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Kansas Anti-Creationism Professor Resigns 1469

Posted by Zonk
from the tangled-web dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Professor of religion at University of Kansas has resigned from his position at the university because of his anti-creationism views." From the article: "Mirecki had planned to teach a course in the spring that examined creationism and intelligent design after the State Board of Education adopted science standards treating evolution as a flawed theory. Originally called 'Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies,' the course was canceled last week at Mirecki's request." The article goes on to explain that Mirecki evidently sent poorly worded email with anti-Christian sentiments around to people interested in the class, and was subsequently beaten for his troubles.
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Kansas Anti-Creationism Professor Resigns

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  • To clarify... (Score:5, Informative)

    by exley (221867) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:27PM (#14224440) Homepage
    He resigned as department chair, but as of that article, hasn't quit entirely. Just in case you don't want to RTFA (not that that happens here).
  • by abbamouse (469716) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:30PM (#14224464) Homepage
    I read this story earlier today on HNN. He resigned as department chair, not as a professor. He's still doing all the same stuff, but with less paperwork. I know that in many departments, chair is a generally detested position because although it carries some prestige it often carries little real authority and ALWAYS comes with scads of paperwork that prevent academics from spending time on their first love (research or teaching, as the case may be). So the guy isn't out of a job or anything; the move is largely symbolic.
  • by sseaman (931799) <sean@seaman.gmail@com> on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:33PM (#14224498) Homepage Journal
    That was my first reaction, and then I remembered that he is a professor living in Kansas. That can't be very pleasant for him. He deserves to mindlessly flame occasionally.

    And have you seen the faces on these guys (Dobson, Falwell, et al.)? They're awfully slap-worthy.

  • Re:Kansas (Score:2, Informative)

    by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann DOT slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:49PM (#14224658) Homepage Journal
    That is informative! At least by definition.

    In that case, I'm NOT from Kansas! :-)

    (Awaits for the +5 informative lol)
  • Re:The darn fool. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Friday December 09, 2005 @08:05PM (#14224830)

    All he had to do was stick to science and his ideas would have won. Instead, he played into the stereotype that 'scientists are anti-Christian' and has paid the price.

    What the hell are you talking about? He's a religious professor, not a scientist. I guess not only is it too much to ask that you RTFA, but now people aren't RTFSummary either?

  • by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <sherwinNO@SPAMamiran.us> on Friday December 09, 2005 @08:11PM (#14224891) Homepage Journal
    Notice that the Catholic church directly and publicly threw its weight behind evolution.

    Sources?
    http://www.crosswalk.com/news/weblogs/kmc/?adate=1 1/14/2005 [crosswalk.com]

    http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_jp02tc.htm [newadvent.org]
  • More coverage (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09, 2005 @08:11PM (#14224894)
    I live in Lawrence and work at the University of Kansas (KU).

    The Lawrence Journal-World is a newspaper in Lawrence.

    The Daily Kansan is the student newspaper run from KU.

    Beating story http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/dec/06/mirecki_t reated_after_roadside_beating/ [ljworld.com]

    Follow-up to beating http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/dec/07/mirecki_m um_details_beating/ [ljworld.com]

    Prof. Mirecki resisns as dept. chair http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/dec/07/mirecki_s tep_down_ku_post/ [ljworld.com] and http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/dec/08/mirecki_r esigns_leadership_position/ [ljworld.com] and http://www.kansan.com/stories/2005/dec/08/ne_mirec ki_folo/ [kansan.com]

    Several of Prof. Mirecki's posts [PDF warning] http://media.ljworld.com/pdf/2005/12/02/mireckiema il.pdf [ljworld.com]

    News of cancelling the course and a quote from a message Prof. Mirecki posted http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/dec/02/intellige nt_design_course_canceled/?ku_news [ljworld.com]
  • Re:Beaten? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Creosote (33182) * on Friday December 09, 2005 @08:16PM (#14224940) Homepage
    Exactly right. Altevogt is the fellow who was lurking on the email list to which Mirecki sent the note about "fundies", and who then shared the email publicly in order to discredit Mirecki. Whether or not that tactic is ethical, he's hardly an objective observer.

