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Biology Major and Future Biology Teacher Supports Critical Analysis to the Ohio Board

COLUMBUS, Ohio — February 15. One Ohio citizen who supported the critical analysis benchmark to the Ohio State Board of Education yesterday was Katie Hess, a senior biology major at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, in Ohio.

Hess, who graduated from Ohio public schools, now plans to become a high school biology teacher. She explained her desire to study science. “Part of my motivation to enter the sciences is from my love and openness to the world around us, and some observations of natural beauty that have filled me with an excitement and have left me with questions which have been explored coming to a great understanding of the world around us.” Hess then showed how asking these questions drives her desire to be a teacher as,”it’s this type of excitement which I hope to enliven in my students, providing them with the facts and resources which will enable them to excel in the sciences.”

Hess supported the critical analysis lesson plan and the indicator because “I see that it does not advocate intelligent design.” She hoped that critical analysis and intelligent design would be “considered separately.”

Hess also supported the teaching of evolution because it is a “very influential theory.” Yet she sees many “reasonable scientific criticisms of Neo-Darwinism” and “these are criticisms which our students need to hear.”

As a future educator, Hess expressed her desires for education. “I just hope that we can open the door of sciences to our students, giving them the foundations of the modern evolutionary theory and yet demonstrating the way this debate is ongoing, and enabling them to critically analyze the critiques that are out there.”

Speaking favorably of critical analysis, Hess noted, “That is how we will raise a generation that can go forth and become new scientists.”

She encouraged the Ohio State Board of Education to consider these points as they review policies on critical analysis of evolution.

Casey Luskin

Associate Director and Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.



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