Briefly noted

March 7, 2006

The Ohio State Board of Education has voted 11-4 to discard portions of its tenth-grade biology guidelines that critics said opened the door for teaching intelligent design. The model lesson plan, “Critical Analysis of Evolution,” required that students learn “how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory.” The guidelines did not mention ID apart from a disclaimer, but critics said information for the lesson was derived from ID and creationist literature, the Columbus Dispatch reported. “I’m ecstatic,” board member Martha Wise declared after the February 14 vote in Columbus. “It’s a win for science, a win for students and a win for the state of Ohio.”

A Swedish prosecutor says a right-wing Christian group that issued death threats against 129 famous Swedish homosexuals will face no charges because the threats consisted of biblical quotations. The threats were posted on a Web site by the country’s branch of the U.S.-based Phineas Priesthood. The list included the names of priests, musicians, TV presenters and athletes, who were called sodomites by the right-wing group. Last November the Swedish Supreme Court vindicated Ake Green, a Pentecostal pastor who was tried on hate-speech charges after he used the Bible to call gays a cancerous tumor on society.