Creation and evolution in public education

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					Creation and evolution in public education
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The status of creation and evolution in public education can be the subject of substantial debate
in legal, political, and religious circles. The situation ranges from countries not allowing teachers to
discuss the evidence for evolution or the modern evolutionary synthesis, which is the scientific
theory that explains evolution, to allowing evolutionary biology to be taught like any other
scientific discipline.
WHILE SOME RELIGIONS DO NOT HAVE THEOLOGICAL OBJECTIONS TO THE MODERN EVOLUTIONARY
SYNTHESIS AS AN EXPLANATION FOR THE PRESENT FORM OF LIFE ON EARTH, THERE HAS BEEN MUCH
CONFLICT OVER THIS MATTER WITHIN THE ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS, SOME ADHERENTS OF WHICH ARE
VIGOROUSLY OPPOSED TO THE CONSENSUS VIEW OF THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY. CONFLICT WITH
EVOLUTIONARY EXPLANATIONS IS GREATEST IN LITERAL INTERPRETATIONS OF RELIGIOUS
DOCUMENTS, AND RESISTANCE TO TEACHING EVOLUTION IS THUS RELATED TO THE POPULARITY OF
THESE MORE LITERALIST VIEWS.

IN WESTERN COUNTRIES, THE INCLUSION OF EVOLUTION IN SCIENCE COURSES HAS BEEN MOSTLY
UNCONTROVERSIAL, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF PARTS OF THE UNITED STATES. THERE, THE SUPREME
COURT HAS RULED THE TEACHING OF CREATIONISM AS SCIENCE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO BE
UNCONSTITUTIONAL. INTELLIGENT DESIGN HAS BEEN PRESENTED AS AN ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATION
TO EVOLUTION IN RECENT DECADES, BUT IT HAS ALSO BEEN RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL BY A LOWER
COURT.

MUSLIMS HAVE BEEN PARTICULARLY RESISTANT TO TEACHING BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION.HYPERLINK
"HTTP://EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG/WIKI/CREATION_AND_EVOLUTION_IN_PUBLIC_EDUCATION" \L
"ITE_NOTE-EDIS-0" [1] TO GIVE ONE SUCH CASE, THE MATTER IS HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL IN
HYPERLINK "HTTP://EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG/WIKI/TURKEY" TURKEY, AND EVOLUTION'S PLACE IN BIOLOGY
HYPERLINK "HTTP://EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG/WIKI/EDUCATION" EDUCATION CAN CHANGE WITH EACH
GOVERNMENT.




    •
    •



[edit] United States
IN THE UNITED STATES, CREATIONISTS AND PROPONENTS OF EVOLUTION ARE ENGAGED IN A
LONG-STANDING BATTLE OVER THE LEGAL STATUS OF CREATION AND EVOLUTION IN THE PUBLIC

SCHOOL SCIENCE CLASSROOM.[2]



[edit] Early law

UNTIL THE LATE 19TH CENTURY, CREATION WAS TAUGHT IN NEARLY ALL SCHOOLS IN THE UNITED
STATES, OFTEN FROM THE POSITION THAT THE LITERAL INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE IS INERRANT.
WITH THE WIDESPREAD ACCEPTANCE OF THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION IN THE 1860S AFTER BEING FIRST
INTRODUCED IN 1859, AND DEVELOPMENTS IN OTHER FIELDS SUCH AS GEOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY,

PUBLIC SCHOOLS BEGAN TO TEACH SCIENCE THAT WAS RECONCILED WITH CHRISTIANITY BY MOST

PEOPLE, BUT CONSIDERED BY A NUMBER OF EARLY FUNDAMENTALISTS TO BE DIRECTLY AT ODDS WITH

THE BIBLE.

