Ohio Votes 13-5 To Approve Lesson Plan Critical of Evolution

COLUMBUS, OH, MARCH 9 — Discovery Institute called it a victory for students, academic freedom, and common sense when the Ohio state board of education today voted 13-5 to adopt a model lesson plan on the “Critical Analysis of Evolution.”

“The board’s decision is a significant victory for students and their academic freedom to study all sides of current scientific debates over evolutionary theory,” said Bruce Chapman, president of Discovery Institute. “It’s also a victory for common sense against the scientific dogmatism of those who think evolution should be protected from any critical examination.”

Chapman added that the lesson plan is exactly the approach to teaching evolution that Discovery Institute has advocated all along, helping students learn both the scientific strengths and weaknesses of Darwin’s theory.

The lesson plan asks students to examine various debates over parts of evolutionary theory that are discussed in science journals, such as whether microevolutionary processes are sufficient to explain macroevolution. The lesson plan was created to implement a benchmark in the state science standards that requires students to be able to “Describe how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory.”

The lesson plan does not discuss religion or alternative scientific theories such as intelligent design. Created with input from a science advisory committee that included teachers, science educators, and scientists from across Ohio, the lesson plan was defended by a number of scientists in public testimony before the board on Tuesday.

“Ohio’s science standards and this lesson will stand as a beacon to other states as they review their own approach to how evolution is presented in the classroom,” said Chapman. “This is a common-sense approach that avoids the extremes and focuses on teaching students about the scientific debates over evolution.”

To speak with a spokesperson for Discovery Institute contact Rob Crowther at (206) 292-0401 x107 or by e-mail at

About Discovery Institute’s 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.”

Discovery Institute

Discovery Institute promotes thoughtful analysis and effective action on local, regional, national and international issues. The Institute is home to an inter-disciplinary community of scholars and policy advocates dedicated to the reinvigoration of traditional Western principles and institutions and the worldview from which they issued.