Line Numbered Transcripts Index - P734-766
1 Q (Continuing) textbook?
2 A This seems to be the general thrust throughout the
3 book in skimming through. I might also point out one
4 other modification in this text. When I first received
5 this text at that previous meeting, this was not found on
6 the inside cover (Indicating). This is a disclaimer that
7 has been added since I first reviewed this textbook.
8 May I read it?
9 Q Yes, sir. For the record, Mr. Coward, are you
10 referring to a pasted in label that appears just inside
11 the hard cover of that textbook?
12 A Yes, I am.
13 Q Yes, sir. What does that say?
14 A "This book is not designed or appropriate for public
15 school use, and should not be used in public schools in
16 any way." That's the main topic of that.
17 Shall I read the entire disclaimer?
18 Q Yes, sir, if you would.
19 A "Books for public schools discuss scientific
20 evidence that supports creation science or evolution
21 science. This book, instead, discusses religious concepts
22 or materials that support creationist religions or
23 evolutionist religions, and such religious materials
24 should not be used in public schools."
25 Q Now, your statement was, with regard to the book,
1 Q (Continuing) that you first reviewed-- What was
2 your statement with regard to that book?
3 A The first book that I was given to preview and kept
4 for some two weeks did not have this disclaimer.
5 Q And when was that, Mr. Coward?
6 A This would have been in either January or February
7 of this year.
8 MR. CEARLEY: Your Honor, I would like to note for
9 the record that the book from which Mr. Coward was reading
10 was furnished to the plaintiffs pursuant to a request for
11 production of documents that was served upon the Institute
12 for Creation Research and Creation Life Publishers in
13 California pursuant to these proceedings in court.
14 And I would move the admission of Plaintiffs' Exhibit
16 THE COURT: It will be received.
17 MR. CEARLEY: (Continuing)
18 Q Now, Mr. Coward, you've examined Act 590, have you
20 A Yes, I have.
21 Q Is the subject of creation science, as you under-
22 stand it, presented in any of the science textbooks that
23 you currently use or have ever used in the past?
24 A No, it is not.
25 Q Do you know why not?
1 A I think probably because the writers, authors of
2 these books, also the publishers and publishing companies
3 that put the books out, such as Holt, Rhinehart, et
4 cetera, they do not view this as science or part of the
5 scientific community. Therefore, they chose not to put it
6 in their publications.
7 Q You testified earlier that the work that you did for
8 the Pulaski County School Board was with regard to a
9 proposal or resolution that was put to that Board, is that
11 A That's correct.
12 Q How does Act 590 compare to that?
13 A I can't say if it is a word for word, but the
14 general thrust or scheme of Act 590 is closely parallel to
15 the earlier resolution, which I did see it.
16 Q Have you reviewed Act 590 to determine what its
17 provisions would require of you as a classroom teacher in
18 the area of science?
19 A Yes, I have.
20 Q I call your attention specifically to the provisions
21 of Section 7. There is a statement at Section 7(b) that
22 public schools generally censure creation science and
23 evidence contrary to evolution.
24 Is creation science censured in the Pulaski County
25 Special School District?
1 A No, sir. I've taught School for nineteen years, and
2 I had never even heard of creation science until this
3 year, so there is certainly no censuring process.
4 If it is censured at all it is because creation science
5 censures itself by its very nature.
6 Q And what do you mean by that?
7 A The fact that it is religion and does not contain
8 any science. It is self-censuring.
9 Q In your effort to determine what Act 590 would
10 require of you in the classroom, Mr. Coward, have you
11 determined the meaning of the term "balanced treatment"?
12 A I have attempted to. My interpretation of it
13 probably stems from having somewhat of a science
14 background. To me balanced" means "even" or "equal."
15 There again, when I first think of this, I think of,
16 again, emphasis on equal time, equal thrust or teaching
17 with an equal zeal, and also attempting to be bipartial
18 or neutral.
19 Q Turn, if you will, Mr. Coward, to Section 4? Do you
20 have that Act in front of you?
21 A Yes, I do.
22 Q Turn to the definition, Section 4, and tell the
23 Court, if you will, what you interpret 4(a)(1) to mean,
24 "the sudden creation of the universe, energy and light
25 from nothing"?
