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Do you agree with KU’s decision to pull the intelligent design mythology course from its schedule?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on December 2, 2005

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Photo of John Thompson

“Adding the mythology title was a slap in the face to most conservative Christians. If they would have just dropped that part of it, everything would have been fine.”

Photo of Carol Francis

“Definitely not. I thought it was great - the whole mythology bit.”

Photo of Anh Nguyen

“No. I think they should have still offered the course. The people who would have taken it are the people who genuinely want to know more about it.”

Photo of Justin Bergin

“I think that it was a bad idea to cave like that. I definitely think intelligent design should be taught as a mythology course.”

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l_eustacy 12 years, 2 months ago

Yes. We don't need the added publicity or embarrassment, even though I enjoyed the the 'mythology" label. I couldn't care less about anyone else's opinion on the subject or discussing my opinion.

Actually, I think a more fun question would be, "Are roundabouts evidence of evolution or intelligent design?"

pierced_daisy 12 years, 2 months ago

First!!!!! HAHA KU LAW!

I never think its a good idea to drop a course that offers a different point of view in the face of opposition. Too bad it was dropped - I was looking forward to hearing more about it.

pierced_daisy 12 years, 2 months ago

Oh darn i wasnt first. Beaten by a minute. sigh

ku_law 12 years, 2 months ago

You weren't first. HAHA what do you have to say???

JHawker 12 years, 2 months ago

I dont think the course should have been dropped it all, as previously stated, students who would enroll in this course honestly want to know more about it and obviously aren't offended. Now is not a time to back down, we shouldn't back down against the ridiculousness of teaching ID in science classes. Oh and arschloch- i believe Self is an awesome coach and we have a lot to thank him for. Wirklich, es gibts nichts anders.

LarryFarma 12 years, 2 months ago

A lot of people are saying how great it would be if intelligent design were taught as a mythology course. How about teaching it as it was meant to be taught, as a science course ?

malachi 12 years, 2 months ago

Well seeing how Mythology is "A body or collection of myths belonging to a people and addressing their origin, history, deities, ancestors, and heroes" and a myth is "A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people" I guess I completely disagree with the decision and I definately disagree with ID having any place in the Science Classroom.

sweatpeagj 12 years, 2 months ago

ID is not is better explained in a mythology class. I think KU has made a mistake by pulling the class. Maybe his comments were not politicaly correct but would it have really effected the way he would have taught the class?

lunacydetector 12 years, 2 months ago

where should a course that appeals to the fundamentalist protestant religious sects be taught anyway?

beatrice 12 years, 2 months ago

All y'all better be careful with what you say today! Questioning the existence of mythology is dangerous stuff, because Zeus is going to get very angry! Watch out for lightening bolts coming your way!!

Authorize questions.

galfromku 12 years, 2 months ago

Gearhead... where are you.. surely you have a comment about this one?

neopolss 12 years, 2 months ago

This definately is a better question:

Are roundabouts evidence of evolution or intelligent design?

Thanks I_eustacy! I even went out and found four people on mass to answer it!

"Roundabouts need to be taught in the classroom. With or without a mythology label, roundabouts are very real!"

-- Eric Zycos, Unemployed, Lawrence

"It's definately intelligent design. Look at our progressive city commissioners. They must be inspired from above."

-- Laura Kook, Local Town Nut, Lawrence

"What the F@#* is a roundabout?"

-- Henry the 8th, Homeless Man, Lawrence

"It's evolution man. Hopefully it brings more people to downtown so they can enjoy our wood stove smells."

-- Harry Sack, Musician, Tonginoxie

snoozey 12 years, 2 months ago

I think the intelligent design course should have been taught, preferably on a T-bus parked on a rounabout, the ultimate nonintelligent design setting!

blessed3x 12 years, 2 months ago

No matter what you think about whether or not the class should have been taught, I don't think any rational person could read Mirecki's email and think that he should have been teaching it. I don't think it was poor judgement on Mirecki's part but rather a glimpse at what he truly believes. Does anyone seriously think, after reading his email, that this man could have taught the class in an unbiased manner?

beatrice 12 years, 2 months ago

blessed: Mirecki wasn't intending to teach the course in an unbiased manner. His bias is evident and intended, which is the point of his class. He intended to teach ID as a "theory" on par with the "theory" that the moon is made of cheese. At least people would have known what they were getting into from the start, although his dismissive tone does show that true discussion of the issue likely wouldn't have been greatly appreciated -- unless the student agreed with Mirecki, of course.

e_m: just doing my part to bring joy to a small part of the world. Now, bring on the almighty questions!

ms_canada 12 years, 2 months ago

I think that I would like to have taken that course but not by a loud mouth biased @$$ like Mirecki. Why would I like to have taken this course? Because I know nothing about the basis of this ridiculous title, Intelligent Design. I have never read a book about ID and I suspect that the majority of posters on this board have not either. I would like to know who came up with this idea. I believe it was conceived as a way to mollify those who oppose the teaching of creationism in any but a church or religious institution. It sounds more scientific, does it not? The referenced LJW article did mention the fact that the course will be taught in the future by someone other than Mirecki.

