News in Brief: A National Roundup
University of Kansas Drops Plan for Class on ‘Intelligent Design’
University of Kansas officials agreed last week to drop a proposal for a religious-studies course on intelligent design and other views that run contrary to the theory of evolution. In doing so, they cited public furor over e-mails written by the professor who was expected to lead that course.
University officials said in a Dec. 1 statement that the school’s leadership had agreed to Associate Professor Paul Mirecki’s request to drop the course. Mr. Mirecki, who teaches in the religious-studies department, apologized earlier for a series of e-mails that were made public. They were dismissive of the views of those who question evolution for religious reasons.
In an earlier statement, he said those e-mails, which became public, were “ill advised” and “offensive.”
The decision not to offer the course came just weeks after the Kansas board of education, in one of several evolution-related controversies in the state in recent years, voted in favor of new state K-12 academic standards that describe certain aspects of the well-established scientific theory as controversial.
The university’s proposed semester-long course, Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design and Creationism, was scheduled to be offered to undergraduates and graduates. Intelligent design is the belief that an unspecified force may have guided life’s development; most scientists say it is not valid science.
Vol. 25, Issue 14, Page 4
- Chief Information Officer and Special Projects Manager
- Randolph Public Schools, MA
- Modern & Classical Languages Department Chair
- New Trier Township High School District 203, Winnetka, IL
- Executive Director
- Aspen Academy, Savage, MN
- Superintendent of Schools
- Fremont County School District #14, Ethete, WY
- Dean of Students
- Diman Regional Vocational-Technical High School, Fall River, MA