1 A Well, there again, I interpret this to be an
2 instantaneous creation of matter and life forms on earth
3 from, without any preexisting matter or life forms.
4 Q What does the term "creation" mean to you?
5 A I think it refers to the fact that something is
6 being born or formulated which would indicate to me there
7 must be a creator or a force which is doing so.
8 Q Do you have available to you, either in your
9 experience or in the way of teaching materials, textbooks,
10 audiovisual aids or anything of that sort that would
11 constitute scientific evidence in support of sudden
12 creation of the universe, energy and light from nothing?
13 A Absolutely none.
14 Q Do you have any way to explain that or to support
15 that proposition to your students?
16 A Not from a scientific point of view, no.
17 Q From what point of view, then?
18 A It would strictly be from a religious point of view.
19 Q Look, if you will, to 4(a)(5), "explanation of the
20 earth's geology by catastrophism, including the occurrence
21 of a worldwide flood." Do you see that?
22 A Yes, I do.
23 Q Do you have any scientific evidence available to you
24 in any fashion that would tend to support the occurrence
25 of a worldwide flood at some time in the past?
1 A No. I have never seen a science textbook, film,
2 film strip, cassette tapes or any type of audiovisual
3 materials that would give a scientific explanation of this
5 Q Have you ever seen any support at all for that
7 A Not in the scientific community. I see it as a
8 strictly religious concept.
9 Q Well, specifically, to what do you relate the
10 proposition of a worldwide flood, if anything?
11 A I assume this is from the book of Genesis, speaking
12 of the Noah flood.
13 Q Is there any other place in your experience or your
14 education where you've been exposed to the concept of a
15 worldwide flood?
16 A Only in my own religious background.
17 Q How would you, Mr. Coward, explain to your students,
18 if any inquired, about the occurrence of a worldwide flood?
19 A As far as scientific explanation, I could not. I'd
20 have to refer them, if they wanted to pursue this matter a
21 little further, they'd have to go beyond the classroom and
22 pursue this from some religious authority because I have
23 no knowledge of it or no evidence or no type of literature
24 that I could present this to them in a scientific manner.
25 Q Will you look, Mr. Coward, to 4(a)(6), "a relatively
1 Q (Continuing) recent inception of the earth and
2 living kinds"?.
3 A Yes.
4 Q What does the word "kinds" mean to you as a science
6 A "Kinds" is not a scientific term. Usually in
7 science, particularly in dealing with taxonomy or
8 classification system, you refer to a specific level of
9 classification, such as species, families, orders, classes
10 or so forth.
11 "Kinds" as a science term really has no meaning or
12 significance at all.
13 Q Is it a science term?
14 A Definitely not.
15 Q Have you ever seen the word "kinds" used in that fashion?
17 A Used in the context that it is in the sentence, I
18 think it is a Biblical usage.
19 Q Do you have available to you any scientific evidence
20 that would tend to support the thought that the earth and
21 living kinds are of relatively recent inception?
22 A No, none whatsoever.
23 Q Do you know what "relatively recent inception" means?
24 A Well, this has been debated in this court as to what
25 kind of time frame that this is put into. The literature
1 A (Continuing) that I previewed on this committee,
2 most of the literature that I looked at, insisted on
3 approximately ten thousand years.
4 But "relative", there again is, the word "relative" is
5 relative in a sense.
6 Q Do you present any information in your classroom
7 with regard to the age of the earth or living kinds or
8 plants, animals, man?
9 A I do relate information to my students from a
10 scientific viewpoint as to what is depicted as the age of
11 the earth and the beginnings of time in relation to
12 certain classifications of organisms. Strictly from a
13 scientific viewpoint.
14 Q And if you recall, what generally appears in the
15 scientific literature?
16 A In regards to what?
17 Q In regard to the age of the earth?
18 A Well, there again, generally in the vicinity of four
19 and half billion years plus.
20 Q Is that relatively recent in your mind?
21 A Not in my perception of the word "relatively", no,
23 Q Mr. Coward, you've testified about 4(a)(1), 4(a)(5)
24 and 4(a)(6). If you don't have any scientific information
25 that would support that, what are you going to do if your
1 Q (Continuing) students ask you questions about those
2 particular items?
