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Christianity TodayFebruaryFebruary 2008

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Faculty member at Iowa State University denied tenure for supporting intelligent design.



When Guillermo Gonzalez, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, was denied tenure at Iowa State University (ISU) in November 2006, department head Eli Rosenberg said the decision had nothing to do with Gonzalez's support of intelligent design. Recently released documents, however, told a different story.

In Gonzalez's tenure dossier, Rosenberg stated, "The problem here is that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory. … The fact that Dr. Gonzalez does not understand what constitutes both science and a scientific theory disqualifies him from serving as a science educator."

Gonzalez said he never taught intelligent design (ID) in his classes. "The recent controversy surrounding me is strictly about the research I have done on ID," he said. "My ID research [published in The Privileged Planet] was funded in part by a grant from the Templeton Foundation, which ISU administered."

Faculty members who question Darwinian evolution say they often run into trouble at secular universities. Caroline Crocker, who taught scientific evidence for and against evolution at George Mason University, was released by the school in December 2004. "I wanted students to think for themselves," she said. "My supervisor accused me of teaching creationism and removed me from teaching lectures immediately; at the end of the semester, the job was over."

But according to George Mason spokesperson Daniel Walsch, "[Crocker's] contract was simply not renewed. It had nothing to do with the ID/evolution debate."

At the University of Idaho, where tenured professor Scott Minnich supports intelligent design, president Timothy White issued a statement banning anything other than Darwinian evolution from being taught in science courses.

"Most institutions ...



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