And that’s all I’m asking for.
Regarding you question and comparison:
I haven’t studied the anti-vaccination movement, and I don’t know much about the science (if any) that justifies it. But I gather that for any biologist working in the field of disease, immunization, etc., acceptance of the main outlines of the germ theory of disease, etc. would be necessary. If the anti-vax person denies that diseases are caused by microbes, then I would think he would be so far out of the mainstream that he could not do useful scientific work in the area. (Maybe in some other area of biology, but not that one.) But then, someone who held that view would probably have produced papers denying the germ theory of disease, and those papers would be part of his application for tenure, and I think it would be fair to deny tenure if the papers were lousy. (Not because they disagreed with the majority view, but because they were lousy.)
I don’t think the case is going to be the same for an ID person such as I envisioned in my hypothetical example. The ID person’s specialty might be, say, knockout experiments, where the effects of removing certain genes upon the organism is explored. If the ID person produced an adequate number of research articles in this area, and they were all judged to be of high quality, adding to our stock of knowledge about the relationship between genes and phenotypical expression, then I don’t think it should be held against the ID person that he had somewhere published his personal intellectual conclusion that the whole DNA-protein system was intelligently designed. That belief, whether right or wrong, would not prevent the ID person from producing a lifetime’s worth of knockout experiments that made a real contribution to knowledge. Such knowledge would be objective knowledge, testable and confirmable by researchers in other labs around the world, and so it would be knowledge that all scientists could accept, whether they were ID proponents or not. In such a case, to deny the person tenure, even if some other departmental members would be embarrassed to have an ID proponent on faculty, would in my view be wrong. It would, in effect, be saying: “Even though all your science in the area of research for which you were hired is methodologically sound and we fully accept the results, you draw conclusions (not in your articles about your experiments, and not in your classroom teaching, but elsewhere) about the nature of life and its origin that we find repugnant, and we are going to punish you for that by denying you a scientific career.”
I think that this is wrong, just on general principles of fairness and consistency; and further, from a public relations point of view, if the public thinks that such things happen, it will only lead to further public distrust of science and its practitioners. The public (or a very large portion of it) would regard such a decision as a strong-arm enforcement of conformity of thought and an attack on the idea of a university as a place of great intellectual diversity. It would lead to further charges from fundamentalists and others that scientists are denying jobs to perfectly good colleagues out of a hidden commitment to materialism and atheism. It would fuel the fire of the culture wars. The best thing that biologists could do in such a case would be to give the ID proponent tenure (given that the quality was there, as in my hypothetical case it is); it would make them look much better in the public eye. They might think it would make them look better within their professional world to keep any ID proponent out of work in their department, and maybe it would, but the culture-war cost of the decision would be high in the long run.