Evolution Wins in Ohio:

How to teach evolution and whether to teach "Intelligent Design" were big issues in the race between incumbent Deborah Owens Fink and challenger Tom Sawyer for the 7th District seat on the Ohio Board of Education. Fink argued there was no scientific consensus in support of the theory of evolution, and thought state education standards should reflect that, if not also call for the mention of non-scientific alternatives. Sawyer was supported by a large group of scientists, including many of my colleagues at Case, who sought to ensure that Ohio science education standards would be science based.

Like the bitter school board battles in Kansas last summer, the Ohio board races produced high drama. Voters were treated to the unusual sight of Kenneth Miller, a nationally renowned biologist, stumping like a ward-heeler for pro-evolution candidates, and Pastor Ernie Sanders, an evangelical radio host, blasting Sawyer as a merchant of sin.

In the end, however, Sawyer won handily. This was not an isolated event, as it appears that the pro-science/pro-evolution candidates won across the board.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Evolution Wins in Ohio:
  2. Evolution on Election Day:
Colin (mail):
My sense is that this is not unusual. When the issue gets broad attention, either because the work of a creationist school board gets wide publicity or during an intensive general election, traditional creationists and IDists tend to do rather badly. They're much more successful at less popular off-cycle elections (or off-off-cycle elections), where they can drum up more interest among the faithful for school board and BOE elections.

In other words, most people are only interested in creationism when it makes headlines. Creationists are interested in it all the time, which translates into electoral gains when the interest of the general populace wanes.

That said, though, ID has suffered a string of humiliating defeats in the last couple of years. It will be interesting to see if that translates into more apathy among creationists when the next boring, isolated BOE or school board election rolls around.
11.8.2006 10:11am
Daryl Herbert (www):
It's one thing to argue there isn't enough scientific proof for evolution. That's hard to show, and involves lots of sciency stuff.

But arguing that there isn't consensus? To disprove that, all you have to do is round up a bunch of scientists.

Of course, they didn't want to argue the science in Kitzmiller, either.
11.8.2006 10:29am
Syd (mail):
Evolution won in Oklahoma, too, where Sandy Garrett defeated Bill Crozier for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Crozier is an Intelligent Design advocate and general nut.
11.9.2006 12:24am