Epperson v. Arkansas: It’s Illegal to Ban Evolution, How About Intelligent Design?

Epperson v. Arkansas was the first case regarding the teaching of evolution to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision was handed down in 1968, where the Court effectively declared it illegal to ban the teaching of evolution. 1. Summary An Arkansas statute descended from the Tennessee “Monkey Law” made it a criminal misdemeanor for teachers in state-supported schools to teach evolution and to use textbooks that taught the theory.28 Despite this law, in 1965 the Little Rock, Arkansas School Board gave biology teacher Susan Epperson a new textbook containing material on evolution.29 To avoid criminal penalty and dismissal, she sought a declaration that the Arkansas statute was unconstitutional.30 The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Epperson and held that the Read More ›