Senior Project Advisor

Tambornino, John, 1968-

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2006


Public education, Evolution, Science and religion, Scientific theory, Universal truth, Natural phenomena


Science and religion tend to provide conflicting explanations for natural phenomena, such as the origin of man, as they rely on different epistemological foundations. In the United States, the government is required to maintain a secular presence, while acknowledging and protecting individuals and minority groups of varying faiths and cultures. This becomes problematic as the provision of primary goods by the federal government necessarily implies that the institutions representing these goods must remain secular, whilst not impeding upon cultural and individual rights. Due to the heterogeneous nature of the U.S. populace, it would be impossible to provide a perfectly multicultural representation of the entire variety of beliefs and values in the public schools. Therefore, the system must adopt a set of criteria by why to justify the inclusion of various curricular components in public education, keeping in mind that the federal funding necessarily requires secularism. Thus, it stands to reason that the public schools should offer a range of subjects that apply to a citizen’s daily life and academic/vocational potential, accurately representing each of the disciplines. By this rationale, the sciences must be represented in a secular (non-sectarian) manner, presented as scientific theory (not as universal truth), and taught in adherence to the discipline, excluding any representation of supernatural explanations for natural phenomena.


Political Science

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Biology--Study and teaching--United States; Evolution (Biology)--Study and teaching--United States; Intelligent design (Teleology)--Study and teaching--United States; Religion and science--United States--History; Public schools--Curricula--United States


student projects; term papers




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Rights Statement