The Creationism Act | Teen Ink

The Creationism Act

April 29, 2009
By Anonymous

The teaching of creation science in public schools is a breach of the First Amendment- more specifically in the Establishment Clause. The Establishment Clause says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” By teaching the creation story of God creating Adam and Eve, the public school is imposing its Christian views on children who may not be Christian. If a Muslim child goes to a public school, he would not have the same belief; he may believe in a god but not the God that is being taught about. By teaching the idea of God creating the world in seven days, the Establishment Clause would not be upheld.

In the case of Edwards v. Aguillard, Don Aguillard, a high school biology teacher, was faced with confrontation when he tried to teach the story of creation in a public school. The governor of Louisiana, Edwin Edwards, said that teaching the Creation Story was unconstitutional. The Creationism Act stated that if the evolution theory was taught in public schools, then the theory of creationism was also to be taught. Many people, however, challenged this act. Both the Federal District Court and the Court of Appeals declared that the Creationism Act was unconstitutional.

The court rulings came about because of the Lemon Test. The Lemon Test consists of three parts: the government’s action must have a secular purpose, it must avoid excessive entanglement between religion and government, and it must not enhance nor inhibit religion. This test is still used today. The Lemon Test is a way of protecting the Establishment Clause and academic freedom. With both the Establishment Clause and the Lemon Test in place, the government has very strict regulations about what can and cannot be done or said in the schools. This lasting precedent reaffirms that the advancing of any religious doctrine in the public school system is in direct violation of the First Amendment.


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This article has 42 comments.


on Sep. 8 2010 at 5:08 pm
Tintinnabulation BRONZE, Glen Arm, Maryland
4 articles 0 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Long enough have you dreamed contemptible dreams,
Now I wash the gum from your eyes,
You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life."-Walt Whitman

If biblical creationism were taught alongside other religious creation stories, then it wouldn't be wrong, would it? An institution that denies religion is lifting up atheism and that's equally unjust. Don't you think it would be insulting to be told that the universe was created billions of years ago in some massive explosion...if that's not what you believe? It forces you to renounce your religion and bubble in the "right" answer on the test. Something to keep in mind.

andevo59 said...
on Oct. 27 2009 at 11:32 pm
andevo59, Austin, Texas
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"So far as we know science is the only philosophy to lift us from the anesthetic of familiarity, the smug satisfaction of paranormalism, the cold constraints of divine right. Let us embrace science to its glorious entirety."

A great analysis on the political ramifications and violations of the creationism movement in the U.S. However, it's important to consider the problem beyond that of modern social and political discourse: we must remember the threats that the teaching of such an unrealistic doctrine would pose to the long-term future of our society. Further, we are depriving our children the *true* answer to one of the most pressing questions of all time: how did we come to be? Such a threat we should not take lightely.