Creation and Evolution in Public Schools
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Creation and Evolution in Education

Regulations surrounding whether creation or evolution -- or both -- are to be taught in public schools vary from state to state and county to county. Many fundamentalists believe that creation is, at the very least, a viable option to evolution. Evolutionists, in turn, believe that creation is based on religious faith, and to teach 'religion' in public schools violates the First Amendment. Here are the basic reasons for each argument as well as a poll.

Evolution in The Classroom

The United States Supreme Court has determined that it is unconstitutional to restrict an educator's right to teach evolution. Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 (1968). Proponents of evolution in the classroom believe that since creationism cannot be proven, it has no place in a science course where all facts are proven by the scientific method. In addition, many believe, as was stated earlier, that teaching creationism or creation-science violates the First Amendment. Also, students whose parents are concerned that they learn creationism can attend parochial schools or church/synagogue Sunday schools to learn this material.

Creationism in the Classroom

Educators may not teach, as fact, the theory that humankind was created by God. In science courses, teachers may use only scientific explanations and critiques. The United States Supreme Court has held that it is unconstitutional to require educators who teach evolution to also teach creationism. Aguillard v. Edwards,765 F.2d 1251 (5th Cir.), aff'd 482 U.S. 595 (1987). Creationism can only be discussed in public schools in religious clubs, which are voluntary, or in comparative religion courses, but only as an example. Creationism can never be taught as fact.
Proponents of creationism in the classroom state that evolution, too, is only a theory that has not been completely proven by scientific reasoning. It has not been proven that life originated from a non-divine source even if there is proof that species change over time (that is, evolve). Since neither theory is completely proven, creationists reason, they should be given equal time in the classroom.
There are others, mostly fundamentalists, who wish to ban the teaching of evolution in the classroom as a step towards bringing people to Christ. Such an act would be entirely unconctitutional and will never happen. Many parochial schools, however, teach either creation science along with evolution or teach creationism alone.

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