by Patrick H. Young, Ph.D.
Voice Your Support For the "Critical Analysis of Evolution"
Lesson in Ohio’s New Science Standards.
An edited version of
this article was published as a
Letter to the Editor of the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette on Feb. 23, 2004
|This is your opportunity to express
your support for allowing Ohio's students to be allowed to hear the
opposing scientific arguments to evolution in the classroom. Public
input needed by March 5, 2004. Click
here to find out how to express your support for
the critical analysis of evolution in Ohio's science classes.
For more information about the proposed lesson on "Critical Analysis of Evolution", click here.
For more information about the Science Model curriculum in general, visit the Science Excellence for All Ohioans web site
February 10th was a historic day for good science in Ohio. By an overwhelming margin (13-4), the State Board of Education voted to approve a resolution of intent to adopt a set of science standards that would teach both the evidence for and against evolution to Ohio’s high school children.
The science standards that were approved contain an indicator titled "Critical Analysis of Evolution." This lesson is presented in a debate format that will expose the student to several of the most scientifically questionable subjects in evolutionary theory including macroevolution, homology, the fossil record, anti-biotic resistance, peppered moths, and endosymbiosis.
Ohio is poised to become the first state to formally allow such progressive thinking in its public schools. In the past, the career of a forward thinking high school biology teacher could easily be placed in jeopardy because they had the audacity to teach the evidence against evolution. Now that the Ohio Board of Education has mandated that a "Critical Analysis of Evolution" will be a part of the new science standards, these progressive educators need not worry about possible termination in the future.
Opponents of the "Critical Analysis" section have said that the adoption of these standards as written would encourage the teaching of intelligent design in the classroom. However, the State Board has previously decreed that intelligent design as a theory would not be mandated in the standards and all the lessons were carefully written to comply with this scope. Moreover, it was never ordered by this board that science educators were banned from teaching intelligent design in Ohio’s classrooms. They only stressed that intelligent design would not be a required curriculum in the new standards.
Throughout the complete process, dogmatic evolutionists and several members of the media attempted to project this debate as religious in nature. However, the scientists who supported the "Critical Analysis" section proved to be highly educated, successful, and well-respected researchers in their field. Moreover, it became obvious that imposing religion in science class was never their goal, but just a strong desire to graduate students with the fundamental critical thinking skills that will be necessary for them to enjoy a successful future in the business world.
Through a well-orchestrated barrage of misinformation, the pro-evolutionists finally convinced the majority of the standards team that the book, "Icons of Evolution" authored by cell biologist and intelligent design advocate Dr. Jonathan Wells, was not a suitable reference for the "Critical Analysis of Evolution" lesson. While Well’s book only contained valid arguments questioning evolution, the standards team concluded erroneously, that the presence of his book as a reference could be an inadvertent endorsement of intelligent design. However, questions about the validity of foundational evolutionary principles are not just isolated to intelligent design proponents. The peer reviewed scientific literature is rich in references from every facet of the technical community attesting to the serious problems that affect macroevolutionary theory and several these citations were used as an underpinning for the "Critical Analysis" lesson.
February 10th was a first step to gain approval of these very important science standards and it should be noted that four School Board members (Hovis, Richardson, Schloemer, and Stewart) voted against adopting the science standards that include the "Critical Analysis" lesson. Addresses for these Board members can be obtained on the website www.ode.state.oh.us/board. Also, email may be sent to most Board members from this link. The final vote to implement the standards will be at the March 9th Board meeting so it is imperative that the Ohio electorate informs these members that their constituency supports the approval of the "Critical Analysis of Evolution" lesson.
In conclusion, if we want Ohio’s economy to be at the cutting edge of the thinking economies of the future, then we must graduate students possessing good critical thinking skills. The "Critical Analysis of Evolution" standard is an excellent lesson designed to achieve this goal and the State School Board members who supported this, along with the progressive members of the state writing team should be commended for their vision and leadership.
Patrick H. Young Ph.D.
Patrick H. Young is a resident of Central Ohio. He has a Ph.D. in Chemistry and been employed in industry as a research chemist and materials scientist for over 17 years. He has a website at creationists.org/patrickyoung.html and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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