Bad_Brad 12 years, 2 months ago

The professor was probably okay until he decided to make partisan political statements regarding the course. That was a mistake on his part - he forgot that he works for a public university. Public universities can ill-afford to spit in the faces of the legislatures that they ask to fund them. Otherwise, I think the course would have been a good one. In this case, this particular professor's foolish hubris got the best of him.

bjohanning 12 years, 2 months ago

What would the Flying Spaghetti Monster do?

enochville 12 years, 2 months ago

I am a religious christian and do not believe most of the faculty in KU's religious department has any business teaching classes about religion. I understand that university classes should not be confused with religious services or be used to proselytize students into religious faiths. I do believe that it is possible to teach religion as an anthropology course as the "Evil Dr. P" claims that he sets out to do. However, real anthropology courses are very respectful to the beliefs of cultures; they describe beliefs without ridiculing the belief in the supernatural. But, I have heard through friends how KU Religion professors set out to prove that modern Christians don't know what they are talking about. They try to say that the first four commandments were only for the Levites to follow, and many other things, which not only are wrong, but are actively proselyting students to atheism.

These professors are lifted up in the pride of their hearts thinking they are better than the religious practitioners of all ages. They only present evidence for their conclusions and thereby do not support critical thinking, but replace it with religious prejudice. They are blind to spiritual things. They think the outward displays of rites or the written word is what religion is. They have no experience with supernatural things. How can they think they can correct others beliefs? I could take on all their evidence and show an alternative view if I had the time. Perhaps I will years from now.

I don't believe in ID, Islam, or Animism, but I could show more respect than many of them do.

ms_canada 12 years, 2 months ago

enochville - very well said, sir. There should be no subject in this world that should not be taught at a public institution, but it MUST be taught with NO bias at all. As Joe Friday (of Dragnet fame) always said, I want the facts, mam, just the facts. :o)

Hello 12 years, 2 months ago

I am a San Francisco native who is new to the Midwest. I've grown up where people accept people for who they are and where differences are celebrated, not attacked. I've noticed out here people are attacked for saying what they think. I've never seen anything quite like it before I moved here. I have to agree with malachi who said that "myth is a traditional . . . ancient story . . . that serves as a fundamental world view of a people." Thus, ID seems to belong in a mythology class and certainly not a science class. Why is this even a question to Midwesterners? And why would that professor who wanted to teach ID in a mythology class be thought of as being outrageous for considering ID as mythology? I'm baffled. Can someone help me here? I'm just trying to understand the thinking of Midwest people because where I'm from, people aren't attacked like this. How did it get this way where people are so closed minded out here? What happened to cause such a narrow minded view of things and to attack those that see the rediculousness of calling ID science? Tell me, WHAT'S UP?

Charla Welch 12 years, 2 months ago

I don't think it should have been dropped completely. They dropped the mythology title and Mirecki apologized (whether it was sincere or not). If I were in school, I would have been one of the first people signed up for that class. I love exploring the histories and beliefs of different religions and cultures. And just to brag, see that cutie-pie Justin up there? Yup, he's my little bro. proud grin

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

I'm appalled.

Yesterday was World AIDS Day, a day set aside to recognize not only the local issues and how it can affect one personally, but also to raise awareness of global problems with the disease.

Millions in Africa are infected. HIV+ children are orphaned as toddlers, girls who should still be playing with dolls are molested by infected men due to a folk belief that sex with a virgin cures disease, and people diagnosed with AIDS are walled up in cells and left to die. People who try to educate others about it, and people who volunteer to treat the victims, are beaten sometimes to death for the simple crime of admitting that it exists and is happening there.

Estimates say that up to twenty-five percent of the African population is infected, and that those people will live perhaps five years if they're lucky. That means, even with no new infections and an end to starvation, within five years one quarter of the population of the continent will be gone. With it will go a great deal of what little order and stability exists there now. There is no medicine. There is no healthcare. There is no food. Parents die and no one will take their children because they fear the disease, so children of four and five scavenge on the streets with dogs.

This is a global humanitarian crisis that makes the drought and starvation publicized for Ethiopia in the 80's look like a Princess cruise to the Caribbean. All day yesterday I watched and waited for LJW to acknowledge this. This morning, I thought, "Maybe they're just going to cover it today in more depth as a wrap-up," but no, there is one article about it, and it mentions AIDS as a global issue only as a side note, because some folks gathered to hold a vigil. Frankly, that's despicable and remarkably ignorant of the fact that the world doesn't stop at the Kansan border.

We should all be remembering the crisis in Africa, every day, and every one of us should be aware of the projections that say somewhere between fifty and seventy-five percent of children in Africa will be AIDS orphans within ten years.

In the face of this, we have front-page stories about basketball and LJW wallowing in manufactured controversy over a college course. We have Christians ignoring millions of people in pain and suffering to split hairs and pick nits over who's teaching what to whom and how offended they are over it. We have self-proclaimed 'socially aware liberals' who play cheap point-scoring games and indulge their inner elitists over how 'out of touch' the other side is while a quarter of the population that supplies Kenyan coffee for their lattes is made up of the walking dead.

I think everyone in the state of Kansas who has an opinion on ID and Mirecki has had a chance to voice it ten times over, but we're just going to keep beating that horse because it's an issue we can fight out among ourselves instead of feeling helpless in the face of suffering, and I think that's cowardly.

enochville 12 years, 2 months ago


I think in the original sense of the word "myth" which definition was given above, ID is a myth. But, myth often carries with it the connotation of being false. And very few people like to be told their important belief is false. I am not a supporter of ID; I don't believe it should be taught in a science classroom either. My beef is the way many KU Religion professor's set out to demonstrate that it is silly to believe in any religion.

You seem to see only the religious right attacking this professor and seem to ignore the professor attacking the believers in ID.

Aiko 12 years, 2 months ago

Hello, the same problem exist in San Francisco as well. I use to work for United Airlines in Burlingame and would hear the same issues. They just may be a little more tight lipped than some of us here. There are many people who live in this "Midwestern" area but are from all over the country/world like San Francisco.

wichita_reader 12 years, 2 months ago

Like BennyOates posted, KU was politically bullied into dropping the ID course. I don't know Prof. Mirecki, he's probably a brilliant man, but I think he must lack a little in the diplomacy and social tact department.

