iowa State University, and that he managed to attract no less than $172,000 in outside grants while he was at ISU. Coyne’s information is therefore badly out-of-date. Indeed, as far back as December 2007, Evolution News and Views published an article by Casey Luskin, which quoted from a “smoking gun” document, showing that Dr. Gonzalez was denied fair tenure process by hostile colleagues who plotted behind his back, suppressed evidence, and then misled the public.

    In short we are here seeing a continued smear by repetition of willful misrepresentations in diversion from direct evidence winkled out by discovery.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: The West article:

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....74301.html

    >> Setting the Record Straight about Guillermo Gonzalez’s Denial of Tenure by Iowa State University
    John G. West July 10, 2013 10:55 AM | Permalink

    Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez is in the news this week because of his hiring as a faculty member by Ball State University in Indiana. That has led to the recirculation of a lot of misinformation about why Gonzalez was denied tenure by Iowa State University (ISU) in 2007. As we amply documented at the time, the real reasons Gonzalez did not get tenure at ISU were simple: discrimination and intolerance. Despite an exemplary record as a scientist, Gonzalez was rejected by ISU because of his support for intelligent design.

    Of course, ISU claimed otherwise, as various bloggers and reporters are uncritically reminding us. In the words of one reporter:

    The university said the decision [to deny tenure to Gonzalez] was based on his refereed publications, his level of success in attracting research funding, the amount of telescope observing time he had been granted, the number of graduate students he had supervised, and evidence of future career promise in astronomy.

    Really? Let’s take the three most important factors mentioned by ISU:

    “Refereed publications”

    Refereed publications were supposed to be the primary standard for excellence in research according to Gonzalez’s own department’s tenure and promotion policies. So how did Gonzalez perform according to this primary criterion? He published 68 refereed articles in science journals. That’s 350% more than the 15 articles his department regarded as the normal standard for demonstrating research excellence. Even if one only looks at articles published by Gonzalez after he arrived at ISU, he still produced 25 since 2002 — which again is significantly more than the 15 articles that “ordinarily” are supposed to demonstrate research excellence according to his department’s standards. In addition, according to the Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System, Gonzalez had the highest number of “normalized citations” to his work among the astronomers in his department for articles published between 2001 and 2007. More generally, Gonzalez had more peer-reviewed journal articles than all but one of the faculty granted tenure at ISU in 2007. In fact, Dr. Gonzalez had more peer-reviewed journal articles than all but 5 faculty granted tenure at ISU between 2003 and 2007!

    “Research funding and grants”

    Research funding was not a published criterion for earning tenure in Dr. Gonzalez’s department. Indeed, it wasn’t even mentioned in the departmental standards for tenure and promotion. So if this factor was considered key in his tenure denial, ISU was applying a criterion outside of its own stated standards. Even had the criterion been valid, Gonzalez did receive $172,000 in outside grants while at ISU, which was more grant money than 35% of ISU faculty granted tenure in 2007 whose CVs listed grant dollars.

    “Evidence of future career promise in astronomy”

    Surely the main evidence of an academic scientist’s future career potential is his ability to generate refereed publications as well as the impact of those publications on his discipline. It is clear that Gonzalez stood out in both areas.

    ISU also suggested at the time that its tenure standards were “so high, that many good researchers have failed to satisfy the demands of earning tenure” at ISU. Contradicting this claim was the fact that 91% of ISU faculty applying for tenure in the year Gonzalez was considered received it.

    Public documents requests filed by Discovery Institute later revealed just how corrupt the ISU tenure process was, exposing the vicious campaign that took place behind the scenes to deny Gonzalez tenure and violate his academic freedom rights because of his support for intelligent design.

    Let’s hope that Gonzalez gets fairer treatment at Ball State University. [note onward links] >>

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: Let me finally clip the article behind VJT’s summary above, showing what independent external reviewers said, by contrast with the false impression being given above — remember, there is clear documentation that the real reason for the ISU’s action was ideological hostility — so we can understand the magnitude of what is being done:

    >> F.
    The Rejection of the Recommendations of the Outside Reviewers

    Of the nine review letters by scientists outside ISU that gave recommendations regarding
    Dr. Gonzalez’s final tenure decision, six strongly supported his tenure promotion and gave
    glowing endo
    rsements of his reputation and academic achievements. (Even Dr. Gonzalez’s
    tenure dossier admitted that “five of the external letter writers … including senior scientists
    at prestigious institutions recommend his promotion” and that only “[t]hree do not.”
    27
    )
    One reviewer observed that ISU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy does not consider
    grants as a criterion for gaining tenure, and stated that “Dr. Gonzalez is
    eminently
    qualified
    for the promotion according to your guidelines of excellence in schol
    arship and
    exhibiting a potential for national distinction. In light of your criteria I would certainly
    recommend the promotion.”
    28
    ISU chose to ignore the advice of these senior scientists at prestigious institutions. >>

  19. 19
    franklin says:

    kf:

    The message you are sending is that you are party to the indefensible, ruthless and implacable, and can only be defeated rather than reasoned with

    quite telling that instead of simply posting the number of students Gonzalez successfully mentored at ISU you resort to cut and paste of text in an attempt to hide Gonzalez’s inadequacies…..sadly telling.

    ISU also suggested at the time that its tenure standards were “so high, that many good researchers have failed to satisfy the demands of earning tenure” at ISU. Contradicting this claim was the fact that 91% of ISU faculty applying for tenure in the year Gonzalez was considered received it.

    more twisting of the facts, kf. The success rate for tenure in the relevant discipline at ISU, physics and astronomy, was 66%. Why try to make the case that all academic departments at ISU should have equal success rates of their respective candidates. gonzalez was hardly alone in his failure to obtain tenure in that department.

