Creation science - American Education
A pseudoscientific course basing all biology, zoology, geology and paleontology on scriptural precepts and the teachings of fundamentalist Protestant churches. Creation science rejects Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution in favor of the biblical notion in Genesis that God created the Earth and all its creatures, including man, in six days. Declared an unconstitutional intrusion of the church into state affairs, creation science has been outlawed in public schools by a succession of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. In Edwards v. Aguillard in 1987
, for example, the Court declared creation science an attempt to discourage the teaching of accepted scientific theories while promoting a specific religious belief. Undeterred by the court rulings, Christian fundamentalists repackaged creationism into a new religious concept called intelligent design
and again placed the teaching of evolution in jeopardy in many areas. A theory that an as-yet-unidentified guiding force directed the development of all living organisms, including humans, intelligent design asserts that living organisms are too complex to have evolved from common ancestors through natural selection and random mutation. Underlying the argument for intelligent design is the concept of “irreducible complexity,” which holds that the interdependent parts of most organisms make it impossible for them to have existed in any other earlier, more primitive form. Unlike creation science, the theory of intelligent design carefully avoids all references to religious beliefs that the United States Supreme Court barred from the public school curriculum. Nonetheless, a Federal District Court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, ruled in December 2005 that intelligent design was as much a religious viewpoint as creationism and that public schools injecting it into the science curriculum were in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.