So, I've been catching up on what my old pals at the Discovery Institute, the last bastion of Creationism, are up to these days. Apparently there is not one, but three major imbroglios on the Creationism-Evolution front, and I've missed all of them. For those of you who don't follow this stuff (or don't care), here's the thirty second version:
* Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez, of the Astronomy faculty of Iowa State University, and a supporter of Intelligent Design, was denied tenure during his review, causing the Discover Institute to blame bias against Intelligent Design. Not so, claims the Chronicle of Higher Education
, a claim discussed more in depth by others
. The long and short of it is that while Dr. Gonzalez has a good publication record, almost all of his publications were done before
he entered his current position, and thus are not applicable toward a tenure hearing. Furthermore, he has seemed incapable of securing telescope time or funding, both necessary pieces of the tenure race. And the fact that ISU has since been bombarded by a letter-writing campaign makes it unlikely that anybody else will hire him in the future.
* To make matters worse, the Discovery Institute has discovered that another professor, an atheist, has recently been promoted to full professor at ISU. Clearly seeing that if an atheist can be promoted, and in the Religious Studies department no less, while an ID supporter is denied tenure in the Astronomy department, the entire University must be prejudiced, the DI swings to the attack. Professor Hector Avalos, who has no connection to Dr. Gonzalez's tenure qualifications decides that he doesn't want to be a punching bag, and comes out swinging
. Fighting continues below in the comments, as William Dembski of the DI attempts to compare apples and oranges by assuming that the requirements for promotion of an already tenured professor in the Religious Studies department must be the same as those for obtaining tenure as a Professor of Astronomy. Things get further muddled as various people accuse Prof. Avalos of clairvoyance (deliberately publishing something that would prejudice professors against Dr. Gonzalez several years before Gonzalez was hired), and of starting a "witch-hunt" by circulating a petition against Intelligent Design in the University. Critics point out that a petition to declare Intelligent Design as not-Science is perfectly reasonable, true, and, most importantly, totally irrelevant to Dr. Gonzalez's inability to get any telescope time.
* The case against the University of California has finally gone to court. The Association of Christian Schools, International, is suing, claiming the the UCs are discriminating against their students at admission time. The UCs respond by pointing out that the textbooks involved in the disputed science classes do not fulfill the requirements necessary to count as science classes that would prepare you for a UC (specifically, they are filled with hooey). The ASCI claims they have a constitutional right to teach bad science, and that the UCs should accommodate that. After all, the students learned something. The Regents aren't buying it. You can read more about that kerfluffle, and Behe's brief appearance in it, here
* And the new Creation Museum in Kentucky opened its doors, resulting a wash of criticism, and people laughing too hard to breathe. Complete blog coverage can be found here
It's been an interesting couple of weeks. We'll have to see how this pans out.