Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Abraham and Gonzales

I have a question for any Intelligent Design (ID) supporter who cares to answer me. This is a serious question, I am not trying to set you up for a fall. Now Professor Gonzales was denied tenure by Iowa State and he and the Discovery Institute is claiming he was the victim of religious persecution. Mr. Abraham was fired for refusing to perform specific evolutionary aspects of his job and he filed with the Massachusetts Commission on Discrimination (which was denied) citing discrimination for religious reasons. he has since filed suit again citing his firing was a denial of religious beliefs.

Now my question, how does the Discovery Institute, and Professor Gonzales reconcile religious grounds with their almost mantra-like denial that Intelligent Design is not a religious position? It's like with the right hand they are emphatically denying there is any connection between religion and ID and yet on the left hand if Intelligent Design played a part in Professor Gonzales' denial of tenure how can they claim religious persecution?

I don't know how an ID supporter will answer but I know how I see things. I am sure Professor Gonzales' support and activities concerning ID played a part in his denial of tenure, but as a contributing factor not as a reason. I believe he was denied tenure because he failed to fulfill aspects of his job as a tenure applicant. When you take a tenure position you know several things, first you know you are operating on the clock. Most organizations have a time frame for you to be granted tenure. This prevents any individual from holding a position for an extended period of time without progressing towards tenure. The Professor had seven years. Second there are specific requirements concerning graduate student adviser, research, and even bringing in external research funding. He had to have known of these things going in. According to the college he had one . . . ONE . . . graduate student complete his dissertation, published no significant research, and missed by a factor of more than 50 the same level of external funding brought in by his contemporaries ($22K vs $1.3M). Yes, his focus on ID did play a part, it prevented him from doing his job!

Mr. Abraham has a slightly different take, he has ,after all, expressed no support for Intelligent Design that I am aware. But I do believe his beliefs played a part in his being fired, but again as a contributing factor, not the reason. His beliefs led him to refuse to perform something like 90% of the job he was hired to do. His refusal is what brought on his being fired. Apparently Woods Hole offered to pay him for the 7-10% of his salary for the work that he was willing to perform, but he decided that wasn't good enough. Sure he wanted to get 100% of his salary for doing less than 10% of his job! Woods Hole isn't Welfare, Mr. Abraham! Yes, his beliefs played a part, but the reason he was fired was his refusal to perform the work.

Each side claims that they are the victim of religious persecution. I remember the case of several airmen in the United States Air Force who joined a religion that forbade them from taking orders from women. When a female officer gave them a lawful order, they refused to comply. In the end, despite cries of religious persecution they were discharged as being unfit for military service. I see the parallels even if the Discovery Institute and Mr. Abraham's lawyer refuse to.

Well so there you have my question and also my viewpoint. I am curious as to yours.

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