Between December 7 and 17 of last year, a historic trial took place in Little Rock, Arkansas. The American Civil Liberties Union charged that the recently enacted Arkansas Act 590 (of 1981), which mandated a balanced treatment of creation-science and evolution-science, was a violation of First Amendment guarantees of the separation of church and state. I was asked to be a religious witness for the state in defense of the constitutionality of the law.
The Essence Of Act 590
The preamble to the act states well its purposes:
An Act to require balanced treatment of creation-science and evolution-science in public schools; to protect academic freedom by providing student choice; to ensure freedom of religious exercise; to guarantee freedom of belief and speech; to prevent establishment of religion; to prohibit religious instruction concerning origins; to bar discrimination on the basis of creationist or evolutionist belief; to provide definitions and clarifications.…
The crucial section of Act 590 is the fourth, which defines the meaning of “creation-science” and “evolution-science”:
Section 4. Definitions. As used in this act:
(a) “Creation-science” means the scientific evidences for creation and inferences from those scientific evidences. Creation-science includes the scientific evidences and related inferences that indicate: (1) Sudden creation of the universe, energy, and life from nothing; (2) The insufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of all living kinds from a single organism; (3) Changes only within fixed limits of originally created kinds of plants and animals; (4) Separate ancestry for man and apes; (5) Explanation of the earth’s geology by catastrophism, including the occurrence of ...1
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