“Objective” generally means not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased. It means to teach, not to indoctrinate. It involves teaching methods which seek to reasonably and objectively inform students about, and cause them to critically analyze, competing viewpoints about religious issues and questions.


Law reviews and legal articles regarding the need for objectivity in origins science education

1. Trilogy explains why indoctrination in evolution interferes with the religious rights of parents, students, and taxpayers in violation of the Establishment Clause.           

Professor of Law Jana McCreary first explains why a non-objective teaching of evolution only  – showing only the evidence that supports the theory – violates the Establishment Clause.  Peter Irons replies with an argument which ignores her underlying premise.  McCreary responds with a convincing rebuttal premised on the solid legal conclusion that Atheism is a religious viewpoint that is promoted by an evolution only paradigm.

Jana R. McCreary, This Is the Trap the Courts Built: Dealing with the Entanglement of Religion and the Origin of Life in American Public Schools, 37 SW. U. L. Rev. 1 (2008).

Peter Irons, Darwin, Dogma, and Definitions: A Reply to Professor McCreary, 37 SW. U.L. Rev. 69 (2008).

Jana R. McCreary, Focusing Too Much on the Forest Might Hide the Evolving Trees: A Response to Professor Irons, 37 SW. U. L. Rev. 83 (2008).

2. Kitzmiller’s Error explores the critical error of school use of a narrow definition of religion that excludes nontheistic religions like Atheism and Religious (“Secular”) Humanism.           

John Calvert, a lawyer specializing in constitutional methods for teaching origins science in public schools, published Kitzmiller’s Error  a year after the McCreary-Irons debate.  Although it reaches the same conclusion expressed by McCreary, it was written and published subsequent to and completely independent of the McCreary articles.  Calvert shows (a) how the Courts have come to define religion inclusively to include nontheistic religions like Atheism and Religious (“Secular”) Humanism, (b) how the decision in the Kitzmiller case is flawed due to the failure of the court to apply that inclusive definition to a policy that would encourage an objective teaching of evolution, and (c) how the use of methodological naturalism in public education about origins science causes it to endorse a nontheistic religious viewpoint.

John Calvert, Kitzmiller's Error: Using an Exclusive Rather Than an Inclusive Definition of Religion, 3 Liberty University Law Review 213-328 (Spring 2009).

3. Evolutionary theory has become an orthodoxy that is inconsistent with good science and the Establishment Clause.           

Robert J. D’Agostino, Professor of Law at John Marshall Law School, explains how evolutionary theory has become an orthodoxy inconsistent with the Establishment Clause and good science.

Robert J. D'Agostino, Selman And Kitzmiller And The Imposition Of Darwinian Orthodoxy, 10 B.Y.U. Educ. & L.J. 1 (2010).

4. The “Rule” known as “methodological naturalism” is constitutionally problematic when used irrefutably in origins science education.           

Johnny Buckles, Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center, explains why methodological naturalism used in public education as an irrefutable proposition is inconsistent with the Establishment Clause.

Johnny Rex Buckles, The Constitutionality of the Monkey Wrench: Exploring the Case for Intelligent Design, Okla. L. Rev., Vol. 59, p. 526 (2007).

5. Origins science, defined as requiring methodological naturalism, becomes an ideology that is inconsistent with the Establishment Clause and good science.           

Stephen Trask argues that methodological naturalism is ideological and that its use to legitimize the indoctrination of students into a belief in evolutionary theory should be found to be a violation of the establishment clause.

Stephen W. Trask, Evolution, Science, And Ideology: Why The Establishment Clause Requires Neutrality In Science Classes, 10 Chap. L. Rev., 359 (2006).

6. Origins science which uses the Rule (methodological naturalism) encourages explicit promotion of particular religious viewpoints.           

Discovery Institute lawyer Casey Luskin documents ways that evolution advocates encourage violations of the Establishment Clause, while explicitly advocating state endorsement of pro-evolution religious viewpoints.

Casey Luskin, Zeal For Darwin's House Consumes Them: How Supporters Of Evolution Encourage Violations Of The Establishment Clause, 3 Liberty U. L. Rev., 403 (Spring 2009).

7. Does the suppression of intelligent design reflect hostility towards religion?

Arnold Loewy is Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of North Carolina School of Law.  Prof. Loewy argues that the systematic exclusion of intelligent design or teleology from public education is constitutionally problematic.  Click here for a detailed COPE commentary on this article.

Arnold H. Loewy, The Wisdom and Constitutionality of Teaching Intelligent Design in Public Schools, First Amend. Law Rev., 5 (2006) 82.

8. Parents have the right to direct the religious education of their children in K-12 public schools.

Constitutional attorney John Calvert explains that public school subject matter that addresses religious issues must be either excluded from the curriculum or else taught objectively so that it has a religiously neutral effect.

John H. Calvert, Religious Rights of Parents and Students in U.S. K-12 Public Education, XXVII World Congress of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, Washington, D.C., June 5, 2015.

9. Public schools are obligated to maintain religious neutrality.

Attorney Calvert argues that religious issues in public schools must be taught in an objective and neutral manner or else be removed from the curriculum.

John H. Calvert, The Absence of Religious Neutrality in K-12 Public Science Education, 12 Liberty Univ. Law Rev. 570-662 (2018).