Legalities of teaching Creation in the Science Classroom
Creation and the Law:
What Is Creation Science? Dr. Don Patton
Supreme Injustice by Don Patton
Top Ten Reasons Why God Can't Get University Tenure
If the scientific data are compelling enough to cause an atheist academic of Antony Flew's reputation to recant much of his life's work, why shouldn't Texas schoolchildren be taught the controversy? (Dallas Morning News, Dec 2004)
Scientific evidence makes a believer out of atheist!
"Professor Antony Flew, a prominent British philosopher who is considered the world's best-known atheist, has cited advancements in science as proof of the existence of God." (Insight On The News)
Student Bill of Rights
Overreaction to decisions by the courts regarding prayer and religion in the public schools has led some overly cautious schools to prevent students from doing what they have a Constitutional right to do in the free exercise of their religion. To clarify this confusion, Foundation for Traditional Values has prepared the following "Student Bill of Rights," which represents the current state of the law and lets you know what you can and cannot do. (The purpose of this document is informational and is not intended to give you specific legal advice).
In general, the school, its administrators and teachers may neither encourage nor discourage religious activities. Activities that are otherwise permitted cannot be restricted nor regulated differently because of their religious content. If you have any questions, contact:
Foundation for Traditional Values, P. O. Box 26095, Lansing, MI 48909-6095
Phone: (517) 321-6233. Fax: (517) 321-6077.
What Is Creation Science?
Geologist, Don R. Patton, Ph.D
In the October, '91 edition of OMNI, editor Keith Ferrell defined creation science as "the argument that the biblical explanation of creation and the origin of life should be taught in the science classes". In spite of the fact that this is a ridiculous misrepresentation of both the nature and purpose of creation science, we seem to hear it repeated every time the issue is discussed by the media.
It was this distorted concept that Justice Brennan cited as the primary reason for overturning the Louisiana Balanced Treatment Act, in spite of the act's clear definition to the contrary: "Creation Science means the scientific evidences for creation and inferences from those scientific evidences."
Chief Justice Rienquist joined Justice Scalla in a scathing dissenting opinion, pointing out that creation science involved the study of biology, paleontology, genetics, astronomy, astrophysics, probability analysis and biochemistry. They concluded that this discipline was the study "of scientific data supporting the theory that the physical universe and life within it appeared suddenly and have not changed substantially since appearing.... Creation Science is a strictly scientific concept that....does not require the presentation of religious doctrine." (Edwards v. Aguillard).
What is taught in Texas textbooks amounts to evolutionary propaganda (the dogmatic insistence of one view to the exclusion of any other). Scientific evidence supporting creation is censored. Therefore, when we insist that creation science involves a study of scientific evidence, the typical reaction is, "What do you mean?" or "There is no such thing as scientific evidence for creation." It is long past the time such ignorance should have been dispelled.
As an example of this untaught evidence, let's take an abbreviated look at one simple but critical area and allow the evolutionist themselves to represent the facts.
Nature of The Fossil Record
We are told that the fossil record documents the evolution of life through time. If so we should be able to see a progressive continuum of fossils forms. But, as Darwin lamented,
"....innumerable transitional forms must have existed but why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? ....why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain, and this perhaps is the greatest objection which can be urged against my theory". Origin of the Species, p.302.
Niles Eldridge, Curator of the American Museum of Natural History and Professor of Geology at Columbia University, revealed that further investigation has merely confirmed the problem.
"He [Darwin] prophesied that future generations of paleontologists would fill in these gaps by diligent search.... One hundred and twenty years of paleontological research later, it has become abundantly clear that the fossil record will not confirm this part of Darwin's predictions. Nor is the problem a miserably poor record. The fossil record simply shows that this prediction was wrong." The Myths of Human Evolution, p.45, 1982.
The fact that the required pattern of progressive upward change is not to be found in the fossil record is confirmed by, perhaps the most famous evolutionist today, Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard.
"We can tell tales of improvement for some groups, but in honest moments we must admit that the history of complex life is more a story of multifarious variation about a set of basic designs than a saga of accumulating excellence. .... I regard the failure to find a clear 'vector of progress' in life's history as the most puzzling fact of the fossil record. ....we have sought to impose a pattern that we hoped to find on a world that does not really display it." Natural History, 2/82, p.22, 23.
