December 19, 2002
By Mark Hartwig
On Dec. 10, after long months of hard work, hearings and negotiation, the Ohio board of education gave final approval to new science education standards requiring that students be able to think critically about contemporary evolutionary theory. The new standards also allow individual school districts to teach the theory of intelligent design.
The Darwin-only camp, however, is proclaiming victory. To hear them tell it, they had narrowly averted an attempt to mandate teaching intelligent design in science classrooms and include it on state tests.
Patricia Princehouse, a philosophy professor at Case Western Reserve University and founder of the pro-Darwin group, Ohio Citizens for Science, triumphantly told the Associated Press, Intelligent design is out altogether. Now there's no way it will appear on standardized tests.
If Princehouses celebration sounds like an excess of enthusiasm, it is. Intelligent design proponents have been saying since March that science teachers should 1) be required to teach Darwins theory of evolution, including evidence both for and against it, and 2) be allowed to tell students about alternative scientific theories, such as intelligent design. Thats essentially what they got.
Board members have repeatedly said that the new standards allow school districts to teach intelligent design. Whats more, these standards explicitly require that students be tested on their knowledge of how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory. The only limitation was a last-minute insertion stating that the above requirement does not mandate the teaching or testing of intelligent design.
In an interview for Family News in Focus, Deborah Owens-Fink, a member of the state board of education, explains the obvious meaning of that insertion: It says there will not be a mandate for intelligent design it doesnt say it wont be allowed.
The effect of the new standards speaks even louder than words. Owens-Fink reports, Many school districts have called to say theyre allowing students to openly debate it. Previously, students didnt know about intelligent design or didnt feel comfortable discussing it in science classrooms. Now they are scouring the Internet and other sources to learn more about it.
Ohio may have just touched off a revolution. If Darwinists call that a victory, may they triumph throughout the land.
This is the last Wedge Update Ill be writing for awhile. In just a couple of weeks, Ill be undergoing an allogeneic bone marrow transplant for a second relapse of Hodgkins disease. If the transplant succeeds, my new immune system will attack and eradicate the cancer. But it will be a pretty severe process and will put me out of action for three to five months. In the meantime the Update will hopefully continue under a healthier Wedgee.
Best wishes for the coming year.
Copyright 2002 Mark Hartwig. All rights reserved. International
File Date: 12.19.02