Line Numbered Transcripts Index - P767-799
1 A (Continuing) references that we would have would be
2 the theory proposed by A. I. O'Parin in 1936 which was
3 followed by Stanley Miller's experiment in 1953 on trying
4 to create or synthesize materials in a laboratory, organic
5 materials such as DNA and sugars, amino acids.
6 Q What do you know about that theory? Is that a
8 A O'Parin's was a hypothesis.
9 Q What was Doctor Miller's?
10 A An experiment.
11 Q Does that prove theory?
12 A I'm sorry?
13 Q Does that prove scientific theory, an experiment?
14 A No. It just simply gives credibility to the fact
15 that it is feasible.
16 Q That it is feasible?
17 A That it is feasible. This could have happened. It
18 certainly in no way explains the origin of life. Now,
19 that's really as far as I can go with my students at the
20 level I teach.
21 Q Are there any assumptions made in that experiment
22 that you know of?
23 A Not that I'm aware of, no.
24 Q Do you know how the experiment was conducted?
25 A Basically.
1 Q Please tell me that?
2 A Well, a number of compounds such as methane —
3 might not have the correct ones, but I believe methane,
4 perhaps ammonia, hydrogen, water vapor, maybe carbon
6 These compounds or these elements or compounds were used
7 or chosen because we understand these are the basic
8 ingredients of the earth's atmosphere at the time we think
9 first life was begun on earth.
10 Q Let me interrupt you again. You said "We
11 understand", "we think"—
12 A Well, science understands.
13 Q Who is "well? Who is "science"?
14 A Well, you are changing the question now?
15 Q Well, you said "we understand." You told me the
16 answer was science. Now, tell me who is "well and
17 "science" that understand these were the compounds in the
18 earth when first life was formed?
19 A There again, I'm not a scientific expert. I'm not
20 offering this as an expert.
21 Q Well, what is your understanding as a science
23 A I think people that work in the areas of
24 biochemistry and geophysics and so forth—
25 Q You have no personal understanding of that? You are
1 Q (Continuing) relying on someone else?
2 A They indicated to us this was the earth's condition
3 at the time.
4 Q Who is `they" that indicated to you?
5 A There again, the literature from which I read or
6 that I have to rely upon as a science educator, the people
7 that write this material, this is the indications that
8 comes from the millwork of the scientific community.
9 This is accepted among them. I have to rely on that. I
10 have no way of verifying this or testing this myself. As
11 a science teacher, I always have to rely on upon the
12 scientific community.
13 Q You cannot perform that experiment in your own
15 A I do not have the expertise to do so.
16 Q Could it be performed in a laboratory?
17 A Certainly. It could be performed any given day.
18 Q Are there any assumptions in that experiment?
19 A None that I'm aware of.
20 Q It is not an assumption to believe that at the time
21 first life was formed, whatever that date may be, that
22 those were the compounds that were found in the earth's
24 A According to the scientific community, this is not
25 an assumption. Here again, I am not an expert on that
1 A (continuing) subject area.
2 Q You said, I think, a minute ago — I want to make
3 sure I understand this — that in a high school classroom,
4 a secondary classroom, it is not necessary to explain the
5 origin of first life to teach evolution. Is that what you
7 A That's correct.
8 Q Under Act 590, it says you don't have to instruct in
9 origins, isn't that correct?
10 Read Section 5 with me, clarifications, sentence number
11 two. "This Act does not require any instruction in the
12 subject of origins." Is that correct?
13 A That's correct.
14 Q Did you testify earlier on direct that you can't
15 teach the theory of evolution because of the balanced
16 treatment required in creation science?
17 A That's correct.
18 Q Now, is the theory of evolution, in terms of the
19 theory of evolution, are you saying that the evolution
20 explanation of origin or first life can be deleted from
21 your classroom and not negatively impact on your students
22 at all?
23 A If I understand your question, I can delete the
24 teaching of origin in my classroom without losing the
25 validity of the concepts of the theory of evolution.
