The Case Of Evolutionism Vs. Creationism

1094 words - 4 pages

IntroductionSince the early 20th Century, creationists and theorists of evolution have been engaged in a stalemate of a battle over the legal status of the teachings of creation and evolution in the public school science classroom. The creation-evolution is an ongoing dispute in the court systems about the origins of the Earth, humanity, life, and the universe. View points from both sides have clashed heads profusely, creating a stalemate in the judicial game of chess. In this dissertation, several items will be discussed: First, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution will be defined, specifically with how it has been interpreted on the issue of religious freedom; second, the theories of evolutionism and creationism will be discussed, defining both, while showing they opposite viewpoints; last several Supreme Court decisions will be discussed pertaining to the evolutionism/ creationism fight, looking in particular at several cases that bring these issues into the public school systems.The First AmendmentThe first amendment of the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights that prevents the Congress from contravening on six rights; two of them having to do with the topic of evolution/ creationism: Congress cannot establish a state religion or prefer certain religion (Free Exercise Clause) and Congress also cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion (Establishment Clause). Together, these two clauses make up what is commonly known as the religion clauses.The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment has often been interpreted to include two freedoms: the freedom to believe, and the freedom to act.The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." This has been interpreted as the prohibition of the establishment of a national religion by Congress and the preference of one religion over another or of religion over non-religious philosophies in general. (Beckwith, 2002) The first approach is called the "separationist" or "no aid" interpretation. In separationist interpretation, the clause, as historically understood, prohibits Congress from aiding religion in any way even if such aid is made without regard to denomination. The second approach is called the "non-preferentialist" or "accommodationist" interpretation.What is Evolution/ What is CreationismEvolutionism refers to theories that certain things develop or change as natural outgrowths of those that existed before, in contrast to beliefs that these things are fixed and immutable. (Lexicom Publishing Company, 2002) Evolution, however, is the process by which novel traits arise in populations and are passed on from generation to generation. The modern understanding of evolution is based on the theory of natural selection, which was popularized in Charles Darwin's book The Origin of Species, published in 1859.Many think that Creationism describes one...

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