creationism or creation science, belief in the biblical account of the creation of the world as described in Genesis, a characteristic especially of fundamentalist Protestantism (see fundamentalism). Advocates of creationism have campaigned to have it taught in U.S. public schools along with the theory of evolution, which they dispute. In 1981 a federal judge ruled unconstitutional an Arkansas law requiring the teaching of creationism, holding it to be religious in nature; a similar Louisiana law was overturned in 1982. In 1999, supporters of creationism in Kansas succeeded in removing the requirement that evolution be taught as part of the state's high school biology curriculum, but after several supporters of the measure were not reelected to the state school board that decision was reversed in 2001. Fundamentalist Christians have also opposed the teaching of scientific theories concerning the formation of the universe (see cosmology). See also intelligent design.
See E. C. Scott, Evolution vs. Creationism (2004); M. Ruse, The Evolution-Creation Struggle (2005); M. Berkman and E. Plutzer, Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America's Classrooms (2010).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.