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Biologists Celebrate Evolution Education Victory in Ohio; Warn Scientists Not to Become Complacent

November 9, 2006

For Immediate Release
Contact: Robert Gropp,
202-628-1500 x 250

Washington, DC (November 9, 2006) — Election results from Ohio represent the latest victory in the battle to ensure that all students receive a quality science education, which includes evolutionary biology.

In Ohio, where the state Board of Education has sought to introduce intelligent design/creationism through modifications of model lesson plans and other sneaky methods, former U.S. Representative Tom Sawyer defeated incumbent Ohio Board of Education member Deborah Owens Fink. Fink was a leader of the campaign to introduce intelligent design/creationism into the Ohio curriculum, an effort the Board reversed earlier this year. Indications are that other pro-science candidates were also elected to the Board.

Ohio voters also selected Ted Strickland to serve as Governor. Unlike his opponent, Strickland accepts evolution and opposes the teaching of intelligent design/creationism in science classes, according to a report of the National Center for Science Education. Strickland's election is important because the Governor appoints 8 of the 19 members of the Ohio Board of Education.

"Tuesday's results are quite uplifting," said AIBS president Dr. Kent Holsinger. "A lot of scientists, educators and parents committed to quality science education in Ohio have worked hard to make sure that people understand what evolution is and is not. These results show that scientists can improve the public's understanding of science."

AIBS president-elect Dr. Douglas Futuyma agrees, but adds: "We in the science community can not afford to become complacent. If the battles in Kansas and Ohio have taught us anything, it is that advocates for intelligent design/creationism are organized and relentless. Scientists must remain engaged in their communities to defend the integrity of science."

Read more AIBS Position Statements

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