President of Ball State issues strong statement in favor of science education, deems ID creationism religious belief

Jo Ann Gora, the president of Ball State University, issued a strong statement in support of science and said flatly that intelligent-design creationism is a religious belief, according to an article in Inside Higher Ed. Ball State is the university that recently hired Guillermo Gonzalez, an astronomer who was denied tenure at Iowa State University and subsequently taught at a small sectarian college. Ball State University has also come under fire because one of its professors, Eric Hedin, has allegedly introduced religious material into his science classes.

According to Inside Higher Ed, President Gora stated,

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. The gravity of this issue and the level of concern among scientists are demonstrated by more than 80 national and state scientific societies’ independent statements that intelligent design and creation science do not qualify as science

and added,

… to allow intelligent design to be presented to science students as a valid scientific theory would violate the academic integrity of the course as it would fail to accurately represent the consensus of science scholars.

Ball State has further investigated Professor Hedin, and he is “working together [with the provost] to ensure that course content is aligned with the curriculum and best standards of the discipline,” which, I guess, is about as delicately as you could put it.

I cannot but applaud President Gora’s statement; the university appears to have handled a difficult situation admirably. The Discovery Institute has predictably called President Gora’s statement “Orwellian.”

Acknowledgment. A commenter known as Tenncrain brought the Inside Higher Ed article to my attention.