    And I can't believe that the townhall.com column is the transcript of an actual interview; it's obviously satire. We're supposed to believe that Mirecki listened patiently to a couple dozen questions and replied "no comment" to each one, rather than simply cutting short the conversation at the outset?
  • Re:The darn fool. (Score:3, Informative)

    by guygee (453727) on Friday December 09, 2005 @08:22PM (#14224993)

    But there are really three sides to the issue:

    1. Dogmatic Christians pushing their belief system as the anti-science.

    2. Dogmatic Athiests pushing their belief system as the anti-religion.

    3. The Rest Of Us.

    No, Not Really "Insightful" Let's try:

    1. Irrational religious fundamentalists who believe their "Holy Book" is literal truth and is the direct "Word of God".

    2. Scientists, mathematicians and philosophers who point out that the "Holy Book" contain contradictions and therefor cannot be literally true.

    3. Religious people who are also rational and accept that their "Holy Book" contains metaphors, literal contradictions, and corrections (as in "Old Testament vs. New Testament)", so that the book must be "interpreted".

    4. People who realize that science, philosophy or mathematics can neither prove nor disprove the existence of "God" (Not necessarily exclusive of categories 2 and 3).

  • Re:The darn fool. (Score:5, Informative)

    by aminorex (141494) on Friday December 09, 2005 @08:26PM (#14225029) Homepage Journal
    You seem to have confused atheism with agnosticism.
  • Please PLEASE RTFA. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09, 2005 @08:27PM (#14225037)
    He resigned his CHAIR - he still retains his professor position.
  • by theodicey (662941) on Friday December 09, 2005 @08:53PM (#14225270)
    He sent it to the local skeptic's society. A private forum, with no expectation of its becoming public.

    Of course, the local fundies had a stooge on the email list, and used their normal right-wing media outlets to stage a bogus controversy.

  • Hilarious, really (Score:1, Informative)

    by Ka D'Argo (857749) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:05PM (#14225344) Homepage
    While I feel for the guy who got beaten, it's fucking hilarious as can be.

    If you've ever lived in the "bible belt" of America you know how bad people can get some times. Especially when it comes to southern Baptists.

    The hilarity comes from watching them turning red in the face when you hit them up with logic and science. Try discussing the concept of free will vs it being the "right" thing to do by worshiping a god (kinda of a double standard to be forced to believe in something when you've been given free will to do as you please). Man some of these religious people down here will get so angry if you weren't in a public place you'd probably get beaten to an inch of your life or in some cases killed. (deadly serious here)

    I call'em religious zealots cause they are. While I keep an open mind and let people do as they want in their own homes and churches, I cannot stand a bible thumper trying to impose their beliefs on me.

  • by Irvu (248207) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:07PM (#14225366)
    There's actually a huge field of "Christian Apologetics" (No I'm not kidding) which deals in exactly that. Thomas Aquainas was the first Christian Philosopher to attempt a reconciliation between the views of Jesus and the feudal philosophies of his day basically; "When would God/Jesus approve of you fighting someone and when will you be taking the fast train to hell?"

    He formulated the notion of a "Just Conflict" which meets certain tests chief among them, if I remember correctly, being pure motives (e.g saving the lives of innocents, liberating captives from the Nazi's before they were gassed, etc.). Aquinas argued that such conflicts exist and that it is possible, perhaps necessary for christians to beat ploughshares into swords for them. Keep in mind that his philospohy grew out of a time when a) europe was a feudal system, and b) christians were in power.

    So smiting is, according to that school of thought, sometimes okay. Enslaving is more wishy-washy. There were slaves in Jesus' day. He didn't own any, nor did he liberate any except in the spiritual sense. This fact has been used to argue (most recently by Southern Baptists) in the U.S. for the legitimacy of slavery. And, when it comes down to it, a literal reading of the bible (so far as I can remember) presents nothing much to oppose it
  • Re:Beaten? (Score:5, Informative)

    by belmolis (702863) <billposer@nOSpam.alum.mit.edu> on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:10PM (#14225378) Homepage

    If you look at Mirecki's areas of expertise [ku.edu] his irritation with fundamentalists becomes all the more understandable. His areas areas are Ancient Mediterranean Religion, Early Christianity, and Coptic Papyrology. That means that he knows a lot about about religion in the area in which Christianity developed about the origins of Christianity, and about branches of Christianity that either died out (e.g. gnosticism) or have followed a rather different course from the one that led to fundamentalism (e.g. Coptic Christianity). For someone with this background, the belief of fundamentalists that their interpretation of the particular compilation of texts that they consider holy is God's Truth must seem particularly crazy. I can't speak for him, but I bet that to him fundamentalists seem ignorant, naive, and arrogant even if one looks just at the religious texts and their interpretation, without concerning oneself with the conflict between fundamentalist beliefs and science.

