Why the battle over Intelligent Design in Ohio matters

Unless people have followed the Ohio science standards adventure since the beginning, you might be thinking “What’s the big deal?”

The standards and lesson plan adopted in 2004 was a compromise between science supporters and those who support Intelligent Design (ID).

While the standards include a disclaimer that ID would not be required to be taught, the standards left open the door to non-science ideas to be presented.

The simple fact, reinforced by the Kitzmiller decision in Dover, PA this past December, shows that there is no legitimate alternative to Evolution. ID is just creationism with a different label and all the attempts to hide it has failed.

At the Ohio State Board of Education (OBE) meeting on January 10th, a vote was taken to reverse their 2004 decision and remove the lesson plan that reeks of ID. The vote failed by one vote.

The state is now open to a lawsuit similar to the one brought in Dover and most recently in the El Tejon Unified School District in California.

Now it seems that two OBE members, Michael Cochran and Deborah Owens Fink, the most vocal supporters of including ID in the standards are attempting to backtrack and hide behind the classic “teaching the controversy” argument.

A group of Ohio scientists and friends of science, Ohio Citizens for Science, who have been fighting the standards since day one now have a PDF document that notes the 23 links between the Ohio standards process and the court decision in Kitzmiller.

For example:

“THERE ARE ESSENTIALLY ONLY TWO SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESES ABOUT OUR ORIGINS (one of which) supports atheism and agnosticism.” John Calvert, Founder of ID Net, lecture to Ohio BOE; 13 Jan 2002

“I think that your viewpoint of showing the two models is very consistent with our model to develop higher level — not to have facts presented without asking students to critically analyze within that framework.” D. Owens Fink, OBE mtg 3/7/00

Is exactly like what is mentioned in the Kitzmiller decision:

contrived dualism (P. 71)

Utterly false assumption that evolution is antithetical to a belief in a supreme being (P. 136)

Or:

Ohio standards and lessons “critically analyze” only evolution

Is linked to:

Singling out of evolution for criticism (57)

Or:

No peer-reviewed research, data or publications included in Ohio lesson

Is linked to:

ID is not supported by any peer-reviewed research, data or publications (87)

Very interesting read.

Dover-Ohio Comparisons: Highlights

Dover-Ohio Comparisons (full document)

More information on this issue can be found at:

Lesson Plans & Critiques

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