Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Schlock Radio

Welcome back to your All Guillermo, All the Time station!

Today's show will feature some good news and bad news for our hero. According to Lisa Rossi in the Des Moines Register, the e-mails the Discovery Institute has been trumpeting may not have the effect they hoped:

Members of the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based organization that supports the discussion of intelligent design in classrooms, said the Board of Regents refused to allow certain e-mails between physics and astronomy professors into the official review of the tenure denial.
The whole purpose of this dog and pony show, of course, is to bring pressure on the Regents and it is still possible it will have that effect. True to form, however, Casey Luskin brings massive irony to the table:

What we've seen is a campaign to suppress evidence of the anti-intelligent design prejudice that exists at Iowa State University, because Guillermo Gonzalez is a supporter of intelligent design.
Imagine that! Scientists and others who have dedicated their careers to the pursuit of knowledge are prejudiced against pseudoscience! How strange!

On the other hand:

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."
The problem for the DI is that, should the ACLU come down on Gonzalez' side in this matter, a large proportion of the DI's supporters will have their heads explode from cognitive dissonance. (The ACLU will, presumably, only become involved if the alleged "violation" of academic freedom involves a constitutional violation as well, i.e. if ID is considered to be a religious doctrine.)

The more serious problem for the reality-based community is that the Discovery Institute is trying to "frame" the whole issue as if it is obviously bad to be prejudiced against ID in academia by the simple expedient of stating that as if it is a given. The release of Ben Stein's movie madness, Expelled, is timed for the same month as the Regents will consider Gonzalez' appeal (coincidence?). A win for ID in the Regents could go a long way towards establishing that ID deserves to be in science curricula as some sort of fact. A loss will, at a minimum, cement the DI's supporters' belief in the prejudice of academics and may spread that idea into the general public as well.

The scientific community in particular and the academic community in general, whether they deem "framing" beneath them or not, had better come up with some sort of response that is understandable to and resonant with the general public or else get used to having ID as part of the science curricula of their institutions.

Some other reactions:

Exploring Our Matrix: Should Astrologers Get Tenure?
The Questionable Authority: The Discovery Institute and the Gonzalez Tenure Issue: Why Should Intelligent Design be Privileged?
The Austringer: Discovery Institute Recapitulates Geraldo Rivera's "Al Capone's Vault"
The Panda's Thumb: More on Gonzalez tenure denial
Pharyngula: Discovery Institute blockbuster evidence in the Gonzalez tenure case!
The Bad Idea Blog: The Untenured Guillermo Gonzalez's Big Reveal: Intelligent Diddly Squat
Neurotopia: The Disco Institute has a press conference on Gonzalez's behalf
Bad Astronomy: Silly creationists, Universities are for scientists
Sandwalk: Should an Intelligent Design Creationist Be Denied Tenure?
Science: The Gap Filler: The Privileged Guillermo?
Thoughts from Kansas: Science educator "Expelled!," Disco Inst remains silent

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

. . . . .


How to Support Science Education