    IN good UD fashion I repaeat;

    …a closer look at Mr. Gonzalez’s case raises some questions about his recent scholarship and whether he has lived up to his early promise. …

    Under normal circumstances, Mr. Gonzalez’s publication record would be stellar and would warrant his earning tenure at most universities, according to Mr. Hirsch [a scholar who analyzed the publication record]. But Mr. Gonzalez completed the best scholarship, as judged by his peers, while doing postdoctoral work at the University of Texas at Austin and at the University of Washington, where he received his Ph.D. His record has trailed off since then.

    “It looks like it slowed down considerably,” said Mr. Hirsch…. “It’s not clear that he started new things, or anything on his own, in the period he was an assistant professor at Iowa State.”

    That pattern may have hurt his case. “Tenure review only deals with his work since he came to Iowa State,” said John McCarroll, a spokesman for the university.

    When considering a tenure case, faculty committees try to anticipate what kind of work a professor will accomplish in the future. “The only reason the previous record is relevant is the extent to which it can predict future performance,” said Mr. Hirsch. “Generally, it’s a good indication, but in some cases it’s not.”

    David L. Lambert, director of the McDonald Observatory at Texas, supervised Mr. Gonzalez during his postdoctoral fellowship there in the early to mid-1990s. … [H]e is not aware of any important new work by Mr. Gonzalez since he arrived at Iowa State, such as branching off into different directions of research. “I don’t know what else he has done,” Mr. Lambert said. …

    Mr. Gonzalez said he does not have any grants through NASA or the National Science Foundation, the two agencies that would normally support his research…. He arrived at Iowa State in 2001, but none of his graduate students there have thus far completed their doctoral work

    KF, feel free to rebut any of the facts posted in the ‘expelled exposed’ website previously linked too.

  20. 20
    Mung says:

    franklin:

    I’ll take that as a ‘no, I cannot supply a list or number of graduate students successfully mentored by Gonzalez at ISU’. Which is no surprise since the record is quite clear and unambiguous on this issue.

    So?

  21. 21
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus quoted,

    ISU has consistently maintained that Dr. Gonzalez’s tenure denial has nothing to do with intelligent design (ID). But secret e-mails exchanged by ISU faculty who voted against his tenure and statements in Dr. Gonzalez’s tenure file showed that intelligent design was the overriding factor in his tenure denial.

    Yikes, this is the smoking gun!

    Apparently the tenure committee at Iowa State University is able to tolerate diversity only in certain, approved areas.

    -Q

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Franklin:

    You are insisting on an irrelevancy designed to blame the victim and to continue a willful misrepresentation of the truth.

    Repeat, internal emails and similar evidence as well as abundantly available public facts showed that while GG was an outstanding scientist and faculty member whose record generally exceeded that of those who were reviewing him, he was as a matter of documented fact denied tenure for ideological reasons. This was why despite the external independent reviewers gave him the sort of recommendations he received, his application was dead on arrival. He is guilty, let’s find any and whatever evidence we can to pin some form of blame on him and drive him out instead of a fair hearing.

    In short you are participating in an ad hominem smear, in the teeth of clear evidence to the contrary — evidence that, even if you did not know it previously, was explained and linked above. But insistently, you ignored it in your rush to push the blame and trash the victim talking points.

    This tells us worlds about the real nature of opposition to design theory.

    Implacable, ideologically driven . . . by an ideology (evolutionary materialism) that is inherently amoral and invites nihilism, so easily becomes ruthless, merciless, scapegoating, intentionally destructive.

    The clear message you are sending is that that which you stand for is unreasonable, destructive and ruthlessly determined, with no concern to be fair minded.

    Thanks for letting us know just what we are dealing with.

    KF

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    PS1: Let us clip the again linked, to see how the head of dept tried to spin the basis for the decision:

    _________________

    >> E. The Cover-Up: Department Chair Eli Rosenberg’s Effort to Mislead the Public

    After Dr. Gonzalez’s denial of tenure, Dr. Eli Rosenberg, chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, publicly insisted that “intelligent design was not a major or even a big factor in this decision.”25

    The record clearly shows otherwise, especially when it comes
    to Dr. Rosenberg himself. Contrary to his later public statements, during the tenure process Dr. Rosenberg presented Dr. Gonzalez’s beliefs about intelligent design as a clear-cut litmus test on whether he was qualified to be a science educator, stating:

    “on numerous occasions, Dr. Gonzalez has stated that Intelligent Design is a scientific theory and someday would be taught in science classrooms. This is confirmed by his numerous postings on the Discovery Institute Web site. The problem here is that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory. Its premise is beyond the realm of science. … But it is incumbent on a science educator to clearly understand and be able to articulate what science is and what it is not. The fact that Dr. Gonzalez does not understand what constitutes both science and a scientific theory disqualifies him from serving as a science educator.”2 >>
    ______________

    First, ER is plainly in error on the nature of what is and is not science, and seems to be parrotting a talking point that pivots on the tendentious redefinition of science as applied evolutionary materialist ideology. That is, his competence to pronounce on what is or is not science is seriously in doubt.

    Second, in fact, he clearly implies that in his view, a major purpose of a science educator in a public, publicly funded university is the propagation of a priori materialist ideology dressed up in a lab coat.