3 A There again, all I would be able to say to my
4 students would be that there are no scientific evidences,
5 to my knowledge, that would support any of these six
6 points. Therefore, I assume that since I cannot support
7 that scientifically, I cannot get into it from a religious
8 point of view, and I assume that I have to also not teach
9 them anything about evolution.
10 Q Let me back up for a moment and ask you, if a
11 student asks you about a worldwide flood, how will you
12 handle that?
13 A I would simply say to that student that as far as
14 the scientific community is concerned, as far as my
15 knowledge is concerned, there is no scientific evidence to
16 support a worldwide flood.
17 'If you chose to read on it further, then I suggest
18 there is, obviously, there are religious sources which you
19 might go to.'
20 And quite often if a student were to ask me question
21 like this, I might suggest that, well, you need to talk
22 probably about this with your parents or perhaps talk with
23 your minister, which is strictly a religious viewpoint.
24 It's definitely not a scientific one.
25 Q How does that kind of explanation fit in with your
1 Q (Continuing) understanding of the requirement of
2 "balance treatment"?
3 A We'll, there again, I can't use or cannot implement
4 balance treatment in regard to creation science unless I
5 can present scientific evidences.
6 I think the bill itself is emphatic that I cannot get
7 into the realm or scope of religion. Without any
8 scientific evidences, I don't see how I can implement Act
10 Q Tell the Court, Mr. Coward, how, in your experience
11 as a biology teacher, Act 590 would affect the way you
12 teach students in your classroom and your relationship
13 with your students?
14 A I think several problems would probably be created
15 as a result of implementing Act 590 in my classroom. One
16 alone would simply be the time frame. Most textbooks
17 generally have a unit, as such, on the theory of evolution
18 and natural selection. But even aside that, evolution is
19 interwoven throughout the fabric, really, of every chapter
20 within the textbook, virtually on every page.
21 At the time I made any statement at all regarding the
22 development of fishes or amphibians or whatever lines of
23 development, I'd have to stop again and attribute time to
24 the creationist viewpoint.
25 I would spend probably half of my time trying to make a
1 A (Continuing) statement of a scientific nature, then
2 attempting to give balance to the other viewpoint.
3 There is not time as it is to teach all the things we
4 would like to do within a given school year. I would meet
5 myself coming and going in circles attempting to do this.
6 Q You mentioned evolution as a theme in biology?
7 A Yes, I did.
8 Q I have placed in front of you a document labelled
9 Plaintiffs' Exhibit 15 for identification, and ask if you
10 can tell the Court what that is, Mr. Coward?
11 A Yes. That is a photostat of the advanced biology
12 textbook that is used. It's entitled Biology by Arms and
13 Camp, publishers H. R. W. Saunders.
14 Q Is that book used by you?
15 A Yes, it is.
16 Q In a course on advance biology?
17 A Yes, that's correct.
18 Q How is the subject of evolution presented in that
20 A In this particular book, there are seven explicit
21 chapters on the theory of evolution. Some are dealing
22 with primates, some chapters are dealing with flowering
23 plants and so forth. But the scope of the book in all
24 includes seven predesignate chapters.
25 Beyond those chapters, the entire concept of
1 A (Continuing) evolutionary theory and natural
2 selection, again, is interwoven throughout the chapters.
3 Virtually, every page makes references to some type of
4 ancestry or lines of descendance.
5 That is the very fabric or fiber that bonds the
6 scientific information together. It's the glue that holds
7 it all together.
8 Q Have you, at my request, extracted from that
9 textbook several pages that illustrate how evolution is
11 A Yes, I have.
12 Q Would you just very quickly refer to Plaintiffs'
13 Exhibit 15 and tell the Court what is illustrated there?
14 A An example might be found on the very inside cover
15 of the text, which there is a full two page overview of
16 the entire geological time scale dating the various types
17 of organisms and when they appeared on earth. Also dating
18 even the emergence of the various mountain ranges,
19 particularly in regards to the North American continent.
20 And all of this is done on a geological time scale or
21 time clock.
22 Q Is that kind of presentation unusual in a biology
23 text, Mr. Coward?
24 A No. In fact, it is standard in a biology text. I
25 don't recall, offhand, seeing one that did not present
1 A (Continuing) some type of display such as this.
2 Sometimes it will be put into, like, a twenty-four hour
3 face of a clock, and everything will be put into a time
4 sequence, out generally it is displayed in some fashion,
6 Q What other illustrations have you selected? Just
7 pick one or two, if you would.
