The Constitutionality of the Monkey Wrench: Exploring the Case for Intelligent Design
Johnny Rex Buckles
University of Houston Law Center
Oklahoma Law Review, Vol. 59, p. 526, 2007
University of Houston Law Center No. 2006-A-22
Teaching intelligent design in public schools has become an extremely controversial, and highly publicized, educational prospect that is just beginning to garner judicial attention. This Article argues that a proper resolution of the constitutional problems raised by teaching intelligent design requires both a precise understanding of intelligent design and evolutionary theory, and a sophisticated grasp of theological conceptions of the origin and development of life. After explaining these important foundational concepts and surveying the most relevant Supreme Court precedent, this Article discusses two important threshold questions that arise from the origins debate. First, is intelligent design theory inherently religious? Secondly, must science refrain from referring to supernatural causation? Answering each question in the negative, this Article then sketches the analysis necessary for determining the constitutionality of a state actor's decision to permit, require, or forbid the teaching of intelligent design in public school science classes.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 71
Keywords: Intelligent Design, evolution, creationism, establishment clause, religion clauses, neutrality norm, Lemon test, endorsement testAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 9, 2006
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