Is it really honest to insist that considerations like those just briefly described constitute a religious study? Must such observations necessarily be relegated to Bible classes or religious literature classes? In spite of the fact that the media continually parrot such ideas, we should be able to see they are without merit. Yes, both creation and evolution have profound religious, philosophical implications. Yet, both can and should be investigated on the basis of the scientific evidence.
It is understandable that many are unaware of the great volume of scientific evidence that favors creation. It is not the result of a lack of evidence, but a lack of teaching. Teachers who do not accept or teach creation science, typically, simply accept and teach what they have been taught. Understandably, one who has not been taught and does not know of such evidence might conclude that no such evidence exists.
How do you solve the problem?....teach the scientific evidence? You cannot teach it unless you know it and you will not know it until you have been taught and it is not being taught because it is presumed to be religious. This perception will continue as long as ignorance on the subject prevails and ignorance will continue to prevail as long as it is perceived to be religious. It is a vicious, circular, self perpetuating problem. Ignorance is like that.
This writer has had the disturbing experience of being in a classroom where a professor who didn't believe the Bible was "teaching" Genesis. Not only do creationist agree that religious dogma is not science, but we would probably be more strongly opposed to requiring it in the science classroom than the evolutionist.
On June 19th 1987, the United States Supreme Court invalidated a Louisiana Law (The Balanced Treatment Act), a law designed to provide students with scientific evidence favoring creation together with the scientific evidence for evolution. This decision addressed one basic issue, the purpose in the hearts of Louisiana Legislators. Having divined the intent of those hearts, the Court proceeded to find that intention in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution ("Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of Religion").
THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW
Justice Brennan delivered the Court's majority opinion and explained that the precedent setting case, Lemon v. Kirtzman (1971), resulted in a "three-pronged test" which is now used to determine violations of the Establishment Clause. Only the first prong was used in this decision.
Justice Brennan explained...
"Lemon's first prong focuses on the purpose that animated the adoption of the Act. The Legislature must have adopted the Law with a secular purpose."
In a scathing dissent, Chief Justice Rienquist and Justice Scalla specifically defined the offending purpose, quoting the author of Lemon...
"...invalidation under the purpose prong is appropriate when 'there [is] no question that the statute or activity was motivated wholly by religious considerations."
This purpose was further defined by quoting another definitive decision which similarly specifies...
"the first Amendment requires that a statute must be invalidated if it is entirely motivated by a purpose to advance religion."
The essential invalidating element is a motive that is "wholly" and "entirely" religious. Justices Rienquist and Scalla summarized...
"Thus, the majority's invalidation of the Balanced Treatment Act is defensible only if the record indicates that the Louisiana Legislature had no secular purpose."
Indeed, the Court did charge that the Louisiana Legislature violated the First Amendment because in their enactment of the law they "identified no clear secular purpose."
The Louisiana Legislature was not ignorant of the First Amendment. They were very much aware of the constitutional conflict involved in advancing religion. Furthermore, this distinguished body would not dare to knowingly violate the requirements of the constitution. Doing so would demonstrate contempt for their oath; their sworn duty to support the constitution. As Justice Scalla affirms, they...
"considered this aspect of the legislation with great care. After seven hearings and several months of study, resulting in substantial revision of the original proposal, they approved the act overwhelmingly and specifically articulated the secular purpose they meant it to serve."
The bill itself clearly states its purpose: "enacted for the purpose of protecting academic freedom." Justice Scalla pointed out that...
"As originally introduced, the 'purpose' section of the Balanced Treatment Act read, 'This chapter is enacted for the purposes of protecting academic freedom ... of students ... and assisting students in their search for truth.... Public school instruction in only evolution-science violates the principle of academic freedom because it denies the students a choice between scientific models and instead indoctrinates them in evolution alone."'
Justice Brennan acknowledged that the purpose of protecting academic freedom had been claimed and admitted that "the Court is normally deferential to a state's articulation of a secular purpose," but in this case the Court would not follow the normal practice. It would presume that the overwhelmingly adopted statement of purpose was not "sincere." He said it was a "sham." Justices Rienquist and Scalla charged that the Court had "impugned the motives" of these honorable men and...
"on the basis of its visceral knowledge regarding what must have motivated the Legislature... surmised ... that the members of the Louisiana Legislature knowingly violated their oaths and then lied about it."
An objective consideration of the evidence will demonstrate that the Court was completely unjustified in their judgment of these hearts. In fact, nationally syndicated columnist, M. Stanton Evans, head of the National Journalism Center in Washington D.C., observed...
