Muncie paper reports on Ball State’s hiring of ID advocate Guillermo Gonzalez

News flash: I’m now a member of The Darwin Lobby! Or so says the vice-president of the Discovery Institute.

Yes, that’s true, but this is only a note of unintentional humor in a rather distressing piece of news.

Seth Slabaugh at the Muncie Star Press has written a piece on the hiring of intelligent-design (ID) advocate Guillermo Gonzalez in the Physics and Astronomy Department of Ball State University (BSU) in Muncie, Indiana. This department is already under fire for hosting a science course given by professor Eric Hedin, accused of teaching intelligent design (ID) in a public university as well as pushing a Christian point of view on his students. Hedin’s course is currently under review by a committee of professors appointed by BSU’s administration.

Gonzalez, you may recall, was something of an ID cause célèbre when he was denied tenure in 2007 at Iowa State University for failing to produce adequate scholarship. Since Gonzalez was also a vociferous ID advocate, having co-authored the ID book The Privileged Planet and its accompanying video, the Discovery Institute and other backers claimed that Gonzalez was discriminated against for working on ID. But his tenure appeal was denied on the grounds of poor academic performance, and Gonzalez took an untenured position at Grove City College, a small Christian school in Pennsylvania.  As Wikipedia notes, Gonzalez is active in several venues for intelligent design:

Gonzalez was a regular contributor to Facts for Faith magazine produced by Reasons To Believe, an old earth creationist group. In addition to his work for the Discovery Institute and International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design, he is a researcher for the Biologic Institute, which is funded by the institute for research into intelligent design.

He’s also a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute.

A reader at BSU had informed me that Gonzalez’s name was down for two courses at BSU this fall, but it wasn’t clear whether he was simply doing a teaching stint or had been permanently hired at BSU, Now, according to Slabaugh’s piece in today’s paper, “Ball State hires intelligent design leader to teach astronomy“, the latter is the case.  Gonzalez is now on staff as a tenure-track faculty member at BSU:

President Jo Ann Gora approved the hiring of Guiellermo Gonzalez as an assistant professor in the department of physics and astronomy on June 12 at a salary of $57,000.

Beginning Aug. 19, Gonzalez will be teaching The Sun and Stars, as well as The Solar System, both introductory astronomy classes.

Slabaugh quotes me on this turn of events, though I’m not keen on his characterization of me as “an atheist.” Is that relevant? If so, why aren’t Hedin and Gonzalez identified by their faith as well, for surely that’s at least as relevant to their activities as to mine?

“Do you see any pattern here?” Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago, asked. “I’m wondering … why Ball State’s physics and astronomy department has a penchant for ID (intelligent design) people. This (hiring) is a very unwise move for Ball State, particularly when one of its other astronomy professors, Eric Hedin, is under investigation for teaching ID in an astronomy class. If the university wants to retain any scientific credibility, they should start hiring scientists who will teach real science and not religious apologetics.”

An atheist who claims religion and science are incompatible, Coyne is behind the investigation of Hedin. He complained about Hedin’s class to the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

“Why would [BSU] hire a person who didn’t get tenure at Iowa State because of his poor academic performance … and then went to a small religious school where I’m not sure he was tenured?” Coyne asked.

The paper also gives a bit of Gonzalez’s history and, unlike previous articles in the paper, at least attempts to show why there is scientific opposition to ID:

Intelligent design creationism is not supported by scientific evidence, according to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), which was established when Abraham Lincoln was president to address the government’s need for an independent advisor on scientific matters.“Echoing theological arguments that predate the theory of evolution,” intelligent design supporters “contend that biological organisms must be designed in the same way that a mousetrap or a clock is designed,” NAS reports.

. . . The Des Moines Register reported in 2005 that Gonzalez had said publicly that he wanted to find a graduate student to pursue intelligent design.

After being forced out at ISU, Gonzalez told The Associated Press he had trouble finding another job. He sent about 15 applications to schools around the country.

“I didn’t receive a single invitation for an interview from many of the large public universities, even though I expected to,” he was quoted as saying. “In my opinion, if it hadn’t been for my known stance (on intelligent design), I would have been interviewed.”

Gonzalez finally wound up at Grove City College, a Christian school in Pennsylvania that does not have a tenure track program.

Grove City College has been on the American Association of University Professors’ list of censured administrations (for violations of academic freedom and tenure standards) longer than any other institution — since 1963, AAUP’s Greg Scholtz told The Star Press.

Fifty years on the censured list!