The rest of this post is completely off topic of ID and on topic of college basketball.

Bill Self is one of the best recruiters and coaches in the nation. The reason the Hawks are struggling is because almost all of their current players are Self's recruits, freshmen and sophomores with little experience. The one that really failed recruiting at KU was Roy Williams with his last two recruiting classes. He went to UNC and won a national championship with Matt Daugherty's recruits (beating Self's recruits playing under Bruce Weber at Illinois), and left KU high and dry.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and make an extremely bold prediction that Bill Self will win more national championships at KU than Roy Williams did at KU.

Bob Forer 12 years, 2 months ago

"real anthropology courses are very respectful to the beliefs of cultures"

where did you come up with such drivel? In the Bible? I would love for you to enlighten us on the source of your authority. I sincerely doubt that you've ever taken an anthropology course in your life.

If your claim is true, then anthropology is nothing but a "gutter" social science. Are you seriously suggesting that an anthropologist is ethically bound and expected to draw no Moral opinions or conclusions in discussing, for example, the cultures of the taliban, third reich, or cannibals. Its always a good idea that you think before you pronounce an absolute. Otherwise, you'll end up like the funddies.

bankboy119 12 years, 2 months ago

So you're comparing Christianity to the taliban, third reich and cannibals?

rhd99 12 years, 2 months ago

We certainly DO NOT need another slap in the face for the state of Kansas, particularly at KU. This class was doomed from the beginning of that arrogant professor's remarks. GOOD for KU pulling this class, at least some administrators up on the "HILL" have class.

wichita_reader 12 years, 2 months ago

Hey Badger:

I watched a documentary on public television here in Wichita about a month ago about past and present global disease epidemics, polio and AIDS, among others. The filmmakers documented some African prostitutes in an African city, if I remember correctly a very poor neighborhood in Mombassa, Kenya, who knowingly have unprotected sex with HIV+ men each day. The one particular woman I remember being interviewed had been a prostitute for 15 years.

The point of all this, which I find truly amazing, is that many of these prostitutes have not contracted HIV. Apparently, their bodies have devloped an immunity of some sort. The episode indicated that many pharmaceutical companies are studying these women in hopes of deriving a vaccine to HIV.

I haven't done any research on this at all, but am interested and after reading your post I'm wondering if you know anything about it. Thanks.

har_de_har_har 12 years, 2 months ago

"So you're comparing Christianity to the taliban, third reich and cannibals?" Why not, they are all aberant human beliefs/behaviors.

christie 12 years, 2 months ago

Universities are run by Tenured Faculty.

Tenure is a way to preserve and protect the thought processes which go against the norm. Tenure is a way to protect Faculty from the ire of individuals or groups who do not agree.

Do we need Nicolaus Corpenicus to rise from the grave to explain, once and for all, that the universe does not revolve around one group of people?

Freedom of Religion also means Freedom FROM Religion. Think about that.

Bob Forer 12 years, 2 months ago

"So you're comparing Christianity to the taliban, third reich and cannibals?"

I have some bad news for your partner. You're not going to test out of English 101. I believe you meant to state "So you're equating"

To the best of my knowledege, the cannibal culture has no history of murdering Jews simply because they were Jews.

ms_canada 12 years, 2 months ago

Hello - I think you have missed the point of his dropping the course. He was most likely forced out because of his outrageous remarks via email. He made a fool of himself and why would an institute of higher learning want someone like him teaching any course. Regarding myths, I remember studying mythology in high school. Greek mythology is especially memorable to me. I loved it. Stories about Zeus, Hera, Narcissis, Diana, the huntress. They fascinated me. But not for one moment were we taught that these were real flesh and blood creatures. They were just interesting stories, ancient beliefs. Creationism is a belief based on FAITH. Three of the world's great religions have a common faith in the Bible account of creation as an act of God/Jehovah/Allah. If one's faith is strong enough, no amount of contrary teaching should be able to shake that faith. I know for certain that nothing can shake mine. but what about seekers? These are the ones that I fear for.

Hello 12 years, 2 months ago

Thank you Aiko and enochville for your feedback. It was appreciated. Thank you enochville for pointing out that the professors there try to demonstrate that it is silly to believe in any religion. And you're right, that's not okay either. And thank you too, Aiko for your insights. I am new here and clearly have been experiencing a culture shock of sorts. Your mentioning that there are others out here from all over is very reassuring because I live in Topeka and it seems most people I meet have never lived anywhere else, and for several generations. Any suggestions on where I could meet people from somewhere else? Could be a silly question, but I am new here and am open to where I can find more people that are not of the religious right. Thanks!

har_de_har_har 12 years, 2 months ago

"So you're comparing Christianity to the taliban, third reich and cannibals?" Is that a thought-crime? Has the legislature passed anti-blasphemy laws while I wasn't looking?

bankboy119 12 years, 2 months ago

Hello, come to Lawrence and you'll be right at home. Douglas and Wyandotte are the two blue specks in a sea of red.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Mirecki needs to be fired. I hate professors who do nothing but take a semester to try and brainwash hundreds of students into believing exactly as they do. That is soooo Fred Phelps of him! We need teachers who present ideas and encourage students to be free thinkers. And, yes, I think it should have been pulled from the course schedule. It was obviously a biased class with no room for questions. When they disprove creationism, they can bring it back under that title. Why is it so necessary to believe that ID and evolution can't hold hands?

bankboy119 12 years, 2 months ago

Sycho, before you start correcting my English I would take a look at yours. Taliban and Third Reich should be capitalized because they are proper nouns. Also, in your previous post, one of your sentences should have read, "I believe you meant to state, "So you're equating..."

