Guillermo Gonzalez’s rise in astrophysics was meteoric, but when he openly espoused Intelligent Design, a scientific theory that allows for God’s involvement in creation, his university dumped him.
Gonzalez had written 68 scholarly articles for peer-reviewed scientific journals, including important work on the Galactic Habitable Zone concept. The Chronicle of Higher Education noted that he had at the assistant professor level “amassed a better publication record than almost any other member of the astronomy faculty,” according to Jeff Schloss on Counterbalance.
Nevertheless, when Gonzalez came up for tenure approval in 2007 at Iowa State University, he was denied.
Just prior to his tenure review, a petition disavowing Intelligent Design had garnered signatures from 130 Iowa State faculty members who feared “the negative impact of Intelligent Design on the integrity of science and on our university.”
It used to be that “free-thinker” meant you weren’t “constrained” to follow a biblical world view. But now, university professors are compelled within a rigid atheistic orthodoxy. Academic freedom is a slogan being emptied of meaning.
Some controversy ensued after Gonzalez was denied tenure. University officials superficially denied that his faith factored into his firing. They said his publishing had declined and he had not won funding for research. But the Des Moines Register obtained emails through a request for public records that indicated that the controversy over Intelligent Design was indeed a factor.
As early as 2005, there were emails discussing how Gonzalez’ belief in Intelligent Design might adversely affect his candidacy for tenure. Iowa State Physics Professor John Hauptman even noted that the anti-Gonzalez sentiments were “starting to smack of a witch’s hanging.” Read the rest of Gonzales’ tenure denial.