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.