ERIC Number: ED232299
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: N/A
Creation Science in the Public Schools.
Hamilton, David A.
This chapter summarizes a number of cases in which the Supreme Court has dealt with the separation of church and state question presented by the First Amendment. These include an Arkansas statute that excluded Darwinian theory from the high school science curriculum. The Court declared the statute unconstitutional because the exclusion was religiously motivated. Other cases involved school prayer, circumstances under which the Bible could be used as part of the public school curriculum, and certain types of statutory state aid to nonpublic schools. The three tests the Supreme Court had developed in regard to the constitutionality of statutes involving church-state relations are: (1) the statute must have a secular legislative purpose, (2) its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion, and (3) it must not foster an excessive government entanglement with religion. Three cases involving a balanced treatment for creation science and evolution science are summarized. After comparing and contrasting the cases, the author states that creation science can be taught in public schools if it is taught as a science and subjected to the scientific method. However, the creation-evolution, religion-science debate is not expected to end. (MLF)
Descriptors: Court Litigation, Creationism, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Courts, School Law, Science Curriculum, Scientific Methodology, State Church Separation, State Courts
Not available separately; see EA 016 000.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Organization on Legal Problems of Education, Topeka, KS.