ERIC Number: ED241366
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
An Examination of the Constitutionality of Mandating Balanced Treatment of Evolution and Creationism in Public Schools.
Cloyd, Frances L.; Faber, Charles F.
Legislation, rulings, and arguments for and against public schools giving creationism equal time or consideration with evolution are discussed. In the 1920's fundamentalists began to promote statutes prohibiting the teaching of evolution in public schools. Since that time the creationists have sought to supplant evolution with creationism on the grounds that the teaching of evolution inhibits the free speech and religious practices of the believers of creationism. They have demanded that the study of evolution be reduced or eliminated because it is a religious theory and, in particular, a vital aspect of secular humanism, and, thereby, violates the first amendment. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, laws mandating the teaching of creationism violate constitutional rights. It is imperative for the sake of religious freedom in this country that the separation between church and state be maintained. As Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas noted (Zorach v. Clausen, 343 U.S. 306, 314 1951), there are cases where the preferences of an individual or a majority cannot prevail. (RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: First Amendment; Secular Humanism