Kansas class calls intelligent design "pseudoscience"
The Associated Press
LAWRENCE -- An anthropology class at The University of Kansas will include discussion of intelligent design, which the instructor calls a "pseudoscience."
"Archaeological Myths and Realities" will cover such topics as UFOs, crop circles, extrasensory perception and the ancient pyramids. John Hoopes, associate professor of anthropology, said the course, which will be taught in the fall, will help students learn to differentiate science and "pseudoscience."
Hoopes said intelligent design belongs in the latter category because it can't be tested and proven false. Intelligent design says some features of the natural world are so complex that they are best explained by an intelligent cause.
"I think this is very important for students to be articulate about -- they need to be able to define and recognize pseudoscience," Hoopes said.
Anthropology professor John Hoopes will teach "Archaeological Myths and Realities." He refers to intelligent design as "pseudoscience." Intelligent design proponents are upset the theory isn't being discussed in science classes. Also being taught is "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies."
But Brian Sandefur, a mechanical engineer in Lawrence who is a proponent of intelligent design, says the theory is rooted in chemistry and molecular biology and should be discussed in science classes.
"The way KU is addressing it I think is completely inadequate," he said.
"Archaeological Myths and Realities" wouldn't be the first course at The University of Kansas to include discussion of intelligent design.
A course in the religious studies department called "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies" was added to next semester's curriculum after the Kansas State Board of Education adopted new public school science standards that treat the theory of evolution as flawed. The course has drawn criticism from proponents of intelligent design who say it shouldn't be treated as mythology.
"The two areas that KU is trying to box this issue into are completely inappropriate," Sandefur said.
Hoopes said his class would be a version of a course he helped develop when he was a graduate student at Harvard University. It will look at the myths people have created and how they can have negative effects, such as the "myth of the moundbuilders."
In early U.S. history, some people believed earthen mounds found mainly in the area of the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys were the works of an ancient civilization destroyed by American Indians. Hoopes said that contributed to the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which relocated American Indians east of the Mississippi to lands in the west.
Somehow I don't think this is what the KSBE had in mind...