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Physicist Eric Hedin was bullied by atheists but not squashed

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He said stuff he wasn’t allowed to say:

He emphasizes the limits to our physical universe — in time and material. There are limits to what random processes can do even in this massively large and old cosmos — the generation of life being the foremost boundary. As Hedin puts it, “nature cannot overcome the gargantuan information barrier between non-life and life.” Life with its “radiant beauty” defies naturalistic explanations.

David Klinghoffer, “Bullied by Atheists but Not Squashed, Physicist Eric Hedin Presents “Canceled Science”” at Evolution News and Science Today (April 28, 2022)

Eric Hedin is the author of Canceled Science: What some atheists don’t want you to see

9 Replies to “Physicist Eric Hedin was bullied by atheists but not squashed

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Politics poisons everything . . .

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    If you are relying on David Klinghoffer to provide a fair and balanced account of what happened, you will be disappointed.

    For example, to provide at least a semblance of balance, he could have quoted Jerry Coyne:

    Eric Hedin is back, now asserting that there is zero chance that life originated through natural processes, so God must have been responsible

    August 13, 2021 • 11:30 am

    I’ve tried to avoid writing about this, as Intelligent Design advocates really love getting publicity from me, and I’m tired of the muddleheaded lucubrations of Discovery Institute flacks like Michael Egnor and David Klinghoffer. But I have to call attention once again to Eric Hedin, ID advocate and former professor of physics at Ball State University, a public school.

    Way back in 2013, I discovered that Hedin was teaching a general science class to nonmajors that not only promoted intelligent design, but religion itself. That was a violation of the Constitution, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation and I informed the school’s President that they were breaking the law. The result: Hedin’s class was ditched, as it should have been. I never called for him to be fired or not promoted (he was subsequently given tenure), but I didn’t want him teaching creationism as science, which the courts have repeatedly forbidden. I didn’t try to get the man dumped or permanently demonized, which is what cancellation is about.

    Not quite the narrative provided by Klinghoffer.

  3. 3
    ET says:

    Why quote Jerry Coyne, a known liar when it comes to Intelligent Design and evolution? Ball State is a college. The students are adults. It takes a complete loser to cry foul from the cheap seats when their own position, which they say is OK to teach in a science classroom, relies on ignorance and blind faith.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev,

    Coyne disqualifies himself in just the first sentence, for speaking with disregard to truth:

    >>Eric Hedin is back,>>

    – How dare the victim come back to correct the record after we smeared and expelled him!

    >>now asserting that there is zero chance that life originated through natural processes,>>

    – Lessee, the number of actually observed cases of functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information [FSCO/I] arising solely by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity in our observation is? ________ [Correct answer, nil]

    – Number of cases of FSCO/I observed to arise in material part by intelligently directed configuration? ______ [Correct answer, trillions]

    – Number of empirically well substantiated cases of OoL demonstrated by blind forces under reasonable early earth conditions? _______ [CA: nil]

    – Reason for that? ________ [CA: Abundance of FSCO/I]

    >>so God must have been responsible>>

    – From earliest days of modern design theory c 1984 in TMLO, it has been clearly stated on public, published record, that inference to design is not inference to particular candidate designer.

    – As for a fine tuned cosmos, that provides substantial warrant for inferring design by agent antecedent to a whole universe. No wonder agnostic Sir Fred Hoyle has gone on record:

    >>[Sir Fred Hoyle, In a talk at Caltech c 1981 (nb. this longstanding UD post):] From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? . . . I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has “monkeyed” with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. [F. Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16.]>>

    . . . also, in the same talk at Caltech:

    >>The big problem in biology, as I see it, is to understand the origin of the information carried by the explicit structures of biomolecules. The issue isn’t so much the rather crude fact that a protein consists of a chain of amino acids linked together in a certain way, but that the explicit ordering of the amino acids endows the chain with remarkable properties, which other orderings wouldn’t give. The case of the enzymes is well known . . . If amino acids were linked at random, there would be a vast number of arrange-ments that would be useless in serving the pur-poses of a living cell. When you consider that a typical enzyme has a chain of perhaps 200 links and that there are 20 possibilities for each link,it’s easy to see that the number of useless arrangements is enormous, more than the number of atoms in all the galaxies visible in the largest telescopes. [ –> 20^200 = 1.6 * 10^260] This is for one enzyme, and there are upwards of 2000 of them, mainly serving very different purposes. So how did the situation get to where we find it to be? This is, as I see it, the biological problem – the information problem . . . .

