Skip to comments.KU prof's e-mail irks fundamentalists (Christian Bashing OK)
Posted on 11/25/2005 8:34:07 AM PST by Exton1
KU prof's e-mail irks fundamentalists
LAWRENCE - Critics of a new course that equates creationism and intelligent design with mythology say an e-mail sent by the chairman of the University of Kansas religious studies department proves the course is designed to mock fundamentalist Christians.
In a recent message on a Yahoo listserv, Paul Mirecki said of the course "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationisms and Other Religious Mythologies":
"The fundies want it all taught in a science class, but this will be a nice slap in their big fat face by teaching it as a religious studies class under the category mythology."
He signed the note "Doing my part (to upset) the religious right, Evil Dr. P."
Kansas Provost David Shulenburger said Wednesday that he regretted the words Mirecki used but that he supported the professor and thought the course would be taught in a professional manner.
"My understanding was that was a private e-mail communication that somehow was moved out of those channels and has become a public document," Shulenburger said.
The course was added to next semester's curriculum after the Kansas State Board of Education adopted new school science standards that question evolution.
The course will explore intelligent design, which contends that life is too complex to have evolved without a "designer." It also will cover the origins of creationism, why creationism is an American phenomenon and creationism's role in politics and education.
State Sen. Karin Brownlee, R-Olathe, said she was concerned by Mirecki's comments in the e-mail.
"His intent to make a mockery of Christian beliefs is inappropriate," she said.
Mirecki said the private e-mail was accessed by an outsider.
"They had been reading my e-mails all along," he said. "Where are the ethics in that, I ask."
When asked about conservative anger directed at him and the new course, Mirecki said: "A lot of people are mad about what's going on in Kansas, and I'm one of them."
Mirecki has been taking criticism since the course was announced.
"This man is a hateful man," said state Sen. Kay O'Connor, R-Olathe. "Are we supposed to be using tax dollars to promote hatred?"
But others support Mirecki.
Tim Miller, a fellow professor in the department of religious studies, said intelligent design proponents are showing that they don't like having their beliefs scrutinized.
"They want their religion taught as fact," Miller said. "That's simply something you can't do in a state university."
Hume Feldman, associate professor of physics and astronomy, said he planned to be a guest lecturer in the course. He said the department of religious studies was a good place for intelligent design.
"I think that is exactly the appropriate place to put these kinds of ideas," he said.
John Altevogt, a conservative columnist and activist in Kansas City, said the latest controversy was sparked by the e-mail.
"He says he's trying to offend us," Altevogt said. "The entire tenor of this thing just reeks of religious bigotry."
Brownlee said she was watching to see how the university responded to the e-mail.
"We have to set a standard that it's not culturally acceptable to mock Christianity in America," she said.
University Senate Executive Committee Governance Office - 33 Strong Hall, 4-5169
Joe Heppert, email@example.com , Chemistry, 864-2270 Ruth Ann Atchley, firstname.lastname@example.org , Psychology, 864-9816 Richard Hale, email@example.com ,Aerospace Engineering, 864-2949 Bob Basow, firstname.lastname@example.org , Journalism, 864-7633 Susan Craig, email@example.com , Art & Architecture, 864-3020 Margaret Severson, mseverson@Ku.edu , Social Welfare, 864-8952
University Council President Jim Carothers, firstname.lastname@example.org , English 864-3426 (Ex-officio on SenEx)
Paul Mirecki, Chair The Department of Religious Studies, 1300 Oread Avenue, 102 Smith Hall, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Kansas,Lawrence, KS 66045-7615 (785) 864-4663 Voice (785) 864-5205 FAX email@example.com
That removes his first amendment rights?
I suppose you also support that loathsome Churchill guy also.
You suppose wrong.
Your screen name maybe should be "Somewhat Right Wing by Comparison, Professor"
Maybe should should learn to argue the issue, rather than attack your adversary.
