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Archive for Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Mirecki apology doesn’t appease critics

November 30, 2005

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Kansas University professor Paul Mirecki's official apology for writing an e-mail disparaging religious fundamentalists hasn't calmed the firestorm surrounding his plans to teach intelligent design in a religious studies class.

"If a person has hate in his heart and says something hateful and later apologizes, do you think the hatred in his heart has been mended?" State Sen. Kay O'Connor, R-Olathe, said Tuesday. "I'm surprised that something more severe isn't happening to this teacher who obviously has a hatred for Christians."

Mirecki, who plans to teach about intelligent design next semester, has been criticized for a recent e-mail he wrote in which he referred to religious fundamentalists as "fundies" and said his class would be a "slap in their big fat face."

KU on Monday released a written statement by Mirecki, chairman of KU's religious studies department. In the statement, Mirecki said his e-mail was ill-advised.

"My words were offensive, and I apologize to all for that," he said.

The State Board of Education's conservative majority earlier this month successfully pushed changes in the state's public schools science standards that critique evolution.

KU approved the course for next semester, but changed its title from "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationisms and other Religious Mythologies" to "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design and Creationism."

A course description, reading list and syllabus are not available yet.

A second course, taught by John Hoopes, associate professor of anthropology, also is expected to discuss intelligent design. That class is planned for the fall.

Not enough

Conservative politicians said the apology and the change in the course title are small gestures.

"The integrity of university is in question right now," said Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, and vice-chairwoman of the House appropriations committee. "He's only apologizing for getting caught. He's not apologizing for his behavior."

Landwehr said she wants Mirecki and KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway to appear before the appropriations committee to answer questions about the course.

"I don't want to make a judgment without giving an opportunity for these individuals to respond to us," she said.

State Rep. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, said the apology was a step, but KU needs to be more forthcoming in order to quell concerns.

"It wasn't just a tongue-in-cheek kind of thing," Pilcher-Cook said of the e-mail. "It was a strategy."

State Sen. Karin Brownlee, R-Olathe, said she appreciates the university's acknowledgment that this is a serious issue, but more needs to be done. She said KU needs to show that the course meets the standards of the university and the Kansas Board of Regents.

Online chat

Journal-World reporters Sophia Maines and Scott Rothschild will be online today to take questions and comments about Kansas University's controversial intelligent design classes.

Maines covers KU for the Journal-World; Rothschild covers the Kansas Legislature. They'll discuss the controversy and how it's playing on campus and in Topeka.

The chat starts at 1:15 p.m. at ljworld.com. (Submit questions early.)

Regarding the course's name change, Brownlee said: "It's like they've changed the cover of the book, but where's the assurance that the content of the book will be different?"

'Welcome to the fray'

As others responded to Mirecki's apology, one KU professor said he's seen this all too closely before.

Dennis Dailey, professor emeritus in KU's School of Social Welfare, said he recently sent e-mails to Mirecki and Hoopes.

"My opening line was: 'Welcome to the fray,'" Dailey said.

As Dailey watches the current controversy, he sees a battle similar to the one that enveloped him and his human sexuality course in 2003.

Dailey's course on human sexuality spurred State Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, to voice her concerns on the floor of the Kansas Senate and to take aim at KU's funding. An amendment, proposed by Wagle, to cut funding to the KU School of Social Welfare ultimately was vetoed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. But Wagle succeeded in getting another proviso attached that requires universities to submit to the Kansas Board of Regents their policies regarding guidelines for sexually explicit courses and sexual harassment.

Dailey said being at the center of such controversies can be frightening.

"These people often are politically established," he said. "They often say things that are incredibly hurtful."

The low point in his saga, Dailey said, was receiving death threats and seeing how the issue hurt his family.

Steve Case, a KU scientist who served as co-chairman of the state's science standards curriculum revision committee, also said he was not surprised by the current ruckus.

He said intelligent design proponents want to be able to spin the information to meet their needs.

"They want control of the information," Case said. "They want control of how it's presented. They don't trust academics."

Dailey said it is an "obscene" idea that Mirecki would have to answer questions about his course.

"No faculty member should have to go before any government body and justify the teaching of a course," he said. "It's called academic freedom."

