Ball State to Discoveroids: “Bugger Off!”

Last night we posted Ball State Yields to Discoveroid Demands? That was the first news we could find about post-ultimatum events in what is shaping up to be the scientific battle of the Twenty-First Century.

On one side of this epic struggle, representing the forces of reason, we have Indiana’s Ball State University — see Statement from Ball State University’s President, Jo Ann Gora on the impropriety of teaching intelligent design in science class. On the other side we have the creationist colossus of Seattle — the Discovery Institute — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page.

Now, in the Star Press of Muncie, Indiana, we find the latest news: BSU reviewing alleged ‘atheism’ class. The Discoveroids have just put up a new post by John West (a/k/a “Westie”), but we’ll get to that another time, if it’s worth the bother. [Addendum: We’ve read Westie’s post; there’s nothing new in it. He concludes by muttering: “BSU’s disregard for both academic freedom and the Constitution is shameful; and if BSU continues along this path, it is going to find itself in serious trouble.”]

Here are some excerpts from the Star Press, with bold font added by us:

“You can be assured that the syllabi and curricula of all of the courses you singled out, as well as those of other courses offered by the Honors College and elsewhere at the university, are reviewed and updated on a regular basis,” BSU President Jo Ann Gora wrote in a letter on Monday to The Discovery Institute.

We learned about the occurrence of the review last night. Now we have this report of Gora’s letter to the Discoveroids. Last night we feared it might be a surrender notice. Now it doesn’t sound like that. Gora is saying that courses are always being reviewed. Stay with us; we’ll find out what’s going on:

The institute is an anti-evolution, pro-creationism intelligent design think tank in Seattle that maintains supernatural forces shaped the universe.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Now that is great journalism! We congratulate the Star Press for their accurate reporting.

Then the newspaper repeats the history of the battle, which our regular readers already know. We’ll skip that and proceed to their account of the latest events:

[N]othing submitted by the institute “persuades us we should change our position” on intelligent design, Gora wrote in this week’s letter.

That sounds good to us, but it didn’t seem so in Seattle:

The Discovery Institute is not satisfied with Gora’s response and continues to threaten to “seek another remedy.”

Ooooooooh! We continue:

“We are seriously concerned about whether the subcommittees being established will apply the same standards fairly and equally to all faculty,” [Discoveroid John] West told The Star Press via email on Tuesday. “In particular, we will be looking at the make-up of the various committees to see if they are as ideologically one-sided as the ad hoc committee appointed to investigate Eric Hedin.”

Ooooooooooooh! Westie “will be looking” at the situation. What a chilling prospect that must be. Here’s more:

He [Westie, presumably] accused Ball State of continuing to “stonewall by refusing to answer basic questions that have been raised about its potential violations of the law, the federal and Indiana constitutions, and its own guarantees of academic freedom and due process.”

We were wondering about that. Ball State seems to have ignored the Discoveroids’ questions that were included with the ultimatum. Moving along:

West said, “We gave BSU an opportunity to clarify what it is doing, and to show that it is applying its policies in a fair and legal manner. Because BSU has refused to clarify what it is doing or answer our questions, we will be forced to seek another remedy.”

Westie gave Ball State a chance, and they blew it. This is getting scary. Here’s one last excerpt:

[Ball State’s president, Jo Ann] Gora said she shared the institute’s concerns and demands with the university’s board of trustees before responding to the institute by letter this week.

Ah, Gora has the support of the board of trustees. But Westie has the support of the Man Upstairs — the magical, mystical, intelligent designer of the universe and the bacterial flagellum — blessed be he! — whom Ball State refuses to acknowledge. Only one side can prevail in this contest, and the sides are not evenly matched.

Whatever happens, this will be the Iliad of our age (and your humble Curmudgeon will be its Homer). The young ones will sing of it around the camp fires for generations to come. We tremble as we await future developments.

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

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21 responses to “Ball State to Discoveroids: “Bugger Off!”

  1. Westie makes a big threat! Ooooooh, I’ll huff and puff and I’ll blow your house down!

    At the end of the latest Discoveroid article Westie threatens:

    and if BSU continues along this path, it is going to find itself in serious trouble.

    Yes, boys and girls, seriwous twouble!

  2. Pete Moulton

    You have to feel for President Gora. Her position demands that she maintain a certain amount of decorum in the face of Westie and his ludicrous clown posse. This is why–among other reasons–I’ll never be a college President. My own inclination would be to laugh uncontrollably and hold the ‘tute up to public ridicule.

  3. Westie’s got a lot of work ahead of him. Once he emerges victorious in Muncie, he’s got godless, materialistic, communist biology departments all over the United States to threaten with “serious trouble,” starting at UW – right in the DI’s own backyard! Then it’s off to Pullman and later to Oregon and OSU, both of which seem pretty hostile to ID. Onward Christian Intelligent Design Soldiers!

