Someone else have fun with this

I’m busy, and I don’t want to deal with a nause-inducing interview with Casey Luskin, Guillermo Gonzalez, and Mark Mathis. Somebody else yak up over it, and let me link to it.

I’m still shying away from listening to this abomination, so get with it and tell me what’s on it. First up: Jyunri Kankei.


  1. says

    From the comments:

    TRS, even though your kind “owns” the system, I think I might give debunking your agrument a try. First though, Is TRS some pen name for Tom Wolfe or something? Oh no, let me guess, just another “drive by” who wishes to remain annonymous…I wonder why?
    Well, here’s some of the “wrong stuff” or (lies) you claim: Lie #1 Tenure is only granted after years of “performance” at that University. Fact #1: Tenure is granted at the discretion or pleasure of the University. There is no set time or period before a Prof. can be granted Tenure. There have been many cases of Tenure being granted to a Professor upon arrival. Lie #2: it is patently false that a Professor is judged for Tenure solely on what they have done for that particular University while they have been there. Fact #2: again, there are many cases of Tenure being granted to Professors whose “performance” (more accurately: awards , research breakthroughs, outstanding discoveries)happened (sometimes long) before they got to that particular school. Lie #3: you have made an implicit argument that Prof. Gonzales has not “continue[d] strong growth in research”
    !!!!News Flash to “The Most Righteous Stuffin'”: how much friggen research do you think it takes to write a book evaluating all the scientific data and information that goes into formulating a hypothesis that the Universe reveals “intelligent design”!!!!
    !!!!News flash #2 His book treads on revolutionary ground in his field. The ideas are not revolutionary, but the way he has researched across disciplines and compiled things together in a “big picture” hypothesis is definitely ground breaking!!!!
    !!!!News flash #3 no matter how much your “kind” try to suppress these facts and information, you will fail. You always have throughout history!!!!
    Finally, you conveniently failed to discuss the facts of the case. Such as the fact that Prof. Gonzalez was “expelled” and not just denied tenure. And that during his hearing, the exculpatory evidence was “SURPRESSED”!!! (that means hidden, just in case yer frum Rio Linda.) And, that the decision was followed by no explanation or comment. What are they trying to hide? I think the latter may be without precedent, and you can bet I will do the research.
    This will be an historic “Stain” on the university.
    Lastly, it’s sad that your “kind” has hijacked the govt. education “system” and continues to heap lie upon lie about anything and everything under the sun. But it is not “sad” for us. It is sad for you and your kind, for whom future generations, knowing more truth than we know now will look back on your kinds’ posterity and say “what silly fools…what silly “dead” fools”.

    (oh, and for your benefit: tenure is a sort of job securtity or protection device to allow a Professor to explore new territory that may conflict with some of the “deeply” held beliefs of the university or peers in his field)
    posted by: Steve Driscoll on Tue, 2/12 12:39 AM EST

    Good to know “my kind” owns the system. Any chance I can trade in some of my conspirator status for a car that works? My Camry crapped out in November.

  2. says

    I’m five minutes into this thing, and it already sounds hideous…If I get through this, I’ll have something…if I’m not being violently sick.

  3. idahogie says

    I’m with you G.

    Gonzalez’s representative just said that he’s so angry that he hopes that “I hope that in my anger, I do not sin.”

    These people are sick.

    And they can’t pronounce ‘Wikipedia’ either.

  4. Geoffrey Alexander says

    Jan Mickelson has been a Rush Limbaugh wanna-be for a long time here in Des Moines on the otherwise-venerable WHO-AM. Just seeing his name associated with this tells me all I need to know about it. Hat’s off to those of you who care to endure it, you’ve stronger stomachs than I. Mickelson himself is cringe-inducing no matter what the topic.

  5. raven says

    Gonzalez is a fool. The first rule when you find yourself in a hole is, “STOP DIGGING.”

    He had a choice to be a scientist or play martyr. He is playing martyr.

    No one in their right mind will even interview him. Who wants to hire an astronomer and get some clown dragging a cross around and mumbling, “poor me, ouch, these nails hurt, ouch.”

    He can go anywhere as long as it is a low class bible college. Even the big ones like BYU, Notre Dame, Baylor, SMU, Calvin don’t buy into his creo nonsense.