Dailey also said he's not shocked by the current controversy. It's natural, he said.

"This is how it's supposed to unfold," he said. "I cannot imagine that the people on the State Board of Education and others raising the issues of intelligent design and attacking science could expect that the university, among others, would stand by and take that crap," he said. "They're going to fight back. Welcome to the fight."

Comments

jayhawk2000 9 years, 1 month ago

"If a person has hate in his heart and says something hateful and later apologizes, do you think the hatred in his heart has been mended?" State Sen. Kay O'Connor, R-Olathe, said Tuesday.

Hmmm, I thought one of the basic tenets of Christianity was forgiveness?

That, and 'turn the other cheek'?

Oh, and treat others the way you want to be treated...

Daniel Speicher 9 years, 1 month ago

Give the guy a break. He made a mistake... He apologized. All we, as Christians, can do is take that apology at it's face value and forgive him. Let's practice what we preach. Did I think it was an unkind statement he made? Sure. But, we've all made similar statements (be it in private or in public)... Why do we get so "high and mighty" someone does something we, ourselves, do? Keep things in perspective.

--Danny Speicher

Bob Reinsch 9 years ago

I'm still waiting for the apology from the Talibaptists for insulting my intelligence.

Richard Heckler 9 years ago

Kay O'Connor as usual makes mountains out of mole hills.

The creationism folks now have their subject on a campus venue for discussion. What more do they want?

I say find a Wichita Eagle chatboard and remind those reps that micro managing universities is not their job and they need to be replaced at election time.

BrianR 9 years ago

This isn't Christianity, it's politics. Mirecki did nothing he needed to apoligize for. These wackos have to go, and by any means necessary.

Shardwurm 9 years ago

These 'wackos' need to go by any means necessary?

Nice.

Interesting that if he made a similar comment about evolution he'd also be labeled a 'wacko'.

LarryFarma 9 years ago

Academic freedom is not an issue here. No one is trying to muzzle Mirecki, except to expect him to be civil (the email he apologized for was not civil). But it is reasonable to expect that any course offered for university credit will meet minimal academic standards, and Mirecki's behavior has given good reason to fear that his course will not meet minimal academic standards. Mirecki should not be the sole judge of whether his course meets minimal academic standards. Indeed, in the case of accreditation of some professional programs, such as engineering, medicine, and law, the accreditation is done by independent outside agencies, and professors, departments, administrators, governing boards, and controlling governmental or private entities have no say over whether accreditation is granted.

Doug Harvey 9 years ago

Put me down in support of Dr. Mirecki. So, right-wingers, it doesn't feel very good to be insulted, does it? Taste your own medicine, fundies.

trinity 9 years ago

well i'm a little p!ssed about landwehr painting the entire university with the same brush-questioning the integrity of the ENTIRE university based on one guy's comments, for which he HAS apologized??? sheeeeesh brenda, give it a rest already.

i like the suggestion about getting on a wichita message board&suggesting to legislators they quit trying to micro-manage our lives; try kansas.com, the eagle's message board...it's always a hotbed of opinion, lol. and just why is it that it seems all the indignant self righteous representatives come from sedgwick county, anyway?¿

grimpeur 9 years ago

If a representative or school board member has ignorance and a wish to force his or her religious beliefs on others in his or her heart and says something stupid and later still doesn't have the sense to admit it, do you think the ignorance and wish to force his or her religious beliefs on others has been mended? I'm surprised that something more severe isn't happening to this representative who obviously has no interest in educating children.

Sen. O'Connor, why don't you wake up and realize that the school board members you support will cause far more damage to the children of this state than any college professor ever will?

Mirecki's comments were not anti-Christian. They were his personal beliefs about those who would substitute religion for science purely for political reasons. And you know this.

mom_of_three 9 years ago

Mirecki apologized for his email. The representatives need to be told to GET OVER IT and move on!

cutny 9 years ago

Get over it "fundies." Intelligent Design is a joke, and you're the punchline.

tir 9 years ago

Dennis Dailey is right. The religious conservative agenda is more about politics and control than it is about religion or evolution. People need to realize that what's going on here is just a minor skirmish in a much larger struggle for control over what people are allowed to do and say in this country. That's what I'm most concerned about.

