Twenty questions: What have the courts said about the teaching of evolution and creationism in public schools?

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Abstract

Although the Scopes trial remains the most famous court decision associated with the teaching of evolution, there have been many other more important court decisions associated with the teaching of evolution and creationism in public schools. An understanding of these decisions can help teachers answer students' questions about the teaching of evolution and creationism. Such an understanding can also be used to counter the antiscience attitudes and actions of creationist parents, school administrators, and colleagues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)766-771
Number of pages6
JournalBioScience
Volume53
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Yes. In 1973, writer and evangelist William Willoughby— acting in what he called “the interests of forty million evangelistic Christians in the United States”—sued the director of the National Science Foundation and others for funding the pro-evolution textbooks produced in the 1960s by the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS). Willoughby claimed that the use of tax money to support the textbooks was establishing “secular humanism” as the “official religion of the United States.” Willoughby’s lawsuit (Willoughby v. Stever [1972]) was dismissed in 1973 by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals on the grounds that BSCS’s decidedly proevolution books disseminated scientific findings, not religion. Governmental agencies such as the National Science Foundation may use tax money to disseminate scientific findings, including those related to evolution.

Copyright:
Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Court decisions
  • Creationism
  • Evolution
  • Science education

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