Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez Appeals Tenure Denial to Iowa Board of Regents

Pro-intelligent design astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez is appealing his denial of tenure at Iowa State University to the Iowa State Board of Regents. Dr. Gonzalez’s first appeal was rejected by ISU President Gregory Geoffroy on May 31. On June 19, Gonzalez filed notice with the ISU President’s office that he would make a further appeal to the Board of Regents. Gonzalez’s current appeal will play out over the next couple of months as the record in the case is forwarded by the university to the Board of Regents and both Gonzalez and the university file their written arguments in the case. If Gonzalez’s denial of tenure is not overturned, he will be out of a job at the end of the Read More ›

Another Way to Defeat the ID = Creationism Meme

Darwinian logic often contends that because a given proportion of ID proponents are creationists, ID must therefore be creationism. It’s a twist on the genetic fallacy, one I like to call the Darwinist “Genesis Genetic Argument.” As noted, it implies that each and every argument made by a creationist must be equivalent to arguing for full-blooded creationism. This fallacious argument is easy to defeat on logical grounds by pointing out that some ID proponents are not creationists, and in fact have been persuaded to support ID in the absence of religion. Thus something other than creationism or religion must be fundamental to the set of views underlying ID (big hint: it’s the scientific data indicating real design in nature)! Michael Read More ›

Evolution for a Few or Evolution for Everyone? A Survey of Hypotheses about the Evolutionary Origin of Religion

Why did religion arise in the human species? Stanley Fish has a blog post at the New York Times observing that Richard Dawkins, “finds that the manufacturing and growth of religion is best described in evolutionary terms: ‘[R]eligions, like languages, evolve with sufficient randomness, from beginnings that are sufficiently arbitrary, to generate the bewildering — and sometimes dangerous — richness of diversity.’” Dawkins isn’t the only scientist who takes this kind of approach. David Sloan Wilson is getting a lot of attention these days regarding his views on the evolutionary origin of religion. Wilson is much more serious in his approach than Dawkins, but Wilson has been frank regarding how many academics view religion through an evolutionary perspective. In his Read More ›

Can Biology Textbooks Recover from Over-Praising Darwin?

They say that admitting a problem is the first step on the road to recovery. I’ll admit that I’m something of a bookaholic: I’m constantly picking up books, especially books on evolution. It’s been fascinating to read how Darwin is praised not only as the patron saint of “Western thought,” but sometimes as if he invented sliced bread and cupholders in cars. For example, Douglas Futuyma’s textbook Evolutionary Biology stated that “it was Darwin’s theory of evolution … that provided a crucial plank to the platform of mechanism and materialism–in short, to much of science–that has since been the stage of most Western thought.” John Dupré rejoices that “Darwin’s theory provides the last major piece in the articulation of a Read More ›

Pro-Darwin Biology Professor Laments Academia’s “Intolerance” and Supports Teaching Intelligent Design

Charles Darwin famously said, “A fair result can be obtained only by fully balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.” According to a recent article by J. Scott Turner, a pro-Darwin biology professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York, modern Neo-Darwinists are failing to heed Darwin’s advice. (We blogged about a similar article by Turner in The Chronicle of Higher Education in January, 2007.) Turner is up front with his skepticism of intelligent design (ID), which will hopefully allow his criticisms to strike a chord with other Darwinists. Turner starts by observing that the real threat to education today is not ID itself, but the attitude of scientists towards ID: Read More ›