Eric Hedin Gets Tenure at Ball State

This is a new chapter in what we’ve been calling the Ball State Imbroglio. To fill you in with what we’ve written before, it all began back in 2013 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.”

After a lot of attention, there was a strong, pro-science Statement from Ball State University’s President, Jo Ann Gora. She wrote: “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.”

That’s when the Discovery Institute got openly and aggressively involved. We posted Discoveroids Issue Ultimatum to Ball State. When the ultimatum’s deadline passed, we posted about the university’s response: Ball State to Discoveroids: “Bugger Off!”

The Discoveroids initiated a letter-writing campaign, which went nowhere. The state legislature investigated, and that too went nowhere. The last time we wrote about the situation was two years ago: Ball State Imbroglio: Hedin Is Promoted. He had been behaving himself, so he was given the rank of associate professor. That’s the last we heard of the situation, and we’ve been regarding Hedin as a Discoveroid sleeper agent.

Now, in the Star Press of Muncie, Indiana — the home town of Ball State University — we read ‘Intelligent design’ professor earns tenure at Ball State. They have a comments feature, but there aren’t any yet. Here are some excerpts from the news story, with bold font added by us:

Eric Hedin, a Ball State University faculty member who was ordered to stop teaching intelligent design in a science course, has been granted tenure. An associate professor of physics and astronomy, Hedin declined to be interviewed for this story but told The Star Press, “I am pleased to have received approval for tenure and I look forward to continuing my professional contributions to Ball State University.”

The Discoveroids must be proud! Then we’re reminded:

Combined with Ball State’s hiring of ID advocate Guillermo Gonzalez as an assistant professor of astronomy in 2013, the Hedin controversy put BSU at the center of a national educational debate over science vs. religion. … Gonzalez, who continues to teach at Ball State, also remains a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, a think tank known for its advocacy of ID.

We wrote about Gonzalez too, but he didn’t make any news today. One last excerpt:

The Discovery Institute’s John West declined comment for this story. The institute fought for Hedin’s academic freedom and fair treatment, as did some Indiana lawmakers.

Westie didn’t comment to the newspaper, but we expect to find something soon at the Discoveroids’ blog. So there you are, dear reader. It goes to show that if a creationist hides in the closet, he can get tenure. Now the fun will begin.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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3 responses to “Eric Hedin Gets Tenure at Ball State

  1. Eric Lipps

    How appropriate that this is taking place at BS University.

  2. ladyatheist

    How does he qualify for a 7-year review after becoming tenure-track in 2012?

  3. docbill1351

    However Ball State does tenure, it appears that Hedin met the standard. Whether he choses to destroy his career and reputation like Behe did remains to be seen. So far, though, he seems to be on the up and up. Congrats to Hedin, live long and prosper.

    Gigi, on the other hand, the other astronomer who is a DI fellow seems to have made no progress whatsoever in the same period of time Hedin earned tenure. A report on the Panda’s Thumb states that Gigi (Guillermo Gonzalez) has published nothing just as he published nothing while on tenure track at Iowa State. That said, Gigi hasn’t done anything for the Disco Tute, either. Maybe he plans on teaching Astronomy 101 forever. Who cares.