Gonzalez has done his best to keep the controversy from his mother and sister in Hialeah. "I don't want them to know that my career is in danger," he explains. But privately he worries that the squabbles will jeopardize his chances of receiving tenure. He also puzzles over the firestorm his work has created. "I'm just a regular scientist who believes in God and has remained open to evidence of design in the universe," he says, his voice tinged with exasperation. "It's not like I'm some crazed Bible-thumping, fire-breathing creationist."