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Gonzalez tenure case: University admin’s credibility in shreds as truth emerges

UPDATED! Well, the jig is up now, re the Guillermo Gonzalez case. I’ve just seen the whack of documents Discovery Institute is releasing.

1. It appears that the decision had been made to turn Gonzalez down for tenure at Iowa State University before he had actually applied for it, and the reason was his advocacy of intelligent design.

Read this story in the Des Moines Register last week by Lisa Rossi

ISU President Gregory Geoffroy said in June that Gonzalez’s advocacy of the “intelligent design” concept was not a factor in the decision to turn down his request for tenure.

Geoffroy said he focused his review on Gonzalez’s overall record of scientific accomplishment as an assistant professor at ISU.

and then this one, after the Register got hold of the e-mails via a public records request:

The disclosure of the e-mails is contrary to what ISU officials emphasized after Gonzalez, an assistant professor in physics and astronomy, learned that his university colleagues had voted to deny his bid for tenure.

[ ... ]

In response to a question about why the influence of intelligent design in the physics and astronomy tenure decisions was not acknowledged publicly by the university earlier, McCarroll said, “I can’t speak for every one of those individuals” who voted on Gonzalez’s tenure.

 (Clarification December 6, 2007: John West of the Discovery Institute (DI) has written to advise me that the Record did not make a public records request, but was shown the documents by ISU after DI had announced that it had obtained them and that they would be made public. It appears that, by ignoring the embargo, the Register scooped the other media, not DI. Still,  to their credit, they know a story when they see one. – d.)

2. The alleged tenure review was in fact a fishing expedition whose purpose was to find any grounds at all for denying tenure to a man who emerges clearly an outstanding scientist (in flat contradiction to some of President Geoffroy’s other claims), and far more so than the colleagues who were doing the fishing. For example, the fact that some of his widely cited papers were cited less often than others was grounds for a focus on the less widely cited ones. The fact that he published a textbook was dinged as an unwise use of his time.

Much of the most damaging stuff won’t make it to Gonzalez’s Regents’ appeal on a technicality, but it’s now going to be out there for all to see.

Anyway, brava! to journalist Lisa Rossi for exposing the vast credibility gap between what President Geoffroy was claiming to the media and the facts of the case. When oh when will administrators learn, do NOT tell stretchers to the media. Even journalists who support you get mad if they think you are lying. As I said, more later.

- Actually, Rossi for the Register scooped Disco on the e-mails business, publishing on Saturday what they were going to reveal at a press conference the following Monday. Both groups had filed public records requests but the newspaper won. But the Disco package is pretty amazing anyway, and brings out a lot of stuff that’s not in the Register.

Here’s Disco’s press release

Faculty involved in the tenure decision were well aware of Gonzalez’s support for ID. More than one year before his tenure evaluation was scheduled, one ISU professor wrote an e-mail that left no doubt that Gonzalez’s tenure application would never receive a fair evaluation.

“He will be up for tenure next year,” wrote the professor. “And if he keeps up, it might be a hard sell to the department.”
Contrary to his public statements, and those of ISU President Gregory Geoffroy, the chairman of ISU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dr. Eli Rosenberg, stated in Dr. Gonzalez’s tenure dossier that Dr. Gonzalez’s support for intelligent design “disqualifies him from serving as a science educator

And here is their longer report:

In a particularly damning e-mail, ISU Physicist John Hauptmann admitted to faculty member Hector Avalos that “principle [of freedom of inquiry] has been violated massively in the physics department”21 in its treatment of Dr. Gonzalez.
Other faculty members privately expressed qualms at the unethical and dishonest way they were plotting against Dr. Gonzalez behind his back. Dr. Harmon stated to Kawaler that, “I don’t think talking behind Guillermo’s back is quite ethical.”22 Paul Canfield had similar concerns, stating that they should issue the statement because otherwise it would appear that they were doing exactly what they were doing: secretly scheming about how to attack the viewpoint of a department member who was under consideration for tenure. Canfield wrote:
o “Do we do everything at secret meetings and the hope the Discovery Institute’s Lawyers don’t subpoena our records? If I were Gonzalez, I would prefer my colleagues were honest and forthright in their opinions, as he seems to be with his.”23

I bet Canfield wishes that even more now. There may or may not be a God but there certainly is a Nemesis.

And all this about a guy who was far more productive scientifically than any of them!

Here’s Discovery boss Bruce Chapman on the “iceberg” unearthed in Iowa:

Readers may suspect that I am overstating the problem at ISU, but they should look more closely. For openers, it might be asked how many of Gonzalez’ critics–the people quoted in the emails and the President and other Administration officials and Board at ISU who have ruled on this matter have ever bothered to read The Privileged Planet, the co-authored book that seems to have agitated Gonzalez’ enemies? Are they even aware of the internationally prominent scientists who praised Professor Gonzalez’ work? Is this failure of curiosity not then a clear indication of the faculty’s and University President’s prejudice–literally their “pre-judgment”?

What emerges is that the Iowa profs are a bunch of hicks, actually. Why would they have read the book they were dissing? Bad for their eyesight I am sure.

Questions:

- Shouldn’t Geoffroy resign and take his chief witch hunters with him?

- Shouldn’t Gonzalez sue these people?

- What about the fact that they were using public funds to conduct their nasty little war against a superior scientist?

But now here’s the really amazing thing: The Regents, to whom Gonzalez is appealing, are refusing, on a technicality, to examine the damning e-mails. (He should have known about the e-mails, you see … ) That way they can turn Gonzalez down despite what has happened.

No, I am not making this up. I couldn’t, honestly.

By the way, ISU tried to sue the Discos to get them to drop their public records request. As it happens, the Des Moines Register was making one anyway, so it would have been usesless. And THAT, by the way, is what newspapering is supposed to be about. Not a cushy lifestyle for the feeble sonsbergers of wealthy men.

How productive was Gonzalez? I can’t use sidebars in a blog, so this quote from Disco’s memo will just have to be long:

He has published more peer-reviewed journal articles than all but one of the faculty members granted tenure this year at ISU – across the university as a whole, not just his department. In fact, Gonzalez has more peer-reviewed journal articles to his credit than all but five faculty members granted tenure at ISU since 2003. In addition, he exceeded his department’s own tenure standards, which define “excellence” in terms of publications in refereed science journals, by more than 350%.

Yet ISU president Dr. Gregory Geoffroy has attributed his rejection of Gonzalez’s tenure appeal to matters having nothing to do with intelligent design. The astronomer simply “did not show the trajectory of excellence that we expect,” Geoffroy has said.

His department chairman, Dr. Eli Rosenberg, claims in Gonzalez’s tenure dossier that the astronomer failed to show an “overall positive trend” in his research record of late. Yet in 2006, the year he was up for tenure, Gonzalez published more total articles than all other tenured ISU astronomers. Moreover, Dr. Gonzalez has more per-capita citations in science journals and per-capita scientific publications than any other tenured astronomer at ISU since 2001, the year he joined ISU. In other words, Gonzalez outperformed the very astronomers that voted against his tenure, negating any basis for their complaining about the “trend” of his research while at ISU.

Meanwhile, his work has been featured in the world’s most prestigious science journals, Nature in 2002 and Science in 2004. He co-authored the cover story for Scientific American in 2001, and he is also co-author of a 2006 peer-reviewed Cambridge University Press textbook, Observational Astronomy. He is clearly impacting the next generation of scientists, as his ideas about the Galactic Habitable Zone have even been incorporated into two astronomy textbooks by other authors.

With all this going for him, and being well-liked personally by his colleagues, getting tenure at ISU should have been nearly automatic. The university has struggled to explain the reason for his rejection, offering explanations that fall far short of being convincing. The claim is advanced, for example, that Gonzalez failed to secure enough funding for his research. But observational astronomers are not heavily dependent on sumptuous grants to support their research. They only need an already existing telescope, enough money to fly or drive to the facility, and an inexpensive computer to analyze the observational data they obtain.

In any event, Gonzalez received more grant funding than 35 percent of faculty members who were granted tenure at ISU in 2007 and who listed their research grants on their curriculum vitae. Indeed, of the utmost importance is the fact that grants are not even listed in the tenure guidelines for his department. Of the nine review letters that gave recommendations regarding Dr. Gonzalez’s final tenure decision, six strongly supported his tenure promotion and gave glowing endorsements of his reputation and academic achievements. (Even Dr. Gonzalez’s tenure dossier admitted that “five of the external letter writers … including senior scientists at prestigious institutions recommend his promotion” and that only “[t]hree do not.”) One reviewer observed that ISU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy does not consider grants as a criterion for gaining tenure, and stated that “Dr. Gonzalez is eminently qualified for the promotion according to your guidelines of excellence in scholarship and exhibiting a potential for national distinction. In light of your criteria I would certainly recommend the promotion.” ISU chose to ignore the advice of these senior scientists at prestigious institutions.

As before, more later.

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92 Responses to Gonzalez tenure case: University admin’s credibility in shreds as truth emerges

  1. Well, if he doesn’t get tenure, he can at least get enough money in punitive damages to fund his own research.

  2. And to think that in the previous thread related to Gonzalez, people were speculating that the REAL REASON was about his inability to generate enough research grant money…

  3. I just don’t get it, I just don’t get it at all.

    Science was pointing to a purposeless existence. This was truly a very very sad state for us to accept for our fates, but was grudgingly accepted by many people, because it was apparently the truth of how things actually are for us. (And indeed that is how the truth appeared to be “scientifically” for many years, until the Big Bang gave us a small glimmer of hope of life that transcends this one!)

