Today is the 28th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Edwards v. Aguillard in which Louisiana’s law requiring equal treatment for evolution and scientific creationism in science classrooms was struck down.
In the early 1980s Florida’s own Hillsborough County School Board had voted to mandate the balancing of evolution with scientific creationism. The curriculum was written, approved and ready to go for classroom use when, just a few weeks before implementation, two court cases brought everything to a screeching halt (see pages 66-67 of Going Ape). One was Edwards v. Aguillard, which at the time was still at the state level and hadn’t made its way to the Supreme Court yet. The other was McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education. The Arkansas statute requiring public schools to give balanced treatment to “creation-science” and “evolution-science” was ruled unconstitutional by a United States federal court. That ruling was not appealed.
The anniversary of Edwards v. Aguillard reminded me that I had promised on my Book:Going Ape web page (which has a full event timeline and links to reference material) that I would regularly upload to the site documents from my research. I hadn’t done that in quite a while. So, today I dumped about 15 files onto the page for your viewing pleasure. I’ve also copied the links below for your convenience. I have tons more material but I thought this would be a good start. It includes some of the most interesting materials, including the actual curriculum that would have been presented to Hillsborough County students. Enjoy!
- Hillsborough County School Board mandates the teaching of scientific creationism. Committees are formed to create a lesson plan.
- Compatriots for Academic Freedom resolution (pdf).
- Compatriots for Academic Freedom presentation (pdf). Document was quoted on page 37 of Going Ape.
- Florida Foundation of Future Scientists letter (pdf).
- Letter from Tampa Jewish Federation (pdf). Letter was referenced on page 43 of Going Ape.
- Florida Association of Science Supervisors letter (pdf). Letter was referenced on page 43 of Going Ape.
- Hillsborough County creates creationism curriculum.
- Newspaper ad by Concerned Citizens of Hillsborough County (pdf).
- Timeline for writing Hillsborough’s creation-evolution curriculum (pdf).
- Letter from National Association of Biology Teachers to Hillsborough County Supervisor Secondary Science (pdf). Letter was quoted on page 57 of Going Ape.
- Proposed goals for Hillsborough’s creation-evolution curriculum (pdf).
- Approved guidelines & goals for Hillsborough’s creation-evolution curriculum (pdf). Document was quoted on page 59 of Going Ape.
- Dissent letter about guidelines for Hillsborough’s creation-evolution curriculum (pdf). Letter was quoted on page 60 of Going Ape.
- Multiple drafts of scientific creationism section of curriculum (pdf, large document). This document shows the many edits the scientific creationism portion of the curriculum went through.
- Draft of Hillsborough’s creation-evolution curriculum (pdf, large document). Document was quoted and referenced on pages 63-65 of Going Ape.
- Final curriculum script (pdf) and final curriculum slides (pdf). These are the script and slides that would have been presented to students.