Discoveroids Increase Pressure on Ball State

Things seem to be spinning out of control. You already know about the Discoveroid Ultimatum Issued to Ball State. The ultimatum gave the trembling university until 30 September to comply with the Discoveroids’ demands, or “the Institute warns it will be forced to seek other remedies.”

But that terrifying threat wasn’t enough. In a new post by David Klinghoffer, Why Censorship at Ball State Matters, and What You Can Do About It, we’re told that the Discoveroids aren’t waiting — they’re already taking action. Klinghoffer says, with bold font added by us:

If you’re like me, the Ball State University affair brings to a head, not for the first time, a source of great frustration. Here is a large public university clamping down on discussion of the theory of intelligent design by any professors who should care to talk about the subject, whether in a science or even a humanities course. What can I do about it?

David has definitely struck a chord. Every creationist in the world is wondering the same thing: What can I do about the atrocities at Ball State? Klinghoffer has the answer:

Even if I lived in Indiana, where Ball State is located, even if I were a student or a faculty member at Ball State, what could I do? Well here’s something you can do, positively and right now: Go to the new webpage Discovery Institute has launched that makes it easy to learn how to register your opinion with the only group of people, short of the stage legislature that pays the bills at Ball State, with the power to reverse President Jo Ann Gora’s gag order against talking about ID on the campus. Those people are Ball State’s Board of Trustees.

Do that now. It’s fast, and it’s important.

Wow — the Discoveroids aren’t fooling around! They created a webpage just for this! Here it is: Take Action Now: Urge Ball State University to Support Academic Freedom on Intelligent Design. It provides the university’s email address and a sample letter you can send.

We’ve seen in the past how effective such things can be. For example, during the Coppedge trial, in order to bring pressure on NASA to save David Coppedge’s job at JPL, the Discoveroids posted this: Protest David Coppedge’s Persecution, Direct to NASA! We know how well that worked. It’s a proven technique, so they’re doing it again, this time aimed at Ball State.

The rest of Klinghoffer’s post is a lot of rambling, but a few parts are amusing. Like this:

Left in place, Gora’s code of silenceomertà, it would be called in some non-academic contexts — is a warning to scientists across the country. Its ripples extend to both coasts. The academic world is watching. Overturned, though, it would at least grant some relief to those in fear.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Relief to those in fear? Who’s in fear, except perhaps a few closet creationists? Well, they just hired Guillermo Gonzalez — a Discoveroid “senior fellow.” If he’s not careful, he could end up back at some bible college. Hey — how about this:

Darwinian censorship, arguably, has never been fiercer than at this moment, probably because we are winning the argument on the merits, and they know it.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Let’s see … is there anything else? Oh yeah, this is priceless:

From overt censorship to character assassination to mere misinformation, it’s all part of a single effort by Darwin defenders to a) flee from a fair fight on the merits of the respective cases for design v. Darwin as an explanation of life’s evolutionary history, and b) to stop anyone else from fairly considering the case for design in a balanced, open-minded fashion.

Did Klinghoffer just accuse “Darwin defenders” of misinformation and character assignation? Klinghoffer did that? He’s the guy the Discoveroids depend upon most for promoting their mantra that Darwin = Hitler and Marx and Stalin and Mao and Mengele and Manson, etc.

This is from his final paragraph:

The Ball State affair presents the rare opportunity we all have to cast a meaningful vote, that if successful would actually make a difference, in favor of intellectual freedom and honest debate. I strongly urge you not to miss that chance.

This is really exciting. First the ultimatum, now the dreaded letter-writing campaign. It’s total war! Ball State University President Jo Ann Gora must be hiding under her desk in terror.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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29 responses to “Discoveroids Increase Pressure on Ball State

  1. What frightens me most is Klinghoffer and his ilk seem to believe what he’s spewing. Also frightening that despite billions spent on education every year there are a large percentage of the population that believes this nonsense.

  2. I am indebted to the discoveroids for making me aware of how I can write to the board. I’ve done so and told them to support their president.

  3. @ Craig: yep, had the same thought, and am doing the same thing!

  4. David Williams

    I hope Ball State University stands their ground. If they give in to one set of cranks, think of all the other cranks that will want their crank notions taught in universities.

  5. Next we’ll see press releases from the discoveroids. They have found a cause, after a rather slow summer with nothing much to do except promote a book. Now they can make asses of themselves (well, more than usual) and glory in their feeling of perpetual persecution.

    If they keep this up, intelligent design will become better known as a legal theory than a wanna-be scientific one.

    Maybe the science faculty at BSU will respond in some fashion and indicate that they have no intent to teach ID, no matter how much academic freedom they are granted. As far as we know, they have only two idiots amongst them, and they can easily put a disclaimer on their ideas (much like Lehigh does for Behe), and those professors can be charged with teaching classes that have little to do matters related to ID. A strong response from the faculty would probably take some of the wind out of the DI’s sails.

