Like a zombie in a horror film, the "Critical Analysis of Evolution" effort returned to haunt the Buckeye State, despite a series of stakes through its heart. In 2002, Ohio adopted a set of science standards including a requirement that students be able to "describe how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory" (see RNCSE 2002 Sep/Oct; 22 : 4–6). When the indicator was introduced, it was widely feared that it would provide a pretext for the introduction of creationist misrepresentations of evolution.
The Ohio Board of Education had a big problem. Two years ago, a Fordham Foundation study had slapped the state with an "F" for the way it taught evolution in the classroom. In fact, state standards lacked any mention of evolution in the science lessons for Ohio students, kindergarten through high school. Embarrassed, the state legislature mandated that the board revise the standards by the end of 2002.
Ohio's HB 597 poses a threat to students and science education throughout the Buckeye State. Ohioans must reach out to their legislators now to urge that the anti-science provisions be blocked or removed.
Even if you are not eligible to sign this statement, there are lots of ways to support good science education. For example, if your local newspapers cover the AIG “museum,” be sure to respond to any inaccurate representations. Write a letter to the editor!
Parents, educators, scientists, clergy, and other citizens are concerned about scientifically inaccurate exhibits at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, operated by Answers in Genesis, a fundamentalist Christian ministry.
The statement below has been prepared by and for scientists in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. Please feel free to sign if you are a scientist (faculty or post-doctoral level) from these states. And please circulate this statement among your colleagues.