  • by Granular (244934) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:10PM (#14225385)
    I was raised as a Lutheran, and to the theology which I was taught, the best reference on the relationship between Law and Gospel can probably be expressed by C.F.W. Walther's book of the same name: The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel [lutherantheology.com] (this book has fallen into the public domain).
  • Re:Beaten? (Score:2, Informative)

    by NixLuver (693391) <stwhite@@@kcheretic...com> on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:20PM (#14225454) Homepage Journal
    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    The fact is that, world wide, there have been many atrocities in recent years perpetrated by Christians. See Bosnia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and others. They're not much different from their Extremist Muslim Brethren Of the Book. In fact, here in the US, among American Citizens, Christians have comitted far more acts of terror than any other religious persuasion. Think abortion clinic bombings and shootings and the like. Not to mention stuff that is almost below the radar like what happened to the Professor in this story.

    Shit, I think Christianity has the all time record so far for number of people killed in the name of God.
  • by mr_economy (937681) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:50PM (#14225669)

    As someone who is both interested in dismissing the conspiracy theories and was enrolled in the cancelled class, I think it is time to post some real information.

    First, Paul Mirecki is a well-respected scholar in the field of Christianity. He is regularly chosen as the lecturer for the week that covers the Old Testament of the Bible in an Honors Western Civilization I course. Mirecki's personal beliefs regarding religion never came up in that lecture - he stuck to the facts. My experiences echo those of nearly every student who has taken a course taught by him. In his 20+ years as head of the Religious Studies department, Mirecki's scholarship and teaching have been praised by scholars and students alike.

    Second, the email in question was sent via a Yahoo listserv to members of the KU Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics (SOMAA). While the group may be a part of KU, it is about as disconnected from the everyday processes of the University as can be. Student groups are funded through the KU Student Senate, which means the University's own democratic processes (which include plenty of Christians as voters) elected a body of individuals who sanctioned funding of SOMAA. The Christian individual who released the one paragraph of the email had no business doing so. The released text was taken out of any context (the vast majority of the message had nothing to do with the class in question). In addition, complaining about SOMAA being anti-Christian is akin to me joining the listserv for any of the multiple Christian student groups and then whining when they mention God or Jesus in their emails.

    Third, the Kansas legislature has a history of trying to destroy the University of Kansas. Several years ago, a state legislator claimed a student came to her and accused the professor of a popular Human Sexuality course of promoting pedofilia among other things. After much hubub and threats from the state, it came out that the 'student' was actually an aide of the legislator in question, had been encouraged to falsify her claims, and an investigation by the University found zero evidence to back the claims. Keep in mind here folks that we have more than one legislator without so much as a high school diploma. A prominent representative from wealthy Johnson County has vocally voiced her opposition to the 19th Amendment and women's suffrage. The conservative majority in our state legislature is uneducated, inept, and scary - only our governer is keeping things from getting too out of control.

    And finally, the beating is real. I notice one of the sources often cited for inconsitencies in stories is www.kansan.com . That is the online version of our student newspaper, and I would shudder to think that The Kansan would be used as a serious resource. The journalists on our newspaper staff have difficulties differentiating between their/there/they're, much less getting their facts straight on a criminal investigation. Please, if you're going to cite a Lawrence paper, at least go with something more reputable like the Journal World. After visiting with several faculty members of the Religious Studies department, they all gave similar accounts of Mirecki's injuries. Sorry to say, but I trust the accounts of professors with whom I have developed personal friendships over CNN journalists who probably did not even know where Lawrence was before this whole incident occurred.

