May 11, 2012: Science and Religion in the Classroom: Edwards v. Aguillard at 25

| 336 Comments

This should be of broad interest: a symposium at Stanford School of Law on the 1987 Supreme Court decision Edwards v. Aguillard. This is the decision that ruled “creation science” to be a sham devised to promote religion in the classroom. And, of course, the decision led directly to the decision to drop creationist terminology and adopt “intelligent design” terminology.

2012 is the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Edwards v. Aguillard that teaching creationism in the public schools violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution, and the National Center for Science Education, the Stanford Constitutional Law Center, and the Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences are sponsoring a symposium on the historic case. The symposium, to be held in Room 290 of the law school at Stanford, starting at 12:30 p.m. on May 11, is free and open to the public; those attending are asked to RSVP in advance.

The schedule for the symposium:

INTRODUCTION - 12:30

Michael W. McConnell (Stanford)

THE HISTORY OF THE CREATION-SCIENCE MOVEMENT AND LEGAL CONTROVERSIES - 12:45

Lawrence Friedman (Stanford, moderator)

Ronald Numbers (Wisconsin)

Ed Larson (Stanford, visiting)

Michael Ruse (Florida State)

Patricia Bowers (former Louisiana AG Office)

EDWARDS’S CONSTITUTIONAL LEGACY - 2:30

Eugene Volokh (UCLA, moderator)

Kent Greenawalt (Columbia)

Eugenie Scott (NCSE Director)

Nadine Strossen (N.Y. Law School)

Steven D. Smith (San Diego)

DOES THE DEBATE MATTER? - 4:15

Ed Larson (Stanford, moderator)

Nathan Chapman (Stanford)

Michael McConnell (Stanford)

Hank Greely (Stanford)

Ronald Numbers (Wisconsin)

Eugenie Scott (NCSE)

CLOSING REMARKS - 5:00 Ed Larson (Stanford)

For further details, and a link to RSVP, visit: http://www.law.stanford.edu/calenda[…]gion%20in%20the%20Classroom%3A%20Edwards%20v.%20Aguillard%20at%2025/

HT: NCSE

336 Comments

Hopefully, the seminal paper Is It Science Yet is required reading for the first part of this course.

I am not a lawyer, but I’d really enjoy attending. Any sponsors?

The event website indicates that the event starts at 8am? The NCSE website indicates the same at http://ncse.com/node/7316

Do you perhaps have more up-to-date info?

Does anyone know if the proceedings be available later via the web, or, through perhaps DVD purchase?

The times came from an email that NCSE sent out, but I’ll double-check.

Proceedings – based on the schedule, it looks like almost certainly there will be a special issue of a law review journal. But yeah, I hope they record it.

NCSE has updated the webpage, it also says 12:30… http://ncse.com/node/7316

Will Phillip Johnson be in attendance?

Will there be any discussion of how we prevent them from making any scientific discoveries based upon design/creation?

I’ve always been curious about such magical powers conferred by “Darwinism.”

Glen Davidson

Will there be any discussion of how we prevent them from making any scientific discoveries based upon design/creation?

I don’t know Glen…remember that all those ID labs were forced underground some time ago!

Will there be any discussion of how we prevent them from making any scientific discoveries based upon design/creation?

I’ve always been curious about such magical powers conferred by “Darwinism.”

Abraca-Dover.

Time has come today for a new trial!!! May i as a YEC creationist and so representing YEC/ID creationists suggest some boundaries about law and origin teaching in public institutions1?

Since its a constitutional issue then who made up the constitution and did these demographics demonstrate in notes and general discussions the understanding they are not said now to have banned God and Genesis in public school teaching on origin issues? Was this the intent of the delegates of the people or even the few serious debaters in the 1770’s.?

Is the censorship of creationism indicating the state is in fact not neutral but by this censorship is in fact giving a opinion that creationism is false? Not just have their hands tied but since conclusions on origins are being taught in the schools and the object of schools is to teach the knowledge or truth of things then not teaching creationism, directly, is a state opinion on its merits. Therefore state opinion on what is proclaimed religion is itself here breaking the law?! Further if the state can pronounce on the truth of “religion” it can not censor any religious truths in schools!