"The opinion is of an otherworldly quality, contradictory to the point of incoherence."
CREATION SCIENCE DEFINED
One reason some doubt the possibility of secular motivation involves a misunderstanding of the nature of creation science. However, the bill itself specifically states...
"Creation Science means the scientific evidences for creation and inferences from those scientific evidences."
Five uncontroverted affidavits from experts in creation science established that this discipline involves the study of...
"a collection of scientific data supporting the theory that the physical universe and life within it appeared suddenly and have not changed substantially since appearing .... Creation science is a strictly scientific concept that ... does not require the presentation of religious doctrine."
This testimony, presented to the Louisiana Legislators, came from scientists and educators with impressive credentials and involved lengthy technical discussions of scientific evidences from biology, paleontology, genetics, astronomy, astrophysics, probability analysis and biochemistry. Since this testimony was uncontroverted, Justice Scalla was correct in affirming...
"We have no basis on the record to conclude that creation science need be anything other than a collection of scientific data supporting the theory that life abruptly appeared on the earth."
Since ignorance of this scientific data prevails, such a statement is often followed by a blank look and questions like, "What do you mean? Can you give me an example?" Glad you asked. However, since a presentation of such evidence is not the primary purpose of this effort, we will restrict ourselves to a brief lesson in paleontology.
The Fossil Record
The beginning of this record is crucial. At the bottom of the Geologic Column we find Cambrian rock, the first section with abundant life. While the evolution model predicts simple, undiversified organisms here, that is not what we find. Textbooks tell us that the world of the Cambrian was covered with shallow seas. They ignore the fact that we have found sixty different genera of land plants, including six groups of vascular (woody) plants in the Cambrian.1 Textbooks tell us vertebrates appear much later and they should, according to the evolution model. However, it has been known, at least since 1978, that vertebrates from the Cambrian have been found in Wyoming, Oklahoma, Washington, Nevada, Idaho and Arkansas. 2
Perhaps the most famous evolutionist in America, Harvard Paleontologist, Stephen Jay Gould, in a speech made at SMU, October 2, 1990, describes the fossil record's dramatic beginning.
"...one outstanding fact of the fossil record that many of you may not be aware of, that since the so called "Cambrian explosion" during which essentially all the anatomical designs of modern multicellular life made their first appearance in the fossil record, no new Phyla of animals have entered the fossil record."
But, once past the Cambrian, do we see evidence that supports evolution? In a lecture at Hobart & William Smith College, February 2nd, 1980, Gould admitted...
"Every paleontologist knows that most species don't change ... They may get a little bigger or bumpier but they remain the same species ... And yet this remarkable stasis has generally been ignored as no data. If they don't change, its not evolution so you don't talk about it."
Desperate efforts to explain these characteristics of the fossil record in standard evolutionary terms have failed. Gould, our antagonistic witness, acknowledges...
"We can tell tales of improvement for some groups, but in honest moments we must admit that the history of complex life is more a story of multifarious variation about a set of basic designs than a saga of accumulating excellence.... I regard the failure to find a clear 'vector of progress' in life's history as the most puzzling fact of the fossil record. ....we have sought to impose a pattern that we hoped to find on a world that does not really display it." 3
A sudden, complex beginning followed by stasis does not indicate evolution. The simple, non-religious fact is, the fossil record is more compatible with creation than evolution.
In the previous paragraphs, were we engaged in a religious study? No? Then we have demonstrated that religion is not a necessary component of this discipline. It is true that the concept of slow gradual origins carries implications antagonistic to the religion of some. Likewise, the concept of a sudden, complex beginning carries implications antagonistic to the religion of others. But, neither concept is inherently religious and both may be evaluated on the basis of scientific evidence.
We understand that if the evidence is seen to favor creation, one might conclude that a creator is the most reasonable explanation of origins 4. Even so, is anything religious necessarily indicated about that creator? Was "it" personal or impersonal? .... interested or uninterested? .... aware or unaware? It is possible that a creator would demand worship. It is also possible that a creator could care less. The concept itself does not necessarily involve worship or religion.
If scientist were to create life in a test tube would this be religious activity? Would the life created be inherently obligated to worship the creating scientists? Would a study of the processes involved be a religious study? Neither worship nor religion is inherent in the concept of creation. Furthermore, both worship and religion were excluded from the science classroom by this Louisiana law.
