Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Statement by Dr. Gonzalez

From a 2005 transcript:

My name is Guillermo Gonzalez. I’m an assistant professor of astronomy at Iowa State University. Also at Iowa State is an outspoken atheist and religion professor named Hector Avalos. Imagine if a Christian professor at the university began circulating a petition targeting Avalos, a petition stating that atheism is not a proper part of a religion program and that, moreover, any professor who offers scientific or philosophical evidence for atheism taints the university and, by implication, should be prevented from doing so?

Would any of you sign the petition? I would never sign it. It was Voltaire who said, “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it.” I, however, was targeted by such a petition, and it all occurred shortly before I am scheduled to come up for tenure.

Another ISU professor, John Patterson, also campaigned against me. In a letter to the Ames Tribune he pointed to a funder of Discovery Institute to argue that I was plotting to establish a theocracy. He even implied that I am linked to the Taliban.

When I was a child, my family and I fled Cuba with little more than the clothes on our backs. We came to the United States in search of freedom, so I find Patterson’s slander that I’m plotting with others to establish a totalitarian government deeply offensive.

What did I do to evoke these attacks on my career? Jay Richards and I wrote a book entitled The Privileged Planet, in which we build a case for design in the cosmos from scientific evidence, not by appeals to Scripture or some private mystical experience. Our argument is also testable. While the notion of a cosmic creator isn’t falsifiable, our particular design argument is, subject to the river of data about extrasolar planets, galaxies, and the larger universe now flowing in from scientific research. But I've never taught this design argument in the classroom, because it's too new for undergraduate astronomy students.

So I have done nothing in my role as a teacher to warrant the attacks on me. I ask only for the freedom to follow the scientific evidence where I think it leads, and to offer arguments for my conclusions in the public square.
I notice the "theocracy" card has been used against Gonzalez in the past. I don't know how many times I've been accused of supporting a Christian "theocracy" due to my support of ID. The fact is that a "theocracy" is the very last thing in the world that I would ever support. Christian or otherwise, it sounds absolutely dangerous. This is one accusation that has got to stop because it is completely off target.

This link provides information on how you can voice your support for Gonzalez and his application for tenure. You can also read more about his accomplishments.

It would be nice if the Darwin crowd would step forth and do the right thing by providing support for someone who is deserving of his tenure. Academic freedom should be something that is allowed for all, and denial of tenure will certainly be looked upon as a threat to those who support ID in the future. If this is what it takes to silence ID advocates, the science supporting Darwinism must not be strong enough to stand on it's own merit.

It is interesting that an atheist religion professor has been giving Gonzalez grief. Gosh, where have I heard that scenario before?