    Yet here in astronomy, by work done by Guillermo Gonzalez and his colleagues (on his own time by the way), we have clarification of data pointing to the fact that the Earth is indeed a very “Privileged Planet” to live on in this universe.

    http://www.illustramedia.com/tppinfo.htm

    Why should this planet be so special? OF COURSE, it begs the obvious question,,Is the Earth designed?
    As well it points to the possibility that humans may be special after all. Indeed this discovery should be cause for joy in our hearts since it points to something far greater for us!

    Yet, for merely pointing out the obvious inference to Design, Guillermo Gonzalez is persecuted by ISU officials.

    This response by them is beyond idiotic!!!

    The response is not, WOW what a truly wonderful, wonderful discovery, Thank You so much Guillermo Gonzalez for giving us a little more solid hope for purpose in our lives, and by the way, here is your tenure, with ringing endorsement, for you to continue your wonderful, wonderful work.

    It is instead, How dare you suggest that science may find purpose after all. Not to mention the backstabbing and name calling, instigated by, of all people, an atheistic religious professor (give me the logic behind that tenure), who can’t be troubled with any scientific evidence that there actually may be a more wonderful life after this one.

    Indeed, these people have definitely got their priorities, and perspectives, severely twisted in a deluded knot.

  4. My understanding of the case against Gonzalez is that while he was at ISU he has published near nothing in scientific journals, and has done little of recognized scientific note. The suggestion is that Gonzalez has become so focused on his “Privelaged Planet” work that he has ceased to function within the mainstream of science.

    Is this case against him valid or not? If it is valid, does ISU have the right to deny his tenure?

    We challenge the Darwinian community all of the time, and disrespect them when they do not respond with an evidenciary case. I would like to see us respond to the above challenge with an evidencuary case.

    How many times has Gonzalez been published since he took his professorship? How much grant money has his name on it? Is there a valid case against him that the ID community chooses to ignore, or is he truly being railroaded?

  5. But now here’s the really amazing thing: The Regents, to whom Gonzalez is appealing, are refusing, on a technicality, to examine the damning e-mails. (He should have known about the e-mails, you see … ) That way they can turn Gonzalez down despite what has happened.

    I’m not sure I follow, Denyse. Part of the narrative that we have been telling about Gonzalez is that the department faculty did not limit their analysis to his tenure dossier, but used external (and irrelevant) information to justify turning him down. Shouldn’t we want the Board of Regents to solely evaluate his scientific and educational accomplishments, as laid out in his tenure application, to make a decision?

    Are you really advocating that the Regents should engage in affirmative action because Gonzalez is being oppressed? Doesn’t that undermine our contention that his scientific accomplishments are impeccable and more than sufficient for a positive tenure decision?

  6. I think the Regents should hear the whole story because the decision was apparently not made on the basis of his record and that is, in itself, of the greatest interest.

    In fact, I think they should launch an inquiry, if possible.

  7. Okay, I guess I am on the wrong page. I thought the point was justice for Guillermo, which would be served by an unbiased review of his tenure application. Reviewing the emails, and performing an inquiry, seems to be more about retribution than justice.

  8. bFast wrote:
    “My understanding of the case against Gonzalez is that while he was at ISU he has published near nothing in scientific journals, and has done little of recognized scientific note. The suggestion is that Gonzalez has become so focused on his ‘Privelaged Planet’ work that he has ceased to function within the mainstream of science.

    Based on some quick research, Gonzalez published few articles while at ISU:
    2002: 7
    2003: 10
    2004: 2
    2005: 2
    2006: 3
    Prior to joining ISU, Gonzalez published 44 articles.

    As far as generating grant revenue, the Des Moines Register reports that “Iowa State has sponsored $22,661 in outside grant money for Gonzalez since July 2001, records show. In that same time period, Gonzalez’s peers in physics and astronomy secured an average of $1.3 million by the time they were granted tenure.”

    From a teaching perspective, none of the graduate students Gonzalez is advising have completed their doctoral work, although he has been at ISU since 2001.

    Back to bFast:
    “Is this case against him valid or not?”

    To be granted tenure, you must demonstrate how you will be an asset to the department. Compared to his peers, Gonzalez has not performed well.

    “If it is valid, does ISU have the right to deny his tenure?”

    Tenure is not automatic. 25% of the applicants for tenure at ISU this year were denied.

  9. I posted on the tail end of the previous Gonzalez thread, but part of it applies to comments here as well:

    .
    .
    .
    It seems we can agree that universities attempt to draw researchers who will increase the respectability of their institutions. A way this happens is through development of productive concepts that expand scientific research. One can judge how productive a concept has been by its use in the field by other researchers as well as it’s ability augment or refine current methodologies and production of new ones. Judging from journal citations and appearance in popular scientific journals and newspaper articles, G. Gonzalez’s lead author article on GHZ in Icarus has been a productive and novel one. So in this respect, aside from his many other scientific contributions, it’s hard to see how he could not meet even a high bar set for tenure.
    .
    .
    .

    It seems to me Gonzalez has contributed a subsantial amount towards advancement in many areas of astronomy with the work on GHZ alone. I’m not sure how someone could say otherwise.

  10. TTauri wrote:
    “It seems to me Gonzalez has contributed a subsantial amount towards advancement in many areas of astronomy with the work on GHZ alone.”

    That work wasn’t done at ISU and his productivity at ISU has been very low, as has his ability to bring in grant money. Regardless of political or religious views, any other tenure applicant with a similar publication and grant history would be denied.

  11. Maya wrote:

    his productivity at ISU has been very low, as has his ability to bring in grant money

    Mr. Maya, where does the school list the ability to generate money as a requirement for tenure? Considering that Gonzalez’s case has the potential of soon passing through the rigors of a court proceeding, the school will be hard pressed to have the evidence readily available.

  12. That’s _Miss_ Maya, thank you very much!

    The ability to generate grant revenue is always part of tenure decisions at research universities. I’m a grad student and grants are how my faculty advisor pays for his research, including my little stipend.

  13. ——————–
    RE: where does the school list the ability to generate money as a requirement for tenure?
    ——————–

    I think the answer is from the administrators themselves ( i.e. those who are evaluating his tenure application ).

    Here are the OFFICIAL reasons cited for denying Gonzalez tenure ( none of them related to his work on ID) :

    Geoffroy said he focused his review on Gonzalez’s overall record of scientific accomplishment as an assistant professor at ISU.

    He also said he:

    1) Considered peer review publications,

    2) Gonzalez’s level of success in attracting research funding and grants,

    3) The amount of telescope observing time he had been granted,

    4) The number of graduate students he had supervised and

    5) The overall evidence of his future career promise in the field of astronomy.

    It seems to be the main issues are #2, #3, and #4 above.

    If what Maya said regarding Gonzalez’s ability to generate outside grant money vs. the average of $1.3 Million of those who were tenured is true ( see post #8 above ), then Gonzalez’s appeal will probably be denied ( but then that is *IF* Maya’s claims can be verified ).

  14. Maya @ 10 wrote:

    Regardless of political or religious views, any other tenure applicant with a similar publication and grant history would be denied.

    Which is exactly why the people who denied GG tenure rightfully talked amongst themselves about his productivity and graciously ignored his politics and religious views.

    Oh wait, they didn’t do that. Silly me.

  15. angryoldfatman wrote:
    “Which is exactly why the people who denied GG tenure rightfully talked amongst themselves about his productivity and graciously ignored his politics and religious views.
    Oh wait, they didn’t do that.”

    You may be being misled by part of the summary above. Ms. O’Leary wrote:

    “Contrary to his public statements, and those of ISU President Gregory Geoffroy, the chairman of ISU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dr. Eli Rosenberg, stated in Dr. Gonzalez’s tenure dossier that Dr. Gonzalez’s support for intelligent design ‘disqualifies him from serving as a science educator.’”

    The full context of that quotation is:

    “on numerous occasions, Dr. Gonzalez has stated that Intelligent Design is a scientific theory and someday would be taught in science classrooms. This is confirmed by his numerous postings on the Discovery Institute Web site. The problem here is that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory. Its premise is beyond the realm of science. … But it is incumbent on a science educator to clearly understand and be able to articulate what science is and what it is not. The fact that Dr. Gonzalez does not understand what constitutes both science and a scientific theory disqualifies him from serving as a science educator.”

    The concern is not about Gonzalez’s politics or religion but about his ability to serve as a science educator.

  16. SeekAndFind wrote:
    “If what Maya said regarding Gonzalez’s ability to generate outside grant money vs. the average of $1.3 Million of those who were tenured is true ( see post #8 above ), then Gonzalez’s appeal will probably be denied ( but then that is *IF* Maya’s claims can be verified ).”

    I gave the source of that cite as the Des Moines Register. It’s pretty easy to verify yourself.

    I have a question for you: If you check my facts and determine that they are correct, in particular that Gonzalez produced only seven refereed articles in the past three years, generated a miniscule amount of grant revenue, and did not have any graduate students who completed their doctoral work, will you agree that ISU is justified in not offering tenure?

  17. Maya -
    How does the number of referred articles, grant revenue and number of graduate students compare with others within ISU who did get tenure?

    From what I understand, grant revenue is a spurious statistic since astronomy requires a bit less revenue than other fields.

    But I would grant you the other points, if you can provide me with some comparisons within the university. That is, does Gonzalez have a comparable record of referred material within his department and university?

  18. Does anybody seriously expect that professors whose work is highly controversial will be considered for tenure without that controversy entering into discussion? It happens all the time in, say, Near East studies. Think Norman Finkelstein, Nadia Abu El-Haj, or Joseph Massad. Whatever you think about the disposition of these cases, none of these people are stupid enough to think that controversial work will not be, well, controversial.

