Paul Ellwanger Strikes Again

Creation Evolution Journal
Title: 
Paul Ellwanger Strikes Again
Volume: 
8
Number: 
2
Quarter: 
Spring
Page(s): 
28–29
Year: 
1988

Do you remember Paul Ellwanger, the man who drafted the creationist "balanced treatment" bills that became law in Arkansas and Louisiana before they were eventually declared unconstitutional? Do you remember that he drafted a creationist federal bill which never found a sponsor? Well, he is now promoting what he calls the "Uniform Origins Policy" for use by state legislatures and boards of education. He says that this policy "was drafted and reviewed by legal experts, scientists, and educators" and "is in strict compliance with the July 1987 Supreme Court decision that overturned the 1981 Louisiana origins statute." He encourages people to get it into the hands of their state legislators. For one dollar, Ellwanger will send his "powerful" nineteen-page paper "containing thirty-six easily understood scientific weaknesses of evolution" which he feels should accompany the Uniform Origins Policy. This combination, he believes, "would make crystal clear to [legislators] exactly why this policy is urgently needed in our schools." You can contact him at: Citizens for Fairness in Education, 1516 Danube, Plano, TX 75075; (214) 422-7431.

- page 29 -

Here is Ellwanger's policy. We invite your comments:

A Policy for Academic Freedom in Origins Teaching
(for State Legislatures or Boards of Education)

Section 1: Education Policy for Teaching Scientific Information Relating to Origins

It shall be the education Policy of this Legislature (School Board) to encourage disclosure of relevant scientific information that makes classroom presentations more objective by including both the strengths and weaknesses of concepts on origins presented by the public school teacher or textbook.

Section 2: Definitions

(a) origins means any description or explanation of the coming into being and development of the universe, of life, or of the categories of living things.
(b) public school means a publicly administered primary and secondary grade level educational institution.
(c) public school teacher means any instructor of any class in any area of the curriculum in which origins is discussed in primary and secondary grade levels.

Section 3: Statement of Purposes

After considering the transmission of information in public schools relating to origins, this Legislature (School Board) finds there is significant risk that students many be denied access to relevant scientific information relating to origins in public schools of this jurisdiction, both in textbooks and in classroom presentation of matters relating to origins.

Purposes of this policy are:
(a) to enhance effectiveness of science instruction in the public schools of this jurisdiction by encouraging objectivity in classroom presentation of scientific information relating to origins;
(b) to protect academic freedom for public school teachers who may otherwise be deterred from teaching a variety of concepts and scientific data on origins; and
(c) to further the student's right to receive information from a variety of concepts and scientific data on origins.

Section 4: Employment Policy on the Teaching of Scientific Information Relating to Origins

(a) No public school teacher acting in good faith to carry out the intent and provisions of this Policy shall be subject to termination, suspension, or other disciplinary measure, except if such termination, suspension, or other disciplinary measure would be appropriate, normal, and constitutional for a teacher teaching any other subject matter in good faith.
(b) If a teacher is terminated, suspended, or otherwise disciplined after attempting in good faith to carry out the intent and provisions of this Policy, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the termination, suspension, or discipline of the teacher was an unlawful retaliatory measure which injures the rights of academic freedom enjoyed by public school teachers in this jurisdiction.

This version might differ slightly from the print publication.