Guillermo Gonzalez

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture

Guillermo Gonzalez is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. He received his Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1993 from the University of Washington. He has done post-doctoral work at the University of Texas, Austin and at the University of Washington and has received fellowships, grants and awards from such institutions as NASA, the University of Washington, the Templeton Foundation, Sigma Xi (scientific research society) and the National Science Foundation.

Gonzalez has extensive experience in observing and analyzing data from ground-based observatories, including work at McDonald Observatory, Apache Point Observatory and Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory. He is a world-class expert on the astrophysical requirements for habitability and on habitable zones and a co-founder of the "Galactic Habitable Zone" concept, which captured the October 2001 cover story of Scientific American. Astronomers and astrobiologists around the world are pursuing research based on his work on exoplanet host stars, the Galactic Habitable Zone and red giants.

Gonzalez has also published nearly 70 articles in refereed astronomy and astrophysical journals including The Astrophysical Journal, The Astronomical Journal, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Icarus and Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. He also is the co-author of the second edition of Observational Astronomy, an advanced college astronomy textbook.

In 2004 he co-authored The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery with Jay W. Richards. He's also an affiliate of Biologic Institute.

Archives

It Came from Outer Space? Astrobiologist: Not Likely

On today’s ID the Future astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez and host Casey Luskin discuss the idea of undirected panspermia. Gonzalez explains the basic idea and what the best current evidence says about its plausibility. The occasion is his chapter on panspermia in the new anthology A Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith, co-edited by Casey Luskin, associate director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Undirected panspermia is the idea that the first life on our planet came from outer space, carried by chance processes from a faraway living planet on space dust, asteroids, or comets either from within our solar system, or from another star system to here. The idea of panspermia was inspired by the extreme difficulty of Read More ›

Carl Sagan Wrong about “Pale Blue Dot,” Says Astrobiologist

On today’s ID the Future, astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez unpacks one of his chapters in the new book The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith, edited by episode host Casey Luskin. Gonzalez and Luskin look at how our atmosphere as well as the sun, moon, distance from our host star, and position in the Milky Way are all curiously fine tuned not only for life but also for allowing  Earth’s human inhabitants to observe and discover things near and far about nature. It’s as if a master designer made the Earth not merely for life but for curious and intelligent beings. What about the fact that Earth is such a tiny part of a vast universe, a “pale blue dot” as Read More ›

The Circumstellar Habitable Zone Just Shrank

On this episode of ID the Future, Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Jay Richards speaks with astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez about new research just reported in the Astrophysical Journal. The research suggests that the circumstellar habitable zone for terrestrial planets around stars is narrower than previously thought. This zone around stars, often referred to as the “goldilocks zone,” is where planets are not too hot and not too cold to support liquid water on the surface and, with it, complex life. But there’s another factor, previously underappreciated, which greatly curtails how much further a planet can be situated from its host star without running into trouble. It makes earth’s position that much more fine-tuned for life and, as Richards and Gonzalez discuss, Read More ›

Guillermo Gonzalez on What’s Changed in the 15 Years Since The Privileged Planet

On this episode of ID the Future, host Jay Richards and astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, authors of The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery, discuss what’s changed in the 15 years since the book first appeared. One big change, the number of exo-planets discovered has exploded from 200 or so to several thousand. Gonzalez walks through this and other exciting recent advances in astronomy, and the two discuss how these new discoveries bear on the predictions and arguments they advanced in their book. Please consider donating to support the IDTF Podcast.

Guillermo Gonzalez on the First-Ever Imaging of a Black Hole

On this episode of ID the Future, Jay Richards interviews astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez on the first images ever taken of a black hole, released to the public early in April 2019. Not that it’s exactly an “image,” for as Gonzalez explains, no light can escape a black hole. But this massive object — equaling billions of suns in mass — in the M87 galaxy still provides important information, adding to the list of confirmations for Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, which also provides further support for Big Bang cosmology. And that, in turn, tells us our universe isn’t infinitely old — so where did it come from, if not an intelligent designer?

Key Figures in Intelligent Design Measure the Impact of Discovery Institute

On this special year-end episode of ID The Future, David Boze celebrates the impact of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture in supporting scientific research and defending academic freedom for scientists, scholars, and others in the intelligent design movement. Boze interviews astronomer Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez, Biologic Institute director Dr. Douglas Axe, and author and Discovery Institute senior fellow Dr. David Berlinski.

Discussing the New Exoplanet With Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez

Have scientists discovered a planet with possible life on it? On this episode of ID the Future, Anika Smith interviews astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, co-author of  The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery. As the co-originator of the Galactic Habitable Zone, Dr. Gonzalez knows better than anyone what it takes for a planet to sustain life. Listen in as he tells us whether the newly discovered exoplanet Gliese 581d is habitable.