BrianR 9 years ago

That was expected. I had a different sentence there but decided to go with the "by any means necessary" sentence to see what words you would put in my mouth.

You didn't disappoint.

These "representatives" have forsaken God and are using their "religion" to grab and keep power. They're forgotten the Sermon on the Mount and especially the concept of Matthew 22:21.

And the neocons think gays, feminists and "liberals" are bringing on the wrath of God; they should look closer to home to find their answers. Their righteous indignation is nauseating. Our church is not a political action committee, I will speak up if it ever leans that way.

BTW,I support Mirecki completely.

Nice terroristic threat there PorkRibs, good work.

jjguy 9 years ago

This whole issue has always seemed so trivial to me.

I mean honestly, if St. Peter tells you that you're wrong about Evolution (regardless of view) at the pearly gates, will you storm off in a huff?

The point of this life is what you DO with your time while you're here, not whether or not God's plan involved evolution.

I might differ with GM, for example, about how my car was made, but how I actually use that car is much more important in the end -

jjguy 9 years ago

Now I've gotten started. :)

What really gets me about our country is, there are scores of people, more growing up every day, who would love to make a name for themselves by blowing up major U.S. cities.

They could settle this entire debate for us in a radioactive instant, and yet our politicians are focusing on interviewing some college professor with bad email manners.

At least all of this is well preserved on tape backup for future generations -

Jamesaust 9 years ago

"'If a person has hate in his heart and says something hateful and later apologizes, do you think the hatred in his heart has been mended?' State Sen. Kay O'Connor, R-Olathe, said Tuesday."

Why are the State's legislative districts so gerrymandered that an embarrassment such as O'Connor is elected (let alone re-elected)?

Why does Senator "Pot" keep calling the "Kettles" black?

Other than perhaps Susan Wagle, is there a legislator in Topeka more filled with vindictiveness and narrowmindedness?

daddax98 9 years ago

"I don't want to make a judgment without giving an opportunity for these individuals to respond to us,"

translation

I want them to grovel before I slam them

Mr_Christopher 9 years ago

On Oct 21st the American Enterprise Institute For Public Policy Research hosted a day symposium called "Science Wars Should Schools Teach Intelligent Design?" All of the leading national proponents on both side of the debate gave presentations including the Thomas More Law Center (they defened the Dover School Board).

It was a fascinating discussion. The Discovery Institute once again lied to the public and it was the T More lawyer who busted them in front of everyone.

Any how, for those looking for a deeper than a USA Today understanding of this debate you'll enjoy reading the entire transcipts as well as getting copies of the hand outs that the various speakers provided.

Go here for all the goodies!

http://www.aei.org/events/filter.all,eventID.1169/transcript.asp

Bob Reinsch 9 years ago

PorkRibs - Don't confuse science and religion. Most people that believe in evolution also believe in a Supreme Being. In my case, I do not believe in a literal interpretation of the bible.

Scientific method is about what can be observed, whereas religion is about faith. Keep the faith, but keep it out of science class. When the Nobel Prize is awarded to someone based on scientific research into ID, then it fits into the science class, but I don't see that happening until there's scientific evidence to support it.

grace 9 years ago

Nevermind the fact that it was an email that was not intended for everyone's eyes. This is an attempted witch hunt by the state legislature and its puritanical right wing Christian members. It shameful that a professor is forced to apologize to these individuals and that his freedom of speech and academic freedom are being threatened. Professors say things that offend people all the time. Every single word that comes out of Kay O'Connors ignorant mouth offends me. I don't think I'll waste my time waiting for her apology.

Janet Lowther 9 years ago

What I want to know is how fundamentalists can get away with identifying any attack against their beliefs as an attack on Christianity?

From the larger Christian perspective, fundamentalism is at best a misuse of scripture, and from a Catholic view a flat out heresy. (The last I heard there were still a LOT more Catholic Christians than those of the fundamentalist sort)

BrianR 9 years ago

PorkRibs, you have demonstrated to me that you know nothing.

b_asinbeer 9 years ago

Sounds like BrianR is having some anger issues...it's ok, we'll forgive you for it (unlike some others....)

memoirs_of_a_sleepwalker 9 years ago

Pork Ribs, You are the most ignorant, idiotic, hypcritic person I've ever seen. You're the reason why people fly planes into buildings. You're the reason why people laugh at Kansas. You're the one who preaches foregiveness and hate/bigotry in two posts. You're the one in dire need of salvation.

