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Press Release Issued by The Discovery Institute:

Poll of Ohio Backs Teaching the Controversy over Darwin

May 10th, 2002

Contact: Mark Edwards, Discovery Institute, 206.292.0401 x107, medwards@discovery.org

A Zogby International poll conducted this week shows strong agreement (65 percent) among Ohioans for an educational policy that "Biology teachers should teach Darwin's theory of evolution, but also the scientific evidence against it." Nineteen percent believe that "Biology teachers should teach only Darwin's theory of evolution and the scientific evidence that supports it." Sixteen percent back "Neither/Not Sure." The issue is under consideration by Ohio's State Board of Education as it prepares new science standards.

Particularly strong support for teaching both the evidence for and against Darwin's theory exists in the 18-49 age group (74 percent), as well as in middle-income adults (74 percent). Ohioans with some college training (70 percent) and college graduates (67 percent) gave stronger support than did Ohioans who had not finished high school (64 percent) and those who had completed only high school (59 percent).

In a follow-up question, 78 percent of Ohioans polled agreed with the statement: "When Darwin's theory of evolution is taught in school, students should also be able to learn about scientific evidence that points to an intelligent design of life." Thirteen percent disagree and 9 percent are unsure.

Echoing the sentiment of the majority of Ohioans, Discovery Institute has proposed that Ohio teachers be encouraged to teach the evidence for and against Darwin's theory, and allowed, but not required, to teach about the scientific evidence for intelligent design.

The poll is not intended to determine the validity of Darwin's theory of evolution. Its purpose is to gauge popular support for a particular educational policy, which is subject to democratic consideration.

"This is not a poll on creationism," said Discovery Institute President Bruce Chapman. "Instead it poses the real issue before Ohio and other states: Do you allow students to know the scientific case for and against Darwinian theory?"

Discovery Institute commissioned Zogby International to do the Ohio poll. It was conducted May 7th & 8th, 2002. Click here for a pdf version of the poll results.


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