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PRESS RELEASE_March 20, 2002
Contact:Jody Sjogren (614) 485-8000 metstudios@mindspring.com
Robert DiSilvestro (614) 292-6848 disilvestro.1@osu.edu

Fifty-two Ohio Scientists Call for Academic Freedom on Darwin's Theory

Fifty-two Ohio scientists have issued a statement supporting academic freedom to teach the scientific arguments for and against Darwin's theory of evolution. The statement comes at a time when the Ohio State Board of Education is considering new state science standards. The Ohio scientists represent a wide range of scientific disciplines, from entomology (insect zoology) to toxicology, from nuclear chemistry to engineering, from biochemistry to medicine and surgery. Some of the scientists are employed in business, industry, and research, but most teach at state and private universities. A third of the scientists on this list are at The Ohio State University in Columbus.Robert DiSilvestro, one of the statement signers and a professor at The Ohio State University, commented that, "As a scientist who has been following this debate closely, I think that a valid scientific challenge has been mounted to Darwinian orthodoxy on evolution. There are good scientific reasons to question many currently accepted ideas in this area."During a public presentation to the Ohio School Board on March 11, two experts on evolution opposed allowing the arguments against Darwin's theory to be taught, while two other experts - advocates of "intelligent design" - supported the inclusion of scientific arguments for and against Darwin's theory in the new standards.Since the recent publication of several best-selling books that address the scientific challenges to Darwin's theory, including 'Darwin's Black Box' by biochemist Michael Behe and 'Icons of Evolution' by biologist Jonathan Wells, attention has focused increasingly on problems with the theory of evolution."The more this controversy rages, the more our colleagues start to investigate the scientific issues," said DiSilvestro. "This has caused more scientists to publicly support our statement." He noted that several on the list had signed after the March 11 presentation to the Ohio State Board of Education in Columbus, Ohio.The Ohio scientists' statement on behalf of teaching the controversy over evolution echoes similar language in the recently passed federal education law, the "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001." The report language interpreting this legislation explains that on controversial issues such as biological evolution "the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist." In a March 15 letter to the Ohio Board of Education, U.S. Rep. John Boehner, Chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee, and Rep. Steve Chabot, Chair of the House Constitution Subcommittee, made it clear that this admonition is "part of the law" and affects Ohio's consideration of science standards. "It is important," they wrote, "that the implementation of these science standards not be used to censor debate on controversial issues in science, including Darwin's theory of evolution."


:: Following is the text of the statement, with the fifty-two Ohio scientists who have endorsed it

To Enhance the Effectiveness of Ohio Science Education, as Scientists ...We Affirm:

  • That biological evolution is an important scientific theory that should be taught in the classroom;
  • That a quality science education should prepare students to distinguish the data and testable theories of science from religious or philosophical claims that are made in the name of science;
  • That a science curriculum should help students understand why the subject of biological evolution generates controversy;
  • That where alternative scientific theories exist in any area of inquiry (such as wave vs. particle theories of light, biological evolution vs. intelligent design, etc.), students should be permitted to learn the evidence for and against them;
  • That a science curriculum should encourage critical thinking and informed participation in public discussions about biological origins.

We Oppose:

Religious or anti-religious indoctrination in a class specifically dedicated to teaching within the discipline of science;
The censorship of scientific views that may challenge current theories of origins.
Robert DiSilvestro, Ph.D., Biochemistry, Professor, Human Nutrition, The Ohio State University
David Zartman, Ph.D., Genetics & Animal Breeding, The Ohio State University
Dale W. Schaefer, Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Cincinnati
Daniel Kuebler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Karl A. Weber, Ph.D., Physical & Theoretical Organic Chemistry
Paul Madtes, Jr., Ph.D., Chairman, Biology Department, Mount Vernon Nazarene College
W. John Durfee, D.V.M., DACLAM, Director, Veterinary Research Resources, Case Western Reserve University Medical School
Stanley A. Watson, Ph.D., Cereal Chemistry, Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center, The Ohio State University, Retired
Mark B. Swanson, Ph.D., Biochemistry
Jerry Bergman, Ph.D., M.S., Ph.D., M.S.B.S., M.P.H., Department of Biology, Northwest State College, Archbold, Ohio
Walter L. Starkey, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University
Timothy W. Schenz, Ph.D., Physical Chemistry
William V. Everson, Ph.D., Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellow, Cincinnati, Ohio
Steven Gollmer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physics, Cedarville College
Georgia Purdom, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology, Mount Vernon Nazarene College
David H. Ives, Ph.D., Biochemistry, The Ohio State University
Drazen Petrinec, M.D., F.A.C.S., Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine
James Menart, Ph.D., Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Wright State University
Jeffrey Weiland, M.D., College of Medicine, The Ohio State University
Rudolf Brits, Ph.D., Nuclear Chemistry
David A. Johnston, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Wright State University
George F. Martin, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Anatomy and Neuroscience, The Ohio State University
Melody L. Davis, Ph.D., Chemistry
Gregory Ness, DDS, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, The Ohio State University
Leroy Eimers, Ph.D., Professor of Physics and Mathematics, Cedarville College
Glen R. Needham, Ph.D., Entomology, The Ohio State University
Sherwood G. Talbert, P.E., MSME, Mechanical Engineering
Joseph R. McShannic, M.D., F.A.C.S., Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine
Jerry D. Johnson, Ph.D., Diplomat A.B.T., Toxicology
Mitch Wolff, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Wright State University
Gerald S. Wegner, Ph.D., B.C.E., Entomology
Robert Lattimer, Ph.D., Chemistry
John A. Fink, M.D., F.A.C.S., Associate Professor of Surgery, Northeastern Ohio College of Medicine
Don Mahan, Ph.D., Professor, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
Pavi Thomas, Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering
Donal P. O'Mathuna, Ph.D., Professor of Bioethics and Chemistry, Mount Carmel College of Nursing, Columbus
Kimberly Kinateder, Ph.D., Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Wright State University
Ron Neiswander, M.S., Chemistry, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
Gerald P. Chubb, P.E., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dept. of Aerospace Engineering and Aviation, The Ohio State University
Mark D. Foster, Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, The University of Akron
Kenneth S. Cada, M.S., Inorganic Chemistry
Arthur Dalton, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery, Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine
William Notz, Ph.D., Statistics, The Ohio State University
Patrick H. Young, Ph.D., Chemistry
William Shulaw, DVM, Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University
Robert E. Bailey, Ph.D., Nuclear Engineering, Prof. Emeritus Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University
Alfred Ciraldo, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery, Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine
Kim Laurell, DDS, MSD, former Assistant Professor of Prosthetic Dentistry, The Ohio State University
K. David Monson, Ph.D., Analytical Chemistry
Henry R. Busby, Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University
Christopher Boshkos, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine
Richard Slemons, DVM, Ph.D., Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University

NOTE: The scientists listed above are from Ohio institutions and companies. In some cases, company policy prohibits them from listing their affiliation here in conjunction with personal and professional opinion.

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