God in the Dock

God in the dock

What is the Task all about?

You are going to write a script for a new TV show about God and Science. This is the last episode of the series when God is put on trial to see whether he is the creator of the Universe and humanity or if he is just a fraud.

The episode is called:    ‘God in the Dock’


1. You will need to identify and call witnesses for the defence and the prosecution. They may include for instance for the defence:

  • William Paley (Design Argument)
  • William Bryan (Scopes trial)
  • Creationist (world made as outlined in the 1st book of the Bible- Genesis)
  • A person / scientist supporting intelligent design

OR for the prosecution:

  • Charles Darwin (Evolution)
  • A scientist for the Big Bang
  • Richard Dawkins (biologist) re DNA
  • John Scopes / Clarence Darrow

You are judge and jury. You will put questions to each of your witnesses and write the replies you think they would give. You will then as judge sum up and give a verdict based on the evidence as to whether God was involved in the creation of the Universe and humanity. What will your sentence be?

You will have the opportunity to do computer research in the lesson and at home for homework. You will need to introduce key words and ideas into your courtroom debate. Make sure that you introduce each of the witnesses and make sure you say if they are for the defence (God) or the prosecution (against God).

Assessment Criteria

Below is set out for you your criteria and what you need to do to get to the different levels. You need to talk about both ‘the origins of the universe’ and how we were created in your answers.

Using the different experts in the trial to express your knowledge will lift you straight into level 5. By then analysing and responding to their views you will be moving up to level 6 (depending on the depths of your answers). You may have the opportunity to get to level 7 if you have done all this AND then summed up as the judge and given your verdict using well argued reasons as to whether God is guilty or innocent of the charges.


TO ACHIEVE         YOU WILL NEED TO                        

Level 4      Show that you understand the reasons for different religious and non-religious beliefs about the origins of  the universe. Use the ideas raised in class to help you reflect on your own answers to the questions raised.

Level 5     Explain how writings and teachings of religious and scientific theories are used to support arguments about the origin of the universe. Explain your own views about the relationship between religion and science.

Level 6     Use the information in class to help you interpret and present arguments about the religious and scientific views of the origins of the universe. Explain the reasons behind your own views about the relationship between science and religion.

Level 7     Show that you have analysed the evidence and presented a clearly argued case, using good religious and scientific vocabulary. Pose your own questions and Explain your views on the relationship between religion and science, giving well argued reasons and examples.


How to get started