    In fact, it can be fairly easily shown out of the mouths of leading advocates of said ideology dressed up in a lab coat, that it is inherently irrational (self referentially incoherent in reference to the human mind and ability to reason, know and choose) and is inherently amoral, having in it no foundational IS that can bear the weight of ought. This means, in Dawkins’ words:

    In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but pitiless indifference . . . . DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music. [ “God’s Utility Function,” Sci. Am. Aug 1995, pp. 80 – 85. Emphases added.]

    Haldane is also highly revealing:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.]

    In short, ER is abusing his position of trust to subvert science departments and public money to promote an ideology that is inherently irrational, amoral and destructive, using the prest6ige of the lab coat. And, if someone is in his dept that does not toe the line, he considers it a dismissal offense.

    And, also, ER as a matter of fact is blatantly wrong on the key premise of ID, that is is sufficiently reasonable to be investigated empirically, as to whether there are signs of design that may be found in nature. In this case, the key signs would pivot on cosmological and planetary system fine tuning beyond what would be reasonable on blind chance and mechanical necessity. This issue, on both sides, is present in scientific journals on cosmology and related topics, and it is relevant that GG in fact identified the concept of the Galactic Habitable Zone, which has now made it into science. (I found it sadly revealing, years ago, to see how Wikipedia gave credit to co-founders of this concept, but refused to give credit due to GG.)

    In addition, GG’s research has been helping to identify exoplanets, and he has contributed significantly to drawing out a better understanding of the constraints on habitability of planetary systems.

    That is in fact what led to his popular book and film, Privileged Planet, which were developed on his own time. And, relevantly, at about the same time as his publication of a significant textbook on observational astronomy with a major scientific and academic publisher.

    So, what ER here reveals is that there was a secret investigation of what GG did on his own time — things that did not find expression in the classroom or faculty — which was then used as a censoring litmus test to drive career busting, based on a false, ideologically loaded evaluation that to not toe the materialist partyline was to disqualify oneself as a science educator.

    On fair comment, this is a shameful violation of academic freedom, and is an echo of the abuses of former times.

    Then, knowing that such would not pass public scrutiny, ER and others conspired further to project a false blame the victim narrative as to the real reason that GG was denied tenure. That, in the teeth of the overwhelming testimony of independent reviewers. (Where too, the number of such reviewers is suspiciously high, suggesting a fishing expedition that failed.)

    (Indeed, from other emails it is clear that there was a question of knowingly doing secret illegal workplace discrimination and seeking to cover it up.)

    It is obvious that, absent the ideological factor, GG’s tenure application should have sailed through. It is secondly, obvious that an ideologically loaded subversion of science and science education by materialism dressed up in the lab coat was material. (And BTW, I suspect there would in such a climate have been also secret steering of grad students away from that suspect character.)

    It is documented that this was then covered up and a false blame the victim narrative was projected as the basis for the decision to deny tenure.

    THAT is what we are dealing with here.

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    PS2: Other clips from the previously linked that show what was going on:
    ______________

    >> . . . Dr. Gonzalez’s rights to academic freedom, free speech, and a fair tenure process were trampled on by colleagues who were driven by ideological zeal when they should have made an impartial evaluation of Gonzalez’s notable accomplishments as a scientist.

    A. The Campaign to Vilify Dr. Gonzalez and Induce Him to Leave ISU.

    In private e-mails, Dr. Gonzalez’s colleagues repeatedly expressed their prejudice towards Gonzalez’s ID views by asserting that ID is “intellectually vacuous,” “more than just vacuous,” that “[e]mbalming is more of a science” than ID, and that Gonzalez should be lumped with “idiots” and “religious nutcases.” They hoped that ID would experience “self destruction” and mocked Gonzalez’s ID work, saying they would study it “[u]nder medication.”

    Gonzalez’s colleagues drafted–and nearly released–a petition against ID whose avowed purpose was “to discredit” Gonzalez, and “give Gonzalez a clear sign that his ID efforts will not be considered as science by the faculty.”

    Department member Vladimir Kogan urged his colleagues to denounce ID publicly with the express purpose of pressuring Gonzalez to leave ISU without applying for tenure: “our open statement signed and put in a visible place will show to GG that this is not a friendly place for him to develop further his IDeas. He may look for a better place as a result.”

    ISU Professor Bruce Harmon also expressed the hope that Gonzalez would leave “and solve us the potentially difficult issue.” Harmon explicitly admitted that Gonzalez’s views on intelligent design posed a significant obstacle to his getting tenure: “[Intelligent Design] is a topic that is simmering in my blood … [Gonzalez] will be up for tenure next year, and if he keeps up, it might be a hard sell to the department (but may be not so difficult for his lawyers, who will certainly be retained by the Discovery Institute). … [H]e is claiming ID is a proper branch of science, and so I think he opens it up in his tenure consideration. I would have thought an intelligent person would have at least kept quiet until after tenure. Then you can advocate blowing up the moon.”

    B. The Use of Intelligent Design as a Negative Factor in Tenure Deliberations.

    Long before Dr. Gonzalez came up for tenure, his colleagues’ intolerance had crossed legal and ethical boundaries. They clearly were prejudiced against ID and felt that the only way to save the department’s reputation was to get rid of Gonzalez, or better yet, hope that Gonzalez would feel unwelcome and simply choose to leave ISU. This intolerance became even more manifest during tenure evaluations.