  19. 19

    I can’t figure out why people send and save these incriminating emails.

    Also, grantsmanship has little or nothing to do with quality of research.

  20. pwieland wrote:
    “How does the number of referred articles, grant revenue and number of graduate students compare with others within ISU who did get tenure?”

    That’s a good question that requires some research. I can tell you that seven refereed articles in three years is exceptionally low by my department’s standard. I’ll try to find the numbers for anyone recently granted tenure by ISU — if you find them before I do, please post them here.

    “From what I understand, grant revenue is a spurious statistic since astronomy requires a bit less revenue than other fields.”

    The comparison was between Gonzalez and the average for his department. His twenty-something thousand doesn’t stand up to the $1.3 million average.

  21. [...] centuries, naturalism has worked very well in explaining the natural world. There’s no reason… Maya: pwieland wrote: “How does the number of referred articles, grant revenue and number of [...]

  22. Maya

    For the relative importance of Gonzalez’s work, we have to compare Gonzalez’s citations against all others within his own department (not other departments). See:

    Guillermo Gonzalez Has Highest Normalized Citation Count among ISU Astronomers for Publications Since 2001

    Normalized citation count for ALL ISU Astronomers since 2001
    Normalized citation count for ALL ISU Astronomers since 2001

    Gonzales also had the second highest life time citation record.

    Lifetime Citation Count for ALL ISU Astronomers
    Lifetime Citation Count for ALL ISU Astronomers

    This also appears to support the argument for academic jealousy, just as with Galileo and the Aristotelean academics.

    See GUILLERMO GONZALEZ

    REFEREED PUBLICATIONS IN PRINT
    2001 6
    2002 4
    2003 6
    2004 2
    2005 3
    2006 4
    2007 2

    I would expect that writing a text book and another publication on his findings justifies the lower references in 2004 and 2005.

  23. Maya @ 15 wrote:

    You may be being misled by part of the summary above. Ms. O’Leary wrote:
    [excerpt, etc.]

    I didn’t read Ms. O’Leary’s summary. I went to the Discovery Institute link I posted, so I could read the e-mails myself.

    I don’t like people to filter things for me; whenever possible, I prefer to assess things directly myself.

    Hopefully you’ve done the same, though if you have, I see it hasn’t stopped your post-hoc apologetics for the appalling behavior of supposedly enlightened members of the scientific community.

    But it is incumbent on a science educator to clearly understand and be able to articulate what science is and what it is not. The fact that Dr. Gonzalez does not understand what constitutes both science and a scientific theory disqualifies him from serving as a science educator.”

    The concern is not about Gonzalez’s politics or religion but about his ability to serve as a science educator.

    Let’s see if I have a grasp on your thinking here (or the rationale you’re defending):

    ID is not science because there is no research being done on ID, and those who research ID are not researching science because ID is not science because no research is being done on ID, and those who research ID are not researching science because…

  24. “If it’s unscientific, then we don’t agree with it. And if we don’t agree with it, it’s not scientific.”

    Me.

  25. 25

    Also, elite research universities’ overemphasis on research at the expense of teaching is a reason why these universities are not good places to get undergraduate educations despite these universities’ highly competitive admissions and high tuitions.

  26. “But it is incumbent on a science educator to clearly understand and be able to articulate what science is and what it is not. The fact that Dr. Gonzalez does not understand what constitutes both science and a scientific theory disqualifies him from serving as a science educator.”

    Based on this, I would have to say that anyone who believes this about ID shouldn’t be teaching science. Because they can’t separate science and their underlying philosophical beliefs they confuse with being essential to science.

  27. Since Maya thinks he knows what science is (materialism) let’s put his materialistic philosophy in the light and see how it stacks up.:

    There are two prevailing philosophies vying for the right to be called the truth in man’s perception of reality. These two prevailing philosophies are Theism and Materialism. Materialism is sometimes called philosophical naturalism and, to a lesser degree, is often even conflated with methodological naturalism. Materialism is the current hypothesis entrenched over science as the nt hypothesis guiding scientists. Materialism asserts that everything that exists arose from chance acting on an material basis which has always existed. Whereas, Theism asserts everything that exists arose from the purposeful will of the spirit of Almighty God who has always existed in a timeless eternity. A hypothesis in science is suppose to give proper guidance to scientists and make, somewhat, accurate predictions. In this primary endeavor, for a hypothesis, Materialism has failed miserably.

    1. Materialism did not predict the big bang. Yet Theism always said the universe was created.

    2. Materialism did not predict a sub-atomic (quantum) world that blatantly defies our concepts of time and space. Yet Theism always said the universe is the craftsmanship of God who is not limited by time or space.

    3. Materialism did not predict the fact that time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop at the speed of light, as revealed by Einstein’s special theory of relativity. Yet Theism always said that God exists in a timeless eternity.

    4. Materialism did not predict the stunning precision for the underlying universal constants for the universe, found in the Anthropic Principle, which allows life as we know it to be possible. Yet Theism always said God laid the foundation of the universe, so the stunning, unchanging, clockwork precision found for the various universal constants is not at all unexpected for Theism.

    5. Materialism predicted that complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Yet statistical analysis of the many required parameters that enable complex life to be possible on earth reveals that the earth is extremely unique in its ability to support complex life in this universe. Theism would have expected the earth to be extremely unique in this universe in its ability to support complex life.

    6. Materialism did not predict the fact that the DNA code is, according to Bill Gates, far, far more advanced than any computer code ever written by man. Yet Theism would have naturally expected this level of complexity in the DNA code.

    7. Materialism presumed a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA, which is not the case at all. Yet Theism would have naturally presumed such a high if not, what most likely is, complete negative mutation rate to an organism’s DNA.

    8. Materialism presumed a very simple first life form. Yet the simplest life ever found on Earth is, according to Geneticist Michael Denton PhD., far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. Yet Theism would have naturally expected this level of complexity for the “simplest” life on earth.

    9. Materialism predicted that it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Yet we find evidence for “complex” photo-synthetic life in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth (Minik T. Rosing and Robert Frei, “U-Rich Archaean Sea-Floor Sediments from Greenland—Indications of >3700 Ma Oxygenic Photosynthesis”, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 6907 (2003): 1-8) Theism would have naturally expected this sudden appearance of life on earth.

    10. Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life to be self-evident in the fossil record. The Cambrian Explosion, by itself, destroys this myth. Yet Theism would have naturally expected such sudden appearance of the many different and completely unique fossils in the Cambrian explosion.

    11. Materialism predicted that there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record. Yet fossils are characterized by sudden appearance in the fossil record and overall stability as long as they stay in the fossil record. There is not one clear example of unambiguous transition between major species out of millions of collected fossils. Theism would have naturally expected fossils to suddenly appear in the fossil record with stability afterwards as well as no evidence of transmutation into radically new forms.

    12. Materialism predicts animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Yet man himself is the last scientifically accepted fossil to suddenly appear in the fossil record. Theism would have predicted that man himself was the last fossil to suddenly appear in the fossil record.

    I could probably go a lot further for the evidence is extensive and crushing against the Materialistic philosophy. As stated before, an overriding hypothesis in science, such as Materialism currently is, is suppose to give correct guidance to scientists. Materialism has failed miserably in its predictive power for science. The hypothesis with the strongest predictive power in science is “suppose” to be the prevailing philosophy of science. That philosophy should be Theism. Why this shift in science has not yet occurred is a mystery that needs to be remedied to enable new, and potentially wonderful, breakthroughs in science.

    Now I ask you Maya, why should materialism be anything other than a subservient hypothesis to the nt hypothesis of Theism?

  28. PS a reminder of Maya’s sensibilities:
    “That’s _Miss_ Maya, thank you very much!”

  29. Ms Maya wrote:

    The ability to generate grant revenue is always part of tenure decisions at research universities.

    So the evidence the court will be asking for should not be hard to come by. Where is the written SOP with regard to this criteria?

    Hearsay or unrecorded formulas/methods simply will not count, especially when dealing with personnel issues at a publicly funded institution.

  30. In reply to pwieland (17): this isn’t correct. Although equipment costs of astronomy tend to be less than in other fields of experimental physics (because these costs are covered by national-level expenditure on observatories and space missions), there is still a significant cost incurred for salaries.

    A typical grad student costs $40k per year. A typical post-doc costs $80k per year. Compare that against the amount of grant income brought in by GG.

    To place this in context, have a look through the current AAS job register:

    http://members.aas.org/JobReg/JobRegister.cfm

    Many, if not all, of the advertised faculty jobs at research universities stipulate that the successful candidate must be able to bring in external grant income. This is a pretty standard requirement.

  31. SeekAndFind wrote:

    ——————–
    RE: where does the school list the ability to generate money as a requirement for tenure?
    ——————–

    I think the answer is from the administrators themselves ( i.e. those who are evaluating his tenure application )”.

    Hello Seek,

    The problem is that in order to avoid misunderstandings, and/or the appearance of favoritism and discrimination, personnel decisions involving sensitive issues like promotions must be set in writing with clearly delineated guidance standards. Otherwise, how could we be sure that Joe Moe didn’t get the position because of his amorous escapades with the President?

    Notice that money is not even mentioned as a factor in the recent news articles. I mean, is there even a benchmark for what would be considered acceptable fund-raising?

  32. Bornagain77: why is this discussion of theism relevant on a blog devoted to a discussion of ID and related issues? I thought that ID was unrelated to religion?

  33. I disagree with the fact that grant money should be a factor at any university rewarding tenure to its professors (if indeed it is the case). It leads to ‘flavor-of-the-month’ type research instead of what may actually be interesting or rewarding or beneficial.

