Teachers Can Teach Creation Science in the Classroom
by Robert L. Simonds, Th.D.
Today, many in public education are attempting to use the government to censor scientific evidence that refutes evolution and advances the concept of special creation. It is widely believed that scientific creationism cannot be taught in a public school science classroom. This is not true.
The U.S. Supreme Court developed a three-prong test in Lemon v. Kurtzas to when government involvement in religious activity does not violate the establishment clause: (1) The activity must have a secular purpose; (2) its primary effect must be neither to advance nor inhibit religion; (3) it must not constitute excessive entanglement of government with religion.
One would think that rational men of science would want to test, evaluate, and discuss any reasonable scientific theory on any given subject, to ascertain probable, testable data to move the theory to the level of a scientific law.
However, the established scientific community has built an entire system around a straw house. The irrationality of this position has created a scientific "house divided," as Dr. Henry Morris has thoroughly documented.1
Not only does the theory of evolution not conform to the criteria for science, it is also the foundation of many religions, and it totally fails the Supreme Court test of government non-involvement in religion.
This is nothing less than a spiritual battle for the minds of all America's children. Evolution, consistently applied, denies God's existence and His creative acts. It is the central theme of all humanist theory. Without evolution, the entire atheist religion of humanism would fall.
HOW ABOUT THE CHURCH AND STATE ISSUE?
Dr. John Moore, Professor of Natural Science at Michigan State University for over 30 years, pointed out that in creation science:
No new laws are necessary, there is no possible violation of so-called separation of church and state, since no religious teaching is involved.2 But would the United States Supreme Court buy that? Yes. In Edwards vs. Aguiliard, 482 U.S. 96 (1987), they said:
... teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of mankind to school children might be done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction.
That ruling also sustained the finding of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, as follows:
No court of which we are aware had prohibited voluntary instruction concerning purely scientific evidence that happens, incidentally, to be consistent with a religious doctrine or tenet.
Therefore, the teaching of creation science is solidly supported by law—as long as the court's rules are followed.
HOW ABOUT ACADEMIC CREDIBILITY?
The main argument of the ACLU in the Scopes Trial in 1925 was that "it is bigotry for public schools to teach only one theory of origins (creation)." The argument was against "censorship" of evolution. Now the tables have turned.
A liberal educaton, by definition, requires all sides of every issue to be aired. Truth from any source should not be feared. That is another academic reason to teach "creation science." Academic freedom permits a teacher to present whatever views he or she deems necessary to clarify a subject.
Censoring out creation science in favor of a religious view of evolution would violate academia's rules against censorship. Not to allow another valid theorv would also violate the academic idea of a liberal education, and to suppress a teacher's right to freedom in learning would violate the concept of academic freedom.
HOW ABOUT SCHOOL OR STATE POLICIES?
The ACLU and NEA (National Education Association) have spent millions on giving school boards, administrators, and teachers the false perception that Creation Science is a religious doctrine, not science. However, the Institute for Creation Research has strongly challenged that perception and has started the decay of the evolutionary death grip on science. The constituents of ICR are privileged to support and participate in possibly the greatest single movement in American church history in this century.
Until 1989, no state, to my knowledge, ever put in writing that it was permissible to teach "creation science," "divine creation," "ultimate purposes," or "ultimate causes" in a public-school classroom. However, the proposed new "California State Board of Education Policy Statement on the Teaching of Natural Sciences" says:
Discussions of any scientific fact, hypothesis, or theory related to the origins of the universe, the earth, and of life (the "how") are appropriate to the scientific curriculum. Discussions of diuine creation, ultimate purposes, or ultimate causes (the "why") are appropriate to the history/social science and English/language arts curricula: (emphasis mine).
The first sentence affirms that any valid scientific fact ' theory, or hypothesis can be taught. That policy should qualify the theories of creation science. Evolution is no more "testable" or "faisifiable" than creation.