Gonzalez was one of the scientists who appeared in the controversial 2008 documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.” It documented the plight of scientists and scholars who dare to question the claims of Darwinian evolution, which the film links to fascism, the Holocaust, communism, atheism, and eugenics. “Expelled: [sic] was denounced as propaganda by The American Association for the Advancement of Science, USA Today, The New York Times and others.

In response to questions about the hiring of Gonzalez, BSU spokeswoman Joan Todd — to whom press inquiries about Hedin and Gonzalez are being funneled — said in a prepared statement: “This is our response. His qualifications are in his cv (curriculum vitae).”

I guess those qualifications, though not sufficient for Iowa State, are good enough for Ball State. I haven’t yet seen the c.v., but BSU sounds awfully defensive.

Among other questions, [Todd] declined to answer whether BSU is seeking to become a research hub for intelligent design. She also declined to respond to Coyne’s comments, including, “Is there some unholy connection between BSU and the Discovery Institute, or is the department of astronomy just sympathetic to intelligent design?”

It probably would have been wiser had Todd admitted that ID is not science and that by no means would BSU try to become an ID research hub. Does BSU want scientific credibility or not?

[Gonzalez] declined comment to The Star Press. But his colleague John West, a political scientist and vice president of Discovery Institute, complained that Coyne is “taking it upon himself to try to dictate the curriculum and now the hiring decisions” of BSU’s department of physics and astronomy.

Coyne belongs to what West calls “the Darwin lobby.” “They don’t believe in academic freedom for anyone who disagrees with them, and they want to win the intellectual debate simply by silencing and intimidating any scholars who differ from them. In this case, Coyne is trying to destroy the careers of people in a discipline where he has no expertise whatsoever. Frankly, this is outrageous.”

I don’t believe in academic freedom for anyone who teaches religiously based woo as science, just as I wouldn’t for someone who taught astrology in a psychology class or homeopathy in medical school.  As for my silencing and intimidating IDers, or trying to destroy careers, that’s insane.  I have simply pointed out what I see as a violation of the First Amendment in a public university, and a blatant rejection of good standards for teaching science.  And as for destroying careers, West is behaving just like an ID advocate: ignoring the facts. I’ve repeatedly said that I don’t think Hedin should be fired, but only that his course be deep-sixed.  And I’ve said that BSU should keep an eye on Gonzalez to make sure he doesn’t teach ID in his science classes.

That doesn’t sound like “destroying careers” to me.  The Discovery Institute is being a Drama Llama here, trying to set up these guys as martyrs.

But I do chuckle as being identified as a member of The Darwin Lobby.  If that’s true, they haven’t yet sent me my membership card!

Dr.-Guillermo-Gonzalez3

Gonzalez, from a blurb for a 2012 conference on “Defending your faith with reason and precision” (http://onguardconference.org/speakers/)

If you can’t read Slabaugh’s piece since there’s a per-month article limit, his piece also appears in the BoilerStation, apparently the Purdue-University news section of the Journal and Courier paper in Lafayette, Indiana. Like the Star Press, the Journal and Courier is also a Gannett paper.

Here’s an instructive comment on the BoilerStation site by one of Hedin’s students. She admits that Hedin was teaching the class from an intelligent-design viewpoint:

Picture 1

h/t: Diana

104 Comments

  1. Draken
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    I don’t think Gonzalez’ contribution to ISCID is a day job. Last they published something was in 2005.

  2. coozoe
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    Could it be possible Ball State actually reviewed Gonzalez’s credentials and still hired him? I really feel for the students past and present who have wasted their tuition on this joint. Indiana is starting to smell like the south.

  3. GinaT
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    So, the guy isn’t supposed to work at all in Academia? Really?

    If he teaches a straight science course with no ID, what’s wrong with that?

    The 1950s and 1960s saw an anti-Left blacklist that ruined lives. Aren’t you leery that you are starting something similar? I don’t believe in ID. But I also don’t believe in persecuting people. You may well make a martyr of this man.

    • Posted July 7, 2013 at 5:17 am | Permalink

      Have you even been reading this site? I’ve already said that if Gonzalez teaches a straight science course and doesn’t spend most his time working on ID, I have no objection to his hiring. And I’m not sure whether it’s in BSU’s interest as a good science school to hire schools that have rejected candidates for nonperformance.

      If you don’t believe in ID, do you think we should just shut up when someone is teaching it to our kids? I don’t think so. And I am not persecuting Hedin or Gonzalez by any means. It’s the newspaper that’s publicizing this: all I did was write a letter to Hedin’s chair and the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Surely you think that is justified if you don’t believe in ID.

