Dr. Eric Hedin is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Ball State University in Indiana. Among his other classes, he teaches an elective seminar on “The Boundaries of Science.” According to the class syllabus, the seminar explores evidence of intelligent design in nature as well as questions of faith and science and the limits of scientific knowledge. Prof. Hedin’s bibliography for the course includes books and essays by a long list of distinguished scholars, including Oxford University mathematician John Lennox, Harvard University astronomer Owen Gingerich, Oxford mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose, and physicist and Anglican priest John Polkinghorne.
Some of the authors represented in the bibliography (like biologist Michael Behe and philosopher of science Stephen Meyer) are supporters of intelligent design in biology. Others (like biologist Francis Collins and physicist Karl Giberson) are staunch critics of intelligent design and defenders of Darwinian evolution. In addition, the authors in the bibliography hold a wide diversity of religious views. Some are Christians. Lee Spetner and Gerard Schroeder are Jewish. Roger Penrose is an atheist. Antony Flew was a former-atheist-turned-deist. Paul Davies is perhaps best described as some form of pantheist.
Questions about the evidence for design in the universe and the boundaries of science are perfectly legitimate topics for a university seminar. Indeed, these topics have provoked scholarly interest and discussion during much of the history of Western civilization, and the scholars cited in Hedin’s bibliography are some of the leading voices in these discussions. This fact hasn’t stopped the inquisitors at the militantly atheist Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) from launching a witch-hunt and demanding that Ball State University investigate, censor, and punish Hedin for his supposed misdeeds. Unfortunately, the university seems to have acquiesced to the demands for the witch-hunt, agreeing to investigate the spurious complaint from FFRF.
It’s vitally important that Ball State University officials hear from people who support Prof. Hedin’s academic freedom and who oppose the witch-hunt being pushed by FFRF.
You can help by signing a petition in support of Prof. Hedin that will be delivered to university officials — and by asking your friends to sign the petition, which is available at www.academicfreedompetition.com.