Friday, February 03, 2006

The Science of Willful Blindness

[Edited to fix bone-headed mistake]

Gov. Bob Taft is pretty darn sure that the State biology standards don't actually have any intelligent design to them (irony intentional) and he just can't figure out how pro-ID folks got on the State School Board:

The governor also said he should have asked his previous appointees to the State Board of Education more questions about their position on the controversial issue, and that he will be asking about it before making future appointments.

"There were cases in which I didn’t ask the right questions, in some cases where I supported someone for election or appointment," Taft said this week when asked about the issue during a meeting with Dispatch editors and reporters.

"I’ll be asking that question now, I can assure you."

Gov. Bob Taft says that although he’s convinced the state’s 10th grade biology teaching standards do not include intelligent design, there should be a legal review of the companion lesson plan to ensure Ohio is not vulnerable to a lawsuit. (From the Columbus Dispatch ($$$). The online version is messed up so I reordered the text.)
The Governor really ought to review this week's Free Times cover story -- a lengthy, extensively reported history of who tried to get ID into the science curriculum, how they compromised on the current standards and what they are trying to do shove through the gap those standards create. By way of disclosure, the article is sourced in part to Steve Weeks of the UA Biology Department, a friend of mine. As you read the story, Taft's mealy protests ring false. Or maybe he was on the links when all this went down.

When the latest ID decision came down, I tried in vain to find a backgrounder like this one. The papers alluded to the history of the "critical analysis of evolution" provision, but none took the time to reset it. I don't go completely squishy about alternative media, but this is an example of the good of having diverse news sources (on the other hand, this week's Scene cover is about an incident of alleged police brutality, but you didn't need me to tell you that.)

Meanwhile, our Ohio-grown new House Speaker Majority Leader John Boener is apparently an ID guy (among his other charms.)


Jill said...

Charu Gupta, the Free Times reporter who wrote the ID article, is a friend of mine and excellent writer as well as person. I'm thrilled to see that she wrote this.

Thanks for posting about it, Pho.

Locutus said...

The GOP has always been a willing enabler of anything that undermines solid science. This is no different. They will grumble that evolution is "shaky" yet they will try to rush I.D. into classrooms even though there hasn't been ONE single creationist/I.D. paper that has been peer reviewed. Without peer review there can be no scientific value. Period. The people that put this crap forward are dolts, pure and simple.