Deposition of Jim Townley - Page 2
Q. Have you ever heard of the Creation Science
A. I assume that's what you said awhile ago.
Q. No, I'm sorry. That was the Creation Research
A. Okay. The only ones that I'm familiar with and, you
know, if you rephrase them in any way, and I certainly
wouldn't even me the names of them. I mean I could
get them confused or whatever. But the ones I'm familiar
with, there are two or so existing places in the United
States for creationist materials, one is in California.
I do not know the address or the name.
Q. San Diego sound familiar?
A. Could be. I mean it could be Los Angeles, I
really don't know. And there is also one, it's my
understanding, in Michigan. There maybe others, but --
and I speaking without authority, but I mean those are
the -- I've -- comes to mind that those are two places
where there are activities of research being done by
people on that particular theory.
Q. And how do you know that there are these two
A. I've read it someplace. It seems to me that in my
reading it's -- those areas come to mind.
Q. Did you ever see a book called "The Creation
A. Not that I know of.
Q. Does the name Kelly Seagraves mean anything to you?
A. Not a thing.
Q. Robert Kophal?
Q. How about "Evolution, The Fossils Say No"?
A. I've definitely heard of the book. I don't know if
I've read it or not.
Q. It could have been one of the books that you
A. Could have been.
Q. How about, "Biology, A Search For Order And
Q. "Creation, A Scientist's Choice"?
A. I don't think so.
Q. Okay. "Creation And Evolution, A Comparison Of Two
Q. "Fossils, Key To The Present"?
Q. Does the name Bliss mean anything to you?
A. Sounds familiar.
Q. Or Parker, Gary Parker?
A. Doesn't sound familiar.
Q. How about "The Handy Dandy Evolution Refuter"?
A. I've heard the name.
Q. Do you know when you heard of it?
A. In the past year or so.
Q. Was it one of the materials that your school
district could have mentioned to you at these sessions?
A. No, I don't think so.
Q. How about "Origin Of Life Evolution Creation"? I
know the titles all sound alike.
A. You could read me off ten of those and some of them
are going to sound familiar. And maybe, you know....
Q. I'll try a couple of more. How about "The
Scientific Case For Creation"?
Q. Or "Scientific Creationism," by Henry Morris?
Q. Are you a member of the moral majority?
Q. Are you a member of any political groups?
A. Political groups. Well, I guess my own teachers
organization would have to be considered somewhat
political. We make political statements, certainly.
MR. WILLIAMS: A.E.A.
A. A.E.A. certainly makes political statements.
Q. Okay. What is your religion?
Q. Are you a member of a church?
Q. Are you an active member?
A. Yes, I am.
Q. Do you attend church regularly?
Q. Does that mean every week?
A. Every week.
Q. Are you active in other church activities?
A. I'm a deacon. Actually I have been a deacon. Our
church has its deacons on rotation of every three years
and then they're off a year. I am currently off a year.
Q. Have you always been a Protestant?
Q. Do you belong to any church groups?
MR. WILLIAMS: Just for the record, I'm
going to object to all of this as being irrelevant.
Q. You can answer the question.
A. You mean like Sunday school class.
Q. Sunday school class or --
A. Sunday school class, certainly.
Q. Do you have any bible study groups?
A. We have -- for instance, last year we had an
informal group of people that met at our homes and
discussed various books of the bible as Sunday school
classes do. We met about every two weeks at
night and discussed books of the New Testment.
Q. Okay. Do you consider yourself a fundamentalist?
MR. WILLIAMS: Object to the question
as being ambiguous.
Q. Do you have an opinion as to what a fundamentalist
A. You mean by fundamentalist, that you interpret that
as believing specifically exactly every word of the
Q. Do you think a fundamentalist believes every word of
A. That's what I'm asking you. You're asking me if I'm
a fundamentalist, and I'm asking you to defined what
you mean by fundamentalist.
Q. Well, why don't you answer the question of whether
you're a fundamentalist then you can qualify that answer if
you want to.
MR. WILLIAMS: I object to the question,
it's too ambiguous.
A. I believe in Jesus Christ as my savior.
Q. Do you believe that the bible is literally true?
A. No. Could be. There are places in the bible
that -- I'll leave it at that, I guess I should. There
are places in the bible that I would -- I would -- for
instance, where it says that my brother -- if I were to
die without male children that my brother would marry
my wife and provide her with male offspring. I certainly
would not go along with that as a rule by which my
daily life should be lived or his?
Q. Do you believe that the creation story as told in
the bible --
A. In Genesis.
A. Could be, very well could be. I believe it's true
the mechanism by which, of course, that it takes
place is what is in question.
Q. Do you have a personal religious counselor or
A. My minister, Howard Marshall.
Q. Do you consult with him regularly?
A. He's the leader of my Sunday school class.
Q. Is Creation Science, per se, ever discussed in
A. Has been I think. On one occasion I spoke to Howard
on it. I don't think Howard has any -- I don't think
Howard places any limits on the ability of God to do
what he does.
