Richard B. Hoppe posted Entry 2574 on September 5, 2006 09:16 PM.
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ID Creationists on Ohio’s Board of Education are renewing their attack on Evolution, and adding attacks on climate science, cloning & stem-cell research. Please write to Ohio’s Board of Education TODAY to urge them to follow through on their Feb directive –Resolution 31. Vote against additional creationist language in Ohio’s science standards!

Resolution 31 removed intelligent design creationism’s disingenuous “critical analysis” from Ohio’s science standards & lesson plans, and directed the OBE’s Achievement Committee to determine whether replacement language was needed. It has been over 6 months and the Achievement Committee still has not voted. While they’ve dawdled, creationist activists on the Board have been developing a “teach the controversy” proposal on the side that is on the Achievement Committee agenda for next week’s meeting.

What you can do below the fold:

Please write the Board of Ed TODAY. Politely urge them to hold a vote of the entire Board –at their Tuesday Sept 12 meeting – establishing that additional language is NOT needed to replace the creationist nonsense removed at the Feb 06 mtg.

The Board should devote their energy to closing the achievement gap, solving the school funding crisis, and other genuine issues. They should resist religious extremists pressuring them to corrupt science education and co-opt the classroom for religious conversion.

Politely insist they stand up for freedom of religion, and good science in Ohio’s schools!

Action 1: Call your elected board representative. If you live in the Cleveland area, that would be Achievement Committee member Virgil Brown. 216-851-3304. Urge him to call for a vote in Monday’s Achievement Committee meeting.

Action 2: If you know anyone in the Canton area, please urge them to call Achievement Committee Co-chair elected rep Jim Craig, (330) 492- 5533. He’s up for re-election this Fall. Here’s his chance to shine!

Action 3: Please also write to all Board of Ed members to encourage them to call for a vote that will settle this matter!


1) The “critical thinking”/teach the controversy template proposal takes a legitimate passage (originally taken directly from the National Science Standards) in the current Scientific Ways of Knowing section of Ohio’s Science Standards (10th Grade Indicator 2 under Benchmark A, pp. 90, 146, 237) and sabotages it by tacking on a section directing students to apply it preferentially to evolution, global warming, cloning & stem cell research – 4 areas of science disliked by certain politico-religious groups. The effect would be to undermine students’ understanding of scientific methods and processes by implying that evolution, climate science, stem cells and cloning are shaky science that should be treated with special scrutiny. This strategy opens up the science classroom for co-option as a religious conversion opportunity.

2) While the achievement gap widens in Ohio, the “Achievement Committee” obstructs the progress of our public schools by wasting the time, energy and power of the committee at the service of covertly promoting a specific sectarian viewpoint.

3) As Judge Jones said in the Dover, PA “Panda Trial” decision:

ID’s backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny, which we have now determined that it cannot withstand, by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal
of the ID movement> is not to encourage critical thought.

Board of Education Contact info:

(Don’t know your district? See Ohio Hope.

President (Member At-Large):
Sue Westendorf (ID creationist)
(419) 352-2908 (voice)
(309) 412-9790 (fax)

Vice-President (State Board District 9):
Jennifer H. Stewart (One of the good guys)
(740) 452-4558 (voice)
(740) 452-7754 (fax)

State Board District 1:
Lou Ann Harrold (One of the good guys)
(419) 675-1743

State Board District 2:
Martha W. Wise (One of the good guys)
(440) 934-4935 (voice)
(440) 934-6089 (fax)

State Board District 3:
Thomas Gunlock (New member: unknown position)
(937) 435-5347

State Board District 4:
G. R. “Sam” Schloemer (One of the good guys)
(513) 821-4145 (voice)
(513) 821-2829 (fax)

State Board District 5:
Colleen D. Grady (ID creationist)
(440) 572-0239 (voice)
(440) 238-0874 (fax)

State Board District 8:
Jim Craig (On the fence)
(330) 492-5533 (voice)
(330) 493-1804 (fax)

State Board District 9:
Jennifer H. Stewart – See previous entry

State Board District 10:
Jane Sonenshein (One of the good guys)
(513) 831-1870 (voice)
(440) 238-0874 (fax)

State Board District 11:
Virgil E. Brown, Jr. (On the fence)
(216) 851-3304 (voice)
(216) 851-2900 (fax)

At Large Board Members:

Robin C. Hovis (One of the good guys)
(330) 674-5000 (voice)
(330) 674-5002 (fax)

Stephen M. Millett (On the fence)
(614) 424-5335 (voice)
(614) 424-3534 (fax)

Eric C. Okerson (Provisional good guy)
(513) 629-2814

Emerson J. Ross, Jr. (On the fence)
(419) 537-1562 (voice)
(419) 531-1509 (fax)

Richard E. Baker (Flat creationist)
(937) 997-2101 (voice)
(937) 997-2140 (fax)

Jennifer L. Sheets (On the fence; an opportunist)
(740) 992-2151

Carl Wick (On the fence)
(937) 433-1352 (voice)
(937) 438-0678 (fax)

State Board District 6:
Michael Cochran (ID creationist leader)
(614) 864-2338 (voice)
(614) 863-9751 (fax)

State Board District 7:
Deborah Owens Fink (ID creationist leader)
(330) 972-8079 (voice)
(330) 972-5798 (fax)

With respect to the Representatives of Districts 6 & 7, be aware of this passage from the minutes of the Feb 2006 OBE mtg:

Mr. Cochran apologized to the Board officers and Board members, Dr. Zelman, Department staff, and persons in the audience for his inappropriate remarks at the end of the January Board meeting.

Dr. Owens Fink also apologized to the Board officers, Dr. Zelman, Board members, staff and persons in the audience for not expressing her viewpoint, at the January Board meeting, without making personal attacks on others.