    In his department’s report on his tenure evaluation, it was stated that Dr. Gonzalez’s work on ID entailed “naive reasoning” and that “[p]erhaps the most problematic of Dr. Gonzalez’s scholarly efforts has been his co-authorship of the book ‘The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery.'” The faculty members pejoratively labeled intelligent design an “ansatz,” a term from mathematics which means something “not based on any underlying theory or principle.” [–> a misrepresentation driven by failure to understand that their own dominant view is ideologically loaded and deeply questionable]

    Faculty members admitted that they were concerned that Dr. Gonzalez’s affiliation with the ID movement might help intelligent design and be “harmful to science in general”: “[s]ome noted … that his association with the intelligent design movement is harmful to his career, and by allowing the movement to include an otherwise respected scientist, it is harmful to science in general.”

    C. The Effort to Evade the Law by Suppressing Evidence that Could Be Used in Court to Prove a Hostile Work Environment.

    Dr. Gonzalez’s colleagues ultimately abandoned plans for a public anti-ID statement as part of an effort to evade the law by suppressing evidence that could be used in court to expose the hostile work environment they had created for Dr. Gonzalez.

    ISU astronomer Steve Kawaler, whose wife is a “former employment lawyer” and gave him legal advice on this matter, passed the advice on to his colleagues, explaining why the department must abandon the statement:

    “I think it is a big mistake for anyone in our department to go on the record on this issue given the upcoming (next year) up or out decision regarding our most vocal for the use of ID to guide scientific inquiry. … Yes it will get worse before it gets better. But circulating such a statement could accelerate the process and could easily play into the hands of your perceived adversaries. For example, it could be used to justify a legal claim of a hostile work environment. That could be ammunition in any appeal of a tenure decision.”

    After Kawaler warned of legal troubles, John Clem withdrew his support from the statement because he also wanted to hide from Gonzalez any evidence that would allow him to prove that he had been subjected to a hostile work environment:

    “I had a conversation yesterday evening with my son Paul, who has had management training at Sandia. I told him about the current situation and the concerns about ‘hostile work environments.’ His opinion was that indeed lawyers might well be successful in convincing a jury of average Americans that publication of our statement was reasonable for creating a hostile work environment. … As strong as my feelings are on this matter, I have come around to Steve Kawaler’s point of view. I now feel that publication of such a statement might become the most important piece of evidence in a successful court case to guarantee tenure to the person whose scientific credibility we would be attempting to discredit … As for the unfortunate publicity we are receiving and the embarrassment we feel as a department, I think the best policy is to just grin and bear it for the next couple of years.”

    After John Clem chose to back out of the statement, Joerg Schmalian wrote various ISU physicists and astronomers saying “I think we should nevertheless proceed.” Schmalian understood that their conversations about abandoning the statement would be taken as precisely what they were: attempts to cover up the intolerance towards ID in the department: “They feared that “[i]n view of an upcoming tenure decision, secrecy in the department may equally be interpreted as prejudging the case.” “If it becomes clear that there were efforts to write such a statement and that the statement was not made only to avoid the impression of a hostile environment, isn’t this strong evidence for a secrecy in the department[?]”

    D. Private admissions that Dr. Gonzalez was denied academic freedom or otherwise mistreated.

    In a particularly damning e-mail, ISU Physicist John Hauptmann admitted to faculty member Hector Avalos that “principle [of freedom of inquiry] has been violated massively in the physics department” in its treatment of Dr. Gonzalez.

    Other faculty members privately expressed qualms at the unethical and dishonest way they were plotting against Dr. Gonzalez behind his back. Dr. Harmon stated to Kawaler that, “I don’t think talking behind Guillermo’s back is quite ethical.” Bruce Harmon had similar concerns, stating that they should issue the statement because otherwise it would appear that they were doing exactly what they were doing: secretly scheming about how to attack the viewpoint of a department member who was under consideration for tenure. Harmon wrote:

    “Do we do everything at secret meetings and the hope the Discovery Institute’s Lawyers don’t subpoena our records? If I were Gonzalez, I would prefer my colleagues were honest and forthright in their opinions, as he seems to be with his.”

    Note: In the original version of this document, this e-mail was mistakenly attributed to Paul Canfield rather than Bruce Harmon.

    Kogan also knew they were acting inappropriately, writing, “It is not nice to discuss all this behind his back.” >>
    ______________

    Remember, this is the tip of the iceberg that happens to have been documented and discovered. In a context, where there were efforts to suppress evidence as to what was really going on.

    Where you see the tip of an iceberg . . .

    KF

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks:

    I think we can now set aside F’s loaded side track.

    Let me clip from my comment at 10 above:

    On the OP, it is to be noted that the school is named after William Jennings Bryan and is a specifically religious institution, evidently not state supported. (This is a highly material point of difference from the state university put up as a “parallel.”) Such a school would fit within Bryan’s view that a denominational school not linked to the state is different from a public educational institution; indeed he explicitly wrote that such a school could be formed by the evolutionists. I think the school here is obviously learning that unchangeable laws of the Medes and Persians don’t work very well in praxis given our finitude and fallibility. I would add, that such schools would be well advised to consider that the focus of warrant for the Christian faith highlights the prophesied messiah, who in accordance with prophecies of centuries standing suffered a passion, died and rose from death with 500+ witnesses. In that context, one can hold that one’s view of scripture and the world is decisively shaped by that keystone truth — and the view of said scriptures by the Messiah who proved his authority by so rising from the dead, which has led on to the transformational change of millions by the impact of encounter with the living God through the Messiah. One may then ask what is a reasonable response to the text, the history worldview issues, questions of science and linked epistemology and phil, but obviously there will be some significant room for reasonable and responsible diversity on such.

