Evolution & the Supreme Court
Of the 141 cases reversed by the US Supreme Court, among the worst Supreme Court decisions include Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857), which held that “black” people were not intended to be included as citizens under the Constitution and therefore could claim none of the rights and privileges secured to citizens of the United States. In this case, the Court ruled that “Negroes” were, for more than a century,
regarded as beings of an inferior order and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic whenever a profit could be made by it. This opinion was at that time fixed and universal in the civilized portion of the white race (Taney 1857).
The case was heavily influenced by the rejection of the Genesis teaching that all men were descended from the first human couple.
The case was heavily influenced by the rejection of the Genesis teaching that all men were descended from the first human couple. This truth was replaced by human evolution beliefs that were widely held even before Darwin’s book, On the Origin of Species, was released in 1859 (Guyatt 2016, 27). In short, the conclusion that there were “beings of an inferior order and altogether unfit to associate with the white race” was a view that “could not be squared with the descent of humanity from Adam and Eve; racism, put simply, was a rejection of the Bible’s authority” (Guyatt 2016, 27). Sadly, the courts and even the prevailing scientific thought of that time, and until recently, asserted that “Negroes” were an inferior “race,” one less-evolved than the Caucasian “race.”
Less-Evolved Evolutionary Position Upheld
The Scriptures have consistently taught that all men are descendants of the first couple, Adam and Eve; thus all men are brothers. In contrast to this biblical doctrine, laws in the United States called Jim Crow statutes were based on racial inferiority belief that rejected this scriptural teaching. The Homer A. Plessy case (Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896)) was designed to challenge racists laws by deliberately violating Louisiana’s Separate Car Act of 1890, also known as The Withdraw Car Act (Act 111). The 1890 Act required “equal, but separate” train car accommodations for “white” and “non-white” passengers based on the superior-inferior race evolutionary belief. Plessy was an octoroon, a person seven-eighths “white” and a mere one-eighth “black,” who physically appeared fully Caucasian. It was for this reason he was thought to be an excellent candidate to challenge the existing racist law.
Plessy’s attorney, Albion W. Tourgée, correctly argued that the 1890 Separate Car Act was based on the evolutionary belief in the inferiority of African Americans compared to the evolutionary superiority of “Whites.” The Court summarized the case as follows, writing the
petitioner was seven eighths Caucasian and one eighth African blood; that the mixture of colored blood was not discernible in him, and that he was entitled to every right, privilege and immunity secured to citizens of the United States of the white race; and that, upon such theory, he took possession of a vacant seat in a coach where passengers of the white race were accommodated, and was ordered by the conductor to vacate said coach and take a seat in another [train car] assigned to persons of the colored race, and having refused to comply with such demand he was forcibly ejected with the aid of a police officer, and imprisoned in the parish jail to answer a charge of having violated the above act (Plessy v. Ferguson 1896, 541–542).
The Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment did not, and could not, require the elimination of all social or other distinctions based on race. The ruling added the ironic claim that “If one race be inferior to the other socially, the Constitution of the United States cannot put them upon the same plane.” (Plessy v. Ferguson, 544, 552).
It took almost 60 years for the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson with another case, specifically the Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, et al. (347 U.S. 483 (1954)).
It took almost 60 years for the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson with another case, specifically the Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, et al. (347 U.S. 483 (1954)). In the Brown case,
the Supreme Court of Delaware adhered to that [separate but equal] doctrine, but ordered that the plaintiffs be admitted to the white schools because of their superiority to the Negro schools …. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment (Brown 1954, 488, 495).
In this decision, the term “Negro” was mentioned 39 times; thus it is obvious what was being referred to. The Brown ruling was a major step in overturning the separate-but-equal doctrine and, more importantly, the belief in the evolutionary inferiority of some “races” (actually, diverse melanic populations).
Another Eugenic Case Rubber-Stamped Evolution Teaching
The Buck v. Bell: 274 U.S. 200 (1927) case ruled that a poorly educated girl, Carrie Buck, must be involuntarily sterilized. The eugenics lobby used this case to open the door to massive Darwinian eugenic sterilizations for the thousands of people they deemed unfit to reproduce due to their assumed biological evolutionary inferiority. The acclaimed Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes sanctioned state-enforced sterilization of so-called inferior persons based on Darwinian eugenics, claiming that,
heredity plays an important part in the transmission of insanity, imbecility, &c… It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Three generations of imbeciles are enough (Buck v. Bell 1927, 206-207).
