Unable to Win Science Debate, Ohio Darwinists Turn to Legal Threats

Staff
Discovery Institute
March 1, 2004
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SEATTLE, March 1 -- Groups in Ohio trying to censor a proposed lesson plan on the "Critical Analysis of Evolution" are now making bogus legal threats rather than scientific arguments, according to legal experts at the Discovery Institute.

On Feb. 23, the head of the Ohio Academy of Science told Ohio Gov. Bob Taft that the proposed lesson plan was "illegal." On Feb. 25, Ohio physics professor Lawrence Krauss threatened to sue the Ohio Board of Education if it adopts the lesson plan.

"Unable to win the debate on scientific grounds, the most doctrinaire Darwinists are now trying to win by old-fashioned bullying of the Governor and the Board," said Dr. John West, Associate Director of the Institute's Center for Science and Culture. "Fortunately, their legal threats are bogus."

"The proposed lesson plan is not illegal," explained attorney Seth Cooper, a program officer in public policy and legal affairs at Discovery Institute. "The legal authorities are clear that it is perfectly permissible to teach scientific criticisms of existing scientific theories, which is all the proposed lesson does."

To underscore this point, Discovery Institute sent a letter today to Gov. Taft and the Board of Education outlining the legality of the proposed lesson plan and enclosing supportive articles from the Utah Law Review, the Ohio Law Journal, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, the Journal of Church & State, the Harvard Law Review, and the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy.

"These articles show the growing number of legal experts who are against the campaign of censorship being waged by Darwin-only supporters," said Cooper.

The text of the Discovery Institute letter is available from the Institute on request.



About the Center for Science and Culture
Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture is the nation's leading think tank and research center examining scientific challenges to Darwinian evolution. Discovery Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan, public-policy, think tank which promotes ideas in the common sense tradition of representative government, the free market and individual liberty. Current projects include: technology, the economy, regional transportation, and the bi-national region of "Cascadia." http://www.discovery.org/