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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:24PM (#14224409)
    Could've used a bit of intelligent design.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Fucking evolutionalists.

      Maybe you descend from monkeys. Not me.

      Now, where have I put my banana *scratch* *scratch* ?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09, 2005 @08:04PM (#14224819)
      It reminds me of that t-shirt I saw--how'd it go? Oh yeah:

      "I got a teaching job at the University of Kansas and all I got was a lousy beat-down by some Christians."

    • Shove that, I'm going to duplicate it with some variation and see if it fares better or worse, then someone else will copy/alter the better one. Of course, someone might think they're god or something and try to make a perfect version on the first try. I'm sure my way is better, the way it really is!
    • Rule #1 (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09, 2005 @08:46PM (#14225202)
      Rule #1:

      Never argue with people that have imaginary friends.
      • Rule #2 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 10, 2005 @12:06AM (#14226381)
        Do not vote for a politician who claims special communication with higher beings.
    • by Elektroschock (659467) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:09PM (#14225372)
      Sorry, I am very concerned to see pseudo-science infiltrate the United States and when scientists are depicted as anti-Cristians because they support views which are commonly accepted among educated people I wonder what direction the US will go. What next?

      Perhaps improvement in theological education is the first step. Enlightment reloaded. If uneducated preachers spread unenlighted views and therefore a kind of scum of public opinion undermines real science, it is time to think why people in other Christian countries in the world do not even talk about this bullshit. I mean, the US is not Iran...

      Proper university education for preachers and scientific reflection on theological issues and "Christian" pseudoscience will fade away.
      • by mrchaotica (681592) on Friday December 09, 2005 @10:38PM (#14225942)
        I mean, the US is not Iran...
        Yeah, for now...
      • by SatanicPuppy (611928) <Satanicpuppy@g m a i l .com> on Friday December 09, 2005 @11:04PM (#14226062) Journal
        A lot of the problem comes from certain "evangelical" sects of Christianity who teach a literal read of the bible, and don't require any special course of study for their priests...That is to say, they believe everything in the Bible is literally true, and that you don't need to be taught how to preach, or how to read/interpret the bible, in order to be a priest. It's extremely anti-intellectual.

        The Southern Baptists, in particular are almost post-rational when it comes to any sort of reasoned argument. It's amusing in a sad/scary sort of way.
        • 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
          • by Belseth (835595) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @05:10AM (#14227348)
            The issue I have is with intolerance. The recent Christian movement doesn't even tolerate other Christian sects. Personally I'm a Buddist and the core beliefs are that life and religion is an individual journey and you shouldn't force your beliefs on anyone else. If all religions followed this simple doctrine an incredible amount of violence and death could have been avoided over the centuries. Most of the war going on today has roots in religious intolerance. I take exception to religious doctrine being taught in school including Buddism inspite of it being a more Philosophy than a religion. I believe in studying all religions and I make sure that my children are well versed in as many religions as possible including Hindu and Mosleum faiths. There's good in all religions and most share core beliefs. There's even a strong belief that Christ studied Buddism since much of what he taught was Buddist in nature. It's always a trick question what religion Christ was. It's obvious but most people have trouble getting past prejudice to realize he was a practising Jew right up until the day he died. Christianity came out of Judaism and the Mosleum faith came out of Christianity. It's why so many of the holly places are the same. The Old Testment is basically Judaic. It's amazing to me that none of them really get along. The mosleums and Jews even consider Christ a holy man, it's the divinity issue where they part company.

            Public school should be about proven fact and science meets that standard. Religion doesn't require proof but that's what makes it subjective. Science should be the one thing they all can agree on. Saying that science is wrong and three to four thousand year old religous text is right does make us look ignorant and that's how much of the world has begun to view us. Jewish scholars have found much of the old testment is incorrect. The irony is they have accepted the science and have begun to view much of it as stories with a message where as Christians in this country are still holding that it is fact and children should be taught as much in public schools. Can you see the irony? Christians borrow part of their religion from Jews who later find it is a collection of stories and not fact, they accept it but the later religion chooses to hang on inspite of what the parent religion now believes to be true. Even the Catholic faith has accepted evolution. What people need to consider is it the Bible that makes you disbelieve in evolution or what the preacher on Sunday told you? The New Testment makes no mention of how creation occured. What's really ironic is most Bibles these days don't even include the Old Testment yet that seems to be the part where all the contention is, that's the PreChristian part to be more specific. If the world being 6 billion years old instead of six thousand years old shakes a person's faith I think they need to exaimine the strength of their faith and not simply try to silence those who don't share their beliefs, in this case most of humanity. Just an FYI, if you think the preacher on Sunday morning is telling you the whole truth double check what is said against the Bible. There's alot of grossly inaccurate information being thrown around if the point is literally interpretation. My favorites always revolve around Angels and Heaven. Most are taught Heaven is full of good people and they turn into Angels when they die. Not sure where they got that? It wasn't from the Bible. The only "person" that comes to mind currently in Heaven is Jacob, direct assention. Everyone else is waiting judgement. Also Angels predated men/humans. They were never people but another race and were called "The Sons Of God". In fact there's no mention of female angels anywhere in the Bible. Sadly a lot of the intent has been lost. Praying to get things and passing judgement on others aways drives me nuts, they are blanantly unChristian. According to the Bible you are supposed to accept God's will and whatever happened to "Judge not lest yee be judged"? God is supposed to judge not man. I have no problem with re

            • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 10, 2005 @12:37PM (#14228595)
              I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump. I ran over and said: "Stop. Don't do it."
              "Why shouldn't I?" he asked.
              "Well, there's so much to live for!"
              "Like what?"
              "Are you religious?"
              He said, "Yes."
              I said, "Me too. Are you Christian or Buddhist?"
              "Christian."
              "Me too. Are you Catholic or Protestant?"
              "Protestant."
              "Me too. Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?"
              "Baptist."
              "Wow. Me too. Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?"
              "Baptist Church of God."
              "Me too. Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?"
              "Reformed Baptist Church of God."
              "Me too. Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?"
              He said: "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915."
              I said: "Die, heretic scum," and pushed him off.

              (Stolen from http://www.shipoffools.com/Features/2005/laugh_jud gment_results.html [shipoffools.com])
  • 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).
    • Re:To clarify... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by belmolis (702863) <billposer@@@alum...mit...edu> on Friday December 09, 2005 @08:51PM (#14225252) Homepage

      This is an important point that I think people aren't paying enough attention to. He has resigned only an extra administrative position that he may not particularly have enjoyed anyhow. 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. Mirecki still has his job and his academic rank - all he's done is stepped out of the limelight a little, whether to make life easier for himself or to keep himself from being a lightning rod for anti-University sentiment.

  • His sign (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:28PM (#14224454)
    One of his emails talked about how he couldn't wait to teach this course to throw his position against ID in "their big fat face." Okay, if you profess (ahemm) to be a professor and you can't muster up any more intelligent way to communicate than that I submitt you have no business teaching at a university. Kindergarten? Maybe.
    • Re:His sign (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gentlewizard (300741) on Friday December 09, 2005 @08:24PM (#14225019)
      College professors aren't supposed to be wishy-washy and neutral: the reason for tenure is to encourage them to have opinions, even strong ones. It's the interplay of multiple strong opinions, sometimes polar opposites, that makes the university experience useful.

      That's why, for example, the University of California not only tolerated, but defended Angela Davis [ucsc.edu] and her pro-Comummunist party views, despite the current "governator" being one Ronald Reagan.

      So maybe he didn't say it very well. It's what he believes.
  • by el-spectre (668104) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:29PM (#14224463) Journal
    I applaud the guy for having the courage to recognize ID for what it is, a (weak) philosophical argument, not science. But as head of a religious studies department, attacking a given faith is just unprofessional.

    I'm an atheist, but I don't go pissing on church doors. That's (figuratively) what this guy did, and screwed up his career in doing so.
    • by pla (258480) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:45PM (#14224617) Journal
      But as head of a religious studies department, attacking a given faith is just unprofessional.

      You can teach Greek Mythology without always speaking the name of "Zeus" with reverential awe.

      You can even poke fun at your subject matter, depending on the focus of the course - I fondly remember my 1st semester physics professor ended practically every topic with something along the lines of "and of course in the days since Newton, we've discovered that most of this counts as complete rubbish, but I still expect you to know it for the test".

      In the case of the topic under consideration, I (and any potential studend would) have every expectation this professor did not plan to merely present it as an objective overview of the tenets of ID (though students should of course have come away understanding those); but rather, a thorough debunking of a laughable-yet-popular ("popular" in the sheer-number-of-fools sense) topic, possibly broad enough to include a general overview of the roots of the dangerously antiintellectual attitude currently brewing in our culture.
    • by Alien Being (18488) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:54PM (#14224702)
      "attacking a given faith"

      He attacked "faith run amok". The problem isn't that people have this faith. The problem is that some of them try to pass it off as science and to make laws out of it. Their zealotry goes against what this country stands for.