It is understandable that many are unaware of the great volume of scientific evidence that favors creation since it has been systematically excluded from America's educational process. The resulting ignorance is not from a lack of evidence, but because it has not been taught.
Many teachers do not accept or teach creation science because they typically accept and teach what they have been taught. We can understand that one who has not been taught and therefore does not know of such evidence might conclude that no such evidence exists. Nor is it difficult to understand that such an individual might presume that any study called "scientific creationism" would have to be a religious study.
How do you solve the problem? ... teach the scientific evidence? You cannot teach it unless you know it and you will not know it until you have been taught and it is not being taught because it is presumed to be religious. This perception will continue as long as this ignorance prevails and ignorance will continue to prevail as long as it is perceived to be religious. It is a vicious, circular, self perpetuating problem. Ignorance is like that.
The Louisiana legislators listened to the testimony of expert witnesses. They weighed the evidence and concluded that creation science was "a collection of scientific data," not religion. The courts on the other hand, refused an evidentiary hearing. The case was never heard on its merits. Rather, a summary judgment was made and upheld. The Balanced Treatment Act, overwhelmingly enacted by the Louisiana Legislature, was overturned because of the Supreme Court's judgment of their hearts. The verdict was "guilty" of an exclusively religious motivation and "guilty" of lying under oath about that motivation.
THE "SOLE MOTIVATION"'
The injustice of the Court's action is even more clearly perceived when we realize that only a very small portion of the citizens of the state of Louisiana belong to the "fundamentalist religious denominations" charged with responsibility for this act. Louisiana is predominantly Catholic. Catholic leaders have accepted evolution. Their universities have led in the promotion of evolution. The Court demonstrates its ignorance of the religion of Louisiana when it erroneously charges...
"the legislature passed the Act to give preference to those religious groups which have as one of their tenets ... creation..."
Furthermore, the arguments made by the sponsor of the bill, Senator Bill Keith, have none of the flavor of Bible-thumping religious fervor. He argues that his colleagues should "keep an open mind" and that they should not be "biased." He encourages them to "look at this subject on its merits and not on some preconceived idea." He unequivocally disavowed religious motivation.
"We are not going to say today that you should have some kind of religious instruction in our schools. .... We are not talking about religion today
...I am not proposing that we take the Bible in each science class and read the first chapter of Genesis...to ... teach religion and disguise it as creationism ... is not my intent. My intent is to see to it that our text books are not censored."
This author has been in science classes where the Book of Genesis was taught by teachers who did not believe the Bible. I was told about two naked people in a garden talking to snakes in a manner that would appropriately incense any conscientious Christian. Requiring all science teachers to teach the Bible, is not only unconstitutional, but foolish (for many reasons).
Scalla pointed out that highly qualified scientists with impressive credentials testified, presenting abundant evidence. The legislators were "repeatedly assured" that "hundreds" of highly respected, internationally renowned scientists believed in creation-science and would support their testimony." This testimony is true and can be demonstrated, however, it is important to remember that the legal issue is not the accuracy of this information but "what did the Louisiana legislature believe?" They may have believed, at least, some of what these scientists told them. If so, their motivation could have been just what they said it was; to protect the academic freedom of the students by providing them with all the scientific evidence on origins, instead of indoctrinating them with one exclusive view. If this is possible, the Supreme Court was wrong in its presumptuous proclamation that sole motivation was to advance religion.
Justice Scalla addresses the inherent presumptuousness in "discerning the subjective motivation of those enacting the statute..." He reminds us that there exists not just two possible motives (promoting religion or improving education) but an infinite variety of possibilities for each individual legislator.
"He may have thought the bill would provide jobs for his district, or may have wanted to make amends with a faction of his party he had alienated on another vote, or he may have been a close friend of the bill's sponsor, or he may have been repaying a favor he owed the Majority Leader, or he may have hoped the Governor would appreciate his vote and make a fund raising appearance for him, or he may have been pressured to vote for a bill he disliked by a wealthy contributor or by a flood of constituent mail, or he may have been seeking favorable publicity, or he may have been reluctant to hurt the feelings of a loyal staff member who worked on the bill, or he may have been settling an old score with a legislator who opposed the bill, or he may have been mad at his wife who opposed the bill, or he may have been intoxicated and utterly unmotivated when the vote was called, or he have accidentally voted 'yes' instead of 'no', or, of course, he may have had (and very likely did have) a combination of some of the above and many other motivations. To look for the sole purpose of even a single legislator is probably to look for something that does not exist."