    So, it should be clear that I think the Bible College here has erred in foundational policy.

    However, it should also be clear that in light of the core strength of warrant for the gospel — cf. here and here onwards before dismissing — and a longstanding known pattern of infiltration and subversion of theology schools [which are NOT publicly funded], the board, alumni, endowers etc of the school have grounds for taking reasonable steps to preserve fidelity to the historic Christian Faith.

    That is, we have a legitimate training institution with a fairly narrow purpose (in part intended to counterbalance the sort of publicly funded ideological domination of the academy we have seen), not a general free for all academic forum. In such a context, the reasonable rules of the game are going to be different, in light of the deep polarisation that has created an ugly gulch across our civilisation and the ruthless tactics known to have been employed by evolutionary materialists and fellow travellers for many decades now. Indeed, this college is based in the town that is the landmark for one of the most notorious incidents, and is named after a much vilified protagonist, William Jennings Bryan.

    But, as I noted, it seems the strategy employed here was flawed and has now manifestly failed. (As, should have been evident from a study of the “unchangeable” laws of the Medes and Persians in the OT narratives of Daniel and Esther, etc.)

    Which is why I have put forward the suggestions I have just cited.

    KF

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let us notice how Paul put his case c 50 AD in Athens:

    _________________

    >> Ac 17:6 Now while Paul was waiting for them [–> the brothers] at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him [–> the word is the root of our “paroxysm” . . . so much for the notion that he was a semi-pagan syncretiser] as he saw that the city was full of idols.

    17 So he reasoned [–> notice, argument not one way preaching] in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace [–> a subtle reference to Socrates’ pattern of dialogues in the very same market place] every day with those who happened to be there [–> ditto] . 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers [–> heirs of the same, now split into diverse schools of thought ] also conversed with him [–> notice, 2-way discussion, only possible as Paul knew enough to hold is own]. And some said, “What does this babbler [= spermologos] wish to say?” [–> dismissive term implying purveyor of half understood scraps from here and there, not systematic understanding, i.e. a worldview gap and blindness that blocked them from seeing the coherence of Paul’s system] Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection [–> a point where such a pair would be picked up by the gnostics].

    19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 [–> give a lecture outlining your system as a whole] For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” [–> lets hear you out] 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. [–> entertainment mentality, lack of focus and value on productive work]

    Paul Addresses the Areopagus

    22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship [–> remember, these idols moved him to paroxysm, he is diplomatic; also, he shows how by studying cultural artifacts and items that manifest the position of the power brokers in a community, one can do worldviews diagnosis. Schaeffer’s work pivots on this], I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. [–> the pagan-phil system has cracked to the foundations here, it is dead, bankrupt after centuries of futility on the no 1 issue in all knowledge, so we start afresh, with prophetic, intellectual and cultural leadership]

    24 The God who made the world and everything in it [–> he lays out the foundation, the inherently good and just Creator God who by that right owns all things, and holds us as morally governed enconscienced creatures and stewards accountable to manage our selves, our communities and our world aright] , being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,c]”>[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything [–> he is not dependent on us, nor can he be manipulated by pleadings, repetition of empty prayers or magical incantations etc] , since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything [–> we depend on him, not the other way around].

    26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth [–> fundamental unity, equality and moral worth] , having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place [–> he controls the turning points of history], 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. [–> he uses crisis etc to pull us towards him] Yet he is actually not far from each one of us [–> so the blind groping just referenced is our fault, we are sin-darkened in heart and mind], 28 for

    “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;d]”>[d]

    as even some of your own poets have said,

    “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’e]”>[e]

    29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man [–> now, turns back to his starting point, the objects of veneration].

    30 The times of ignorance [–> picks up on the ignorance point] God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” [–> pivotal evidence, cutting across their worldviews with a witnessed fact, doubtless there were more details than this outline permitted to be reported in a scroll with a lot more to say yet. He has blown up the old, sketched out the new, highlighted signs from the culture of groping to the truth, now he backs up the elegant coherence of the new with anchorage in fact, and draws out that we will account before our Lord, so we must repent, changing mind, heart and life.]

    32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. [–> hardened, dismissive, we are ignorant but refuse light] But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” [–> maybe, there is something here, but there is a no by a thousand laters]

    33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them. [–> and built the future of our civilisation] [ESV] >>
    ___________________

    There is much in this.

    KF

  27. 27
    Joe says:

    franklin:

    Well no, joe, gonzalez was denied tenure because he failed to meet his contractual obligations to qualify for tenure</block

  28. 28
    Joe says:

    franklin:

    Well no, joe, gonzalez was denied tenure because he failed to meet his contractual obligations to qualify for tenure</block

  29. 29
    Joe says:

    franklin:

    Well no, joe, gonzalez was denied tenure because he failed to meet his contractual obligations to qualify for tenure

    Evidence please- your word is meaningless. Actual evidence and not hearsay.

  30. 30
    franklin says:

    kf, despite your walls of text trying to obfuscate the obvious failures of Gonzalez in his attempt for tenure at ISU the simple fact remains that he was unable to successfully mentor and graduate any students with advanced degrees. A keynote responsibility of associate and full-professors is the ability to mentor students to the successful completion of their advanced education.

    It certainly is not difficult to grasp the ramifications of a tenure candidate failing to meet this (and other) points of contractual obligations) by this obvious epic failure in mentorship.

    so, kf, I challenge you to demonstrate to the onlookers how successful Gozalez was in regard to graduating students with advanced degrees…..the hallmark of academia. We both know the answer is ZERO students graduated under his leadership (hardly a glowing endorsement for ISU to continue to keep him on)…..not even a single MS came from his lab……and it is sadly telling that you cannot even admit this simple fact.

