Brigham Young University Prelaw Review


Wendy Call


Evolution Science, Creation Science, Education, Public School, Court History


An affirmative chorus rose in the 1981 Louisiana Legislature to enact the "Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science in Public School Instruction" Act. This statute, which required public school teachers to give equal time to creation- and evolution-science, set in motion a chain of litigation with the momentum to reach the Supreme Court of the United States as Edwards v. Aguillard. Rooted in more than a century of religious controversy surrounding Darwin's The Origin of Species, the threat of religious-educational enmeshment brought Edwards to the threshold of First Amendment interpretation. Although Louisiana's Balanced Treatment Act was not upheld as constitutional in the Supreme Court, review of the court history of Edwards v. Aguillard and analysis of its oral arguments and written materials offers direction for future legislation.

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