Creationism and the Law

Legal challenges to anti-evolutionist policies began with the Scopes Trial of 1925, a case the evolutionists actually lost.

Since 1968, however, U.S. courts have consistently held that "creationism" is a particular religious viewpoint and that teaching it in public schools would violate the First Amendment of the Constitution.

For a one page summary of important court cases, see Ten Major Court Cases about Creationism and Evolution.


More Resources

For guides to NCSE's collection of printed materials on lawsuits concerning evolution education, see NCSE Archives.

Chapter 4 of Religion in the Public Schools: A Road Map for Avoiding Lawsuits and Respecting Parents' Legal Rights, by Anne Marie Lofaso, a professor of law at West Virginia University, contains a detailed review of the legal issues surrounding the teaching of evolution.

"Cans and Can'ts of Teaching Evolution," by Eugenie C. Scott