1 Q Then you can teach evolution?
2 A Not by the— Not according to the six guidelines
3 set down in Section 4.
4 Q Not according to the six guidelines—
5 A Only one of those, I believe, deals with origins.
6 The others deal with catastrophic floods, separate
7 ancestry of man and apes. I could not handle those in my
8 classroom even disregarding origins.
9 Q You said earlier that you consider yourself to be a
10 scientist who has chosen to be a science educator. When
11 was the last time when you, as a scientist, had any
12 scientific training?
13 A I think I would be correct in saying about 1968 or 9.
14 Q '68 or '69. Thirteen years? Twelve or thirteen
15 years is the last formal science training you've had?
16 A That's correct.
17 Q But you consider yourself competent to understand or
18 to evaluate what is science?
19 A That's correct. If I can't, then they need to find
20 somebody to replace me in my classroom.
21 Q I'm interested, Mr. Coward, I know you have a
22 B.S.E., a Bachelor of Science in Education? Correct?
23 Master's of Science in Education?
24 A That's correct.
25 Q In those disciplines you were taught science and
1 (Text Missing [TM]) Continuing) educational principles and techniques?
2 (TM) s correct.
3 (TM) you have any formal academic training in
4 (TM) y?
5 (TM) I do.
6 (TM) much?
7 (TM) approximately twenty-four hours, I would say
8 (TM) at the graduate level?
10 (TM) undergraduate?
11 (TM) I take that back. Yes, I do have. Probably
12 (TM) it is at the graduate. I was thinking of
13 (TM) duate.
14 (TM) you define for me what is the scientific
15 (TM) You've talked about the body of science.
16 (TM) says, they say, we say. Is that the scientific
17 (TM) ty?
18 (TM) do you want it in specifics?
19 (TM) Yes. Is "they"— Are "they" the scientific
20 (TM) ty?
21 (TM) Well, when I say "they", I'm referring to the
22 (TM) fic community.
23 (TM) Now, tell me what that is?
24 (TM) The scientific community is made up of the men and
25 (TM) who work in the field of science each day. And
1 A (Continuing) their primary objective, of course, is
2 to perform experimentation to uncover data, to analyze
3 data and empirical qualities and quantities, and to
4 assimilate this information into working theories and
5 hypotheses, make it applicable to our daily lives.
6 Q Are you a part of that scientific community?
7 A No, I'm not.
8 Q What is your role in relation to that community in
10 A As a science educator, I am a go-between, in a
11 sense, between the scientific community and my students.
12 My role is to, more or less, try to keep abreast of what
13 is going on within the scientific community, try to sift
14 through the abundance of data and information that is made
15 available through publications and new texts and so forth,
16 and try to sift through and sort through this material to
17 determine what is applicable to the particular students
18 that I have, what's applicable to their lives and what do
19 they need for basic understanding of science, and what do
20 those need that are preparing themselves to further
21 education, to college or what have you.
22 Now, this is my role, to sift through and decide what is
23 applicable to them, get it on a working level which is
24 understandable by them and can be used by them or utilized.
25 Q Would it be fair to characterize your role, then, as
1 Q (Continuing) that of sitting as a judge to (TM)
2 for your students what concepts in science they should
3 learn and acquire in order that they might prepare
4 themselves for their advance careers?
5 A Not exactly. I think the scientific community is
6 the judge of what is valid and what is not simply in a
7 sense there is so much of that information that I do have
8 to select or scrutinize the information.
9 Q Do you believe that life evolved from nonlife?
10 A I think it is feasible.
11 Q You think it's feasible. What's your basis for that
12 belief that it's feasible?
13 A Based on, there again, the study by Henry Miller
14 shows that it's a feasible process. It doesn't mean that
15 it occurred, but it's feasible.
16 Q Is there a scientific explanation for first life for
18 A No.
19 Q Is there confusion among the scientific community as
20 to the explanation of that in your judgment?
21 A Depends again on— "Confusion" there is a relative
22 word, too.