    I was constantly plagued by the thought that the number of ways in which even a single enzyme could be wrongly constructed was greater than the number of all the atoms in the universe. So try as I would, I couldn’t convince myself that even the whole universe would be sufficient to find life by random processes – by what are called the blind forces of nature . . . . By far the simplest way to arrive at the correct sequences of amino acids in the enzymes would be by thought, not by random processes . . . .

    Now imagine yourself as a superintellect working through possibilities in polymer chemistry. Would you not be astonished that polymers based on the carbon atom turned out in your calculations to have the remarkable properties of the enzymes and other biomolecules? Would you not be bowled over in surprise to find that a living cell was a feasible construct? Would you not say to yourself, in whatever language supercalculating intellects use: Some supercalculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. Of course you would, and if you were a sensible superintellect you would conclude that the carbon atom is a fix. >>

    . . . and again:

    >> I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the [–> nuclear synthesis] consequences they produce within stars. [“The Universe: Past and Present Reflections.” Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12]>>

    So, pardon but Coyne is impeached.

    KF

  5. 5

    Here is a summary of comments I made on the Eric Hedin situation back when it was happening in 2013.

    My 7+ Disappointments:

    (My discussions will be quite lengthy, so I will summarize here, and provide detail later in this piece in hopes you will give it some consideration.)

    * The decision by Dr. Gora ignores, censors and disrespects the foundational history of modern science.
    * The decision misrepresents Intelligent Design as a new movement designed with the intention of somehow sneaking “creationism” into the public square.
    * The decision grossly misrepresents and exaggerates the success of Neo-Darwinian and its evidence, while at the same time dismissing the challenges of Intelligent Design and Creation Science.
    * The decision unnecessarily promotes an atheistic world view to students searching for answers and truth.
    * The decision totally closes out discussion and teaching of the history of science … even in the “humanities and social science courses.”
    * The decision continues the perversion of the 1’st Amendment to the Constitution.
    * The decision provides convenient cover and precedence for other academic institutions to follow suite.
    * The decision encourages a spirit of condescension and incivility towards
    people of faith.

    And here is a link to my article which expands on each point in my summary.
    https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/ball-state-university-intelligent-design-my-7-disappointments/

  6. 6

    For Sev and Coyne – from George Washington, perhaps the leading founder, and president of the Constitutional Convention:
    _________________

    “It is impossible to govern the world without God. It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits and humbly implore his protection and favor.”

    George Washington
    “The future of this nation depends on the Christian training of our youth.”
    [Even at Ball State!]

    George Washington
    “Do not let anyone claim tribute of American patriotism if they even attempt to remove religion from politics.

    George Washington
    “What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.”

    George Washington
    “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.”

    George Washington
    “One’s god dictates the kind of law one implements and also controls the application and development of that law over time. Given enough time, all non-Christian systems of law self-destruct in a fit of tyranny.”

    George Washington
    “The whole duty of man is summed up in obedience to God’s will.”

    George Washington
    __________________
    I guess I side with George Washington – and with Eric Hedin, when it comes to Constitutional issues.

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    THE FIRST AMENDMENT SAYS NOTHING ABOUT “SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE” OR A “WALL OF SEPARATION BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE.” WHERE DID THIS IDEA COME FROM? IS IT REALLY PART OF THE LAW?

    Although the words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the First Amendment, the establishment clause was intended to separate church from state. When the First Amendment was adopted in 1791, the establishment clause applied only to the federal government, prohibiting the federal government from any involvement in religion. By 1833, all states had disestablished religion from government, providing protections for religious liberty in state constitutions. In the 20th century, the U.S. Supreme Court applied the establishment clause to the states through the 14th Amendment. Today, the establishment clause prohibits all levels of government from either advancing or inhibiting religion.