  4. Pete Moulton confesses:

    “My own inclination [in the role of college president] would be to laugh uncontrollably and hold the ‘tute up to public ridicule.”

    I feel you. I’m occasionally dismayed that it’s woven into the very fabric of the scientific enterprise to be so damn polite, almost to the point of abject deference, about its critiques and rejections. HL Mencken put it thus: “A good horselaugh is worth a thousand syllogisms.

  5. I’ve read Westie’s new Discoveroid post. It’s nothing new, so I won’t be writing about it. I added a brief addendum saying so in the above post.

  6. Our Curmudgeon promises

    this will be the Iliad of our age (and your humble Curmudgeon will be its Homer)

    We keenly await thy dactylic hexameters, O Bard!

    In the meantime, may I modestly propose just a few Homeric epithets that may or may not be of service, and invite other readers of this blog to submit better ones for your consideration?, e.g.

    …gerbil-hearted Luskin, the logic befouler…

    …fog-gathering Westie, hurler of spit-wads…

    …dim-witted Egnor of the wine-dark brain…

    …rosey-spectacled Ellis…

    &c. &c….

  7. Megalonyx suggests: ” a few Homeric epithets” such as “gerbil-hearted Luskin, the logic befouler.”

    Don’t overlook “poo-flinging Klinghoffer, the journalistic slasher.”

  8. …keen-scalpeled Egnor, slicer of cerebellums…

    …well-grievenced Chapman, the Wedge-wielder…

  9. …flagellum-mastering Behe, trapper of mice…

    …number-shuffling Dembski, the irreducible perplexer…

    OK, OK, I’ll stop cluttering up your blog!

    But I keenly await further developments on this story; I can’t think of another instance in which a soi disant “think tank” has undertaken to threaten an institution of higher learning with serious trouble.

    This sounds more like The Godfather territory…

  10. Pete Moulton

    Megalonyx, you don’t suppose that President Gora’s going to wake up with a horse’s head in her bed, do you? This could get ugly…

  11. “He [Westie, presumably] accused Ball State of continuing to “stonewall by refusing to answer basic questions that have been raised about its potential violations of the law, the federal and Indiana constitutions, and its own guarantees of academic freedom and due process.”

    And that, dear friends, is the dishonesty institute’s scientific process! Threats and demands that intelligent design by the friendly ghost be taught to all despite the fact that it is itself devoid of any scientific relevancy.

  12. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    von Westie boastfully whined …

    “Because BSU has refused to clarify what it is doing or answer our questions, we will be forced to seek another remedy.”

    My prediction of the ID community’s “remedy”.

    Sorry Westie, the dream you had of getting ID in under the radar in order to set up a lawsuit over “academic freedom” got flushed again. Get over it.

  13. Rubber ducks tossing their toys out the pond? A bizarre-but-nonetheless-amusing image for sure.

  14. BSU responds to DI lawsuit threat: Ball State irritated, but still swinging. Discoveroids, once itchy, are now swollen and inflamed. (Tweeted from DiogenesLamp0)

  15. ” representing the forces of reason, we have Indiana’s Ball State University”
    I find this a tad optimistic. Who let Eric Hedin teach creationism during an astronomy class again? For years? Who hired Guillermo Gonzalez only a few months ago?
    I am really eager to learn what BSU is going to do with these two creacrappers.

  16. Your couplets sound Anglo-Saxon, not Homeric.

  17. OT: Smegnor sighting at Sandwalk. We don’t get many changes to hunt the DI Fellows face to face, so to speak.

    I’m taking my harpoon and have laid a trap for the vast white cetacean. Or cretacean. Hilarity will ensue– with Smegnor, it always does.

  18. “Whatever happens, this will be the Iliad of our age (and your humble Curmudgeon will be its Homer). The young ones will sing of it around the camp fires for generations to come. We tremble as we await future developments.”

    Call me paranoid, but I don’t think you’re being entirely sincere. 🙂

  19. lanceleuven says: “Call me paranoid, but I don’t think you’re being entirely sincere.”

    What? A pack of creationists threatens a state university, and you don’t think that’s the stuff of legend?

  20. Diogenes challenges my pedantry:

    Your couplets sound Anglo-Saxon, not Homeric.

    Couplets? 🙂

    But granted, in translation the epithets do assume an Anglo-Saxon flavour–but ’tis appropriate to epic verse, yes?

    But if you insist:

    …Ομιχληγερετα Ουστι…
    …Φλαγελλυμδαμος Βεχε, κυνηγός ποντικών…

    και τα λοιπά… 🙂

  21. retiredsciguy

    If it weren’t for our First Amendment, calling the Discovery Institute a “think tank” would surely be considered a criminal offense.