Monday, May 14, 2007

Darwinian Fundamentalism Triumphs At Iowa State

It looks like Hector Avalos and his band of philosophical materialists at Iowa State have succeeded in maintaining their vision of intellectual narrowness through viewpoint discrimination.

My previous post on the fact that many on the faculty there do not know the difference between Methodological Naturalism and Philosophical Naturalism is here. This ignorance should trouble everyone.

Guillermo Gonzalez had made an earlier statement on the attacks on his career here. Here is a portion:

My name is Guillermo Gonzalez. I’m an assistant professor of astronomy at Iowa State University. Also at Iowa State is an outspoken atheist and religion professor named Hector Avalos. Imagine if a Christian professor at the university began circulating a petition targeting Avalos, a petition stating that atheism is not a proper part of a religion program and that, moreover, any professor who offers scientific or philosophical evidence for atheism taints the university and, by implication, should be prevented from doing so?

Would any of you sign the petition? I would never sign it. It was Voltaire who said, “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it.” I, however, was targeted by such a petition, and it all occurred shortly before I am scheduled to come up for tenure.

Another ISU professor, John Patterson, also campaigned against me. In a letter to the Ames Tribune he pointed to a funder of Discovery Institute to argue that I was plotting to establish a theocracy. He even implied that I am linked to the Taliban.

When I was a child, my family and I fled Cuba with little more than the clothes on our backs. We came to the United States in search of freedom, so I find Patterson’s slander that I’m plotting with others to establish a totalitarian government deeply offensive.

The link above also contains a lot of background material on the harassment Gonzalez was subject to at Iowa State.

A previous NPR story on academic freedom and intelligent design is here.

A previous post on these events at Telic Thoughts is here.

Another Evo News post is here, and the DI's press release on the denial of tenure is here.

Darwinian Fundamentalism is not just a theoretical idea or the name of a blog. It is having a serious impact on the life of a fine scholar and is truly poisoning the discourse in our country on many very important topics.

I encourage everyone who believes in academic freedom to make your voice heard, regardless of whether you agree with Gonzalez.


At May 16, 2007 1:08 AM, Blogger vargas said...

Under normal circumstances having links to the Taliban at a liberal university would probably help one achieve tenure. ::snark::

In any case I will do my part by writing the college a stern letter, directed specifically to Avalos, writing about this injustice on my own blog and buying Gonzalez's book Privileged Planet which I've been wanting to get for a while.

At May 18, 2007 4:35 AM, Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

They're saying that Gonzalez is an "embarrassment" to ISU, but aren't Avalos and the other signers of the anti-ID letter bigger embarrassments to ISU? It is the letter and the denial of tenure to Gonzalez that are attracting most of the negative attention to ISU.

Prof. Paul Mirecki, the Kansas University professor who wrote that his new course that labeled intelligent design and creationism as "mythologies" would be a "nice slap in the big fat face of the fundies," did more damage to KU's reputation than the fundies ever could.


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