The Court did focus its "perceptive power" on a single legislator when it incomprehensibly asserted that "the purpose of the legislative sponsor", Senator Bill Keith, was "to narrow the science curriculums." He, obviously, sought to broaden the science curriculums to include scientific evidence for both views. Furthermore, the foolishness of the Court's "discernment" multiplies when we realize that it was not just one heart that was judged. Ninety seven Louisiana legislators voted for this act. Nevertheless, the Court boldly asserted the "sole motivation" of the Louisiana legislature was to advance religion. Devoid of the dignity appropriate to the Supreme Court, they slanderously railed against this body of elected representatives of the citizens of Louisiana. Wrapping themselves tightly in their sanctified black vestments, these modern necromancers, by inspired divination, discerned the innermost motivation of hearts and issued their dictum. The Court said the motive was...
"...to provide persuasive advantage to a particular religious doctrine ... to reflect endorsement of a religious view ... to conform with a particular religious viewpoint ... to give preference to those religious groups ... to advance a particular religious belief ... to endorse a particular religious doctrine..."
Such reckless and irresponsible accusations fully justify the Chief Justice joining Justice Scalla, saying that they were...
"...astonished at the Court's unprecedented readiness to reach such a conclusion ...It surpasses understanding .... the question of...constitutionality cannot rightly be disposed of on the gallop, by impugning the motives of its supporters."
While there is ample evidence in the record to justify the conclusion that the Louisiana legislature acted with clearly defined secular intent, the Dissent by Justice Scalla and Chief Justice Rienquist explains that the First Amendment does not necessarily prohibit legislators from acting because of religious conviction.
"We surely would not strike down a law providing money to feed the hungry or shelter the homeless if it could be demonstrated that, but for the religious beliefs of the legislators, the funds would not have been approved ... political activism by the religiously motivated is part of our heritage."
They affirmed that if it is presumed the sole motive of a bill is to advance religion because it is supported by religious people, then we"deprive religious men and women of their right to participate in the political process."
They remind us that such individuals brought about the abolition of slavery in the past and may bring relief for famine victims in the future. The simple constitutional solution justifying legislation which does result from religious conviction is found in recognizing secular purposes for the action. Scalla says...
"On many past occasions we have had no difficulty finding a secular purpose for governmental action far more likely to advance religion than the Balanced Treatment Act... tax deductions for expenses of religious education ... tax exemptions for church property ...textbook loans to students in religious schools."
If secular purpose can easily be found in these bills, where is the difficulty in finding secular purpose for a bill which specifically forbids religious instruction or documentation and, instead, specifies that only scientific evidence should be presented in a balanced manner???
Not only has the court held that secular benefits permit legislation that is religiously motivated, it has also found that at least two circumstances require legislation which intentionally, purposefully advances religion.
1. "to accommodate religious practices"
The first comes from the Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution which says that the "States must accommodate the beliefs of religious citizens..."For example the Civil Rights Act (1964) requires employers "to accommodate the religious practices of their employees," in spite of the fact that religion is obviously advanced by the accommodation. The Court has held that when such conflicts arise (free exercise vs. advancement of religion) they are to be resolved in favor of Free Exercise. Thus Justice Scalla affirms...
"It is clear, however, that members of the Louisiana Legislature were not impermissibly motivated for the purpose of the Lemon test if they believed that approval of the Balanced Treatment Act was required by the first amendment."
2. "to remedy neutrality violations"
The second circumstance requiring religion advancing legislation is seen when the state acts in such a way as to "disapprove", "inhibit", or show "hostility" toward religion. Since "neutrality" toward religion is the primary goal of the First Amendment, when that principle is violated, the state is required to act to remedy the situation.
Scalla and Rienquist cite numerous cases as examples, pointing out that in each case the legislation was enacted for the purpose of advancing religion; action required by the neutrality requirement of the first Amendment. Recall that the Louisiana Legislators defined creation science as
" a collection of educationally valuable scientific data that had been censored from the classroom ..."
This statement demonstrates they believed the state had evidenced "hostility" toward religion by censoring valuable scientific information which would tend to confirm religion. The state had "inhibited" religion by providing persuasive advantage to opposing views. In view of this we understand Justice Scalla's conclusion...
"....if the Louisiana Legislature sincerely believed that the state's science teachers were being hostile to religion, our cases indicate that it could act to eliminate that hostility without running afoul of Lemon's purpose test."