      As for making a martyr of Gonzaelez, I reject that entirely. I am entitled to point out his past, Hedin’s activities, and Ball State’s having science courses with a religious viewpoint.

      It seems that you want us all to shut up about ID’s incursion into schools lest we make “martyrs” of its advocates. That’s a recipe for debasing science education.

      I find your rhetoric completely out of line. There is no blacklist being contemplated.

      Plese read what I write before you level this type of unwarranted accusation.

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted July 7, 2013 at 5:25 am | Permalink

      Your argument is specious. The guy spouts WooDooDoo (from another thread) from the rooftops. He doesn’t deserve respect even, let alone a career in science.

      Would you want a cardiac surgeon who spouts leeches therapy to give you a triple bypass?

      Would you want a commercial airline pilot flying your plane who trumpets end-of-times revelations as being the only life choice?

      Do you hire an accountant to do your taxes who embezzled?

      • Posted July 7, 2013 at 6:02 am | Permalink

        @GinaT,

        You wrote:

        “So, the guy isn’t supposed to work at all in Academia? Really?”

        Jerry Coyne wrote in this article:

        “I’ve repeatedly said that I don’t think Hedin should be fired, but only that his course be deep-sixed. And I’ve said that BSU should keep an eye on Gonzalez to make sure he doesn’t teach ID in his science classes.”

        • NewEnglandBob
          Posted July 7, 2013 at 6:13 am | Permalink

          I saw what Jerry Coyne wrote. I don’t happen to agree with him on this. I only agree 96% of the time.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 7, 2013 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      I think Gonzalez and Hedin are doing a fine job ruining their own careers.

      It is unfortunate BSU didn’t react when Jerry first brought this up to their Chair; most likely then FFRF and the media attention the story is getting would not have happened.

      It’s important to point out when things go awry in science or any classes, otherwise people who lobby to get woo into classrooms will succeed and that will be deleterious to society in general.

      • Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:36 am | Permalink

        I think I do see a danger, though. If Jerry keeps this kind of behavior up, it could become a Darwin Lobby Hobby. And that could lead to taking out full-page ads in newspapers across the country. It could get expensive.

      • Reginald Selkirk
        Posted July 7, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        It is unfortunate BSU didn’t react when Jerry first brought this up to their Chair;

        The hiring of Gonzalez ought to make it clear: Hedin is not the real problem, the department chair is.

    • Timothy Hughbanks
      Posted July 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      As others have pointed out, your comparison of the treatment of Hedin and Gonzalez with those who were blacklisted for their political views is completely specious. Hedin and Gonzalez are pushing a parody of science that is completely discredited. A better comparison would be to say that they are pushing a “scientific” story that is as discredited as Ernst Mach’s rejection of the atomistic view of matter offered by Ludwig Boltzmann in the 19th century. There isn’t a chemist or physicist in the world who isn’t a complete crackpot who would say that Mach was right and Boltzmann was wrong. The proponents of ID are at least as wrong as Mach and any scientist in 2013 who rejects the existence of atoms is, well, not a scientist. The same applies to Hedin and Gonzalez, at least when they are pushing tarted-up creationism.

  4. Posted July 7, 2013 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    A research center for ID? WTF would they research, deduction from analogy, confirmation bias, teleology? All of their “theories” are merely retrospective attributions, they make no testable predictions.

    • Posted July 7, 2013 at 6:07 am | Permalink

      Here in the Netherlands, almost any political party has a “scientific institute” (mainly because these institutes receive subsidies). I am wondering what science these institutes actually perform, as science is supposed to be politically neutral (i.e. science should not be steered by ideological interests). In most cases any research they do is aimed at the pursuit of their political agendas.

  5. Slumbery
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    “Sixty years on the censured list!”

    Only fifty.

  6. Jonathan Wallace
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    West may not have intended it as a compliment, but I’d say being a member of the Darwin lobby is a good thing (membership card or not)! Please keep on lobbying in favour of reason and against pseudoscience and woo.

  7. Posted July 7, 2013 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    News flash: I’m now a member of The Darwin Lobby!

    No, there’s nothing newsworthy about that. You have long been a member of the Darwin Lobby.

    That’s just the way that creationists talk.

  8. Alex
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    “We’ve been taught the Big Bang theory all of our lives; We get it.”

    Somehow I doubt both parts of this statement.

  9. Desnes Diev
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    G.Gonzalez: “In my opinion, if it hadn’t been for my known stance (on intelligent design), I would have been interviewed.”