    Jpe:

    Gonzalex graduates zero students with advanced degree….fact!
    failed to generate any funding from relevant sources (NASA ect)…..fact.
    failed to obtain telescope time to conduct relevant research….fact!
    failed to heed the warnings of his tenure committee over his lack of publications and conducting new and original research….fact!
    precipitous decline in first authorship manuscripts and what he did manage to publish was rehashed data from other researchers and/or from previous work and data collected PRIOR to his arrival at ISU….fact

    if you think these are not accurate feel free to post the relevant numbers….start with the number of students he successfully mentored!

    in short he became the perfect candidate for rejection of tenure thanks only to himself and his actions or lack thereof.

    kf, Gonzalez’s colleagues were/are well within their rights and obligations to voice their opinions on what trajectory they wish their department to maintain….if they felt Gonzalez was a bad fit they have every right to expect it….no different than Lehigh University’s disclaimer for tenured Behe ideas..(except Behe was smart enough to wait until AFTER he obtained tenure to voice those opinions/view points).

  31. 31
    Mung says:

    franklin:

    the simple fact remains that he was unable to successfully mentor and graduate any students with advanced degrees. A keynote responsibility of associate and full-professors is the ability to mentor students to the successful completion of their advanced education.

    So?

  32. 32
    Joe says:

    franklin- why can’t you support you alleged “facts” with real evidence? And why can’t you reference the criteria for tenure Gonzalez had to meet?

  33. 33
    Joe says:

    franklin:

    A keynote responsibility of associate and full-professors is the ability to mentor students to the successful completion of their advanced education.

    Evidence or reference please.

  34. 34
    Barb says:

    Here’s a 5-page .pdf file containing the process for review and tenure at Iowa State [http://www.provost.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/uploads/p-t/PT_GeneralGuidelines_FY13revised%207-16-2012.pdf]

    I’m not reading anything related to mentoring students.

  35. 35
    DiEb says:

    @Barb,

    the document into which you should look is the Promotion and Tenure Document of Iowa State’s Faculty of Astronomy and Physics, and not the guidelines for the format of the submission! There you’ll find (at least in the version of 2012…), that the faculty asks “specifically” for

    A listing of all students who have been directed in research by the faculty member, including both graduate and undergraduate students, the degree received, and the current activities of the student, if known. Also a list of the graduate student committees, inside and outside physics, served on during the last four years.

  36. 36
    DiEb says:

    @KF:

    The article Setting the Record Straight is somewhat troubling. They quote the position of Iowa State:

    The university said the decision [to deny tenure to Gonzalez] was based on his refereed publications, his level of success in attracting research funding, the amount of telescope observing time he had been granted, the number of graduate students he had supervised, and evidence of future career promise in astronomy.

    And then, they go on:

    Really? Let’s take the three most important factors mentioned by ISU

    , addressing

    1. Refereed publications

    2. Research funding and grants

    5. Evidence of future career promise in astronomy

    Where does the university state that these three factors are more important than

    3. amount of telescope observing time

    4. number of graduate students

    Nowhere! It isn’t even implied by the ordering! EvolutionNews just picks the three areas where Gonzales didn’t fail, declares them to be the important ones, totally ignoring the factors where he undeniably underperformed.

  37. 37
    Timaeus says:

    Franklin:

    To start off with, neither you nor I were at Iowa State when Gonzalez was fired (I don’t believe in using euphemisms), and neither your nor I are in the field of astro-anything, so neither of us has specialist or geographical insight. Both of us have to rely on what was reported. And like you I’ve read the reports, the statement of the President, etc.

    Some of what you say is false. ISU specified a minimum of 15 articles published during the probationary period, and Gonzalez had that. He also had a massive number of articles published (far beyond that of most young professors) before he began his career at ISU. He had a total of something like 68 published articles, which is astounding for a young academic in that field. There was no doubt that he was talented and competent.

    We also have to take into account that during his time at ISU he published a textbook (a good one, by all accounts) in his field, and if you have ever published an academic book (I’ve published more than one) you would know how time-consuming that can be. If you subtract all the time that goes into a book, it is clear that he could have published many more articles. If a professor publishes a textbook that is clear and useful and thus attracts many more students into the field, he should not be penalized for not publishing an excessive number of articles during that period — especially since he produced the textbook while still producing the ISU standard number of articles.

    His colleagues said he was a very interesting person to talk to and was a good teacher. The sort of person you want around a university, under normal circumstances.

    He was DENIED telescope time (neither the President nor anyone on the faculty seemed to be curious to investigate who blocked his access to telescope time, a convenient act of “looking the other way”), and then was penalized for not logging in enough of it. This was hypocrisy on the administration’s part.

    At least one faculty member, after the fact, admitted that Gonzalez’s endorsement of ID was a factor in his vote against Gonzalez. If that same faculty member had been at Cornell when Sagan was writing his atheistic popular works, and Sagan was coming up for tenure, do you think the faculty member would have voted against Sagan? Fat chance! If you keep your nose clean and stay away from topics with possible religious implications, you’re OK; but if you DO wander into writing about popular topics with religious implications, make sure that you choose the anti-religious rather than the pro-religious slant. It is only the pro-religious slant that will do you in. (Since 80% of US university faculty outside of Christian colleges are secular humanists or of very liberal religious leanings close to secular humanism.)

