Dover, the other election

Residents in Dover, PA will vote for their school board tomorrow. The election's subtext, however, will be whether intelligent design should be mentioned ["taught"] once before and once after teaching evolution in the science curriculum, thus allowing a nudge-nudge and a wink-wink to the book of Genesis for many of the area's conservative christian demographic. These two articles in Sunday's local York (County PA) Daily Record do a fair job at pre-damage control for the onslaught of media attention residents knew would be upon them from all over including shows like Lou Dobbs', which featured a live satellite interview from the quaint town outside of Harrisburg. As the articles point out, none of the 18 candidate's blurbs for the voter's guide (PDF) mention intelligent design as their "top issue," but a separate question in the guide clearly marks their position. Here's the question:

"Regarding intelligent design, would you leave the curriculum as is, change it to offer ID in a different course, or take ID out of the curriculum altogether?"

And here are the 9 answers clearly favoring non-science. (Warning--explanations lasting longer than 4 words require immediate scientific correction):

"Since ID is definitely a scientific
theory it should stay in the science

--Alan Bonsell

"As it stands right now, only a brief
statement is read informing
students that other valid scientific
theories on biological origins exist.
ID is not being taught as part of the

--James Cashman

"I support ID being mentioned in
biology. More and more scientists
are starting to agree with it and
are supporting it."

--Sheila Harkins

"Students should be made aware of
alternative theories to evolution. I
would leave ID where it is in the
curriculum with just a paragraph
being read to make the students

--Sherri Leber

"If evolution can be taught then
there is no reason that ID should
not be taught also. They are both
theories on the origin of life, so why
teach one as fact and ignore the

--Eric Riddle

"I don’t have any problem
informing the students of other
theories, such as intelligent
design as only Darwin’s Theory of
Evolution is now taught in ninthgrade

--Edward Rowand

"Leave the issue of ID as is. It will
broaden the depth of the scientific
curriculum. There are many
scientific theories and hypotheses
that require faith, evolution being
one of them."

--Ronald Short

"I have no problem with intelligent
design being there as long as it is
within the context of how Darwin is
being taught."

--Michael Arnold

"Leave it as is. ID is a scientific
theory. If you’ve studied it, you
know it includes scientific
evidence. If we take it out of the
context that it was meant to be, it
wouldn’t make any sense."

Alina Kline

So what are the odd in tomorrow's election? On Lou Dobb's show, candidates Jeff Brown and Rob McIlvaine squared off against Alan Bonsell. Jeff Brown really didn't come across very well, maybe because he's not all that good in front of the camera. Another problem with Brown is that he left the school board and now wants back in, causing some resentment amongst the locals. Rob McIlvaine on the other hand sounded erudite and confident, but he's part of the Dover CARES group that was accused, horror of horrors, of bringing the (dare I mention it?) ACLU in this whole thing. Gasp! Beyond that, consider the adage that Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between. From what I've seen the short time I've lived here, that might be a bit judgemental of Alabama. The point is that few folks in Dover will vote Democrat or leebruhl. So, what are Darwin's chances in Dover? The numbers look like 5 Republicans want ID to be placed in some other class outside of the science curriculum, which is probably as enlightened as it comes. If 4 of those 5 are elected, they will be in the majority (of 7 total members). I will try to post updates as they are made available tomorrow.

Update: So who won? Here's the rundown, calculated from York County election returns:

Name, total votes

Reinking, 442
Rehm, 411
Emig, 405
H McIlvaine, 395
Bonsell, 388
Cashman, 385
Leber, 366
Rowand, 315
Arnold, 127
Kline, 109

Director, 2 year term:
Gurreri, 393
J McIlvaine, 379
Dapp, 358
Harkins, 351
Riddle, 335
Short, 332
Brown, 104
Yingling, 102

I think that looks pretty good for science so far: top 4 for director, top 3 for the 2-year term.

This story offers a far superior explanation of events than I ever could, go read it if interested.

"Tuesday's primary has produced an autumn election showdown in the Dover Area School District over the issue of intelligent design with the results breaking along party lines.
Four four-year school board seats and three two-year seats are up for election in November."

"Now, it looks like the question of whether Dover voters ultimately support intelligent design in science class could be answered in the general election in November — six weeks after a federal trial on the subject is scheduled to begin in Harrisburg."