Discovery Institute Recapitulates Geraldo Rivera’s “Al Capone’s Vault”

The Discovery Institute has been engaged in a full-blown media extravaganza in building up to their press conference today to beat up on Iowa State University for their turning down astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez’s tenure application. After all that foreshadowing and build-up, what did they come up with? Some emails among ISU faculty who did discuss Gonzalez’s “intelligent design” creationism advocacy, and how it didn’t go in the plus column. Wow. That has to rank right up there with all-time great denouements like Geraldo Rivera’s live TV special, The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vault.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Data scientist in real estate and econometrics. Blogger. Speaker. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

6 thoughts on “Discovery Institute Recapitulates Geraldo Rivera’s “Al Capone’s Vault”

  • 2007/12/03 at 6:09 pm

    I imagine a scenario in which an astrologer gets hired as an astronomer (claiming astrology is a science and not in any sense religious). The individual in question devotes much time to promoting a magical view of celestial bodies, and unsurprisingly doesn’t get tenure. Then an organization of astrologers makes an accusation of discrimination because the astronomers and other scientists actually DISCUSSED the professor’s promotion of astrology, and (inexplicably) didn’t view it as a reason to make the person a permanent part of the department of astronomy.

    Why is this even an issue?!?!

  • 2007/12/03 at 10:29 pm

    Here I was thinking it might be worth it to take the day off work and make the drive from Dubuque to Des Moines to see what the DI was going to pull.

    So glad I didn’t.

    If this is the best they’ve got then I’m not worried at all. They can’t state the decision to deny tenure was religious discrimination because that would mean admitting that ID is religious. Wait a tick…now I hope they DO try that angle.

  • 2007/12/04 at 6:09 am

    Any idea when the Board of Regents is supposed to hand down it’s decision?

  • 2007/12/04 at 9:39 am

    Big shocker…some of them don’t like ID and thought Gonzalez’s acceptance of non-scientific and indeed anti-scientific notions made the university and their department a laughingstock.

    Did the DI press conference address Gonzalez’s lack of publications derived from work done at ISU? Did they address his lack of obtaining grants for work done at ISU? Did they address his lack of supervising metriculating graduate students at ISU? No?

    Obviously then Gonzalez must be a brilliant and qualified astronomer who only failed to get tenure by being persecuted for his religious beliefs, although of course ID has nothing to do with religion.

  • 2007/12/04 at 12:32 pm

    My understanding is February, carlsonjok. But that comes from the DI, so use a salt shaker with that. In fact, I had read in June he needed to appeal to them by the end of June, so I wonder what took so long (maybe they got an extension dur to the FOIA request?).

  • 2007/12/05 at 4:52 pm

    To answer my question, there is a non-mandatory review in the final year. By non-mandatory, it means that the departmental review committee does not have to pass up its recommendation to the next level of review (the next-to-last year is the only mandatory review) effectively ending the review process for that year. Gonzalez can appeal the decision.

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