Creation Science Law Endorses Religion

Editor's note: On June 19, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that states may not require public schools to teach "creation science" if they teach evolution. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution requires the separation of church and state, wrote Justice William J. Brennan Jr. for the majority, and the Louisiana state law in question "violates the Establishment Clause … because it seeks to employ the symbolic and financial support of government to achieve a religious

The Scientist Staff
Jul 12, 1987
Editor's note: On June 19, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that states may not require public schools to teach "creation science" if they teach evolution. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution requires the separation of church and state, wrote Justice William J. Brennan Jr. for the majority, and the Louisiana state law in question "violates the Establishment Clause … because it seeks to employ the symbolic and financial support of government to achieve a religious purpose." Thus, the High Court rejected the claims of the law's proponents that creation science is not a religious doctrine.

The decision in Edwards v. Aguillard ends a controversy begun in 1981, when the state legislature passed a law requiring "balanced treatment" of evolution and creation science in the state's public schools and promising state support of in-service training for teachers to prepare them to teach creation science. A group of...

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