06 December 2005
Although University of Kansas religion professor Paul Mirecki’s controversial course, “Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design and Creationism,” has been cancelled at the professor’s own request, Republican Kansas State Representative Brenda Landwehr is unsatisfied. The course, originally named to identify Intelligent Design as a “religious mythology,” became news after the publication of one of Mirecki’s emails, in which he ridiculed ID-proponents as “fundies,” and spoke of the course title as a deliberate “slap in their big fat face.” Poor judgment for the internet era? Sure. But hardly cause for withholding funding from the university itself, over a private insult made public, as Landwehr has obliquely threatened — calling for the university to punish Mirecki more severely, to become more “fair and balanced” in its elective course offerings, and also to appear before the Appropriations Committee to explain “what they intended to get out of the course, how they planned on teaching [it], and why they think that that’s a good representation for the university.”