8 A Okay. Beyond the chapters of evolution? I think,
9 which would speak for themselves, there are numerous
10 references made throughout the book in scattered
11 chapters. These would be some at random. This will be
12 page 323.
13 Q And what is illustrated there?
14 A It's talking about the evolution of fishes, but this
15 is not in an evolution chapter, as such. It's strictly as
16 a chapter regarding fish development, talking about the
17 three major classes of fish.
18 These two groups, speaking of Chondrichthyes, which are
19 the cartilaginous fish, and the Osteichthyes, which are
20 the bony fish, these two groups of fish have made two
21 major evolutionary advances over their agnathan ancestors.
22 Agnathan ancestors is referring to the jawless fish,
23 which we think was the first fish group on earth.
24 I think that would trigger Act 590.
25 Q In addition to the illustrations that you've pointed
1 Q (Continuing) out, there are seven full chapters on
2 evolution, is that correct?
3 A Yes, there is.
4 Q Are the illustrations you've mentioned consistent
5 with the manner in which evolution is presented in that
7 A Yes, they are.
8 MR. CEARLEY: Your Honor, I move the introduction or
9 admission of Plaintiffs' Exhibit 15.
10 THE COURT: It will be received.
11 MR. CEARLEY: (Continuing)
12 Q How, Mr. Coward, will you balance the treatment of
13 evolution with creation science in those courses that you
15 A I see it as an impossibility.
16 Q Do you have materials available with which to do
18 A No, I do not. I have none.
19 Q Do you know of any?
20 A None that I have previewed I would consider of a
21 scientific nature enough that be acceptable for my
23 Q You also stated that you teach the subject of
24 psychology, is that right?
25 A That's correct.
1 Q What grade level students take psychology?
2 A These would be juniors and seniors.
3 Q Have you also thought about the effect that Act 590
4 would have on methods and manner in which you present the
5 subject of psychology?
6 A Yes. I have given that some thought.
7 Q And will you tell the Court how Act 590 will affect
8 your presentation of psychology?
9 A Well, as we all know, there are a number of
10 experiments that are done in psychology based on behavior
11 comparisons of man to other forms of animals, particularly
12 in regards to primates.
13 I might cite as an example Jane Goodall's studies of
14 chimpanzees or Dianne Fossi's studies of gorillas or Harry
15 Harlow's study with monkeys on surrogate mothers,
16 Skinner's experiments with rats, pigeons and so forth.
17 These are examples which if there are no inner-
18 relationships between these organisms, either
19 biochemically, genetically or from a behavioral
20 standpoint, then these studies would have no relevance to
21 our lives at all. It would be a study in futility. It
22 would prove nothing.
23 If Act 590 stands and I have to present the idea of the
24 concept to my students that man and other primates do not
25 have common ancestry, then the first question I will get
1 A (Continuing) from them is, 'what is the
2 significance of this study'. And there I'm caught with
3 really nothing to tell them. It would be no significance,
4 I assume.
5 Q How could you balance that presentation?
6 A I could not balance it.
7 Q What would be left for you to do?
8 A I would, more or less, have to disregard these
9 studies and not make reference to that, or have a negative
10 viewpoint and just tell the students up front, 'well, this
11 study doesn't really mean anything because there are no
12 common similarities or relationships between man and
13 primates. So the study is really irrelevant. I just
14 thought I'd tell you about it.'
15 That's about what the effect would be.
16 Q How do you think that would affect your teaching
17 psychology and your relationship with your students?
18 A I think it would have a great handicap on the
19 teaching of the subject of psychology because I think
20 these are relevant and important studies.
21 At the same time, if I tried to be impartial and not
22 take sides on this issue, as I assume Act 590 insinuates
23 that I should be, I think very quickly, students are very
24 bright people, and they perceive a great deal.
25 I think the students would see in a hurry that I am
1 A (Continuing) trying to slip something by them,
2 trying to make them believe that I believe this or that I
3 accept this.
4 I think they would see through this. I believe it would
5 have a great effect on my credibility as a teacher because
6 they do put a great deal of stock in our professionalism
7 and our ability.
