Dating back to the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, there has been constant conflict between creationists and evolutionists; one trying to invalidate the other (4). David S. Caudill, the author of “Law and Worldview: Problems in the Creation-Science Controversy,” expresses his perspective using the case of McLean vs. Arkansas Board of Education (1). Like many others, this case attempted to revive the “equal time” statute so that “public school science teachers present both creation and evolution 'theories' in the classroom” (1). Many creationists believe that “'neither evolution nor creation can qualify as scientific theory'” (9) because both entail assumptions about the origin of life without any “conclusive scientific evidence” (9). Although a compelling argument, because of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment, cases that attempt to introduce creationism into public schools are immediately deemed as unconstitutional (9).
Since the Age of the Enlightenment, the institution of religion has had to contend with the opposition of science regarding the issues of the origins of the world and of the human species. Up until around the end of the 17th century, the church was the authority on how the world and everything in it had come to be. However, with the great intellectual revolution came thinkers such as Galileo, Copernicus, Bacon, Descartes, and many others who challenged the biblical assumptions with empirically deduced scientific theories. The Catholic Church had a nasty habit of persecuting such ideological dissent toward creationism, calling it heresy and thereby somewhat suppressing a complete upheaval of the Scriptures. For many centuries to come, the scientific research grew and developed into theories like the Big Bang and evolution, though primarily in places where such progress was tolerated. The state of Tennessee in 1925 was not such a place. In the town of Dayton in Tennessee, a high school biology teacher was found to be in violation of a recently passed law, the Butler Act, because he taught the theory of evolution in his classroom. The debate that ensued has yet to be resolved, what with the modification of creationism into the theory of intelligent design. The argument in favor of creationism was solely based in scripture, though it had to be changed in light of its revamping, whereas the argument for evolution has only been strengthened by continued scientific discoveries.
On March 13, 1925 an act was passed by the state of Tennessee stating, “That it shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of the Universities, Normals and all other public schools of the State which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.” This act written by Rep. John Washington Butler, calling for a ban of the teaching of evolution, was written after Butler read a speech by ex-Secretary of State and leader in the anti-evolution movement William Jennings Bryan titled “Is the Bible true?”.
One of the most well-known court cases in U.S. history is that of the controversial John Scopes Trial. In 1925 the Butler Act, which forbid the teaching of evolution in public schools, was passed in Tennessee with the hopes of upholding biblical traditions and beliefs. The new law sparked immediate controversy and was challenged publicly by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Shortly after the law was passed a man by the name of John Thomas Scopes, a public substitute school teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, decided to challenge the law and turned himself in; he was subsequently arrested for his teaching of Darwinism. A trial ensued soon after and began to draw national media attention as millions of people tuned in daily to follow along
In cases having to do with constitutionality, the issue of the separation of church and state arises with marked frequency. This battle, which has raged since the nation?s founding, touches the very heart of the United States public, and pits two of the country's most important influences of public opinion against one another. Although some material containing religious content has found its way into many of the nation's public schools, its inclusion stems from its contextual and historical importance, which is heavily supported by material evidence and documentation. It often results from a teacher?s own decision, rather than from a decision handed down from above by a higher power. The proposal of the Dover Area School District to include instruction of intelligent design in biology classes violates the United States Constitution by promoting an excessive religious presence in public schools.
The education of evolution and creationism in the public school system has been debatable. Charles Darwin published his conclusions of evolution in 1859. This altered the teaching of science in the public school system intensely (Armenta, 1). Several court cases have been filed against the teaching of evolution. Because of the religious conservative legislators a ban was placed on the teaching of evolution and the equal treatment of evolution and creationism or intelligent design (Armenta, 1). The court case that stirred the controversy was the Scope case of 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee. Multiple major court cases followed; Epperson, et al. v. Arkansas, McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, Edwards v. Aguillard, and Frailer v. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education (Armenta, 1). In Louisiana and Tennessee a bill was approved that allowed teachers in the public school system to teach evolution alongside with creationism even if the principal and superintendence disagree. The author of the bill believes that it will help the students improve critical thinking skills and pupils will learn to be respectful towards other students’ beliefs (Jones, 1).
The hypothesis of creationism has been banished from state funded schools for quite a while now. Since the Scopes Trial, advancement has been illuminated in schools in this way, pushing creationism aside, until its enlightening was completely blocked in schools. Since 1925 state funded schools have ended up injustice and unjust (Linder, Douglas). They have mentally conditioned learners with advanced hypotheses like the one of development not providing for them the chance to choose which hypothesis they accept. This would not be transpiring if creationism and development were to be enlightened as an inseparable unit as opposed to trying to choose what our youngsters ought to accept. Government funded schools ought to authorize and encourage that youngsters be autonomous and winnow what they select to acknowledge as genuine.
Evolution was not always taught in public schools. There use to be a time to where it was illegal to teach Evolution at all, especially in the state of Tennessee. There was something called the Butler Act. This act states many things. One of the things that it states is that it is not only illegal to teach Evolution, but it prohibits public school teachers from denying Biblical account of man’s origin. This act was put in place as Tennessee Code Annotated Title 49 (Education) Section 1922. It also states that human beings should not be compared to animals which are considered a lower rank. If a teacher was found teaching this theory, they would have been fined $100-$500. This act did not deny the teaching of the descendants of apes from protozoa, or the teachings of geology, or even the age of the Earth.The book of Genesis (the first book in the Bible) did not even have to be taught. All the Butler Act ...
Since the time that teaching evolution in public schools was banned as heresy and taboo for contradicting the Bible, most public school systems today take an opposite approach in which creationism is seldom ta...
"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 ..."