For the record, I did mean to use the word "comparing." I did not want to use the word "equating." The reason being that the Taliban, Third Reich, and cannibalism cannot be equated; therefore, since the three previous groups could not be equated I could not equate a fourth to it.

Would you like some help with your English homework tonight Sycho?

Bad_Brad 12 years, 2 months ago

christie - tenure does not necessarily mean that there are no consequences of actions - just as freedom of speech does not necessarily mean that there are no consequences of speaking freely.

The key here is that this is a public university. If this professor wants to spout off charged partisan political rhetoric on behalf of a school or an organization that is funded privately, that is his business. However, as a representative of a public institution, he needs to know that he will be held accountable by the public who pays his lofty salary. He was probably okay with his course, until he made it crystal clear that he had absolutely no intention of teaching it in an unbiased manner.

I do not think the university should have pulled the course altogether, but I do think they should have found someone else to teach it.

Fangorn 12 years, 2 months ago

Thank you, Sychophant, for your contribution to bigotry. It's a very nice attempt to equate Christian belief with jihad, genocide, Jeffrey Dahmer. Now I must ask if you are seriously suggesting that an anthropologist who criticized, say, African tribal law or aboriginal American religious practices wouldn't be savaged by the PC police here in Lawrence and around the nation? Where did you come up with such drivel? The New York Times?

Hello: I've got conservative friends in the Bay Area. I can certainly tell you that your belief that differences are "celebrated" there is a myth that "serves as a fundamental world view" that San Francisco is a loving, tolerant place.

wichita_reader 12 years, 2 months ago

T_O_B: I think Hawkins is getting the minutes because he plays better D than Chalmers, and Self loves tough defenders.

In my opinion, though, you're right on. If KU is going young, which it obviously is, let's go young all the way. I think Moody and Hawkins are great leaders and role players, but they're taking valuable minutes away from Chalmers, Julian Wright, Micah Downs, and Darnell Jackson when he's again eligible. It already appears that Moody is seeing significantly fewer minutes than he did last year, so I wouldn't be surprised to see he and Hawkins get even fewer minutes as the season and freshman and sophs progress.

Bob Forer 12 years, 2 months ago

darn it, you caught me. I have very little patience suffering suffer rigid, noncritical, foolish people. so yes, when it clmes to fools, I am an absymal bigot.

wonderhorse 12 years, 2 months ago


"He was probably okay with his course, until he made it crystal clear that he had absolutely no intention of teaching it in an unbiased manner." Please help me out. I missed the part where he said that he had no intention of teaching his course in an unbiased manner. I understood that he was going to teach a course on the sociological and political impacts of ID on the US.

enochville 12 years, 2 months ago

Posted by TheSychophant on December 2, 2005 at 9:36 a.m.

"real anthropology courses are very respectful to the beliefs of cultures"

where did you come up with such drivel? In the Bible? I would love for you to enlighten us on the source of your authority. I sincerely doubt that you've ever taken an anthropology course in your life.

I have taken an anthropology course as an undergrad. I loved it and earned an 'A'. Futhermore, I have taught several psychology courses at KU and know something of what it means to teach. Higher learning is a place to create meaningful dialogue and study of the subject matter. We discuss how we know the things we know and strive to develop rational thought. It should not be the place for political or anti-religious diatribes.

wichita_reader 12 years, 2 months ago

Also T_O_B, thanks for the input on viruses. I've read lots about viruses mutating into stronger strains, especially with the bird flu scare, but you just don't read much about mutation into weaker strains.

mom_of_three 12 years, 2 months ago

Sunflower Sue -

He has apologized several times for his comments. So forgive already!

He doesn't need to be fired. His comments have nothing to do with his ability to teach a class.

jonas 12 years, 2 months ago

Wow. Seventy comments by 10:30. What's the point?

Question: Yes. If he hadn't made that email, it might have been okay. After, the only people taking the course would have been the vindictive, take that! anti-Christians. Preaching to the converted would be a waste of our tax-payer dollars.

It should be looped up with the abortion argument and gay marriage and taught as a Political Science class.

POLS: 222 - How politicians bastardize religion to feed their own careers. 4141 Wescoe 9:30 mwf

wonderhorse 12 years, 2 months ago


"After, the only people taking the course would have been the vindictive, take that! anti-Christians. Preaching to the converted would be a waste of our tax-payer dollars."

Please explain to me how a class that is studying the sociological and political impact of ID on the US is anti-christian. ID is not about religion, remember?

Aiko 12 years, 2 months ago

I will take a stack O' Pancakes, wit a side of Wombat please..

neopolss 12 years, 2 months ago

I've said a lot worse things in my private emails to friends. Aren't we all a little more crass among friends? I'm sure it would have been written more appropriately had he known that his private emails would become public. That alone is my reason to leave it alone. Whoever shared his email should probably be taken off of his mailing list.

neopolss 12 years, 2 months ago

Completely off topic -

I just saw the Checkers commercial again with the kids from Central Jr. High. Aren't those kids probably out of college by now? I know for certain that judge what's his face died sometime last year. Maybe it's time to make some new commercials...

Q of the day (back on topic) - um, sure, yeah, whatever.

Fangorn 12 years, 2 months ago

mom_of_three: I opine that the good professor's apology is insincere and self-serving. He states, "My concern is that students with a serious interest in this important subject matter would not be well served by the learning environment my e-mails and the public distribution of them have created." He wasn't at all concerned about his emails before. Now he's concerned about "the public distribution of them". He's not sorry he wrote the email. He's just sorry others found out about it. No student's interest is well served when the stated and primary purpose of a course is to ridicule the opposing point of view.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 2 months ago

Argh!!! This is just a regurgitated question from about three days ago...

