Creationism vs. evolution

Is creationism science? Does it belong in school? Is evolution just a theory?

An audience will decide these questions and more at a mock trial Oct. 22 where two attorneys will argue over evolution and creation’s role in education.

Experienced trial lawyers Margo Grubbs and Phil Taliaferro will argue opposing sides of a fictional case in which a high school biology teacher is fired for teaching both creationism and evolution.

Taliaferro said his defense base of the educator’s right is based on scientific evidence.

“We’re going to show the jury facts and give them information that has been kept under the covers for a long time,” he said.

Grubbs argues for the school board, which supports teaching only evolution.

“Phil and I are both very colorful lawyers,” she said, promising a lively discussion.

“Our Center exists to encourage dialogue on campus and in the community, especially around public policy questions,” said Mark Neikirk, director of the event’s co-sponsor Northern Kentucky University’s Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement. “The trial is an effort to encourage an insightful, civil dialogue around a polarizing topic.”

Experts will also weigh in during the trial on what Kentucky law can or should protect in public schools.

Kentucky’s law is murky. It has guidelines suggesting evolution-only instruction, but the state also has a pro-Genesis statute, according to a press release.

Retired Kenton County Circuit Court Judge Doug Stephens will preside.

The trial will last 90 minutes and then spectators will pass their verdict. The free event,, which is open to the public, begins at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 22 in Otto Budig Theater.