Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Will the ACLU and the Discovery Institute Team Up On Behalf of Guillermo Gonzalez?

There is an article in the Des Moines Register that indicates that the ACLU is also concerned about the treatment of Guillermo Gonzalez:
R. Ben Stone, executive director of the American Civil Liberties of Iowa, said the organization will be "very interested observers" in the Gonzalez tenure case.

He stopped short of saying whether or not Gonzalez is being treated fairly.

"We believe fervently in academic freedom, and professor Gonzalez is entitled to a procedurally fair and objective analysis of his academic abilities and achievements, and if he doesn't get that, then that's a problem," said Stone, who was in attendance at the press conference. "We're obviously expressing no view expressing whether or not that's happened."

Why is it OK when Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Owen Gingerich, Simon Conway Morris, Paul Davies, Robert Jastrow, Francis Collins and many, many others explore the questions Gonzalez is exploring, but it is not ok when he does it? Seems like a strong case of viewpoint discrimination.

The Discovery Institute blog posts on this issue, with details of the incriminating emails, can be found here and here.


At December 12, 2007 10:38 PM, Blogger Wakefield Tolbert. said...

Interesting question. I agree that when Sagan and Gould use the "God would not/should not/could not do X" OR make some kind of moral statement about the supposed nature of God that displeases them in light of their interpretation of ethics or politics, something fishy is going on. On the one hand they are more than happy (as with Sagan and SETI advocacy, and Crick with alien DNA strings) to posit ideas about God or gods or just powerful forces as their own design parameter, but on the OTHER hand disdain "design parameters" when it comes to biogenesis, the origin of life and thought, or intervention by a force outside of known parameters in science.

At December 18, 2007 4:00 AM, Blogger Sean said...

Was Gonzalez turfed because of his ID views, or because he had no major grants during his seven years at ISU, had published no significant research during that time and had only one graduate student finish a dissertation?

We have a case in Australia of someone fired for being Santa. He hit the headlines because he claimed he was fired for saying "Ho Ho Ho", but it turned out he was just a bad employee. But, hey, the other makes a better story, don't it?

At December 18, 2007 2:04 PM, Anonymous Lawrence said...


Good question. Regardless, of the tenure decision, the evidence indicates that the faculty intended to discriminate against him for taking a certain position that has support in the greater scientific community (observing fine tuning). They also plotted to create a hostile work environment. Even if there were other grounds for denying him tenure, I think this violated his rights.


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