Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Government Dept.


G. Calvin Mackanzie

Second Advisor

L Sandy Maisel


So the question that animates this paper is this: what happens when a state's education policy seeks to make popular social and religious values a central part of its education standards in direct confrontation with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? I will try to answer that question in three ways. First, I will examine the tactics used in the manipulation of curricula to reflect social and religious values, with special focus on the Kansas case. Second, I will try to ascertain the determinants of success in these efforts; under what conditions are movements to impose creation science on public school curricula likely to succeed, and when to fail? Third, I will try to place these struggles over educational curricula, and between religion and science, in broader context, focusing on what they tell us about the nature of public policy making in the contemporary United States.


Creationism -- Study and teaching -- Law and legislation -- Kansas, Creationism -- History, Evolution (Biology) -- Study and teaching -- Law and legislation -- Kansas