I seem have gotten this link from about a dozen readers. Eric Hedin, who was at the center of Indiana’s Ball State University (BSU) intelligent-design fracas, has been promoted to associate professor at BSU. As you may recall, Hedin was teaching an Honors Physics and Astronomy course, heavily larding it with intelligent-design (ID) and religious materials, with his apparent purpose of being to reveal God’s hand in nature. According to reports, Hedin also proselytized his students for Christianity, saying, for instance, that creation was due to the Abrahamic God because no “Hindu monkey god” could have done that.
After the Freedom from Religion Foundation wrote a protest to BSU, its president Jo Ann Gora, convened a committee to investigate the matter, and the outcome was that a) Hedin could no longer teach ID or push religion on his students, and b) BSU wasn’t going to teach any form of intelligent design as science (see Gora’s uncompromising statement here).
Well, the Discovery Institute (DI)—a group of determined but faith-sodden ID purveyors—wouldn’t let that decision rest, and leaned on conservative Indiana legislators, four of whom (all Republicans) protested to Gora and went to BSU to meet with her (see here, here, and here). In my last post on this issue, I wrote this:
Professor Ceiling Cat’s Prediction: the Discovery Institute will lose this one; Gora will not back down and the Indiana legislature won’t go to the mat for creationism lest they look really stupid. And that means we can expect an endless series of whiny posts from DI flack David Klinghoffer, kvetching about censorship (I’m their “Censor of the Year,” an award which brings me endless pleasure) and calling me names.
Well, as usual, PCC was correct, at least according to ancillary information in the Muncie Star-Press’s announcement of Hedin’s promotion. When people sent me this article, I think they wanted my reaction about the promotion, but, really, I don’t have much to say. BSU has their standards for promotion, Hedin apparently met them, and so became an associate professor. (Unlike most other universities, by the way, BSU doesn’t automatically confer tenure with promotion to associate professor, but they’re working on it.) What I cared about was getting religion and ID out of science classes, and I never for a moment wished Hedin any professional setbacks.
What interested me in the new article was stuff about the meeting between the creationists legislators and the president of Ball State:
But Kruse [Dennis Kruse, chair of the Indiana legislature’s education committee] and Ball State officials sat down last month for a private meeting.
And on Monday, Kruse told The Star Press, “Ball State officials were very attentive to our requests and concerns during the April 4 meeting. A majority of issues have been resolved, and I look forward to working more on these matters concerning academic freedom with the university.”
He declined to answer questions.
BSU spokeswoman Joan Todd also was vague about the meeting.
“It was a productive meeting, a great opportunity to discuss important issues, and at this time we have nothing more to add,” she said.
John West, a vice president at The Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based intelligent design think tank, on Tuesday told The Star Press: “That’s news to me that anything has been resolved. If it has been, I think the public deserves an explanation of what exactly has been resolved.”
What that means, of course, is that the legislators (and the DI) made no headway in moving Ball State, for if they had, the legislators would have told West. That’s supported by what else is in the newspaper article:
Hedin’s class remains canceled and a “gag order” on BSU professors remains in effect, West said.
“They can’t be resolved through closed-door meetings and private assurances that are never revealed,” he added. “BSU is a government institution, and its policies and actions should be open to public inspection.”
. . . West, from The Discovery Institute, says his group’s concerns have not been resolved.
“… professor Hedin is a superb scientist, and so it is good that BSU has recognized that fact,” he said. “But that makes their one-sided censorship of Hedin — but not of professors who oppose intelligent design — all the more disturbing.”
And yes, Klinghoffer’s kvetching has already begun at the Discovery Institute. It’s futile. They lost. Move along folks; nothing to see here.
You know, the Discovery Institute would have a lot better chance of having their “hypotheses” taught in science classes if they could support them with evidence, or make predictions that conventional modern evolutionary theory couldn’t. In fact, they promised to do that within a decade or so—over a decade ago. All they have to show for themselves since then is a series of lost court cases and a bunch of criticisms of evolutionary biologists. What “science” they have is simply God-of-the-gaps arguments, which haven’t convinced any scientists. Of course, they see all of us—including religious scientists like Ken Miller and Francis Collins—as engaged in a giant conspiracy to push materialism and naturalism on the world, and therefore we simply won’t accept the “convincing” evidence for ID.
Enjoy your failure, guys, and best wishes from Censor of the Year.