    If I were a conspiracy theorist, I could say that all the pharmaceutical companies might be suppressing research into a cure for cancer, because it wold eat into its drug profits….(heh – btw, this is not an attempt to hijack this thread)

  34. pwieland — research universities could not survive without grant income. A significant fraction (33% at my own institution) of the money from grants goes on overhead, paying for the upkeep of buildings, administrative staff, computer facilities etc.

    That’s why universities want their tenured faculty to bring in nice fat grants — it’s the overhead they’re after.

  35. H’mm:

    Three things leap out at me:

    1] Fashionable-topic grantmaking in a politically correct environment dominated by evolutionary materialist ideology and associated propagandistic and power tactics is plainly corrupting the process of science and the ethics of science education institutions. [Or have we so easily forgotten the "who paid for it, why" factor?]

    2] The idea that science is so “self-evidently” and “necessarily” evolutionary materialist that a researcher and educator who disagrees automatically disqualifies himself from practice, is a stunning illustration of closed minded prejudice and arrogance. (It also means that so-called peer review is now increasingly worthless save as an index of political correctness — the new “INDEX” of forbidden books and themes slowly emerges from the mists . . . with the ghost of Torquemada laughing in the background.)

    3] We see here what will increasingly happen when radical secularists, driven by evolutionary materialism, its ethics [might makes "right"] and in pursuit of its agendas gain power in the culture. Especially, what they will do to those who stand in their way when there is no effective countervailing force. That is, Gonzalez is the canary in the mine, and he is fluttering and panting. For, it is utterly clear that Gonzalez’s tenure denial has little or nothing to do with his competence as a researcher or educator, or even grantmaker.

    Is this where we want our Civilisation to go?

    Or will we keep on blaming victim after victim until it is too late to take a stand to stop the tide of patent oppression and injustice?

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Lakatos taught us that, at the core of scientific research programmes, protected by a belt of theories and associated concepts and constructs, lies a worldview dominated core. So, philosophical and ideological issues cannot be so easily separated from discussions of the situation with the design inference in today’s intellectual climate. And, as the above shows, what is being revealed is sobering.

    PPS: A comparison with this parallel thread will reveal the same blame-the-victim pattern [sometimes, from the same commenters], especially with the Sternberg case.

  36. ——kairosfocus: We see here what will increasingly happen when radical secularists, driven by evolutionary materialism, its ethics [might makes “right”] and in pursuit of its agendas gain power in the culture. Especially, what they will do to those who stand in their way when there is no effective countervailing force. That is, Gonzalez is the canary in the mine, and he is fluttering and panting. For, it is utterly clear that Gonzalez’s tenure denial has little or nothing to do with his competence as a researcher or educator, or even grantmaker.”

    Exactly right. Most major universities, in concert with the government, support the elitist goal of creating heavily credentialed worker bees who cannot think for themselves and who will take up arms against those who resist the establishment. They have institutionalized the three big lies that keep people in bondage: 1) Freedom is license, 2) Truth is relative, and 3) Matter is everything. As anyone who cares knows, these three propositions enslave the mind and the body. Both the university and the government have become a clearing house for slave traders, and the students and citizens have become the slaves.

    Naturally, neither the university nor the government wants the slaves to understand their plight., Much less do they want those in bondage to learn the one key principle and its corollary that would free them from their abject condition and lead them in the path of self-actualization. These are the two liberating ideas that must be withheld at all costs: 1) -Intellectual freedom is the key to both personal and political freedom. 2)- Intellectual freedom is inseparable from truth.

    People like professor Gonzalaz are dangerous, because he advances a dangerous idea. To promote, support, and defend intelligent design is to undermine the intellectual slave traders and reintroduce the concept of a purpose driven, self directed life style. It is the antidote to the three big lies. To acknowledge design in nature is to become awakened to meaning. What follows is liberation from the slave traders and honorary citizenship in a new world—the world of reason, purpose, and destiny. Once the slaves have become liberated from the slave traders, they cannot help but hold them in contempt for having cheating them out of legitimate education and the privilege of choosing to follow the way of truth.

    The battle about intelligent design, then is not just about intellectual freedom, it is about freedom, period.If I am not permitted to say that the design that appears in nature is real, neither am I permitted to say that there is any real design or purpose to my existence. That means that there cannot be any such thing as a personal destiny or any moral or political right to pursue it. In other words, if there is no design, there is no freedom.—either from the promptings of my lower nature or from the whims of the slave traders.

  37. kairosfocus wrote:
    “For, it is utterly clear that Gonzalez’s tenure denial has little or nothing to do with his competence as a researcher or educator, or even grantmaker.”

    The bottom line is that Gonzalez has managed to get only a few articles published in refereed journals in recent years (Publish or Perish!), he has not generated grant revenue for his department, and none of the graduate students he has been advising have completed their doctoral work, despite his having been at ISU since 2001 (the usual time to complete such work is around three years).

    “Privileged Planet” or not, this is not the level of performance that warrants tenure.

    You may be right that some of his colleagues voted solely due to his ID leanings, but based on my experience with academia I doubt it. Tenure is very like a marriage — the other members of the department have to live with tenured faculty for the rest of their careers. People vote against tenure for many reasons, but will overlook many flaws if a candidate shows that he or she will improve the department.

    If Gonzalez had published at least an average number of papers, brought in at least an average amount of funding, and seen at least an average number of his grad students get their doctorates, “Privileged Planet” would not be an issue.

    Gonzalez didn’t produce, so he wasn’t offered tenure. It really is as simple as that.

  38. The number of published articles is a distant second to the quality of those articles. And to those who published more than Gonzalez I would bet the quality is low.

    Also, as has been explained, astronomy doesn’t require a lot of money.

    IOW if Gonzalez requested say 1 million dollars someone would ask what the money is going to be used for. And if he could only account for say 20,000 then the full amount would not ne given.

    As far as science goes- the anti-ID materialistic positioin is nothing more than sheer dumb luck. As the authors of “Rare Earth” state (two non-ID scientists) we won the cosmic lottery. IOW “mainstream” science is totally bogus.

    And anyone who thinks that is “science” should never be allowed to teach science.

    As far as being an asset is concerned- it is obvious that the ability to find habitable planets is an asset. And guess what? That is what Gonzalez has done- that is he has shown us what to look for.

  39. “But it is incumbent on a science educator to clearly understand and be able to articulate what science is and what it is not. The fact that Dr. Gonzalez does not understand what constitutes both science and a scientific theory disqualifies him from serving as a science educator.”

    geoffrobinson wrote:
    “Based on this, I would have to say that anyone who believes this about ID shouldn’t be teaching science. Because they can’t separate science and their underlying philosophical beliefs they confuse with being essential to science.”

    Science is a well-defined process. A scientific theory must explain the available objective evidence, it must have predictive power, and it must be falsifiable. When contrary evidence is found, a scientific theory must be modified or abandoned. The view of the ISU faculty, among many other science organizations, is that Intelligent Design does not meet these criteria.

    Refuting this view is straightforward: Produce a predictive, falsifiable theory that explains the available evidence. If Gonzalez, or any other ID proponent, did this, universities would be falling over themselves to offer tenure.

  40. joseph wrote:
    “The number of published articles is a distant second to the quality of those articles. And to those who published more than Gonzalez I would bet the quality is low.”

    You don’t need to make baseless bets, you can check to see how many times those articles are referenced by other refereed articles. That is the standard measure of the impact of a paper.

    “Also, as has been explained, astronomy doesn’t require a lot of money.”

    Grad students cost money. Compute labs cost money. Telescope time costs money. The fact is that Gonzalez raised only around 2% (two percent) of the average amount of grant money raised by others in his department (also astronomers).

    “As far as being an asset is concerned- it is obvious that the ability to find habitable planets is an asset. And guess what? That is what Gonzalez has done- that is he has shown us what to look for.”

    Not while at ISU. His productivity has dropped significantly since joining there. The record speaks for itself.

    No articles, no money, and no successful grad students means no tenure.

  41. “Science is a well-defined process. A scientific theory must explain the available objective evidence, it must have predictive power, and it must be falsifiable. When contrary evidence is found, a scientific theory must be modified or abandoned.”

    Stephen Meyer observes: “. . .most contemporary philosophers of science regard the question ‘what distinguishes science from non-science’ as both intractable and uninteresting. Instead, philosophers of science have increasingly realized that the real issue is not whether a theory is scientific, but whether a theory is true, or warranted by the evidence.”

    If science makes the absolute presumption of natural materialism it has no explanation for the laws of the universe, nor for the anthropogenic principle – the numerous fine tuning parameters etc. Gonzalez is positing a basic for these. Until there is another better theory, Gonzalez’s is the best (and only) one published.

  42. Maya

    For the relative importance of Gonzalez’s work, compare Gonzalez’s citations against all others within his own department (not other departments). See:

    Guillermo Gonzalez Has Highest Normalized Citation Count among ISU Astronomers for Publications Since 2001

  43. Gonzales also had the second highest life time citation record in his department.

    Lifetime Citation Count for ALL ISU Astronomers
    Lifetime Citation Count for ALL ISU Astronomers

    This appears to support the argument for academic jealousy, just as with Galileo and the Aristotelean academics.

  44. See GUILLERMO GONZALEZ

    REFEREED PUBLICATIONS IN PRINT

  45. You don’t need to make baseless bets, you can check to see how many times those articles are referenced by other refereed articles.

    So if one useless article refers to another useless article- you are grasping.

    To get a grant you have to account for the money. Perhaps Gonzalez isn’t as good of a liar as some others are.

    And yes, anyone and everyone should be interested in what to look for to find a habitable planet. IOW his past performance is VERY important.

