October 2014 Church & State | AU Bulletin

An Ohio legislator wants to open the door to the teaching of creationism in public schools.

Rep. Andy Thompson (R-Marietta) has introduced HB 597, which ostensibly deals with “controversial” topics in schools.

“In many districts, they may have a different perspective on that, and we want to provide them the flexibility to consider all perspectives, not just on matters of faith or how the Earth came into existence, but also global warming and other topics that are controversial,” Thompson told the Columbus Dispatch.

Thompson added, “I think it would be good for them to consider the perspectives of people of faith. That’s legitimate.”

Opponents say the measure is misguided.

“It sounds exactly like the kind of things intelligent design and creationist promoters say,” Patricia Princehouse of Case Western Reserve University told the Dispatch.

The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Matt Huffman (R-Lima) and is currently being considered by the House Rules and Reference Committee. If passed, it would require students to “review, in an objective manner, the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories in the standards.”

The National Center for Science Education (NSCE) noted an earlier version of the bill was even broader. NSCE’s Glenn Branch said the bill would “compromise the integrity of science education.”