8 And I think they do openly admit that they think that we
9 really know what's best for them in the educational
10 system. If we don't, I don't know who does. I think they
11 admit this readily.
12 I think my credibility would be greatly questioned or
13 destroyed to some degree if I try to implement this in and
14 not be partial. They would see through it.
15 Q Section 5 of Act 590, Mr. Coward, says, "This Act
16 does not require any instruction in the subject of
17 origins, but simply requires instruction in both
18 scientific models (of evolution science and creation
19 science) if public schools choose to teach either."
20 In your courses on biology and psychology, what effect
21 would exercising that option not to teach anything about
22 origins have?
23 A Well, there again, I think that the concepts and the
24 theory of evolution and natural selection, including
25 origins, I think is really the cornerstone of biology,
1 A (Continuing) particularly in biology.
2 I think without being able to teach the evolutionary
3 theory, if I was forced to abandon it because of this, I
4 think without teaching it that my students would be
5 definitely unprepared for future college work.
6 About fifty to sixty percent of our student body does
7 attend college, according to our records. On the other
8 hand, a lot of these students, this would be the last
9 science course that they will ever have. This is the last
10 shot, really, of giving them some type of a scientific
11 background or working knowledge or understanding of how
12 science is and what it is and so forth.
13 I think by being forced to give up the teaching of
14 evolutionary theory by not being able to balance or by
15 choosing not to balance, my students would have scattered
16 fragments of scientific information, but there would be no
17 cohesive force that brings this, or cohesive substance
18 that brings this information together where it
19 collectively can be interpreted and have a significant
20 meaning to it.
21 Q Are there any other constraints on your methods of
22 teaching or the manner in which you present your subjects
23 to your students that are similar to those imposed by Act
25 A Certainly not. The only restraints that a teacher
1 A (Continuing) might find themselves being influenced
2 by would be if they, more or less, over extend themselves,
3 perhaps, in a given subject area.
4 There again, we have to use our professional judgment,
5 professional ethics to decide what is pertinent and
6 relevant to our students. But there are no restraints
7 that are handed down by the school district by which I am
8 employed; no restraints from the administration within
9 the particular building which I work.
10 We have pretty well free rein as long as we do not abuse
11 that freedom.
12 Q What statements do you make in your teaching of the
13 theory of evolution or mutation or natural selection that
14 deals in any way with the existence or non-existence of a
16 A There again, this is not a science concept. It is a
17 religious concept, and therefore, the subject of a creator
18 does not normally come up in my classroom. I do not deal
19 with that.
20 Q Do you believe yourself, Mr. Coward, in divine
22 A I'm open minded on the matter. I'm not firmly
23 convinced of that, no.
24 Q Has your teaching or knowledge of the subjects of
25 biology and psychology and botany destroyed your religious
1 Q (Continuing) convictions?
2 A Absolutely not. To me religion is apart from
3 science. It is metaphysical where scientific is strictly
4 based on physical understanding of laws of nature and
5 interpretation of those laws.
6 Q You serve with the Pulaski County Special School
7 District pursuant to a written contract, do you not?
8 A That is correct.
9 Q Is that renewed automatically from year to year
10 unless you get fired or quit?
11 A Not exactly automatically. I think each employee's
12 work production for that particular year is analyzed
13 again, but more or less you could say it is automatic for
14 general purposes, unless they have reasons to the contrary.
15 Q If Act 590 is implemented, Mr. Coward, do you have
16 the option to continue to teach biology the way you've
17 always taught it?
18 A Certainly not.
19 Q Why not?
20 A Well, there again, there is a great deal of
21 confusion, I think, that's centered around the interpre-
22 tation of what we are supposed to do or what we can do.
23 I am told, according to Act 590, that I must teach
24 scientific evidences of which I have none. I'm also told
25 that I cannot cite or quote or instruct in any religious
1 A (Continuing) materials or doctrines.
2 That leaves me with absolutely nothing to present to my
3 students from my point of view as a science educator,
4 which, to me, looks like if I cannot balance Act 590 in
5 order to comply with the law, then I've got to abolish the
6 teaching of evolution, which, to me, is the very heart of
7 biology to begin with.