Don't ever, ever insult an insitution that encourages critical thinking. Our nation was theoretically built on inquiry and thought, not fundamental tyranny of any kind. You are a disgrace to educators (me) who wish to teach the next generation perspective, inquiry, and thought; we at least attempt to continue the theories this nation was built upon. A belief in God is excellent and respectable, but it too takes critical thought and analysis; it should never be replaced with human ignorance and narrow-mindedness.

Your stupidity is appalling.

Frank Dorsey 9 years ago

porkribs,

Isn't the quote "you should have banned my guns a long time ago" a not too veiled threat of gun violence? Maybe my liberal college education from KU causes me to read too much into things. I should only interpret things literally.

Frank Dorsey 9 years ago

Allright, I'm outa here. I'm not going to climb down into that hole with porkribs, with all that mud flying around. I knew I shouldn't get into this ridiculous fray. I'll leave it to others who are up to porkribs' high standards of intellectual discourse.

neopolss 9 years ago

Calling for someone's job over an email that displeases them is a bit hateful in my opinion.

must ... vote .... them .... out ...

b_asinbeer 9 years ago

Scratch that, PorkRibs is having anger issues...

PoeticHeteroSapien 9 years ago

Mirecki didn't write an email. He wrote a message on a bulletin board he thought was seen by the eyes of one specific group, only. A Christian mole on that forum copied the posting, with no context, to the newspapers.

Mirecki has said nothing for which anyone has any right to call him "hateful" or demand an apology.

He was speaking to a group called SOMA, the Society of Open-Minded Atheists/Agnostics, and to us, each of the things he said have specific meaning in the larger contex of our small group's routine discussions. Mirecki followed our usual banter style-- we've been joking about extreme-right-wing fundamentalists and their ludicrous claim that ID is not religious, and how giving them their wish and teaching ID and how terribly it falls short as anything that might be called a theory (as the Dover trial proved thoroughly), would backfire. We knew it would throw it in the faces of those who try to claim it is irreligious out of one side of their mouths and then talk about advancing "Judaeo-Christian" social, political, and philosophical positions out of the other. He was just repeating a running joke among us- and if you're not so busy getting offended to read it, it's pretty funny- deal with it!

We always use the term "fundy" as short for fundamentalist. It's no more offensive than shortening Christmas to Xmas, which I might note that fundies are often offended by as well-- should anyone who says Xmas in writing be forced to apologize and have his classes reviewed?

"Doing my part to piss off the religious right" is a bumper sticker that several members of our group (and many who are not in it!) proudly display on their cars. It refers not to Christianity but to a specific group of fundies. Er, fundamentalist Christians. Even regular Christians, who for instance say that the Bible is not literal, can proudly say they are doing their part to piss off the religious right. Are they being hateful?

The "evil Dr.P" signature is how we refer to him. It's his nickname in the group, nothing more. Repeating it as evidence that he is anything other than a person with enough of a sense of humor to refer to himself by his own nickname, is insanity at its height.

Now, having taken a look at what he said, I ask again:

WHAT FREAKING RIGHT DO YOU HAVE TO ASK ME (or Dr. Mirecki) TO APOLOGIZE FOR ONE WORD OF THAT?

And I didn't even write it to a private forum.

PoeticHeteroSapien 9 years ago

Oh,

To the politician who said that we have decided it is socially unacceptable to mock Christianity in this country, I have two things to say:

One, that most of our best comedy is based on satire and a big part of satire is mocking the predominant social culture-- which in the USA is fundamentalist Christianity, so it's pretty standard to target the biggest paradigm when making fun of anything. You're currently it. Deal.

Two, this is America, you crazy fundie! I'll say anything I damned well want and so will any member of this or any other university! MOCK MOCK MOCK MOCK.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

I find interesting the idea that there is a different level of academic freedom at public versus private universities.

So, academicians at public universities must clear their activities with elected state officials whereas those at private institutions can do what they wish?

