I find it disappointing that Dawkins wouldn't respond to my later e-mails
trying to get his response to Ms. Brown's claims and indeed his lack of
response says a lot to me about this incident. I also found it
disappointing that Dawkins wouldn't admit that that the incident had occurred.
I owe Ms. Brown an apology for my initial skepticism and I offer it here. I
was unequivocally wrong in my suspicion of her. While we have in general
been on civil terms, I do want her to know that not all evolutionists
disregard truth as many creationists believe. After listening to the audio
tape, her video, I firmly believe records an accurate account of the
I might add that I think Ms. Brown did Dawkins a favor. While Dawkins is
shown staring at the ceiling for 11 seconds on the video, the actual time
on the audio is 19 seconds. She spared Dawkins 8 seconds of embarrassment.
I am sending a copy of this to both Dawkins and to Ms. Brown.
University of Kansas religious studies professor Paul Mirecki told the Lawrence Journal-World that two men who beat him were making references to the class that was to be offered for the first time this spring. Originally called "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies," the course was canceled last week at Mirecki's request.
The class was added after the Kansas Board of Education decided to include more criticism of evolution in science standards for elementary and secondary students.
"I didn't know them," Mirecki said of his assailants, "but I'm sure they knew me."
Messages left by the Associated Press on Mirecki's cell phone were not immediately returned Monday night.
One recent e-mail from Mirecki to members of a student organization referred to religious conservatives as "fundies," and said a course describing intelligent design as mythology would be a "nice slap in their big fat face." Mirecki has apologized for those comments.
Lt. Kari Wempe, a spokeswoman for the Douglas County Sheriff's Department, said a deputy was dispatched to Lawrence Memorial Hospital after receiving a call around 7 a.m. regarding a battery.
She said Mirecki reported he was attacked around 6:40 a.m. in rural Douglas County south of Lawrence. Mirecki told the Journal-World he was driving to breakfast when he noticed the men tailgating him in a pickup truck.
"I just pulled over hoping they would pass, and then they pulled up real close behind," he said. "They got out, and I made the mistake of getting out."
He said the men beat him on the head, shoulders and back with their fists, and possibly a metal object.
Wempe said Mirecki drove himself to the hospital after the attack.
Mirecki told the student newspaper, The University Daily Kansan, that he spent between three and four hours at the hospital. He said his injuries included a broken tooth.
"I'm mostly shaken up, and I got some bruises and sore spots," he told the Journal-World.
Wempe said Mirecki described the suspects as two white men between 30 and 40 years of age. One of the men was described as wearing a red visor-like ball cap and wool gloves. Mirecki said the men left in a large pickup truck
Wempe said the department would investigate "every aspect," but couldn't discuss specifics.
Andrew Stangl, president of the Society for Open Minded Atheists and Agnostics at the university, described the attack as "bizarre and terrifying." He said Mirecki, who is the group's faculty adviser, was adamant that the beating was related to the recently canceled course.
"That absolutely shocked me," he said, "because people don't do that in a civilized society."