IN THE AFTERMATH OF WORLD WAR I, THE FUNDAMENTALIST-MODERNIST CONTROVERSY BROUGHT
A SURGE OF OPPOSITION TO THE IDEA OF EVOLUTION, AND FOLLOWING THE CAMPAIGNING OF
WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN SEVERAL STATES INTRODUCED LEGISLATION PROHIBITING THE TEACHING
OF EVOLUTION. BY 1925, SUCH LEGISLATION WAS BEING CONSIDERED IN 15 STATES, AND PASSED IN
SOME STATES, SUCH AS TENNESSEE. THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OFFERED TO DEFEND
ANYONE WHO WANTED TO BRING A TEST CASE AGAINST ONE OF THESE LAWS. JOHN T. SCOPES
ACCEPTED, AND HE TAUGHT HIS TENNESSEE CLASS EVOLUTION IN DEFIANCE OF THE BUTLER ACT.
THE TEXTBOOK IN QUESTION WAS HUNTER'S CIVIC BIOLOGY (1914).
The trial was widely publicized by H. L. Mencken among others, and is commonly referred to as
the Scopes Monkey Trial.
Scopes was convicted; however, the widespread publicity galvanized proponents of evolution.
When the case was appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court, the Court overturned the decision on
a technicality (the judge had assessed the fine when the jury had been required to). Although it
overturned the conviction, the Court decided that the law was not in violation of the First
Amendment. The Court held,
        "We are not able to see how the prohibition of teaching the theory that man has
        descended from a lower order of animals gives preference to any religious
        establishment or mode of worship. So far as we know, there is no religious
        establishment or organized body that has in its creed or confession of faith any article
      denying or affirming such a theory." Scopes v. State 289 S.W. 363, 367 (Tenn. 1927).

The interpretation of the Establishment clause up to that time was that Congress could not establish
a particular religion as the State religion. Consequently, the Court held that the ban on the teaching
of evolution did not violate the Establishment clause, because it did not establish one religion as the
"State religion." As a result of the holding, the teaching of evolution remained illegal in Tennessee,
and continued campaigning succeeded in removing evolution from school textbooks throughout the
United States.[3][4][5]


[edit] Modern legal cases



The Supreme Court of the United States has made several rulings regarding evolution in public
education.

IN 1967, THE TENNESSEE PUBLIC SCHOOLS WERE THREATENED WITH ANOTHER LAWSUIT OVER THE
BUTLER ACT'S CONSTITUTIONALITY, AND, FEARING PUBLIC REPRISAL, TENNESSEE'S LEGISLATURE
REPEALED THE BUTLER ACT. IN THE FOLLOWING YEAR, 1968, THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES RULED IN EPPERSON V. ARKANSAS THAT ARKANSAS'S LAW PROHIBITING THE TEACHING OF
EVOLUTION WAS IN VIOLATION OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT. THE SUPREME COURT HELD THAT THE
ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE PROHIBITS THE STATE FROM ADVANCING ANY RELIGION, AND DETERMINED
THAT THE ARKANSAS LAW WHICH ALLOWED THE TEACHING OF CREATION WHILE DISALLOWING THE
TEACHING OF EVOLUTION ADVANCED A RELIGION, AND WAS THEREFORE IN VIOLATION OF THE 1ST
AMENDMENT ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE. THIS HOLDING REFLECTED A BROADER UNDERSTANDING OF
THE ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE: INSTEAD OF JUST PROHIBITING LAWS THAT ESTABLISHED A STATE
RELIGION, THE CLAUSE WAS INTERPRETED TO PROHIBIT LAWS THAT FURTHERED RELIGION.
OPPONENTS, POINTING TO THE PREVIOUS DECISION, ARGUED THAT THIS AMOUNTED TO JUDICIAL
ACTIVISM.

IN REACTION TO THE EPPERSON CASE, CREATIONISTS IN LOUISIANA PASSED A LAW REQUIRING THAT
PUBLIC SCHOOLS SHOULD GIVE "EQUAL TIME" TO "ALTERNATIVE THEORIES" OF ORIGIN. THE SUPREME
COURT RULED IN EDWARDS V. AGUILLARD THAT THE LOUISIANA STATUTE, WHICH REQUIRED
CREATION TO BE TAUGHT ALONGSIDE EVOLUTION EVERY TIME EVOLUTION WAS TAUGHT, WAS
UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

THE COURT LAID OUT ITS RULE AS FOLLOWS:
      "THE ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE FORBIDS THE ENACTMENT OF ANY LAW 'RESPECTING AN
      ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION.' THE COURT HAS APPLIED A THREE-PRONGED TEST TO

      DETERMINE WHETHER LEGISLATION COMPORTS WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE.

      FIRST, THE LEGISLATURE MUST HAVE ADOPTED THE LAW WITH A SECULAR PURPOSE.
      SECOND, THE STATUTE'S PRINCIPAL OR PRIMARY EFFECT MUST BE ONE THAT NEITHER
      ADVANCES NOR INHIBITS RELIGION. THIRD, THE STATUTE MUST NOT RESULT IN AN

      EXCESSIVE ENTANGLEMENT OF GOVERNMENT WITH RELIGION. LEMON V. KURTZMAN, 403
     U.S. 602, 612-613, 91 S.CT. 2105, 2111, 29 L.ED.2D 745 (1971). STATE ACTION
     VIOLATES THE ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE IF IT FAILS TO SATISFY ANY OF THESE PRONGS."

