Ball State University is the current battleground for atheist activists’ war against God.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which has taken upon itself to be a sort of Ku Klux Klan of academia, keeping the undesirables in their place, has demanded the university investigate whether Ball State physicist Dr. Eric Hedin had informed students about the theory of Intelligent Design.
To the FFRF, that’s reason to punish, maim and destroy, all under color of “separation of church and state.”
The result of FFRF’s rabble rousing was that BSU President Jo Ann Gora issued a gag order preventing faculty from discussing ID because it is a “religious” idea that supposedly has no place in a science classroom. She said that ID does not comply with the “consensus of science scholars” and therefore any discussion of it violates “academic integrity.”
Now, turn your attention to stage left.
Ball State offers as an upper division course a seminar titled “Dangerous Ideas.” The only textbook for the seminar is edited by an atheist scholar. The authors in the compilation assert that “science must destroy religion”; “there is no God; no Intelligent Designer; no higher purpose to our lives”; and that scientists should be society’s “high priests.”
The Discovery Institute, which defends the freedom of academics to teach Intelligent Design as it touches on their fields of knowledge, is demanding that Ball State’s president either get rid of the university’s gag order or apply it fairly to all religions, including atheism.
“If Ball State is going to ban faculty speech favoring intelligent design by claiming that it would violate the separation of church and state, then it must apply the same ban to faculty speech that promotes atheism or attacks intelligent design in the classroom,” wrote Discovery Institute Vice President John West.
In a letter to the university, the Discovery Institute wrote, “Unlike BSU, we favor freedom for professors to express their views on controversial issues. But if BSU insists on censoring professors who favor intelligent design, we insist BSU comply with the Constitution and apply its speech ban equally to all professors. … Since your ban on faculty speech related to intelligent design is based on your claim that individual faculty are not allowed to endorse or take positions in debates over religious ideas, you need to make sure that you apply your new restrictions to all faculty statements regarding all religious topics.”
Academic integrity and complying with the Constitution are the last things a ban on teaching ID is about. The Freedom From Religion Foundation and other atheist activist groups like it are on a religious crusade to crush competing ideologies.
They’ve been victorious till now because they have successfully marketed themselves as a “non-religion,” the way 7-Up used to market itself as “the un-cola.” But like 7-Up is just another soda in different packaging, atheism is just another religion seeking to position itself as the only legally allowable belief — exactly what atheists always accuse Christians of trying to do.
The argument against exposing students to Intelligent Design theory invariably begins with the spurious claim that it’s a religious viewpoint, then tosses up the straw man of biblical creationism.
Creationism takes as its model the Book of Genesis, then looks at the world and tries to make the scientific data fit the model.
Intelligent Design begins by looking at the scientific data, recognizes that at least some natural processes are better explained by the concept of intelligent intervention than by mere random chance. ID-leaning scientists then use that information to predict results based on models that incorporate intelligent design.
ID can lead naturally to the concept of God, but it doesn’t have to and, more importantly, it is not dependent upon belief in God.
Evolution is an exigent theory — it needs help in order to be even remotely plausible. The mechanism Darwin proposed of natural selection is insufficient to explain the rise of new species. Also, the slow, continuous changes Darwin proposed are not seen in the fossil record, and the idea has largely been abandoned by evolution proponents who for decades have been talking about things like “punctuated equilibrium” to explain the sudden appearance of new species.
ID proposes a different mechanism for the changes in life on Earth — intelligent intervention. It makes more sense than Darwinian evolution and fits the known facts better because it proceeds from the available data rather than from a pre-approved worldview.
But atheists enter into the argument over academic freedom because they’ve adopted Darwinism as their doctrine, and no heresy must be allowed. That is why they appeal to “consensus.”
Scientific breakthroughs have nothing to do with consensus and everything to do with scientists going against the establishment views. Hence we have scientific laws and theories named after individual scientists like Newton, Galileo and Einstein. The famed Consensus Theory has yet to be enshrined in textbooks.
Appeal to consensus is the stake in the heart of science, and banning ideas because of religious disagreement is the end of honest inquiry.