I love how people mention greek mythology and say that it's obvious why no one believes that now. However, they have no problem with believing that a man was conceived out of thin air, said that he was the son of God, took a slice of bread and some wine and was able to feed 1,000 people with it, got hung up on a cross, died, came back to life, and then magically rose up into the sky. Just because a mythology is popular, it doesn't make it true.

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

W_R, I haven't researched the specific case you're talking about, but I agree with TOB. Every few years, buzz used to go around the research/activist/educator community about someone, somewhere who had developed an immunity or lived for fifteen years with no treatment, and these were usually found to be weaker versions of the virus. There were also stories of people who'd miraculously tested negative after some remedy or other, but these usually turned out to have either been false initial positives or (more tragically) false negatives.

The sad thing is that (I'm not at all saying this is what you're doing, just that it happens) some people would look at the story you mentioned, and start talking about how maybe these women are resistant to HIV and completely ignore the fact that they need to be out of the culture of casual and rampant prostitution currently existent in Africa, because that's the most significant vector for not only HIV, but other diseases as well. When that happens, a lot of people lose sight of the fact that the people at risk need to be really educated, given the tools to make informed choices. If these women have developed an immunity due to a weakened version of the virus, then they offer hope for the vaccine in trials now, but it's really frustrating when people use any excuse, like a drop in infection rates, a new and effective treatment, or a population with a possible immunity to downplay the seriousness of the global AIDS situation.

Aside from humanitarian concerns, I'm politically worried about what will happen when half the adults are dead and dying, there's no one to drive the trucks and run the governments, and what little organization we're currently able to leverage towards keeping stability and distributing aid collapses.

BunE 12 years, 2 months ago

Kansas State University is having a very similar course this next semester. "Origins: Life, Humanity, and the Universe."

Prof Bolton is teaching it.
From the Manhattan Mercury: ..."He said the details of the intelligent design discussion wouldn't be that much different from what was proposed at KU, "but the implementation is very different." He said the class ''covers all sorts of issues around the general theme of origins. He described that as ''a very powerful intellecutal theme; questions about our origins, where we came from, are among the central questions to humanity and they've been asked for a very long time."

Bolton said intelligent design will not be treated as a scientific theory "because it's not a scientific theory. That's simply the view of 99.9 percent of the scientists in the country so we're not going to teach it as science.'' He added, though, that it will be dealt with as ''a very important cultural phenomenon and an interesting philosophical idea.

''As long as it doesn't pretend to be science, it's a legitimate intellectual concept, and it should be studied," Bolton said. ..."

Say what you want about KSU v KU, but I think that the legislature has a bulls eye on KU for its "liberal" leanings. Big news here. KSU's staff is every bit as liberal. This is just another example of conservative bullying. Now, prof. Mirecki was very foolish to bait the right in the manner that he did, but the conservacons need to stop playing the martyr. They wield to much power as it is.

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

Fangorn said:

"Thank you, Sychophant, for your contribution to bigotry. It's a very nice attempt to equate Christian belief with jihad, genocide, Jeffrey Dahmer. Now I must ask if you are seriously suggesting that an anthropologist who criticized, say, African tribal law or aboriginal American religious practices wouldn't be savaged by the PC police here in Lawrence and around the nation? Where did you come up with such drivel? The New York Times?"

Actually, anthropologists here and around the world are speaking out against African tribal law, and being applauded for it. The debate over the frankly barbaric practices associated with routine female circumcision in Africa (based in tribal laws, societal norms, and religious observances of various faiths) began with anthropologists and the normally excessivly PC looking at the situation and saying, "It may be your culture, but it's not right to treat women and young girls like that. You risk their health, their lives, and their emotional well-being, and it has to stop." In fact, many of the same people who usually vehemently defend the right to cultural observances of any sort have been the most outspoken on this issue.

However, you may be correct in that that information was at some point published in the New York Times.

BunE 12 years, 2 months ago

Robertson/Dobson/Falwell "Christianity" is the moral equivalent of the Taliban. (Not withstanding the myth of the Christian Nation)

As long as you don't believe that your way is the only way and by god you will kill me to make that point, than your brand of Christianity does not fall into that category.

The minute that faith becomes a govermental function than government becomes illegitmate. "My kingdom is not of this earth" and "Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's" are not mere platitudes. They are specific guidance from the centerpiece of one of the world's great religions.

badger 12 years, 2 months ago


It was my understanding that anthropologists actually aren't supposed to pass moral judgments on other cultures, that they were to be observers and analysts, and 'moral' doesn't fit into a scientific mode of analysis for a population because 'moral' is defined for each population by its own codes. Now, if anthropologists find something gruesome, or barbaric, or if they find something morally reprehensible, then I think they're within their bounds to objectively (when speaking in the context of formal anthropology, not in their personal lives) draw public attention to the facts and the effects of whatever cultural practice they oppose, and to speak outside of a formal or academic setting (within the contexts of their personal lives) about their moral feelings with regard to the behaviour. But if they're putting the weight of their credentials and professional authority out there to add to the validity of what they're saying, shouldn't they be remaining objective and keeping the moral judgments for another venue?

Wouldn't professionally lamenting the morality or immorality of this or that group under the guise of 'studying' them put one just about one step removed from the missionary groups that 'investigate' tribal practices and report them back to Missionary Aid Societies to raise money to 'convert the poor heathens'?

enochville 12 years, 2 months ago


I for one have absolutely no objection to Professor Bolton teaching his class at least from the description. It sounds to me that he will respect viewpoints and encourage the expression of diverse views.