    In my opinion, claiming publicly that you are accepting ID as a scientific venture is like asserting publicly that you will lose a lot of time on fruitless pseudo-research. It is not so surprising, then, that (serious) scientific institutions hesitate to hire you.

    Desnes Diev

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 7, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      …and to state publicly that you aren’t getting jobs and specify how many times you’ve been rejected is such a career limiting move! Of course, he was probably doing so in the context of claiming persecution for his ID beliefs thinking he’d influence people to see him as a victim but boy did that back fire!

  10. Robert Bray
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    I cannot, of course, predict what the administration at Ball State will do as a consequence of l’affaire Hedin (and now Gonzalez). But I would not be surprised if the following come to pass: 1) H & G continue as professors of physics; 2) they are both constrained (a bit)in how and what they may teach as science; 3) Ball State spins the matter as a heroic stand for academic freedom; and 4)uses the whole thing as an important brick in the ‘building of their brand.’

    Public universities are rapidly becoming only quasi-public. Tax monies for the support of higher education continue to diminish. Schools such as Ball State have to raise tuition and fees every fiscal year to balance budgets. So with the onus of paying more and more on students, administrators tout their campuses as great places in which to ‘experience’ college. Come to Ball State and we’ll ‘teach the big questions’ without forcing you to abandon your family values. Firesign Theatre said it forty years ago: ‘Daddy, where can I get a good deal in a Christian atmosphere?’ The answer today: ‘right here in Muncie, Indiana!’

  11. ladyatheist
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    It seems he’s been publishing since leaving Iowa. That was a major complaint in Iowa – he was writing that ID crap when he was supposed to be doing actual science.

    He may do a good job but the timing is suspicious. Are they trying to get the Discovery Institute off their backs?

  12. Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    I would be most interested to know which class Ms. Shoemaker taught and who taught it.

    If it was Hedin’s honors class, then that’s important to know for this particular brouhaha. But if it was somebody else teaching something else….

    Cheers,

    b&

  13. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I find the Darwin Lobby telling. Institutions like the DI are political more than anything else to they figure those “on the other side” must be their political opponents with their own lobby groups.

    They just don’t get it or more likely they do get it but want to convince others that there are groups out there trying to force their “opinions” into education so the DI is just trying to do what those others are doing.

    • ladyatheist
      Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      Yep, psychological projection. They are so totally lacking in imagination they commit this error all the time.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      They’re capitalizing on a niche. There are sufficient numbers of ignorant people willing to part with $ on this stuff. If the public ever becomes sufficiently educated to quit sending them money, they’ll go away. That’s why getting the education right is important.

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted July 7, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      I hear the Darwin Building at Cambridge has a lobby. Maybe that’s what they meant.

  14. Filippo
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    FYI, this in the Sun 7/7/13 N.Y. Times Book Review:

    “Heaven Is Nonfiction? For Real?

    Skeptical readers ask us from time to time why books like ‘Heaven Is for Real,’ which chronicles a 4-year-old boy’s near death experience — during which, he told his father, he visited the afterlife and sat on Jesus’ lap — are included on our nonfiction best-seller lists. Our policy is ‘simply that we do not second-guess personal accounts,’ Deborah Hofmann, the senior editor for The Times’s best-seller lists, told me. You might say nonfiction is in the eye of the beholder.”

    What if instead he had said that he sat at the feet of Zeus imbibing nectar and ambrosia?

    Would the N.Y. Times not have anyone second-guess the “personal account” of a Hedin or Gonzales?

    • Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      That’s quite the copout. Lots of great fiction is written as a first-person narrative, including Homer and Lovecraft and Richard Bach. Does the Times categorize Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah as nonfiction, I wonder? What about The Call of Cthulhu? Shirley MacLaine’s astral projection guides?

      Not in the business of second-guessing personal accounts, my ass. What the fuck good is a journalistic critical reviewer if there’s no critical examination of the content?

      b&

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted July 7, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Good thing the kid sat on Jesus’ lap, and not on the lap of one of His priests…

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted July 7, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      I wonder if they also list Gulliver’s Travels as nonfiction.

  15. Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Ms. Shoemaker believes she has benefited from the course and learned to think for herself. Well done.

  16. Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Darwin’s Lobby seems a fine place to be :)
    (https://www.dropbox.com/s/jbkoqhl7z86jmzf/ForDa%C2%AEWin.JPG)

  17. docbill1351
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I must protest! As president for life of Delta Pi Gamma, the Darwinian Pressure Group, so named by the same Disco Tute West back in 2005 when we successfully pressured Ohio State University to clean out their “intelligent design” creationism infestation, I am shocked and saddened by the total lack of respect (and funding) Delta Pi Gamma has received in the intervening years! Granted, we threatened OSU by suspending funding of the Bill and Harold Athletic Center, Tire Care and Manicure Emporium, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

    Where is this so-called “Darwinian Lobby” and who’s their ringleader and do they offer a 10% discount at the bar? Inquiring minds want to know! You know what I think? I think West is making the whole thing up. There is no Darwinian Lobby; it’s all fake!

