My talk to the Secular Legal Society

Some freethinking law students at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law have organized the Secular Legal Society, one of the many new similar student groups that are springing up all over the country. I will be giving a talk the group (and to any other interested people who wish to attend) on the topic God, Darwin, and the Constitution: The Essential Tension.

It will be on Tuesday, April 9 at noon in room A58 of the Law School. It is open to anyone. Refreshments in the form of home-brewed ginger beer and root beer floats with homemade vanilla bean ice cream will be available. (One of the law students behind this event is also a talented gourmet chef and single-handedly prepares exotic and tasty snacks for their meetings. It is worthwhile attending just to sample his latest concoctions.)

Here is a description that I provided the organizers about what the talk is about.

Ever since the theory of evolution by natural science was proposed by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace in 1858, there has been a worldwide conflict that pitted religious beliefs against secular science about how life in its various forms, especially humans, came to be. In the US, there has been a complicating factor in the form of the US constitution’s Establishment Clause, that resulted in public schools becoming the arena where this conflict played itself out as some religious believers tried to counter the teaching of a theory to students that they believed was hostile to their faith.

This talk will try and disentangle the legal, scientific, and religious strands of this conflict so that what is at issue becomes clearer.

I am sure that it has not escaped readers’ notice that I, who have no formal legal training at all, will be talking about constitutional law to law students and faculty at a law school. Talk about going into the lion’s den! But this will not be the first time that I have not allowed ignorance to stop me from speaking and likely will not be the last.

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