The Creationism Act

April 29, 2009
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. Post your own now!

help3434 said...
Nov. 10, 2014 at 9:40 pm
This article got it wrong. Aguillard was against creationism, not for.
dat_great_engineer said...
Feb. 26, 2013 at 3:33 pm
If you cant teach Creationism because someone doesnt beleive in it, then why teach evolution in schools if some people dont agree with it?
Amai-kun This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 3, 2015 at 12:00 pm
There's a difference. Creationism is based entirely on religion and you must accept the Bible to believe it. Obviously, not everyone does.
Croagunk replied...
May 23, 2015 at 4:00 am
It's because evolution is proven while creationism has never been but unfortunately for Christians, has been debunked many times. It's as simple as that.
DicipleofChrist replied...
Jul. 28, 2015 at 2:38 pm
You both are completely incorrect. I have studied evolution and have looked at differences between the two. Creation and the bible are both heavily supported by evidence, whereas evolution is at least partially illogical.
EscapeRope replied...
Jul. 29, 2015 at 5:15 am
Can you provide any "empirical" evidence for the creation or prove that evolution is illogical? Please enlighten me.
crushed_veneer said...
May 16, 2012 at 7:54 am
I go to a Catholic School, and we somehow learn about evolution and the story about Adam and Eve. I think your article is very good but I disagree. I think what our country lacks is the learning of religion. Whether it be Catholicism, Hunduism, Judaism, whatever. Because most people now believe in no greater being, I personally think that this country is going downhill, fast. There's a reason we say "One nation, Under God," in our Pledge of Allegiance.
help3434 replied...
Nov. 10, 2014 at 9:38 pm
Yes, the reason is because it was added in the 1950s.
DesertFox94 said...
Jul. 13, 2011 at 9:06 pm
Good post bro.
Terravexo said...
Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:49 pm
I believe that the sharing any sort of religious belief- evolution, cristian, Muslim, ect.- should be left to the parent. Teach the kids what to believe in at home, rather than at school.
BlueRain replied...
Jan. 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm
Evolution is not a religious teaching. It doesn't rely on faith or devotion to a deity or deities. It is based on observations and research that can be proven. It challenges religion, it is not a religion itself. Because facts will always challenge religion.
The_Earl_of_Zerces replied...
Jan. 27, 2012 at 11:20 am
Actually, evolution doesn't challenge any religion that I've ever heard of. Fun Fact, Darwin never once believed that evolution and creationism were mutually exclusive. Really, there isn't anything in Genesis that goes against Darwin's Origin of Species.
BlueRain replied...
Jan. 27, 2012 at 6:42 pm
Well it doesn't really challenge Creationism per say, but it challenges what people's established idea of Creationism is. They don't usually accept that life came from less complex organisms to what we are now. But I see what you mean, creationism could exist with evolution.
DicipleofChrist replied...
Jul. 28, 2015 at 2:39 pm
The funny thing here is, facts challenge the theory of evolution. evolution.
WiseGirl said...
Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm

I'm not being mean when I say I disagree.

First of all, I believe that in the First Amendment, it is saying that no belief will be pressed into teachings in school, and that includes evolution.

Second, I would like to point out that if we want to teach our kids properly, we should teach all scientifically plausible theories of how the earth came to be.

That is just my opinion. I am not trying to start any trouble. This is a very controversial issue. Some peo... (more »)

A_Fate_Unknown replied...
Jan. 5, 2012 at 11:56 am
Your stupid, evolution is not a beleif. If is a theory. Theories have evidence to back thier claims. Creationists argue that evolution is "only a theory and cannot be proven." As used in science, a theory is an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle
BlueRain replied...
Jan. 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm
Exactly. And scientifically it is more probable than creationism.
The_Earl_of_Zerces replied...
Jan. 27, 2012 at 11:34 am
I wouldn't call you stupid, WiseGirl, but Evolution doesn't actually favor any religion. All it is is an attempt to figure out why we have different species in different areas of the world. It's not supposed to tell us how the world was created, it never was.
LikeMikeHancock replied...
Sept. 25, 2012 at 10:44 pm
hmm.. generally, ad hominem is a horrible way to begin an argument. but she is correct in that evolution has not been proven because it is unrepeatable and no transitional species have been found. And if it is said that the Bible supports evolution, i dont think there is a real grasp on genesis. Rather, the person is affirming that scientific research has more authority than the Bible which is a slippery slope that proves that the person never believed in God in the first place. but, s/o to &quo... (more »)
DicipleofChrist replied...
Jul. 28, 2015 at 2:42 pm
Just because something is labeled with a name, does not mean it should have been labeled in such a way.
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