23 Q All right. Let me say it's a disagreement.
24 A I would say that there are probably people in the
25 scientific community who do not totally agree on that
1 Continuing) concept, yes.
2 (TM) re other areas in science where the
3 (TM) munity disagrees on biology concepts?
4 (TM) ry one.
5 (TM) ed equilibrium, gradualism being two?
6 (TM) y.
7 (TM) you realizing this disagreement in the
8 (TM) mmunity, have the responsibility and the
9 (TM) judge what concepts should be passed on to
11 (TM) of the disagreements or each viewpoint of
12 (TM) ent still has scientific merit or scientific
13 (TM) en I feel that I should present both
15 (TM) believe both of those have scientific merit?
16 (TM) nes are you speaking of?
17 (TM) ted equilibrium and gradualism.
18 (TM) they do. There again, I'm not expertise in
19 (TM) s
20 (TM) Mr. Coward, let's pretend I'm one of your
21 (TM) I'm going to ask you that question. What's
23 (TM) id think they would both have a certain degree
24 (TM) ic validity. I'd have to do further research
25 (TM) ougn, before I could testify as to the validity
1 A (Continuing) of those.
2 Q what kind of research would you do before you would
3 tell me they do as a student?
4 A I would probably try to obtain some type of
5 publication by Doctor Gould would be one good source.
6 Q If you heard the testimony of a witness for the
7 State today or tomorrow, whenever we begin to put on our
8 case, that cited scientific evidence for creation explana-
9 tion of origin, would you do some independent research
10 there, too, and then explain that in your class?
11 A If I heard the evidence and I considered it to be
12 scientific, I would further investigate it, yes.
13 Q Well, now, wait a minute. Whose standard are we
14 judging science by now? Yours or that of the scientific
16 A Well, the position I'm in, I have to be a judge, to
17 some degree as to what is science. If I—
18 Q Then you are a judge as to what concepts are passed
20 A To some degree. I'm more or less like a traffic
21 cop; not a judge.
22 Q All right. More or less like a controller, a
23 coordinator? Will you take that?
24 A Director, yes.
25 Q A director. All right. You are a director when
information is passed on. As a director, do you think
1 Q (Continuing) it's fair to pass on information about
2 concepts in terms of evolution that deal with gradualism
3 and punctuated equilibrium; is that correct? I don't
4 want to say something you didn't say. Is that what you
6 A Would you restate that?
7 Q As a director, you think it's proper to pass on
8 concepts, educational concepts, to your students in the
9 theory of evolution, gradualism and punctuated equilibrium?
10 Do you?
11 A If I find both are from the millwork of the
12 scientific community and both seem to have validity in my
13 judgment, I think it would be certainly within my power as
14 a director to present both viewpoints.
15 Q Are they from the millwork of the scientific
17 A I believe they are.
18 Q Then they would be passed on?
19 A if that was within the scope of my course that I
20 teach, but it is not. But if I were teaching, perhaps, a—
21 Q In biology when you teach evolution, it's not within
22 the scope of the course to talk about gradualism and
23 punctuated equilibrium?
24 A There again, as the director, I have to keep the
25 work level of my course on the comprehensive level of the
1 A (Continuing) students which I teach.
2 This may or may not be beyond them. It would depend.
3 But I would use my judgment at that time. I think this is
4 probably a little bit, maybe, beyond the scope of high
5 school biology.
6 Q To expose them to the ideas beyond the scope of high
7 school biology?
8 A Perhaps.
9 Q To expose them to the idea that there may be another
10 explanation for first life or origin as based in creation
11 explanation is beyond the high school student's
12 competence, if there's scientific evidence?
13 I understand the burden is to prove that. But if there
14 is, as a director, is that beyond their scope and is
16 A Perhaps not.
17 Q Perhaps not?
18 A I'm not sure of an exact understanding of what
19 you're asking.
20 Q Okay. And yet as a scientist, you tell me you
21 haven't had any training for twelve or thirteen years, is
22 that right?
