A Liberty Not Fully Evolved?

The Case of Rodney Levake and the Right of Public School Teachers to Criticize Darwinism Originally published at San Diego Law Review

I. Introduction

In 2001, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reviewed the case of Rodney LeVake, a public school teacher who sought to enhance his school *1312 district's required science curriculum by suggesting to students alternative viewpoints inconsistent with that curriculum. [FN1] This case, LeVake v. Independent School District, [FN2] should be of great interest to legal theorists. Its holding, and the reasoning on which it is based, may serve as a Socratic provocation regarding the extent to which public school teachers have constitutional academic freedom (apart from statutory requirements or permission) to voluntarily include criticisms of and alternatives to evolutionary theory.

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Francis J. Beckwith

Francis J. Beckwith is Professor of Philosophy & Church-State Studies at Baylor University, where he also serves as Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Philosophy and Resident Scholar in Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR). With his appointment in Baylor’s Department of Philosophy, he also teaches courses in medical humanities, political science, religion, and church-state studies. From July 2003 through January 2007, he served as the Associate Director of Baylor’s J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies.