Exciting Information about Eric Hedin’s Book

A few days ago we wrote A Book about the Ball State Imbroglio. The book in question was published by the Discovery Institute Press and written by Eric Hedin, who caused an uproar several years ago when he was said to be slipping creationist material into his course on the “Boundaries of Science” at Ball State University.

The Discoveroids promised that they’d have more to say about Hedin’s book, and today they’re starting to do that. This just appeared at their creationist blog: “Canceled” Physicist Eric Hedin Explores the Boundaries of Science, and it has no author’s by-line. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

A new ID the Future podcast [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!] spotlights Canceled Science: What Some Atheists Don’t Want You to See. [Amazon link].

Wowie — a Discoveroid podcast discusses a book published by the Discoveroids. Very exciting! They say:

Host Robert Crowther and author Eric Hedin begin by revisiting the atheist attack [Gasp!] on Professor Hedin and his Ball State University course, “The Boundaries of Science.” Download the podcast or listen to it here. [Link omitted!]

After that they tell us:

The course was an interdisciplinary honors course exposing students to basic astrophysics and cosmology, as well as to big questions raised by such discoveries as the Big Bang and the fine-tuning of the laws and constants of physics for life. The course included mention of leading scientists who see evidence of design in some of these findings, as well as scientists who deny any evidence of design in nature

It sounds like a Teach the Controversy event, the sort of thing the Discoveroids are always urging schools to adopt. Their post continues:

Atheist Jerry Coyne and the Freedom from Religion Foundation charged Hedin with infusing religion into the course, and soon the controversy spilled over into the national news.

Yup. Lots of blogging opportunity. One last excerpt:

Hear Hedin tell his side of the story [Hee hee!], followed by a quick look at some of the evidence for design Hedin explores in the new book.

You certainly want to see Hedin’s evidence, so click over to the Discoveroids’ website and take a look at the podcast. Then you can buy the book and spend the rest of your life as a drooling creationist. Go ahead, make the Curmudgeon proud.

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

21 responses to “Exciting Information about Eric Hedin’s Book

  1. Derek Freyberg

    Your readers, at least those who do not follow Jerry Coyne’s own excellent website directly, may be interested to know that he has recently posted on this: https://whyevolutionistrue.com/2021/03/04/a-creationist-writes-in-eric-hedin-resurfaces/, though not about Hedin’s book as such.

  2. Wow. “a quick look at some of the evidence for design“.

    Be still my beating heart… Hedin is actually going to provide real evidence of design; and there’s so much evidence that he can only cover some of it. This book is destined to be on bestseller lists across the country.

  3. Ross Cameron

    “What some atheists don`t want you to see”. Sounds like there`s an atheist underground with secret signs and handshakes even. We don`t have one,duz we? Well, duz we?

  4. Yet there are those of us who are
    curious about what “intelligent design” is. How does it serve as an alternative to any and all explanations offered by natural science, such as how evolutionary biology relates to the variety of life? How are super-natural agencies constrained by natural designs?

  5. Theodore J Lawry

    Off topic, but I know how we all love and admire Casey Luskin. He has a podcast “from the vault” on ID the Future, which, get this, repeats word for word a post of his from 2013! And, true to form, it is yet another in a long series of posts refighting the Dover trial of 2005! Yet another way you can tell how much they wanted to get ID into the public schools is how bitter they still are about losing! Luskin has just got back on the job and here he is refighting old battles. How useless can you get!

    Luskin’s logic is all screwed up too, but that’s another story.

  6. Dave Luckett

    The word “cancel” has gained meaning over the last two decades or so. It was used only of an event or a fixture, to mean simply “remove” or “prevent from operating”, with the implication that this could be for many possible reasons, often lack of means or unfortunate circumstances; (“I had to cancel Joy’s birthday party because of covid”). But now a person may be cancelled. This means specifically, “for political advantage to deny an adversary access or opportunity to appear or speak; ie, to censor, suppress or silence them.”

    That’s the sense and form in which the DI is using the word. Hedin, they say, was “canceled”.

