And now, arguing for the oppostion...

The state of Kansas has been making a fair ass of itself lately by mandating the inclusion of "intelligent design" subject matter in science classes. You can believe what you want, and you can have all the faith you feel you need; this is America, and that is your right. But religion isn't science. Faith does not imply fact. Faith, actually, flourishes in a realm completely separate from fact; faith is acceptance of an idea with no proof or solid evidence. That's what makes faith so powerful and comforting to those who have it.

The horribly named, intentionally misleading "intelligent design" (or ID) argues that life is too complex to have developed haphazardly via evolution. "Irreducibly complex" is the 25-cent phrase. It means that if you consider the eyeball, there's no way it could have developed slowly over time because to remove one small component of it makes it completely useless as an eyeball.

This is a bad argument, and scientifically disproven by a number of actual professionals in the field (such as The Digital Evolution Laboratory at Michigan State University). I'm not here to break it down in detail. I want to highlight the self-defeating behavior of a couple of ID-ers from Kansas.

Paul Mirecki, a professor at the University of Kansas, had planned on introducing a class this coming semester entitled "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism, and Other Religious Mythologies." This was done in response to the state school board shoehorning ID into science curricula. Now, this is a smart-alecky thing to do on Mirecki's part. I don't deny that. But the offense taken to the terminology indicates that proponents of ID know (somewhere in their heart of hearts) that ID is a religious topic, not a scientific one. When it gets put in the Religious Studies department, they get all worked up and make the silly claim that it's an insult to call ID "religion."

Prof. Mirecki decided, after some bad press locally, to withdraw the course from the spring timetable. It's his prerogative; I would have liked to take that class, but it's up to him as the professor to offer or pull the course. And you would think, short of some diehards who want to argue about it, that this would put the matter to bed. There were, however, at least two diehards who really wanted to pick a fight about it.

Mirecki was treated and released from Lawrence (Kansas) Memorial Hospital late on Monday, after being accosted by two men and beaten along the roadside. The men tailgated his car early on Monday morning, and after Mirecki pulled over to let them pass, they pulled up behind him and got out of the truck. He (foolishly, to his own admission) followed suit, and was promptly beaten about the head, face and shoulders. His account indicates that they knew who he was, and shouted something accusatory about his previous course offerings.

So, what, they were defending their turf? Trying to show dominance?

Mirecki should be glad he still has both nuts.

Way to go, ID. You've attracted quite a following.