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by Skip Evans
NCSE Network Project Director
At the Ohio Board of Education meeting held March 11th, 2002, Center for Renewal of Science and Culture (CRSC) Director Stephen Meyer and CRSC Senior Fellow Jonathan Wells presented the board with a bibliography of forty four papers published in peer reviewed scientific literature.
In a fifteen-page analysis sent earlier this week to every member of the Ohio Board of Education, the National Center for Science Education exposed the Discovery Institute’s “Bibliography of Supplementary Resources for Ohio Science Instruction” as a systematic misrepresentation of the scientific literature that it cites.
At the March 11, 2002, panel discussion on evolution in front of the Ohio Board of Education, the Discovery Institute's Stephen Meyer claimed that encouragement to teach alternatives to evolution was part of the recently signed No Child Left Behind Act. Brown University biologist Kenneth R. Miller responded by using his computer to search the text of the law for the word "evolution" - unsuccessfully. Now anti-evolutionists are claiming that there is such language in the law and that Miller was being intentionally misleading.
Proposed creationist changes would be “shameful”, according to nationally recognized science curriculum expert.
March 11, Oakland, California — Ohio’s science education will improve from an F grade to an A if the new proposed statewide science standards are accepted as is, according to Dr. Lawrence Lerner, a nationally recognized expert on state science standards. But creationists may not allow that to happen.
On March 5 the Ohio House of Representatives began hearings on two bills introduced as the controversy over new state science standards continues. Rep. Linda Reidelbach, a Columbus Republican, is the primary sponsor of both bills.
On February 7th, 2002 a group of Ohio citizens held a press conference at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to announce the formation of Ohio Citizens for Science (OCS). The group represents parents, citizens, scientists and clergy from all over the state of Ohio concerned with maintaining quality science education in the state's public schools.
On January 24, 2002 a bill was introduced into the Ohio House of Representatives to change that state's procedures for approving the new science standards currently being written. HB 484 would require the science standards to be approved by both houses of the General Assembly. This requirement is new, and would not apply to any other subject. On January 29 SB 222, a bill with the same provisions, was introduced in the state Senate.
On January 23, 2002 House Bill 481 was introduced in the Ohio General Assembly. This bill would require that "origins science" be "taught objectively and without religious, naturalistic, or philosophic bias or assumption." Although the bill does not contain the words "biology" or "evolution", it uses the phrase "origin of life and its diversity" several times, as well as "origins science".
The Ohio Board of Education will hold a panel discussion featuring both advocates and opponents of including intelligent design (ID) in the newly drafted statewide science standards at its March meeting. The decision to hold the discussion came after a contentious meeting on Sunday, January 14th, at which lawyer John Calvert, of the Kansas based Intelligent Design Network, made the case for inclusion of the controversial field in the standards. Opponents of ID were not allowed to speak at the meeting.