Creationism bill introduced in Arkansas—again!

Why Evolution Is True

You’d think the state of Arkansas would have learned its lesson in the case of McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, a case decided in 1982 by the late U.S. District Court Judge William Overton. Ruling on Arkansas Act 590, the “Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Act”, which actually required the teaching of so-called creation science in the state’s public schools, Overton struck the law down firmly, asserting that it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”). In other words, Overton considered “scientific creationism” as simply a form of Christian doctrine, which it certainly was. The eloquent final section of Overton’s decision still lodges in my mind, and stands as the definitive reason why creationism doesn’t belong in public schools:

The application and content of First Amendment principles are not determined by public…

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