Evolution Creation Debate

Explores all sides of the continuing debate on the origin of life

Saturday, December 03, 2005


Proposed Kansas University Course Cancelled

Kansas University has cancelled a proposed course titled 'Intelligent Design, Creationisms and other Religious Mythologies'. The motives of religious studies department chair Paul Mirecki were called into question when he posted the following email on a Yahoo list-serv discussion board moderated by the student organization for which he served as faculty adviser :

To my fellow damned,

Its true, the fundies have been wanting to get I.D. and creationism into the Kansas public schools, so I thought “why don’t I do it?”

I will teach the class, with several other lefty KU professors in the sciences and humanities. Class is:

REL 602 Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationisms and other Religious Mythologies.

Tuesdays 7:00-9:30pm. Smith Hall room 100. Open to undergrads and grads.

Enrollment limited to about 120. 3 credit hours.

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.” I expect it will draw much media attention. The university public relations office will have a press release on it in a few weeks, I also have contacts at several regional newspapers.

Of course, I won’t actually be teaching I.D. and creationisms, but rather I’ll be teaching ABOUT I.D. and creationisms as modern mythologies, indicating that these ideas have no place in a public school science class, but can certainly be analyzed in humanities classes for their function in society. Basic approach is my usual: anthropology with a focus on religious thought and behavior.

Any ideas for textbooks, guest lecturers and panels would be appreciated.

So far, six faculty have eagerly signed up to lecture. I can probably pull Chancellor Hemenway into this also, especially in the light of his public comments supporting evolution.

Doing my part to piss of (sic) the religious right,

Evil Dr. P.

UPDATE: The Associated Press reported December 6 that police are investigating a roadside beating of Paul Mirecki 6:40 a.m. Monday on a rural road south of Lawrence, Kansas. Mirecki told the Lawrence Journal-World that the two men who beat him were making references to his proposed course.

December 7 the university announced Mirecki had resigned as chairman of the religious studies department. 2 days later Mirecki told the Lawrence Journal-World he had been forced to step down.


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