It’s been a month since our last post about creationism at Ball State. That was Ball State Imbroglio Heats Up Again, and it summarizes the history of the affair. To appreciate today’s news, you need to recall that this whole thing began last year when Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago, started a fuss about Ball State University’s physics professor, Eric Hedin, who was allegedly teaching intelligent design in his course on the “Boundaries of Science.”
You won’t believe what we just read in the Star Press of Muncie, Indiana — the home town of Ball State University. Here’s the headline: BSU promotes controversial prof. Yeah, Hedin is promoted. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Ball State University has promoted assistant professor Eric Hedin, who was at the center of a science vs. intelligent design controversy last year, to associate professor, a giant step toward tenure.
See there? This is a good lesson in life. Be a good boy, study hard, eat your vegetables, do your homework, become a creationist, and you will reap the rewards. The newspaper also says:
Coupled with the positive outcome of a meeting between BSU officials and conservative state lawmakers, the university now might be able to put the debate to rest.
Does this put the matter to rest? Maybe. Maybe not. Is Hedin going to continue teaching creationism? The news story doesn’t say. Will this satisfy the Discoveroids? We doubt it. Nothing will satisfy them except full-blown theocracy, vigorously enforced in every institution. Hey — speaking of the Discoveroids …
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.”
Hedin’s class remains canceled and a “gag order” on BSU professors remains in effect, West said.
Good point, Westie! Let’s read on:
Last week, Hedin was one of 19 assistant professors promoted to associate professor by Ball State’s board of trustees. “I am thankful that the university has confirmed its earlier statement that my academic credentials are an asset to the university, and that I remain an important and valued member of the physics and astronomy department,” Hedin told The Star Press on Tuesday.
The promotion virtually guarantees Hedin will receive tenure down the road.
Becoming an associate professor is a virtual guarantee of tenure? We continue:
Ball State’s current policy does not connect the tenure decision with a promotion to associate professor, but that policy will change next year. “In the future, those decisions will be the same — as it is as most universities,” [Ball State spokeswoman Joan] Todd said. “It has always been a 7-year probationary period for tenure, and that will continue.”
This story isn’t over yet. Oh, wait — then the newspaper reminds us of another issue:
Ball State last year hired Guillermo Gonzalez, a senior fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, as an assistant professor of astronomy. Like Hedin, Gonzalez came to Ball State from a Christian school, Grove City College.
After being hired, Gonzalez, who was denied tenure at Iowa State University, said that he planned to continue his research on astrobiology and stellar astrophysics at Ball State and would not be discussing intelligent design in the classroom.
The Gonzo aspect of the story isn’t over yet either. We’ll continue watching events at Ball State.
Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.