     EDWARDS V. AGUILLARD 482 U.S. 578, *582-583, 107 S.CT. 2573, 2577 (U.S.LA.,1987).

THE COURT HELD THAT THE LAW WAS NOT ADOPTED WITH A SECULAR PURPOSE, BECAUSE ITS
PURPORTED PURPOSE OF "PROTECTING ACADEMIC FREEDOM" WAS NOT FURTHERED BY LIMITING THE

FREEDOM OF TEACHERS TO TEACH WHAT THEY THOUGHT APPROPRIATE; RULED THAT THE ACT WAS

DISCRIMINATORY BECAUSE IT PROVIDED CERTAIN RESOURCES AND GUARANTEES TO "CREATION

SCIENTISTS" WHICH WERE NOT PROVIDED TO THOSE WHO TAUGHT EVOLUTION; AND RULED THAT THE

LAW WAS INTENDED TO ADVANCE A PARTICULAR RELIGION BECAUSE SEVERAL STATE SENATORS THAT

HAD SUPPORTED THE BILL STATED THAT THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE BILL STEMMED FROM THEIR

RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.

WHILE THE COURT HELD THAT CREATIONISM IS AN INHERENTLY RELIGIOUS BELIEF, IT DID NOT HOLD
THAT EVERY MENTION OF CREATIONISM IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL:

     "WE DO NOT IMPLY THAT A LEGISLATURE COULD NEVER REQUIRE THAT SCIENTIFIC
     CRITIQUES OF PREVAILING SCIENTIFIC THEORIES BE TAUGHT. INDEED, THE COURT

     ACKNOWLEDGED IN STONE THAT ITS DECISION FORBIDDING THE POSTING OF THE TEN

     COMMANDMENTS DID NOT MEAN THAT NO USE COULD EVER BE MADE OF THE TEN
     COMMANDMENTS, OR THAT THE TEN COMMANDMENTS PLAYED AN EXCLUSIVELY
     RELIGIOUS ROLE IN THE HISTORY OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION. 449 U.S., AT 42, 101 S.CT.,

     AT 194. IN A SIMILAR WAY, TEACHING A VARIETY OF SCIENTIFIC THEORIES ABOUT THE

     ORIGINS OF HUMANKIND TO SCHOOLCHILDREN MIGHT BE VALIDLY DONE WITH THE CLEAR

     SECULAR INTENT OF ENHANCING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SCIENCE INSTRUCTION. BUT

     BECAUSE THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE CREATIONISM ACT IS TO ENDORSE A PARTICULAR

     RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE, THE ACT FURTHERS RELIGION IN VIOLATION OF THE

     ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE." EDWARDS V. AGUILLARD 482 U.S. 578, 593-594, 107 S.CT.
     2573, 2583 (U.S.LA.,1987)

JUST AS IT IS PERMISSIBLE TO DISCUSS THE CRUCIAL ROLE OF RELIGION IN MEDIEVAL EUROPEAN
HISTORY, CREATIONISM MAY BE DISCUSSED IN A CIVICS, CURRENT AFFAIRS, PHILOSOPHY, OR

COMPARATIVE RELIGIONS CLASS WHERE THE INTENT IS TO FACTUALLY EDUCATE STUDENTS ABOUT

THE DIVERSE RANGE OF HUMAN POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. THE LINE IS CROSSED ONLY WHEN

CREATIONISM IS TAUGHT AS SCIENCE, JUST AS IT WOULD BE IF A TEACHER WERE TO PROSELYTIZE A

PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS BELIEF.
[edit] Movements to teach creationism in schools

THERE CONTINUE TO BE NUMEROUS EFFORTS TO INTRODUCE CREATIONISM IN US CLASSROOMS. ONE
STRATEGY IS TO DECLARE THAT EVOLUTION IS A RELIGION, AND THEREFORE IT SHOULD NOT BE

TAUGHT IN THE CLASSROOM EITHER, OR THAT IF EVOLUTION IS A RELIGION, THEN SURELY

CREATIONISM AS WELL CAN BE TAUGHT IN THE CLASSROOM.[6]

