Thursday, February 23, 2006

In Ohio, Another Loss For "Intelligent Design" Proponents

In the latest blow for proponents of "intelligent design," the Ohio Board of Education voted last week to eliminate a passage in the state's science standards that opened the door for the teaching of the controversial belief.

"It is deeply unfair to the children of this state to mislead them about science," said board member Martha Wise, who pushed to eliminate the passage.

Intelligent design is a controversial belief that argues that a higher being designed the complex universe. The belief has been championed by conservative Christian leaders as an alternative to evolutionary theory worthy of being taught in public schools. But it has been fought by supporters of separation of church and state, who see intelligent design as a thinly veiled way to teach religion in public schools.

Intelligent design proponents have also recently lost fights in California, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Still, a number of state legislatures are considering bills to allow intelligent design to be taught in public school classrooms.

Pending anti-evolution legislation currently includes: Alabama SB 240, Arkansas HB 2607, Georgia HB 179, Kansas SB 168, Michigan HB 5251, Mississippi SB 2286, Missouri HB 1266, New York 8036, Ohio HB 481, Oklahoma HB 2107, Pennsylvania HB 1007, South Carolina SB 909, Texas HB 1447 and Utah SB 96.

According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the various bills are designed to either discredit evolutionary theory, encourage teachers and students to explore intelligent design or other "alternative" theories, or promote the manufactured "controversy" over evolution.

"There is no significant controversy within the scientific community about the validity of evolution," wrote the AAAS board. "Evolution is one of the most robust and widely accepted principles of modern science."

So then why are so many states considering anti-evolution legislation? Because, like the U.S. Congress, most state legislatures have Republican majorities. And those Republican majorities are far more likely to be beholden to the religious right -- the main proponent of intelligent design.

In an effort to show that many religious individuals believe in scientific theory, a pro-evolution group called Clergy Letter Project announced it had gathered signatures from 10,000 clergy members in support of teaching evolution.

"Science is absolutely neutral with regard to religion," the Rev. George Coyne, director of the Vatican Observatory, said on Sunday, during the AAAS national science conference in St. Louis.


Blogger Brad said...

What a truly wonderful day for those of us in the reality-based community.

1:33 AM  
Blogger Jobe said...

*shakes head*
If you want to teach intelligent design, then do so in church.

2:00 AM  
Anonymous HughBeaumont said...

Keep your damned Cross OUT of my lab. Man, why can't people just leave it at "I don't believe in evolution"? No, they have to invade my kid's classes.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous mzteris said...

now help defeat it in UTAH!!!!!

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How the hell was it defeated in Georgia?


11:10 AM  
Anonymous mzteris said...

And a federal judge recently ruled that it was unconstitutional for Cobb County, Georgia, to require the placement of stickers in biology textbooks, reading: "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."

That decision is currently under review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous AllegroRondo said...

Next up: "Sudden Emergence Theory"
and "Creative Evolution"

these are the latest code words being pushed by creationists.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous aden_nak said...

Gary Trudeau brought up a great point a few months ago.

Vaccinations and medical treatments for infections are, often times, developed around the idea that the infectious body in question can adapt, and that natural selection allows the strongest and most virulent strains (those that survive the initial treatment, and thus become immune to it) to continue to spread. So far, I've yet to hear of a Creationist or an Intelligent Designist demanding the original, "Intelligent Design" version of his medical treatment. "None of this rubbish about natural selection or small organisms rapidly adapting to their new environment. Give me the original vaccine and let's see how it works!"

11:40 AM  
Anonymous conservativehippie said...

My fellow conservatives confuse this argument with the "seperation of church and state" one. They are not one in the same. It's a damn shame, too, because there's a huge difference.

If a Christmas tree is placed in front of a courthouse, are anyone's rights violated? No. Freedom OF religion, but not FROM it.

If "intelligent design" is taught in a classroom, are anyone's rights violated? Yes! A teacher is a government employee that is then forced to teach a religious belief as TRUTH, and intelligent design is most certainly not truth.

12:41 PM  

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