Parents Challenge Evolution Disclaimer In Georgia Textbooks

Affiliate: ACLU of Georgia
November 12, 2004 12:00 am

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ATLANTA-Court arguments ended today in a federal lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia on behalf of a group parents challenging that a warning sticker placed in science textbooks claiming that evolution is “a theory, not a fact” is government intrusion on religious liberty.

“People in this country are free to believe anything they want as a matter of faith, but what we cannot do is pretend that the Bible is a science textbook or substitute the Bible for a science book,” said Rev. Frederick B. Northup, a board member of the ACLU of Georgia. “The Bible is a book about faith, not about science. We go to our religious houses of worship to learn about faith; we go to school to learn science, and evolution is science.”

The ACLU of Georgia filed the lawsuit against the Cobb County School District on behalf of five parents who say that the stickers send a mixed message to their children. The stickers were placed in textbooks by the school district in 2002, after Cobb County fundamentalist groups unsuccessfully attempted to prevent the teaching of evolution in science classes.

“Evolution is the only subject in these textbooks that carries a disclaimer sticker and that is clearly designed to send a message that the religious belief of creationism is a scientifically valid alternative to evolution,” said Debbie Seagraves, Executive Director of the ACLU of Georgia.

Several other states, including Ohio and Tennessee (the site of the ACLU’s original Scopes “Monkey Trial” case), have sought to force the teaching of creationism in the classroom. But the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly struck down their efforts as unconstitutional.

For a copy of the ACLU’s brief, go to: /node/35383.

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