23 A That's correct.
24 Q No formal institutes, no formal—
25 MR. CEARLEY: Your Honor, I'd like to make it clear
1 MR. CEARLEY: (Continuing) to, the Court and to counsel
2 that Mr. Coward was offered as a witness as a science
3 teacher and not as a science expert. And he's not ever
4 been represented as such.
5 He's answered Mr. Clark's questions about how he
6 perceives himself.
7 MR. CLARK: Your Honor, I've never asked him—
8 THE COURT: Go ahead.
9 MR. CLARK: (Continuing)
10 Q I want to come back to something I asked you
11 earlier. You said in your search for materials that
12 explained a creation explanation of origin that you found
13 none that were presented to you that scientifically—
14 Excuse me.
15 I think you said you found no valid scientific publica-
16 tions, text materials that were valid within the
17 scientific community; is that correct? No established is
18 publishers, printers, those sorts of things, is that
20 A That is correct.
21 Q You also said you did not make much of an
22 independent effort on your own, but what you had seen, no
23 valid publisher would have done that or had done it, to
24 the best of your knowledge?
25 A That's correct.
1 Q I want to show you a textbook here.
2 MR. CLARK: Your Honor, I'd like to have this marked
3 for identification as Defendants' Exhibit, I believe, 4.
4 MR. CLARK: (Continuing)
5 Q That textbook is entitled The World of Biology, is
6 that correct?
7 A Yes, it is.
8 Q Who is it published by?
9 A McGraw Hill.
10 Q Is McGraw Hill a reputable publisher?
11 A Yes, they are.
12 Q Would you turn in that text to what would be
13 numbered, I believe, page 409? Have you found it, Mr.
15 A Yes, I have.
16 Q Would you read the title of the chapter that starts
17 on page 409?
18 A "Evolutionary Theory and the Concept of Creationism."
19 Q Would you then turn to page 414?
20 A Yes.
21 Q On page 414 you see in bold print or type, the
22 second paragraph, actually, would you tell us what the
23 title is leading that paragraph? What does it say?
24 A Sub-topic is "Creationism."
25 Q Would you take just a minute to peruse the next two
1 Q (Continuing) or three pages and see if those
2 include some explanation of the creation model or creation,
3 theory for origins?
4 A They appear to, yes, sir.
5 Q Thank you, very much.
6 You indicated in your direct testimony, Mr. Coward, that
7 teachers — and I think you were speaking specifically, I
8 think you might have been, of science teachers know
9 what is current in the field; is that correct?
10 A It is part of the responsibility to attempt to keep
11 current, yes.
12 Q How do you do that?
13 A Through the reading of books, periodicals.
14 Q What periodicals? What books?
15 A In what particular area are you speaking of?
16 Q Biology.
17 A Some of the books on the subject such as Origins by
18 Richard Leakey, Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan, Human
19 Fossil Remains, I don't recall the title of that one, this
20 type of thing.
21 Q What do you read regularly?
22 A I read a good deal— In biology, I assume, that you
23 are talking about?
24 Q Yes. Please.
25 A Most of my reading recently has been in psychology,
1 A (Continuing) but I am very much interested in
2 evolutionary theory and for that matter, the scope of
3 history of evolution.
4 Q But specifically, what have you read recently or do
5 you read regularly in terms of biology? Well, just take
6 evolutionary theory, your ongoing—
7 A I skim through current periodicals such as
8 Scientific American and National Geographic and these
9 type things.
10 Q You skim through those, you say?
11 A Well, read areas that might be of particular
12 interest to me. I'm not knowledgeable of all the
13 publications and all the articles that are written in the
14 field of science.
15 Q You testified on direct about the text called
16 Biology: A Search for Order in Complexity, and you
17 testified as to its general nature.
18 Did you read that entire text?
19 A Not cover to cover.
20 Q Did you read excerpts?
21 A I did a fair random sampling of the entire book,
22 yes, I did.
23 Q In your direct testimony, you admitted you have
24 some confusion about the implementation of Act 590 in
25 teaching in the classroom, is that right?