    I read the President’s formal justification of Gonzalez’s tenure refusal. Some of the factors you are claiming, the President did not mention.

    You are also leaving out the fact that Gonzalez’s citation rate (a measurement which all kinds of anti-ID folks always crow about in other contexts, when it serves their turn) was astoundingly high, higher than anyone’s in his department. Can you name a single example at ISU of anyone with a citation rate that high — plus higher than anyone in his department — who was denied tenure?

    Gonzalez clear had adequate publications and intellectual promise to be hired permanently at ISU. Lots of crappier astronomers and astrophysicists have permanent jobs all over the USA, including (based on citation rates and number of publications) some in his own department.

    As for “unable to mentor graduate students” — Franklin, have you ever been in a graduate program yourself? Have you ever taught in one? That’s a ridiculous charge. How do you know he was “unable” to mentor any? Did he try to mentor several, and they all quit working him because he had an unpleasant personality? Is that your charge? Do you have proof of it? Did they leave him because they found him scientifically incompetent? Is that your charge? Do you have proof of it? Did they ask for his supervision, and he refused, because he was lazy, or because he lacked the competence to offer any? Is that your charge? Do you have proof of it?

    Or did they never sign up with him as supervisor in the first place? It is not inconceivable that a prof would not have a grad student at a particular moment, depending on the size of the department, how many grad students were there, what the grad students’ interests were, etc. I was in a department in which one professor with tenure supervised only one Ph.D. thesis in his 30-year career there, because no one was interested in working on his highly specialized research topic. Maybe there just didn’t happen to be lots of grad students interested in extrasolar planets during Gonzalez’s time there. Was he supposed to walk down the corridors, grabbing students by the collar, and say, “Look, I know you are interested in studying the Big Bang, but I need to have some grad students working on extrasolar planets to get tenure, so from now on, you’re working on extrasolar planets and you’re working with ME!”?

    Did you look into the facts before deciding he was “unable” to supervise anyone for graduate study?

    And Gonzalez was a junior prof without tenure, which means that many grad students might have preferred to work with older, more famous, better-connected profs. (Grad students are often ruthless careerists who try to figure out what side their bread is buttered on, and generally a tenured prof who is better known and who himself has a permanent job is more likely to be able to get you a job than a young prof who may not even get tenure himself and therefore won’t be in a position down the road to write you great letters.)

    It is also an established fact that an anti-Gonzalez sentiment was fostered at the school even before the tenure decision came up, a sentiment in part led by an atheist professor of religious studies. So already the atmosphere was poisoned before the tenure deliberations began. Already the department was thinking, in the back of its mind: “The general public now knows we have a creationist guy here in our department; if we hire him, even if WE know he’s a competent astronomer, good teacher, and good researcher, and even if WE know he never teaches creationism or ID in his classes, and even if WE all like him personally as a colleague and have no trouble getting along with him, how will the hiring look to the public and especially to the scientific community? Will they think our school is soft on creationism? Will they think of us as a bush-league department? Will the image of harboring a creationist damage the astronomy program, imperil future grants from the government, etc.? We better take a tough line. Better to cut off a limb, even a healthy limb, than sacrifice the whole body. Better to do the morally wrong thing to an individual person, than to do a politically unwise thing to our whole department.”

    I know academics intimately. I know the cowardly, self-interested, politicized way in which they think. I am certain that many of the faculty members were thinking thoughts like the above.

    In one of your comments, where you indicate that Gonzalez should have been smart, like Behe, and kept his ID views hidden until after receiving tenure, you essentially grant the likelihood that Gonzalez’s ID sympathies were a big factor.

    My judgment, as one who has spent virtually his entire life in and around schools, and been involved at every level up to the Ph.D. and post-Ph.D. research, is that Gonzalez lost that job due to his public endorsement of ID, and to the fact that his public endorsement was pressed more loudly into the public ear by the activities of the anti-Gonzalez group even before the tenure decision came up. If he had never written the book about ID he would almost certainly have tenure there now. If you believe otherwise, you are just showing how effective skilled damage control by dishonest university administrators and professors can be in convincing people of lies with plausible sounding rationalizations for the morally indefensible.

    I’m no creationist myself, and if Gonzalez is a creationist (which I think he may be), I don’t agree with his religious position and I have no agenda to get creationists into astronomy departments. But to argue that the universe seems to be designed for intelligent life does not make one a creationist (otherwise Fred Hoyle was a creationist for suggesting that it was designed for life), and if Carl Sagan can write Cosmos, and if an intellectual thug like Neil DeGrasse Tyson can promote an even more ignorant form of atheism than Sagan ever did (as he’s doing right now), with the (implicit) blessings of their respective schools, it is wrong that people like Gonzalez are being kept out. It does amount to religious or worldview discrimination, and nothing can change that fact.

    You said that ISU faculty were “within their rights” to do what they did. There is a difference between legal and moral right. Hollywood directors during the Golden Age were “within their rights” not to give a part to beautiful starlets who would not sleep with them. After all, there were other actresses just as good for the part; no one could prove that the actress passed by would have done a better job. That wouldn’t make the action morally right, would it? And the studio could easily do damage control just as ISU did in the case of Gonzalez, and say that all the rumors about the director were unfounded, and that in fact there were objective reasons for denying the actress the part.

    Gonzalez was shafted for opening his mind about ID. Had he been more prudent, it is better than 50% odds that he would be tenured at ISU now. And the point is that he shouldn’t have had to be prudent. His views in a popular ID book should have factored ZERO into the tenure decision; only his teaching and research and collegiality (and he was said to be likeable even by those voting against him) should have been factors. If his ID sympathies factored AT ALL into the decision, then the decision was morally and professionally tainted. And all the evidence is that they were a factor. I don’t care whether you accept that or not; I certainly do.

