Science summarizes ID's success in the voting booth

Science magazine this week included a brief report on the electoral progress of the ID movement. I don't think they're celebrating in Seattle this week.

Intelligent design (ID) received a drubbing yesterday, with pro-evolution candidates taking control of the Kansas State Board of Education and strengthening their representation on the Ohio State Board of Education. Many scientists also cheered the defeat of Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), one of the most politically influential supporters of the ID movement.

In Ohio, incumbent board member Deborah Owens Fink lost decisively to Tom Sawyer, a former teacher and U.S. representative. Owens Fink had repeatedly attempted to dilute evolution in Ohio's science standards. Sawyer, who contested the seat at the urging of Ohio scientists, will help swell the ranks of moderates on the 19-member board. The scientists' group, Help Ohio Public Education, is also celebrating the victory of three other "pro-science" candidates including incumbent G. R. "Sam" Schloemer, who had described his candidacy as a referendum on ID. Schloemer won by a 2-to-1 margin over John Hritz, an ID supporter. The only pro-ID candidate elected Tuesday was Susan Haverkos.

In Kansas, supporters of evolution were already assured a majority on the 10-member state board after a primary election earlier this year. But that 6-4 edge was all they could manage yesterday, as two conservative incumbents retained their seats. "That shows the state is still very split on intelligent design. We have to continue educating the public about the issue," says Sally Cauble, a moderate Republican from southwest Kansas who will make her debut on the board next month.

More like this

As has been mentioned elsewhere on ScienceBlogs, Ohio creationst Deborah Owens Fink is facing a challenge for her seat on Ohio's school board this coming November 7th. Fink has been one of those who, when I've contacted the Board members to urge them to support good science, I've not even…
On November 7, the citizens of the State of Ohio will be voting a bunch of things, just like all Americans. One of the things they'll be voting for are seats on the State Board of Education (see Ed's discussion here). In one of the races, an anti-science incumbent, Deborah Owens-Fink, is running…
November 7th is election day around the country, with many Senatorial and Congressional seats up for grabs. But in Ohio, there is also a crucial battle going on for seats on the state board of education. In particular, Deborah Owens Fink, the primary force behind the push to get ID into public…
A while back I pointed out a new group in Ohio dedicated to helping protect Ohio's schools against foolishness, and that the biggest target was one Deborah Owens "Truly A" Fink. She's been described as Ohio's answer to Connie Morris, and frankly, I don't want to know what that question could have…

Of course this is good news, but do you think those candidates won because they are pro science/ anti stupidity? Was ID the main issue or even a major issue to the voters, or was it really all about Iraq and Bush?

I strongly suspect that the vast majority of Americans still see nothing wrong with teaching divine intervention as an explanation for the origin of life, species, and the world.

By Caledonian (not verified) on 09 Nov 2006 #permalink

Don't forget though, that Patty Wetterling lost to YEC Michelle Bachmann in MN-06.

I strongly suspect that the vast majority of Americans still see nothing wrong with teaching divine intervention as an explanation for the origin of life, species, and the world.

Possibly, but it's an assertion without evidence, and it's a violation of the first amendment. And it keeps losing in these schoolboard elections.

Over at the Pharyngula-bashing http://theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com a blog by the rightest of right wingers, I posed a few questions for them which seem like they need to be asked. I seems to me that if, as they say, everything is part of God's plan, then the election was their God's way of smacking them upside the head and saying, "Get rid of the Republicans," "Do stem cell research," and "Christian fundamentalist influence is too far removed from what is best for real people."

The blogger, Mr. Groothuis, ended his post with, "That is, do not vote for Democrats on November 7."

So, I posted the following.

The election is over and the election results are clearly not what you had hoped for.

I have a few questions that are on many people's minds. No doubt, Mr. Groothuis was joined by tens of millions of people who prayed for the elections to come out the way Mr. Groothuis had hoped.

If nothing else perhaps, these questions can stimulate some interesting discussion in a philosophy class.

Why if your cause is righteous, did God not grant the outcome you wanted?

What does it mean that persons praying for the outcome that actually occurred had their prayers answers by the same God?

Does this mean that prayer doesn't work?

Does it mean that you do not understand God's will like you thought?

Are you simply making up what you would like God's will to be?

If God didn't make the election come out the way you wanted, is it God's will that the Democrats have control for a while?

Do the election results, despite all the prayers, mean that God wants stem cell research done?

The reference, "See Hugh Hewitt's book, 'If It's Not Close they Can't Cheat' on that" implies that you suspect that the election outcome might be rigged by unscrupulous people. How could ill-meaning humans overcome God's will? If it was God's will for Republicans to retain their seats, would it even be possible for a human to effect the outcome?

When you suggest that mere humans can alter anything against God's will, aren't you admitting your own lack of faith?

How do you justify to yourself that God allowed something to happen that you know is unrighteous and thus against his will?

What does it suggest about God that Bush has been doing what God tells him to and yet it didn't work very well?

With God, the legislature, the military, and the US Treasury at his disposal, why was it not the slam dunk they said it would be?

