Home » academic freedom, Fine tuning » “Controversial Astronomer” Guillermo Gonzalez Hired at Ball State U (Indiana)

“Controversial Astronomer” Guillermo Gonzalez Hired at Ball State U (Indiana)

Others here will have more to say on this later, but just wanted to note the local Star Press’s lead sentence:

Ball State University has hired a controversial astronomer who is a national leader in the intelligent design movement.

President Jo Ann Gora approved the hiring of Guillermo Gonzalez as an assistant professor in the department of physics and astronomy on June 12 at a salary of $57,000. He will start teaching at BSU in August.

Between being denied tenure at Iowa State University under scandalous circumstances and this new appointment, Gonzalez was at Grove City College.

It’s amusing that Gonzalez is described as “controversial.” There is nothing controversial about him, nor is he, strictly, a leader in the intelligent design community, at least not in any political sense. He wanted mainly to find and write about exoplanets (of which he has done a great deal). But the simple expression of his view that the design of the universe is not an accident triggered attacks by atheists at Iowa State, apparently spearheaded by an atheist religion prof, Hector Avalos. The entire controversy was brought to him by such people.

It continues today, with Darwin’s man Jerry Coyne quoted in the story:

“Do you see any pattern here?” Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago, asked The Star Press. “I’m wondering … why Ball State’s physics and astronomy department has a penchant for ID (intelligent design) people. This (hiring) is a very unwise move for Ball State, particularly when one of its other astronomy professors, Eric Hedin, is under investigation for teaching ID in an astronomy class. If the university wants to retain any scientific credibility, they should start hiring scientists who will teach real science and not religious apologetics.”

An atheist who claims religion and science are incompatible, …

I do see a pattern. I see a big fat piece of work, actually.

It says a lot for the low state of the professoriate today if no one gets tired of Darwin’s men demonstrating that this is all they have really got left. By now the threat of destroying the university’s credibility should sound hollow even to a campus bureaucrat. – O’Leary

Hat tip: Daniel Quinones

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7 Responses to “Controversial Astronomer” Guillermo Gonzalez Hired at Ball State U (Indiana)

  1. Pattern: Censoring and career busting for Darwin. KF

  2. $57K? I guess that makes them work harder on getting grants.

  3. An atheist religion professor. Now that’s rich.

  4. A bit of the ordeal Gonzalez went through is gone over in the following videos:

    Guillermo Gonzalez & Stephen Meyer on Coral Ridge – video (Part 1)
    http://www.truthinaction.org/i.....=CRH1118_F

    Guillermo Gonzalez & Stephen Meyer on Coral Ridge – video (Part 2)
    http://www.truthinaction.org/i.....=CRH1119_F

    Here is the what launched the witch hunt against Gonzalez:

    The Privileged Planet – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnWyPIzTOTw

    The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery – book By Guillermo Gonzalez, Jay Wesley Richards
    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    Privileged Planet – Observability Correlation – Gonzalez and Richards – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5424431

    The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
    – Jay Richards

    Myself, I would be very, very, honored to take a course from Dr. Gonzalez on astronomy:

    Astrobiology research is revealing the high specificity and interdependence of the local parameters required for a habitable environment. These two features of the universe make it unlikely that environments significantly different from ours will be as habitable. At the same time, physicists and cosmologists have discovered that a change in a global parameter can have multiple local effects. Therefore, the high specificity and interdependence of local tuning and the multiple effects of global tuning together make it unlikely that our tiny island of habitability is part of an archipelago. Our universe is a small target indeed.
    Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez – P. 625, The Nature of Nature

  5. Barb:

    I know, I know; an “atheist religion professor,” to the average citizen, sounds like something bizarre; yet the phenomenon is quite common.

    Of course, I’m speaking primarily of religious studies departments, not of seminaries — though even in seminaries, particularly of the mainstream denominations, atheist professors are not unheard of. (Of course, they can’t outright *say* they are atheists in the seminaries, but they can still *be* atheists, if they are only a tad subtle about it, since mainstream theology has become so liberal that it’s nearly secular humanism anyway.) But back to religious studies professors: the majority are generally either atheist/agnostic or very liberal Christians/Jews; only an insignificant minority are traditional Christians/Jews.

