LAWRENCE, Kan. – A college professor whose planned course on creationism and intelligent design was canceled after he derided Christian conservatives said he was beaten by two men along a rural road early Monday.
University of Kansas religious studies professor Paul Mirecki said the men referred to the class when they beat him on the head, shoulders and back with their fists and possibly a metal object, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.
"I didn't know them," Mirecki said of his assailants, "but I'm sure they knew me."
Messages left by the Associated Press on Mirecki's cell phone were not immediately returned.
Sheriff's Lt. Kari Wempe said Mirecki reported the attack just before 7 a.m.
The professor said he confronted the men after they were tailgating his vehicle along a road south of Lawrence. "I'm mostly shaken up, and I got some bruises and sore spots," he said.
Mirecki planned to offer a spring course called "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies" after the Kansas Board of Education decided to include more criticism of evolution in science standards for elementary and secondary students.
Last week, Mirecki asked the university to cancel the class after he created a furor by sending an e-mail to a student organization mocking Christian fundamentalists.
Mirecki had referred to religious conservatives as "fundies," and said a course describing intelligent design as mythology would be a "nice slap in their big fat face." He has apologized for those comments.