  • Re:The darn fool. (Score:4, Informative)

    by nathanh (1214) on Friday December 09, 2005 @10:02PM (#14225748) Homepage
    You seem to have confused atheism with agnosticism.

    No, he hasn't. An agnostic asserts that the answer to the question of existence is unknowable and states nothing about their actual belief or lack thereof in gods. Many Christians are agnostic. Many atheists are agnostic. Most (traditional) Buddhists are atheists. Most Christians are not atheist (I'm not saying all because I'm sure there is some nutter who claims to be Christian but doesn't believe in the existence of any god).

    The Americanised versions of atheist and agnostic have basically made agnosticism a watered down version of atheism (ie, doesn't believe but isn't sure) which is stupid, because the term agnostic was specifically invented by Huxley to define his lack of gnosis (knowledge), not his uncertainty. I'll leave you with the words of Huxley.

    When I reached intellectual maturity, and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; a Christian or a freethinker, I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until at last I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure that they had attained a certain "gnosis" -- had more or less successfully solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. And, with Hume and Kant on my side, I could not think myself presumptuous in holding fast by that opinion. [...]

    So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic". It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant; and I took the earliest opportunity of parading it at our Society, to show that I, too, had a tail, like the other foxes. [Quoted in "Encylopaedia of Religion and Ethics", 1908, edited by James Hastings MA DD]

    Brilliant guy. Total nutcase, but brilliant.

  • Re:Beaten? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09, 2005 @10:53PM (#14226015)
    I belong to the OCA (Orthodox Church in America, meaning North America), and evolution is accepted. There is one arch-bishop in particular with a background in quantum physics who talks about this. I'm not sure about other Orthodox churches, but the OCA is not literalist with respect to the Bible. I understand the situation is similar in other Orthodox churches.

    Note that it's not Intelligent Design that the OCA believes in per se, although it does believe in evolution guided by God (the distinction being that it keeps matters dealing with God theological rather than attempting to make it scientific as Intelligent Design does), insomuch as it subscribes to a theory at all - it's not something of great importance to the church, as it is not a scientific organization.

  • Re:His sign (Score:2, Informative)

    by Superfarstucker (621775) on Friday December 09, 2005 @10:53PM (#14226016)
    I disagree, I attend a public university as well and I've taken a section where just a small group of people who are interested meet up with the professor and talk. We rarely discussed anything relevant to the course, and it was never 'professional'.

    I found it to be most interesting, and always enjoyable. I kind of wish more of the interesting professors (you know, the ones who are actually interested in what they instruct) would do sections like that. It frees them of their 'obligation' to teach course material while in lecture and I figure most good professors have something interesting to say on other subjects as well.

    It was a CS&E professor teaching CS&E in case you get the impression it was some content devoid humanities course.
  • by TimTheFoolMan (656432) on Friday December 09, 2005 @11:57PM (#14226337) Homepage Journal
    As a card-carrying Southern Baptist, I'd like to say that I'm insulted, but sadly, your assessment is more true than not. We have, particularly in the last 20 years, taken on an anti-intellectualism stance that borders on the kind of thing that you see in HS jocks, where they apparently take their pride in NOT being intellectual. It's as if being educated about science and history (meaning, using books other than The Bible) becomes an immediate mark of suspicion.

    Fortunately, the history of the Baptist denomination is one of independent behavior, so we have no pope or central authority figure who can tell us what to believe, or what creed we have to sign up for in order to stay members of a Baptist church. (I could go into great detail about some of the finer points of Baptist tradition that demonstrate this kind of independent thinking, but that's a bit OT... not Old Testament.)

    As it stands today, much of the work that had been done in integrating pastoral care with well-researched psychology is virtually out of the cirriculum in most of our seminaries. Sadly, the work of Baptist leaders and theologians in the 50's, 60's, and early 70's has been cast aside by a large segment of our denomination in favor of segregating language/theology, and radically poor politics.

    In spite of this, there are a few of us left who still think for ourselves, so please hesitate to flip the bozo bit on all of us just yet.

