The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is denouncing a recent creationist event hosted by a South Carolina elementary school.
A parent reports that Ocean Bay Elementary School in Myrtle Beach hosted a Science Night for students on Jan. 30 that included creationism instruction. The school reportedly organized and sponsored the event. The Bay Breeze school newsletter promoted the event, saying it featured “Paleontologist Scott Campbell.” Campbell, who does not appear to possess any relevant degrees related to the field of paleontology, seeks to evangelize and teach young-earth creationism.
Campbell’s presentation was apparently full of young-earth creationism talking points. Genesis Project International posted on Facebook, “We we’re (sic) blessed with the opportunity to share the creation message in several public schools in the Myrtle Beach area. It was a joy to present the truth of God’s design in an environment so often dominated by an evolutionary worldview.”
Genesis Project International says of its program:
"From an early age, curiosity and a thirst for knowledge revealed a surprising lack of information on dinosaurs and other scientific topics from a Biblical worldview. Personal evangelism and public ministry also revealed how a lack of answers to questions on these topics were turning others away from Christ. After several years of intense research, Scott assembled a presentation covering all the major topics relating to the creation/evolution issue."
Teaching creationism or any of its offshoots in a public school is unlawful, FFRF reminds Horry County Schools.
“Courts have routinely found that such teachings are religious, despite many new and imaginative labels given to the alternatives,” FFRF Senior Counsel Patrick Elliott writes to Horry County Schools Staff Attorney Kenneth Generette. “The Supreme Court struck down teaching of ‘scientific creationism’ in public schools. Federal courts consistently reject creationism and its ilk in the public schools.”
Every attempt to smuggle religion into the science curriculum by means of “alternative theories” has failed, FFRF asserts. Any theory that “depends upon ‘supernatural intervention,’ which cannot be explained by natural causes, or be proven through empirical investigation, and is therefore neither testable nor falsifiable” is “simply not science,” to quote the U.S. Supreme Court.
Representing unconstitutional religious instruction as science does a great disservice to the scientific literacy of Horry Public Schools students, FFRF maintains. No controversy exists in the scientific community regarding the fact of evolution. The teaching of “alternative theories” as part of a school program is not only inappropriate and dishonest, it is also unconstitutional.
“It’s preposterous to foist creationist nonsense upon schoolchildren,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “The intelligence of even elementary school kids shouldn’t be insulted with such balderdash.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a nationwide nonprofit organization with more than 32,000 members across the country, including hundreds in South Carolina. Its purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.