8 Q Do you know how you will comply with Act 590?
9 A I've given it a great deal of thought. Of course,
10 it doesn't go into effect until another school year. By
11 nature, I'm very much inclined not to comply with Act 590.
12 I do not want to appear to be a revolutionary or a
13 martyr or anything of this nature, but as a science
14 educator I think I know what science is. I think I know
15 what professionalism and ethics are. I think I realize my
16 obligations to my students. If I don't, I wouldn't have
17 been in this business this long, that's for sure.
18 MR. CEARLEY: That's all I have, your Honor.
19 Your Honor, I now have in my hand the documents that
20 were furnished yesterday pursuant to the subpoena. They
21 have not been copied, and I don't know if anyone has even
22 examined them, but I will tender them to the Court.
23 THE COURT: Okay. Set them up here, please, sir.
24 MR. CEARLEY: (Handing documents to the Court.)
2 BY MR. CLARK:
3 Q May I look at that textbook just a moment?
4 A Certainly.
5 Q How did you say this came into your possession?
6 A The committee on which I serve for the Pulaski
7 County Special School District, Mr. Larry Fisher was
8 asked, since he provided the resolution to the district in
9 the beginning, he was asked to provide us with some
10 materials from the creation science publishers. This was
11 one of the textbooks which he provided.
12 Q And who did you say was the publisher of this book?
13 A I believe it's Zondervan, I believe.
14 Q Do you know with whom that might be affiliated?
15 A No, I do not.
16 Q Do you know if it's affiliated with the Institute
17 for Creation Research?
18 A Not for certain, I do not, no.
19 Q Or with any other creation research society?
20 A No, I do not.
21 Q You served on the Pulaski County committee to review
22 materials for creation science, is that correct?
23 A That's correct.
24 Q Materials that you reviewed were those that were
25 furnished to you, correct?
1 A That's correct.
2 Q Did you make any independent effort to obtain other
4 A I did not.
5 Q Why didn't you?
6 A On the first committee on which, on the first
7 meeting of that committee, there was not enough materials
8 available for us to make a fair appraisal. The committee
9 as a group requested from Mr. Fisher at that time, since
10 he seemed to have the availability of the materials to
11 himself , he was asked at that time if he would provide us
12 with more materials at the next meeting, and which, I
13 understand, he was to do and did so.
14 I did not make an independent search of my own.
15 Q Do you participate in the selection of textbooks for
16 the county?
17 A I have on two occasions.
18 Q Do you have any judgment as to the validity or the
19 currency of those textbooks, how current they remain in
20 terms of what is happening in science today?
21 A I imagine what is happening this morning has changed
22 science considerably, but I imagine by the time something
23 becomes relevant in the field of science, it probably is
24 in the course of maybe three to five years before it
25 actually appears in high school textbooks.
1 Q When you go to select a textbook for use in your
2 classroom, what sort of steps do you follow in terms of
3 selecting that text?
4 A As a member of the committee?
5 Q As a member of the committee or individually?
6 A We are interested, of course, first in the format of
7 the textbook. Most, again, there will have the same
8 general arrangement, phylogenetic arrangement from simple
9 to complex organisms.
10 We are interested, obviously, in the reading level of
11 the book trying to make it appropriate for the level of
12 students which will be using it. We are interested also
13 in the types of illustrations, the vividness of the book.
14 There is a lot to say for the book being attractive,
15 obviously. The students find it much more appealing and
16 easy to read if they are turned on by it, in a sense, has
17 a lot of eye appeal.
18 And of course, one of the things I am most concerned
19 with is the scientific content of it.
20 Q Do you consider yourself to be a scientist?
21 A That's a relative— Depends on who you are talking
22 with. I think my students consider me, probably, to be a
23 scientist. I don't profess to be a working scientist.
24 I'm a science educator because I chose to be, but I have
25 enough science background that some people may consider me
1 A (Continuing) to be one of sorts.
2 Q Do you not recall telling me in your deposition that
3 you were a scientist who had chosen to be a science
5 A That's right.
6 Q So to some degree, at least, you consider yourself
7 to be a scientist?
8 A To some degree, yes.
9 Q As you evaluate texts for use in your classroom, you
10 then evaluate them from a scientific aspect also, as well
11 as the other things you've already mentioned?