    If you want a real pro-evolution fraternity then pledge Delta Pi Gamma today! Applications are still open for the 2013 pledge class.

    Contact Doc Bill and Kink at BR-549.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    • Posted July 7, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Splitters.

      Sincerely,

      Ben Goren, Memographer
      Pi Gamma Delta Darwinistic Lobbying Association

      • docbill1351
        Posted July 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        You cannot double-dip at the bar. It’s 10% so try to live with that.

        P.S. Your dues are in arrears. Unless you want me to send Harold aka Vito to “visit” with you, send a check and we now take PayPal.

        • Posted July 8, 2013 at 6:35 am | Permalink

          Mr. Small wants me to ask you to ask Vito where he should send the flowers.

          b&

  18. Posted July 7, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Ms. Shoemaker believes she has benefited from the course and learned to think for herself. Well done.

    Or do people think this is a bad thing?

    • Posted July 7, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      If you graduate in mechanical engineering under the impression that the tensile strength of bamboo and steel are the same, all else being equal… is that a bad thing?

      If you are indoctrinated in nonsense and come away from it thinking that you have learned to think for yourself, is that a good thing? Or is that merely becoming entrenched in ignorance?

      Is it a good thing that an educational institution uses tax dollars to help entrench people in ignorance?

      “Thinking for yourself” can be an especially bad thing, if those things that you think for yourself are, in fact, bullshit. Have YOU thought this through?

      • Posted July 7, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Do you feel you can think for yourself? It seems you credit yourself with that capability but deny it to Ms. Shoemaker. But arguing with you about this is pointless. When a student feels that a course has helped them to think for themself, I am pleased.

        • Reginald Selkirk
          Posted July 7, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          When a student feels that a course has helped them to think for themself, I am pleased.

          I am more pleased when a student actually can think for themself.

          Have you heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect?

          • Posted July 7, 2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink

            You suffer from that I presume.

            • Posted July 7, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

              In my experience, Reginald does not tend to assume more than is reasonable for him to know.

              Ms. Shoemaker thinks that Idiot Design is a valid scientific understanding of biology, a position that any evolutionary biologist will tell you is as laughably insane as astrology or geocentricism or any of the other long-since-discredited theories of ancient history. That right there demonstrates that she lacks even the most elementary level of understanding of the field, and is profoundly incompetent by definition.

              She is, indeed, a prime example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

              Cheers,

              b&

              • Posted July 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

                In the quote from Ms. Shoemaker, she does not say that ID is a valid scientific understanding of biology.
                If you are going to be supercilious, then at least get your facts straight.
                But arguing with you about this is pointless

              • Posted July 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

                She expressed pleasure that ID was taught as a valid alternative in an astronomy class.

                By doing so, she demonstrated incompetence in biology, astronomy, science, eduction, Constitutional law, and probably several other disciplines.

                It would have been no different had she expressed pleasure that homeopathy was taught as a valid alternative in a geography class.

                Her own personal opinion on the utility of the theory is irrelevant. What matters is that she thinks it has a place in the classroom in the first place.

                Cheers,

                b&

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted July 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

                +1

        • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
          Posted July 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

          So when a student is fooled, and fooled about what critical “thinking for themselves” are about, you don’t care.

          What you care about is how the student *feel* about the scam. I take it snake oil salesmen are all dandy, never mind the damage, because they make people “feel good”.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted July 7, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

            Exactly why this course is so pernicious. Now this student things that teaching ID as a science course is a good thing because she feels it provided her with an alternative to “standard” science and misses that ID isn’t a science at all and there is no such thing as an alternative to science that belongs in a science classroom.

            • Posted July 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

              More precisely, you believe that there is no such thing as an alternative to EVOLUTION that belongs in a science classroom.

              • Posted July 7, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

                Well, no.

                Might at some point something new come to light that causes us to add another layer on top of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Random Mutation and Natural Selection? Of course — the same has happened in other fields, most notably Physics. But, even then, both Einsteinian and Quantum Mechanics reduce to Newtonian Mechanics at suitable scales. Anything that ever unseats Evolution will have to similarly reduce to regular Darwinian Evolution at familiar scales.