  6. A strong response from the faculty would probably take some of the wind out of the DI’s sails.

    Sadly, there is nothing that takes the wind out of DI’s sails. And there is no situation that the DI can’t spin to their own advantage. If the faculty objected to teaching ID it would merely be proof that they were held hostage by the Darwin lobby. Or something.

  7. Forgive me, but I need to repeat my 7-year-long complaint before even reading the post. That’s because I almost never hear it from anyone else:

    On the subject of censorship, the minute you let the scam artists frame the debate only as whether “Darwinists” do or don’t promote it, you lose. That’s even if you make it 100% clear to 75% of the audience (all but those who will never admit evolution under any circumstances) that we do not promote censorship in any way, shape or form.

    From the very start, the question of whether anti-evolution activists effectively promote censorship must be as “visible” an issue as the lie they keep peddling. Force them to prove that they don’t promote censorship. Which they can easily do by advocating at every opportunity the most thorough, referenced, list of arguments against evolution. But they won’t dare, because it (1) includes the real critical analysis, of the bogus anti-evolution claims, (2) shows how the “creationist” positions – the ones that even take a position on testable claims, are mutually contradictory, and (3) alerts people to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” scam that tries to cover up the fatal weaknesses and contradictions.

  8. Thank you Frank.

    that’s why I always try to frame my arguments to creationists as a matter of academic integrity and politics vs. science.

    I’d be more than happy to support ID if they did the work. They completed there theory, spent there time doing honest research and produced tangible results.

    However, we all know that the discovery institute has no intention of doing that. They don’t even pretend to do research any more. They know that they can’t get any results affirming there theory in the least.

    That being said I think the end is coming for the discovery institute.

    Even there supporters openly say that it’s creationism.
    They lost in the public schools with Dover.
    They efforts in Louisiana are being over turned.
    They lost there latest employment battle with coppage.

    As to there books…… The public could ignore blogs before. But now mainstream reviewers have been looking and universally panning the books as outright dishonest lies.

    BSU was one of the final stands.

    However, Jerry Coyne accidentally screwed that up for them when he called out Hedin forcing the university to look in the matter much earlier than they ever would have before.

  9. I just sent the following email to BSU and copied the Tute directly. Ha, they wanted a BCC, but screw them:

    Dear Board of Trustees,

    I recently learned of BSU President Gora’s direct and concise support for sound science education by calling out “intelligent design” creationism for what it is: propaganda distributed by the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Washington.

    I applaud BSU and President Gora for taking a stand against the Discovery Institutes private and insidious movement to weaken science education in the country at a time when we need well-educated scientists and engineers more than ever.

    The Discovery Institute is famous, rather infamous, for its phony causes defending “academic freedom” and “teaching the controversy about evolution” when it is well known that in reality they advocate just the opposite. Of course, President Gora realizes this and the statement to support science and refute malarky has been well-received by the science education support community, scientific societies and institutions around the world.

    Thank you, Ball State, for your commitment to sound science education and for your overt rejection of Discovery Institute propaganda.

    In closing, I am writing this letter on behest of the Discovery Institute expecting me to support their anti-science propaganda and I most certainly do not. They also asked to be BCC’d which I will also not do. How ironic that the Discovery Institute champions “academic freedom” but prefers to remain in the shadows.

    All the best to you and your students and here’s to a great academic year 2013.

    Best regards,
    Dr. Bill Farrell
    Purdue 1975
    Part-time Hoosier

  10. p.s. I directly CC’d the Tute. They’re getting a copy of this. It’s probably not what they expected. I also used a “spam” email address I have that I never check so if they decide to hound me I don’t care.

  11. I think we should fallow Doc’s example. It’d be the last thing that DI would expect and provide a ray of light to the ignorance that is about to spam Gora’s in box.

  12. Sure you’re already onto this: “Creationists on Texas board of education shoot themselves in the foot.”

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2013/09/creationists-on-texas-board-of-education-shoot-themselves-in-the-foot/

  13. john zande says: “Sure you’re already onto this”

    I hadn’t seen it before — even I can’t read everything! It’s good.

  14. Stephen Kennedy

    Using the word “omerta” is really over the top. It is one thing to say that Ball State President Jo Ann Gora would discipline faculty members that teach ID but really something else to imply she would actually murder them.

  15. If the Discovery Institute wasn’t expecting their opponents to hijack their letter writing campaign, they are even more incompetent than they are unscrupulous.

  16. Lewis Thomasonn

    I sent a letter to Ball State praising their stand and asking them to stick to it. Thank you ID site for giving me the address.

  17. I always chuckle a bit whenever the Disco ‘Tute howls about “censorship” from behind the petticoats of a “blog” that doesn’t allow comments.

  18. Craig writes:

    I am indebted to the discoveroids for making me aware of how I can write to the board. I’ve done so and told them to support their president.

    Ditto (it was my first thought when I read the DI blurb), but did you also BCC or CC the Discorrhoids as they request (vide docbill1351’s comment)? 👿

    Anyhoo, here’s mine:

    Dear Board of Trustees,

    I recently learned of the Discovery Institute’s remarkably ill-conceived and misguided broadside against BSU President Gora’s alleged hypocrisy regarding her purported ‘censorship of faculty who think there is evidence of intelligent design in nature’ while ‘[at] the same time [allowing] an honours course on “Dangerous Ideas” where the readings tell students that “Science Must Destroy Religion”.’