In short banning something is the same as saying its not true. The state saying RELIGION origins are not true is the state making a opinion on religion!!! Yet the law “discovered” in the constitution is about the state having no right to talk about religion. Even shorter the state censorship is breaking its own law that it invokes for the censorship.

In order to convince the 70% of americans that they should not agree with both sides being taught in origin issues this assembly must demonstrate the sure legal foundation for why creationism must be censored!

Of coarse I don’t think they can but i’m trying here to show why you must address these things so when new exciting cases on these things come up we all we have advanced to higher concepts about law and origin teaching.

Robert Byers said:

In order to convince the 70% of americans that they should not agree with both sides being taught in origin issues this assembly must demonstrate the sure legal foundation for why creationism must be censored!

By both sides Robert you presumably mean the Scientific side and the Religious (specifically Fundamentalist Christian Religious) side?

Let us keep in mind that it is the social/political movement of “Intelligent Design” which advocates not speaking of the Who, What, Where, When, Why or How.

Byers, do you have any objection to teaching science in the science classroom? Comparative religions can be taught in philosophy class.

Robert Byers

“Banning” the teaching of creationism in high school science classes is perfectly reasonable, because it is not the job of public schools to teach sectarian religious dogma, yours or anyone else’s, in science classes. Whilst I wouldn’t advocate it being taught in science classes, my personal preference would be for the teaching of Gilgamesh, the Enuma Elish, Hesiod and Job 38-39; others will no doubt have different preferences.

Seriously, why should the pathetic confabulation of the reported deeds of God as outlined in Genesis 1-2 take precedence over the direct speech of God that we have in Job 38-39?

The current legal issues surrounding the teaching of science in public schools in the US are the culmination of a process that began in the 1920’s with challenges to some states that foolishly banned the teaching of science - notably the theory of evolution - in high school science classes. That said, there is no bar on discussing non-scientific theories of origins in the appropriate venue - such as religious studies, history, literature or philosophy classes - so it’s stupid to assert that this is an issue of censorship. Why are you so determined that Genesis should be discussed as science, when there is clearly no bar to being it discussed in the appropriate venue?

Public school science classes also don’t discuss alchemy, astrology, allegorical medicine based on medieval theories of correspondence, geocentrism and magic - do you object to that on the basis of censorship? Or are you willing to accept that it is not the job of public school science classes to discuss theories that have no scientific merit and are incorrect? Can you please explain to me why your particular scientifically meritless pet should be privileged over other equally meritless theories? Do you really think it is the job of high school science classes to discuss extra-natural, metaphysical questions, when they can just as readily be discussed in high school history, literature or philosophy classes?

C’mon Robert, don’t darken my day with your usual cloud of thoughtless words, man-up and answer my questions.

Byers, of course, will not read this, but for the fiftieth time, here’s how his “censorship” argument is addressed:

The doctrine that all living things were created by God in roughly their present forms relatively recently is ipso facto a religious belief.

The Constitution of the United States, First Amendment, states “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion”.

The Supreme Court has ruled that this means the State may not devote any of the resources it controls to any measure mainly intended to further or support any religion or religious doctrine, nor to any measure that has that effect.

The public schools, funded by taxes, are among the resources controlled by the State. Hence, creationism may not be taught in the schools.

It’s as simple as that, in essence.

Byers, of course, won’t even read this. He’ll blather about the intentions of the Founders, as if he knew them, (which he doesn’t) and as if what he thinks they intended, rather than what they wrote in the Constitution, is what matters.

Well, what Byers thinks the Founders intended doesn’t matter a hoot. Come to think of it, what Byers thinks about what anything doesn’t matter a hoot.

Robert B., If there IS a new trial, I’ll recommend to TMLC or Rutherford or whomever represents the creationist side that they call on you as an expert witness. Also FL, IBIG, and Steve P.

eric said:

Robert B., If there IS a new trial, I’ll recommend to TMLC or Rutherford or whomever represents the creationist side that they call on you as an expert witness. Also FL, IBIG, and Steve P.

A most excellent suggestion, eric!

You’re a genius.

eric said:

Robert B., If there IS a new trial, I’ll recommend to TMLC or Rutherford or whomever represents the creationist side that they call on you as an expert witness. Also FL, IBIG, and Steve P.

Twisted minds think alike.

However, I was going to recommend that the plaintiffs bring him in as an exhibit, illustrating the tragic damage creationism can do.

