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Epperson V Arkansas

In: Science

Submitted By patricia05
Words 867
Pages 4
The Unsuccessful Education Beliefs Many powerful authority believed that they can decide on what sorts of things taught in public school. Few education issues have started controversy and debate about teaching of evolution. School boards have been forced to address concerns about good science education as well as conflicting claims about constitutional limitations but a new approach to teaching about evolution has been developed to meet the test of good science and satisfy the courts’ standards of constitutionality. In this case, several people concerns about strong challenges that gets through the society about anti-evolution that it can affect the religious or anti-religious beliefs of a dominant group. The United State Supreme Court precedents that the Constitution permits both the teaching of evolution as well as the teaching of scientific criticisms of prevailing scientific theories. The court focused on Arkansas statute that prohibiting the teaching of human evolution in public schools and universities, no teacher was permitted "to teach the theory or doctrine that mankind ascended or descended from a lower order of animals," or "to adopt or use in any such institution a textbook that teaches.” (Fortas, par 2) This explains the statute was an adaptation of the law at the center of the “Scopes monkey trial” in Tennessee. The Tennessee Supreme Court allowed the state to continue to prohibit the teaching of evolution. The case involved the teaching of biology in Little high school, the administrators adopted a new textbook for the 1965-1966 school year which contained a chapter discussing Charles Darwin and evolutionary theory, and prescribed the subject be taught to the students. It was based upon the recommendation of the school biology teachers. In the year 1965, Susan Epperson, a young woman who obtained her master's degree in zoology at the University of Illinois, was employed by the Little Rock school system to teach 10th grade biology at Central High School. She found herself in a dilemma when she realized that her district had adopted a book containing evolution. It remained a criminal offense to teach the material in her state, and to do as her school district instructed would also put her at risk of dismissal. In this case, students was also affected about prohibiting the teaching of anti-evolution. The idea is to use scientific disagreements over evolution to help students learn more about evolution, and about how science deals with controversy. It is important to note that legal scholars and groups with differing views about evolution have conceded the constitutionality of presenting scientific criticisms of evolutionary theory. According to this concept, school boards and administrators need to maintain that any presentation of a science curriculum dealing with evolutionary theory should focus on scientific evidence and theories reasonably inferable from that evidence, rather than upon claims that rest upon religious beliefs. From this point, "The Supreme court does not decide whether the statute is unconstitutionally vague, since, whether it is construed to prohibit explaining the Darwinian theory or teaching that it is true, the law conflicts with the Establishment Clause" (Epperson v. Arkansas sec 2. par 3). This explains about expressing no opinion as to whether the statute prohibits "explanation" of the theory or only teaching that the theory is true, reversed the Chancery Court. It becomes the State Chancery Court held the statute an free speech violating the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
Although the court held that the right of a state to select the curriculum for its public schools does not include the right to make it a crime to teach scientific doctrine or theory based on its conflict with a religious belief. The court motivation of the statute was a fundamentalist belief in the literal reading of the Book of Genesis, and that this motivation required the voiding of the law. This affects, "The sole reason for the Arkansas law is that a particular religious group considers the evolution theory to conflict with the account of the origin of man set forth in the Book of Genesis" (Wikipedia Epperson v. Arkansas par 3). This argument about the overriding fact is that Arkansas law selects from the body of knowledge a particular segment which it proscribes for the sole reason that it is deemed to conflict with a particular religious doctrine. Under Epperson, it is unconstitutional to exclude a theory simply because it is incompatible with the religious or anti-religious beliefs of a dominant group. Curriculum must be chosen based upon the educational needs and resources available to the school board. Teaching students both the scientific strengths and weakness of neo-Darwinian and evolutionary theories is consistent with academic freedom and avoids the problematic approach to the issue that the Court faced in Epperson. This decision prohibited state governments from using any particular religious beliefs as a basis for education and prohibition which was absolute because otherwise the religious belief is supported by the government. Compare today, the State is permitted to teach the education of students to the principles of any religious group. Unlike before, the Constitution prohibits the censoring of scientific ideas. Nevertheless, the Arkansas Supreme Court has said that the statute before us may or may not be just such a law.…...

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