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    Professor Gonzalez

    I caught a little bit of the story regarding the controversy around the denial of tenure for Professor Gonzalez at Iowa State on the Mikkelson show this morning. The general story I have heard is that he was denied tenure despite an impressive record at Iowa State, and it is the opinion of many that his support of intelligent design theories in his published works caused fellow professors to sign a petition against him, and those with his views, and further, caused his denial of tenure by Iowa State. I've read more about it online today, and sent an email with my opinion to Dr. Geoffroy.

    Basically, it said that it is my hope that all professors at Iowa State are judged on their individual merits, rather than their individual beliefs, and whether those beliefs are contrary to beliefs held by other professors at Iowa State.

    Does anyone know more about this story? It seems to be making more and more waves nationally. Oh, and my last question.....how do we get a leading promoter of atheism as a professor of religious studies?



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    Re: Professor Gonzalez

    Here's a LINK from the Iowa State Homepage. The thing that strikes me most is the fact that before it even got to Geoffroy it was turned down at every level. I honestly don't think it has anything to do with his ID support at all. Has anyone had him as a professor before? Was he a good teacher? If not, that has a better likelihood of what was going on.


    Last edited by Cyclone62; 05-15-2007 at 04:02 PM.
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    Re: Professor Gonzalez

    It has everything to do with his anti-science ID beliefs.



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    Re: Professor Gonzalez

    Quote Originally Posted by MINNESOTACYCLONE View Post
    If his tenure was not renewed because he did not believe in Creationism and he was not a Christian would make me embarrased to be an alumni of Iowa State.
    First things first, you can't "renew" tenure. Tenure is basically a lifetime contract. Also, the opinion of some is that he was denied tenure because he supported Creationism/Intelligent Design, not that he didn't support it.


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    Re: Professor Gonzalez

    Found in the Quad City Times earlier today...

    LINK

    Intelligent design advocate denied tenure at ISU
    By NAFEESA SYEED | Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa State University has denied tenure to an assistant professor who has been outspoken in his views on intelligent design, prompting one group to claim he's being punished because of his views.

    Guillermo Gonzalez, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy, filed an appeal of the tenure denial last week. Iowa State President Gregory Geoffroy had rejected Gonzalez's request in April.

    Neither university officials nor Gonzalez would say Monday whether the tenure denial was due to his views on intelligent design. The theory holds that the universe and living things are so finely tuned and complex, they must have been designed by a supreme, intelligent force.

    Gonzalez noted, however, that he has frequently been criticized by people who don't consider intelligent design as a legitimate science.

    He is known for his support of the theory because he co-authored a book, "The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery." The book has been embraced by many religious conservatives and was the source for a namesake documentary about intelligent design.

    Two years ago, he was the unnamed target of a petition signed by more than 120 ISU faculty renouncing intelligent design as legitimate science.

    "I knew it would be controversial, but I didn't expect this level of opposition," Gonzalez said. "I recognize it's a minority position, but that doesn't mean it's wrong."

    Although Gonzalez won't discuss the reasons for the tenure denial, a Seattle-based think tank has blamed his belief in intelligent design. The group, the Discovery Institute, includes Gonzalez as a senior fellow.

    "We've seen in the past couple years, a ratcheting up (in the) targeting of scientists and students who express skepticism toward neo-Darwinism or support for intelligent design," said John West, associate director of the institute's Center for Science and Culture.

    West said the climate is more reminiscent of Cuba, where Gonzalez fled as a child in the late 1960s.

    "You get the same sort of doctrinal litmus test you'd expect in some place like Cuba, not Iowa," West said. "If the situation is so intolerant at American universities that a top-notched scholar cannot get tenure because he believes there is empirical evidence for design in the universe, Americans need to be questioning, 'Is this America?'"

    ISU spokesman John McCarroll said Geoffroy has until June 6 to decide on Gonzalez's appeal.

    Tenure-track professors are on a probation until their seventh year, when they're eligible to apply for a permanent position.

    "Tenure is taken very, very seriously," McCarroll said. "You're basically granting a lifetime appointment. You're making a commitment to the individual on behalf of the university and the state of Iowa."

    He said tenure requests go through multiple steps in the review process _ faculty in an individual's department, the department chair, the college dean, the executive vice president, the provost and finally the president. They consider candidates' research, publishing and teaching record as well as their ability to generate funding.

    "Dr. Gonzalez was denied at every step," McCarroll said. "The process does allow for Dr. Gonzalez to appeal that right back to the president."

