A Reply to Carl Zimmer on Embryology and Developmental Biology

I recently read Carl Zimmer’s response to my critique of his November, 2006 article in National Geographic. In this post I will discuss Zimmer’s response to me regarding embryology and developmental biology. The embryonic hourglass is the idea that vertebrate embryos (like those of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) start off developing very differently, converge with some similarities at the pharyngular stage, and then again diverge. I stated in my original article that “vertebrate embryos start off quite differently,” but that “Zimmer’s diagram selectively displays embryos from the encircled stage where they are most similar.” The implication is that this falsifies the idea that evolution proceeds by tacking on new stages of development because these vertebrate groups start off Read More ›

Iowa State Avoids Key Question in Gonzalez Tenure Case

Iowa State’s spin is conspicuous for its avoidance of what should be a central question in the Gonzalez case, namely: Given the poisoned atmosphere regarding intelligent design on the ISU campus, what specific steps did the ISU administration take to ensure that Prof. Gonzalez was treated fairly during the evaluation and promotion process?

Intellectual Insecurity at Iowa State?

Following his May 16 piece, Lawrence Selden has more incisive commentary on the Guillermo Gonzalez denial of tenure scandal at Iowa State University: Is the faculty at Iowa State University intellectually insecure? The statement of two years ago signed by 120 members of the faculty perhaps suggests that, especially when compared with the actions of other schools and faculties. I wonder if they are afraid that others will think they are backward country bumpkins for allowing someone who is interested in exploring intelligent design on the faculty. Harvard University is not ashamed of Owen Gingerich, who had this to say about Gonzalez’ book The Privileged Planet:

Darwinists Spread Misinformation about Guillermo Gonzalez’s Denial of Tenure

All too predictably, during the past week various Darwinists have been trying to divert attention away from the Guillermo Gonzalez tenure case through a campaign of misinformation about both Dr. Gonzalez and intelligent design. Whether they do so knowingly–as a calculated attempt to defame Gonzalez and smear his professional record–or through ignorance isn’t always clear. Either way, the truth about Dr. Gonzalez’s work and achievements is readily available. (A great place to start is the Biosketch of Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez, Astronomer and Asst. Professor at Iowa State University.) Let’s take a look at some of the false facts being tossed around. False Fact #1: Dr. Gonzalez’s Work is about Intelligent Design in Biology. One commenter on Ed Brayton’s blog said, Read More ›