My objection to Mirecki, not only from his email, but from the comments of his former students, is that the discussions in his classrooms do not respect viewpoints or encourage the expression of diverse views if they are different from his own views about modern religion. I say this and I am not even a fundamentalist, supporter of ID, or part of the religious right. I do not condone the behavior of those groups either, because they are often just as intolerant. But, the intolerance of some from the right, does not justify the intolerance or some from the left.

neopolss 12 years, 2 months ago

Sheesh, how can you teach the three "Bs" without Bigotry? We're up to five now!

enochville 12 years, 2 months ago

Badger: I agree with your 12:44 post 100%. Thank you for your comments.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Mom o' 3, Mirecki can apologize 'til the cows come home. Doesn't change the fact that he clearly leaves no room for serious discussion in his classroom. I think that the title of the class speaks volumes. I wouldn't (as a young student) expect to enter the class and come out of that one with a good grade if I told the teacher I flat out that I thought they were spewing cr@p.

If a scientist tells you the earth's core is molten, you will believe it. Why? Has anyone been there? Or is it just an educated guess and since they presume to know more than you, you'll just play along? OK. Same scientist tells you that God created the world and he took his own sweet time doing it. He "evolved" it. Will you still believe him? There has to be room for discussion. A good teacher knows this. Obviously, based on Mirecki's comments (private or otherwise) he has too much emotionally invested in this to let his students be openminded.

OMB, Make mine chocolate chip, please.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

BTW, Mirecki made the ill-fated comment in a student organization e-mail...hardly "private."

Oh, and please ignore the second to last "I" in my first parograph.:)

BunE 12 years, 2 months ago

Prof. Mirecki was undoubtably foolish and complicit in the demise of this class, by acting the JackA@@ he called the opposition out. But some in the Legislature managed to over-react and their knee jerk calls for his ouster and some of the implcations they made regarding KU are typical of conservative rhetoric regarding higher education.

I mean, come on. A lot of these yahoos went to public universities. They were taught by educators that mostly leaned left and they still managed to come out conservative. I always cringe when people seek to bully and legislate higher ed.

Aiko 12 years, 2 months ago

We have explored thousands of feet below the earths crust through many different type of drilling procedures and have a good idea of what is down there. That is science not fiction and/or assumption.

wonderhorse 12 years, 2 months ago


I don't believe it is a "fact that he clearly leaves no room for serious discussion in his classroom." There has been nothing said in a classroom that I know of that would indicate this.

ms_canada 12 years, 2 months ago

Das ubermime - thank you for the info. It is just as I thought. I will look for a book. I am kind of busy today putting up the tree in my church and decorating the platform. My job every year, but just arriving home on Wed. nite has put me on the run Nice to see your comment, Das U. E_M - could you share that recipe, I am fond of pancakes.

ms_canada 12 years, 2 months ago

E_M - but please, not the EMINEM ones.

Mr_Christopher 12 years, 2 months ago

ID belongs in the mythology or junk science class, take your pick.

Here are my ID class suggestions:

1) Intelligent design, healing magnets and the magical powers of crystals

2) Intelligent design, flat earthism, numerology - understanding junk science of the new millinium.

3) Intelligent Design and the Discovery Institute - Creative deception to advance a conservative evangelical cause.

4) Intelligent Design - Use of the "Wedge Strategy" and "Teach The Controversy" : Methodology of Conservative Evangelicals and its influence on public opinion.

5) Intelligent Design and Extra Terrestrials, Space Men and The "Force" - Will E.T. Ever Phone Home?

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Aiko, Ah, yes! But, a "pretty good idea" is not the same as fact!

OMB, come any Saturday morning. I'll make you some choc. chip pancakes. There's only 1 rule when making these, however. The chips must be IN the cakes...not ON the cakes like some restaurants try to get away with.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

And Aiko, just for the record: I believe it is molten rock...but obviously, I've not been there myself, so I'm open to debate.:)

wichita_reader 12 years, 2 months ago

Chocolate chip are great, but for my money or time nothing beats blueberry.

Badger--in no way did I mean to insinuate that prostitution was the answer to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Just looking for more info.

Das_Ubermine--a lack of the receptor cells in the womens' t-cells which did not allow the HIV to attach was exactly what was explained in the documentary, I think. My science education is relatively minimal, but can you elaborate as to what would cause a person's t-cells to lack that recptor? Was it possibly cellular evolution . . . ID . . . Hitler?

What E_M said about sensationalized media . . . an AP story from CNN about US CDC study finding certain anti-biotics create increased risk to a deadly bacteria is below.

wichita_reader 12 years, 2 months ago

Also, a suggestion to the LJW for question of the day (if it hasn't been asked recently and I missed it), how do you feel about the Pentagon's backing and publishing of news stories in Iraq as objective media?

Personally, I'm not at all surprised, but am a little sickened.

Aiko 12 years, 2 months ago

Prospector, now that is good information. Very helpful.

wichita_reader 12 years, 2 months ago

I think we have migh have a geologist on the board, eh prospector?

Thanks for the knowledge, D_U.


wichita_reader 12 years, 2 months ago

Add a "t" to my "migh". Sorry proofing police.

badger 12 years, 2 months ago


Sorry, wasn't saying you were advocating prostitution. I guess that came out wrong. What I meant is that some people get all wrapped up in, "Hey, here are these people who seem to have an immunity to HIV! Let's give lots of money to funding to figure out why!" and forget, "Hey, these people are protitutes living in squalid abject poverty! Let's also give some money and time to educating them, and advocating cultural shifts which will put an end to the 'husband is a long-haul trucker who visits lots of prostitutes during the week and wife services lots of other long-haul truckers while he's gone' dynamic that's been blamed in large part for the rapid spread of HIV."