I just read Byers’ post. Now my head hurts.

I suggest that Canadian booby Byers spend less time pontificating on what should be taught in US schools and more time pontificating about what should be taught in Canadian schools.

Robert Byers said:

Time has come today for a new trial!!! May i as a YEC creationist and so representing YEC/ID creationists suggest some boundaries about law and origin teaching in public institutions1?

Since its a constitutional issue then who made up the constitution and did these demographics demonstrate in notes and general discussions the understanding they are not said now to have banned God and Genesis in public school teaching on origin issues? Was this the intent of the delegates of the people or even the few serious debaters in the 1770’s.?

Is the censorship of creationism indicating the state is in fact not neutral but by this censorship is in fact giving a opinion that creationism is false? Not just have their hands tied but since conclusions on origins are being taught in the schools and the object of schools is to teach the knowledge or truth of things then not teaching creationism, directly, is a state opinion on its merits. Therefore state opinion on what is proclaimed religion is itself here breaking the law?! Further if the state can pronounce on the truth of “religion” it can not censor any religious truths in schools!

In short banning something is the same as saying its not true. The state saying RELIGION origins are not true is the state making a opinion on religion!!! Yet the law “discovered” in the constitution is about the state having no right to talk about religion. Even shorter the state censorship is breaking its own law that it invokes for the censorship.

In order to convince the 70% of americans that they should not agree with both sides being taught in origin issues this assembly must demonstrate the sure legal foundation for why creationism must be censored!

Of coarse I don’t think they can but i’m trying here to show why you must address these things so when new exciting cases on these things come up we all we have advanced to higher concepts about law and origin teaching.

Biology labs for creationism/ID would be what, looking at organisms and saying “It looks designed,” and praying for miracles?

I suppose you could always do some evolution labs complete with fake IDiot calculations (are there any others?), but that’s definitely not doing creation science, it’s evolutionary pseudoscience.

Glen Davidson

Robert Byers said:

Is the censorship of creationism indicating the state is in fact not neutral but by this censorship is in fact giving a opinion that creationism is false?

What is “creationism”? Old Testament? Zulu? Hindu? Apache? Norse? Yoruba? IF OT, which version: Masoretic, Alexandrian? Whose interpretation: Muslim, Roman Catholic, Coptic?

It’s impossible to teach “religion” without teaching a religion.

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/[…]R4rkKphzUAn0 said:

C’mon Robert, don’t darken my day with your usual cloud of thoughtless words, man-up and answer my questions.

Love it!

1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

However, I was going to recommend that the plaintiffs bring him in as an exhibit, illustrating the tragic damage creationism can do.

Excellent!

Robert Byers said:

In short banning something is the same as saying its not true.

Seriously? Most Toastmasters clubs ban the discussion of politics. Does that mean that those Toastmasters clubs are saying that “politics” is not true? The Boy Scouts bans the discussion of politics. Does that mean the Boy Scouts is saying that “politics” is not true?

Does that even make sense?

Many organizations, including “The State”, ban certain subjects from formal discussion, in order to avoid having to take a position on such matters, and to avoid divisive arguments among the groups’ members.

It isn’t the “Republican” Boy Scouts versus the “Democratic” Boy Scouts, or the “Catholic” Toastmasters versus the “Baptist” Toastmasters. It’s simply, the “Boy Scouts” or the “Toastmasters”.

Or, the “State Science Classroom”.

Scott F

Don’t forget verse 4: “When I founded the Earth, where were you then?”.

I always think of this when the “were you there?” line gets trotted out. It’s just a shame that they omit to continue with the rest of the chapter, which explicitly reveals God to be a conventional Babylonian flat-earther.

Seriously? Most Toastmasters clubs ban the discussion of politics. Does that mean that those Toastmasters clubs are saying that “politics” is not true? The Boy Scouts bans the discussion of politics. Does that mean the Boy Scouts is saying that “politics” is not true?

Don’t ID blogs tend to disallow discussion of the specific “Creation” stories? Are they then saying all of those are false? But that would include their own! ;)

Dave Lovell said:

Robert Byers said:

In fact the bible says there is very basic orders. Water/land/flying. Then kinds. no relationship otherwise.