                But that’s all purely hypothetical, as there isn’t even an hint of anything that could possibly be so revolutionary, or even the slightest indication that such a revolution is needed.

                …unless you have something new in mind that no biologist is aware of?

                No?

                Cheers,

                b&

              • Posted July 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

                Please find the roots of this equation:
                5x^4 + 27x^3 – 3x + 5 = 0

                …but use an “alternative” to algebra.

                Next, please figure out the next line of defense for these current strains of drug-resistant gonorrhea that have many of our bench scientists stymied. Only you’re not allowed to use any of the precepts of evolutionary biology.

                You can think for yourself, though. See how far that gets you. …but arguing about this with you is pointless.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted July 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

                Yes on evolution and yes on ID. There is no scientifically proven alternative.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted July 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

                Or more precisely I should have written there is no scientific alternative to evolution (as Ben says, then it would have replaced what we now know) and I should have said no to ID – ID is also not scientific and does not belong in a science classroom.

          • Posted July 7, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

            Are you making a joke? You seem not to have read what Ms. Shoemaker said.
            But arguing with you about this is pointless

            • Reginald Selkirk
              Posted July 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

              But arguing with you about this is pointless

              You have written this several times, but here you still are.

    • Wolfhound
      Posted July 8, 2013 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      It would appear that “Junytest” is Doug, aka “Socrates”. Larry dealt with him at “Sandwalk” thusly:

      http://sandwalk.blogspot.fi/2011/09/new-moderation-policy-doug-dobney-is.html

  19. docbill1351
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    GG wrote an “introductory” astronomy book that describes Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon, how a telescope works, etc. About an 8th Grade science book.

    He’s also slated to teach “Introductory Astronomy” which is also about Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon and how a telescope works. That’s the level at which GG operates. It’s just 3 credit hours, easy A, filler course.

    You don’t get into the “cool stuff” until the upper level courses because you need so much background – advanced physics, calculus, diff eq, chemistry and so forth.

    The entry in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for GG is: mostly harmless.

    • Alex
      Posted July 8, 2013 at 5:35 am | Permalink

      “GG wrote an “introductory” astronomy book that describes Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon, how a telescope works, etc. About an 8th Grade science book.”

      WTF, in 8th grade I would have been deeply offended by such silly material.

  20. Posted July 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    There is a reference to this chart:

    The chart does not seem to show any ancestors prior to the Cambrian fossils.

    Unless you count those dotted lines.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 7, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      This seems like a non sequitur, can you be more specific as to what you’re postulating with this post?

      • Posted July 7, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        The chart does not seem to show any ancestors prior to the Cambrian fossils.

        Unless you count those dotted lines.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted July 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          ….and?

  21. Posted July 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    There is a reference to this chart:

    The chart does not seem to show any ancestors prior to the Cambrian fossils.

    Unless you count those dotted lines.

    Correct?

    • docbill1351
      Posted July 7, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I counted 6-7 dotty lines, let’s call it 6.5.

      Turns out that 6.5 ancestors are more than I can count for my own family tree which I’m sure goes back at least to Noah. (That would be Noah O’Docbill from County Cork.)

      BTW, the ancestors in that chart were mostly Spotted Tube Worms which accounts for the dots. And some of them were quite crazy which made for the Dotty Dotted Spotted Tube Worms.

      Hope this helps.

      • Posted July 7, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        docbill pretends to not understand. Perhaps someone else can answer.

        • docbill1351
          Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          No, junytest, you’re an idiot. I’m not pretending to mock you, I’m mocking you.

          Go back to your sandbox and play, this is the adult table.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

          I haven’t heard a question yet.

        • cyan
          Posted July 7, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          You said, “The chart does not seem to show any ancestors prior to the Cambrian fossils.”

          That is because this diagram is not showing an evolutionary tree.

          The dotted lines are clearly labeled as being in disparity (number of classes) and diversity (number of genera).

          And then, just in case someone cannot read a chart him/herself, it is spelled out in the sentence, ““Phylogenetic uncertainty of many taxa makes counting number of classes and genera difficult.”

          No evolutionary tree in this diagram. So if you are looking for ancestors, you are barking up the wrong tree.

          • Posted July 8, 2013 at 5:00 am | Permalink

            So the chart does not show any ancestors prior to the Cambrian fossils.

            • Posted July 8, 2013 at 5:10 am | Permalink

              Here is another chart which also does not show ancestors for all but one of the Cambrian fossil groups.

              • Spector567
                Posted July 8, 2013 at 6:57 am | Permalink

                Your right. Small slug like creatures didn’t leave much in the way of evidence behind.