  • 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 hawkeye_82 (845771) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:30PM (#14224465) Journal
    If these men can beat up a prof for saying things out loud, then its obvious the evolutionary process left them by the wayside, and they grew a up as apes. No wonder they dont believe in evolution.
  • Religious Violence (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vodkamattvt (819309) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:30PM (#14224469) Homepage
    Perhaps, instead of constantly attacking scientific communities and sex, religious leaders and their respective communities should actually teach what god and jesus intended .. compassion and forgiveness. When two people believe in god so much to beat someone up because they said something anti-christian says, to me, that the leaders of the religious community have failed miserably to actually relay the teachings of their religion.

    Then again, Im agnostic and havent attended church and base all my knowledge on written word and whatnot. Maybe in church they are saying to strike those evil doer anti-christians down like the wrath of god?

    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:35PM (#14224517)
      Remember, there are a lot of Books in the Bible. Some of the older ones (Old Testament) have a lot of stuff about smiting and even killing or enslaving your enemies.

      It all depends upon what part of the Bible the church you attend wants to focus on. There's as much legitimacy in focusing on God's Rightous Wrath as there is in focusing on Jesus Forgiving.
      • by Hektor_Troy (262592) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:50PM (#14224665)
        Can't say that I'm a believer (I'm baptised, but I didn't have much of a choice then), but ...

        If you're a christian church and focusing more on the old testament than the new - and especially the loving and forgiving christ (Jesus), isn't it a fair case to call you a jew instead of a christian?

        As I understand it, christianity builds on the old testament, sure - but it weighs in much more heavily on forgiveness (obviously forgotten during the crusades and inquisition) and love than on "smiting your enemies". Pretty sure you'd be shit out of luck if you tried portraying Jesus as wanting you to "smite and even kill or enslave your enemies".

        Or did I not get the memo?
        • Methodist churches have different views than Catholic churches.

          Who's to say which is "correct"? Except God/Jesus, that is. And neither of them return my calls anymore.

          Pay attention to the stories you'll be seeing about this. Check how many local churches publicly condem those actions and how many "Christians" write about how "he deserved what he got". You might have to hit local papers for that last one.

          The church is shaped by the preacher and the congregation finds a preacher who shares their view.
        • Right (Score:4, Insightful)

          by DanTheLewis (742271) on Friday December 09, 2005 @11:55PM (#14226331) Homepage Journal
          I'm a Protestant, and I don't start with Biblical inerrancy or something like that. In fact, I find those ways of reading the Bible rather dubious. Rather, I have been profoundly affected by the figure of Jesus; who is he? What was he about? What would he have to say to people like me? The answers to those questions, and to others about the meaning of life and death and about lived beliefs, brought me to Christianity.

          As a person of faith, I find that such a stance frees me to be rather more objective about the Bible, especially the Hebrew Bible. If I find out that Christ's story is a cheat, I can drop it, finally, in the knowledge that I was faithful to my reasons as far as they went. But now I don't have to concentrate on every so-called contradiction in the Bible. Instead, I can begin to know Jesus by examining the writings of the people who knew him best, and slowly expand from there.

          So I don't always know how to take the Hebrew Bible. The sons and daughters of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob talked about God, at times, in ways I don't recognize. I am not trying to revive the Manichean heresy (he thought that the Adonai of the Old Testament was the evil God, and Christ was the good God who defeated Adonai). But I can allow the questions to get a lot deeper into my thinking this way.
      • by jpellino (202698) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @12:50AM (#14226565)
        "A man got religion, and asked the priest what he must do to be worthy of his new estate. The priest said, "Imitate our Father in Heaven, learn to be like him." The man studied his Bible diligently and thoroughly and understandingly, and then with prayers for heavenly guidance instituted his imitations. He tricked his wife into falling downstairs, and she broke her back and became a paralytic for life; he betrayed his brother into the hands of a sharper, who robbed him of his all and landed him in the almshouse; he inoculated one son with hookworms, another with the sleeping sickness, another with gonorrhea; he furnished one daughter with scarlet fever and ushered her into her teens deaf, dumb, and blind for life; and after helping a rascal seduce the remaining one, he closed his doors against her and she died in a brothel cursing him. Then he reported to the priest, who said that that was no way to imitate his Father in Heaven. The convert asked wherein he had failed, but the priest changed the subject and inquired what kind of weather he was having, up his way."
  • From the article (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:31PM (#14224482) Homepage Journal
    A 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 apologized for those comments.