The Louisiana Legislators solemnly affirmed that their purpose in enacting the Balanced Treatment Act was not to advance religion. It was to advance "academic freedom." There is abundant evidence to support the conclusion that these men sincerely believed that academic freedom would be advanced by this act. However, even if we surmise, as the Court did, that this authoritative body of elected representatives lied about their purpose, and if we were certain that the sole purpose of all ninety seven representatives was to advance religion, we still would have not have proved unconstitutionality. The Supreme Court has ruled that if the legislators believed this action was necessary to either accommodate religious practice or remedy non-neutral state activity, they would be more than constitutionally justified. They would be constitutionally required to act!
I am confident that the term "travesty" is over used in our society. It is tossed recklessly at almost any annoying court decision. Webster defines the term as "a grotesque or farcical imitation .... a crude, distorted, or ridiculous representation... [a trial that was a travesty of justice]...."5
This is strong language. It should not be used without careful evaluation which we encourage regarding this action. However, I am convinced that most reasonable, fair-minded people, after investigation of the facts and due deliberation, will conclude that the term "travesty" is appropriate and does accurately describe the action of the Court in this case.
HOWEVER ... NOT ALL BAD
There is a bright ray of light shining through this gloomy cloud of injustice. In spite of Brennan's consistent misrepresentation and determined opposition, he did significantly benefit those fair-minded teachers who want their students to have the opportunity to learn all the facts, not just those which can be interpreted to support evolution. In his bashing frenzy, Brennan let a crucial reality slip out. He argued that the Balanced Treatment Act was unnecessary because...
"The Act does not grant teachers a flexibility that they did not already possess, to supplant the present science curriculum with the presentation of theories, besides evolution, about the origin of life."
Thus, with Supreme Court authority, he affirms a right which teachers "already possess." Ironically, it was the enemy of creation science, Justice Brennan, who authorized "the presentation of theories, besides evolution, about the origin of life."
It is significant, in this connection, to observe that leading experts on evolution have acknowledged that, philosophically, only two "theories" exist. Colin Patterson, Senior Paleontologist for the British Museum of Natural History, in his book Evolution says...
"This theory [evolution] has only one main competitor, creation theory, though there are different stories of how the Creator went about His work." p.148.
Similarly, Niles Eldridge, Curator of the American Museum of Natural History, in his recent book TIME FRAMES says...
"Indeed, the only competing explanation for the order we all see in the biological world is the notion of Special Creation." p.240.
The Supreme Court ruling does not require teachers to teach the alternative view. If they so desire, they may continue the propaganda approach (insisting on one view while excluding all others). However, if they realize that this is unfair to their students and not good science, if they had rather present all the relevant scientific evidence in a balanced manner, they now have Supreme Court authority to do so. While our media convinced many that this decision "outlawed" scientific alternatives to evolution, the truth is, it did the very opposite, provided that it is done with a secular purpose.
A Word Of Caution
The terms Creation Science and Creationism have been defined by the Supreme Court to refer to religion. The injustice of that definition does not change the reality. Consequently, we agree that "Creation Science", by legal definition, should not be taught in science classes. We do not believe religion belongs in science classrooms. Therefore, when talking about religion, we heartily agree with the Supreme Court. It does not belong in the science classroom!
Now, having agreed on that, let's talk about something else. Let's talk
about scientific evidence that indicates a sudden, complex beginning as opposed to slow, simple, gradual development. Even Justice Brennan acknowledges that this is permitted in the science classroom. He says it is constitutional, if done with the secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction. It is time to translate his words into action. This is our goal.
The Good News
On June 9, 1988, The Alabama Board of Education voted to notify local school superintendents that teachers may supplement the science curriculum with various theories of origins. The resolution was as follows:
"Please instruct your teacher that, consistent with the expressions of the Supreme Court in Edwards V. Aquillard, they shall have the freedom and flexibility (they presently possess) to supplement the (present science) curriculum with the presentation of various scientific theories about the origins of life, if done with the secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction."
This was not a religious decision. It was an effort to provide the best possible education for their children. We strongly recommend their action to other educators.
