Discovery Institute isn’t happy that Ball State won’t be teaching creationism.

One of the teachers at Ball State, a public university, was about to teach a course with creationist overtones (if not overt creationism).  The FFRF caught wind of this and stepped in, and eventually Ball State’s president said that no such course would be offered because creationism is religious and has been deemed so by every legitimate scientific organization in the country.

The Discovery Institute fired this rather unimpressive dud off in response:

“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,” John West, vice president of Discovery Institute, said in a news release on Tuesday.

Attack?  Saying “this is not science” or “their science is wrong” is not an attack.  The Discovery Institute does not understand how science works.  Unlike with religion, if you want to play science then you get to be held to all the same standards as other scientific ideas: that means criticism.  If your idea survives, congrats.  If not, no big, but you don’t get to claim that your idea is scientifically valid.

If your religion tells you that 2+2=salad, it doesn’t matter how deeply you believe it, if you answer that on a math test the teacher is going to mark it wrong.  Because it’s wrong.  It doesn’t matter if it’s your religion, it’s still wrong.

Ditto if you give an answer from the creationism playbook on a science test.  It doesn’t matter what your religion tells you, the science teacher is going to mark it wrong.  Because it’s wrong.  It doesn’t matter if it’s your religion, it’s still wrong.

The institute’s letter gives BSU until Sept. 30 to respond. After that, the Institute warns “it will be forced to seek other remedies.”

I can think of a few good response, the best from an episode of Hellsing Abridged… “Oh?  See that would be intimidating if you were, well, intimidating.”  It’s the equivalent of someone writing you a letter and saying “If you don’t break the law in our interest we’ll take legal action against you!”  The response is easy: “What are you going to do?  Call the police?”


About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • ZenDruid

    Go on then, DiscoTute. Show us the worst of your breathtaking inanity.

  • Loqi

    This should be an interesting experiment. Does the DI actually seek legal help, or do they pray? They have to know the secular legal system is virtually guaranteed to not help them. Why, then, wouldn’t they simply petition god to change the ruling and not waste money on a legal challenge? Certainly they don’t think the near infinitely small chance of a legal victory is still a better shot than betting on Jesus, right?

    • ufo42

      Right, seeking yet another almost guaranteed to fail legal remedy to this situation is a form of Blasphemy! Shows a truly disgusting lack of faith in the power of prayer! :)

      • Loqi

        They’re willing to bet a sick child’s life on the power of prayer, so it occurs to me they should be willing to bet their political goals as well.

        • Feminerd

          Nonsense! The life of a child is totally in God’s hands if if the child dies, it was clearly God’s plan all along.

          But political power, now! That’s far too important to leave to chance and Satan’s meddling.


  • skyblue

    Wow, didn’t they learn anything from Dover?

    • johnnycucumber

      “Learn”? What is this “learn” of which you speak?

    • Loqi

      They learned they need more Jesus next time. Kind of like how the Tea Party thinks they lose because they aren’t conservative enough.

      • Zinc Avenger

        I’ve always wondered what the ultimate endpoint of “not conservative enough” could be. I suspect it might be rejecting the notion of the written word as it is only a few thousand years old and oral history was good enough for my great great great great [...] grandfather!

        • Loqi

          If you look at it on the cosmological scale, I’d imagine the ultimate endpoint is non existence. Which seems fitting, since they’re so determined to destroy everything.

          • Justin

            The delusion is amusing. They believe that the vast majority of Americans think like they do, but they won’t get out and vote unless a ‘true conservative’ candidate reveals himself and runs. You know, like Santorum.

  • # zbowman

    Welp, there’s Alucard stuck in my head again. I’m very tempted to answer the next facetious ‘how did the world begin’ leading bullshit question I get with ‘Fuck you, that’s how’.

  • LadyAtheist

    Correction: The ID course was actually taught, and students were receiving science credit for it.
    Also, the DI’s letter was an 8-page single-spaced list of demands with an ultimatim date of September 30, virtually guaranteeing a second volley of whining and pleading for “fairness.”
    At the risk of self-promotion, I recommend the updates on my blog (I live in Muncie)