NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

"Intelligent Design," Evolution and Creationism in Ohio Schools

February 11, 2002

The latest challenge to evolution's primacy in the nation's public schools is "intelligent design." The Ohio Board of Education, for example, will give the theory a full-scale hearing next month.

  • Intelligent design holds that the Earth is billions of years old -- not thousands, as the Bible suggests.
  • Supporters accept that organisms change over time -- but they dispute that the astounding complexity of the Earth's plants and animals could have just happened through natural selection, and contend that a God or something else had to get the ball rolling.
  • If the full 18-member state board upholds intelligent design, it would be the first major victory for that movement -- which has gained attention in recent years as creationists suffered setbacks in courts.
  • Opponents of intelligent design view it as a sophisticated variation on the decades-old effort to force theism into the public schools.

Many science teachers see intelligent design as a repackaging of creationism so as to withstand legal challenges.

Source: Francis X. Clines, "In Ohio School Hearing, a New Theory Will Seek a Place Alongside Evolution," New York Times, February 11, 2002.


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