On the one hand, ID opponents seem to think ISU should have denied him tenure for thinking ID is science, since, they say, it clearly is not science. On the other hand, it is hard for them to admit that this is what ISU did, since, if they do, they would be supporting misrepresentation by the University and the tenure committee about what their decision was based on.
To put the dilemma another way, if you don't admit that he was denied tenure because of his support for Intelligent Design, then you look like you're slightly out of touch with reality, since the evidence appears to be pretty damning. And if you accept that Gonzalez was denied tenure on the basis of his support for Intelligent Design, then you have to admit that ISU and his tenure review committee were dishonest.
So the choice for ID opponents involves which horn of the dilemma they want to impale themselves on.
Over at Panda's Thumb, Mike Dunford seems to favor the first horn. He says, in the face of the of the e-mail evidence, he is "unconvinced" that ID played a significant role in tenure denial for Gonzalez. Well, you can see some of the e-mail remarks documented by the Discovery Institute here and see for yourself. This is the kind of evidence that, under any other such circumstances would be considered definitive, but which, in the intellectual fever swamps of scientism just simply cannot be admitted:
Given the notorious track record of the entire anti-evolution movement when it comes to quoting scientists, I'm somewhat reluctant to accept the quotes provided at face value, particularly since the DI has not made the full text of the sources available for examination. Even if all of the quotes the DI uses do accurately capture the spirit of the full emails they are taken from (and does anyone want to offer me odds on that), I still don't think they've made their point.It makes you wonder whether the anti-ID crowds assertion that Gonzalez was treated fairly is a falsifiable belief, doesn't it?
A slightly more lucid Jason Rosenhouse over at EvolutionBlog finds the second of the two horns of the dilemma a less painful alternative. He admits that, indeed, ISU appears to have considered Gonzalez' belief in ID in its decision, and was simply dishonest in its denials:
... [H]ad the ISU physics department stated forthrightly that he was being denied tenure because his advocacy of ID pseudoscience was hurting the department and plainly hampering his scientific work, there might have been no reason for this blog entry.In other words, Dunford is concerned with the honesty of the advocates of ID, but Rosenhouse is admitting a virulent case of dishonesty in it's own ranks.
But they didn't, at least not primarily. Instead they publicly denied that Gonzalez's ID advocacy played a significant role in his tenure denial. One member of the department, John Hauptmann, wrote an op-ed in which he argued, preposterously, that Gonzalez did not understand the scientific process and that was the reason for denying him tenure. I reported on this sorry essay here.
Some days you just can't win.