IN THE 1980S PHILLIP E. JOHNSON BEGAN READING THE SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE ON EVOLUTION. THIS
LED TO THE WRITING OF DARWIN ON TRIAL, WHICH EXAMINED THE EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION FROM
RELIGIOUS POINT OF VIEW AND CHALLENGED THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE ONLY REASONABLE
EXPLANATION FOR THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES MUST BE A NATURALISTIC ONE, THOUGH SCIENCE IS
DEFINED BY SEARCHING FOR NATURAL EXPLANATIONS FOR PHENOMENA. THIS BOOK, AND HIS
SUBSEQUENT EFFORTS TO ENCOURAGE AND COORDINATE CREATIONISTS WITH MORE CREDENTIALS
WAS THE START OF THE "INTELLIGENT DESIGN" MOVEMENT. INTELLIGENT DESIGN ASSERTS THAT
THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT LIFE WAS CREATED BY AN "INTELLIGENT DESIGNER" (MAINLY THAT THE
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF AN OBJECT ARE SO COMPLEX THAT THEY MUST HAVE BEEN "DESIGNED").
PROPONENTS CLAIM THAT ID TAKES "ALL AVAILABLE FACTS" INTO ACCOUNT RATHER THAN JUST
THOSE AVAILABLE THROUGH NATURALISM. OPPONENTS ASSERT THAT ID IS A PSEUDOSCIENCE
BECAUSE ITS CLAIMS CANNOT BE TESTED BY EXPERIMENT (SEE FALSIFIABILITY) AND DO NOT PROPOSE
ANY NEW HYPOTHESES.

Many proponents of the ID movement support requiring that it be taught in the public schools. For
example, conservative think-tank[7], The Discovery Institute and Phillip E. Johnson, support the
policy of "Teach the Controversy", which entails presenting to students evidence for and against
evolution, and then encouraging students to evaluate that evidence themselves.
While many proponents of ID believe that it should be taught in schools, other creationists believe
that legislation is not appropriate. Answers in Genesis has said:
      "AiG is not a lobby group, and we oppose legislation for compulsion of creation
      teaching ... why would we want an atheist forced to teach creation and give a distorted
      view? But we would like legal protection for teachers who present scientific arguments
      against the sacred cow of evolution such as staged pictures of peppered moths and
      forged embryo diagrams ..."[8]

Opponents point out that there is no scientific controversy, but only a political and religious one,
therefore "teaching the controversy" would only be appropriate in a social studies, religion, or
philosophy class. Many, such as Richard Dawkins, compare teaching intelligent design in schools
to teaching flat earthism, since the scientific consensus regarding these issues is identical. Dawkins
has stated that teaching creationism to children is akin to child abuse.[9]

IN JUNE 2007 THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE'S "COMMITTEE ON CULTURE, SCIENCE AND EDUCATION"
ISSUED A REPORT, THE DANGERS OF CREATIONISM IN EDUCATION, WHICH STATES "CREATIONISM IN ANY
OF ITS FORMS, SUCH AS 'INTELLIGENT DESIGN', IS NOT BASED ON FACTS, DOES NOT USE ANY SCIENTIFIC
REASONING AND ITS CONTENTS ARE PATHETICALLY INADEQUATE FOR SCIENCE CLASSES."[10] IN
DESCRIBING THE DANGERS POSED TO EDUCATION BY TEACHING CREATIONISM, IT DESCRIBED
INTELLIGENT DESIGN AS "ANTI-SCIENCE" AND INVOLVING "BLATANT SCIENTIFIC FRAUD" AND
"INTELLECTUAL DECEPTION" THAT "BLURS THE NATURE, OBJECTIVES AND LIMITS OF SCIENCE" AND
LINKS IT AND OTHER FORMS OF CREATIONISM TO DENIALISM.


Recent polls
In 2000, a People for the American Way poll among Americans found that:
    •   29% believe public schools should teach evolution in science class but can discuss
        creationism there as a belief;
    •   20% believe public schools should teach evolution only;
    •   17% believe public schools should teach evolution in science class and religious theories
        elsewhere;
    •   16% believe public schools should teach creation only;
    •   13% believe public schools should teach both evolution and creationism in science class;
    •   4% believe public schools should teach both but are not sure how.
(1% had no opinion)[37]
In 2006, a poll taken over the telephone by Zogby International commissioned by the Discovery
Institute found that more than three to one of voters surveyed chose the option that biology teachers
should teach Darwin's theory of evolution, but also "the scientific evidence against it".
Approximately seven in ten (69%) sided with this view. In contrast, one in five (21%) chose the
other option given, that biology teachers should teach only Darwin's theory of evolution and the
scientific evidence that supports it. One in ten was not sure. The poll's results are often regarded as
worthless however, because the wording of the poll question implies that significant "scientific
evidence" against evolution actually exists to be taught (see push polling) - a proposition with
which less than 0.15% of scientists with relevant expertise would agree.[38]

