The Discovery Institute is bringing back a lot of memories today. Many of you remember what we called the “Ball State Imbroglio,” about which we posted at least 20 times starting back in 2013. As we said in Discoveroids Issue Ultimatum to Ball State:
You know all about the creationist problems at Indiana’s Ball State University. They had one guy, Eric Hedin, who was said to be slipping the stuff into his course on the “Boundaries of Science,” and while a controversy was brewing over that they went out and hired Guillermo Gonzalez — a Discoveroid “senior fellow.” We recently summarized the situation in Battle of Ball State: Setting the Stage.
For quite a while, the situation was wild and crazy. Then things quieted down — see Eric Hedin Leaves Ball State, Goes to Biola. Now, when no one was expecting the Ball State controversy to come alive, the Discovery Institute posted this at their creationist blog: Today, “Canceled” Scientist Eric Hedin Gets His Voice Back. It was written by Klinghoffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
I vividly remember the “canceling” of Ball State University physicist Eric Hedin in 2013, the victim of a campaign by atheist biologist Jerry Coyne and the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Their aim was to punish him for having the temerity to teach an honors course on “The Boundaries of Science,” which included optional readings about intelligent design.
We remember it too. Those were wild times. Jerry Coyne was an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago who was very active in complaining about the people Ball State was hiring. But why bring it all up now? Klinghoffer says:
As he recounts in a new book out today, Canceled Science: What Some Atheists Don’t Want You to See [Amazon link]:
[Klinghoffer quotes Hedin’s book:] At the heart of the controversy was the thesis that some things we find in the universe require more than a purely material cause, a view held by many philosophers and scientists down through the ages and into the present. In my course I exposed my students to some of these thinkers, along with some on the opposite side of the question. But for Coyne, that was too much.
According to Amazon, the book has 250 pages, costs only $16.95 in paperback, and — get this! — it was published by the Discovery Institute. Wowie! Amazon has a “look inside” feature, and there are no customer reviews yet. Okay, back to Klinghoffer. He tells us:
What I found most despicable about the successful attempt to silence Professor Hedin was the power disparity. Hedin was a young scientist — on tenure track but not holding tenure, and thus highly vulnerable — at Ball State University, an “institution…named after a manufacturer of glass canning jars — a benign backstory for an utterly benign university campus.” Or that was what Hedin imagined. His persecutor, on the other hand, was a prominent academic, enjoying maximum career safety at the University of Chicago. Let’s be honest: between the two, there was no contest. Coyne could move against Hedin without fear, and he did. On the other hand, Hedin’s career was on the line, and both knew it.
He continues describing the situation from the Discoveroids’ point of view:
Hedin was stunned to find himself accused of violating the First Amendment. He was also anxious that the older, more powerful scientist was about to put an end to Dr. Hedin’s life in science. Amid a media controversy, Discovery Institute sought to intervene, but again, the power was all on the side of the atheists.
A tragic situation indeed. Let’s read on:
It’s wonderful that Discovery Institute Press is now able to restore Hedin’s voice to him, the voice that Coyne sought to silence. The book is released today and you can get it either in paperback or via Kindle. Hedin both recounts his story and advances his own case for intelligent design from the evidence in his field.
The case for intelligent design? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Here’s more from Klinghoffer’s post:
Cancel culture had no name in 2013. It has since become one of the major worries in contemporary life, with popular and social media joining forces with scientific journals and others, calling upon the assistance of the government, to shut down non-approved opinions. Is this the United States? Or is it China? Sometimes I wonder.
So called “cancel culture” is indeed running wild, but the scientific opposition to creationism is a whole separate issue. Anyway, we’ve arrived at the end of Klinghoffer’s post. Here it is:
Eric Hedin was an early alert as to the looming threat to free speech. His personal story is as important as his argument for design in nature. We’ll have more to say about the book in coming days.
Oh, goodie — they’ll be posting an ark-load about Hedin’s book. We’ll have to look elsewhere for interesting stuff to blog about.
Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.