Actually, none of the three generations of Bucks that Holmes referred to were imbeciles. Carrie ended up in the institution only because, as a pregnant young girl without a family member able to take her in, it was the best choice for her then. Furthermore, in contrast to the judge’s claim, Carrie was a life-long avid reader and lived into her seventies. And those who found themselves against her in a bridge game had no reason whatsoever to believe she was “feeble-minded” or anything close.
Nonetheless, this 8-to-1 decision opened the eugenic floodgates, soon resulting in over 64,000 eugenic sterilizations in America.
Nonetheless, this 8-to-1 decision opened the eugenic floodgates, soon resulting in over 64,000 eugenic sterilizations in America. This ruling also influenced the Nazis to copy the American law, forcibly sterilizing 375,000 putatively “inferior” Germans. At the Nuremberg War Crime trials, the Nazis who carried out forced eugenic sterilizations cited the Buck v. Bell case as their motivation and, likewise, as their defense in the Nuremberg trials (Samaan 2013, 772).
Rejected Due to Applied Evolutionary-Inspired Nazism Eugenics
In Minersville Schools v. Gobitis (310 U.S. 586 (1940)), the Supreme Court ruled the state could force students to salute the US flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, even to the extent of being expelled from school and removed from their parents’ home. The Court ruled
Two youths, now fifteen and sixteen years of age, are by the judgment of this Court held liable to expulsion from the public schools and to denial of all publicly supported educational privileges because of their refusal to yield to the compulsion of a law which commands their participation in a school ceremony (Minersville Schools 1940, 601).
The decision affected many sects, including the Mennonites, Elijah Voice Society, Children of Israel, Church of God, and, the most well-known objectors, Jehovah’s Witnesses (Manwaring 1962, 11–16). In one case, the objection was based on the requirement in Nazi Germany to give the Nazi salute to the German Nazi flag.
A central belief of several of the non-saluting sects was that all men and women were not the product of evolution but were created as taught in Genesis (Lewis 2014, 360–369; Bergman 2019).
A central belief of several of the non-saluting sects was that all men and women were not the product of evolution but were created as taught in Genesis (Lewis 2014, 360–369; Bergman 2019). They opposed the central doctrine of Nazi Germany, namely their superior-race teaching. For this and other reasons, including the central role that Jews then had in Jehovah’s Witness theology, the Watchtower Society discouraged German Witnesses from openly supporting the Nazi Government, including doing the Hitler salute (Rutherford 1925).
If Witnesses were not to “Heil Hitler!” to the Nazi flag, then what about flag saluting in other countries? To be consistent, some churches ruled it would not be proper to salute the flag of any country (Bergman 1997). This decision led eminent jurist Archibald Cox to write, in America—a country claiming to be champions of religious freedom—“The principal victims of religious persecution in the United States in the twentieth century were the Jehovah’s Witnesses” (Cox 1987, 189). The outrage, riots, and beatings objectors endured were so horrific after the Gobitis decision that it was overturned only three years later by West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943). The decision held that the First Amendment Free Speech Clause protects students from being forced under pain of severe punishment to salute the flag or say the Pledge (Stevens 1973).
Aborting a Fish as Taught by Evolution Justifies Human Abortion
Major support of the abortion position was due to these embryology claims, namely the belief that when an abortion usually occurs, the child is not human but a fish (Neel 1981).
Another recent problematic case was the 1973 Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113) decision in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s right to have an abortion. In the 1970s, University of Michigan Professor Dr. James Neel argued in Supreme Court briefs that evolutionists have proven the early embryo passes “through the stages in the evolutionary history of our species… [A]t about 30 days after conception, the developing embryo has … the gill slits and gill arches of fish and a caudal appendage labeled ‘tail’ in many textbooks of human embryology” (Neel 1981). Major support of the abortion position was due to these embryology claims, namely the belief that when an abortion usually occurs, the child is not human but a fish (Neel 1981). This incorrect view was based on the drawings by Ernst Haeckel made in the late 1800s and reprinted in most High School biology textbooks. Haeckel also inspired German scientists that influenced Hitler. His drawings have now been proven to be forgeries (Hopwood 2015). Consequently, the fish-argument claims turned out to be wrong on all counts. If the Supreme Court had medically and scientifically accurate information at the landmark trial in 1973, the ruling might have been very different (Bergman 2015). This issue was one reason why the opposition against Judges Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett were stridently aggressive.