Sort of what you would expect if it was written by late bronze age philosophers ignorant of the fruits of many millions of man years of subsequent scientific study, rather than the inerrant word of a god?

Oh, I don’t think that the author of Genesis 1 was quite as ignorant as Robert makes him out to be.

To be sure, the people of the Ancient Near East didn’t know anything about microbes. Nor did they have the concepts necessary to affirm or deny anything about fixed orders or kinds: in particular there is nothing remotely about that in Genesis 1.

But it is interesting to note that if the very basic orders of life were water/land/flying, then humans would be in the land order.

TomS said: But it is interesting to note that if the very basic orders of life were water/land/flying, then humans would be in the land order.

What about ducks????

Or flying fish?

How about penguins, Bobby, are they ‘water’ or ‘flying’?

Walruses?

Bats?

Ostriches?

Robert Byers said: Notwithstanding. Science class is teaching conclusions on certain origin subjects that contradict god/Genesis. they are teaching conclusions that great numbers see as false. Saying its science is just another way of saying you are right and we are wrong. We do exactly the same quality of investigation or science relative to the conclusions in origin subjects. which actually are not scientific but thats another issue.

Creationism uses the same data and investigation tactics and so criticizes or asserts. There is some biblical presumption however we always expect to persuade the audience based on ordinary thinking and data. We can do a lot on that. We can easily take on evolution without bible verses.

Byers, Wouldn’t it just be simpler for religionist obstructionists to start lobbying to be exempt from ever sitting in any science classes? And by any I mean ALL science classes. From the earliest grades all the way thru finishing college. No cherry picking. You either have to give them all up or stop whining about your worthless religion being denied.

dornier.pfeil said:

Robert Byers said: Notwithstanding. Science class is teaching conclusions on certain origin subjects that contradict god/Genesis. they are teaching conclusions that great numbers see as false. Saying its science is just another way of saying you are right and we are wrong. We do exactly the same quality of investigation or science relative to the conclusions in origin subjects. which actually are not scientific but thats another issue.

Creationism uses the same data and investigation tactics and so criticizes or asserts. There is some biblical presumption however we always expect to persuade the audience based on ordinary thinking and data. We can do a lot on that. We can easily take on evolution without bible verses.

Byers, Wouldn’t it just be simpler for religionist obstructionists to start lobbying to be exempt from ever sitting in any science classes? And by any I mean ALL science classes. From the earliest grades all the way thru finishing college. No cherry picking. You either have to give them all up or stop whining about your worthless religion being denied.

No, I don’t think that is good enough for Booby. He wants science, ALL science, replaced with his worthless religion and then require all public school students to take those “science” classes. Isn’t that really what you want, Byers?

Keelyn said:

dornier.pfeil said:

Robert Byers said: Notwithstanding. Science class is teaching conclusions on certain origin subjects that contradict god/Genesis. they are teaching conclusions that great numbers see as false. Saying its science is just another way of saying you are right and we are wrong. We do exactly the same quality of investigation or science relative to the conclusions in origin subjects. which actually are not scientific but thats another issue.

Creationism uses the same data and investigation tactics and so criticizes or asserts. There is some biblical presumption however we always expect to persuade the audience based on ordinary thinking and data. We can do a lot on that. We can easily take on evolution without bible verses.

Byers, Wouldn’t it just be simpler for religionist obstructionists to start lobbying to be exempt from ever sitting in any science classes? And by any I mean ALL science classes. From the earliest grades all the way thru finishing college. No cherry picking. You either have to give them all up or stop whining about your worthless religion being denied.

No, I don’t think that is good enough for Booby. He wants science, ALL science, replaced with his worthless religion and then require all public school students to take those “science” classes. Isn’t that really what you want, Byers?

Robert Byers is a self-proclaimed Canadian who thinks who has immaculate knowledge of the United States Constitution, and believes knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that teaching evolution, or anything, in a science classroom that is not some derivative of Young Earth Creationism, magically violates the separation of Church and State as outlined in the 1st Amendment.

His reason is some unintelligible word-salad about “origins,” or alternatively excuses himself from giving his reasons altogether because it’s hypocritically impolite to go off-topic, nevermind that he already derailed the topic to begin with.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on April 30, 2012 5:55 PM.

North Menan Butte was the previous entry in this blog.

47th Carnival of Evolution is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.38

Site Meter