    It’s bad enough that arrogant prima donnas like Tyson get to have celebrated series promoting atheists, whereas modest people like Gonzalez get fired. I could live with that if the atheists just said bluntly: “Look, we have power in the universities, and you ID folks don’t, and we intend to keep it that way, and yes, there is a double standard whereby atheists are allowed to speak up as scientists but believers aren’t, but we think it’s a good double standard and we intend to keep it that way.” What I hate are (1) the sanctimoniousness, by which the atheists pretend that they are the objective ones and the ID people are the ones who taint their science with religion, and (2) the dishonest simulation of fair hiring practices to cover up the ugly reality.

    ID people’s careers are quietly being destroyed every day without any formal violation of any university rules. It’s all perfectly legal. A very qualified and potentially successful ID person simply never gets the job interview, so there is then no basis for a lawsuit if the ID person is not hired. And why does the ID person never get the job interview? Ah! All done behind closed doors. Word of mouth is enough. Confronted with 100 applicants for a position, nothing is easier than for the search committee members to later say “We had so many excellent candidates and regret we couldn’t interview them all” to justify dropping anyone out of consideration that they have heard through the grapevine is or might be an ID person or creationist. There is no paper trail and no viewpoint discrimination can be proved. Thus, the only ID supporters who will ever be hired, or even get interviews, are those who have kept their ID sympathies completely quiet since at least late undergrad, have never published anything on it, etc. Keep you mouth shut until you get tenure.

  38. 38
    Mung says:

    franklin:

    So?

  39. 39
    Mung says:

    Timaeus:

    Did you [franklin] look into the facts before deciding he was “unable” to supervise anyone for graduate study?

    You’re too kind.

  40. 40
    Axel says:

    KF @15:

    ‘The message you are sending is that you are party to the indefensible, ruthless and implacable, and can only be defeated rather than reasoned with. KF’

    There is a technical name for this aberrant breed of incorrigible hirelings, KF, standing out, as they do, like a sore thumb, from the genuine scientists of the past. The term is: ‘poison dwarfs’.

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    Timaeus:

    Thank you. You have very ably augmented my own remarks.

    It is very clear to me that there has been some very dishonest spinning of what is going on.

    With the Bain case here in my own region, it looks like open season has been quietly declared on Christians in the academy.

    Also, I think you have recently been given privilege to post at UD. (If memory serves.)

    Do, check it out.

    KF

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    Axel: Interesting term, wish to amplify? KF

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    Franklin: You continue to propagate a continued misrepresentation. That becomes obvious, once one sees that even with the external reviewers picked by a hostile dept . . . and the number indicates they kept fishing to get what they wanted, the majority felt bound to acknowledge the qualification of the man. You are now a poster child for the vicious open season witch hunting anti-Christian mentality that is spreading across our civilisation. Your ilk is a menace to liberty and obviously cannot be reasoned with, only exposed and defeated. KF

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    Timaeus, it seems time to rise up and say to the unis and edu depts, you are taxpayer funded and accountable before justice. Anti-Christian bigotry will no longer be tolerated. And if that is not possible, it is time to secede and form our own institutions, exposing the moral and ideological bankruptcy of the system. “De sistim de sistim de sistim is a fraud . . .” Mutabaruka. KF

  45. 45
    Axel says:

    Well, KF, the stature of the materialists as scientists in the overall context of this century and the last, alone, seems distinctly underwhelming.

    And as for their being ‘hirelings’, ‘going along to get along’, irrespective of genuine science, truth and intellectual integrity, seems to be ‘the name of the game’ for them. And the game, itself, is ruled by the industrial and retail multinationals, Big Oil, Big Finance, the media-military-industrial complex, in fact, the people who are the primary owners of them all.

    In other words, ‘Big Business’, or as Christ put it, ‘the World’. But it looks as if it’s coming to an end in a kind of currently low-key apocalypse – much to the evident chagrin of the nuclear industry, who, incredibly, are responsible for it, but want to continue on their merry way, unchecked.

    However, there seems to be an inexorability about it. Many people who know about it are complaining abut everyone being kept in the dark about it by the MSM, but what purpose would be served by informing everyone? Better to live in a fool’s paradise than to know the score and that we are powerles o do owt about it.

    It sure wouldn’t make it any easier for the people who run things to continue to so, and pending a real, full-blown catastrophe and eventual divine intervention, would not a growing and crazed anarchy ensue? The craziness by no means limited to the people, necessarily, as the governors seem to understand things could turn very ugly for them, and their potential for repression, in the US, at least, seems to be on a hair trigger. Nothing new for the African- Americans, of course.

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    Axel, actually, I think part of the matter is that there was a large expansion of the field, leading to dilution of quality by quantity. Most Physicists who have EVER lived are alive right now [I have a vague recollection of 97%], that is how big the expansion is. KF

  47. 47
    Axel says:

    Wow! An enormous degree of dilution makes sense, too, KF. In combination with the general degeneration of everything of value under hegemonic secularism, how could scientific progress not have suffered so direly?

    It’s a shame, since the dilution need not have exerted such a downward pull.

  48. 48
    Axel says:

    Well, on reflection, I suppose it was bound to, since Big Business would feel no shame in lionizing second-raters, even at the expense of first-raters, too interested in the science to play politics, full bore.

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