This misguided populism is regrettable. The idea that academicians must be accountable to the people runs counter to the whole idea of academia (academy in fact means "away from people").

In fact, if this happens it will be the death of publically-funded academia, itself a populist idea. Quality education available to every citizen.

wonderhorse 9 years ago

A "hateful anti-Christian"? How do you get that? Dr. Mirecki is a catholic. Isn't that a christian? Does he hate himself?

PoeticHeteroSapien 9 years ago

Thanks, Parkay, for proving Dr. Mirecki is right, and more needed than ever.

Harry_Manback 9 years ago

I think it's funny that this is even going on cause I read today in The Kansan that only 21 people are even enrolled in the class now, and it has room for more than 100 people.

Personally, I think the school board's decision about intelligent design is way more embarassing than anything this guy said.

Harry_Manback 9 years ago

In response to the people that say he should be removed, I am a KU student, and I partially choose to attend here because I wanted to attend a more "liberal" school, with diverse beliefs and such.

If I had wanted to go to Bob Jones University I would have...

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

Funny how moderate thought, reason, and logic are branded as "leftist" and "liberal".

The christian right has been very successful at moving the entire political spectrum to the right. What was "moderate conservative" is now branded as leftist.

Christian right-wing fundamentalism is a lock-step mentality where anyone who does not conform is attacked, even if the disagreements are rather small. Witness the current split in the Kansas Republican party.

David Adkins and other moderate republicans were and are subject to savagry from the right wing of their own party that no democrat could hope to muster.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

Interesting the imaginary "leftist" that haunts the minds of fundies.

Sort of like the Jabberwocky (no Porky, not the Monty Python movie but the Lewis Carroll poem). But the movie was based on the poem, so there you go!

"Jaws that bite, Claws that catch". "Eyes of flame", burbling as it came, smoking pot, thinking deeply, using logic and reason, undermining good christian values.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

Wow, I must hold the record for removed comments. Although John1945 might be in front...

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

Oh, so it wasn't mention of a brand name that got me edited but the invocation of the worst act of domestic terrorism committed in the US.

An act of terror committed by a right-wing christian fundamentalist against a government institution.

Hmmmm...

PoeticHeteroSapien 9 years ago

That right-wing National Review article is kinda funny-- they accuse Mirecki, a Catholic, of Catholic-bashing because he suggested that gasp many Catholics practice the vestiges of their religion but then go do otherwise in the real world, like using condoms (against church will) or beating their wives.

I still can't figure out why Mirecki supposedly shouldn't be saying any of the things he's saying about fundamentalists. LOTS of religious people in this country are appalled by the actions of the religious right... the WORST examples of which are embodied by this battle to try to call him a bad professor because he's a secularist Christian, and associated with a group of uncloseted heathens on campus.

I'm glad the Christians feel they have a right to come onto our group's discussion forum and spy, but I still refuse to buy into their BS that we shouldn't be saying the things we are saying, or that Doc Mirecki is wrong for refusing to pander to the religious right's pretense that they represent all of Christianity when he speaks on an atheism forum.

As I said before, we're free to think whatever we want about the religious right, and joke about them in whatever manner we deem most amusing to us.

Had Dr. Mirecki made any of those statements IN CLASS, I'd be joining everyone in calling for his head. But if you think for a second that I'm going to ask him to apologize for making comments on a board, not expecting Christian spies to be listening from the shadows, that lampoon the people in this country most loudly begging to be made fun of... then you're all out of your minds. And you need to be stopped before you get any more power.

Harry_Manback 9 years ago

Hmm, maybe we should wait till someone actually takes the class, or look at his actual lesson plans before we decide his point. This is all just based off of one e-mail and the title of a course. I can see where both sides are coming from, but maybe they should wait to criticize after they see all the lesson plans.

I doubt KU would've approved it if it were going to be poorly taught or just one-sided. They probably know more about the content than the public.

Ember 9 years ago

Here's a good, old fashioned question to twist the undies of fundies.

Why does the Bible contain no references to cultures that existed previous to it's penning, such as the Gualic tribes with Druidism/Wicca/Whatever-You-Want-To-Call-It, S.E. Asia with it's various doctrines, such as Buddhism, Shinto and Bushido, many of the African tribal concepts of religion, or even Islam, although it was slightly less organized than it is today.