Q. Do you place any limits on the ability of God to
do his work?
A. No, I don't.
Q. Would you consider yourself a born-again Christian?
A. I consider myself Christian.
Q. Okay. Have you read the bible?
A. In total?
Q. In total.
A. Or in parts?
Q. Well, start with in total.
Q. You've read it in significant parts?
Q. Which versions?
A. Well, we have several versions; American Standard.
The version is the version that I have in my home and
it's the version that is used in our church.
Q. So, is that the American Standard?
A. American Standard, right. We have our standard --
Q. King James version?
A. We have King James Version. We have The Way which I
don't know what -- I just -- The Way is a version. It's
certainly more modern than King James or Standard Revised.
A. I should say American version, Standard Revised
version I think is the....
Q. How often do you read the bible?
A. We read the bible every week.
Q. Do you ever, as a teacher, consult the bible?
Q. Is the bible a source of personal revelation to
A. Do you mean by personal revelation, that gives me a
better insight of myself?
Q. That's one thing on --
MR. WILLIAMS: I think the question is
ambiguous and you need to be more specific. What do
you mean by "personal revelation."
Q. Is it a source of insight as to yourself?
A. I think so.
Q. Is it a source of constant or renewed understanding as
to how God is working today?
A. Would you repeat that question again?
Q. Is it a source of revelation to you as to God's
role in modern society as to the presence of God?
A. I certainly try to use it to interpret that meaning
Q. Okay. Does the bible provide for you a personal
code of conduct?
Q. And does it provide a common basis of worship with
Q. Do you believe the bible is inerrant?
Q. Do you believe the bible is inerrant?
A. You mean in error?
Q. No, not in error.
A. Not in error.
MR. WILLIAMS: I think I'm going to
object. I think --
Q. I didn't mean to confuse you on it.
MR. WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think there is a
-- maybe, I'm not sure, but I think there may be a
difference between in error and correct.
Q. Yeah, I'll struggle with that. Infallible, I
suppose is a --
A. I believe that the men, through their revelation
through God, were infallible? Men are infallible -- I mean,
men are fallible. And they -- of course, God made his
revelations to men. And if you mean, do I think that those
men are fallible, I do believe those men are fallible
Q. Okay. Is the bible literally true?
A. Well again, the bible -- I don't know how familiar
you are with the bible.
Q. Not nearly as familiar as you are.
A. But the bible was formed from people who, by word
of mouth, memorized the laws, histories. It wasn't
until after Christ's death, many, many years that it
came into written form. Again, I would love to be
able to get some books and recall specifically dates,
times, so forth, but not being able to do that because I
didn't know those questions would come up, there were --
there is a Greek version of scripture. There is Hebrew
version, interpretations in English from those languages
can disagree. As to the interpreters as being fallible,
that's a possibility.
Q. Does the bible predict future events?
A. The revelation does predict future events.
Q. Has it, to your own knowledge, predicted future
A. The Old Testament does predict the coming of Christ.
Q. Any other events you can think of?
A. Are you asking me to list all the events that I think
the bible predicted?
Q. Give me a couple of examples.
A. Well, it does predict many events in revelations,
although I would be the first to admit that it's very
difficult to interpret what those predictions are. It
does predict that there will be turmoil, conflict.
Q. Do you believe that the bible is free from error?
A. Didn't you ask me that question? You didn't ask me
that question before?
Q. Well, we were struggling with what inerrant
A. Free from error?
MR. WILLIAMS: I object to that. I
think that's ambiguous too. What's inerrant?
Q. Can you answer the question?
MR. WILLIAMS: No. I'm objecting on
the ground that it is ambiguous because what his idea of
an error is and what your idea may be totally different.
So, you need to define what you mean by an error.
MS. FERBER: The witness is welcome to
qualify his answer if he has an understanding as to the
A. It's -- I tried to state that -- that there are
various interpretations in English from Hebrew and from
Greek words. And certainly there can be divergent opinions
as to what those interpretations are.
Q. Is the bible a source of scientific learning?
A. Is the bible a course of scientific --
A. I don't use it as such.
Q. Do you believe it describes events which --
A. I believe the bible describes events which very
well could have happened.
Q. To your knowledge, does the bible describe any
events which happened and which science then verified?
A. Well, the bible has described events such as the
flood, which science has -- some scientists have made
attempts to verify. It has made statements which I think
that science has attempted to verify, yes. Noah's ark
is an event which I think -- there are writers, there are
explorers who have looked for Noah's ark, and are trying to
verify. I'm not really for sure what you're trying to get
me to answer to.
Q. Do you believe that Noah's ark existed?
A. Yes, I do believe that Noah's ark existed.
Q. And that there was a great worldwide flood?
MR. WILLIAMS: I voice that I object --
well, I object to the question on the ground that -- are
you asking him as personally or as a scientist.
