ACLU of Ohio Demands Schools Stop Teaching Intelligent Design as Science

February 14, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: media@aclu.org

TOLEDO, OH -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio today sent a letter to the Toledo Public Schools demanding that they cease allowing staff to teach intelligent design in science classrooms throughout the district.

"Intelligent design has been proven to be nothing more than a thin cover for those who wish to teach creationism, a faith-based idea of human origins endorsed by certain Christian denominations, in science classes," said ACLU of Ohio Legal Director Jeffrey Gamso. "While people have a right to teach their religious beliefs to others in churches, mosques, synagogues and private schools, public schools should not be used by people to teach their personal religious beliefs to other people's children."

Gamso added, "Proponents of intelligent design have been unable to provide any credible scientific evidence to support their theories. The scientific community has, time and again, largely refuted purported evidence supporting intelligent design. By continuing to allow teachers to implement intelligent design into the science curriculum, educators are misinforming Ohio's children on the fundamental principles of science."

Recently, a news article in the Toledo Blade featured teachers in the Toledo Public School system who admitted teaching intelligent design in science classrooms. In the article, teachers acknowledged they taught lessons on various pieces of evidence that seemed to refute evolutionary theory, despite the fact that all were proven to be hoaxes by the scientific community.

The battle over intelligent design in Ohio schools began in 2002 when the State Board of Education endorsed teaching "critical analysis of evolution," which is no more than a way of slipping intelligent design, and therefore creationism, into the public schools through the back door, according to the ACLU.

Following a court ruling in Dover, Pennsylvania in late 2005 that the local school board's decision to teach intelligent design was unconstitutional, many in Ohio called for the State Board of Education to reexamine its science standards.

"As Ohio students compete with people from other states and nations for jobs in science and technology, allowing the teaching of intelligent design as a science standard will diminish their ability to compete in the economy," Gamso said.

For more information on intelligent design, go to www.aclu.org/evolution
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