Legislators Demand Answers about Intelligent Design Ban at Ball State University, says Discovery Institute

INDIANAPOLIS, March 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Four state legislators
led by Senate Education Committee Chair Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn) have sent a
letter to Ball State University’s (BSU) President and Board of Trustees
expressing serious concerns about the university’s treatment of BSU physicist
Eric Hedin and its imposition of a speech code censoring faculty speech on
intelligent design, according to Discovery Institute.

Prof. Hedin previously taught an honors course on the “Boundaries of Science”
which briefly discussed the idea that nature displays evidence of intelligent
design, but the course was removed from BSU’s course schedule for Spring
Semester 2014 following a controversial investigation that operated outside of
normal procedures.

In their letter, legislators expressed concerns “about whether improper
procedures were followed while investigating Prof. Eric Hedin’s course, and
whether an ad hoc committee appointed to investigate him was filled with persons
with conflicts of interest…We are also concerned about the cancellation of
Hedin’s class and the policy you announced last summer restricting faculty
speech on intelligent design. We are disturbed by reports that while you
restrict faculty speech on intelligent design, BSU authorized a seminar that
teaches ‘Science Must Destroy Religion.’

Your policy banning professors from expressing their views on intelligent design
raises many troubling questions. One of the most important is: Does the policy
forbid science professors from explaining either their support or rejection of
intelligent design in answer to student questions about intelligent design in
class?”

The legislators promised to send additional questions to BSU in coming weeks.
The legislators’ letter comes after nearly 10,000 people signed a petition
urging BSU to allow academic freedom for Prof. Hedin.

“Thus far BSU has refused to answer many questions about its mistreatment of
Prof. Hedin,” said Discovery Institute attorney Joshua Youngkin. “BSU even
recently filed a complaint with the Public Access Counselor to delay disclosing
emails requested under the Indiana Access to Public Records Act. It’s time for
BSU to stop stonewalling.”

“Senator Kruse and his fellow legislators are to be applauded for investigating
BSU’s actions violating academic freedom and open discussion,” added Donald
McLaughlin, Discovery Institute’s Indiana representative and an alumnus of Ball
State.

SOURCE Discovery Institute

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