Intelligent design science classes have been banned at Ball State University in Indiana. Ball state President, Professor Jo Ann Gora, has proclaimed that intelligent design is simply not science.
Professor Eric Hedin will retain his position with the university. However, he is no longer allowed to teach intelligent design. His class, The Boundaries of Science, relied heavily on the theory, and was strongly criticized.
As reported by the Huffington Post, Hedin was accused of teaching Christianity in his science class. The Freedom from Religion Foundation launched a complaint, stating that the class violated a separation of church and state.
Gora released a statement in response to the complaint:
“Intelligent design is overwhelmingly deemed by the scientific community as a religious belief and not a scientific theory… therefore, intelligent design is not appropriate content for science courses.”
Several of Hedin’s colleagues have applauded the university’s decision. However, some critics feel that banning intelligent design science classes will diminish academic freedom.
John West, of the Discovery Institute, explains that academic freedom is in place to assure that faculty opinion does not factor into class offerings. He argues that the decision will reduce the diversity of classes offered by the university.
Gora disagrees. She states that “scientific theory is not a matter of academic freedom… it is an issue of academic integrity.”
As reported by San Francisco Gate, the ruling against Hedin’s class will not effect his position as a physics professor. However, he will have to exclude intelligent design from any further science courses.
Ball State’s decision is not unique to the Indiana university. Numerous institutions have made similar rulings.
The university will still allow intelligent design to be taught in social science and humanities courses. However, Gora explains that the theory must be presented with other perspectives. She further stresses that no philosophy should be given precedent in comparison discussions.
Intelligent design will no longer be taught in science classes at Ball state. Critics may argue that it is a violation of religious freedom. However, for Ball State, the issue is a matter of quality education and accuracy.
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