                To explain that we refer to Specralian theory.

                it’s the theory were because we are not god like beings we all just give up and accept the fact that I SPECTOR567 created them. (sorry I sneezed)

                to prove that theory I have several books, that I can cite…. that I wrote, and few quotemines and a lot of jumping around and dodging of other information that doesn’t fit my theory.

                Now the scientific establishment from accross the ENTIRE globe is all part of a conspiracy to deny my acedemic freedom on the idea. They want me to do something silly like research.

                They don’t understand how spending 75% of my funding on MARKETING and Political lobbying to cater to and popular support is not the same as doing reseach.

                My 6 blogs say so.

                Afterall If I believe in Spectorial theory and the guy next to me believes it than it must be true and anyone who disagrees is part of the drawin lobby.

                Now explain to me why i’m any different from DI?

                You may think that the people here are unwilling to listen. That is not true. They just don’t like listening to people who make a living by lying and doing nothing but bad mouth the hard work of others.

                If DI did research, spent the time and effort and produced positive results than there wouldn’t be this opposition. Instead they spend there time being politicians and stomping on the hard work of others whil providing NOTHING in return.

                No one likes a vandal.

    • Wolfhound
      Posted July 8, 2013 at 5:59 am | Permalink

      This dingaling’s posting style is exactly like that of “Socrates”, he of the birds are descendants of pterosaurs nonsense.

  22. docbill1351
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s OK to snark about GG. He’s made himself a public figure by being associated with a real lobby group, the Disco Tute and by the public stink he made about not getting tenure. Boo effing hoo, GG.

    The facts are that GG’s research output dropped to zero following his conversion to “intelligent design” creationism and his publishing ceased, he pulled in no funding and had no students. Not exactly tenure material.

    But, if you look at other former scientists who traded a career in honest science for a career in dishonest creationism (Behe, Dembski, Meyer, Wells, Sewell, Wise, Lisle, to name a few) they’re all just killing their cycles doing nothing. For example, it’s plausible that both Behe and Dembski could have been heads of their respective departments by now if they hadn’t taken residence in Crankville, and that’s where GG is heading: Hogwash, Indiana.

  23. Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Iowa State’s Physics and Astronomy department has an outstanding reputation. When Gonzalez was denied tenure in 2007 and cried foul, I had no doubt that one must have a stellar research record to earn that honor.

    Ball State’s department on the other hand offers only a research-based MS program, while most of its graduate emphasis appears to be in education. It is easily conceivable that someone not suitable for tenure at ISU would easily be tenurable at BSU.

    That said, I still have to wonder, given Hedin and Gonzalez, whether one or more senior P&A faculty are pulling strings to bring ID to BSU.

  24. Posted July 8, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Spector567:
    “Your right. Small slug like creatures didn’t leave much in the way of evidence behind.”

    That is the point I am making.
    The charts do not show any ancestors prior to the Cambrian fossils.

    • Posted July 8, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      We know that’s the point you’re making.

      What we can’t figure out is what your point has to do with the price of tea in China.

      You know, I could also make a point that you don’t have a complete genetic analysis of your great-great-great-great-grandmother’s fifth cousin seven times removed. But I’m not sure what would be the point of making that point, any more than I get the point of the point you’re trying to point out.

      Pretend we’re stupid, and spell it out for us.

      Cheers,

      b&

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 8, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        Yes, exactly. I’ve been waiting for a clear question for a while.

  25. Posted July 8, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    The point I am making is that:
    The charts do not show any ancestors prior to the Cambrian fossils.

    Spector567 has said that that is right.

    • Posted July 8, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      And what, exactly, is the significance — or, at least, relevance — of your point?

      You’ve made your point. Nobody disputes it. Nobody finds it surprising or even, frankly, very interesting.

      But you would seem to think that it’s a very, very, very important point, as evidenced by the fact that you keep pounding on it.

      So do please enlighten us: what is it about the fact that these particular charts don’t show any precambrian fossils that you think it’s worth belaboring the point?

      b&

      • Paul S
        Posted July 8, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        I think a more disturbing revelation is that my motorcycle shows not fossil evidence whatsoever. It’s like it just appeared out of nowhere with no preceding advances in motorcycle technology. Surely this refutes any and all seemingly proven knowledge of combustion engines, bicycles and quite possibly the wheel!

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted July 8, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

          You think that’s bad? I found this timeline of the Roman Republic: http://chaos1.hypermart.net/fullsize/romrepfs.gif

          It shows no history before or after the Roman Republic! Do you think it’s like in The Matrix when the machines take over and fool us into thinking we’re living in a totally different year than it really is?