    Tim
  • What's a fundie? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 10, 2005 @12:00AM (#14226353)
    Honestly, I didn't make the connection to Fundamentalist Christian at first. but through the magic of Google, however, I managed to stumble across this hilarious dictionary and thought I would share;
    http://members.aol.com/porchnus/dict01.htm [aol.com]

    Enjoy!

       
  • Re:To clarify... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Council (514577) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `eornumr'> on Saturday December 10, 2005 @12:48AM (#14226559) Homepage
    In American universities (outside of the medical schools) being Chair of the department is usually not that big a deal. It isn't like some European universities where the Chair is really the person who runs the show.

    For example, at my school, the chair of the Physics department cycles through the faculty, changing hands every three years.
  • by Bush Pig (175019) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @12:59AM (#14226606)
    >[T]he proponents of Intelligent Design are really just pushing for equal time.

    They don't deserve equal time. A right to equal time would imply they were saying something that, in the interests of a fair and balanced discussion, was worth listening to.

  • by Descalzo (898339) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @01:34AM (#14226729) Journal
    Try this:

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/ [thereligionofpeace.com]

    There have been about 3,700 terrorist attacks since 9/11/01 perpetrated by Muslims.

    I don't hate Muslims, nor do I think they are evil, but it IS an interesting statistic. I am not blind, either, to wrongs committed by Christians or atheists.

  • by whitespacedout (696269) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @01:35AM (#14226734) Journal
    Yeah, you hard to search a bit for that one, troll-boy. Amazing what you can do when you take it out of context. It's a line from a parable.
  • by mr_economy (937681) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @03:43AM (#14227155)

    A professor with his own personal beliefs? Say it ain't so! The world must surely be coming to an end. Woe is me.

    Newsflash: everyone has their personal beliefs, including professors, and only a fool would try to deny them this ability. It is human nature to have differing opinions. The only thing that matters is that those beliefs do not impact his teaching. And as someone who has personally experienced Dr. Mirecki as a lecturer, as opposed to most who have been doing the whining, I see no reason to believe his personal beliefs have affected his teaching in any way. In fact I was quite surprised to discover he was the leader of SOMAA because of the way he delivered the lecture over the Old Testament - he would have been easier to mistake for a member of the clergy than an atheist. Mirecki's personal beliefs are relevant if and only if they impact his teaching, and there is zero evidence to suggest that is the case.

    Nice try on guessing my major, but it seems the Kansas legislature is the only one with a collective degree in drama here: this is the second time in three years there have been threats to pull all state funding from the University because of the questioned actions of one faculty member. This is all quite ironic because one of the largest conservative magazines in the country recently listed KU as a top public school with one caveat: the legislature does not provide enough funding.

    Now here's the truth from someone who is more than just an armchair op-ed writer: Paul Mirecki expressed the beliefs that many Kansans have been feeling since the last school board election. He has nothing more to applogize for than the faculty sponsor of University Christian Fellowship every time a reference is made to God or Jesus. Or would you prefer the state now get involved in dictating what personal beliefs individuals are allowed to hold? Make them members of the Party perhaps? I can see it now: in Nebraska you can always find a party, but in Kansas the Party finds you! You are making much ado about nothing. If this were a Christian at the focus of a witch hunt, you would be crying some more about how the poor Christians are so persecuted in this nation. And that argument would be as worthless as the one you advance here.

    In essence, your post and point functions as one giant red herring. The only real question here is whether Mirecki would have taught the class fairly according to the standards it set: exploring the history of ID and Creationism as myth (refer to my previous correct definition). For all the whining and crying people have done, there has not yet been a shred of real evidence to indicate those standards would not have been met. This man has been chair of the Religious Studies department for 20 years. One complaint in 20 years. Sensationalized? You bet.

  • Re:Slaves, etc. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Irvu (248207) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @04:16AM (#14227223)
    I would argue that he did spend his time making political waves, in some of the most direct ways. His rejection of this world was itself a political statement. People participate in governments, struggles, movements, taxes, based upon the extent to which it "matters". If they sieze the idea that it doesn't matter then they won't bother and people who depend upon people caring (e.g. the rich) will be quite bothered by that, and they were.

    This is one of the reasons that most governments offer something "beyond death". Open theocracies tie participation in the state to rewards in heaven, or punishment in hell. Quasi theocracies (countries where you're okay so long as you are some kind of christian/jew/muslim/athiest, etc). Simply select for "acceptable" religions, i.e. the ones that don't oppose their views.

