Guillermo Gonzalez, an astronomer at Iowa State University who is best known as an Intelligent Design proponent, has just been denied tenure. So far it seems unclear what role ID played in this denial, though it’s a real possibility since Gonzalez has been active and reasonably productive in mainstream astronomical research.
In the fall of 2005 I invited Gonzalez over to give a straight astronomy talk to my physics department and an ID talk for my interdisciplinary “Weird Science” class. Now, I’m not an astrophysicist and I can’t judge the quality of Gonzalez’s astronomy. But it seemed decent enough. I can judge ID claims, and there’s nothing in Gonzalez’s ID advocacy that I find impressive. But I figure academics should be able to have interests beyond what brings in immediate grant money. More importantly, they should be allowed to be wrong, even grossly wrong, in claims they make. The price of encouraging originality and free thinking is that you have to tolerate a certain amount of mistaken notions.