In a local school board election today, Darby, Montana, voters rejected candidates supporting an “objective origins” policy that borrowed from Intelligent Design Network, the Discovery Institute, and from the lousy Ohio model lesson plan. After a contentious sequence of events marked by threats of lawsuits, inappropriately closed board meetings, and the formation of an active and involved citizens group whose motto was “Objective Origins: Just say Noah!,” the vote today rejected supporters of the ID-inspired policy by a 2-1 margin. Here’s the Ravalli Republic story.
This outcome echoes results in my local school district in Ohio last year, where the Intelligent Design Network’s “Objective Origins” policy was proposed for inclusion in the science curriculum. The Board rejected it by a 4-1 vote, and subsequently rejected a weakened version by a 3-2 vote. Five months later an avowed creationist candidate for the school board, supported from the pulpits of several fundamentalist churches, was defeated by a 3-2 margin and incumbents who had opposed IDNet’s policy were re-elected.
Similarly, in the Ohio State Board of Education brouhaha last year, the elected members of the state board rejected the offensive model lesson plan by a 7-2 margin. The plan failed to be removed because the 8 political appointees on the Board voted as a block to keep the crummy plan.
There are lessons here that we need to learn. One is that in spite of the letters and emails and faxes and calls to Board Members and Congresscritters that the creationist movement elicits from Focus on the Family and like organizations, the majority of voters do not support their nonsense. When it’s put to a vote of the people, good science can win and win handily. When state legislators and congresscritters and political appointees are making the decisions, there’s no good science (or good sense) to be found.
Added in late edit: Here is Timothy’s earlier posting on this topic.