Genesis and the schools

Both Protestant and Roman Catholic clergymen have testified that Arkansas's now challenged ''creation-science'' law bears a direct if unstated relationship to the Book of Genesis. They were among the first witnesses in a suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and others attacking the law as contrary to the First Amendment guarantee of separation of church and state. The law requires that Arkansas teachers who teach the theory of evolution give ''balanced treatment'' to creation-science. The outcome of the case could affect not only Arkansas but other states that have or contemplate similar laws.

We discussed this subject at greater length when Louisiana passed such a law last summer. The constitutional separation of church and state must be maintained for the protection of all. At the same time the yearning for religious insight on the most fundamental questions of human life must be respected. The advocates of creation-science argue that it can be taught without violating the Constitution. Some also argue that evolutionism itself is a form of religious belief.

It is well that the issue has been brought before the judgment of the courts. It needs full clarification and adjudication.

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