Ohio’s State Board of Education votes today on whether to rescind its earlier approval of a lesson plan that was pushed by the Discovery Institute to teach “criticisms of evolution”. The New York Times has a report on the vote, which is expected to be very close. In the wake of the Dover ruling, Ohio Governor Bob Taft asked for a legal review of the lesson plan to insure that it wasn’t inviting a lawsuit the state would lose. Meanwhile, the school board began to reconsider whether the policy was a good idea.
In 2000, the Discovery Institute pushed very hard to get the Ohio board of education to adopt a policy to teach ID alongside evolution in science classes. When that failed, they pushed instead for a less ambitious goal of having a lesson plan on the “critical analysis” of evolution. I’ve commented on this strategy before, which is highly disingenuous. Bear in mind that ID is really nothing but arguments against evolution.
There is no positive theory of ID, all of the major arguments made by ID proponents require that evolution fail as an explanation in order to justify ID. This is classic god-of-the-gaps reasoning. So when they say “we don’t want to teach ID, just the arguments against evolution”, they are engaging in a tautology – the second part of the sentence means the same thing as the first part. I’ll post the results as soon as the vote takes place.