Sometimes, people get a whiff of a possible cure, and they want to cancel all the funding they're putting into prevention and education.

wichita_reader 12 years, 2 months ago

. . . and delete the first "have." I think I need a beer.

Ceallach 12 years, 2 months ago

Das: it's the server gremlins!! I fight them all the time. I usually need to "step away from the code," then try again with fresher eyes :)

neopolss 12 years, 2 months ago

One might suspect a molten core on account of all the molten lava that spews from the volcanos around this earth. But, that is simply a hunch. It was most likely caused by the Devil.

Sign me up for the course on the "force."

wichita_reader 12 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for the 411 on the Anchor, prospector. Drive by it everyday, and actually went in one day for lunch, but when I found out they didn't serve lunch I went elsewhere. I believe they now serve food, but if they don't an ice cold, Free State brew sandwich will do the trick and make the afternoon much more interesting. Fortunately, though, growing up in Tonginoxie (not a shot at you, neopolss--I thought it was pretty funny but not quite as funny as your last post) and doing graduate work at Washburn, I familiarized myself with the sweet nectar which flows from Free State's taps.

I have an under-utilized jug fom River City, but unfortunately it's one of a few places to get beer on Allah's day in Wichita. There's also a new brewery down here out at Webb Rd. and 21st, River City I think, which makes a mean IPA, if you're ever around again.

BunE 12 years, 2 months ago

If we drill holes in the earth, are we at risk for a flat earth?

mom_of_three 12 years, 2 months ago

Sunflower sue, you are making assumptions about mirecki's teachings. Although I have never had his class, I have read comments from his students, and he keeps his personal opinions out of the classroom and he is a great and effective educator.
Again, he apologized, get over it. His statement doesn't make him a bad or an ineffective teacher. Just because he made some stupid comments in an email(s) doesn't mean he needs to be removed. Haven't you ever said anything you later regretted? Or are you perfect?

jonas 12 years, 2 months ago

Wonderhorse: "Please explain to me how a class that is studying the sociological and political impact of ID on the US is anti-christian."

A class is only as good as the person teaching it and the people deciding to attend. The publicity surrounding the class and the reported comments will scare away any on the fence as it being a biased source (which I believe it probably would have been) and thus the only ones attended are the ones who have the same "We'll show the fundies!" unproffesionalism.

"ID is not about religion, remember?"

Sure. If you find anyone who honestly believes that, let me know, cuz I've got a bridge I want to sell them.

Ceallach 12 years, 2 months ago

QOTD: I think the class should have been pulled if the Toupee Meister was the only instructor. Did you see him being interviewed? Whew!! If a man can't look in the mirror and conclude that his bushy, crooked toupee is less than becoming - why wouldn't someone question his ability to evaluate . . . anything? If by any chance that is really his hair -- he is above all men to be pitied :P

btw, he was not sending an email to "friends." The goof-ball was the FACULTY ADVISOR, sending it to students. He is so full of himself it's no wonder there is no room for any other god in his life.

I am a Christian and I totally agree that ID and creationism should not be taught as a science course, but I believe there should be room for them to be taught. If the resurrection and the assention of the Christ were subject to replication in a lab or observation in the physical world -- well you see the problem? Faith is required. Some would say it is much like the faith required to believe in the missing link. Then there's atheism -- talk about requiring faith!! I determined long ago that I do not have enough faith to be an athiest.

omb: First Watch serves cranberry and walnut pancakes that are worth a try!!

jonas 12 years, 2 months ago

Neoppls: Wishing to learn of the Force, are you? Because of your father, perhaps?

Teach you I can. Clear your mind.

Ceallach 12 years, 2 months ago

I agree with sunflower_sue's post -- therefore she is at least close to perfect :)

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Mom 3, Y yes, I am nerfect! But I do regret commenting on the earth's core. Prospector says we're all wrong...I'm going with him on this. (Although it may be large slimy slugs that the plates move across. Hmmmm!)

e_m, Yes,Yes,Yes! Crispy edges! You get it, you really, really get it!

Ceallach, you are a wise and wonderful woman. I would never question your judgement:):)

OMB, I'm rather fond of facial hair (on a man, that is). Dead sexy! You get a whole stack of cakes!

Ceallach 12 years, 2 months ago

They now have a photo of the Evil Dr (his words not mine) on the ljw home page. His hair look genuine in it, however, it appears he has something in common with the fundies -- a big fat face

ms_canada 12 years, 2 months ago

Hong Kong Phooey - I blelieve if you re-read my post I said that the 3 major religions of the world are based on faith. But, there are ancient writers such as Polycarp, Origen, and the Apostle John who over lapped one another in time who have written about the life of Jesus and the Apostles and all that they learned and taught. They tell us that what we believe, by faith, about God and the creation of the universe must be the truth because all other information that we receive from them is truth. Now then, if we who believe what God's Word, the Bible tells us is nothing but drivel, then we are all the more to be pitied. Ok, that is fine by me, but if what we believe is truth, then who is to be pitied? We place our hope in a life after this life on earth. We believe that we will be with our Saviour, Jesus Christ, in Eternal bliss. If we are fools, so be it. I am unshakeable. Christ died to pay for my sins and gave me the gift of eternal life with Him.
Alleluja!! Praise God.

