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  Topic: The DI's latest martyr:  Guillermo Gonzalez< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Arden Chatfield

Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 24 2007,16:03   

Quote (heddle @ May 24 2007,15:29)

I know what you are saying--but speaking purely theoretically, suppose:

P1) Gonzalez believes ID is science
P2) ISU believes ID is religion
P3) ISU denies tenure on the basis of Gozalez's ID

Would it then follow that it is outrageous to claim that the university based its decision on religious grounds?

I think it's an interesting question. I don't really have an opinion.

Well, that begs several questions.

P1: It seems that if GG thinks ID is science, then that would kind of clash with his statement that being anti-ID is equivalent to being anti-religion. I don't know, tho, from GG's perspective, he might think ID is both science and religion at the same time. But it's a vacuous statement anyway: if he allows that ID is science, then ISU can counter that they denied tenure to GG for (among other reasons) his scientific views. Bye bye religious discrimination claims.

P2: except that ISU has clearly stated that several levels of the administration there had multiple reasons for not tenuring GG. It's been possible to tease out several things in GG's track record that would be enough to sink any tenure-track prof: not having any of his students finish their dissertations, coasting for several years on old postdoc research, not bringing in grant money. Thus, the burden of proof is on GG to prove that none of those reasons were at play and that it's all religious discrimination. Not a task I'd envy.

Of course, if GG sticks with the ID-is-religion tactic, it makes it that much harder for others who claim that ID has nothing to do with religion, obviously. So from ID's perspective, it seems to be a rather, uh, short-sighted tactic.

Frankly, the harder I think about it, the harder it is for me to see what exactly GG & the DI hope to accomplish here. I personally think it will be quite impossible for GG to successfully claim religious discrimination, so it's hard to see how any of this will benefit GG. The only angle I can see is that it's being played up for PR purposes.

As has been pointed out many times now, the DI creating this uproar has made GG completely radioactive -- I can't imagine anyone this side of Liberty or Bob Jones picking him up now. Is that something that GG wanted?

Also, another dimension that's only been discussed a little is that it's very hard to imagine that GG didn't see this coming for several years, which makes it look like (a) GG didn't see the point in trying to rectify his situation when he could, and (b) there's something pretty disingenuous about his reaction now. In other words, maybe after Privileged Planet, he just decided to run out the clock at ISU and to deliberately cause a spectacle when ISU turned him down. Perhaps he figured being a martyr/hero to the DI looked like a pretty good option, regardless of what it did to his career.

Either way, there seem to have been several factors in GG's career at ISU that would have sunk hundreds of other profs, and so I'm not too sympathetic about the claim that GG deserves to be judged for tenure on a whole different set of rules from everyone else. As someone pointed out (you? Harbison?), tenure is best viewed as a privilege, not a right.

"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  226 replies since May 13 2007,01:37 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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