  6. says

    I hope that in my anger, I do not sin.

    It’s always science with these guys, isn’t it?

    I suppose that distorting science for your own prejudices is not a sin, because it’s all done for Sky Cat.

    So why don’t you just come out and say it, Guillermo, that you think you’re persecuted for your religious ID position? That’s still a lie (depending on the definition used for “lie,” and if you’re stupid enough to believe your rants), but at least it’s not an bastard like “viewpoint discrimination” (you know, discrimination against fakery in science, which indeed we strive for), something that few religious persons will care about (discrimination against the atheist viewpoint is rampant, somewhat ahead of discrimination against forbidden sciences like evolution).

    Come on, the repugnant Mathis blew your cover on Expelled with your help anyhow. Just say that religion is science, damn yourself in the objective sense, and at least show that you have some small amount of integrity. Surely you have some fear of hell from all of your lying, for I cannot believe that you do not know how contradictory your various claims are.

    BTW, I don’t know how you Pharyngula denizens can find the time and patience to listen to their paltry rants and extreme relativism, but I’m glad that you do.

    Glen D

  7. zer0 says

    I’m nearing the end of the segment, but I’m way to lazy and honestly sick of listening to these guys to write up a summary. Their ignorance is mind-numbing. I think I’m now dumber for having heard their banter for the past hour.

    Chuck Hurley sounds like he’s gonna cry. Do some science (real science) and make the University some money and prestige instead of marring it’s reputation and maybe they’ll keep you around. “Goddidit” is not science. You should know better with your level of education, that throwing your hands up and saying it, doesn’t get you grants and research time. Don’t act surprised that you were denied tenure when your grant record pales in comparison with the amount of money brought in by other tenured Professors at ISU.

    I doubt Gonzalez will have trouble finding a job, the DI is always hiring people to sit around in their fancy building doing nothing, aside from the occasional crying on radio shows like these.

    Tax-funded institutions should teach hard, real science… not pseudoscience theological crap. Churches already got that covered, and they’re tax-exempt. I’m taxed more so you can go sing hymnals on Sunday, you’re sure as hell paying more taxes to teach students REALITY.

    The host of this podcast/radio show is appallingly ignorant. He’s the pinnacle of fundie christianity. His repetitive claims about all the evil atheists at ISU are just tiresome and ridiculous. Then he manages to link it to liberal democrats as well. Absurd.

    Expelled is already getting terrible reviews, for neither explaining what this “evil” Darwinism is, or offering up any kind of evidence or explanation of their “opposing theories.” It’s sure to be a good laugh.

    All and all, this entire segment only further proves that when it comes down to it, the DI and ID proponents only know how to do one thing: cry. They certainly aren’t very good at research or science. Gonzalez had a promising career, but somewhere along the path he veered off course and never bothered to check his bearings. ~$20,000 dollars in grants since July 2001? I’ve worked on bigger grants than that, and I’m just a RA. Sounds like a pathetic work ethic/record combined with whacko ideas, unsupported by scientific evidence or research, and he just expected a tenure position to fall in his lap. Give me a break.

    Doh, I wrote one up a big block of text anyways… friggin rants.

  8. says

    Mathis (Expelled) just described “neo-darwinists” as both childish and elitist in the same sentence. The echo chamber effect seems to be taking over. Actually, that description doesn’t even make sense. There’s no good way to describe the nonsense that’s going on here.

  9. Hank says

    idahogie: It’s not meant to make sense to you and me, but to people sharing their particular theological sensibilities.

  10. says

    Apparently, Mickelson doesn’t understand how tenure decisions are made (and he doesn’t want his listeners to know, either). He repeatedly brought up the point that ID wasn’t brought up in classroom lectures. That’s almost entirely irrelevant. Scientific and engineering tenure decisions are nearly entirely based on research output. Gonzalez simply didn’t have nearly enough research output to justify being granted tenure.

    He didn’t have the grants. He didn’t have the papers. He didn’t have the research. He had no case for being granted tenure.

    And insulting people who disagree with Mickelson by saying that they aren’t “real Iowans” is just ludicrous.

  11. MartinDH says


    I loved the description Jyunri gave to the effect of listening to the podcast at 1.4 time normal speed:

    …the frenzied quacking of impotent, irate ducks.

