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state the issues, the facts, your holding and the reasons for your holding

The East Porter County School Board decided to adopt a policy that placed a disclaimer in biology text books because they do not mention creationism, a theory that a divine being is responsible for the creation of life. The disclaimer reads:

“Because Darwin’s theory is a theory, it is still being tested as new evidence is discovered. The theory is not a fact. Gaps in the theory exist for which there is no evidence. Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available for students to see if they would like to explore this view. As is true with any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind.”

A committee of teachers, parents and students recommended to the school board that this disclaimer be adopted and placed in all high school biology text books. The board adopted the disclaimer by a 4 to 2 vote. The biology text book used now is in conformance with the Indiana state standards for science. The book in use explains the theory of evolution maintains that all life forms are descended from common ancestors. Evolution is defined in the high school text as “change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of a new species.” The Indiana Department of Education began testing students in science in 2004.

Board member Ralph Righteous spoke for the majority of the board when he said that the policy was adopted to offer a more balanced view of human origins and that there were other theories besides evolution that explained such origins. “I believe that evolution is a theory, not a fact,” said Righteous. He describes himself as a fundamentalist Christian who believes the bible literally. “I’m trying to be a realist along with my Christian faith. At least the kids know about it,” he said of creationism and intelligent design.

A group of parents of students in the East Porter School District sued the school board in federal court for adopting the disclaimer as an unconstitutional establishment of religion. They filed a motion for summary judgment. Based on the law studied in this class, or other cases you may research on your own, decide if this case on summary judgment by stating the issues, the facts, your holding and the reasons for your holding

Category: Essays

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