COLUMBUS, Ohio – The state school board has voted to eliminate a lesson plan and science standards that critics said opened the door to teaching intelligent design, a form of creationism.
- AP News
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio school board voted Tuesday to eliminate a passage in the state’s science standards that critics said opened the door to teaching intelligent design.
The Ohio Board of Education voted 11-4 to delete material encouraging students to seek evidence for and against evolution.
The decision represents the latest setback for the intelligent design movement, which holds that life is so complex it must have been created by a higher authority.
- School Board Kills Lesson Plan Criticizing Evolution
The board also directed a committee to study whether a replacement lesson was needed.
The vote was a reversal of a 9-8 decision a month ago to keep the lesson plan. But three board members who voted in January to keep the plan in place were absent Tuesday, and supporters of the science material pledged to force a new vote to return the material soon.
- CBS News, Ohio Board Votes Out Evolution Lesson Plan
- NCSE, Ohio’s antievolution lesson plan removed
- Discovery Institute, Darwinists Bully Ohio School Board into Censoring Teaching of Evolution
- Guardian, School board delivers blow to creationism , Suzanne Goldenberg
Three board members who support the teaching of intelligent design were absent, and could try to force a re-vote.
But Patricia Princehouse, a biologist at Case Western University and a leader of Ohio Citizens for Science, called the decision a “huge victory”. Although the model lessons plans were not compulsory, Ms Princehouse said their use was widespread and opponents of evolution had drawn on their experiences in Ohio to gain greater currency for their beliefs.
- New York Times, Ohio Board Undoes Stand on Evolution, Jodi Rudoren
While the Ohio lesson plan does not mention intelligent design, which posits that life is too complex to be explained by evolution alone, critics contend that the critical analysis language is simply design in disguise.
“This lesson is bad news, the ‘critically analyze’ wording is bad news,” Martha W. Wise, the board member who offered the emergency motion, told her colleagues during 90 minutes of contentious debate here Tuesday afternoon. “It is deeply unfair to the children of this state to mislead them about the nature of science.”
- USA Today, Evolution supporters win in Ohio, Greg Toppo
Scientists had assailed the Ohio standards as an attempt to repackage intelligent design and introduce religious principles into science class. Intelligent design holds that life on Earth is so complex that it could have been created only by an “intelligent designer” such as God.
- MSNBC, Ohio board deletes disputed evolution language
- Discovery Institute, Ohio State Board of Education Repeals Critical Analysis Policy, Casey Luskin
- World Peace Herald, Ohio drops anti-evolution lesson plan, UPI
- MTV, Ohio To Remove Anti-Evolution Language From State Science Curriculum, Gil Kaufman
- MichNews.com, GOD-EVOLUTION DEBATE WON’T QUIT, By J. Grant Swank, Jr.
So evolution should be taught in Faith Class if it’s going to be put upon the students in public schools. It does not certainly belong in science class. It’s not a science. It’s not a proven fact. Now of course if there is a chapter in science class about theories, then evolution can be presented as a theory as much as Alice in Wonderland can be presented as a theory. But nothing more than a theory.
- NCSE: Ohio’s antievolution lesson plan under challenge
- ‘Analysis’ of evolution is a threat, lawyer says
- Discovery Institute Press Release
“Surprisingly, Ohioans want to go further than their leaders with 75% favoring teaching intelligent design alongside of Darwinian evolution,” added Crowther. “Even after all the attacks on intelligent design by the dogmatic Darwin-only lobby, the public clearly wants to know more about the theory and make up their own minds.”
- ACLU of Ohio Demands Schools Stop Teaching Intelligent Design as Science
Gamso added, “Proponents of intelligent design have been unable to provide any credible scientific evidence to support their theories. The scientific community has, time and again, largely refuted purported evidence supporting intelligent design. By continuing to allow teachers to implement intelligent design into the science curriculum, educators are misinforming Ohio’s children on the fundamental principles of science.”
How it all got started
- Ohio education board may remove evolution lesson
A state Board of Education member said today that she has the votes to remove a disputed lesson plan from Ohio’s science curriculum that allows teachers and students to question the legitimacy of evolution.
Board member Martha Wise said she plans to offer a motion at Tuesday’s board meeting to the remove the language that she says promotes “intelligent design” unless the panel takes other action to address her concerns. The concept states that a higher power must have been involved in the creation of life because it is so complex, but critics contend it is a religious theory masquerading as science.
Wise, a board member for 28 years, has called herself a creationist who believes that science should be taught.
Her proposal would delete language from the state science standards that allows for a critical analysis of evolution. She offered a similar motion at the board’s meeting last month that was defeated 9-8.
Wise said she had persuaded some members to change their votes but declined to name them, saying delicate negotiations would continue until a possible vote Tuesday afternoon.
- Free Times Ohio, Weird Science: How “Intelligent Design” Got A Toehold In Ohio Public Schools, and What’s Being Done To Dislodge It, By Charu Gupta
Ohio Board of Education meetings typically are sedate and officious affairs, and the January 2006 gathering started that way too. Until the topic of intelligent design was raised. That’s when board member Deborah Owens Fink, and probably most others in attendance, began to find it difficult to keep emotions in check. …
Weeks can’t help but wonder how Ely got on that writing committee. No one in the university’s biology department knew about the application deadline, Weeks says, and no one was asked to apply. Besides, “Ely is the only person in the whole University of Akron’s biology department who doesn’t believe in evolution,” Weeks says, “and somehow he’s picked from here?”