Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Right on schedule -- Ohio

Nine years ago a small cabal in the Ohio State Board of Education tried to insert Creationism/ID into the school curriculum standards. Without going into all the details -- it failed and at least two cabal members were replaced by more reasonable people. Things quieted down -- but, and you knew there had to be a 'but', they say those who refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

We've seen it in Texas, Tennessee, Florida, and New Mexico -- to name a few states. Creationists are nothing if not predictable. A failure means a re-grouping, a few new faces, and another attempt.

Enter Kelly Kohls and Scott Anderson newly elected members of the School Board in financial-strapped Springboro OH. Apparently they would like bringing Creationism back into the classroom. Kohls recently said:

“Creationism is a significant part of the history of this country,” . . . “It is an absolutely valid theory and to omit it means we are omitting part of the history of this country.”

“My input on creationism has everything with me being a parent and not a member of the Tea Party,” . . . “We are motivated people who want to change the course of this country. Eliminating God from our public lives I think is a mistake and is why we have gone in the direction of spending beyond our means.”
And her partner in trying to repeat history:
Said he is not necessarily trumpeting the teaching of creationism, but “if it came up, I would support it. I’m a Christian. I believe God created us. I’d like to see God back in school.”
Is this what Springboro and Ohio have to look forward to? I certainly hope not. I wish Kohls and Anderson would work on the real problems facing the district and not try and drag the district into a Dover-style lawsuit. Can they really afford such activity?

But then this seems to be a pattern here. Kohls is also the local leader of the Tea-Party crowd. Hmmm, so get elected claiming to want to fix the money issues facing various enterprises and then once elected use your position to push your personal religious point of view onto social issues? Sounds pretty familiar (Texas Gov Perry?)

In another article (Springboro Students Could Learn Creationism In School) Kohls does say she will be presenting her idea at school board meetings and looking for community input. OK Springboro, here is your chance to tell Mrs. Kohls that this fight has been waged in Ohio not long ago. It's not worth the time, energy, or money to try and wage it again.

It's also been waged in many other states since and with one exception, Louisiana, it keeps hitting dead ends. Even in Louisiana no one has tested the now 3-year old law and tried to actually teach Creationism/ID. So far the only effort seems to have been trying to control what materials get used in the classroom (Louisiana Politics over Science) and that hasn't gone well for anti-science advocates.

I'm sure we haven't heard the last of Kohls and Anderson, but I'm hoping Springboro gets a little proactive and heads this off before they follow Dover PA's example. My guess is one or the other will start discussing Intelligent Design soon and maybe even call the DI for their guidance and support -- Just like Dover PA, Tejon CA, Livingston LA, and the Texas State Board of Ed did and you see just how supportive and helpful the DI really is -- especially when it looks like defeat in detail and they steal away in the night.

Added note: The news story from the Dayton Daily News was picked up by PZ Myers on his Pharyngula blog "Why we shouldn't take the Tea Party seriously". He also noticed that Mrs. Kohls and her husband recently filed for bankruptcy. Interesting little tidbit. Here is a Tea Party member who ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility, whose own finances are having issues, and yet her first splash in the news are to bring Creationism back into the classroom.

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