The second sentence opens up the legitimate teaching of Biblical divine creation, ultimate purposes, and ultimate causes, not in only one major discipline, but four (history, social sciences, English, and English literature).
The recent Texas "Proclamation 66" requires all textbooks to:
- Present more than one theory of evolution (this shows up the internal divisions on evolution dogma);
- Examine alternative scientific evidence and ideas on origins (this forces the discussion of scientific creationism both as an idea and a theory);
- Present evidence to test, verify, modify, or refute each theory of evolution discussed;
- Present any other reliable scientific theories of origins.
It does seem that the educational pendulum could be swinging back to center. However, the battle is not over, by any means.
SUPPORTING THE INTEGRITY OF SCIENCE
Public school curricula should stay within the true realm of science: the observable, the testable, and the predictable. However, this would preclude the dogmatic teaching of evolution. All Christians should insist on this in their public schools.
Science involves methods, procedures, and practices limited by specific principles of investigation. These principles are often violated by evolutionists. You should be kept well informed on evolution's weaknesses. For example, Dr. Moore writes:
The concept of natural selection by survival of the fittest is the basic evolutionary mechanism. This concept does not qualify as a scientific principle ....
The concept of survival of the fittest itself does not necessarily imply any evolution. Would not the fittest survive, whether they evolved or were created?"3
Science functions in the realm of the testable, i.e., the falsifiable. Any proposed scientific explanation must be amenable to a testing process.
GUIDELINES FOR TEACHERS
If you are a teacher, you should take a step-by-step approach to maintaining the integrity of science in your classroom.
- Realize that many school administrators, school board members, and teachers are closet creationists. In their hearts they believe in a Creator and many want to support such views but feel their hands are tied. Your task is to show them that both evolution and scientific creationism should be presented in the classroom.
- Provide solid secular information on scientific creationism such as What is Creation Science? (published by the Institute for Creation Research, P.O. Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021).
- Document the legality of teaching scientific creationism. In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Edwards v. Aguillard (Case No. 85-1513) that a Louisiana law demanding a "balance" of evolution and creationism be taught, had an unconstitutional purpose of advancing a religious opinion. However, the Court also clarified that:
Teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of humankind to school children might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction (p. 14) (previously cited).
The Supreme Court noted that teachers "already possess" the flexibility to supplement the present science curriculum with the presentation of theories, besides evolution, about the origin of life (p. 8), and are "free to teach any and all facets of this subject" of all scientific theories about the origins of humankind" (p. 9).
This is clearly a "green light" for scientific creationism to be taught, even though its teaching cannot be mandated, and even though it prohibits the teaching of Biblical Creationism.
- Sponsor a lecture series at a local public library or auditorium (not a church) on scientific creationism. Invite teachers, administrators, and school board members. Organize the local churches for support of this event.
As a teacher, you are a unique minister of "light." Your work will "salt" the education process. ICR materials have helped our CEE parents' groups win scores of creation/evolution-policy battles across America. Those same materials will strengthen every teacher's resolve and technical abilities.
The creation/evolution war is for the soul of our nation. Every person will be affected by its outcome.
The Humanist Manifesto I (1933), promulgated by the American Humanist Association, describes the basis for its atheism in its very first Tenet, as follows: "(we) regard the Universe as self-existing and not created."
The Christian Bible supports scientific creation evidence when it says: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).
What message will America's children hear? It all depends on you.
1. Morris, Henry M., "Evolution—A House Divided," Impact 149, Acts & Facts, vol. 18, August 1989), 4 pp.
2. Moore, John N., How to Teach Origins, Milford, Michigan, Mott Media, 1983, p. 1.
3. Moore, p. 46.
*Dr. Simonds is President and Founder of the National Association of Christian Educators and Citizens for Excellence in Education, P.O. Box 3200, Costa Mesa, CA 92628.
Cite this article: Robert L. Simonds, Th.D. 1989. Teachers Can Teach Creation Science in the Classroom. Acts & Facts. 18 (10).