Reporter Angela An of WBNS Channel 10 in Columbus, OH
aired report about Ohio's Science Standards September 9, 2002

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On September 9, 2002, a report aired on WBNS 10 TV about the controversies surrounding the Ohio Science Standards. Here's a link to a text version of the report on their web site:

There were two people interviewed in the report. One was Joe Roman, a member of the Ohio State Board of Education.  He is against including Intelligent Design (ID) in the testing standards. The other was Dr. Robert Lattimer, a member of the Science Writing Team, and the organization Science Excellence for all Ohioans ( Dr. Lattimer is in favor of allowing all the evidence for and against evolution into the standards, which he and we refer to as Teach the Controversy (TTC). Melanie Elsey of the Ohio Eagle Forum ( contributed to this report but did not appear in it.

Channel 10 announced during their 6:00 PM news that they were conducting a non-scientific poll on their web site about this topic.  When the report aired later at 11:00 PM, the poll results were as follows:

Teach only Evolution                               5%
Other Theories in addition to Evolution    95%

Critique of the Report

  1. Overall, this was a well balanced and fair report.  

  2. The references to "creationism" in the introduction to the report, and the nature of the on-line survey help illustrate a point that the viewing audience needs to understand. The reporters or their editors  sometimes are viewing the story from a different perspective than those who they interview.  If the viewers don't understand that, it is easy to sometimes draw the wrong conclusions about the intentions of those being interviewed.  If a particular report inaccurately presents the views of those being interviewed, the public should not jump to the conclusion that it was the reporter's fault. Sometimes it's due to an innocent difference in perspectives.  In other cases, the reporter may have been overruled by editors who can censor or veto their story ideas and the way the story is presented. In the case of the reference to creationism, the report accurately stated that many people in Ohio want "Creationism" to be made available to Ohio's students.  However, none of the organizations we are working with on this issue are pushing for that.  We believe that as far as the science standards are concerned, we need to focus exclusively on the scientific arguments.  That doesn't mean we've abandoned our religious message.  See this link for a list of ways we can get our religious message out that won't run afoul of the mythical separation of church and state.  

  3. The wording of the on-line survey illustrates the same point.  The TV station was interested in doing a survey about competing "theories" to evolution.  However, with the exception of the Intelligent Design (ID) aspects of Teach the Controversy (TTC), TTC isn't a separate theory in and of itself. There are many arguments and evidence within TTC that are outside the scope of ID, and none of them are theories all by themselves.  Rather they are what we would refer to as different interpretations of the same evidence, or ignored evidence.  Examples include new research on radioactive dating methods, polonium 218 halos, evidence from all over the world that humans and dinosaurs co-existed, the mathematical improbabilities of evolution occurring, etc.  If I were wording the survey, I would have worded it differently to more accurately reflect what the organizations in Ohio are actually trying to do.  Note that we don't want to force teachers who "believe" in evolution to teach the scientific evidence against it (they'd just mock it in the process).  Rather, we want those teachers who know that evolution is a fairy tale to have the academic freedom to teach the scientific evidence for and against it.

    Teach only Evolution
    Academic Freedom for teachers to Teach scientific evidence both for and against Evolution

  4. This statement was made in the report:

    "Lattimer fought for those other theories to be included in the current draft of the science curriculum, but he lost."

    There probably wasn't time to say this in the report, but the reason he lost was because the deck was stacked against him (and the citizens of Ohio) from the get-go.  The Department of Education staffed this team almost exclusively with people who are in favor of keeping the wall of protection around evolution to protect it from all scientific criticism.  The only reason Dr. Lattimer got onto the team was because of the efforts of one SBE board member to have him included.

  5. This statement was made in the report:

    "Out of the 17,347 responses sent to the board, 4,446 want only evolution taught in schools.".

    Again, most likely due to a lack of time, we believe that our concerns about most of the 4,446 needing to be tossed out were not addressed in the report.  See this link for the reasons why we feel they should not count.

  6. This statement was made in the report:

    "Respondents want creationism or intelligent design exclusively taught numbered 316. But an overwhelming 12,373 people feel both should be taught side by side."

    This is a good point to again remind viewers of this web site that we and the other organizations we are working with are not promoting either of these two approaches (ID alone or creationism).  Instead, we are focused on promoting the addition of Teach the Controversy to the testing standards and science curriculums.  We are also focused on having the definition of "science" changed so that it will allow for all logical explanations, not just Materialistic and Naturalistic ones as is the case today. It is very important for all of the news media to get on the same page with us on our two main goals (teach the controversy (TTC) and redefine what "science" is) if they intend to accurately report on what we are trying to do. The honest, professional journalists will.  The dishonest ones who are evolutionist propagandists will continue to promote the lies that we are trying to get "creationism", "creation science" only "Intelligent Design" or "religion" into the standards.  It will be next to impossible for Ohio citizens to rally around these goals if they don't know about them.  The reporter who did this story told me in a follow-up e-mail that she does intend to explain TTC in a future report, and that she didn't do it this time around because she didn't want to throw too much information all at once at their viewing audience (that seems reasonable).  

  7. Some of the comments I made about a WCMH Channel 4 report also apply to this one.  Please see this link for those additional comments.