LWY 12 years, 2 months ago

This issue stirs up a lot of discussion but unfortunately not enough of the discussion focusses on the real issue. Evolution is no more scientific than is inteligent design. To create a course labeling inteligent desing a myth is to ignore the core of the question.

Has evolution ever been demonstrated to be more than a myth itself? Where is the scientific proof that any organism can change its DNA and become some other organism? There are no blue roses becauses roses do not have any blue coded into the DNA. Try as hard as we might modern man can not produce a blue rose. There is scientific evidence that chaos can not produce order. So how do we account for the fact that at the very heart of science order is not only found but expected or there would be no science. Science exists in those cultures that understand that the world is governed by an orderly process and is not capricious and unpredicatable. The very heart of science is rooted in the fact that there are constants that are assumed by scientist to be the same in all parts of the universe. Otherwise there is no understanding of the universe. If the speed of light is not a constant there is no way to determine the size of the universe. If the size of the electron is not a constant there is no way to measure anything.

Those who advicate the scientific basis of evolution have the burden of proof. Darwin proposed his theory during a time when humans had far less knowledge of the biology of genetics and how rigidly it is maintained by all living matter. Had he proposed his theory today he would be laughed off the scene much quicker than we are trying to discredit inteligent design.

These are serious issues that deserve serious thought and it is good that this course has been canceled. It is not worthy of the world of academia.

Ceallach 12 years, 2 months ago

Pancakes are too genuine to be compared to him! I don't think I've ever seen a smug pancake -- except maybe at IHOP, I think it's called a Rootin Tootin Fresh n Fruitin breakfast -- they look kind of smug :) Hmmm, I'd go get some now if I didn't have a cold and it wasn't so close to MONK time :)

ms_canada 12 years, 2 months ago

Hey to all - I don't know who will read this because the board seems to have closed down somewhat, but I have something to say to all of you posters. This comes from a Canadian who has never had any family member or friend, for that matter, go off to war. I wonder how many of you cannot say that. A lot I bet. Anyway, I have just finished watching Over There. About a platoon of soldiers in Iraq. It is a good series. As I watched it I got to thinking about the people I met in Lawrence. Americans all. And those I met in San Diego, Americans all, including my sister and nephew. I can't explain it but I felt profoundly different about the soldiers in the program tonight. I felt even closer to them than I did before. I think I understood it all so much better. I think I understood better what they were fighting for. As I watched I thought about all of you and I felt even closer to you Americans. You are going to think I have flipped out. Maybe you are right. My parents were both born in the USA. My sister gained her citizenship on the merit of that fact and I suppose that I could also if I moved there. Anyway, I have said my say. And if I read it over I just may delete it, so I won't do that. I will just say good-night all you good people. Be real good to yourselves.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Ms_C, You are a sweet, dear lady. Have that hubby give you a big squeeze from us. It is all too difficult for some of us to understand, as well. I can't think of anyone I know that has been left "untouched" by this war. I sewed patches on a friend's uniform before he left. My kids drew him pictures and we sent them off. He made it home. Torn body and spirit. He's not the same young man that we sent away. More's the pity. Pray we find a solution soon.

Ceallach 12 years, 2 months ago

We love you too ms_canada! I think the propensity to flip out is a prerequisite to being a regular poster here, that's why you fit right in :) You've also left your mark on Wheatfield's and La Prima Tazza (not the mention our latest roundabout on Clinton Parkway!


bearded_gnome 12 years, 2 months ago


what a bunch of wild and crazy guys (/gals).

hard to keep up with all the posts.

I'm glad the course was pulled, and I must say that this controversy highlights something which we have known for many many years about the "religious" studies department at KU. it is welcoming to all the world's faiths except the traditional faith of our fathers and shakes its fist at it like an angry adolescent.

so, this was no surprise to me.

in my time at KU, my department was highly unfriendly to traditional Christians.

likening us to the Taliban [above} shows just that general attitude of most KU faculty.

KU doesn't need to worry about quotas and genetic/racial prejudiced diversity, a better plan would be to try to improve KU's values/political diversity. there ain't much of that on campus right now!

pecan pancakes...yummm. can't eat much sweets though so, just roast 'dem pecans 'fine fer this gnome.

if roundabouts evolved, what'd they evolve from?
agree, they couldn't be evidence of 'intelligent' design!

'night all!

bearded_gnome 12 years, 2 months ago


MSC, I'm so glad you're back home safe.
thanks for your message today. make that tree shine with the beauty in your heart lady! I am grateful for the amazing sacrifice of each uniformed service person; they volunteered for this and they want to get the job done right. they do represent our best.

EvaTrujillo 12 years, 2 months ago

Folks, we can teach intelligent design in the science classroom. It'll take about 20 minutes, that's all. There is absolutely no scientific hypothesis to even esculate the subject in to a scientific theory. Absolutely none. Any 9th grader after being taught the definintion of scientific inquiry protocol will see that the intelligent design does not apply. If random selection happened so what, maybe the designer(s) intended it this way. Duh. 9th graders can figure that one out. Further, some design is not intelligent but rather stupid design - I mean that's all subjective. So now we've got some stupid designer(s) which could be your goddess or gods and oops I've offended your designer(s).
After definitions of scientific inquiry is taught, the Intended Design (omit intelligent) can be introduced, and that part will just take 20 minutes. I mean it. The result may be that students may now question the beliefs they grew up with. Pity. Fundamentalist Christians should be careful for what they wish for.

By the way, I like roundabouts because drivers often treated stop signs as an option which caused accidents. Roundabouts are way more safer.

Cheers. And remember to continue to say the Pledge the orginal way - you know when it was original and didn't have the word god. Schools were so much safer back then.

Do I sound like an old-time Republican? I am.

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