1 A That is correct.
2 Q You said that confusion surrounded the fact that you
3 found no scientific evidence to explain the creation
4 model, is that correct?
5 A That's part of the confusion, yes.
6 Q The second part of that confusion was that you were
7 specifically prohibited from using religious materials, is
8 that correct?
9 A That's correct.
10 Q Would it be fair to say, Mr. Coward, that if there
11 were scientific evidence offered to you that you can
12 comply with Act 590 without problem?
13 A If the scientific evidence comes from the scientific
14 community and is recognized to be science by authorities
15 in the field.
16 Q Now, you define the scientific community as what?
17 A It's the group of men and women in the field who
18 dedicate their lives to field and laboratory work,
19 investigation and analyses of data, and produce theories
20 and hypotheses from that information. This is their
22 Q So if the state presents witnesses who have Ph.D.
23 education and academic training, publications, and they
24 are from the scientific community, in the sense that they
25 do experiment, publication, evaluation, propose hypotheses
1 Q (Continuing) and those sorts of things, are they in
2 the scientific community, and that testimony supports
3 creation explanation?
4 A I'm not sure that I could answer that. I'm not in
5 the scientific community, so I'm not sure how they are
6 accepted or—
7 Q Well, if you are not in it, how do you recognize it?
8 A Through all the publications with which I am
10 Q Well, which publications tell you what is the
11 scientific community?
12 A There are a number of scientific publications that
13 come from the millwork of the community.
14 THE COURT: Mr. Clark, how much longer are you going
15 to be?
16 MR. CLARK: About another fifteen, twenty minutes,
17 your Honor.
18 THE COURT: Why don't we take a recess until 11:00
20 (Thereupon, Court was in
21 recess from 10:45 a.m. until
22 11:00 a.m.)
1 MR. CLARK: Your Honor, I don't think I moved for
2 the admission of Defendants' Exhibit Number 4, The World
3 of Biology, portions of The World of Biology, and I would
4 Like to move their submission now.
5 THE COURT: It will be received.
6 MR. CLARK: (Continuing)
7 Q Mr. Coward, you testified on your direct about the
8 impact of Act 590 on you as a teacher and your students
9 What is your belief of academic freedom as a teacher?
10 A I believe it is the freedom of students in a given
11 class or given discipline to pursue information or
12 knowledge within that discipline.
13 Q You've given me a definition of academic freedom for
14 students? Is that what you just gave me?
15 A That's basically correct, yes.
16 Q And I'm sorry. I was asking for a definition of
17 academic freedom for a teacher, but I will start with the
19 So would you restate that for me so I will make sure I
20 heard everything you said?
21 A I think it allows students to pursue available
22 information or knowledge in a particular discipline or
23 academic area.
24 Q Would you give me that definition for a teacher,
25 definition of academic freedom?
1 A Well, as I understand how it would apply to a
3 Q Yes, that's what I mean.
4 A I would assume that it allows a teacher who is the
5 professional or supposedly is the expertise in that given
6 area, it allows that teacher to decide what is
7 academically sound basing their choices on what to teach
8 and what not to teach.
9 Q Are there any restrictions or limits on that
10 academic freedom of that teacher as it applies as you
11 defined it?
12 A I do not know of any mandated limits that are set by
13 anyone such as school boards or administrators.
14 Q The principal can't set some fixed limit on that?
15 A No.
16 Q The superintendent cannot set any fixed limit on
18 A No.
19 Q The school board cannot set a fixed limit on that?
20 A Not within a given class.
21 Q Not within a given class?
22 A No.
23 Q Can they in some other circumstance?
24 A They have, obviously, they have a say-so in course
25 offerings. I'm not sure that would come under the head of
academic freedom. In fact, as I understand it, the State
1 A (Continuing) of Arkansas does this.
2 Q Would in course offerings but not in a specific
3 course, is that correct?
4 A That's true.
5 Q Can the Education Department for the State of
6 Arkansas place any limits or restrictions on that academic
8 A They can set guidelines, course guidelines for
9 graduation purposes, but there are no guidelines set for
10 courses within a particular subject area.
