Eric Hedin, Ball State, & the Discovery Institute

Very few posts at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog have been entertaining lately, but one captured our attention: Fact Check: Inside Higher Ed Misrepresents Eric Hedin at Ball State University (Again). It was written by Sarah Chaffee (whom we call “Savvy Sarah”), and it’s a revival of an old controversy we’ve been calling the Ball State Imbroglio.

It 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.” Our last post about it was over five months ago: Eric Hedin Gets Tenure at Ball State. Despite his good behavior leading to tenure, we said that we regard Hedin as a Discoveroid sleeper agent. We thought the controversy was over, at least for a while, but Savvy Sarah can’t let it go. She says, with some bold font added by us for emphasis:

In a recent article for Inside Higher Ed, Colleen Flaherty makes the same harmful, erroneous statements about physicist Eric Hedin that she did back in May in a piece on Hedin’s earning tenure.

The article to which Savvy Sarah links is about Mark Armitage, perhaps a hero of hers. At first we thought her link was a blunder, but the article does devote one sentence to Hedin. It says:

Scientists aren’t always hostile to creationist colleagues — Ball State University granted tenure earlier this year to Eric Hedin, a professor of physics previously accused of proselytizing creationism in a science seminar, for example.

Savvy Sarah is outraged! After a big quote from one of her earlier Discoveroid posts she says:

Hedin was not “proselytizing.” Neither was he promoting “creationism.”

[…]

Of course, these are the typical mischaracterizations directed at those who set a foot outside the limits of rigid evolutionary dogmatism — mislabeling the content Hedin taught as creationism (he only taught intelligent design (ID), which is not creationism [Hee hee!], and ID was only one among several topics covered in the interdisciplinary honors — not core science — course), and then going the extra step and labeling Hedin himself as a creationist.

She finishes by declaring:

Dr. Hedin, a responsible scientist and fine teacher, does not deserve this rehashing of false accusations.

What Savvy Sarah has accomplished with her post is to reinforce our earlier conclusion that Hedin is a Discoveroid sleeper agent. We appreciate the reminder, and now that Hedin has tenure, we look forward to the inevitable shenanigans.

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

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

5 responses to “Eric Hedin, Ball State, & the Discovery Institute

  1. michaelfugate

    Jason Rosenhouse lists the readings for Hedin’s now defunct course here:
    http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2013/05/22/the-ball-state-kerfuffle/

    Take a look and see what you think – limits of science – not so much.

    I notice Hedin also lists “teleology” as one of his research interests, but I don’t see anything in his publications related to that topic…

  2. The discoveroids can be very touchy at times. All Sarah does is call attention to an article that – I am guessing here – none of her readers were aware of. What was her point?

    The D’ists should lie low and wait for Hedin to make his move, if he ever does.

  3. michaelfugate

    I found this unpublished paper by Hedin which seems to claim it would be a miracle if the fine-tuning were not a miracle. Which I think is saying that no matter what the universe is like it is a miracle.

  4. “Scientists aren’t always hostile to creationist colleagues — Ball State University granted tenure earlier this year to Eric Hedin, a professor of physics previously accused of proselytizing creationism in a science seminar, for example. . . . Hedin was not ‘proselytizing.’ Neither was he promoting “creationism.”

    Okay. But in context, clearly Sarah is admitting that Hedlin is a creationist (a “creationist colleague”). And while one might quibble over the word “proselytizing,” a creationist science professor who doesn’t teach creationism is a contradiction in terms.

    But perhaps Sarah means he teaches “intelligent design” rather than creationism. ID proponents make this distinction all the time, but from what I can see it’s a distinction without a difference. Perhaps they should be pressed harder to define both terms and explain, in clear language, what separates the two.