    As many have pointed out, Hedin was not “cancelled” in that or any sense, No attempt was made to prevent him from teaching or speaking, still less to threaten his job. A unit he taught at Ball State was discontinued after it was found to have included religious content and materials inappropriate for a science elective in a State-funded secular school. He continued to teach, remained on track for tenure, and received it. On his own initiative, he then left for what was certainly an environment more congenial to his religious beliefs – Biola, a private Christian university.

    By doing that, Hedin showed his hand. To give him his due, he is certainly interested in teaching science – so long as it is compatible and consonant with his religion, and provided he can promote his religion as well. The clear implication is that that’s what he wanted to do, and actually did, at Ball State. That being the case, the objections to his course and its content were well-founded.

  7. But then, creationists have their own rules of evidence. See my latest at Pandasthumb, which also includes comments on the reaccreditation of the abominable TRACS (Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools): https://pandasthumb.org/archives/2021/03/creationism-accreditation.html

  8. @PaulB: let me remind you of an all important creacrap law.

    X is evidence for creacrap.
    -X is also evidence for creacrap.
    Nothing proves evilution.

    This transcends “whereas the scientific method requires reproducibility”.
    Radiometry is perfectly reproducible. Moreover it uses several methods. From Wikipedia: radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating and uranium-lead dating. Needless to say that they are mutually calibrated.
    Still all YECers reject it. So let me correct you:

    “But this month the world’s most noted creationist organisation has gone even further.”
    Given their rejection of radiometry they already did many years ago. Scientific conclusions always have only been acceptable when approved by Ol’Hambo. He’s fourth in line, just after the Holy Trinity.

    From the Panda’s Thumb link:

    “Dr. Swamidass ….. thinks that colleges should be allowed to teach creationism, but if Tracs is to accredit them, then they must agree to teach modern science as well.”
    The IDiots from Seattle will rejoice. This is Teach the Controversy.

    I prefer the Dutch procedure. Biologists (qualified ones, appointed by government) decide what’s taught in biology class. Theologians (including Biblical scholars), appointed by schools decide what’s taught in Bible class. Secular schools don’t have Bible classes.

  9. Unfortunately, there is no way to stop a private College in the US from teaching creationism as science. The issue is whether anyone would give credit to courses taken at such colleges, hence the importance of the power to accredit. TRACS exists in order to give accreditation of a sort to colleges that teach creationism. Swamidass’ elegant judo-like solution, spelt out in his Wall Street Journal opinion piece (firewall, unfortunately) Is to require TRACS to permit the schools that it accredits to teach the genuine science (at present it does not), and to distinguish between science courses and creationism courses, so that employers and other institutions can decide which courses to recognise. Here we have “teach the controversy” used against the creationists themselves.

    I also think that in the case of radiometric dating you do less than justice to the creationist complaint that we are making unprovable assumption when we apply present physical laws in the past. As recently as a century ago, that was indeed an arbitrary assumption, following in general terms from the uniformity of nature. We know from direct observation that in general the laws of physics and chemistry are unchanged, from the structure and texture of the rocks, but there is no such direct evidence for radioactive decay. However Gamow showed in 1928 that radioactive decay is an example of quantum mechanical tunnelling, and that it could not have been different in the past unless fundamental laws and constants were different in the past, which we know they weren’t.

  10. “you do less than justice to the creationist complaint”
    I don’t think so. I’ve yet to meet the first YECer who admits that

    1. radiometric methods are repeatable;
    2. that different radiometric methods generally provide the same outcomes;
    3. that the results of those methods are consistent with stratigraphy.

    The reason always has been “the ultimate standard for truth being God’s Word” as interpreted by Ol’Hambo. It’s the core of Biblical literalism; mutatis mutandis the same for jewish and islamic fundamentalism.

    “Here we have “teach the controversy” used against the creationists themselves.”
    In a structurally flawed way, given

    “so that employers and other institutions can decide which courses to recognise.”
    Like I wrote, I prefer experts to make these decisions. Employers may be creationists themselves and BJU is a creationist institute.