    Gonzalez said he's "very openly a Christian," but his theory isn't contingent on believing in a higher being or the supernatural.

    "It doesn't prove God and it doesn't start with God, either," he said. "But some of the intelligent design research can have positive religious confirmation _ that's why it angers atheists."

    Gonzalez maintains he's never taught intelligent design in the classroom. He said his work on the subject is limited to his book and some lectures he's given on the topic away from the university.

    Gonzalez co-authored a college-level astronomy textbook published by Cambridge University Press last year and has had articles on subjects unrelated to intelligent design appear in publications such as Science, Nature and Scientific American.

    "None of my (68) published papers are about intelligent design," he said.

    Gonzalez said he'd like to remain at Iowa State.

    "It's kind of stressful," he said. "All I can do is wait."

    A service of the Associated Press(AP)
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    Re: Professor Gonzalez

    I thought ISU had something to do with "Science and Technology." If this prof is denied tenure for criticizing Intelligent Design, then this should be a national outrage. College is a place for free-thinking and open debate, no matter what side you come down on concerning any issue.


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    Re: Professor Gonzalez

    Quote Originally Posted by isucyfan View Post
    I thought ISU had something to do with "Science and Technology." If this prof is denied tenure for criticizing Intelligent Design, then this should be a national outrage. College is a place for free-thinking and open debate, no matter what side you come down on concerning any issue.
    Some of you need to pay a little better attention to details. Prof. Gonzales SUPPORTS ID theory and does not criticize it.



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    Re: Professor Gonzalez

    Quote Originally Posted by isucyfan View Post
    I thought ISU had something to do with "Science and Technology." If this prof is denied tenure for criticizing Intelligent Design, then this should be a national outrage. College is a place for free-thinking and open debate, no matter what side you come down on concerning any issue.
    Again, you have it backwards. It's theorized it's because he supports the theory of Intelligent Design. Not because he denies it.


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    Re: Professor Gonzalez

    ID isn't science, although there should be no problem with his belief in it so long as he is not teaching it as such.

    Methinks there is more to the issue than is currently being speculated.



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    Re: Professor Gonzalez

    Is he related to that attorney general Gonzalez?


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    Re: Professor Gonzalez

    My understanding is that he writes about intelligent design, but does not teach it in the classroom. I honestly don't know why he was denied tenure, but if it was in any way related to this, I would have a huge problem with that. If a science professor can't believe in intelligent design, how can a religious studies professor not believe in God?



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    Re: Professor Gonzalez

    Quote Originally Posted by benjay View Post
    ID isn't science, although there should be no problem with his belief in it so long as he is not teaching it as such.

    Methinks there is more to the issue than is currently being speculated.
    Is ID capable of testing? I don't know myself and until I know more I'm not going to label it "not science" as you have.



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    Re: Professor Gonzalez

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone62 View Post
    Again, you have it backwards. It's theorized it's because he supports the theory of Intelligent Design. Not because he denies it.
    Ah, i see now...but my argument still stands. I think college is the best place to debate issues like ID. One of my most memorable classes was a philosophy class where the prof took the side of each for a two-week period or so. It let the student decide which was the more cogent argument. If this guy is a good professor, he should get tenure even if he believes in something many would call pseudoscience.

    If anyone is interested in a book refuting ID, I would suggest "Why Darwin Matters" by Michael Shermer.


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    Re: Professor Gonzalez

    Quote Originally Posted by isucyfan View Post

    If anyone is interested in a book refuting ID, I would suggest "Why Darwin Matters" by Michael Shermer.
    And if you'd like to read a book in support, try "The Language of God" by Francis S. Collins, former head of the Human Genome project. It's not technically an intelligent design book, but I don't know what other category there is. The basis of which is that he believes that you can be a scientist, and believe fully in God at the same time.

    I would be really interested in finding a science based book that can actually refute the existence of God. If man has that ability in the next 10,000 years, it would be the most significant scientific event in the history of man. We are currently not even close. Science presents nothing but more questions, and most scientists will honestly admit that we know very little in the giant scheme of things.



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    Re: Professor Gonzalez

    Quote Originally Posted by Incyte View Post
    Some of you need to pay a little better attention to details. Prof. Gonzales SUPPORTS ID theory and does not criticize it.
    Sorry...you may have seen my well-documented connection problems to this site, so my excuse is that when I do get to log on, I feel I have a limited time to read and post. This is why I skimmed the content of this thread, and was mistaken. I have taken the liberty of self-flagellating myself since this mistake.


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