Why won't God, despite probably trillions of prayers by now, make the "insurgents" go away in Iraq?

Clearly, I'm not seeing the world the way you do, but I'd like to have your perspective.

Ask these questions of your Christian buddies.

divine intervention as an explanation

what a nice euphemism for teaching outright, straightforward falsehoods...

No, no, no, no, no, PZ. You can't keep running stories like this. I mean, first you say that agnosticism and atheism are on the rise, then you link to this story about ID candidates taking a beating. What gives? How can you promote your "idiotification" agenda if the data keep smacking you in the face? You have to suppress these stories and keep soldierin' on. It's bad enough the Dems took the house and senate, you don't have to help point out that worries about theocracy were overblown.

By 99 bottles (not verified) on 09 Nov 2006 #permalink

PZ, not 'pro-evolution'; it's 'pro-science'.

amph:

Somehow, I don't think that Iraq and the rest of Bush's failings were a factor in elections for the state school board. In Ohio at least, there was some newspaper coverage of these races where the editors came out and specifically endorsed anti-ID candidates.

Elections for national and state representatives? Yeah, ID probably had no significant effect there.

By lazybratsche (not verified) on 09 Nov 2006 #permalink

uncommondescent.com is conspicuously silent on the election.

Weird.

By Stephen Erickson (not verified) on 09 Nov 2006 #permalink

ID is synonymous with belief in God, and there are many believers in America.
Once you believe, "all things are possible" and so science is out the window.

However, believing in God on Sunday morning is one thing;
it's quite another to vote for having your kids slaughtered in Iraq.

*I'm* celebrating in Seattle this week!

*mutter*

I wish those people were not in my city. It makes me cringe every time I read anything about them that specifies where they're from.

(wondering what it must be like to be from Texas...or PA...)

Dover is a few minutes from where I live. But the pro-reality people won that case, so its not that big of a deal.

I must confess that this Haverkos person comes from my neck of the woods and, considering that Butler County broke for both of the biggest losers(Blackwell for Gov., DeWine for Senate), that neck is still quite red. Myself, I voted for the wonderfully-named, Mike Anagnostou, to no avail. At least Tom Sawyer kicked sand in the face of Owens Fink.

B of E elections are nonpartisan- at least as it applies to Dems and Reps, so these results should rightfully be seen as a victory for science and not as the coattails of the GOP Iraq and corruption aversion- though it's almost universally true that the sympathies of ID proponents occupy the asylum known as the GOP tent.

Over at the Pharyngula-bashing http://theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com a blog by the rightest of right wingers, I posed a few questions for them which seem like they need to be asked. I seems to me that if, as they say, everything is part of God's plan, then the election was their God's way of smacking them upside the head and saying, "Get rid of the Republicans," "Do stem cell research," and "Christian fundamentalist influence is too far removed from what is best for real people."

The blogger, Mr. Groothuis, ended his post with, "That is, do not vote for Democrats on November 7."

So, I posted the following.

The election is over and the election results are clearly not what you had hoped for.

I have a few questions that are on many people's minds. No doubt, Mr. Groothuis was joined by tens of millions of people who prayed for the elections to come out the way Mr. Groothuis had hoped.

If nothing else perhaps, these questions can stimulate some interesting discussion in a philosophy class.

Why if your cause is righteous, did God not grant the outcome you wanted?

What does it mean that persons praying for the outcome that actually occurred had their prayers answers by the same God?

Does this mean that prayer doesn't work?

Does it mean that you do not understand God's will like you thought?

Are you simply making up what you would like God's will to be?

If God didn't make the election come out the way you wanted, is it God's will that the Democrats have control for a while?

Do the election results, despite all the prayers, mean that God wants stem cell research done?

The reference, "See Hugh Hewitt's book, 'If It's Not Close they Can't Cheat' on that" implies that you suspect that the election outcome might be rigged by unscrupulous people. How could ill-meaning humans overcome God's will? If it was God's will for Republicans to retain their seats, would it even be possible for a human to effect the outcome?

When you suggest that mere humans can alter anything against God's will, aren't you admitting your own lack of faith?

How do you justify to yourself that God allowed something to happen that you know is unrighteous and thus against his will?

What does it suggest about God that Bush has been doing what God tells him to and yet it didn't work very well?

With God, the legislature, the military, and the US Treasury at his disposal, why was it not the slam dunk they said it would be?

Why won't God, despite probably trillions of prayers by now, make the "insurgents" go away in Iraq?

Clearly, I'm not seeing the world the way you do, but I'd like to have your perspective.

Ask these questions of your Christian buddies.

I'm partying with Katie! I wish they'd find a new evil lair. Although it is kind of remarkable that they're based in the city where they possibly have the least power in the entire country. I suppose it says something about Seattleites that though we're a pack of hard left liberals, we haven't kicked them out yet...or at least imposed a four foot rule on them... : )

Posted by: Katie
>(wondering what it must be like to be from Texas...or PA...)

Well, we still have Rick Perry as our Governor, and Kay Bailey Hutchison as the senator to happily disagree with me on every issue I ever write about besides NASA, so I imagine we feel about the same as you do.