11 Q They cannot within a particular subject area?
12 A Not to my knowledge.
13 Q Can the State of Arkansas do that through its
14 legislative body?
15 A I know of no circumstance other than this particular
17 Q Did you tell me in your deposition that academic
18 freedom can be limited in some subjects like sex education?
19 A No, I did not.
20 Q You did not?
21 A Not exactly in that context.
22 Q Do you remember what you did tell me?
23 A Yes, I do.
24 Q What was that?
25 A I said that academic freedom does not, or school
1 (TM) ng) districts or what have you cannot
2 (TM) s say, the discussion of sex education in a
3 (TM) oom, certainly in a biology or human
4 (TM) ssroom.
5 (TM) a teacher might receive reprimand is where
6 (TM) more or less, overextends themself
7 (TM) y, maybe does too good a job of teaching,
8 (TM) it.
9 (TM) s overextension? Personally, I don't think I
10 (TM) hat.
11 (TM) let's say maybe becoming a little bit too
12 (TM) this particular area. It could bring recourse
13 (TM) mmunity or the administration.
14 (TM) teacher overextend or become too explicit in
15 (TM) area and, therefore, require limitation?
16 (TM) opose they could.
17 (TM) you give me an example?
18 (TM) istory teacher, for example, might, let's say,
19 (TM) t the communist form of government is a superior
20 (TM) overnment to the democratic system.
21 (TM) eaching what communism is and teaching it as a
22 (TM) ay of life is two different things. I think a
23 (TM) might very well overextend themselves there.
24 (TM) w, I'm trying to make these things fit, Mr. Coward.
25 (TM) d me that in terms of academic freedom to teach
1 Q (Continuing) course matter, that there weren't any
2 restrictions that could be imposed by the principal, by
3 the superintendent, by the school board, by the Education
4 Department, by the State through its legislative body,
5 period; is that correct?
6 A No restrictions that say you cannot teach this
7 subject area, that particular part of the subject. There
8 are no restrictions that say you cannot teach sex
9 education or you cannot teach about communism. But as a
10 professional, I have to be very careful not to overextend
11 myself when I do teach those areas.
12 Q But as a professional, if you taught, for instance,
13 using your example, that communism was a superior form of
14 government to the democratic process, it would be over-
15 extension and a violation of academic freedom?
16 A No, not a violation of academic freedom, but would
17 be a violation of professional ethics—
18 Q Professional ethics?
19 A —as an educator.
20 Q Is it a violation of academic freedom or
21 professional ethics to teach a creation explanation of
23 A I'm sorry. Restate that.
24 Q Is it a violation of academic freedom or
25 professional ethics to teach a creation explanation of
1 Q (Continuing) origin?
2 A I think it is, yes.
3 Q Is a violation of which or both?
4 A I think it is a violation of academic freedom?
5 Q Why?
6 A Because it is mandated by a governmental body.
7 Q Well, now—
8 A A governmental body is telling you what you will do
9 or will not do within a given classroom.
10 Q Let's take my question and back up a little bit.
11 Instead of using Act 590 at this point, which, as we know,
12 is obviously in litigation, today, assuming the void or
13 (TM) nce of Act 590, is it a violation of academic freedom
14 to teach a creation explanation of origin in the classroom?
15 A I'm not sure that I can say. I understand that we
16 have people that are doing it.
17 Q Is that a violation of academic freedom, in your
19 THE COURT: Wait. Whose academic freedom? The
21 MR. CLARK: I think it's the teacher we are talking
22 about here, your Honor.
23 THE COURT: Are you saying it is a violation of the
24 teacher's academic freedom for the teachers to teach
25 creationism in the classroom?
1 MR. CLARK: I understand the Court's confusion, and
2 I share that. What I'm trying to find out from Mr.
3 Coward, your Honor, is in his definition of academic
4 freedom, he has indicated there are some limits, at least
5 with ethics or academic freedom or a mixture of the two.