    As for grad students- why not blame the student? IOW why can’t it be the students were not up to the task? Or perhaps the students realized, as I did, that being a scientist really stinks because of all the extraneous nonsensical BS that comes with the job.

    Do you have a link that shows what each astronomer brought in?

    Do you have anything to say about the floowing?:

    Yet in 2006, the year he was up for tenure, Gonzalez published more total articles than all other tenured ISU astronomers. Moreover, Dr. Gonzalez has more per-capita citations in science journals and per-capita scientific publications than any other tenured astronomer at ISU since 2001, the year he joined ISU. In other words, Gonzalez outperformed the very astronomers that voted against his tenure, negating any basis for their complaining about the “trend” of his research while at ISU.

    Then you demonstrate you don’t know anything about ID nor the anti-ID position:

    Science is a well-defined process. A scientific theory must explain the available objective evidence, it must have predictive power, and it must be falsifiable. When contrary evidence is found, a scientific theory must be modified or abandoned. The view of the ISU faculty, among many other science organizations, is that Intelligent Design does not meet these criteria.

    Tell us what predictions the anti-ID materialistic position makes. I know the only way to falsify the anti-ID materialistic position, in the minds of the anti-IDists, is to have a sit-down meeting with the designer(s). IOW they are not interested in science. And they are most likely clueless to the fact that their position is nothing more than sheer dumb luck.

    I know that Gonzalez has made several predictions based on the design inference. IOW the view of anti-IDists is blocked because their heads are up their butts.

    And you seem to think that arguing from ignorance is a good thing.

    Intelligent Design: The Design Hypothesis

  46. MacT

    Have you ever heard the phrase “conflict of interest”? The company you set up, as you admitted, is closely related to the research you do at the university. This is a clear conflict of interest. It puts you in the position of considering your vested interest in the company against the interests of the university.

    Say you make some amazing discovery that has commercial potential in it and that potential is greater if the company can protect it through intellectual property law (copyright, patent) or trade secret. Do you write up your discovery and give it to the university (who rightly deserves it since they pay your salary and provide you the resources to conduct the research) or do you keep it from the university so your company can exploit it for commercial gain?

    I’d not only not vote for your tenure I’d terminate your employment at the university for engaging in such an egregious conflict of interest.

  47. Maya

    Gonzalez’ publication record since he joined ISU exceeds any other ISU astronomer, tenured or not, and he accomplished that feat with just a tiny fraction of the financial resources consumed by his peers. He deserves a medal for producing more with fewer resources and should be held up as a model of efficiency for his peers to emulate. Perhaps the problem is he is so good at what he does that it makes others look bad. Making others look bad is never a good thing when those others are in a position to stop it.

  48. Maya

    ID predicts that no evolution of complex structures will occur by chance & necessity within the temporal and geographical constraints imposed by the earth due to the statistical improbabilities involved. This prediction appears to have been confirmed by the observation of P.falciparum over the last 50 years during which time it replicated billions of trillions of times, which represents more opportunities for mutation than the entire sequence of reptile-to-mammal evolution, and nothing beyond trivial changes were observed. Indeed what was observed was exactly what ID predicted – nothing new that goes beyond a few chained interdependent nucleotides.

    Given that observation we are expected to believe that the same evolutionary mechanisms operating in reptiles with orders of magnitude fewer opportunies for heritable change to occur resulted in a plethora of extremely complex structures that differentiate reptiles from mammals. Non sequitur.

    ID can be falsified by the observation of a single complex structure built by mechanisms of chance & necessity. The observation of P.falciparum was an opportunity for the falsification of ID yet all it did was confirm an ID prediction. I understand that evolutinary theory based on chance & necessity does not require evolution to occur in any given instance. A theory that explains both progressive evolution and no progressive evolution without any method of predicting which it will be in any given case has no predictive power at all. Chance & necessity can’t predict anything. A theory that explains everything explains nothing.

  49. Conflict of interest? I presume, Dave, that you don’t work in academia. It depends, of course, on the university, but quite often spinoffs, with university employees, based on university research is encouraged. For two examples, google up Southwest Nanotechnology or RTek Medical Systems. Closer to home, you might consider
    http://www.uthscsa.edu/hscnews.....newID=2091

  50. Then there’s the confirmed predictions related to junk DNA, the predictions about designer drugs, the predictions specific to ID-compatible hypotheses such as front-loading…but, yes, as Dave says the predictions related to the observed capabilities of Darwinian mechanisms is the most important factor.

    People who don’t understand ID also fail to comprehend that the core of ID is limited in scope. The majority of predictions would be made by ID-compatible hypotheses, and they may conflict, although there are some predictions that will be the same with the core of ID and all ID-compatible hypotheses. As evidence is gathered some of these ID-compatible hypotheses will be falsified. But so far there is no positive evidence that falsifies the core of ID.

    If you object to this distinction consider that “Darwinism” (and I use that term instead of “evolutionary biology” since aspects of the scientific field may be correct, and are often regarded as correct by ID proponents) at its core is about unguided, unintelligent mechanisms being capable of producing life as we know it. There are multiple hypotheses compatible with this core. The originals hypothesized by Lamarck, Darwin, and others have been falsified. And many would agree that the modern synthesis of the 1930s has been falsified as well. The question is, what hypothesis will be the replacement.

  51. DaveScot,

    “Have you ever heard the phrase “conflict of interest”? The company you set up, as you admitted, is closely related to the research you do at the university. This is a clear conflict of interest.”

    No, it most assuredly is not conflict of interest.

    I assume you have never worked in academia and simply don’t know what you are talking about.

    It’s part of my job description to identify innovations that have commercial potential, and to take steps to exploit them if I can. The university has an entire department of business development and IP experts (and a few lawyers) who are there to help me, and others who have the chance to deliver some of their research into useful applications with commercial value. It would be a conflict of interest only if I attempted to hide the work from the university.

    This is very common in universities.

    Anything I invent/write/market while I’m employed by the university belongs nearly 100% to the university (I have a small, no, miniscule financial interest, but the university wants to keep inventors incentivized). If my company succeeds, I get an enormous amount of satisfaction, and a little money. The university will get an enormous amount of money.

    Universities are full of potentially useful inventions. To make an invention available to help people with medical problems, we must go into commercial development, which takes money, quality control, and rigorous regulatory compliance that a university isn’t equipped to do.

    In light of your comments to me, I think I see how you could get the wrong end of the academic stick regarding GG’s publication record. You repeat the DI claim about GG having more publications than other academics. It’s not about quantity. On any measure, his output while at ISU was meager. His grant history was, if anything, even worse. He would have had a tough time getting tenure with that record almost anywhere.

  52. The relevance of grant money to tenure is debatable. What is not debatable is the bias against ID and intolerance of academic freedom on display in the emails. This information may be of interest to the taxpayers who support the university.

  53. Allanius,

    If the Astronomy Department at ISU stopped bringing in grant money tomorrow, it would be shut down by next week. The funding model that has evolved to support our universities depends heavily on grant funding. If I get a $500,000 grant to do new research on the causes of, say, Alzheimer’s disease, about half of that grant goes to pay overhead costs (administration, cleaning, utilities, etc). State legislatures have cottoned on to this, and have gradually withdrawn core funding, leaving institutions no choice but to succeed in obtaining grant funding or starve.

    The relevance of grant money to tenure is NOT debatable. It is not the only factor, but it is profound.

  54. I am taken aback that a professor such as Maya would resort to name calling in defense of this controversy. I asked whether Mr. Gonzalez had comparable referred print publications, grant revenue, and doctoral graduates within ISU. From what I have seen on this blog, he has not only met the comparison but exceeded those within his department. Then Maya blasts away stating that since he is a proponent of ID and since ID is not science then he should not be given tenure. Isnt this the same kind of name calling and mud slinging that Mr. Gonzalez is accusing his boss and peers of?

    Where is the proof first that ID is not science and second, why being a proponent of ID should be the sole factor of whether a man gets tenure?

    Further, should any non-fashionable belief or theory be the sole arbitor of whether someone is ‘doing science?’ Would we throw Isaac Newton out the door since he was obsessed with Alchemy and Theology while, hey, by the way, discovering modern physics and mathematics? Admittedly a huge leap for an analogy, but I am trying to make a point. :)

  55. I asked whether Mr. Gonzalez had comparable referred print publications, grant revenue, and doctoral graduates within ISU. From what I have seen on this blog, he has not only met the comparison but exceeded those within his department.

    I think the opposite is actually true; he doesn’t appear to generated sufficient grant revenue, it’s reported that only one grad student he was responsible for has actually graduated, and the cite numbers cited by Evolution News are highly suspect. If you peruse the NASA ADS database, you’ll quickly see that many of the papers they credit him for while at ISU actually list his affiliation with the University of Washington.

    Regardless of our sympathy for his current fate, it does appear that ISU has every reason to deny him tenure. We should be very careful in blindly supporting his case and the references to his normalized cite count should reflect his work at ISU. ISU expected the same (better, really) level of work from him that he exhibited at his previous positions and it’s clear that this was not the case.

  56. kairosfocus [36],

    That is, Gonzalez is the canary in the mine, and he is fluttering and panting.

    That is, bar none, the funniest thing you’ve ever written. Mountains out of molehills, anyone?

    -”Breathe, little Guillermo, breathe!”

    –”wh– who are you? Are you my angel Clarence? You don’t look like a coal miner.”

    [Bad to the Bone plays in background]

    –”I’m Ben Stein, and I’ve come to rescue you”

    –”Why are you dressed like a British schoolboy?”

    Is there anything that won’t point toward our impending doom?

    Is this where we want our Civilisation to go?

