A University of Kansas course devoted to debunking creationism and intelligent design has been canceled after the professor caused a furor by sending an e-mail mocking Christian fundamentalists.

Twenty-five students had enrolled in the course, "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and Other Religious Mythologies," which had been scheduled for the spring.

Professor Paul Mirecki, chairman of religious studies, canceled the class Wednesday, the university said.

Mirecki recently posted an e-mail on a student organization forum in which he referred to religious conservatives as "fundies" and said a course depicting intelligent design as mythology would be a "nice slap in their big fat face."

He later apologized, and did so again Thursday in a statement issued by the university.

"I made a mistake in not leading by example, in this student organization e-mail forum, the importance of discussing differing viewpoints in a civil and respectful manner," he said.