    Probably applies to the content as well as the presentation.


  12. MartinDH says


    I loved the description Jyunri gave to the effect of listening to the podcast at 1.4 time normal speed:

    …the frenzied quacking of impotent, irate ducks.

    Probably applies to the content as well as the presentation.


  13. Tosser says

    Here are a few of the “highlights” from the show:

    The host adopts the lingo of IDers by saying that Gonzalez was “expelled,” and he labels ID opponents as “atheists.” He repeats the word “expelled” many times, and at one point suggests the word “expelled” to a guest, who at first had chosen a different word to describe what happened to Gonzalez. The host also repeats the assertion that atheists were behind it all.

    The host calls Gonzalez a “world-renowed astronomer” and “one of the finest academic minds this generation has produced.”

    The usual “finely tuned” arguments are made, and the host gives the impression that Gonzalez was the first to make these arguments.

    Chuck Hurley, the president of the Iowa Family Policy Center and apparently the man who represented Gonzalez, says, “I hope that in my anger I will not sin.”

    The host and Hurley call the tenure denial “evil.”

    Hurley refers to the ID project as, “Speaking the truth about God’s design.” (So much for the “ID is not about religion” line.)

    Hurley says that Fox News just reported another school shooting. He then suggested that the reason for such incidents might be that students are taught that there isn’t a design or purpose.

    Casey Luskin from the Discovery Institute pops up and pimps the “Academic Freedom Bill.”

    Luskin says that IDer Richard Sternberg “holds two PhDs in evolution.” (ed. What the F is a PhD “in evolution.” Is that anything like a PhD in Biology, focusing on evolutionary issues?)

    Gonzalez himself joins in eventually, and the host apologizes to him on behalf of “real-Iowans.” (I prefer fake Iowans myself.)

    Mark Mathis, a producer of “Expelled,” comes on. He tells us that Gonzalez should be teaching at the finest schools in the world.

    The host says, “We don’t want people with impaired ethics to define reality for us.”

  14. Mena says

    Come for the podcast, stay for Psychic Suzanna. The programming director(s) for this station sure have something against reality, don’t they?

  15. Matt says

    It sounds like a sob-fest then. I’m glad I didn’t bother to listen, but thank you guys for putting yourselves through that to report back to us.

  16. Ric says

    Steve Driscoll said:

    how much friggen research do you think it takes to write a book evaluating all the scientific data and information that goes into formulating a hypothesis that the Universe reveals “intelligent design”!!!!

    Ooooh, oooh, oooh, me, me, let me answer! I’m gonna go with, ummm, none.

  17. Chuck Morrison says

    “Those angry atheists just pulled the plug on Professor Gonzales without considering the evidence.”

    “This goes beyond mere politics, this is evil.”

    “I hope in my anger that I don’t sin.”

    To these quotes above, I would respond with Voltaire: I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: “O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.” And God granted it.

  18. raven says

    Time is not on Gonzalez’s side. Clearly he is playing Martyr for whatever it is worth. That act gets old fast. How many decades can he whine about ISU and get paid for it. Not all that long. Once everyone has heard it, his 15 minutes of fame are over.

    So he will have to find something else to do. It isn’t going to be astronomy. To choose martyr over scientist shows how interested he was in his career. Not much.

    As time goes on, we will see more of what this guy is made of. So far, feet of clay, knees of clay, brain of oatmeal.

    PS As I’ve pointed out and others, GG can’t claim religious discrimination which he is close to doing. If he does, the next question, Why should a physics/astronomy department hire someone to teach….religion? Religion belongs in sunday school and the philosophy department. Could he be even dumber than we think?

  19. wotthe7734 says

    Somebody, quick! Disemvowel Stv Drscll; maybe he’ll make more sense that way.

    [[it’s all done for Sky Cat.]]

    It’s Ceiling Cat, you blasphemer!

    [[The host says, “We don’t want people with impaired ethics to define reality for us.”]]

    No word about people with impaired reality defining ethics for us.

    Meow, meow, meow. >^..^<

  20. Spinoza says

    … I really think it’s funny, not to mention annoying, when people call university professors “elitist”… OF COURSE THEY ARE!!!… That’s the whole POINT! There is no such thing as equal-opportunity KNOWLEDGE.

