As I reported earlier, Ball State's Dr. Hedin is being investigated by a panel of professors at his university in regard to his honors course that covers intelligent design and its critics. Hedin's most vocal persecutor has been University of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne. Coyne recently got word that Ball State University has hired ID advocate, astrophysicist Guillermo Gonzalez, who was previously the victim of discrimination for his book The Privileged Planet by his former employer, Iowa State University.
John West wrote regarding this situation:
New evidence suggests that faculty members selected by Ball State University to review Professor Eric Hedin's "Boundaries of Science" honors course may be far from impartial on the topic of intelligent design (ID). Indeed, three of the four appointed panelists are publicly connected to groups explicitly opposed to ID:
- Astronomer Catherine Pilachowski is a past President of the American Astronomical Society, and she was on the governing council of the group when it issued a declaration denouncing intelligent design in 2005 and stating that it shouldn't be taught in science classes.
- Biologist Gary Dodson is the signer of an anti-creationism petition circulated by the pro-Darwin lobbying group the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). Hedin doesn't teach creationism (and intelligent design is different from creationism), but the NCSE constantly tries to conflate ID with creationism, and it actively opposes academic freedom to discuss the evidence for design in nature. Dodson is also currently listed as an official "scientific consultant" for The Clergy Letter Project, another staunchly anti-ID and pro-Darwin group. As a "scientific consultant" Dodson is supposed to offer his services to clergy "who have questions about the science associated with all aspects of evolution." Additionally, Dodson in 2009 was a presenter and discussion leader for the Darwin Day conference organized by a group calling itself the "Ball State Freethought Alliance." The Ball State Freethought Alliance was an avowedly anti-religious group. According to the President of the group at the time, "our original goal seems to have been just belittling religion and generally being arrogant in a way that likely didn't attract many people." The Darwin Day conference was even promoted by the Center for Inquiry as an event where people could "[m]eet with other Secular Humanists."
- Geologist Richard Fluegeman delivered the opening lecture at the same Darwin Day conference in 2009 organized by the Ball State Freethought Alliance.
- Juli Eflin is a philosopher of science and a feminist scholar. It's unclear what her views are on intelligent design.