Though out-of-context email excerpts can be misleading, statements like “this is not a friendly place for him to develop further his IDeas” make it sound like Gonzalez was not, as the university insisted, judged solely on the content of his astronomical scholarship.
Here is the problem with this line of argument, one that Luskin has pushed pretty hard throughout this process.
If we assume that Gonzalez’s work on ID (his “IDeas,” in the felicitous phrasing of one of his colleagues) are not part of his astronomical scholarship, then we have to ask why the DI earlier claimed “that ISU tacitly endorsed Gonzalez’s work on The Privileged Planet by administering his Templeton grant for the book project while he was writing it.” Why would ISU be tacitly endorsing the work of one of its astronomy faculty unless that work were part of his “astronomical scholarship”? And isn’t Disco’s claim that ID is real science, and that Gonzalez is an example of that sort of real science? (Hint: yes.)
On the other hand, if his work on ID is not part of his “astronomical scholarship,” it is perfectly fair for his department to wonder why he is spending so much time on that project, apparently to the exclusion of grants or major new research in his own field.
In other words, the Disco. Inst. has danced around the question of why his colleagues should not have considered ID as part of “the content of his astronomical scholarship.” Nor is it clear why they wouldn’t be entitled to question his allocation of vast swaths of his professional time and resources to projects other than astronomical scholarship. In short, it remains unclear why it would be improper for ISU to consider Gonzalez’s work on ID. Indeed, it isn’t clear how it could have been appropriate, under the circumstances, to ignore that work.