    Guess not.

  57. pwieland,

    Don’t get me wrong, I am just as upset as a lot of people in this thread on seeing Prof. Gonzalez treated this way.

    However, I have come to the following conclusion based on the exchanges I’ve read here thus far :

    1) Insofar as QUALITY OF RESEARCH is concerned, ISU does NOT have a good case against Gonzalez.

    The quantity and quality of his work, plus peered reviewed citations EXCEED those of his colleagues.

    Hence, if the tenure decision were based solely on this criteria, ISU’s case is weak and Gonzalez’s is strong.

    Having said that, I believe this other factor comes into play :

    2) ABILITY TO GENERATE RESEARCH GRANT MONEY.

    Here is where Maya (assuming her facts are right ) has a point.

    If the average ISU Physics faculty are able to generate $1.3 M in research grant money and Gonzalez generates what looks like less then 5% of that amount, then ISU has grounds to NOT grant him tenure if this criteria is important for tenure.

    Hence the issue of ability to generate grant money is Gonzalez’s weakest point.

    Had some rich patron of ID supported Gonzalez with say, a million dollars in grant, Gonzalez’s case would have been stronger. Unfortunately, such is not the case.

  58. Had some rich patron of ID supported Gonzalez with say, a million dollars in grant, Gonzalez’s case would have been stronger. Unfortunately, such is not the case.

    Now *that* would have been an interesting dilemma for the ISU astronomy faculty. But it didn’t happen, and I expect the appeal to be turned down and, if there is a lawsuit filed, I doubt it will succeed. As others have said, even if there was some discriminatory language against GG for his pursuit of ID, there are clearly still enough grounds for ISU to deny him tenure.

  59. If the ability to gather money is such a priority in academia why have an astronomy department?

    If so, the rational thing to do would be to take the astronomy department’s funding and give it to the football team.

  60. Was Maya banned or did she tuck tail and run?

    All I wanted was at least ONE prediction made by the anti-ID materialistic position.

    Oops I also wanted the evidence that demonstrated the 1.3 million was real:

    Do you have a link that shows what each astronomer brought in? (comment 46)

    And does anyone have the actual figure for grant money that Gonzalez brought in? All I have seen so far amounts to nothing but speculation.

    One more thing- if it is just about grant money then the Discovery Institute should step up to the plate and give GG a big grant.

  61. [...] the jury’s out till there’s some solid evidence in support of ID. LOL! “Halt! Who… Joseph: Was Maya banned or did she tuck tail and run? All I wanted was at least ONE prediction made by the [...]

  62. Was Maya banned or did she tuck tail and run?

    I just checked and Maya was neither banned nor is she on the moderation list.

  63. Thanks Patrick

    Perhaps I rushed to judgement when I said that she “tuck tail and run”.

    However I do understand that it will take quite a bit if time to furnish one prediction made by the anti-ID materialistic position.

    To see what the design inference predicts, with respect to Gonzalez, one just has to read “The Privileged Planet”.

  64. Oops I also wanted the evidence that demonstrated the 1.3 million was real:

    Do you have a link that shows what each astronomer brought in? (comment 46)

    Source

    The linked article doesn’t list what the other faculty pulled in for grants, but it does state the average for the department. I think Mr. Luskin is sharp enough to have picked up on that information if it wasn’t accurate. I do question his ability to accurately describe the funding needs of astronomy programs though. I really don’t think he knows what he’s talking about, research is expensive and that is reflected in the grants that his peers have received.

    Also of interest is Professor Gonzalez’s admission:

    But Gonzalez said during his interview with The Tribune last summer that he was told, beginning with his three-year tenure review in 2004, that he needed to bring in more research funding. He added he heard the same message in reviews every year since, as well.

    He knew for years that he wasn’t performing up to snuff in that area and it was an ongoing concern for his tenure review.

    I’ll say it again, we should be careful in our support of Gonzalez as there is ample evidence that he didn’t meet the requirements for acquiring tenure. This has the potential of being another huge letdown for ID, just like the Dover decision was.

  65. Joseph wrote:
    “Was Maya banned or did she tuck tail and run?”

    Neither. She is a grad student and has been studying and working. Oh yes, and referring to herself in the third person.

    pwieland wrote:
    “I am taken aback that a professor such as Maya would resort to name calling in defense of this controversy.”

    Thanks for the promotion, but I am still a lowly grad student. I would like you to point out exactly where I resorted to name calling, though, please. As far as I remember, I have done no such thing.

  66. Ms. Maya,
    If you don’t mind me asking, what is your particular field of study?

  67. Maya,

    One has to be an extreme state of denial to say that ID is not science. First of all it is very hard to define just what science is but ID uses all the tools of modern science and does make predictions.

    Use what ever criteria you want for science and ID will fit in to that criteria. We believe it fits in better than the current paradigm of evolutionary biology which is neo Darwinism which is one of story telling and creating likely scenarios.

    This sounds more like the IBM commercials appearing on the recent football games spoofing someone call Ideation Man. Now I do not know what field your work is in but what criteria that is being used in your field could be applied to ID.

    And to say that someone who wrote a textbook in the field is not fit as an educator is one of the more absurd accusations yet. I would wonder about the credibility and sincerity of someone who said that.

  68. DLH wrote
    “For the relative importance of Gonzalez’s work, compare Gonzalez’s citations against all others within his own department (not other departments). See:

    Guillermo Gonzalez Has Highest Normalized Citation Count among ISU Astronomers for Publications Since 2001″

    Many of the papers published in 2001 and 2002 are based on work done by Gonzalez at his previous place of employment. The ISU tenure decision is based only on what he accomplished while at ISU. Seven refereed papers total for 2004, 2005, and 2006 is not impressive output.

    “Gonzales also had the second highest life time citation record in his department.”

    Again, only the work done at ISU, including whether or not that work indicates that he will be productive in the future, counts toward the tenure decision.

  69. Joseph wrote:
    “To get a grant you have to account for the money. Perhaps Gonzalez isn’t as good of a liar as some others are.”

    That’s a very serious claim to make about a group of working scientists. Do you have any evidence that the faculty of the ISU astronomy department are liars?

    As for grad students- why not blame the student? IOW why can’t it be the students were not up to the task? Or perhaps the students realized, as I did, that being a scientist really stinks because of all the extraneous nonsensical BS that comes with the job.

    And yet, the students being advised by other faculty members did complete their doctoral work in the usual timeframes.

    “Do you have anything to say about the floowing?:
    Yet in 2006, the year he was up for tenure, Gonzalez published more total articles than all other tenured ISU astronomers.”

    That claim is not supported by the evidence. The summary of Gonzalez output shows only three papers published in refereed journals in 2006.

  70. DaveScot wrote:
    “ID predicts that no evolution of complex structures will occur by chance & necessity within the temporal and geographical constraints imposed by the earth due to the statistical improbabilities involved.

    What is the ID theory that predicts this? The reason I ask is the following statement from a senior member of the Discovery Institute, Paul Nelson:

    “Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a problem.”

    DaveScot continues:
    “ID can be falsified by the observation of a single complex structure built by mechanisms of chance & necessity.”

    What, exactly, constitutes a “complex structure”? Michael Behe has admitted that a new viral protein-viral protein binding site has evolved in HIV. This resulted in new function (an ion channel), a form of complexity that Behe claimed was beyond the “Edge of Evolution”. That falsifies your prediction.

    DaveScot continues again:
    “This prediction appears to have been confirmed by the observation of P.falciparum over the last 50 years during which time it replicated billions of trillions of times, which represents more opportunities for mutation than the entire sequence of reptile-to-mammal evolution, and nothing beyond trivial changes were observed.”

    Could you please provide a cite with more details? For example, how was this experiment performed? By whom? what selection pressures were the populations subjected to? What calculations support the claim of “more opportunities for mutation than the entire sequence of reptile-to-mammal evolution”?

  71. jerry wrote:
    “One has to be an extreme state of denial to say that ID is not science. First of all it is very hard to define just what science is but ID uses all the tools of modern science and does make predictions.”

    Where, then, is the theory? Paul Nelson doesn’t think there is one. Where is the evidence that E. O. Wilson asks for? The easiest way to silence the ID critics is to state the theory clearly, show how it explains the evidence better than the alternatives, make the falsifiable predictions, and do the experiments to test those predictions.

    jerry continues:
    “Use what ever criteria you want for science and ID will fit in to that criteria.”

    That’s not the case, according to Michael Behe. In Dover he admitted, under oath, that a definition of science that included ID would also include astrology. Is Behe incorrect?

  72. Good for you Maya.

    Now how about ONE prediction made from the anti-ID materialistic position.

    To SailorMon-

    Thanks but the Dover fiasco didn’t do anything to ID. It was obvious that ID wasn’t on trial and ID wasn’t ruled against.

    The only letdown was that the judge never heard a word about ID. He obviously has selective hearing- as does the ACLU and all anti-IDists.

    I would also bet that Gonzalez is a better scientist than any other in his department. I say that because anyone who thinks that sheer dumb luck (the anti-ID materialistic position) is scientific is a whack-job.

  73. What, exactly, constitutes a “complex structure”? Michael Behe has admitted that a new viral protein-viral protein binding site has evolved in HIV. This resulted in new function (an ion channel), a form of complexity that Behe claimed was beyond the “Edge of Evolution”. That falsifies your prediction.

