Overwhelming Support in Ohio for Teaching Both Sides of Evolution, Zogby Poll Shows

Feb 13, 2006, 00:00 ET from Discovery Institute

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- By more than a 3-to-1 margin, Ohio
 residents strongly support public school teachers presenting both the evidence
 for evolution, as well as the evidence challenging the theory, according to a
 new poll by Zogby International released today.
     "Ohioans want Darwin's theory of evolution fully and completely presented,
 including the theory's strengths and weaknesses," said Robert Crowther,
 director of communications for Discovery Institute, which commissioned the
 Zogby poll. "The public is solidly behind the approach to teaching evolution
 that the Ohio state board of education has already adopted. Those attacking
 the school board for supporting teaching both the evidence for and against
 evolution don't represent the views of the majority of Ohioans."
     Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they agreed with the following
 statement:  Biology teachers should teach Darwin's theory of evolution, but
 also the scientific evidence against it.  Less than 20 percent supported the
 alternative statement:  Biology teachers should teach only Darwin's theory of
 evolution and the scientific evidence that supports it.
     The poll updates a similar poll conducted in Ohio in 2002 and shows a
 slight increase -- up from 65% to 68.8% --  in public support of teaching both
 the strengths and weaknesses of Darwin's theory.  It shows that Ohioans are in
 line with, but slightly less supportive than those in California and Texas
 where recent polls show support for teaching both strengths and weaknesses was
 73.5% and 76% respectively. In 2001 a poll showed strong support across the
 country with 71% nationally favoring a critical analysis approach to teaching
     "When we polled Ohio in 2002 and found strong support for teaching both
 the evidence for and against Darwinian evolution, there were skeptics in the
 media," Crowther said. "So the Cleveland Plain Dealer took their own poll and
 found out we were right.  Ohioans want to know more about evolution, not less.
 They don't want the state dumbing down the teaching of evolution by not
 presenting all the evidence.
     "Surprisingly, Ohioans want to go further than their leaders with 75%
 favoring teaching intelligent design alongside of Darwinian evolution," added
 Crowther.  "Even after all the attacks on intelligent design by the dogmatic
 Darwin-only lobby, the public clearly wants to know more about the theory and
 make up their own minds."
     The report outlining poll results will be made available on Monday morning
 on the Discovery Institute website. If you'd like to request a copy of the
 report you can e-mail rob@discovery.org.
     Discovery Institute is the nation's leading think tank dealing with
 scientific challenges to Darwinian evolution.  It believes that evolution
 should be fully and completely presented to students, and they should learn
 more about evolutionary theory, including its unresolved issues. The Institute
 opposes any effort to mandate or require the teaching of intelligent design by
 school districts or state boards of education.

SOURCE Discovery Institute