(This paper was published in the Sept/Oct 1995 issue of Academe, the official journal of the American Association of University Professors.)
(1) The term "creationism" causes endless confusion. Literally, it means only that there is a creator, as opposed to a purposeless and undirected process of evolution. That is the sense in which I use the term. Newspapers and textbooks have created the stereotype that the only believers in creation are Genesis literalists who claim that the universe is only a few thousand years old. The stereotype is a distortion, which conceals the fact that the current evolutionary orthodoxy is uncompromisingly naturalistic, and hence in conflict with any view that assigns a role in nature to a creator.
(2) Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987).
(3) 482 U.S. at 591.
(4) See Peloza v. Capistrano Unified School District, -- F.3d -- (9th Cir. 1994); Webster v. New Lenox School District, 917 F.2d 1004 (7th Cir. 1990).
(5) Bishop v. Aronov, 926 F.2d 1066 (11th Cir. 1991). This decision upheld the University's decision not to allow Professor Bishop to express his doubts about the Darwinian theory, even in voluntary, after-hours sessions (because students might feel indirectly coerced to attend). The opinion hinted that the University might have been constitutionally obligated to take this action under the first amendment's establishment clause, saying that "the creation/evolution aspect of his lecture could have lent itself to an analysis as found in Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987)."
(6) Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches School District, 113 S. Ct. 2141 (1993).
(7) Brief for Respondent Attorney General of New York, p. 24, quoted at 113 S.Ct., p. 2151.
(8) 113 S.Ct. at 2147, quoting from Cornelius v. NAACP Legal Defense and Ed. Fund, Inc., 473 U.S. 788, 806 (1985).
(9) George M. Marsden, The Soul of the American University: From Protestant Establishment to Established Nonbelief (Oxford University Press 1994).
(10) Ibid., p. 14.
(11) Douglas Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology, p. 3 (2d ed. 1986).