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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Panda's Thumb Action Alert: Write Letters to the Ohio Board of Education.

The Panda's Thumb is urging people to write letters and call the Jim Petro campaign for Governor about the IDiotic lesson plans currently included in the Ohio Science Standards.

Ohio Citizens for Science will host two public information sessions Sunday and Monday evenings on Ohio’s creationist lesson plan and the history and impact of this insult to science and religion. Details here.

Things are heating up in Ohio post-Kitzmiller. The ID troops are spinning Kitzmiller as the aberration of an activist judge (a conservative Republican) who vastly over-stepped the acceptable boundaries of judicial behavior. Tim Sandefur eviscerated that argument here on the Thumb and on Positive Liberty.

Ohio Citizens for Science is issuing a call for action this weekend. We ask people — both in Ohio and elsewhere — to write/email/phone to urge the restoration of good science in Ohio’s schools. In particular, we urge contacting Jim Petro, current state Attorney General who is running for Governor. Let Petro know that it’s time for leadership, not political pandering. The main points to stress are below the fold in the recommended message. Both in-state and out of state people are encouraged to contact Petro. Please also contact members of the State Board of Education with your support for honest science education.

Ohio’s board of education will meet next Tuesday, Jan 10, in Columbus to decide whether to comply with the recent federal court ruling against intelligent-design creationism and its disingenuous “teach the controversy” ploy.

Please write or CALL TODAY to State Board members (as many as you can) and Attorney General Jim Petro.


Read the whole thing.

I called Attorney General Jim Petro's governor campaign, and left a message with one of his staff. You can call him at: 1-877-JIM-2006. It would be good to fill up those voice mail boxes of all his staff on this issue.

Here's my letter:

TO:email@jimpetro.com,
susan.zelman@ode.state.oh.us;
bob.bowers@ode.state.oh.us;
Eydie.Schilling@mail.ode.state.oh.us;
Donna.Nesbitt@ode.state.oh.us;
Virgil.Brown@ode.state.oh.us;
ota@ohiotownships.org;
Jim.Craig@ode.state.oh.us;
Colleen.Grady@ode.state.oh.us;
deb@uakron.edu;
Sam.Schloemer@ode.state.oh.us;
Jennifer.Sheets@ode.state.oh.us;
Jane.Sonenshein@ode.state.oh.us;
Jennifer.Stewart@ode.state.oh.us;

CC:pkeiper@cmnh.org,
patricia@case.edu

Dear Mr. Petro,

Please protect Ohio from the creationist folly of the Board of Education!

Ohio can afford neither the waste of millions of taxpayer dollars nor the national ridicule a Monkey Trial would bring upon your state.

It's worth noting that where Creationism gets out beyond the stealth issue, it loses in elections. The Dover School Board members all lost to Democrats who were running in a district with a strong Republican index. In Minnetonka, Minnesota the ID supporters lost a recent school board election. After this school board election, Plymouth Mayor Judy Johnson lost to a Democrat - again in a district with a strong republican index. The issue that took Johnson down? Intelligent Design creationism.

If we are going to teach the controversy in Science classes, why single out Evolution? Why not teach the controversy about gravity, or the doubts that the earth is round? Or why not teach Astrology in Astronomy classes?

Please counsel the Board to remove Ohio’s creationist benchmark and lesson plan immediately and restore the Ohio Academy of Science’s full definition of science.

Counsel the board to act immediately at their meeting next week. Advise them to avoid time-wasting charades that would produce more embarrassment in the long run. They have the facts; they need to act now.

The Ohio case is very clear. As in Dover, both the Board and the public recognized the issue at stake as inherently religious. Like Dover, evolutionary theory was singled out for special and unjustified criticism. As in Dover, the claims for a scientific basis for objecting to evolution were all drawn directly from scientifically-discredited creationist literature. And as in Dover, the board ignored the best advice of its own science experts as well as outside experts.

Of course, the creationists on the board claim there is no religious intent or content. But that’s what the defendants have said in all these creationist cases from Epperson to Edwards to Freiler to Dover. But when they go to court, the state loses every time.

As Judge John E Jones III said in the Dover decision:

“The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.”

Ohio needs your leadership at this crucial juncture. The board is nearly deadlocked with a few members still deciding. Leadership from the Attorney General on this important legal issue would make all the difference in the world.

Please protect our freedom of religion, protect our children’s understanding of science, and protect the integrity and reputation of the state of Ohio.

Stand up for Ohio, Mr. Petro!

Eva Young
Near North
Minneapolis
lloydletta@gmail.com

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"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759,
US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer (1706 - 1790)


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