Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"Privileged planet" astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez: Dissing St. Carl in his own church

My Deprogram column in just-published Salvo 5 deals with "privileged planet" astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, who discovered, at Iowa State University that when atheism goes head-to-head with science in a politically correct environment, atheism wins hands down:

The Privileged Planet takes on the assertion of popular-astronomy saint Carl Sagan that Earth is merely a “pale blue dot”—both insignificant and wholly unremarkable. It clearly explains Sagan’s arguments for such, and then provides overwhelming evidence that they are false. Gonzalez thought that in doing so, his film was merely setting the science record straight.

But no. For the secular elite, Gonzalez—a Christian—is a dangerous heretic. He was dissing St. Carl in his own church, the Smithsonian. To the elite, “religion” is okay if you just stupid-holler for Jesus. But it is dangerous if you provide evidence against materialism.

It certainly proved so for him. Despite an excellent publication record, he was denied tenure.

For me, the telling feature of this story is ... the steady stream of mediocrities who write to me and demand that I recognize that Gonzalez does not deserve tenure.

As a journalist, I try to be evenhanded, but I struggle with a profound distaste for these people. ... Their vicious comments are their odious legacy, whereas Gonzalez’s research is his.
Gonzalez is also featured in the Expelled film, and, from my mailbox today, in a podcast on Intelligent Design: the Future in which he talks about Sagan's

Copernican Principle and his latest research on extrasolar planets. Is our place in the universe special or purposeful? Listen in as Dr. Gonzalez answers that question and shares his future research plans.
He is now at Grove City College in Pennsylvania.