Publication Date

Fall 11-20-2019


Helms School of Government


International Relations


religion, legislation, science education, Edwards v. Aguillard, Louisiana


Education Law | Religion Law | Science and Mathematics Education | Secondary Education


The landmark Louisiana case Edwards v. Aguillard ushered in a new era of legislation in which certain ideas are discriminated against because of their religious basis. Due to the Court’s misinterpretation of evidence and employment of a faulty test for a secular purpose, the Court is responsible for disastrous and far-reaching implications. This thesis will examine how the 1987 Supreme Court case Aguillard shifted American science education away from the exploration of multiple competing theories of man’s origins in the classroom. Although America was founded on principles such as freedom of religion and thought which should be protected, the Aguillard decision led to the secularization of science education. Had the Court utilized the principles articulated in Scalia’s dissent, American schoolchildren would receive a more complete and balanced science education today.