    The only thing I will say is, if we are to say something fair about the choice to deny tenure to Mr. Gonzalez, someone ought to look up the 68 (I think that’s how many he said) peer-reviewed journal articles he published as an Assistant Prof. … he seems to be clear that he never brought up ID in class (maybe this is a lie.. I don’t know)… and in that sense, perhaps the choice to deny tenure was made on somewhat devious (however legitimate…) grounds…

  21. says

    Fractal Wrongness. That’s exactly it. It works in both directions, too. When they zoom in on particular facts of the case, they’re wrong. And when they zoom out to the grand conclusions, they’re wrong. That is the perfect phrase.

    And just like fractals in nature, I’m going to see that phenomenon everywhere, now that you’ve described it.

  22. steve_h says

    The story has a happy ending. At the end of the segment, Chuck Hurley offered Ganzales a job for life (Tenure!) at “Focus on the Family” if he wants it.

  23. says

    Hey PZ, it’s weird that this topic came up about painful debates, because I just today watched the Boteach/Hitchens debate from Jan. 30 in New York…and I actually sent the good rabbi a pretty harsh polemical letter.

    I shared it with a couple of friends on the Atheists, Agnostics, and Non-religious (AANR)group on Facebook and they liked it, so I published it as an open letter on Dane Andrade’s “Secular Covenant” (Dane is admin of AANR as well).

    Anyway, I figured you’d like it enough to forgive me for making a shameless plug, especially since I kind’ve asked myself while writing it: “How would P-Zed put this?” :P

    An Open Letter to Rabbi Schmuley Boteach

  24. Bobby says

    He repeatedly brought up the point that ID wasn’t brought up in classroom lectures.

    And if was really a science, that would be a fault rather than a credit.

  25. says

    and the host apologizes to him on behalf of “real-Iowans.” (I prefer fake Iowans myself.)

    I’m a “real Iowan.” Born in Orange City, elementary school in Ames, BA from Iowa State. Dr. Gonzalez, you’ll get no apology from me. You got what you deserved, being flushed down the intellectual toilet that is ID.

    [then again, I got the hell out…and never want to return, esp after gramma’s funeral…never]

  26. negentropyeater says

    The show has all the nuance and factual exactitude you would expect when a Christian fundie radio host interviews a few lawyers, a movie producer, all ID super-advocates who have no idea what they are talking about and G.Gonzalez, in the role of the world-renowned-for-excellence-courageous-righteous-super-scientist who has been “expelled” for his worldview.
    The host manages to add in a few nice touches such as blaming atheists for school shootings, calling upon the >90% “real-Iowans” who are for GG, demonstrating his scientific knowledge by saying that the Earth needs to have the right Gravity, and making jokes about ISU being renamed a Chaosity instead of a University.

    If you thought the Bill O’Reilly+Ben Stein interview a while ago had hit a bottom, wait until you hear this one.

    Apologies to all fake Iowans…

  27. Rey Fox says

    Like they said in Get Your War On, if elitist means “not the dumbest motherfucker in the room”, then yes, I’m an elitist.

  28. says

    You know what’re really elitist? Sports. Take the Olympics, for instance. They find the fastest runner out of a bunch of other runners and reward his or her elitist ass with a medal.

    People would be less put off by sports if the best athletes weren’t so much faster, stronger, or more skilled than the others. I don’t care if they’ve spent hours upon hours training while I sat back on my fat ass and eat Cheetos® all day. Why shouldn’t I get a medal too? Fascists.

    They’re just all so, so rude.

  29. says

    About elitism, the point is that science is a meritocracy. That’s what the IDiots hate about it, they’d need to have merit to prevail, and so they try to fault those who have merit for keeping them out.

    Well yes, in a way we do keep them out, but it’s the rules that give us the science which is essential to our economy and to our justice system that happen to keep them out just because they’re flaming IDiots who are out to destroy science in order to make stupidity the equal of carefully researched facts.

    Glen D

  30. Azazel says

    I love the way the shitbag……I mean host, keeps calling the loss of tenure “Expelled.” It’s almost like he’s trying to plug something………..

