Intelligent Design of Ball State University

Posted on August 8, 2013

Ball State University has been in the news lately regarding the issue of intelligent design and its place within the science classroom. In a letter to the Ball State community, President Dr. Gora writes, “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.”

Dr. Gora references societies such as the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, theAmerican Astronomical Society, and the American Physical Society. She goes on to say, “Teaching religious ideas in a science course is clearly not appropriate. Each professor has the responsibility to assign course materials and teach content in a manner consistent with the course description, curriculum, and relevant discipline. We are compelled to do so not only by the ethics of academic integrity but also by the best standards of our disciplines.”

This has turned parts of the discussion toward academic freedom vs academic integrity. Dr. Gora writes, “Teaching intelligent design as a scientific theory is not a matter of academic freedom – it is an issue of academic integrity.” She explains further, “Said simply, 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.”

What do you see as the difference between academic freedom and academic integrity? Do you have thoughts on the appropriateness of Intelligent Design in the science classroom? Is Ball State University doing the right thing?