It isn't about the First Amendment. It's about being rude and antagonistic simply for the sake of being rude and antagonistic.
Very trendy in acedemia nowadays, it seems. I guess it lets these professors sit at the "cool table".
But of course, being rude and antagonistic is only suitable for safe targets-- the right, the religious, and sometimes the Jews. Those guys will never sit at the "cool table" so it is safe to knock their books from their hands as pals point and laugh.
Ah, but that is the nature of acedemic thought... the depth of a dime but the width of an ocean.
Christian bashing? Creationism and ID are primarily Muslim, Moonie and Scientologist positions; most Christians are evolutionists.
Another cockroach complaining that someone turned on the light.
Quit spouting crap. Use your brain for thinking instead of emoting. That's what it was designed for.
I'm right here. But no one claimed that "nobody" acts like this. All we claim is that if they do, they're not operating within the bounds of science. Science cannot operate in the world of faith, so no claims in favor or against faith can be considered "science"
But you should not that this guy was not a scientist, he's in the religious studies department. And those people can have any faith they want.
Thanks for the argument to eliminate the "Religious Studies" department. A waste of money, no doubt.
This guy has a great sense of humor.
Right. It's probably his faith that prompts him to oppose ID the way he does.
Ah, the typical nonsense from a creationist. OK, we can play too. ID may not be incompatible with evolution. But ID is not science by any reasonable definition.
Please try to stop demonstrating that you have no more than an 8th grade education.
"I'm right here. But no one claimed that "nobody" acts like this. All we claim is that if they do, they're not operating within the bounds of science. "
I'll take your word for it that you haven't said that, but others have made equivalent statements.
The fact that he signed something "Evil Dr. P", tells me that this was part of a longer discussion and a bit tounge in cheek. I'm sure that someone could make me look like an a$$hole if they had full access to my e-mail account.
All of us do things in private that would be a$$hole in public. F@rt, for instance.
As many of us on these threads who are 1) conservative, 2) Christian, and 3) educated have pointed out, this creationism / ID nonsense is the semantic equivalent of handing your enemy the ammunition to shoot you with. So great, now everyone can denigrate conservatives because we are associated with either ID or creationism.
Thank you so much. /sarc
ID can be compatible with anything. That's why it's nothing.
Have you ever said "Christians would'nt do evil things"? Or something like that? If so, you were entirely wrong, as there are a great number of "evil" Christians, even if they are small as a percentage.
Yes, some scientists have used evolution as a baseball bat against religion. But they are a minority, and they're out of bounds.
"So Christianity is to be above criticism. "
As it should be. Christianity is the world's ONLY perfect religion. Absolutely nothing "wrong" or "evil" has ever been done in the name of Christianity! Christianity, as is practiced by the fundies, is perfect!
"But I take my teaching way too seriously to brag about how my course was an effort, in effect, to 'stick it to the fundies'."
You miss the point. Just *wanting* to 'stick it to the fundies' is indicative of severe corruption of the worldview, whether one acts out or not.
You can look at young-earth creationists and think them fools, but this country treasures its freedom of religion. That includes freedom from having it "stuck to you" in public places.
Suppose this guy wanted to "stick it to the Jews." What does the picture look like in that case?
This particular religious bigot may be in arts and parties rather than hard sciences, but there are equally bigoted instructors in departments such as physics, chemistry, and biology on campuses across the country. And many of them also use their classrooms to try and "stick it" not just to the fundies, but to anyone who believes in anything.
The entire "mention ID in the classroom" movement arose in reaction to this.
"Slap in the face" for the "fundies" is not "criticism."
Slaps in the face are more than criticism and more than mocking: they are intentional insults.
The churches in the cities ought to sponsor their best and brightest to enroll in the class.
I'm a Christian and I believe Genesis. So do lots of others.
"ID can be compatible with anything."
Not so. It must, and can only be, compatible with (1) the fossil record and (2) Divine intervention in the processes that laid down the fossil record.