12 A Most definitely.
13 Q As you evaluate texts for use in your classroom, the
14 State, as I understand, had an approved or recommended
15 list of texts for biology, is that correct?
16 A That's correct.
17 Q Do you review all of those?
18 A No, I do not.
19 Q Why not?
20 A The time the textbook selection committee is formed
21 and we have our first meeting, by some fashion that's
22 unknown to me, the Pulaski County School District has
23 already narrowed the list down through their own
24 preliminary processes to normally five or six texts. Then
25 the committee of teachers selects from that group.
1 Q Did you say earlier in your direct testimony a few
2 moments ago that you know what science is?
3 A I think I do.
4 Q All right. Do you accept the recommendation of the
5 textbook committee as to what is science as is contained
6 in your books that you are recommended to use for your
7 classroom or do you make an independent judgment?
8 A Well, I think— We discuss the books. This meeting
9 is an all day type thing. We discusss the books. And
10 even though we do not all agree on which is the best book
11 for our particular students which we teach, I think we all
12 agree on what is science and which books really have the
13 most meat or substance to them.
14 Q But you accept the recommendation of the committee
15 as to which books to discuss rather than discussing all
16 that are on the recommended list, is that correct?
17 A That is correct.
18 Q So you are accepting someone else's recommendation
19 as to what is science, at least their judgment?
20 A Well, I have no choice but to select from the books
21 which are provided for me by, I assume, the school
22 district administration.
23 Q Since you served on that committee, and I assume the
24 committee's work is complete as to their recommendation on
25 the materials they reviewed for creation science, is that
1 Q (Continuing) correct? Has that committee completed
2 its work?
3 A Yes, it has.
4 Q Since that time, have you done any other review to
5 see if there are materials that support the creation
6 science explanation of origins?
7 A No, I have not.
8 Q Since the commencement of this litigation last May
9 and the proceedings that followed therefrom and the
10 publication of the State's witnesses, which I think was
11 about October 15th, the people that would be here to
12 testify on behalf of the State as scientists who would
13 advocate scientific evidence explaining a creation
14 explanation of origins, have you attempted to obtain
15 copies of any of their works or any of their publications?
16 A No, I have not.
17 Q Why not?
18 A I did not see the necessity for doing so.
19 Q Do you not have to enact or implement Act 590 next
20 school year if it's declared to be constitutional?
21 A I believe that's correct.
22 Q Are you not at a crossroads in trying to understand
23 how to do that?
24 A Yes, I am.
25 Q Would it not assist you, then, to look at these
1 Q (Continuing) materials to see if there is
2 scientific evidence or explanation for creation science?
3 A If it is enacted and upheld in this court, then I
4 will do so.
5 Q Have you already presumed it won't be enacted?
6 A No, I haven't.
7 Q Have you ever read any works by Doctor Russell
9 A I'm not familiar with him, no.
10 Q Doctor Wayne Friar?
11 A No. I say that I haven't. Let me qualify that.
12 The materials that were presented to us on that committee
13 by Mr. Fisher, I'm not aware now of the particular titles
14 of these materials or who some of the authors were.
15 They could be incorporated in this group of materials
16 and my not know it. But I'm not personally—
17 Q You made no independent effort whatsoever?
18 A No, I have not.
19 Q In the science that you teach in your classrooms,
20 the textbooks that you've chosen, have you ever made any
21 inquiry into the validity of the concepts in that science
23 A I don't think I've ever set out to make a particular
24 search to try to find out if these are valid concepts
25 because in any type of book that I use or reference that I
1 A (Continuing) use, I find the supporting evidence in
2 any book or film or type of material that I might use.
3 It's always supportive in its content.
4 Q Supportive of what? All that you believe to be
6 A All of the book from which I teach. Other books
7 that I use as resource materials or outside readings are
8 always supportive of that text. I've never found anything
9 that was really to the contrary except maybe on a
10 particular point or something.
11 Q You've heard testimony in this courtroom during the
12 times that you've been here — I know you haven't been
13 here every day, but you've been here many days — the fact
14 that there is no absolute answer in science, there's no
15 final truth, there's a great deal of discussion and debate
16 about what is science; is that correct?
17 A There's not a great deal of debate about what is
19 Q Well, concepts of science. Excuse me. Let me
20 narrow that a little bit.
