Chapter

Legalizing Evolution 1961–1970

Edward J. Larson

in Trial and Error

Third edition

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780195154719
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849505 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195154719.003.0005
Legalizing Evolution 1961–1970

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This chapter traces the readmission of evolution into the classroom during the 1960s, leading up to the Epperrson case, which struck down Arkansas anti-evolution law, and parallel legal actions in Tennessee and Mississippi. It notes the budding creationist legal response to this development. Assuming that biblical creationism could not be taught in public schools, Bryan sought neutrality through silence on the subject of biblical origins by excluding evolutionary teaching as well. This form of neutrality ended when the BSCS texts successfully reintroduced evolution as the central concept in biology instruction during the early 1960s. Meanwhile, the Schempp decision offered strong legal support for teaching creationism along with evolution.

Keywords: Arkansas anti-evolution law; Epperson case; Establishment Clause; Schempp case; BSCS texts; John Moore; creationism; Justice Black

Chapter.  11268 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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