6 Now, I'm trying to find out that if I, as a teacher, or
7 someone else, as a teacher, wants to advocate a creation
8 explanation of origin, is that inconsistent with what is
9 academic freedom by his terms.
10 THE COURT: I understand that question.
11 THE WITNESS: Well, I'm still confused on it.
12 MR. CLARK: I'm sorry I'm not helping, Mr. Coward.
13 I'm not trying to make this difficult. I'm just trying—
14 THE COURT: I assume if somebody tries to keep a
15 teacher from teaching creationism, is that a violation of
16 the teacher's academic freedom?
17 MR. CLARK: Yes, sir.
18 THE COURT: For example, the school board?
19 MR. CLARK: Principal, superintendent.
20 THE WITNESS: They say that a teacher cannot teach
21 academic freedom or cannot teach Act 590?
22 MR. CLARK: Yes.
23 THE WITNESS: I assume not. I don't know. I
24 haven't thought about that.
25 MR. CLARK: (Continuing)
Q You assume not. You assume it is not a violation of
Page is missing
1 A (Continuing) what new discoveries come from the
2 millwork or framework of the scientific community, and
3 deciding if these discoveries or theories have enough
4 validity that I can present it to my students and support
5 that viewpoint.
5 Q Does academic freedom place any restraints on your
7 ability to decide what is good science or bad science?
8 A I do not believe it does.
9 Q So you are the sole arbiter of that question?
10 A I guess that more or less comes with the job, yes.
11 Q Did you testify on direct that in pursuance of this
12 academic freedom we've just talked about that you decide
13 what is good science and bad science based on your
14 students' ability to learn, their career goals, and you
15 may havve given one or two other things?
16 A I don't necessarily decide what is good science and
17 bad science. I decide— From the science that I use, I
18 decide what is — it's kind of like better and best —
19 what is the best information that we have available at the
20 time and if it is a reliable source and that the
21 information can be supported or substantiated by other
22 people within that scientific framework, then I assume it
23 is good science.
24 Then I select what is relevant to the lives and to the
25 futures of my students.
1 Q Go back and tell me again what is academic freedom
2 to a student?
3 A I think it is the ability of that student to,
4 allowing that student to pursue an area of information or
5 knowledge within a given discipline.
6 Q Are you, by your own definition, in terms of
7 academic freedom and the way you apply it in choosing
8 science to be taught in your classroom, denying your own
9 students academic freedom by virtue of precluding some
10 ideas that could be discussed in your classroom?
11 A I don't believe so. I think it is part of my role
12 to sift through and decide what is relevant to them.
13 Q Do you see a conflict between those two?
14 A Not really. There is a wealth of information that
15 comes from the scientific community that could be passed
16 on to the students . It's certainly not conceivable that
17 this could be done within the scope of even the entire
18 four years of high school, much less within the one
19 particular subject area.
20 Q But if academic freedom for students— Is it a
21 privilege or a right, in your judgment?
22 A I haven't given that thought. Maybe both.
23 Q If it's a privilege or a right, is it a privilege or
24 right to pursue the available information in a discipline?
25 A Of that particular discipline.
1 Q Is there any absolute to that, in your judgment?
2 A I wouldn't say anything is absolute.
3 Q Okay. As absolute as something can be?
4 A Perhaps so.
5 Q And yet you are telling me and you've told this
6 Court that you tempered or in some way modified that based
7 on what is your best judgment as to what science should be
8 taught based on their level, ability and those sorts of
9 things and available concepts that you think have validity
10 in science?
11 A It's part of my job description. That's what I'm
12 hired for. That's why I acquired a background in order to
13 be able to do so.
14 Q You testified on direct as to portions of the Act
15 and the definition in particular of creation science. You
16 testified under Section 4(a), you testified to 1, 5 and 6,
17 sudden creation of the universe, energy and life from
18 nothing, explanation of the earth's geology by
19 catastrophism, including the occurrence of a worldwide
20 flood; and a relatively recent inception of the earth and
21 living kinds.