The Creation Cases
A case that came before the Supreme Court in 1987 was an appeal by the American Civil Liberties Union to challenge the Louisiana law requiring that where evolutionary science was taught in public schools, creation science must also be taught. The law, the so-called balanced treatment law, was struck down by the Supreme Court in Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, on June 19, 1987. The court ruled in a 7-to-2 decision that “The court found that the Louisiana Legislature’s actual intent was to discredit evolution by counterbalancing its teaching at every turn” (p. 582). The court also ruled that “Families entrust public schools with the education of their children, but condition their trust on the understanding that the classroom will not purposely be used to advance religious views that may conflict with the private beliefs of the student and his or her family.”
Thus, a blueprint was adopted for schools, which was used to rescind the rights it listed incrementally, progressively, comprehensively, and deceptively over the period of 13 years when kids typically form their religious worldviews.
In this case, the Edwards’ court assumed evolution was being taught objectively. Methodological naturalism was not then an issue. The reasoning given for the court’s ruling is now orthodoxy, just as the literal interpretation of Genesis was once orthodoxy (Biedebach and Calvert 2020, 198–205). The Edwards case also defined the rights of the parents and students. Thus, a blueprint was adopted for schools, which was used to rescind the rights it listed incrementally, progressively, comprehensively, and deceptively over the period of 13 years when kids typically form their religious worldviews. The end result was that a humanistic religion is widely taught that violates the religious beliefs of over half of Americans. That Darwinism is an atheistic worldview, actually a humanistic religion, has been well-documented (Ruse 2016).
Professor Ruse documents in 310 pages the fact that “Darwinian thinking, in particular since the publication of the two great works” (On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man) has taken on the form, and role, of a religion. Specifically, a religion in opposition to the Christian world system, “from which in major respects it emerged.” (Ruse 2017, ix). Ruse also documented that Darwin the man, “absolutely, totally and completely… changed our world.” (Ruse 2017, v).
In many ways, Ruse explains, the West has experienced a Darwinian revolution so great that the world before Darwin is very different from the world after Darwin. Evolution purports to explain the origin of life, the purpose of life, and the future of life, namely that entropy will cause the death of the planets, the stars, and all life. Then, for all eternity, no life will exist anywhere, nor will planets, stars (including our sun), galaxies, and all material entities including the universe. The Supreme Court conceded that
We do not imply that a legislature could never require that scientific critiques of prevailing scientific theories be taught…. teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of humankind to schoolchildren might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction (Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, p. 594).
Furthermore, the Supreme Court ruled that it is “clear that requiring schools to teach creation science with evolution does not advance academic freedom” because the act at issue before the court in Edwards v. Aguillard
does not grant teachers a flexibility that they did not already possess to supplant the present science curriculum with the presentation of theories, besides evolution, about the origin of life. Indeed, the Court of Appeals found that no law prohibited Louisiana public school teachers from teaching any scientific theory. As the president of the Louisiana Science Teachers Association testified, “any scientific concept that’s based on established fact can be included in our curriculum already, and no legislation allowing this is necessary.” The Act provides Louisiana schoolteachers with no new authority. Thus the stated purpose is not furthered by it (page 8 Syllabus of Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, emphasis added).
This decision was used as an educational tool to indoctrinate public school children into a non-theistic religious worldview contrary to the admonition of Edwards (Biedebach and Calvert 2020, 198–205).
The main problem here was not the Edwards ruling, but the misuse of this Supreme Court ruling. In the most recent case, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005), the court ignored key parts of the Supreme Court ruling, negating the statements quoted above that acknowledge “teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of humankind to schoolchildren might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction” (Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, p. 594). The primary error of the Kitzmiller decision was to define religion as limited to theistic belief systems. This decision was used as an educational tool to indoctrinate public school children into a non-theistic religious worldview contrary to the admonition of Edwards (Biedebach and Calvert 2020, 198–205).
The judge in the Kitzmiller case ruled that certain important science questions, such as the origin of life, could not be debated by teachers in government schools. Only one view was allowed to be presented by teachers, and they were forbidden to discuss both sides of the various positions on this and similar topics. An example is the case of a biology teacher who taught that the appendix had four different functions in contrast to this core evolution belief which, for most of the last century, taught that the appendix is one of many examples of a vestigial organ, a useless organ (Bergman 2019a). Their argument is, Why would God create useless organs in the human body? Evolution, though, explained them quite well. They are organs that were useful in our evolutionary ancestors, but not in modern man. The court argued that whether the appendix had a use was not the issue. The issue was the teacher, who had a master’s degree in anatomy, taught that the appendix had a use in order to discredit evolution and thus was teaching back-door creationism, which was a violation of church and state and justified her termination.
