This week in Christian history: Supreme Court strikes down anti-evolution law

Supreme Court strikes down Creationism law – Nov. 12, 1968

A woman walks beside an exhibit displaying the evolution of humans, at the Darwin's Evolution Exhibition in the Calouste Gulbenkina Foundation in Lisbon February 12, 2009. |

This week marks the anniversary of when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an Arkansas law that prohibited the teaching of the theory of evolution in public schools.

Known as Epperson v. Arkansas, Justice Abe Fortas authored the court opinion. He concluded that the law violated the First Amendment prohibition on the establishment of a state religion.

“Arkansas' law selects from the body of knowledge a particular segment which it proscribes for the sole reason that it is deemed to conflict with a particular religious doctrine; that is, with a particular interpretation of the Book of Genesis by a particular religious group,” wrote Fortas.

“The law's effort was confined to an attempt to blot out a particular theory because of its supposed conflict with the Biblical account, literally read. Plainly, the law is contrary to the mandate of the First, and in violation of the Fourteenth, Amendments to the Constitution.”

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