On March 11, 1989, the Texas State Board of Education passed textbook guidelines which require not only various theories of evolution but also "examining alternative scientific evidence..." as well as scientific evidence to "test, modify, verify, or refute scientific theories." Under the heading "Theories of Evolution" the guidelines require "scientific evidence of evolution and other reliable scientific theories, if any..." In 1993, these guidelines were amended to require teaching "the strengths and weaknesses of evolution". This is a large step away from the propaganda approach which has previously prevailed. Unfortunately, subsequent textbook selections have ignored these guidelines, illegally. But, we now have the tools to force compliance.
A new wind of academic freedom is blowing. However, a strong effort to stifle this refreshing breeze is being made with evangelistic fervor, by those whose philosophy of life is contradicted by the concept of sudden complex beginnings. It appears that they understand their position cannot stand in the context of academic freedom. They are fighting tenaciously to maintain their oppressive dominance.
The battle is far from over. Remember the goading words of Thomas Paine? He told us that all we need to do to assure the victory of evil, is nothing. Call your State school board representative. Let them know you appreciate their efforts. Back them up in their effort to provide the best possible education for our children. The door of opportunity is clearly open.
Let's go to work!
1. Evolution, Vol. 13, June 13, 1959, p.264-275
2. Science, Vol. 200, May 5, 1978, p.259
3. Natural History, Feb. 1982, pp.22, 23
4. Evolution may also lead to religious conclusions. Consider the conclusions of one of the most representative evolutionist of our time, Sir Julian Huxley. "In the evolutionary pattern of thought there is no longer either need or room for the supernatural. The earth was not created; it evolved. So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul, as well as brain and body. So did religion." EVOLUTION AFTER DARWIN, Vol.3, p.252
5. Webster's New World Dictionary, p. 1513
Joyce Minor Quotation
"The more this country struggles to free itself from religion, the more we become entangled in the consequences. If people are taught that they came from slime, the obvious questions and consequences must follow:
* What is the purpose of my existence [hopelessness],
* Who made you the boss of me [lawlessness],
* Why are your rules good and mine bad [relativism],
* What does it matter how I live if I came from slime and return to slime [immorality and inhumanity]?"
Asst. Director of Development and Alumni Relations
University of Alabama School of Law
Ambassador Alan Keyes Quotation
It [the Declaration] also offers, I think, a practical guide in other respects. We have these big debates over whether we should teach creation in the schools and so forth and so on. Now, I am not going to stand here right now and get into a big debate about who's right and who's wrong. I myself happen to believe that it is slightly more disparaging than I'm willing to tolerate to suggest that my early relatives were monkeys and stuff, but there are some people in the country who feel comfortable with that. If they wish to lay claim to this lineage, they may. I think I'd want to see that genealogy laid out in real detail. And we all know, or we all ought to know, that in spite of all the claims of evolutionary science they can't lay it out in detail. And this is a problem. And I'm not saying that we simply dismiss it on that basis, but doesn't science require that you examine the evidence?
But we've been scared off from examining the evidence on all sides by people saying you can't talk about creation; that's religion. And I look at the Declaration, and it says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are -- CREATED -- equal." Now I keep telling my audiences: How can they tell us this? You can't get to equality, unless you go through the creation. And that means that when we're teaching our children about their rights, and the foundation of their right and liberty, we've got to explain what this word means, or they won't get it.
And so, if somebody comes to you, as the judges have done, and says you can't talk about creation because it's religious, I'll say, "No, it's not religious, this is American. I just want to explain to my son Andrew what the Declaration says. How dare you stop me!" You know, they wouldn't have an answer for that one. And if they did, you know what we ought to do? If they had an answer, and they said, "Well, no, we judges say that you can't teach the Declaration" -- that's the moment that you know why they put the impeachment clause in there.
So there again, the Declaration provides us with a foundation for making a judgment in a practical issue where they said there was no way of resolving it, we had to shut up. But there is.
Ambassador Alan Keyes Declaration Foundation, Inaugural Address Wyndham Plaza Hotel, San Diego August 11, 1996
Top Ten Reasons Why God Can't Get University Tenure
10. Researchers can't replicate his results.
9. He failed to get permission from the ethics board to use human subjects.
8. He covered up one of his experiments by drowning the subjects.
7. Instead of showing up for lectures, he just told students to "Read the Book."
When He caught His first two students eating in class, He expelled them.
Although He listed only ten requirements, most students failed.
4. He had His son teach the class.
3. He dictated all of His own references.
2. He had only one publication, which lacked footnotes and a bibliography, and other people did the actual writing.
1. He may have created the world, but what has he done lately?
Go To Start: WWW.BIBLE.CA