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New Book by Physicist Eric Hedin Challenges Atheist Cancel Culture

Jonathan Witt
Photo: Eric Hedin, by Tina Hedin.

You may remember Eric Hedin’s story. Atheist Jerry Coyne and the Freedom from Religion Foundation targeted the Ball State University physicist after they learned his popular Boundaries of Science honors course dared to expose students to scientific evidence of intelligent design in the universe. The atheists launched a public campaign and successfully pressured Ball State to cancel the course.

But the story doesn’t end there. Dr. Hedin has a new book on the way from Discovery Institute Press — Canceled: The Science Atheists Don’t Want You to Seedue out March 1 but available for pre-order now. In the book he recounts the attack on his academic freedom, and spells out the pro-design evidence covered in the course.

A Household Term

Cancel culture became a household term in 2020, but intelligent design supporters have known about it for decades now. Hedin’s is one in a long line of troubling stories. Scientific materialists want to shut the door on evidence of design in nature, so they shut down his course. His new book swings that door wide open again. Through the book, we hope that many young people will see the evidence that folks like Jerry Coyne want swept into the corners.

The Course — And More

Canceled borrows from Hedin’s canceled course, but adds more. As he put it to me:

In the class I introduced physical evidence relevant to the origins discussion, including evidence that tends to get glossed over in science courses biased towards naturalism. I focused on presenting science as we know it and asking questions that explored nature’s powers and limits. In Canceled I still strive to be as fair as possible with the evidence, but I go a step further than in the course by laying out the chain of reasoning that for me strongly affirms that nature is the work of a masterful intelligence. I make an explicit case that we were purposefully made, and made for a purpose.

Dr. Hedin studied experimental plasma physics at the University of Washington, moved to Europe to do experimental fusion energy research, and then transitioned into academia. The opening chapter tells the dramatic story of how he was enjoying a peaceful career at Ball State when the letter from Jerry Coyne arrived and all hell broke loose. The conflict spilled first onto the pages of the university’s town newspaper in Muncie, Indiana, and then into the national news.

“Discovery Institute defended me all the way,” Hedin says. “The course was canceled, but Discovery’s journalistic work helped get the word out about the attacks on my academic freedom, and their work behind the scenes helped save my job at Ball State.”