Prominent atheist and University of Chicago professor Jerry Coyne, on his popular pro-evolution blog, called intelligent design proponents “butthurt” whiners for taking on Ball State University’s recent decision to ban intelligent design discussions in science classes.
Coyne’s comments were made in response to the pro-intelligent design think tank Discovery Institute’s sending of a 10-page demand letter to Ball State calling on it to end its hypocrisy and secular proselytizing.
“The DI is butthurt and squalling like an injured child,” wrote Coyne on his popular Why Evolution Is True blog Tuesday. “Their theories have been rejected by mainstream science … and so they’re trying to prohibit anybody from criticizing those theories.”
He also says he doesn’t believe they have a case.
I doubt that the Discovery Institute has good grounds to file a lawsuit. To do that, they would have to show that BSU is pushing an atheistic point of view in its courses, something for which there’s no evidence. They’d also have to argue that ID isn’t religiously based, something that the courts have already contradicted (e.g., Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover et al.), and so its teaching couldn’t be prohibited. They’d also have to argue that “academic freedom” allows a professor to teach whatever he or she wants, a dicey position given that federal courts have already ruled otherwise. Finally, they’d have to have standing, that is, have a litigant who has been injured by Ball State’s current policy. Good luck with that.