    The Discovery Institute’s allegations are centred on supposed suppression of physics professor Eric Hedin’s intelligent design lectures that are part of a “Boundaries of Science” course. Since intelligent design, as judged on all relevant criteria, fails to meet the definition of “science,” it would be nothing less than academic fraud to present it as such to students. At present, intelligent design does not even qualify as a scientifically promising speculative hypothesis.

    On the other hand, the view that “Science Must Destroy Religion” is a “Dangerous Idea” expressed by a prominent atheist. It is brought to students not as science or fact, but for analysis and discussion, perhaps as reflecting certain philosophical, psychological or sociological sentiments whose truth or falsity remain debatable.

    The Discovery Institute erroneously attempts to conflate and to judge the above two issues according to the same standard, when it is clear that in Prof Hedin’s case, the proper conduct of science itself must exclude intelligent design as viable just as it excludes Aristotelian physics, whereas in the second case, students are faced with legitimate subject matter for discussion and critique. It is my considered view that intelligent design would more properly be part of the “Dangerous Ideas” course if it is not so already.

    Ergo, please convey to President Gora and BSU administration that they have acted impeccably in the above regard, and, for what it’s worth, that they enjoy my full support.

  19. Great! Do i get a secret operative badge now? 🙂

  20. john zande asks: “Do i get a secret operative badge now?”

    You have me confused with Captain Midnight.

  21. Ceteris Paribus

    @john zande: Maybe you didn’t remember to enclose 25 cents in coin, and two CurmudgeoniteTM labels with your request.

  22. No one could confuse our Curmudgeon with Captain Midnight.

    But has anyone ever seen Curmy and Secret Squirrel in the same place at the same time? Just sayin’…

  23. Writing my letter now.

    And don’t miss this opportunity – You can sign the DI petition to support Eric Hedin here: http://www.academicfreedompetition.com/

    I’m signing it as Caratacus Pott. 😉

  24. Can I sign it as Father Hanzen Yorpance, S.J.?

  25. @Anon: I’m guessing that one isn’t taken yet. Go for it. 🙂

  26. anevilmeme” “What frightens me most is Klinghoffer and his ilk seem to believe what he’s spewing.”

    What frightens me most is that, for some inexplicable reason, ~99.999% of fellow “Darwinists” dare not even mention the mere possibility that these career anti-science activists might not personally believe what they spew. Especially given the clear and present incentive they have to tell what they think, but would never dare admit, are “noble lies.”

    It could be that you’re all right, and Ronald Bailey and I are wrong, but last time I checked, mind reading is pseudoscience just like ID/creationism.

  27. I just sent the following to BSU with CC to the drones at the Disco ‘Tute:
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Dear BSU Trustees,

    I write this in full agreement with President Gora’s recent support of sound science education at BSU.

    “Intelligent Design Creationism” has no place in a science classroom. ID is a political movement with no basis
    in science. The overwhelming consensus of the scientific community is in support of strong science standards, and
    that ID is no more science than astrology, alchemy, or any other pseudoscience coming from a pre-scientific age.

    As a working geoscientist interested in promoting strong scientific literacy in our society, I urge you to continue your
    support for President Gora’s efforts to maintain the academic integrity of Ball State University.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Thanks to the Disco Tute for providing us with the necessary information for contacting BSU.

  28. Here’s mine:

    Dear Board of Trustees,

    I as a scientifically literate, concerned citizen, strongly applaud the statement recently released by President Gora, rejecting the teaching of so-called Intelligent Design Theory in a class at Ball State offering science credit. In particular, her explicit recognition that the banning of ID from science classes is a matter of academic integrity, not a question of academic freedom, is a remarkably incisive analysis of the key question in this matter.

    It has come to my attention that a Seattle-based creationist group, the Discovery Institute, has made some veiled threats, probably concerning a lawsuit, and based on the inaccurate equivocation of discussing ID in a science class with discussing religion and science in a humanities class specifically devoted to the discussion of different current ideas. It is my opinion that their complaint is baseless, and should be ignored by Ball State, much as the university would ignore complaints by groups advocating astrology, phlogiston theory, or the idea of a geocentric solar system. While this might seem a trifle harsh, I believe that both President Gora and the science faculty at Ball State recognize that ID theory, based both on its public statements (especially the Wedge document), and its lack of any scientific productivity (detailed in the book “Creationism’s Trojan Horse” by Barbara Forrest and Paul Gross) has no more scientific merit than do any of these other discredited quasi-scientific hypotheses. ID has also been recognized as unscientific in the legal arena, as evidenced by the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision of 2005.

    With the best wishes for the continued success of your university, I remain

    Yours Truly,

    Mark Joseph
    Instructor in Developmental Mathematics
    California State University of Northridge