Re: [asa] Nature on Gonzalez Tenue

From: <>
Date: Thu May 24 2007 - 11:08:48 EDT

But remember that those quotes are from Robert Park who is
at the university of Maryland College Park. That is just
his understanding of course, and says nothing about what
Iowa State faculty understand about ID.

On Thu, 24 May 2007 10:48:08 -0500
  "David Clounch" <> wrote:
> I noticed that too.
> I'd like to ask about the definition of ID contained in
>the Iowa State
> statement.
> Where in the literature do ID advocates define ID that
> I mean, if Iowa State disavows a view, isn't it
>encumbent upon the
> institution to at least demonstrate that what they are
>disavowing actually
> exists? Can that be done in this case? Where, in any
>ID literature, does
> the claimed definition of Intelligent Design exist?
> I suspect they may have made up their own definition,
>and are disagreeing
> with themselves. Thats fine, but, why would a
>University participate in
> that?
> I could be wrong, perhaps the ID literature is chock
>full of the alleged
> definition of ID.
> Does anybody here know?
> Thanks,
> David Clounch
> On 5/24/07, David Opderbeck <>
>> A couple of interesting points in this article:
>> 1. This phrase: "*and he is a proponent of intelligent
>>design, the idea
>> that an intelligent force has shaped the Universe."*
>> By this definition, *everyone* who has assented to the
>>ASA's statement of
>> beliefs is a "proponent of intelligent design,"
>>regardless of whether he/she
>> accepts the Behe/Dembski version of ID.
>> 2. This statement: "*Anyone who believes that an
>>intelligent force set
>> the Earth's location doesn't understand probability's
>>role in the Universe,
>> Park argues. Such a person is hardly qualified to teach
>>others about the
>> scientific method. "We're entrusting the minds of our
>>students to this
>> person," he says" *
>> According to this statement, *everyone* who has assented
>>to the ASA's
>> statement of beliefs does not understand the scientific
>>method and is
>> unqualified to teach students, regardless of whether
>>he/she accepts the
>> Behe/Dembski version of ID.
>> On 5/23/07, Rich Blinne <> wrote:
>> >
>> > Darwin sceptic says views cost tenure
>> >
>> > Geoff Brumfiel
>> > Astronomer blames setback on his support of
>>intelligent design.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > He's a young astronomer with dozens of articles in top
>>journals; he has
>> made an important discovery in the field of extrasolar
>>planets; and he is a
>> proponent of intelligent design, the idea that an
>>intelligent force has
>> shaped the Universe. It's that last fact that Guillermo
>>Gonzalez thinks has
>> cost him his tenure at Iowa State University.
>> >
>> > Gonzalez, who has been at Iowa State in Ames since
>>2001, was denied
>> tenure on 9 March. He is now appealing the decision on
>>the grounds that his
>> religious belief, not the quality of his science, was
>>the basis for turning
>> down his application. "I'm concerned my views on
>>intelligent design were a
>> factor," he says.
>> >
>> > Advocates of intelligent design are rallying behind
>>Gonzalez in the
>> latest example of what they say is blatant academic
>> "Academia seems to be in a rage about anything that
>>points to any purpose,"
>> says Michael Behe, a biochemist and prominent advocate
>>of intelligent design
>> at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. "They
>>are penalizing an
>> associate professor who's doing his job because he has
>>views they disagree
>> with."
>> >
>> > But other researchers think that the department's
>>decision was entirely
>> justified. "I would have voted to deny him tenure," says
>>Robert Park, a
>> physicist at the University of Maryland in College Park.
>>"He has established
>> that he does not understand the scientific process."
>> >
>> > Gonzalez's early career was far from controversial. He
>>graduated with a
>> PhD from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1993
>>and did a postdoc at
>> the University of Texas in Austin. "He proved himself
>>very quickly," says
>> David Lambert, director of the university's MacDonald
>>Observatory. He and
>> Gonzalez co-authored several papers on variable stars,
>>and Lambert says that
>> while there, the young Cuban immigrant was an impressive
>>scientist. "He is
>> one of the best postdocs I have had," he says.
>> >
>> > In 1996, Gonzalez returned to the University of
>>Washington to do his
>> second postdoc, and again distinguished himself
>>producing two papers1, 2
>> that linked a star's metal content to the presence of
>>extrasolar planets
>> around it. The papers are still highly cited, and they
>>have encouraged other
>> researchers to search for planets around metal-rich
>> >
>> > The 43-year-old astronomer is also a deeply religious
>> Christian, and his faith has shaped his views on
>>science. He considers
>> himself a "sceptic" of Darwin, and says that his
>>Christianity helps him to
>> understand Earth's position in the Universe. "Our
>>location in the Galaxy,
>> which is optimized for habitability, is also the best
>>place for doing
>> cosmology and stellar astrophysics in the Galaxy," he
>>says. In other words:
>> "The Universe is designed for scientific discovery."
>> >
>> > Gonzalez refrained from mentioning his beliefs in his
>>teaching and
>> peer-reviewed works, but in 2004, he co-authored a book
>>entitled The
>> Privileged Planet, which included many of his pro-design
>>arguments3. He has
>> since travelled the country delivering talks that
>>support the thesis of his
>> book.
>> >
>> > His work did not go unnoticed at Iowa State. In 2005,
>>Gonzalez's rising
>> profile led a group of 131 faculty members to sign a
>>petition disavowing
>> intelligent design. "We were starting to see Iowa State
>>mentioned as a place
>> where intelligent-design research was happening," says
>>Hector Avalos, a
>> religious-studies professor who helped lead the
>>signature drive. "We wanted
>> to make sure that people knew the university does not
>>support intelligent
>> design." Avalos adds that they did not name Gonzalez
>>directly, and he takes
>> no position on the astronomer's tenure.
>> >
>> > Nevertheless, proponents of intelligent design point
>>to the signature
>> drive as evidence of a widespread academic hostility to
>>those who support
>> the idea. "There is a pattern happening to everybody
>>who's pro intelligent
>> design," says one pro-design biologist, who declined to
>>be named because his
>> own tenure process has just begun. "The same thing could
>>happen to me," he
>> says. "I don't want to get into trouble."
>> >
>> > But Park says that a researcher's views on intelligent
>>design cannot be
>> divorced from the tenure decision. Anyone who believes
>>that an intelligent
>> force set the Earth's location doesn't understand
>>probability's role in the
>> Universe, Park argues. Such a person is hardly qualified
>>to teach others
>> about the scientific method. "We're entrusting the minds
>>of our students to
>> this person," he says.
>> >
>> > But not all scientists agree. "Nothing I have seen in
>>his refereed
>> papers leads me to believe his beliefs are impinging on
>>his science," says
>> David Lambert. "I would have said he was a serious
>>tenure candidate."
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > Eli Rosenberg, who chairs Iowa State's physics
>>department, concedes that
>> Gonzalez's belief in intelligent design did come up
>>during the tenure
>> process. "I'd be a fool if I said it was not
>>[discussed]," he says. But, he
>> adds, "intelligent design was not a major or even a big
>>factor in this
>> decision." Four of twelve tenure candidates have been
>>turned down in the
>> past decade, he says. "We are a fairly hard-nosed
>> >
>> > Iowa State's president Gregory Geoffroy is now
>>reviewing Gonzalez's
>> appeal. He has until 6 June to make his final decision.

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Received on Thu May 24 12:13:58 2007

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