Contact: Michael Traupman, Director of College Relations, 610-740-3790


Susan Epperson, the former high school teacher who took her fight to teach evolution in her classroom all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1968, to give free public lecture at Cedar Crest College

Allentown, PA (March 10, 2005) -- In 1968, the United State Supreme Court heard the landmark case, Epperson vs. Arkansas, which called for the teaching of evolutionary science in America's classrooms.

On Thursday, March 17, Susan Epperson, the former high-school biology teacher whose fought to teach evolutionary science in the classroom, will present the lecture, "There is a striking resemblance between you and a monkey: The Epperson vs. Arkansas evolution ruling, Supreme Court, 1968." The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 4 p.m. in Room 1 of the Oberkotter Center for Health and Wellness at Cedar Crest College.

Epperson's lecture will detail her role in the case and is particularly relevant to the current public debate surrounding the teaching of evolution and creation science in public schools and universities.

Epperson was born, raised and attended public school in Arkansas. After obtaining a master's degree in zoology from the University of Illinois, she returned to Arkansas in 1964 to teach 10th grade biology in the Little Rock school system. The textbook she was to instruct from included a chapter on evolution that was illegal for her to teach under Arkansas' anti-evolution statute. This law was created in 1928, shortly after the famous Scopes "Monkey Trial."

In 1965, with the help of the Arkansas Education Association, she filed suit against the State of Arkansas in Chancery Court. In 1966, the Chancery Court declared the law against the teaching of evolution unconstitutional. This ruling was eventually appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously in 1968 that the law was unconstitutional, overturning 40 years of anti-evolution statutes. It was Epperson's determination to teach evolution in her classroom that led to the landmark decision by the Supreme Court to overturn the evolutionary biology ban in public schools and universities.

Epperson remains a dedicated biology teacher and currently teaches chemistry and environmental science at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

Her lecture at Cedar Crest is sponsored by the Cedar Crest College Theta Psi Chapter of Beta Beta Beta. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Cristen L. Rosch at (610) 606-4666 ext. 3513.



Return to Press Release archive

Cedar Crest College Home
  Prospective Students     Lifelong Learning     Current Students      Alumnae      Faculty & Staff