Kansas Professor assaulted by angry intelligent design supporters

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Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Professor Paul Mirecki, the chairman of the Religious Studies Department at the University of Kansas, was hospitalized after being assaulted by two unidentified men who made references to the class he had planned to teach in the spring. The course, entitled "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies" was intended to support evolution, and explore creationism as a mythology.

Professor Mirecki had left his home and was driving to breakfast when he noticed the men tailgating him in a pickup truck. He said, "I just pulled over hoping they would pass, and then they pulled up real close behind." "They got out, and I made the mistake of getting out."

John Calvert, managing director of the Intelligent Design Network, had previously objected to Professor Mirecki's focus on creationism as mythology, and claimed that the religious studies professor was "labeling anybody who proposes [intelligent design] to be simply a religious nut".

Paul Mirecki had already decided to cancel the course after he caused controversy by using the slang term "fundies" to refer to Christian Fundamentalists in an email to a student organization, the Society for Open Minded Atheists and Agnostics. Professor Mirecki has apologized for using the term, which is viewed as a slur by some conservatives.