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?”