  11. docbill1351

    Hedin was rapped for his course, “Boundaries: Pushing Christianity Like the Clappers” in May, 2013. That’s nearly EIGHT years ago. As Young Time Creationists (of the Old Timey kind) they got a ways to go to earn a full Kitzmiller Kvetch.

  12. FrankB, John Baumgardner, and the RATE (Real Age of the Earth) project meet your critria. They posit electromagnetic convulsions at the time of the Flood, siultaneously generatihg 14C and accelerating decay of everything else

  13. Intriguing. I had never heard of the guy, despite 166 entries at AiG and several mentions at Logos.nl. Even the Encyclopedia of American Loons reluctantly and between the lines shows him some genuine respect.

    https://americanloons.blogspot.com/2013/03/477-john-baumgardner.html

    However, as the Dutch saying goes, one swallow doesn’t make summer. I don’t even think he’s an exception to “the ultimate standard for truth being God’s Word”; he’s an exception because he has made some genuine scientific efforts to confirm that standard.
    That said, just like I think it fascinating to see how far you can get when starting with a Flat Earth (much farther than most people think) Baumgardner’s efforts fascinate me as well. They can tell us something about the reasons we accept some theories and reject others; ie about the famous Demarcation Problem.
    So I’d be grateful to you if you tell us (me) when somebody takes on Baumgardner. I agree that he can’t be dismissed as easily as the vast majority of creationists. So I’ll admit I haven’t done full justice to him (there might be a few others).

  14. @FrankB, check out the RATE project

  15. @FrankB
    As to the Dutch saying, it was cited by Aristotle.

  16. Ross Cameron

    Or the old Aussie saying (I just made that up) ‘One swallow doesn`t make you drunk’. So, creos must keep swallowing from the bottle of faith to keep regurgitating their worn-out explanations. Or, maybe, each new generation laps up the lies because they seem to hold answers to slaying the two-headed dragon of atheism/evilution. Will the Creation of the equivalent of Alcos Anonymous offer a way out of their dilemma? Ten steps to the truth?

  17. ladyatheist

    @FrankB the place to read about Hedin is Coyne’s blog and Inside Higher Ed. Did you make the mistake of searching in science databases?

  18. ladyatheist

    … and don’t forget that in the middle of the brouhahahahaha Ball State hired Guillermo “Privileged Planet” Gonzalez!

  19. docbill1351

    @ladyatheist Gonzo the Creationist is no longer at Ball State. Apparently, he didn’t make tenure there, either. Iowa State, no tenure. Grove City, no tenure. Ball State, no tenure. He moved to the University of Alabama, Huntsville, in 2019, as a “research scientist” which sounds like a postdoc or staff position. UA Huntsville has about half the student population as Ball State. My prediction: no tenure, especially as he is not listed as a professor, assistant or associate.

    Gonzo’s research output (publish or perish) is definitely on the perish side. You can tell almost to the day when he got tangled up with the Disco Tute. His research output fell to zero, maybe not absolute zero but definitely in the 3Kelvin range. Once again, creationism is a career killer.

  20. @Ladyatheist: your question

    “Did you make the mistake of searching in science databases?”
    doesn’t make any sense. On this page I wrote exactly zilch about Hedin, let alone about Gonzalez. What’s more, until a few moments ago I didn’t search the two guys at all. For your sake I searched the nice blog of our dear SC on those two names. It got me more than enough links to get me informed on their cases, will I ever feel an urge, which is rather unlikely.
    So thanks for your recommendations, but no, thanks. For one thing Coyne’s book Why Evolution is True is excellent, but his blog contains lots of crap – especially regarding philosophy, history and politics. I know many better ways to waste my time.

  21. Retired Prof

    Ross Cameron quotes an old Aussie saying he just made up: ‘One swallow doesn`t make you drunk’.

    True enough. However, consider this cautionary note a now-deceased colleague used to cite. “Two pints make one cavort.”