  31. keiths says

    It comes down to this, friends. This is what happens when you lose. This is what happens when you lose the culture war. This is what happens when you lose elections. This is what happens when people who know better don’t get involved. Then you have people with an atheist agenda — and that’s what we’re talking about here, friends — that’s not just being mean-spirited. That’s not just being a labeler. We’re talking about literal atheism here — people who practice atheism — who are proud of their atheism — who are the ones that mounted the attack against Guh-lair-mo Gonzalez. That’s not being just mean. That’s literally correct.

    The chairman — I don’t know if he still teaches in the religion department —


    …but Hector Avalos runs the religion department. He’s a tenured professor, [laughs] and he’s an outspoken atheist! He considers people of faith to be equivalent to the Taliban, and worse.

    And he mocks students, who in their 18- to 23-year-old faith are trying to discover their way in life, and he mocks them and puts them down subtly, and not so subtly,
    and so why do kids come out of the university shaking their fist at purpose in life and norms, and why do they go out on shooting rampages? Because they’ve been taught that there is no design, no purpose.

  32. DrFrank says


    It is sad for you and your kind, for whom future generations, knowing more truth than we know now will look back on your kinds’ posterity and say “what silly fools…what silly “dead” fools”.
    There goes my newly delivered consignment of irony-meters.

  33. Lilly de Lure says

    Hi DrFrank

    Mine exploded when I read this little pearl:

    The host says, “We don’t want people with impaired ethics to define reality for us.”

    Forgive the cynicism but doesn’t that pretty much put the Disco Institute, Focus on the Family (and Gonzales himself for that matter) firmly out of the running?

  34. Ernst Hot says


    Now how on earth do you “practice atheism”?

    What do you guys do? Get up early on sundays, not to go to church?

    Maybe I should devote some time every day to playing Evil Genius?

    …Ok friends, gather around, let’s all not pray.

  35. Lilly de Lure says

    Get up early on sundays, not to go to church?

    LOL! I have an FSM sitting on the top of my monitor that I knitted almost entirely on Sunday afternoons if that counts?

  36. Hector Avalos says

    While Jan Mickelson rails against “impaired ethics,” he has shown a wanton disregard for the truth for all the years I have dealt with him. To give one example, I have repeatedly asked him to correct his constant claim that I am the chair of the Religious Studies Program (which he erroneously calls “the Religion Department”).

    I have explained to him that, to my knowledge, only one person who signed our anti ID statement is self-identified as an atheist (that would be yours truly). The rest of the faculty who signed include Christians, Jews Hindus, and many other faith traditions. That fact does not matter because he needs “atheists” to inflame his audience.

    Chuck Hurley, Prof. Gonzalez’s lawyer, on the other hand, seems to thrive on slanderous and unsubstantiated remarks. I do not, as he claims, mock or belittle students in my classes for their beliefs. Hurley has never been in any of my classes, and so it is beyond me how he can make such a statement. Even if he heard a student say that, then it would be “hearsay,” and not something he should proclaim on the airwaves without direct verification. Spreading such malicious calumnies is a sign of impaired ethics to me.

  37. Ric says

    Spreading such malicious calumnies is a sign of impaired ethics to me.

    Damn straight, Mr. Avalos, damn straight.

  38. raven says

    Seems we have a puzzle here. Some say the fundie wingnuts have impaired reality and others impaired ethics.

    The answer of course, is both. That G. Gonzalez has thrown his lot in with Focus on the Family, the DI, and assorted wacko wingnuts shows an astonishing amount of bad judgement.

    It is even odder, as presumably an OEC, if he wasn’t useful as a martyr, some of these guys would consider him a heretic.

    Then again, if he had good judgement, he would now be a tenured professor at ISU.

    It really looks like he lost interest in astronomy somewhere along the way and gained an interest in being part of the lunatic fringes. I predict that in the coming years he will surface as a fundie Xian activist and his scientific career will be a brief blip in history.

  39. Chris Noble says

    Whatever happened to the DI script that ID has nothing to do with religion.

    The highlight/lowlight was where they alleged that teaching evolution caused students to go on shooting rampages.

  40. says

    Then again, if he had good judgement, he would now be a tenured professor at ISU.

    Not necessarily. Part of the point here is that Gonzalez’s research was weak enough to make his tenure case very weak completely independent of his ID stance.