From: Craig Jungers
Subject: Legal View
(This is a re-post of a message I prepared as part of a debate
on the merits of creation as a "science". I don't believe any
of the proponents FOR creation ever responded to any comments
in this post, come to think of it.)
In an earlier post, I quoted Stephen Jay Gould, an eminent
evolutionary scientist (and one who you quoted out of context
to make it appear he was no longer a "believer" in evolution)
who was writing in response to the debate between "scientific
creation" and "eveolutionary science".
Dr. Gould was called to testify for the plaintiff in a case
challenging an Arkansas law mandating that "scientific
creation" and "evolutionary science" be taught side-by-side in
the public schools of that state. The case is an interesting
one because it codifies, in Federal Court, the differences
between dogma and science. The findings of the court, and the
testimony of the witnesses for the defense in particular, are
Remember that these are quotations taken directly from the
court record. They have the weight of Federal law. You are
completely at liberty to find corroborating testimony of your
own to support you views, if you wish. Good luck.
Notice also the parts of the record which deal with the fact
that virtually the only evidence presented to support
creationism is based upon testimony designed only to discredit
evolution. A tactic Creationists have demonstrated on this
Notice that the plaintiffs - the people who are fighting the
law to teach creationism and evolution side-by-side in public
schools - are the Christian cults and Jewish councils of that
state and the nation.
First of all, the plaintiffs in the case (those who were
against the law requiring creation to be taught alongside
evolution) included the following individuals:
Arkansas Bishops of:
United Methodist Churches
Roman Catholic Church
African Methodist Episocopal Churches
The principal official of:
Arkansas Presbyterian Churches
other United Methodist Churches
Southern Baptist Churches
Organizations which appeared as plaintiffs in this action include:
American Jewish Congress
the Union of American Hebrew Congregations
the American Jewish Committee
the Arjkansas Education Association
the National Association of Biology Teachers
the National Coalition for Public Education and Religious Liberty
The defendants included:
the Arkansas Board of Education and its members
the Director of the Department of Education
the State Textbooks and Instructional Materials Selecting Committee
The trial lasted for ten days commencing December 7, 1981. Here
are a few interesting excerpts from the court document
rendering the decision:
"The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment
means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government
can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one
religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over
another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or
remain away from church against his will or force him to
profess a belief or disbelief in any religion."
"The 'two model' approach (to teaching evolutionary science and
scientific[sic] creationism side-by-side) of the creationists
is simply a contrived dualism which has no scientific factual
basis or legitimate educational purpose."
"(Creation science[sic]) asserts a sudden creation 'from
nothing.' Such a concept is not science because it depends upon
a supernatural intervention which is not guided by natural law.
It is not explanatory by reference to natural law, is not
testable and is not falsifiable."
"(The part of the law) which describes 'changes only within
fixed limits of originally created "kinds" of plants and
animals' fails to conform to the essential characteristics of
science for several reasons. First, there is no scientific
definition of 'kinds' and none of the witnesses was able to
point to any scientific authority which recognized the term or
know how many 'kinds' existed. One defense witness suggested
there may be 100 to 10,000 different 'kinds'. Another believes
there were 'about 10,000, give or take a few thousand.' Second,
the assertion appears to be an effort to establish outer limits
of changes within species. There is no scientific explanation
for these limits which is guided by natural law and the
limitations, whatever they are, cannot be explained by natural
"The statement in (a section of the law) of 'separate ancestry
of man and apes' is a bald assertion. It explains nothing and
refers to no scientific fact or theory."
"Creation science[sic], as defined in (a section of the law),
not only fails to follow the canons defining scientific theory,
it also fails to fit the more general descriptions of 'what
scientists think' and 'what scientists do.'"
"In efforts to establish 'evidence' in support of creation
science[sic], the defendants relied upon the same false premise
as the 'two model' approach contained in (a section of the
law), i.e., all evidence which criticized evolutionary theory
was proof in support of creation science[sic]."
(Two of the defendant's witnesses, Dr. Wickramasinghe and Dr.
Geisler) "testified at length in support of a theory that life
on earth was 'seeded' by comets which delivered genetic
material and perhaps organisms to the earth's surface."
(Dr. Wickramasinghe also concluded) "that 'no rational
scientist' would believe the earth's geology could be explained
by reference to a worldwide flood or that the earth was less
than one million years old."
"The proof in support of creation science[sic] consisted almost
entirely of efforts to discredit the theory of evolution
through a rehash of data and theories which have been before
the scientific community for decades. The arguments asserted by
creationists are not based upon new scientific evidence or
laboratory data which has been ignored by the scientific
"The conclusion that creation science[sic] has no scientific
merit or educational value as science has legal significance in
light of the Court's previous conclusion that creation
science[sic] has, as one major effect, the advancement of
"An injunction will be entered permanently prohibiting
enforcement of Act 590 (the law requiring creation science[sic]
to be taught alongside evolutionary science in Arkansas)."
Interesting reading, wouldn't you agree?
So there you have it -- both the scientific "proof" and the
legal issues as they have been determined in the courts in our
country. I hope this forever puts to rest your lies regarding
transitional fossils and the validity of "creationism." You
really should move on to another line of attack, as the one you
have been using is apparently sterile.