Scientists Try To Reverse Movement In Ohio Toward "Intelligent Design"
In an effort to fight advocates of the non-evolutionary theory "intelligent design," a group of scientists has recruited a candidate of its own for the Ohio Board of Education.
The scientists, under the moniker Help Ohio Public Education, are backing former Rep. Tom Sawyer, a Democrat, over Republican incumbent Deborah Owens Fink, who has pushed for students in science class to be taught information for and against evolution.
In 2002, the school board adopted science standards that encourage students to seek evidence for and against evolution. Last February, however, the board rescinded the policy in an 11-4 vote.
Critics of the policy said it was a backdoor attempt to introduce "intelligent design,'' 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 -- creating a "debate" between scientists and non-scientists. 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.
"I think it's important to seat a strong pro-science majority if only to serve as a signal to the rest of the country,'' Kenneth Miller, a Brown University biologist who has been stumping in Ohio for Sawyer and other pro-evolution candidates, told the Associated Press.