Demagogic Ohio governor attacks critical analysis of Darwinism
Looking back yesterday on his eight years as governor, Bob Taft said one of the lessons he learned was to ensure that potential appointees to the state Board of Education don’t support teaching intelligent design in public-school science classes . . . . . .
Taft said he plans to appoint four new members to the board before he leaves office and that he will not name anyone who doesn’t back the teaching of evolution.
Gov. Taft knows that all of the members of the last board publicly backed the teaching of evolution, even including Deborah Owens-Fink, who was one of the strongest supporters of keeping the "critical analysis of evolution" lesson plan. He also knows that this lesson plan expressly excluded intelligent design from the plan. Taft's statements were just demagogic pandering to Darwinist fanatics. Such demagoguery may backfire because public opinion polls have shown that a majority of the public wants the public schools to teach both the evidence for and against evolution (which is why Darwinism-only school board candidates don't always win).
Actually, though, it appears that Gov. Taft may just be blowing smoke. Richard Hoppe, an active member of the hardcore Darwinist "Ohio Citizens for Science," wrote on Ed Brayton's blog (Hoppe posts under the initials RBH),
Note that three of those whom Taft re-appointed (Wick, Millet, and Sheets) pretty consistently voted in support of the various ID creationist motions over the years -- to adopt the "critical analysis of evolution" standard and benchmark and to adopt the "critical analysis of evolution" model lesson plan -- right up until the last motion to remove the matter from the Achievement Committee. They weren't rabid ID supporters like Cochran and Owens Fink, but they damn sure weren't strong supporters of honest science. They were wishy-washy throughout and in votes tended to vote on the ID creationist side. The fourth appointee, Gunlock, is new to the board and has no history except on the last motion when he voted with the majority.
I'm not persuaded that Taft learned anything that a parrot couldn't have learned quicker and with the same level of cognition that Taft used.
Hoppe's above comment is borne out to a great extent by the OCS website. Of the three re-appointed school board members, Wick and Sheets voted at the Jan. 2006 meeting to keep the "critical analysis of evolution" lesson plan. These two switched sides at two later meetings ( Sheets was absent at the February meeting and both Sheets and Wick were present at the October meeting ), but that was after Gov. Taft came out against intelligent design (to hardcore Darwinists, ID and critical analysis of evolution are one and the same) on February 3. So maybe Wick and Sheets switched sides because they wanted to improve their chances of re-appointment. The re-appointments are good until the end of 2010.
Labels: Ohio controversy