January 31, 2002

More from Ohio

This installment was prepared with a mighty assist from John Calvert, a retired Kansas City attorney who was one of the friends of freedom who came forward to help in the Kansas Controversy of 1999. Eventually the Darwinists were able to employ their media monopoly and political power to intimidate the people of Kansas and defeat some of the courageous state school board members for re-election, whereupon the new board bowed to their will. I recall Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas asking me if I was discouraged by the defeat. Not at all, I answered. We have raised new forces, and forged an alliance between groups that were formerly suspicious of each other. We will fight again, and eventually the leaders of science will learn that the costs of imposing a pseudoscientific materialism on America are too great for them to bear.

The Battle Moves to Ohio

A year ago, Kansas was struggling with what to tell Kansas children about where they come from. After succumbing to the pressure of the media and lite Science, a misguided Board decided to tell them that they are merely occurrences that just happened

Ohio is now facing the same question. Luckily the physical chemist who is leading the charge, Bob Lattimer, came to the annual IDnet symposium in Kansas last June. Bob heard Phil, Bill Dembski, Nancy Pearcey, Walter Bradley, Jonathan Wells, Bill Harris, yours truly and a number of other scientists and came away convinced that what he had heard was true.

Dr. Lattimer is a member of the Ohio Science Standards Writing Team. After the IDnet symposium, he submitted a set of proposed Modifications to the first draft of Ohio science standards that also reflect the comments of other ID Netters. He also helped form an organization in Ohio to promote excellence in science education. This is called SEAO - Science Excellence for All Ohioans. SEAO is now actively supporting the proposed Modifications and a web site has been created specifically to collect comments. A formal report is expected to be submitted soon to the Ohio Board.

Persons interested in SEAO include legislators who had proposed to introduce legislation drafted five or six years ago that had failed to garner much support. Rather than reintroduce their original bill, they considered an alternative that would mirror the concepts embodied in the Modifications and the Santorum Amendment. This legislation, HB 481, was introduced by Representative Reidelbach and fifteen other co-sponsors on January 24, 2002. The bill requires Ohio schools to do three things:

  1. Encourage the teaching of origins science objectively and without religious, naturalistic or philosophic bias or assumption.
  2. Provide appropriate explanation about any material assumption that is used as a basis for an explanation in origins science; and
  3. Encourage curriculum development that will promote critical thinking and help students understand the full range of scientific views regarding origins and why the subject is controversial.

On January 13, 2002 John Calvert was invited to give a talk to eight Ohio Board of Education members that comprise the Science Standards Committee of the Board. His remarks can be found at http://www.IntelligentDesignNetwork.org/ohioboardtalk.htm.

Essentially, I discussed the use of methodological naturalism in current origins science and why that is problematic from a logical, scientific and legal perspective. I urged the Committee to give serious consideration to the Modifications that had been rejected out of hand by the other members of the Writing Team.

My comments were apparently well received by a majority of the Committee. They expressed interest in seeing intelligent design included as an alternative theory in the Ohio standards. The media was present and the expected firestorm ensued.

At this time the Committee is scheduling a more detailed hearing on the matter for March 10, where we will have an opportunity to further present our case.

SEAO has also been collecting comments on the Lattimer Modifications from scientists, lawyers and philosophers from all over the world. The very significant response will be published during early February, well in advance of the March meeting.

Anyone that is interested in helping in Ohio should contact John Calvert at jcalvert@att.net. You may also review and comment on the modifications at http://www.IntelligentDesignNetwork.org/ohiocomments.asp

Copyright 2002 Phillip E. Johnson. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
File Date: 1.31.02

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