Why did it take almost 900 years for a codified Bible to be written, and why were only some of the writings of the Apostles included?

And, most important of all:

If I get messages from any other being than God, in terms of things like from aliens or my dog for example, why am I considered a nut case, but if I get messages from God, I'm a messenger, prophet, or for some other reason not slightly unhinged?

PoeticHeteroSapien 9 years ago

Wendt - We could ask Dr. Mirecki. He translates recently-discovered "discarded" gospels.

Anyone want to take bets with me whether or not O'Connor or any of the other the fundies screaming about Mirecki's supposed "anti-Christian bias" could even tell you the names of five of the over fifty rediscovered lost gospels?

Anyone?

Harry_Manback 9 years ago

Wendt,

I think teaching intelligent design as science is a horrible idea, so I'm not sure how you thought I felt otherwise from my post.

I have had classes at KU that were biased on the part of the professor, and I think they should try to prevent that, especially when it comes to religious issues. I think this class definately deserves to be taught, and I doubt the professor is biased. However, that's impossible to tell or not until the class has already been taught. That's why I was saying it was best to save all the complaining till after the class has already been taught, and the results can be seen.

ralphsantos 9 years ago

PorkRibs:

"Just because you can't with the scientific method doesn't mean that it doesn't exist."

I agree with this. The scientific method is at the end of the day merely a mode of inquiry. There are many things we deal with every day for which science doesn't have good answers.

"Our culture has become pretty ignorant since 'scientists' decided to separate the imminent (things you can measure) from the transcendent (things you can't...like Love....anything 'human')"

I think you make a big mistake here. Culture may have become pretty ignorant, but scientists separating "the imminent from the transcendent", as you say, isn't the cause. In fact, I don't think scientists are doing this separating at all. I don't think science deals with the transcendent at all, because by definition you can't make tangible, objective observations of it. As far as I'm concerned, science just doesn't go there.

Science is pretty good at doing some things. It has allowed us to understand the tangible world with incredible depth and detail. If you want to build a computer or launch a satellite, science is great for that sort of thing.

Science, on the other hand, is useless for questions like: "Why shouldn't I just steal and rape and murder to satisfy my daily needs?" or "Why should I treat other people nicely?" Basic, important, fundamental questions, but science isn't gonna help you answer them one bit. It is a mistake to assume that science even pretends to try to deal with such matters.

To suppose that science tries to do all the things that religion does is to misunderstand the nature of science. Blaming society's ills on science on the basis of a misguided judgement that science is trying to do something that it isn't makes no sense.

opinion 9 years ago

I don't think the LJW covered this:

http://www.cjonline.com/stories/120105/kan_emails.shtml

Gives a bit more info about Mirecki. If he was writing these thoughts about any other group of people, liberals would be all over him. Where are you now?

PoeticHeteroSapien 9 years ago

Opinion - Christians aren't "a group of people." They're 88 (by some accounts) percent of the population of the United States. They ARE the people. They're made up of a great many sub-groups of varying levels of fundamentalism, evangelism, and devotion. Mirecki belongs to one of those groups on the more secular side of the spectrum, but he's still a Christian.

I demand to know, from all of you fundies who are suggesting it, WHAT makes you think that nobody has a right to criticize Christianity, fundamentalism, or Christians who behave badly? What makes you think you, the majority, deserve an ounce of immunity from sharp-witted comments from the people you've pissed off?

What makes you think you can be classified with genuinely repressed groups like the minorities you are trying to co-opt in your self-crucifixion campaign?

I am not saying this for rhetorical purposes. I'm dead serious-- I want to know. Because you keep insisting on special protections normally afforded to the downtrodden, and I want to know how the hell you even SUSPECT that the overwhelming majority deserves that same level of protection?

As I pointed out before, you're the dominant social group. The dominant social group gets lampooned. Deal with it. For crying out loud.