    What the…did you even read what Behe wrote? He clearly said, “I explicitly pointed out in Chapter 8 of The Edge of Evolution that HIV had undergone enough mutating in past decades to form all possible viral-viral binding sites, but commented that apparently none of them had been helpful (now I know that one of them helped).” As in, this example was fully expected to be within the limitations of Darwinian mechanisms but when writing the book Behe was not aware of the example. Never mind that the discussion surrounding HIV was a small portion of the book. Why can’t you people understand that simple fact; or would that require you to actually read what Behe is saying instead of regurgitating the same crud I see all the time. It’s obvious at this point you have nothing left to say, so you’re just lashing out with the usual talking points that are distortions of the real issues. Adios!

  74. If Maya is banned then that is unfortunate. It would be better to take all her objections and discuss them with her as opposed to letting her leave a series of one liners and then being banned.

  75. Maya,

    What one person says does not represent what others believe especially in a brand new discipline. We should have Paul come here to discuss his comments rather than have you quote one individual.

    There are some obvious implications of ID versus the current paradigm. For example, one substantial difference between ID and neo Darwinism is that ID predicts a lot of life will be a top down phenomena as opposed to a bottom up phenomena as predicted by neo Darwinism. ID does not deny neo Darwinism or say that neo Darwinism does not work but only that it is limited. So that any speciation or variations will either be a more limited genome or if there are expansions to the genome it will be trivial in terms of evolutionary biology and the species will essentially be the same.

    For example, canidae is supposed to be around for 40 million years. That is plenty of time for lots of novelty to develop and also lots of time for the genome to splinter off by loss of function in the genome. To the point that we have breeds of dogs selected artificially that have much narrower genomes than the current grey wolf but can actually breed with the grey wolf. Are the various species outside of artificially selected dogs in the canidae family examples of increased function in the genomes or are they result of loss of function in the genome as natural selection and genetic drift eliminate variation in the various populations. ID would predict the later while neo Darwinism would predict the former. So an ID research program would investigate which of these hypotheses is most consistent with the data.

    So ID research is going on now in evolutionary biology. It is just that if one stated these objectives the research would be killed and the researcher banished. However, if the researcher just said he or she was investigating the range of variations in the genomes of various canidae they would be able to do their research until they did the all important review under an ID or neo Darwinism alternative at which time they would be attacked and their funds withdrawn as not doing science.

    So there is lots of ID research going on now. It is just not labeled as such.

  76. Maya,

    you said,

    “That’s not the case, according to Michael Behe. In Dover he admitted, under oath, that a definition of science that included ID would also include astrology. Is Behe incorrect?”

    The fact that you used this quote without consulting what Behe meant by it demonstrate an insincerity or naivety. It is absurd to think that Behe considers astrology as science today but in the middle ages and somewhat later it was taken very seriously and it eventually merged with astronomy, another science of its day which turned out to be more valid. Through the ages people formed all sorts of theories and explored them systematically and some of them were nonsense and some of them proved very fruitful but the process was scientific. Here is a quote from Wikipedia

    “Astrology and astronomy were often indistinguishable before the modern era, with the desire for predictive and divinatory knowledge one of the primary motivating factors for astronomical observation. Astronomy began to diverge from astrology after a period of gradual separation from the Renaissance up until the 18th century.”

    Alchemy which many also consider a pseudoscience led to chemistry and nuclear physics proved alchemy was justified because all the elements are made from other elements except for hydrogen. It just requires a super nova for most but even on earth we have some elements deteriorating into others.

    So go back to the well and see what else you can come up with.

  77. I take it that Maya will not produce even ONE prediction borne from the anti-ID materialistic position.

    Thank you Maya for demonstrating, by your silence on this, that the anti-ID materialistic position is isolated from predictive power and therefore also isolated from testability.

    IOW it ain’t scientific.

  78. Wasn’t Maya banned?

  79. Oops, I missed Patrick’s comment saying “adios”.

    It’s too bad because now she can act like some kind of martyr, run to all the anti-ID sites and say she was banned because she was handing it to us but we just could not take it.

    It is very telling that in almost 150 years the best evos can come up with is ONE new protein-to-protein binding site. And that isn’t even in a living organism…

  80. That’s exactly what she’s claiming.

    It would be better to take all her objections and discuss them

    That would be worth doing if it wasn’t the same set of objections that keep popping up every couple weeks (or even days) and then are shot down. As a moderator on UD I have to read EVERYTHING and quite frankly her objections were a waste of time. I swear these people have a list of objections they’re copying and pasting. The funny thing is, I verbally commented to a friend that she’d probably make several different objections after being banned…and that’s exactly what she wrote. We have google. There is no excuse. She can look in the archives for her commonly refuted objections. On top of that, the “quality” of her objections were about the same as John Kwok on Amazon; as in, intellectually dishonest. So overall I didn’t see a point in keeping her around.

    BTW, if a previously banned person tries to post information that is new and/or relevant I will let that through. Ignoring new evidence due to the source would be a folly. But, as I said all I was seeing from Maya was commonly refuted arguments.

  81. And who says that IDists can’t make predictions!

    I made 2:

    1- Maya, nor any other anti-IDist, would put forth a prediction based on their anti-ID materialistic position

    2- Maya would claim victory even when it is obvious she is clue-less.

    everybody join in:

    Nahnahnah nah, nahnahnah nah, heyheyhey good bye…

    c-ya wouldn’t want to b-ya

  82. Maya may be banned here, but she’s calling Patrick out:

    http://groups.google.com/group.....72f0dc0bf1

    She’s got a point — are any of you willing to debate with her in a venue where neither of you can censor the other?

    Cue the High Plains Drifter soundtrack….

  83. Thanks but the Dover fiasco didn’t do anything to ID. It was obvious that ID wasn’t on trial and ID wasn’t ruled against.

    The only letdown was that the judge never heard a word about ID. He obviously has selective hearing- as does the ACLU and all anti-IDists.

    Maybe you’re thinking of another Dover trial?

    I would also bet that Gonzalez is a better scientist than any other in his department. I say that because anyone who thinks that sheer dumb luck (the anti-ID materialistic position) is scientific is a whack-job.

    Then why bother at all with trying to appeal his tenure denial?

    Some of the comments on this blog regarding his peers at ISU are incredibly vicious and petty. If the consensus here is that his co-workers are such lying idiots, why would he even WANT to accept a tenured position?

    It’s depressing to see this blog, which should be a shining beacon of truth, turned into a playground for vindictive and petty thugs.

    Yes, Joseph, I’m talking about you.

  84. dcost,

    I’m not interested in debating Maya, especially if it’s over commonly refuted arguments she can find with google’s “searchterm site:www.uncommondescent.com”. If anyone else wants to that is up to them.

    Maya claims:

    Do you realize how poorly this reflects on the quality of your arguments? You have to resort to censoring a grad student because your claims cannot stand up to even minimal scrutiny.

    I publicly challenge Patrick and any other Uncommon Descent moderators
    or posters to defend their claims in a neutral venue. I suggest the
    talk.origins Usenet newsgroup

    I think it odd she even considers TO “neutral”. I certainly don’t have the gall to claim that of UD, which prominently displays its purpose in the top-right corner.

    The problem is not that ID cannot stand up to scrutiny. The problem is that her objections have been phrased by others many times in the past and answered aplenty. As I already said “if a previously banned person tries to post information that is new and/or relevant I will let that through.” Several other Darwinists has made the exact same assertion she did: that the HIV example somehow defeats the main argument in Edge of Evolution. These Darwinists have asserted, but they have yet to explain why this assertion is true even when asked to. If Maya wants to attempt it that would be great. If she begins to make positive contributions to UD I may even lift her ban.

  85. “I think it odd she even considers TO “neutral”.”

    It’s neutral in the sense that anyone can post there and no one can prevent another party in the discussion from participating.

    “The problem is not that ID cannot stand up to scrutiny. The problem is that her objections have been phrased by others many times in the past and answered aplenty.”

    That should make it very easy for you to counter her arguments.

  86. Actually, TO and PT moderate as well and have banned ID proponents, so I fail to see how it’s neutral in that sense, either. But that’s beside the point. The main issue is that Maya was not making any positive contribution to the discussion on UD. Instead she was parroting talking points that I’ve seen phrased by many Darwinists. Talking points that are unfortunate distortions of the issues as Jerry showed in comment #77. How many times must these type of objections be answered?

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/comment-policy/

    Now moderation on UD is very subjective. I consider myself to have been a “noncommittal Darwinist” at one point. As in, I believed it due to the education system asserting it, and not because I strongly supported it, which is probably the case of many ID proponents on UD. I understand that many people will come to UD as a Darwinist and they have questions that will be very common. So I’m forced to judge intent. Is this person honestly interested in discussing ID (and is unintentionally raising objections that have been answered, without realizing it) or is this person incapable of having reasonable discourse? I judged Maya to be the latter. I DO read all comments in the moderation queue, so she’s free to try and prove me wrong that she’s incapable of such.

    BTW, that is how “I” see things. Bill, Denyse, Dave, etc. probably have their own views on the best moderation practices. It’s not something we’ve discussed all too much, although if I’m uncertain about something I’ll forward it to Bill. But I can objectively say that I’m probably the most lenient moderator on UD, so if you manage to raise my ire you probably deserve it.

  87. Hi Patrick:

    On a site structure note . . .

    In re 87 [HT CS]:

    The main issue is that Maya was not making any positive contribution to the discussion on UD. Instead she was parroting talking points that I’ve seen phrased by many Darwinists . . . . I understand that many people will come to UD as a Darwinist and they have questions that will be very common.

    IMO, this underscores the need for an ID FAQ and forum, as part of that still upcoming resources section — and with prominent links on the facing page. Maybe, a link to the IDEA centre site with its FAQ’s and primers? [NB: I am having a web page access problem so I can't actually load these pages though they come up in Google -- yahoo I can't get just now either. Oh, the joys of living in paradise . . . at least, I can just walk down to a beach and watch the moon and stars and waters.]