    Me thinks "poorly worded" is an understatement. It's one thing when you're a troll on Slashdot using that language. It's a completely different thing to be in a respected teaching position and acting like a Slashdot troll. And he wonders why people are upset with him. *shakes head*

    (P.S. I do hope they catch the assholes who beat him. That's not exactly acceptable behavior, either, no matter what he said.)
  • He handled it wrong (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sycomonkey (666153) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:31PM (#14224483) Homepage
    It's not a good idea to deride students or christians, and it's not as if every christian thinks evolution is wrong. I think it would have been a good thing to hold a class like that in a state like that, but if the prof is going to be confrontational about it, that's going to cheapen the whole point. Teaching ID in anything outside a philosophy class is such a crazy idea and so easily debunked that being negative is entirely unessicary, plain facts will do.
  • The darn fool. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Halfbaked Plan (769830) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:31PM (#14224486)
    Mirecki evidently sent poorly worded email with anti-Christian sentiments around to people interested in the class, and was subsequently beaten for his troubles.

    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.

    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.

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

      by smallpaul (65919) <paul@presc[ ]net ['od.' in gap]> on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:52PM (#14224687)
      I don't understand what scientists you are referring to. He is a religious studies professor.
    • Re:The darn fool. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Guppy06 (410832)
      Actually, most Slashdotters fall into category #2. Take a look at some of the responses you got for some examples.
    • Re:The darn fool. (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bogtha (906264)

      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?

    • Re:The darn fool. (Score:3, Informative)

      by guygee (453727)

      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 li

  • by theGreater (596196) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:34PM (#14224506) Homepage

    That's the part that confused me enough to make me read it twice. The CHAIR of the Religous Studies Dept. was saying things like:

    • referring to religious individuals as "fundies"
    • "a nice slap in their big fat face"
    • others described as "repugnant and vile"
    That boggles the mind. No excuse for beating the man, for any reason.

    -theGreater.
  • hur hur hur (Score:3, Funny)

    by marcushnk (90744) <senectus AT gmail DOT com> on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:34PM (#14224507) Journal
    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.

    bloody bible bashers :-P

  • by Thaelon (250687) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:36PM (#14224527)
    Someone else was beaten or killed in the name of religion! *gasp*

    What's the total up to now? A few billion?
  • Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AstynaxX (217139) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:37PM (#14224537) Homepage
    The choices of prefix for this post... I'm curious, why is he anti-creationist rather than pro-evolutionist? Now, this may be innocuous, but choice of words can reveal bias.

    Also, anti-fundamentalist is not the same as anti-christian. Being opposed to a specific, fanatical, often belligerent sect of a religious denomination is not the same as being opposed to the entire faith.
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PCM2 (4486)
      The choices of prefix for this post... I'm curious, why is he anti-creationist rather than pro-evolutionist?
      Because he's a professor of religion, not of science. Evolution has little place in theology; however it's perfectly reasonable for a theologian to question whether creationism represents fundamental religious belief or is simply an overly-literal interpetation of a nice and comforting myth.
    • by dbIII (701233)
      Also, anti-fundamentalist is not the same as anti-christian.
      Obviously - since the only bit of the New Testiment they seem to read is Relevations and there isn't a lot of Jesus in that bit.

      It's easy to teach intelligent design - here it all is:

      The world is too difficult to explain because the God ate my homework.

  • Fron the article... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lendrick (314723) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:38PM (#14224540) Homepage Journal
    A 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 apologized for those comments.

    It's too bad he had to be so unprofessional. I'm all in favor of his class, but I can't sympathize with someone who acts like that. He's basically ruined it for other universities that may want to do something similar because he made it into a personal issue instead of an academic one.
  • by johansalk (818687) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:44PM (#14224598)
    When a whole nation is dedicating itself to anti-Islamism, while Christianism is fucking it up the ass (how's that for "poorly-worded"?), it's only fair that in a state like Kansas, made infamous worldwide by that ludicrous anti-science christianism, scientists would have an anti-Christianism sentiment and it's only fair that they make it heard by all concerned. If they won't, who will?! Don't kid yourself, Science, and scientists are under attack by the deliberate liars and peddlers of self-serving nonsense.
  • here in Mexico. There was a student riot and strike (or something similar), they (the "students") shut down school. Some of them participated in violent protests against the government, and were sent to jail.

    A law professor was going to give a talk about "Difference between political prisoners and criminals". The pseudo-students didn't let him start the talk, and he had to run away because they were all throwing him rotten food.

    Lesson: Unless you're willing to become a martyr, never tell an angry mob they're WRONG.
  • by chezmarshall (694493) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:50PM (#14224661) Homepage
    It's easy to understand the conflict here. Of all people, scholars of religion are going to see how different religions absorb ideas from one another. I guess it tends to make them rather skeptical that any particular religion has access to some unique revelation. When you combine this skepticism with Christian fundamentalism in general and intelligent design in particular, there's going to be some discord.