Bob Forer 9 years ago

Its about time that the self-described "good and decent" folk of Kansas stand up and vocalize their disappointment and disapproval of the many the simpletons, tyrants and medievalist who have abysmally underestimated their obligations as citizens in a free, open and allegedly sophisticated society. Let me start with Mr. Anonymous who was gracious enough to provide the link to the article in the Topeka Capital. To be honest with you, my friend, I was almost ready to give you a well deserved "atta boy" for your commitment to the basic principle of the American Democracy, i.e., the First Amendment and the noble reasoning behind such protections, mainly that a free people can only survive where there is free and open access to information. Luckily, I read your comments which followed before vocalizing my admiration for your citizenship. Apparently, you had the terrible misfortunate in your younger deals of being schooled by a succession of incompetent history, government, and civics teachers, who obviously failed to explain the corollary principle: my boy, the free marketplace of ideas isn't worth a plum nickle if the intended beneficiaries--the citizenry--is incapable of critical and intelligent thought and discourse.

Bob Forer 9 years ago

What is it with you folks who ignorantly find solace and shelter in explaining complex ideas and phenomenon by throwing around such meaningless labels as "liberal" to dismiss and condemn a fellow human being simply because he doesn't mirror your thoughts or beliefs. You know what happens when everybody follows the same line? Let me give some a hint and the provebial American Freedom of Choice. Call it tyranny, call it fascism, call it medievalist, or ..... Call it for what it really it--plain and simple ignorance. Do you realize that by masqueriding such drivel as intelligent thought you are no different than the terrorists in the Middle East who send children and young men to their deaths in suicide attacks because those whom they murder are "infidels" whose bloody, outrageous and inhumane fate will guarantee them a place in "eternal paradise." Assuming you were awake in your junior high school history class, it was the same rigid and primitive thought processes which allowed "Good Christians" to burn their fellow human beings to death because, well, I guess because they were witches. Hmmm, witch, infidel . Different words, different centuries, but same primitive and crude thinking. Those who don't toe the official lines don't deserve to live. Such uncivilized crudity has no place amongst human beings, despite the sad fact that intolerant and rigid folks like you have impeded the development of human civilization for ages. You know, if the citizens of Kansas are "good and decent" as they claim, such childish delusions should not be tolerated. There are too many dead "Jews" and "Savages" and "Chinks" and "witches" and "infidels" and __. Well, my friend, your turn to name the "evil" of the week. But before that, let be tell you this as gently as possible: You wrote "If he was writing those thoughts about any other group of...." Well, the simple fact of the matter is that you just don't get it. American Democracy y is more than reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. American democracy means, first and foremost, that one is entitled to their beliefs. Apparently, your frail psyche prevents You from allowing Professor M. his rights as an American citizen to freely vocalize his thoughts to others, in this case, folks of similar persuasion who obviously found nothing uncivil and unacceptable. And even even they did, well, tough cookies. Its what educated and humane folks ecognize as, and let me slow down .......... American Democracy. Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps they, like you, are mere minions to an official "line:. In a free society, hope springs eternal, and d I'd like to think they were real Americans.

On the other hand, your behavior, my friend, is what is patently un-American. Shame on you. AS punishment I suggest You go back to school and learn what our great nation actually stands for. enough said. Go in peace, and learn in peace, my brother.

PoeticHeteroSapien 9 years ago

Hey PorkRibs - have YOU ever been in love?

I have. She was so incredible, I felt surely the world revolved around her every footstep. This most graceful and beautiful and intelligent woman was simply the greatest thing ever achieved by the recombination of DNA, and nothing you could tell me could prove otherwise.

It was only much later, after cheated on me, that I began to see the things I was ignoring about her. Turned out, our love was completely MY IMAGINATION.

Fancy that. So if you're going to suggest that God is like love, the product of human imaginations, then hey man, I'm all about it.

But if you're honest, you'll admit that love is simply a human invention and it's not possible to prove you love anyone, even to yourself. Just like it's not possible to prove God.

If you tell me that you love me, but you're constantly punching me in the face, I'm not very likely to believe you. You tell me you love me, but I find you as unbelievable as your love. You also happen to tell me that God is real and loving and just-- but I see a Bible full of hatred and injustice. What I see is a book written by priests and their associates, to increase their own power and control over the people they were writing it "for." So they tell me God loves me, but I find God as unbelievable as God's love.