    Just a thought . . .

    GEM of TKI

  88. “Actually, TO and PT moderate as well and have banned ID proponents, so I fail to see how it’s neutral in that sense, either.”

    I never suggested PT, nor did Maya in her challenge to you. Talk.origins has a robo-moderator that merely prevents cross-posting to too many groups (five, I believe).

    “The main issue is that Maya was not making any positive contribution to the discussion on UD. Instead she was parroting talking points that I’ve seen phrased by many Darwinists.”

    From an outsider’s perspective, pointed here by someone who does follow the ID movement fairly closely, it looked like Maya was making good points. If any of her arguments have already been addressed, it would be a simple matter to provide a reference to the refutation.

    Banning her for polite, and rather moderate, disagreement does give every impression that this blog, and by extension ID supporters, cannot withstand rational, evidence-based criticism. Refusing to accept Maya’s challenge to discuss the issue in a neutral venue reinforces this impression.

    Maya’s challenge was to any moderator and ID supporter here. It looks like a great opportunity to get your refutations of her arguments into a public forum once and for all. Is no one here willing or able to meet the challenge of a mere grad student?

  89. A footnote or two:

    First, I note that the basic rhetorical pattern of refusal to address the actual issue of injustice has continued right to the end of the thread. GAW’s remark at 57 is sadly telling: Mountains out of molehills, anyone? [No surprise to see he was subsequently banned.]

    That is telling, especially when we see the putting up of a whitewash in the face of clear evidence that the tenure process was simply tainted from even before it began.

    1] On topic: GG tenure case

    ENV has a useful summary on the case here.

    Key points — follow the link for details — include:

    # Eli Rosenberg, Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, instructed other voting faculty in Dr. Gonzalez’s tenure file that his support for ID as science is a litmus test that “disqualifies him from serving as a science educator.”

    # John Hauptman, an ISU physicist, explicitly admitted that he voted against Dr. Gonzalez’s tenure because “Intelligent design is not even a theory.” He further said, “I participated in the initial vote and voted no, based on this fundamental question: What is science?”

    # In secret e-mails recently released, other faculty prejudged Gonzalez’s tenure case a year before the official tenure deliberation process began. It is noteworthy that in these e-mails, the faculty were only complaining about Dr. Gonzalez’s support for intelligent design—they were NOT complaining about his academic track record . . . .

    In other words, various ISU faculty prejudged Dr. Gonzalez’s tenure case long before they even started to look at Gonzalez’s academic accomplishments, and in fact they admitted they would hold him to a higher standard than otherwise due to his support for ID . . . . # Had Dr. Gonzalez been denied tenure after receiving a fair hearing, perhaps there would be no grounds for complaint. But this evidence shows that without question, Dr. Gonzalez was indeed not given a fair hearing.

    # Dr. Gonzalez’s department does not even consider grants as a criterion for gaining tenure. As one external reviewer observed “Dr. Gonzalez is eminently qualified for the promotion according to your guidelines of excellence in scholarship and exhibiting a potential for national distinction. In light of your criteria I would certainly recommend the promotion.” (emphasis added) So the over-focus on his department’s perception of Gonzalez’s grants is largely a red-herring and a distraction.

    In the end, grants just became the pretext for denying tenure to Dr. Gonzalez . . . . Nevermind the fact that Dr. Gonzalez has published over 350% more peer-reviewed science articles than what his department ordinarily requires for indicating the type of reputation that demonstrates research excellence.

    Clearly, we can see the playbook rule: when defending injustice — change the subject and blame the victim.

    And, by the way, the attempt to redefine science as in effect the best evolutionary materialistic explanation of the cosmos from hydrogen to humans, is historically utterly unwarranted and philosophically deeply question-begging.

    So, all the huffing and puffing that since GG wasn’t a nice little materialist he could not be a real scientist is is its own refutation.

    2] What about grants and grad students etc?

    First, on papers, it is plain that the criteria applied related to the lifetime performance. On that ground, GG far exceeded the criteria,and even on the record of papers in ISU, he also exceeded the criteria. DLH at 22 on publications is telling.

    That’s why we see the sort of external recommendation just cited.

    It is troubling indeed that a man who has pioneered a whole new area for observational Astronomy was not able to attract heavy funding and a large number of grad students. But, given the attacks made upon him, perhaps that is not so surprising.

    In short, we need to ask how well he did relative to the resources reasonably available to him and within his reasonable control — especially as we are here looking at the problem that grantmaking can easily become an instrument of control and ideologisation of science.

    For that, the answer is obvious and in his favour. Maya’s attempted denial of the facts on the record at 38, is therefore inadvertently revealing:

    The bottom line is that Gonzalez has managed to get only a few articles published in refereed journals in recent years (Publish or Perish!), he has not generated grant revenue for his department, and none of the graduate students he has been advising have completed their doctoral work, despite his having been at ISU since 2001 (the usual time to complete such work is around three years).

    Now, it would be nice to address some of this in detail, but the basic problem here is that if GG were half as bad as he is being made out to look, he would never have attracted the sort of recommendation we see above, now would he have been given the sort of favourable internal rating as a researcher [as I recall, he won a prize at ISU] nor would he have been able to publish a textbook with so prestigious a publisher. In short,this sort of statement reads like the allegations in a bad divorce case, not a reasonable record of credible facts relevant to the case.

    And, of course, this was never the issue, based on what we know from the record was going on long before the actual vote was made.

    3] Dcost, 89: it looked like Maya was making good points. If any of her arguments have already been addressed, it would be a simple matter to provide a reference to the refutation.

    First, you underscore the need for a FAQ list.

    However, there is a fundamental problem with the point you are trying to make. This can be seen from looking at:

    4] Maya, 72: The easiest way to silence the ID critics is to state the theory clearly, show how it explains the evidence better than the alternatives, make the falsifiable predictions, and do the experiments to test those predictions.

    Already done. And confirmed. And published under peer-review.

    An excellent case in point on inference to best explanation in biology on a longstanding conundrum is Meyer’s peer-reviewed article on the Cambrian Revolution — despite many dismissals, simply READ it to see its point.

    Similarly Loennig’s discussion of dynamic genomes makes a very interesting point or two.

    Minnich has been doing interesting empirical research on the flagellum for years, which came out at Dover and was duly ignored by that Judge when he rueld that such research does not exist. But, it does.

    All three may be accessed through the link on peer reviewed publications.

    In astronomy (GG’s field) the issues over finetuning are a matter of massive record. Cf my always linked Section D for a discussion.

    There’s more — simply go to the DI CSC web site and look at the collection of peer-reviewed articles there, as linked.

    In short, M has come across as someone who is denying the easily accessible evidence as it does not seem to suit her case. That will get the ire of the likes of even a Patrick.

    Onlookers, kindly cf as a start my always linked — I give this as this gives a quick run through the different domains that ID relates to.

    5] according to Michael Behe. In Dover he admitted, under oath, that a definition of science that included ID would also include astrology. Is Behe incorrect?

    This reflects a classic distortion of what Behe said, as Jerry pointed out in 77.

    More to the point, Evo mat advocates very often distort the nature of the design inference and other linked theoretical constructs. So, it is appropriate to point out Wm A D’s useful definition:

    intelligent design begins with a seemingly innocuous question: Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause? . . . Proponents of intelligent design, known as design theorists, purport to study such signs formally, rigorously, and scientifically. Intelligent design may therefore be defined as the science that studies signs of intelligence.

    In very brief summary:

    –> we know of three major causal factors, from massive experience: chance, necessity, agency.

    –> Techniques for discriminating the effects of the three are routine scientific praxis and technical praxis, e.g statistical inference, or even the basic inference that one has a signal in a world where noise exists and could in principle mimic a signal.

    –> The essence of such techniques is that one looks at the existence of contingency [which points away form nechanical necessity and associated natural regularities], then one looks for a pattern that we have a sufficiently large configuration space so that islands of observed functionality or other specification are sufficiently unlikely on the null hyp of chance that we may reasonably infer to agency.

    –> In every case where we do directly know the cause, such FSCI is the product of agency. Therefore on inference to best explanation we have good grounds to infer that even if we do not directly observe the agent in action, FSCI is a signature of agency. [Cf. my always linked Appendix 1 section 6 for a discussion of why this is so on basic principles of statistical mechanics.]

    –> In short, and in light of notorious longstanding conundrums like the origin of life, the Cambrian life revolution and the observed cosmological finetuning, which ID explains but evo mat based paradigms cannot reasonably account for, ID has significant scientific merit.

    –> However, in some cases, such inference to design points away from the assumptions of the evolutionary materialism that currently dominates much of science and associated educational institutions, the media and public policy.

    –> So, those who are committed to this worldview and associated research programmes that embed that worldview, challenge inference to design. Not at root because of evidence and explanation but because of a priori metaphysical commitments and demands.

    6] Is no one here willing or able to meet the challenge of a mere grad student?

    Great rhetorical flourish. The problem is, it is a fair observation on the above, that in reality M has been reiterating long since answered points, as thought they were brand new; then, proceed to be largely unresponsive to replies and references. That is why Patrick, a rather tolerant guy, eventually gave up on her.

    GEM of TKI

  90. [...] grounds were cited and strenuously defended (mostly by fans of materialism and Darwin). Then the e-mail trail showed that the true cause was his sympathy for intelligent design (in this case design of the [...]

  91. [...] being denied tenure at Iowa State University under scandalous circumstances and this new appointment, Gonzalez was at Grove [...]

  92. [...] being denied tenure at Iowa State University under scandalous circumstances and this new appointment, Gonzalez was at Grove [...]

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