    The establishment clause separates church from state, but not religion from politics or public life. Individual citizens are free to bring their religious convictions into the public arena. But the government is prohibited from favoring one religious view over another or even favoring religion over non-religion.

    Our nation’s founders disagreed about the exact meaning of “no establishment” under the First Amendment; the argument continues to this day. But there was and is widespread agreement that preventing government from interfering with religion is an essential principle of religious liberty. All of the Framers understood that “no establishment” meant no national church and no government involvement in religion. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison believed that without separating church from state, there could be no real religious freedom.

    The first use of the “wall of separation” metaphor was by Roger Williams, who founded Rhode Island in 1635. He said an authentic Christian church would be possible only if there was “a wall or hedge of separation” between the “wilderness of the world” and “the garden of the church.” Any He said an authentic Christian church would be possible only if there was “a wall or hedge of separation” between the “wilderness of the world” and “the garden of the church.” Any government involvement in the church, he believed, corrupts the church.

    Then in 1802, Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, wrote: “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev,

    Actually, the first Amendment’s true meaning has indeed been warped into pretzels, and such has had exactly the effect that was intended to be averted. In a nutshell:

    1] The underlying context is the treaty of Westphalia settlement, c 1648. In that context:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    2] There was to be no federal established church of the USA, establishment was reserved to the local units, states, under republican circumstances [so, it was not the church of the local prince but the church, if any of the local state . . . nine then having established churches]

    3] The federal state (and so the local states) were not to prohibit or hinder freikirke, dissenters and by extension the individual

    4] in that context . . . note, root issue! . . . classic freedoms and rights are to be respected; speech [so, conscience], the press, peaceful assembly, petition for redress of grievance. Indeed, this actually anticipates the step by step stages of a campaign to issue a petition of remonstrance!

    5] Congress was debarred from making law on the subject, thus by extension courts acting under this senior arm of government (and yes, why do you think that for extraordinary circumstances Presidents were subject to impeachment . . . which is currently itself being twisted into pretzels).

    6] So, any wall metaphor relates to the senior arm of federal Govt and so be extension the others, are walled out of a state matter, establishment; instead it is to support freedom . . . oh, the irony . . . including religious freedom, and rests on the natural law principles of the 1776 DoI, which is itself in the context of the Congressional call to prayer May 17, 1776 which is explicitly a call to Christian penitence, renewal and revival.

    7] Do I need to further quote said documents?

    8] Or, note that a natural law argument, once well founded — and the DoI more than meets that — is actually an expression of universally binding law as it expresses and extends the first duties of reason to particular matters? (And yes, nonsense that the DoI is not a legal document with legislative effect, spectacularly fails. This actually immediately disqualifies those making or endorsing such claims. FYI the Constitution of Sept 17, 1787 was second effort to deliver on the principles of the DoI, the charter of the American Republic and more broadly of modern constitutional, representative democracy.)

    9] By way of reminder, these prime, self evident duties of first law include:

    1st – to truth,
    2nd – to right reason,
    3rd – to prudence [including warrant],
    4th – to sound conscience,
    5th – to neighbour; so also,
    6th – to fairness and
    7th – to justice
    [ . . .]
    xth – etc.

    What instead has happened is that the anti church of radical secularist evolutionary materialism and/or fellow travellers has usurped de facto establishment and is imposing all sorts of misanthropic and anti civilisational agendas. This is currently at the level of 4th gen post Westphalia shadow civil war, complete with red guardism, mob rule, lawfare, questionable election practices, reichstag fire incident and just now establishment of a Ministry of Truth 1984 style.

    This goes nowhere good, and fast.

    KF

  9. 9
    ET says:

    The U.S. government cannot establish a certain religion for all its citizens. U.S. citizens have the right to choose and practice what faith they want to follow, as long as their practice doesn’t break any laws.

    What Eric was doing in no way violated that. He is not the U.S. government and he was not establishing a certain religion for all US citizens.

    Atheists are pathetic whiners. Unfortunately, there are stupid people in power who pander to such cluelessness.

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