updated 2/14/2006 6:43:52 PM ET 2006-02-14T23:43:52

The Ohio school board voted Tuesday to eliminate a passage in the state’s science standards that critics said opened the door to the teaching of intelligent design.

The Ohio Board of Education decided 11-4 to delete material encouraging students to seek evidence for and against evolution.

The 2002 science standards said students should be able to “describe how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory.” The standards included a disclaimer that they do not require the teaching of intelligent design.

The board vote represents the latest setback for the intelligent design movement, which holds that life is so complex it must have been created by a higher authority.

In December, a federal judge barred the school system in Dover, Pa., from teaching intelligent design alongside evolution in high school biology classes. The judge said that intelligent design is religion masquerading as science, and that teaching it alongside evolution violates the separation of church and state.

Also last year, a federal judge ordered the school system in suburban Atlanta’s Cobb County to remove from biology textbooks stickers that called evolution a theory, not a fact.

'We'll do this forever'
Ohio school board member Martha Wise, who pushed to eliminate the passage, said the panel took the correct action to avoid problems posed by the science standards, including the possibility of a lawsuit.

“It is deeply unfair to the children of this state to mislead them about science,” Wise said.

Supporters of the eliminated passage pledged to force another vote.

“We’ll do this forever, I guess,” said board member Michael Cochran.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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