Despite Criticism, 'Intelligent Design' Finds Powerful Backers

Though that language never made it into the law, the Discovery Institute used the momentum to actively encourage school districts to turn a critical eye on evolution. In 2002, it helped persuade Ohio to change its curriculum so teachers could present criticism of evolution in science classes and in May of this year, Discovery officials helped convince the Kansas state school board to do the same thing.

Now, some school boards are pushing beyond the Discovery strategy. Earlier this year, the school board in Dover, Pa., was sued for violating the separation of church and state after mandating a textbook teaching intelligent design.

Today, the Kansas Board of Education tentatively approved new standards for science education, which would encourage teachers to discuss different views on evolution. A final vote on the new standards is expected in the fall.

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