    However, it's very myopic to reach any kind of opinion that all of this reflects poorly on Christian fundamentalists, Kansas, or religion in the United States. Consider that for his heresy, this guy got a beating that 99.99% of his fellow countrymen think was unjustified. Compare that to Iran, for instance, where writing a book that others consider disrespectful to Islam will get you a giant-sized can of fatwa.
  • And vice versa... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HexRei (515117) on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:51PM (#14224678)
    ...would people be equally outraged if the Religious Studies Chair at a religious school, let's say BYU, were to badmouth atheism? My guess is that it probably happens all the time.
  • Way to go (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Cisco Kid (31490) * on Friday December 09, 2005 @07:54PM (#14224707)
    The only difference between religion and mythology is that mythology was the nonsense that people used to beleive, and religion is the nonsense they beleive today.

    Keep your religion out of our science! You beleive what you want, but anyone that thinks they have a right to force what they beleive on someone else needs a swift kick in the ass (and yes, that includes other people's children, its tragic enough that parents are allowed to brainwash their own children)
  • by hmbcarol (937668) on Friday December 09, 2005 @08:02PM (#14224786)
    People seem to confuse the very tiny number of people who attacked this professor and who maintain a non-scientific militaint anti evolusionist stance with the much larger group of people who call themselves "Christians".

    People are extrapolating the actions of a small group of hateful idiots to an entire class of people who happen to have an overlapping characteristic and disparaging the entire group as stupid, backward, or violent.

    I suspect those same people would be horrified if the actions of a single minority member were to be unfairly extrapolated to their entire race or culture.

  • 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]
  • by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <sherwin@amiran . u s> on Friday December 09, 2005 @08:22PM (#14224997) Homepage Journal
    American-style protestants are going further and further towards the nutso-crazy-idiotic anti-science anti-progress anti-secularism anti-other-religions stereotype.

    Every unfair stereotype of a an American WASP from 10 years ago has started to come true. Expect the unfair sterotypes of today to be true within 10 years (religious warriors, indeed).

    This contrasts oddly with the vatican, who has decided to embrace science as the language of God's tapistry.

    Even me, the dedicated Agnostic, finds that ringing a tone of truth.

    What these ID idiots don't understand is that there is NO WAY a creator would use such a blunt tool as Creationism to *poof* the world into existence. "God works in mysterious ways". "All miracles are subtle". Blah Blah Blah; if THATs the case, than why WOULDN'T he use evolution?

    In one swift motion, the creator, the mover unmoved, fathomed the universe. From that point on, utilizing all the 'random' constants that he blinked into existence, the universe expanded outwards in the big bang, following the scientific explanation of creation, evolution occurred, and we are currently at the present day.

    How is that explanation not FAR, FAR more amazing, and mind blowing, and worth of a creator than, "Well, kids, God dreamed up our world, and a week later, it was there."

    I guess the problem is that the American-style Protestant is really just not that smart.
  • Living in Lawrence (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CompMD (522020) on Friday December 09, 2005 @08:49PM (#14225230)
    I live, attend school, and work in lovely Lawrence, Kansas. I've been all over the state, and no other city has the allure and mindset of Lawrence. This is the most tolerant, free-thinking, and progressive city in the state. If you have any doubts of that, you should read up on your civil war history. There are people other than rednecks in this state. Keep in mind that Helium was discovered here 100 years ago this week. Lynx, everyone's favorite text-based web browser was born here (read your man page). I could go on for quite a while.

    The attack on Professor Mirecki is heartbreaking. Violence in the name of God is disgusting. I think that the rift between members of academia and radcial Christians is growing. We are becoming the society that as a nation, we most actively despise: a society driven by radical religious fundamentalists who have misinterpreted the tenets of the locally dominant religion.

    Kansas has always been a little weird. Nobody can debate that. However, Lawrence has been proud to stand out from the rest of the state and see things more thoughtfully. This most recent regression has hurt what Lawrence has always stood for: freedom. Freedom to live, freedom to express one's ideas, freedom to explore the unknown, and the freedom to stand up for those things.

    Whatever your current thoughts are about Professor Mirecki, the criminals who attacked him, or the course he was trying to teach, you should probably get your news from sources a little closer to the action. The Lawrence Journal-World [ljworld.com] has covered this quite thoroughly and has some very interesting blog posts from a wide variety of bloggers (myself included) discussing the articles. I recommend it if you want to get a better view of the scenario.

    Plenty of stupid things have taken place in Kansas this year. Let's work to fix the problems that we have caused here and try to move forward.

    Nick M.

    Research Assistant

    Kansas NASA EPSCoR

  • 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.

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