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Supreme Court's Ruling on Teaching of Creationism

June 28, 1987

It was reassuring to read that the Supreme Court struck down the Louisiana law requiring the teaching of so-called "creation science" in that state's biology classes.

If "creation science" is such an important part of a high school biology course, where were the Louisiana biology teachers to learn enough "creation science" to be able to teach it? I would be surprised if any accredited college in Louisiana offers a course in "creation science." I've never heard of a college biology department anywhere offering such a course. If "creation science" is not a part of the biology curriculum of any college, how can a legislature require it to be taught in high school biology classes?

Justice Antonin Scalia and Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist have placed ideology above integrity in their dissent from the court's majority position. People who are as well-educated as these justices are surely know that "creation science" is not regarded as science by university scientists anywhere; that the state legislature is not the appropriate body to determine what subject matter makes up the discipline of biology; and that the high school classroom is not the place for new components of the discipline to be introduced. Yet, knowing all this, these two ideological justices voted to uphold the outlandish Louisiana statute.

The Louisiana legislators who enacted this misbegotten law also put ideology or expedience ahead of integrity. They were either too ignorant for the responsible positions they held or they intruded where they knew they had no business being.

BRUCE PETERSEN

Anaheim

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