But Owens Fink still refers to scientists – the National Academy of Science, the Ohio Academy of Sciences, and so on – as dogmatic Darwinists.

For more info on this Fall’s OBE elections, see or

Board email adresses to cut & paste:;;;;;;;;;;;;; ;; ;

More info at Ohio Citizens for Science and Ohio HOPE

Commenters are responsible for the content of comments. The opinions expressed in articles, linked materials, and comments are not necessarily those of See our full disclaimer.

Comment #126339

Posted by Bruce Wilson on September 6, 2006 2:10 AM (e)

DefCon warned today of an impending Monday sneak attack.


Comment #126378

Posted by cak on September 6, 2006 6:48 AM (e)

How meaningful are letters/emails from out of state?

Comment #126409

Posted by Peter Henderson on September 6, 2006 8:49 AM (e)

This appeared on Ken Ham’s blog today:


Mike Riddle reports:

Last week Dr. David Menton and I were at the Muskoka Baptist Conference grounds. It is in a beautiful setting 2 hours north of Toronto, Canada. We each gave six different lectures over the week. Many people came to all 12 sessions demonstrating that Canadians are hungry to hear God’s Word defended from the very first verse.

We heard comments that ranged from “Thank you for teaching us and helping us defend our faith with others” to “I’ve never heard anything like this before.” Following one evening session Dr. Menton held a Q &A session that lasted for over 2 hours. Following another session on cloning, stem cells and abortion people were in tears from understanding the reality and horror of abortion and embryonic stem cell research. In addition to hearing the information, people were eager to purchase materials. There were an incredible number of people signing up to receive the new Answers Magazine.

While the location was in Canada, it might just as well have been Ohio. Obviously this type of thing is influencing a lot of people there as well !

Comment #126419

Posted by RBH on September 6, 2006 9:44 AM (e)

Bruce Wilson wrote

DefCon warned today of an impending Monday sneak attack.

We’ve been aware of that possibility for several weeks. Discussion of Resolution 31 is mentioned in the agenda for the Achievement Committee meeting on Monday Sept 11. It is not (yet) on the agenda of the Board as a whole (it would appear on the Tuesday agenda). We have been in contact with Board Members about it and we will have people at both the committee meeting and board meeting. Thanks!

cak asked

How meaningful are letters/emails from out of state?

They help, because they send the message that this is not a purely Ohio issue. Again, polite but firm. Thanks!


Comment #126440

Posted by Edwin Hensley on September 6, 2006 11:47 AM (e)

Perhaps these educators should read this article from What’s Wrong With Creationist Probability . Maybe someone from Panda’s Thumb could post this and make sure our friends at Uncommon Descent are aware of it.

Comment #126446

Posted by Blumer on September 6, 2006 12:58 PM (e)

Send Liz Craig and Jack Krebs over.

They are experts in personal attack.

Comment #126480

Posted by improvius on September 6, 2006 3:29 PM (e)

In addition to hearing the information, people were eager to purchase materials.


Comment #126539

Posted by Darth Robo on September 6, 2006 8:14 PM (e)

“Send Liz Craig and Jack Krebs over.

They are experts in personal attack.”

Ah, the Jack Krebs fan club drives by. AGAIN. (Or maybe they should be called stalkers?)


That you again, JB?

Comment #126554

Posted by Liz Craig on September 6, 2006 9:17 PM (e)

We get trolls quite frequently at the KCFS Discussion Forums. One of them apparently believes Jack Krebs and I are experts in personal attack.

If that troll (whose identity I can guess with reasonable certainty) is still reading comments here (which I doubt), I invite presentation of evidence that either of us has done any such thing.

Evidence or retraction. Oh, I forgot. That would be the honorable thing to do. What in the world was I thinking?

Comment #126566

Posted by Keanus on September 6, 2006 10:03 PM (e)


I just sent an email to the entire board (at least those for whom you provided addresses) and one address, that of Sam Schloemer, appears to be incorrect. I tried several variations and the one that didn’t bounce back as undeliverable was >.

By the way, my note to the lot is pasted below:


I’m now retired but I spent most of my professional life as a science and math text book editor and publisher (if you’re less than 45 you probably studied one or more books I handled). In that capacity I had the pleasure of working with scientists and science teachers throughout the United States and Canada and with scientists from Australia to Russia and nations in between. Whether in the 1960’s when I was a junior editor or the 1990’s when I was a publishing executive, all accepted evolution as the organizing paradigm of modern biology because that’s what the data supported.

I fully understand the pressure from religious quarters to modify the Ohio State Standards and restore the deletions—or some equivalent unsupported opinions—the State Board approved late last winter. But the Ohio State Board should stick to its guns and not allow the standards to be modified again. To do so would pander to the opinions of a particular religious view, ignore the professional judgments of the hundreds of thousands of biologists world wide, and unfairly tar Ohioans as intolerant and ignorant. I don’t think that’s what you or the citizens for whom you speak would want.

I urge you to let the Ohio State Standards stand as modified and approved late last winter. If you do, you’ll be doing right by Ohio’s students and citizens, all of them!


Kelvin L. Kean (aka Keanus)
[with my full address, phone number, and email.]

Comment #126794

Posted by Sam Lewis on September 7, 2006 2:45 PM (e)

I’m thinking about sending a thank you letter to the creationists on the board. If they dumb down things enough in Ohio, maybe we’ll start getting more jobs here in Michigan.

Comment #127626

Posted by Manny on September 9, 2006 6:28 PM (e)

By all means, put KCFS behind the Ohio struggle.

Harry MacDonald should be able to give a testimony about how much his association with KCFS helped.

It really did!