Ball State University physics professor Eric Hedin made national news recently after a complaint was made against him by the Freedom from Religion Foundation in response to his honors level course “The Boundaries of Science.” Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne at the University of Chicago joined the controversy saying that Hedin was promoting “Creationism.” Coyne said that a physicist does not have the right to express professional comments about biology, which is odd considering that as an evolutionary biologist Coyne himself feels perfectly comfortable making comments about physics and philosophy.
Evidence does not support the accusation that Dr. Hedin was teaching Creationism. First of all, Dr. Hedin was light-years from teaching anything like Creationism, a term that means the belief God made the earth 6000 years ago. Second, his Boundaries of Science seminar incorporated the latest research in astrophysics showing that the chain of cause and effect does not extend backwards in time indefinitely. The Big Bang theory proposes the universe had a definite beginning at a point in time and space, but scientists cannot say what caused the universe to start.
Another thing scientists cannot explain is why in the first nanoseconds after that immense explosion, the physical laws of the universe became fixed and the fundamental conditions of the physical universe made it possible for the eventual development of all life. Had any one of these dozens of laws and conditions been even a fraction different, life could not exist. This is called the anthropic principle.
When puzzling over the Big Bang and the Anthropic Principle, some scientists have offered speculative theories that go beyond the ability of science to prove. For example, some have proposed the existence of other universes hopelessly beyond the reach of our telescopes. Some make guesses that the universe created itself. Hedin’s course examines these limits in science and asks are there truths about the existence of the cosmos that microscopes and telescopes can never uncover? That question might spark religious inquiry, but the research leading up to the question is soundly based on mathematics and experimental science.
On the other hand, Coyne and many others in the secular academy have made science into a religion. They brazenly assert that science proves atheism. Their religion is atheism and they use their classrooms to spread their religion. When a physicist like Dr. Hedin dares to suggest that science does not prove atheism and furthermore surmise that there are questions about truth it might never answer, the atheists assemble their inquisition. Like the outspoken atheist biology professor at my son’s university who mocked a student one day in class for saying, “Bless you” to a friend who sneezed, they will resort to shaming, bullying, intimidation and sometimes outright deceit to promote atheism. They want to engineer an Orwellian world where no one can question the myth that modern physics and biology have proven there is no God. These kinds of people are not only intolerant. They have lost scientific objectivity to an ideology.