21 About in biology, for instance, on the concept of
22 evolution from punctuated equilibrium to gradualism and
23 all those things. You've heard that debate?
24 A Yes, I've heard that debate.
25 Q As a science teacher, you have never taken the
1 Q (Continuing) textbook from which you teach and
2 inquired as to the authors, as to their academic training,
3 as to their professional training to try to determine
4 anything about them in terms of their merit or standing in
5 the scientific community? Have you ever done that?
6 A No, I have not.
7 Q Have you ever contacted the publisher of any of
8 those scientific texts which you use and ask him how they
9 collected or compiled the data that went into that text?
10 A No, I have not.
11 Q Is it an accepted concept in the scientific
12 community to, or in any — let's say the scientific
13 community — to use the concept of jury or peer review
14 articles that are going to be published for science?
15 In other words, circulate them among your peers and let
16 them evaluate as to its credibility or its—
17 A I think this is the way the scientific community
18 works, yes.
19 Q Do you do that in terms of texts, materials you use
20 to present in the classroom that you are going to present
21 to students in any way?
22 Do you jury the publications? Are you critical of them?
23 A I'm not sure exactly what you're asking me.
24 Q Okay. Let me— Do you take that textbook and in
25 any fashion look at it with a critical eye? That is, by
1 Q (Continuing) trying to get into the background, the
2 training, professional standing of its authors, its
3 contributors or its publishers before you elect to chose
4 it to teach as the source for your classroom instruction?
5 A No, I do not. I might add at this point, if I
6 might, that there again, as science educators, we cannot
7 possibly know the people or the backgrounds of people who
8 write, edit and publish scientific materials. But we
9 generally accept, within the teaching circles or teaching
10 community, we generally accept that the publishers, the
11 writers, the publishers and the editors of these
12 publishing houses are credible people.
13 We have to, more or less, rely upon their expertise
14 since we have no—
15 Q You rely on them as being credible people because
16 they publish the text that's generally accepted by the
18 A No, sir. But they all have science proofreaders and
19 editors that edits this material before it's entered into
20 those textbooks.
21 Q Does science make any assumptions?
22 A A scientist might make a given assumption on a
23 particular point.
24 Q Could it be assumptions contained in the material
25 that you are teaching to your students today in the
1 Q (Continuing) science textbooks you are using?
2 A On a particular point, there could be an assumption,
3 but assumptions do not become part of the scientific body
4 of knowledge, though.
5 I might use an assumption on a given experiment. `Well,
6 let's assume that this were to happen.' The assumption
7 does not become part of that body of information we
8 recognize as scientific knowledge.
9 Q Then it would be your testimony that in the text
10 material, in the textbook that you use in your classroom,
11 there are no assumptions in that material? Those
12 assumptions have been proven valid?
13 A I didn't say there were not any assumptions. I said
14 there might be an assumption on a particular minute point.
15 Q Minute point?
16 A But there are not any assumptions, I don't think, on
17 the overall scope of what might come into this body of
19 Q Are those assumptions subject to prejudice?
20 A In most cases I would assume that they are not.
21 Q They are not?
22 A Most of them are scientific assumptions. I cannot
23 say that a scientist cannot be prejudiced because they are
24 human like anybody else.
25 But I think most of them are scientific assumptions
1 A (Continuing) based on a given amount of material or
3 Q It's been several questions asked of you on how you
4 would explain various portions of Act 590. In your class-
5 room, how do you explain to a student who asks you, what
6 is the origin of first life'?
7 A I normally do not deal with the origin of first life
8 in my classroom. In the concept of the overall theory of
9 evolution, that really is not a necessary part. What I'm
10 concerned with on a high school level is what happens
11 following. Assume that the life is here, regardless of by
12 what means—
13 Q Let me interrupt you just a second. I'm sorry. You
14 said to the concept of evolution, the explanation of first
15 life is not a necessary part?
16 A Well, on a high school level, it's not necessary.
17 I'm sure that some of the Ph.D.'s that have testified here
18 earlier, that it's very necessary in their realm or scope
19 in which they work.
20 On a high school level, it is not necessary, I don't
21 think, for the student to understand the first concept of
22 origin of life.
23 If they ask me, I do make references to it.
24 Q What references do you make?
25 A I might cite the— The only scientific, really,