    It has to do with like hiring like; by about 1975, when the first wave of hiring hit its peak, most of the young profs hired in the previous 15 years were agnostics or liberals; and when time came for them to hire their successors, they outvoted the older conservatives who had hired them, and hired young people like themselves, round about 1990-95. Now, a generation later, *those* liberals/unbelievers are hiring people like *them*. The conservative old guard were mostly dead by about 1990 or so, and managed to get very few replacements in for themselves. So religious studies departments, barring a few places where divine intervention or freak luck has placed a wise and good conservative religious person in a tenured position, are pretty well secular humanist strongholds, with the liberal Christians sucking up to their secular humanist colleagues by aping their scholarship.

    It’s the same with philosophy departments in secular universities as well. Only places with strong Catholic roots seem to be able to resist the tide. Finding a philosophy professor who believes in God — I mean a God who is anything like the God of any traditional religion — is almost impossible, outside of seminaries and denominational liberal arts colleges.

    So the undergrad who is seeking spiritual wisdom from teachers in the two departments you might expect he or she could find it — religious studies and philosophy — is almost certain to be disappointed. If he or she is very, very lucky, there might be one or two spiritually wise persons out of maybe 20 faculty. And English departments aren’t much better, being ruled now by deconstructionists and radical feminists. The old-style literary criticism, produced by people who were steeped in Western tradition (Lewis, Tolkien, Leavis, etc.), is almost impossible to find now in a modern secular university.

    Many students get around this by finding professors of deeper conviction (and often deeper knowledge of theology) in departments where there is less policing for conformity to religious liberalism; thus, someone studying, say, History of Science, or European History, or Greek Classical Literature, may well run across a few traditionally religious professors, and it will be from those professors, rather than from the Religion and Philosophy profs, that the student will get some *living* knowledge of the ancient traditions.

    It didn’t surprise me that it was a Religious Studies professor trying to get an astronomy professor fired for believing in intelligent design. Religious Studies profs, usually expend a great deal of energy trying to kill their dead God a second and third time. True, they usually concentrate on trying to kill the idea of God in the hearts of students in their own department. But it’s consistent that some would be imperialistic enough to spread their nihilism everywhere on the campus, to the point of impertinently interfering with the business of other departments. Avalos, not content with his freedom to corrupt the souls of his own students in religious studies, wanted to make sure that no antidote to the corruption was taught anywhere in his university.

    Of course, we will leave aside the point that Gonzalez never taught even intelligent design, let alone Christianity, in his courses; facts don’t matter to people like Avalos. Gonzalez had to be destroyed, not because of what he did — which was to generate more citations than anyone in his department in an equal space of time, plus impress students as a good teacher — but because of what he represented. If there might be an argument from cosmology to a designer, then everything Avalos has dedicated his life to would be put into question. And the rage of the militant atheist (who most often is rebelling against a religious childhood), cannot tolerate the questioning of the fundamental commitments which have shaped all his adult personal and academic life. Thus, the career of an excellent scientist, fine teacher, and good man must be destroyed — all to deal with the fragile ego and biographical guilt of the atheist professor of religious studies.

    Avalos is merely an extreme example of a very common attitude in all humanities departments today. The “humanities” are largely in the hands of ego-driven, ideologically driven men and women who are far from exemplifying the highest possibilities of being human.

  6. Semi OT: Science and “Pseudoscience”: Frank Turek on Darwin’s Doubt – David Klinghoffer July 9, 2013
    Excerpt: So this is not a debate about evidence. Everyone is looking at the same evidence. This is a debate about how to interpret the evidence, and that involves philosophical commitments about what causes will be considered possible before looking at the evidence. If you philosophically rule out intelligent causes beforehand — as the Darwinists do — you will never arrive at the truth if an intelligent being actually is responsible.
    Since all evidence needs to be interpreted, science doesn’t actually say anything–scientists do. So if certain self-appointed priests of science say that a particular theory is outside the bounds of their own scientific dogma, that doesn’t mean that the theory is false. The issue is truth — not whether something fits a materialistic definition of science.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....WtqDP.dpuf

  7. Statement from Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez about His New Position at Ball State University – July 9, 2013
    Excerpt: I am very happy to join the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Ball State University. As I communicated to members of the department during my interviews, I plan to continue my research on astrobiology and stellar astrophysics. I will not be discussing intelligent design (ID) in my classes (I didn’t discuss ID at ISU either). My view that there is evidence of design in physics and cosmology (the type of design I have written about) is not out of the mainstream; a number of cosmologists and physicists hold to this view. In my opinion, the controversy surrounding my hire is artificial — largely generated by one activist blogger who is not an astronomer. Lastly, I need to reiterate that I was denied tenure at ISU not because of poor academics on my part, but for ideological and political reasons. – ,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....74251.html

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