Look, we've heard the love analogy before, many times. It doesn't work, and nobody wanted to pity you enough to explain why you were wasting your time. Some tried to hint for you but you clearly didn't care about that. Now take a clue and learn some real apologetics before you wade in with another Amateur Hour lecture on who really knows how to love.

wonderhorse 9 years ago

Well, the far right wins. Mirecki is backing out of teaching the course. What a pity.

Mr_Christopher 9 years ago

This whole ID thing is pure comedy. It is a cash cow for the Discovery Institute and their ilk. Are you aware they (until they pulled out) and all other ID expert witnesses were getting fees as high as $100 an hour in the Dover trial while the plaintiff expert witnesses freely gave their time? Not a single plaintiff's expert witness got a dime, all the ID expert witnesses made a handsome sum. What's up with that?

The Discovery Institute expert witnesses (who later abandoned the case and left the Thomas More Law Center hanging) all demanded to have their own personal attorneys represent them while not a single plaintiff witness had a personal attorney represent them. What is that all about?

The Discovery Institute told the public that they told the Dover Board NOT to teach ID in class and NOT to use the Pandas and People propaganda book. Yet their leadership (vice president) has a book telling school board to teach ID in classrooms and to use the Pandas and People as a text. Weird - publicly they say do not teach ID in the classroom and do not use the Pandas and People as a tex, yet they publish a book that tells the opposite.

Yes you read that right, the Discovery Institute lies.

The ID cult manipulates evangelicals and even many mainstream Christians, using Karl Rove tactics and telling them what they want to hear (evolution is "only a theory") and laughs all the way to the bank from their donations and book sales.

And under oath Behe said his theory of ID could in fact be tested using accepted scientific methods, but he said he has NEVER had any interest in testing his own ID theory to prove its validity.

The Discovery Institute nor ANY ID "scientist" has ever tested Behe's theory either. You'd think if they had an ace in the hole (a testable theory) they would use it, no? Wouldn't you?

Don't look for the ID proponents to actually provide ANY scientific evidence of an intelligent designer or test any of their own theories. They know these theories are scientific garbage will not stand the scientific scrutiny and that would result in the cash cow of ID drying up for them.

Meanwhile misinformed religionists passionately battle it out in forums like this on behalf of the ID cult/movement. What they are actually battling for is the the Discovery Institutes (and their apologists) right to cash in on misinformed and uneducated people.

Read 'em and weep, peeps. :-) And what ever you do do NOT actually learn anything about ID or the Dover trial, etc.?

Please keep defending ID, after all Behe, Demski et al have the right to cash in on people's ignorance. Guys like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, etc do it all the time, so why not Demski, Behe, et al?

evolutionisfact 9 years ago

Mirecki was right on the money. ID is mythology. Free speech means not having to sugar coat things you say to appease the right wing nutcases that happen to be in office because of the power of money and back room corruption. Their time is almost over, as Americans wake up to their real agenda and the realization that they have made a huge mess of our economy by raiding our treasury and spending and borrowing more than all those before, including the extinct liberal scapegoats they love to vilify. They need to be tar and feathered. I wander because anger clouds reason.

Bring on the Inquisition. We will expose you instead of the other way around. ID cannot be established as a branch of science without even one serious paper or fact to back up their "idea". ID is a joke, a bad joke at that. To teach it as fact is not science, just pure propoganda. Evolution, unlike ID, does not require faith to exist. It is rediscoverable and proveable in all of aspects. you may quote this "Evolution is fact, everything else is politics." Please, bring on the Inqusition!!!!!

jorichard696 9 years ago

Have any of you actually studied the "Intelligent Design" theory? Have any of you read "The Suppositions, " in regard to Evolution? Have you even heard of the suppositions?

It's obvious from the amount of posts here that everyone is passionate about their beliefs...how many can stand back and be open-minded when the truth is revealed?

BOE 9 years ago

j696: Have any of you actually studied the "Intelligent Design" theory? "

===

Are you suggesting there's a new curriculum?

The current one has been DI's "Wedge Document".

Claim there's a "scientific controversy", but eschew the scientific method for the political one so as to leapfrog Creationism into science classes by changing the definition of science to include the supernatural.

That _ is _ the ID political movement's "truth", revealed.

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