Discovery Institute Demands that Ball State University Investigate Class for Teaching that "Science Must Destroy Religion"
Discovery Institute, the nation's leading intelligent design think tank, is demanding that Indiana's Ball State University (BSU) investigate one of its honors seminars for promoting atheism and bashing intelligent design. The demand follows the decision by BSU President Jo Ann Gora to ban all faculty from endorsing intelligent design in their classes, and to ban science faculty from even raising the topic.
"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," said Dr. John West, Vice President of Discovery Institute.
Discovery Institute is asking BSU to investigate its honors seminar "Dangerous Ideas." The sole textbook used in the course is an anthology edited by a prominent atheist in which the authors assert that "Science Must Destroy Religion," that "There is no God; no Intelligent Designer; no higher purpose to our lives," and even that scientists should function as our society's "high priests." The book contains an afterword by atheist evangelist Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion.
In a letter delivered to BSU's President and Board of Trustees, Discovery Institute demands that BSU apply the same speech restrictions consistently to all faculty:
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.
The Institute also asks BSU to apply the same content standards to all science courses, the same qualification standards to faculty in its honors science seminars, and to answer questions about due process violations in its investigation of physicist Eric Hedin, who was targeted by a complaint from the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
The Institute's letter gives BSU until September 30 to respond. After that, the Institute warns it will be forced to seek other remedies.
A non-profit education and research think tank, Discovery Institute defends academic freedom for scientists, scholars and students who support intelligent design, the theory that there is scientific evidence that nature was produced by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process.