12.29.2005

Lawyers Aim Lawsuits at Ohio's 'Maybe Magic' Evolution Stance


Ohio should remember that the only 'opinions' that should be 'considered' and 'respected' in deciding how science is taught are those based purely on science and the consensus of science community. If the opinions or concerns of Christians and ID advocates played any role in the development of - or are accommodate now by - Ohio's science plan, sue its ass. Sue! Sue! Sue!

Ohio's 'Critical' Teaching of Evolution Could Become Legal Battleground

from Religion News Service

Now that a Pennsylvania ruling has been made on intelligent design, Ohio could become the next legal battleground over the critical teaching of evolution in public schools.

U.S. District Judge John Jones III ruled Dec. 20 that intelligent design is creationism in disguise and cannot be taught as an alternative to evolution in public school science classes. The 139-page ruling, the result of a high-profile trial in Dover, Pa., is expected to have an impact in Ohio.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which helped bring the Dover lawsuit, has obtained boxes of records from the Ohio Department of Education pertaining to the state school board's adoption of a controversial science lesson plan nearly two years ago, as reported in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

That action is a prelude to a possible challenge of the lesson, "Critical Analysis of Evolution," which critics contend is warmed-over intelligent design. Intelligent design is a belief that life is so complex a higher being must have had a hand in its creation.

After the ruling denouncing Dover's policy, those critics gave Ohio an ultimatum: Get rid of the plan, or face a long, costly, and potentially embarrassing lawsuit.

"We hope Ohio takes notice and cleans house," said Richard Katskee, Americans United's assistant legal director. "Whether there is a legal challenge really depends on what the Ohio Board of Education does."

State Education Department spokesman J.C. Benton said the curricula simply requires students to think critically about scientific theories such as evolution.

"There was considerable conversation on these issues and people have passionate opinions," Benton said. "However, we are confident this process not only took into consideration, but also respected, those opinions on all sides of the issue."

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