[edit] Consequences
Over the past few years, there have been several attempts to undermine the teaching of evolution in
public schools. Tactics include claims that evolution is "merely a theory", which exploits the
difference between the general use of the word theory and the scientific usage, and thus insinuates
that evolution does not have widespread acceptance amongst scientists; promoting the teaching of
alternative pseudosciences such as intelligent design; and completely ignoring evolution in biology
classes. In general, these controversies, at the local school district level, have resulted in Federal
and State court actions (usually by parents who are opposed to teaching of religion in school). There
has been a number of consequences of these activities:
    •   The teaching of religious doctrines, such as Creation Science and Intelligent Design, relies
        upon an understanding of and belief in the supernatural. This is in direct opposition to the
        principle that science can only use natural, reproducible, testable forces to explain
        phenomena. This could lead to the disabling of students' abilities to develop the critical
        thinking skills necessary for all scientists.
    •   The costs to school districts to defend their actions in imposing religious teaching over the
        science of evolution are high, diverting funds that the districts could use for the education of
        their students.[39][40]
    •   The lack of proper science education will have a long-term effect of eroding the
        technological leadership of the US.[41]
    •   Most biology and medical research institutions assume a well-grounded undergraduate
        education in biology, which includes the study of evolution. Since modern medical research
        has focused on the cellular and biochemical levels, the knowledge that all of these processes
        have evolved from a common ancestor and the processes are remarkably similar between
        diverse species will be critical in designing experiments to test novel treatments for
        disease.[42]
    •   Christine Comer, the Director of Science Curriculum for HYPERLINK
"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas" Texas, resigned after being placed on admistrative
leave for a breach of HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Education_Agency"
Texas Education Agency policy, which requires a neutral stance regarding ID and evolution.
Ms. Comer had forwarded an email containing details of an upcoming talk by HYPERLINK
"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Forrest" Barbara Forrest, an expert on the history of
the ID movement who had been an expert witness on that subject in HYPERLINK
"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District" Kitzmiller v.
Dover Area School District, and a prominent critic of ID. HYPERLINK
"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lizzette_Reynolds" Lizzette Reynolds, formerly of the
HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Department_of_Education" U.S.
Department of Education and also deputy legislative director for to former Governor, now
United States President George W. Bush, emailed Comer's supervisor: "This is highly
inappropriate," Reynolds said. "I believe this is an offense that calls for termination or, at the
very least, reassignment of responsibilities.HYPERLINK
"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_and_evolution_in_public_education" \l "ite_note-42"
[43]
[edit] U.S. legal quotations
Judge John E. Jones III made a landmark ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
The Supreme Court, Epperson v. Arkansas (1968):
     “...the First Amendment does not permit the state to require that teaching and learning
     must be tailored to the principles or prohibitions of any religious sect or dogma...the
     state has no legitimate interest in protecting any or all religions from views distasteful to
     them.”

McLean v. Arkansas case (1982), the judge wrote that creation scientists:
     “...cannot properly describe the methodology used as scientific, if they start with a
     conclusion and refuse to change it regardless of the evidence developed during the
     course of the investigation.”

The Supreme Court, Edwards v. Aguillard (1987):
     “...Because the primary purpose of the Creationism Act is to advance a particular
     religious belief, the Act endorses religion in violation of the First Amendment.”

In Webster v. New Lenox School District (1990), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals stated:
     “If a teacher in a public school uses religion and teaches religious beliefs or espouses
     theories clearly based on religious underpinnings, the principles of the separation of
     church and state are violated as clearly as if a statute ordered the teacher to teach
     religious theories such as the statutes in Edwards did.”

The 9th Circuit Federal Appeals Court wrote in a California case (Peloza v. Capistrano School
District, 1994):
     “The Supreme Court has held unequivocally that while belief in a Divine Creator of the
     universe is a religious belief, the scientific theory that higher forms of life evolved from
     lower ones is not.”

United States District Court Judge John E. Jones III stated thus in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School
District, 2005:
     "We have concluded that Intelligent Design is not science, and moreover that I.D.
     cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious antecedents."

From evolution.berkeley.edu[44]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_and_evolution_in_public_education

				
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