    In Jesus day it wasn't just the romans it was also the Scribes and the Pharasees who were two warring political factions within the Jewish heirarchy. Both were seeking power (the Scribes had it at the time) and both were arguing that they were better bets to fight/appease Rome. Other groups were also on the playing field such as the Sadduces(sp?) and others.

    At times in Jewish history their battles moved from words to violence cheifly over the question of who was best at fighting the Romans. Other related groups such asthe Zealots, and the Sycarii turned more openly to violence, the Sycarii were so good at assasinating people they opposed that Sycarius is latin for assasin.

    Jesus at one point (near his death) makes his opposition to these groups plain saying that the Scribes seek only to increase the size of their prayer boxes (a box tied to the head with prayers in it, the bigger the box, the more obviously pious you are). He has some similar comment for the Pharasees.

    The whole "Give to Ceaser what is Ceaser's and Give to God what is God's" story was a setup on their part to trap Jesus into declaring for one side or the other. Jesus's answer was a third option that pissed off everyone.

    Jesus pissed off both groups who had very real worldly ambitions with his, 'let's all be peaceful' approach. This is why they participated in handing him over to the Romans.
  • by RichardX (457979) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @07:35AM (#14227645) Homepage
    I hate to get pedantic over what is basically a one liner joke post, but... this shows a serious misunderstanding of the process of evolution, and it's that kind of thing which allows nonsense like "Intelligent Design" to get as far as it has

    Organisms do not evolve new features by developing them that way - for if there are a race of monkeys, and their only food source is tall trees with bananas in, they're gonna spend a lot of time stretching their arms to reach bananas - they'll probably get really really good at it, and with enough stretching their arms might even get a bit longer than they would be without the stretching. So, will this trait be passed on to the kids, resulting, over time, in a species of long armed super-reachers? Well... no, actually, because acquired skills/changes don't cause any genetic change.

    On the other hand, those monkeys who just happen by genetic variation to be born with slightly longer arms will find it easier to reach the food. When food becomes scarce they are the ones who will survive - the short armed ones will starve to death, and therefore it's the "long arms" genes which will prosper and be passed down to the next generation.
  • Re:Rule #2 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gibsnag (885901) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @09:22AM (#14227857)
    Uh, he wasn't saying to look for an answer besides God. He was saying that he doesn't understand why you need organised religion to worship a God. Organised religion hardly has the best track record so its a pretty valid point.
  • Inaccurate headline (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 10, 2005 @11:25AM (#14228289)
    "Kansas Anti-Creationism Professor Resigns"

    According to CNN.com, Prof. Mirecki resigned his department chairmanship, but not his teaching position.

    While that doesn't change the substance of the current debate, I hope nobody gets confused about what happened to the professor's job.
  • by IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @01:59PM (#14228989)
    When I talk about religion, I talk about the most wide-spread religions in the western world. This is, in part, due to my ignorance for other religion beliefs beyond the most influential ones (Christianity and Islam), and in part because those less influential religions play only a very minor role in our lives.

    As of definition of religion and its' relationship to the Science, here is what Wikipedia says. If you have some better source, be my guest and present it here, instead of making empty remarks about how "I should review the definition of religion".
    Religion (see etymology below) sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine; and the moral codes, practices, values, institutions and rituals associated with such belief. In its broadest sense some have defined it as the sum total of answers given to explain humankind's relationship with the universe
    I suppose we can all agree that neither Christianity nor Islam defines itself primarily as "the sum total of answers given to explain humankind's relationship with the universe", therefore it's all about worshiping supernatural, sacred, or divine something. In a selfish hope to gain some benefit from it post mortem, I might add. Of course, it's also about making big monetary donations to the institution in place to promote your favourite religion, but it's another topic.

    Oppression of the free Science, of course, is not written down in a definition of a religion, but is a logical consequence.
  • Re:Rule #2 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chmcginn (201645) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @01:27PM (#14233685) Journal
    organized book clubs?

    I mean, as far as I know, they're not responsible for any genocides... That's got to count for something.

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