  26. Posted July 8, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    The point I am making is that:
    The charts do not show any ancestors prior to the Cambrian fossils.

    Spector567 has said that that is right.

    Ben Goren says “Nobody disputes it”.

    • Paul S
      Posted July 8, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Holy crap, this is brilliant! You’ve not only found a chart that doesn’t show ancestors prior to the Cambrian fossils, that chart also doesn’t show ancestors prior to the Cambrian fossils. OMG, I finally understand, you’ve found a chart that doesn’t show ancestors prior to the Cambrian fossils. How could I have been so stupid? I’ll now have to search all my charts to see if they also don’t show ancestors prior to the Cambrian fossils.

    • Posted July 8, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      How fascinating. A point without a point.

      One might have initially assumed that such a thing couldn’t exist, yet here’s an example of one.

      It’s somehow unsurprising, though, that the pointless point lacks meaning.

      It does, however, serve as a rather good indicator that the pointy-headed person making the point that lacks a point isn’t all that sharp.

      b&

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 8, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        The point of this pointless point is it’s pointless. But the pointlessness of the pointless point is not mentioned because what would be the point?

  27. Posted July 8, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    The point I am making is that:
    The charts do not show any ancestors prior to the Cambrian fossils.

    Spector567 has said that that is right.
    Ben Goren says “Nobody disputes it”.

    Some people think that there were pre-Cambrian ancestors for the Cambrian fossils. These charts do not support that idea.

    • Posted July 8, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Some people think that there were pre-Cambrian ancestors for the Cambrian fossils. These charts do not support that idea.

      Indeed, those charts aren’t intended to address the question of Precambrian ancestors of Cambrian fossils.

      Or are you seriously suggesting that Cambrian life had no ancestors?

      I really hope that’s not what you’re trying to suggest, because only a complete and total blithering fucking idiot could possibly be so stupid. I mean, it’d be like suggesting that, because I don’t know who my great-great-great grandfather was, I therefore am an alien lizard monster whom the stork delivered to this flat, flat Earth under a Moon made of green cheese.

      You’re not that dumb, are you?

      b&

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 8, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        What was that advice you just gave me about trolls, Ben? ;)

        • Posted July 8, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

          Touche. And this one is just a broken record — not even the lengthly eight-track that is Gary.

          By the way, did you notice that the chart that has nothing to do with Precambrian fossil ancestors of Cambrian life doesn’t have anything to do with Precambrian fossil ancestors of Cambrian life?

          b&

      • Paul S
        Posted July 8, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        Seems you got your answer in comment 28. I think this is the first time I’ve seen you proven wrong.

        • Posted July 8, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

          To be fair, it’s just my hope that was proven worng. He really is that dumb, even if I can’t quite comprehend that level of stupidity….

          b&

      • docbill1351
        Posted July 8, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Sage Derby, I hope!

        • Posted July 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          Cheddar, actually. Nothing against Derby — fine cheese, to be sure. But that’s green-as-in-color cheese, not green-as-in-new cheese.

          Thursday shortly after lunchtime at the dairy processing plant a mile and a half due north of me you can get curds that were milk shortly before breakfast — and it don’t get any greener than that.

          I don’t have any other experiences with cheese that fresh so I can’t compare, but I will unhesitatingly recommend Arizona Cheese Company curds to anybody and everybody in the Valley who can get there in person early on a Thursday afternoon.

          (The cheese is still good for quite some time later, at least a week or so, assuming you can refrain from eating it faster. But it’s best right then and there, and served at room temperature.)

          Cheers,

          b&

  28. Posted July 8, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Consider this chart that I presented earlier:

    I would suggest that this chart addresses the question of Precambrian ancestors of Cambrian fossils. It just shows that none have been found. Or so people here have agreed erlier.

  29. Posted July 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Consider this chart that I presented earlier:

    I would suggest that this chart addresses the question of Precambrian ancestors of Cambrian fossils. It just shows that none have been found. Or so people here have agreed earlier.

    Correct?

    • Wolfhound
      Posted July 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Did they finally ban you at Talk Rational, Dougie? Is that why you’re trolling here?

  30. Paul S
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    I think junytest came here for an argument, but doesn’t have any thing to say.

  31. Posted August 12, 2013 at 2:13 am | Permalink

    Junytest is the Internet crank Doug Dobney, proprietor of the Moffat House in Peterborough, Canada.

    He also goes by the aliases “Socrates” and “Dr Pterosaur”.


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