He's a religious studies prof. I have no idea what motivates one to be such a thing, and he's certainly not a scientist.
I have no problem with the course. However, the prof. seems to be an immature a$$hole - I share his frustration with fundamentalists, but why would you act it out in such a manner on a listserv? In response to fundamentalist encroachments, I too taught a seminar course a couple of years back. It was called The chemical basis of evolution, and it was a serious science course, where students learned to do molecular cladistics and verify for themselves the common descent of organisms, as well as examine various theories of abiogenesis. Half the class dropped after the first meeting, when they found they'd actually have to learn some science.
In other words, I have no problem with teaching a course in response to current events, even a course with a strong point of view. I have no problem with the guy expressing his view of fundamentalists on an internet listserv. But I take my teaching way too seriously to brag about how my course was an effort, in effect, to 'stick it to the fundies'.
The fact that he signed something "Evil Dr. P", tells me that this was part of a longer discussion and a bit tounge in cheek. I'm sure that someone could make me look like an a$$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.
"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.
And yet he is a defender of science. Interesting.
I too taught a seminar course a couple of years back. It was called The chemical basis of evolution,... Half the class dropped after the first meeting, when they found they'd actually have to learn some science.
Why? It's not like you required any math. Anybody who can tie his own shoes can do that stuff.