The Kitzmiller case also dealt with the question of whether books could be included in the library that covered different sides of the life-origins controversy. The example they considered was written by one of the most successful textbook writers in the United States, Percival Davis, and a second author, Professor Dean H. Kenyon. For his contribution to the controversy, Kenyon’s university, San Francisco State University, attempted to terminate this tenured professor. The court in the Kitzmiller case ordered all books that covered the other side of the origins controversy be removed from the library. Professor Davis has co-authored several leading college-level biology and anatomy books published by secular publishers. The Kitzmiller ruling has stifled debate in classrooms and prevented full discussion of topics related to biological origins. The result is that indoctrination has replaced education, at least in this one area. Specifically, the judge ruled that the following statement, which was required to be read to the class, was unconstitutional:
January 2005, teachers would be required to read the following statement to students in the ninth grade biology class at Dover High School: The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part. Because Darwin’s Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations. Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves (pp. 708–709 Memorandum Opinion).
In over 200 cases this ruling has even been applied to support the termination of teachers and college professors who have presented evidence against the standard view of evolutionism (Bergman 2012, 2016, 2018).
The Court then ruled the Dover policy is unconstitutional pursuant to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Art. I, § 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Due to this ruling, even though it only is legally applicable to one federal judicial district in Pennsylvania, criticism of Darwinian evolution was not allowed in government schools throughout the United States, even conclusions documented in scientific journals, such as Nature or Science. In over 200 cases this ruling has even been applied to support the termination of teachers and college professors who have presented evidence against the standard view of evolutionism (Bergman 2012, 2016, 2018).
These Supreme Court decisions have documented the harm that Darwinism has caused in society by rejecting the Genesis teaching that all people groups are part of the same race, the human race. This review covers only “the tip of the iceberg” of the harm caused by certain court decisions, as documented by this author in his 40 books and in numerous other publications. Few events in modern history have been as carefully well documented as the harm Darwinism has caused society.
Jerry Bergman, “Religious Objections to The Flag Salute,” The Flag Bulletin; The Official Journal of the International Vexillological Association 4, no. 14 (July–August 1987): 178–195.
Jerry Bergman, “The Modern Religious Objection to Mandatory Flag Salute in America: A History and Evaluation,” Journal of Church and State 39, no. 2 (Spring 1997): 215–236.
Jerry Bergman, Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth About Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters (Southworth, Washington: Leafcutter Press, 2012).
Jerry Bergman, “Darwinism Used to Justify Abortion,” The Human Life Review 41, no. 2 (Spring 2015): 53–65.
Jerry Bergman, Silencing the Darwin Skeptics: The War Against Theists (Southworth, Washington: Leafcutter Press, 2016).
Jerry Bergman, Censoring the Darwin Skeptics: How Belief in Evolution is Enforced by Eliminating Dissidents. (Southworth, Washington: Leafcutter Press, 2018).
Jerry Bergman, God in President Eisenhower’s Life, Military Career, and Presidency (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2019).
Jerry Bergman, The “Poor Design” Argument Against Intelligent Design Falsified (Tulsa, OK: Bartlett Publishing, 2019a).
Mark Biedebach and John Calvert, Origins Science in U.S. K–12 Public Schools. Is it Education or Indoctrination? (Murrells Inlet, South Carolina: Covenant Books, 2020).
Archbold Cox, The Court and the Constitution (Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin, 1987).
Nicholas Guyatt, Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation (New York: Basic Books, 2016).
Nick Hopwood, Haeckel’s Embryos: Images, Evolution, and Fraud (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2015).
Michael Lewis, Church and State: A Defense of Nonresistance and Separation, 2nd edition (Hartsville, Ohio: Lockman Foundation, 2014).
David Manwaring, Render Unto Caesar (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962).
James Neel, Testimony on May 20, 1981, in The Human Life Bill: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Separation of Powers of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-Seventh Congress, First Session, on S. 158, a Bill to Provide that Human Life Shall be Deemed to Exist from Conception, April 23, 24; May 20, 21; June 1, 10, 12 and 18. Serial No. J-97-16 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1982).
Michael Ruse, Darwinism as Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016).
Joseph Franklin Rutherford, Comfort for the Jews (Brooklyn, New York: Watchtower Bible and Track Society, 1925).
A. E. Samaan, From a “Race of Masters” to a “Master Race”: 1948 To 1848 (New York: Create Space, 2013).
Leonard Stevens, Salute! The Case of the Bible vs. the Flag (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1973).
Roger B.Taney, “The Dred Scott Decision” Digital History ID 293, 1857, https://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=3&psid=293.
SourceThis article originally appeared on answersingenesis.org