22 Was it your testimony on direct that those were
24 A Yes, I believe they are.
25 Q Have you ever done any sort of scientific research
1 Q (Continuing) or made any effort as a scientist to
2 see if there is any validity in these?
3 A No, I have not. In fact, one of the basis of
4 science is you have to be able to test something, and that
5 doesn't fit that description.
6 Q in definition number 6, "A relatively recent
7 inception of the earth", what does that mean to you?
8 A Well, the time frame is not as important to me as
9 the fact that recent inception seems to indicate that it
10 all happens at one time. The time frame, I don't think,
11 even all the creationists agree on it, as I understand.
12 But from the literature I read, there again, it's around
13 ten thousand years.
14 Q Wait a minute. You said that it all happened at one
16 A I believe this is the context of that.
17 Q Read 6 to me again, would you?
18 A "A relatively recent inception of the earth and
19 living kinds.',
20 Q Where do you get in those words the "concept it all
21 happened at one time"?
22 A Well, in the total context of Section 4, this is
23 what it's indicating. That particular thing there, of
24 course, would defy — that particular statement, number 6
25 — would defy most of the principles and understandings
1 A (Continuing) that we have, the theories involving
2 geology and geophysics.
3 There again, I have to rely upon those people to verify
4 whether or not that is a valid statement.
5 Q You testified on direct another problem you had with
6 Act 590 was, you didn't understand what "balanced
8 was, is that correct?
9 A That's correct.
10 Q And it was your testimony that you figured you'd
11 have to spend about half your time on a counter or
12 alternative explanation that's based on a creation
13 explanation if you are going to give balanced treatment?
14 A That's correct.
15 Q And that is predicated on your personal judgment as
16 an educator?
17 A That's predicated on my interpretation of what
18 "balanced" or "even" means.
19 Q Have you ever thought about in terms of implementing
20 this act the concept of teaching the creation explanation
21 that might include a unit that would go two days or three
22 days or a week or two weeks?
23 A I guess it could be implemented. It would be
24 against my better judgment as an educator or as a person
25 with some science background.
Q Why is that?
1 A Because it is not science.
2 Q Well, I understand your disagreement with Act 590.
3 But assuming there is scientific evidence for 590, the
4 creation explanation of origin, and we are talking now
5 about the implementation which you say gives you pause,
7 As an educator now — let's rely on your education
8 aspect of your career, experience and formal training —
9 have you ever given a thought to the concept of teaching
10 the creation explanation in lectures of a two or three day
11 or a five day or a week or two week unit?
12 A You're assuming there is scientific evidence, which
13 there isn't.
14 Q I understand. I'd just like you to humor me and
15 make that assumption with me.
16 A Hypothetically you are speaking, right?
17 Q Yes.
18 A Hypothetically, I guess if there is scientific evidence
19 to support this, then I guess a person could put in a two
20 to three day unit on creationism. To me, that alone, does
21 not give it balance.
22 Q It does not?
23 A No, sir.
24 Q Why not?
25 A Because there are numerous references throughout the
1 A (Continuing) chapters. For example, numerous
2 references are made to, there again, ancestral inheritance
3 lines, blood lines or what have you, family trees and so
5 Q So an explanation of origin with— A creation
6 explanation of origin given in a unit that's taught and
7 the lectures as a whole does not balance if you don't do
8 it minute for minute, day for day, time for time?
9 A No, sir. As I understand— I believe it's Section
10 6— I'm sorry. Section 5.
11 Q If you are looking for the definition of balanced
12 treatment, go back to the front of the Act.
13 A No, sir. Section 5.
14 Q Okay. What about Section 5?
15 A I believe it's in 5. Somewhere within this it says
16 that each lecture does not have to be balanced; that each
17 textbook does not have to be balanced. But at some point
18 in here it does say that on a whole they must be.
19 That does not mean if I give an hour lecture today that
20 I have to divide it in thirty minutes between the two
22 It means I give an hour lecture on the theory or the
23 concepts of evolution today, then at some point in time
24 I've got to give an hour one on creation science.
25 Q As an educator, are you familiar with the concept of