Monday, March 17, 2014

Science Limited to Godless Origins at Ball State

Indiana legislators are questioning the decision of Ball State University President Jo Ann Gora to ban professors from discussing a full range of scientific inquiry of the birth of the universe.
“. . . serious questions have been raised about whether academic freedom, free speech and religious liberty have been respected by BSU in its treatment of professor [Eric] Hedin, its subsequent establishment of a speech code restricting faculty speech on intelligent design, and its cancellation of professor Hedin’s ... class.”
-- Letter to Pres. Gora from legislators
For background, read Atheists Want Ball State Christian to Stop Teaching Science

Also read Most Americans Reject Godless Theory of Evolution

-- From "Indiana legislators question Ball State's decision to prohibit teaching intelligent design" by The Associated Press 3/16/14

Gora’s decision followed complaints that the “Boundaries of Science” class taught by Eric Hedin, an assistant professor of physics, was promoting the idea that nature displays evidence of intelligent design, as opposed to evolution. . . .

The letter was signed by Senate Education Committee Chairman Dennis Kruse of Auburn, along with Sens. Travis Holdman of Markle and Greg Walker of Columbus and Rep. Jeff Thompson of Lizton. Because the university has declined to release a report prepared by a faculty review panel, “we feel unable to judge whether the investigation was fair and impartial,” the lawmakers wrote.

The legislators wrote that they also were “disturbed by reports that while you restrict faculty speech on intelligent design, BSU authorized a seminar that teaches ‘Science Must Destroy Religion.’”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Lawmakers probe religion vs. science at BSU" by Seth Slabaugh, The (Muncie, IN) Star Press 3/13/14

BSU spokesman Tony Proudfoot said the legislators apparently were referring to Honors 390A, “Dangerous Ideas,” which uses a book titled, “What is Your Dangerous Idea?”

One essay in the book is titled “Science Must Destroy Religion.” Proudfoot says other essays in the book include these titles: “Science May Be Running Out of Control,” “Science Will Never Silence God,” and “Religion is the Hope that is Missing in Science.”

The [legislators'] letter also expresses concerns about whether a faculty review panel appointed to investigate complaints against Hedin “was filled with persons with conflicts of interest, who were predisposed to be hostile to his viewpoint.”

The letter gives Gora until the end of business on March 24 to answer the following question: “Does the policy forbid science professors from explaining either their support or rejection of intelligent design in answer to student questions about intelligent design in class?”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "False Spin: Ball State University Misrepresents Anti-Religious Chapters in What Is Your Dangerous Idea? as Religion-Friendly" by Casey Luskin,, ENV 3/17/14

. . . BSU has badly misrepresented the hard-to-miss anti-religious goals of the book, as well as the supposedly religion-friendly chapters it cites. Of those three chapters, one has nothing to do with religion and the other two are explicitly anti-religious.

First, some background. What Is Your Dangerous Idea? is framed, billed, and marketed as a book of ideas by leading new atheist-types. The intended readership seems to be intellectual atheists, as its cover advertises the fact that the introduction is by new atheist (and evolutionary psychologist) Steven Pinker, and the afterword is by leading new atheist Richard Dawkins.

Indeed, the man behind What Is Your Dangerous Idea?, who served as its editor, is John Brockman, has been called one of "the 25 most influential living atheists." He was the literary agent and main promoter of Dawkins's 2006 book The God Delusion (and other books by Dawkins). In the acknowledgments of The God Delusion, Dawkins thanks Brockman for his "help in the preparation of this book" and states that Brockman's "whole-hearted and enthusiastic belief in the book was very encouraging." (p. 6) . . .

To put it bluntly, What Is Your Dangerous Idea? is an unadulterated polemic against religion, especially traditional religion. . . .

Not one of those 108 essays in What Is Your Dangerous Idea? promotes the idea that traditional religion actually is true. . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Intelligent Design: Hoosier Lawmakers Demand Answers from President Gora" by Todd Smekens, Muncie Voice 3/14/14

Earlier this month, Jo Ann Gora, President of Ball State University, was being showered with accolades at the Muncie City Council meeting, and even presented a key to the city by Mayor Dennis Tyler, but a lot can happen in mere days.

It appears that several Indiana legislators at the state level would like to rescind her accolades by admonishing her and the Board of Trustees for how they handled the summer’s intelligent design issue with Professor Hedin. . . . [Pres. Gora concluded:]
Teaching intelligent design as a scientific theory is not a matter of academic freedom – it is an issue of academic integrity. … Said simply, to allow intelligent design to be presented to science students as a valid scientific theory would violate the academic integrity of the course as it would fail to accurately represent the consensus of science scholars.
To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Teaching Evolution is Religious Indoctrination: Lawsuit as well as Global Warming is a Religion, Say Climate Scientists