Creationism and the Law
Edwards v. Aguillard
In a landmark ruling in 1987 in Edwards v. Aguillard, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the state of Louisiana's "Creationism Act" was unconstitutional. This statute prohibited the teaching of evolution in public schools, except when it was accompanied by instruction in "creation science". The Court found that, by advancing the religious belief that a supernatural being created humankind, which is embraced by the term "creation science," the act impermissibly endorsed a particular religious viewpoint. In addition, the Court found that the provision of a comprehensive science education is undermined when it is forbidden to teach evolution except when creation science is also taught. Some creationists responded to this decision by refashioning "creation science" to avoid any explicit references to the Bible, to God, or to the beliefs of a particular religious sect. This version of creationism re-emerged as part of the "intelligent design" movement in the 1990s.
Related Off-Site Material
Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) 482 U.S. 578
Dean Kenyon affidavit
Talk Origins FAQ on Edwards v. Aguillard