Friday, April 28, 2006

Mirecki: No new information in reported beating

No new information in reported beating, The Lawrence Journal-World, Monday, April 24, 2006 ... The trail has gone cold in the investigation of a roadside beating reported late last year by a Kansas University professor. Douglas County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Lt. Kari Wempe said Thursday that detectives had finished their paperwork related to religious studies professor Paul Mirecki's report that he was beaten by two unknown men on Dec. 5, 2005, on a roadside south of Lawrence. The office has not identified any suspects and, unless any new leads come in, the investigation is finished. At the time, Mirecki was under fire for comments he had posted online critical of organized religion. ... [I presume that the trail has grown cold because there never was a beating! That is, "Mirecki's report that he was beaten by two unknown men" was merely the latest hate crime hoax in academia.

For my reasons, see my post, "Those black eyes." Briefly, Mirecki's minor injuries, evident in the two black eyes in the above photo, are consistent with him falling over and hitting his face on a hard surface, and are not consistent with him being beaten by "two men for about one minute with a metal object, striking him repeatedly on the head, shoulders and back." Evidently Mirecki's colleagues in the University of Kansas religious studies department, thought so too, because instead of supporting him, they recommended he step down from his post as Chairman, which he did.

But, apart from the waste of police resources (although I doubt they ever took it seriously, evidently regarding Mirecki as the culprit), Mirecki has got what he deserved. His blatant attempt to get revenge on the ID movement for the Kansas Board of Education adopting new science standards that allowed evolution to be criticised has backfired spectacularly. By his own admission his career is now ruined.

It is ironic that Mirecki's idea of teaching a course on ID has been taken up by other secular educational institutions, such as Cornell and Knox College. This will no doubt be picked up by other colleges and universities, which will in turn lead to ID literature having to be taken seriously, even if only to critique it!

Since this may be my last post on Mirecki, I have posted below an introduction to the Gnostic `gospel' that is his other claim to fame, the so-called `Gospel of the Savior'. In the light of the money-making hype about another Gnostic `gospel ', the Gospel of Judas, it may be helpful for some to see another example of the Gnostics' dishonest tactic of placing their bizarre teachings in the mouth of Jesus, an apostle, or some other character from the genuine Christian Scriptures.]

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
"Problems of Evolution"

"The most recent Gospel to be discovered is called the Gospel of the Savior. It poses real difficulties for translator and reader alike, since so much of its text has been destroyed (i.e., there are numerous holes in the manuscript). Nonetheless, it was obviously once an intriguing account of Jesus' life-or at least of his last hours. For the surviving portion of the text recounts the final instructions of Jesus to his disciples, his prayer to God that the `cup' might be taken away from him, and then a final address-to the cross itself. Whether this Gospel originally contained an entire account of Jesus' life and death cannot be determined. There are numerous differences between the surviving passages of this Gospel and the parallel accounts in the New Testament. One of the most striking is that when Jesus asks his Father to `remove this cup from me,' he does so not in the Garden of Gethsemane, but in a vision in which he has been transported to the throne room of God himself. In addition, this account records God's replies to Jesus' requests. But probably the most intriguing aspect of this hitherto lost Gospel is its ending, where Jesus (who is called `the Savior' throughout the account) speaks directly to the cross: `O cross do not be afraid! I am rich. I will fill you with my wealth. I will mount you, O cross, I will be hung upon you:' It appears that the unknown author of this Gospel made use of earlier Christian texts, including the Gospels of Matthew and, especially, John, and the book of Revelation. He evidently produced his account sometime in the second century, although the Coptic manuscript that contains it dates from the sixth or seventh century. The original language was Greek. We do not know where the text was originally written. The surviving manuscript was discovered in Egypt and acquired for the Papyrus Collection of the Berlin Museum in 1967; but it remained unnoticed there until an American scholar, Paul Mirecki, came upon it in 1991. He and another scholar, Charles Hedrick, published the first edition of the text; an authoritative reconstruction of its narrative with a readable translation was then made by Stephen Emmel. That is the translation I reproduce here, including the places where the translator indicates that the manuscript cannot be read." (Ehrman B.D., "Lost Scriptures: Books that Did not Make It into the New Testament," Oxford University Press: New York NY, 2003, pp.52-53)

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