MS. FERBER: I'm asking him personally,
sitting here today.
MR. WILLIAMS: Okay. Personally, not
in his professional opinion as to whether there is
MS. FERBER: I did not ask him his
professional opinion as to scientific evidence.
MR. WILLIAMS: All right.
BY MS. FERBER:
Q. Do you ever, in your classroom, discuss the Nowakian
Q. Have you ever discussed Noah's ark?
Q. When was your first contact with the Attorney
A. I don't remember exactly. Eithin the past two
Q. Okay. Who contacted you?
MR. WILLIAMS: To your best of your
knowledge. To the best that you recall.
Q. Who contacted you, if you recall?
A. Maybe David. I don't remember, I really don't
Q. Okay. Did you at that time discuss your testifying in
A. To some extent, I think.
Q. Okay. Do you represent yourself as an expert in
a particular field?
A. As an expert in any particular field?
MR. WILLIAMS: Let me say for the record,
while we would consider Mr. Townley to be an expert in some
senses of the word legally, we do not plan to offer him as
an expert in this trial or have him qualified as such, if
that will expedite matters.
MS. FERBER: That would, thank you.
Q. Have you had any contact with any of the defendants
in this lawsuit?
Q. Have you had any contact --
A. Wait, I'm sorry. By defendants, you mean the state?
A. I've had contact with David.
Q. Other than with the Attorney General's office?
Q. Have you had any contact with any Creation Science
Q. Have you ever had any contact with someone named
Q. Or John Whitehead?
Q. Have you ever testified before?
A. No. Wait. Yes, I have testified before.
Q. When was that?
A. Well, I brought before the Court -- I made a
complaint about a landlord once to the Court. And the Court
Q. Have you ever testified in a legislative
A. In a legislative proceeding?
Q. In front of a legislative body?
Q. Or an administrative proceeding, or school board,
or any --
A. Yes, I have.
Q. When was that?
A. Several times. I went before the school board
to plead a case for many issues.
Q. Tell me about those.
A. All of those?
Q. Tell me the issues as best you can remember.
A. That elementary school teachers should be given
time to prepare for lessons during the day, that they
teach without preparation time, that they receive no
lunch break in which to eat their lunch except for being
with their children and that they should be given
adequate time to eat so that they can relax mentally. And
that they should be given adequate time to prepare for
their lessons, and they were not, and that we felt like
it was the responsibility of the school system to furnish
that time so that they could adequately be -- teach the
children. And we lost.
Q. Was -- did you appear in front of the school board
in your capacity as an officer of the Fort Smith
Classroom Teachers Association?
A. Yes, and as a member of your negotiating team.
Q. Did you believe in that an elementary school teacher
had a right to time to adequately prepare for classroom
A. I believe that it should be given to them. I think
that it's a responsibility of the leadership of our school
system to recognize that teachers need adequate preparation
time, and this is not being given. It is being given on a
secondary level, but is not on the primary level. As far as
to the rights of teachers, of course, I firmly believe that
we have a right to bring forth to school boards our needs.
And I believe in the right that we have to express that we
have those needs. As to their rights, no they don't have
any rights other than what they sign a contract to and what
the school board says. If the school board says that they
will not get any preparation time, they don't have the right
to then arbitrarily on their own desire to take that time
off. They agree to that contract and they must follow it.
Q. Are there any rights provided in your contract?
A. I get time off, prep time.
Q. Any other kinds of rights guaranteed by your contract
other than the preparation time?
A. In my own? Yes. I'm for salary, we have an
extensive personnel policy, which I don't have in front
of me which guarantees that your organization has the
right to speak for teachers. This is recognized by our
Q. Your contract with the school board recognizes the
Fort Smith Classroom Teachers Association?
A. Right, as being the legitimate spokesman for teachers
in our school district. And we have a procedure by which if
the school board wishes to speak to us they can. And if we
want to speak to them we can, although it's a very weak
policy. This -- this state does not have that school
teachers have the right for collective bargaining. It
doesn't preclude it from individual school districts, but
our local does have a form of bargaining rights.
Q. Now, when you refer to the local, what organization
are you referring to?
A. I'm referring to our local school district. There
are 370 or so school districts in this state.
Q. Is there an organization that bargains with the
school district --
Q. -- in regards to your contract?
Q. And what is that organization?
A. Fort Smith Classroom Teachers Association.
Q. Does the Fort Smith Classroom Teachers Association
have any policy statements or a constitution which addresses
the rights and responsibilities of teachers?
A. We do have a constitution which designates
what the responsibilities are of the officers within the
Q. Do you have any policy statement or anything that
discusses academic freedom?
A. I can't -- I can't state that. I don't know for
Q. Do you have anything that discusses the
responsibilities that a teacher owes to students?
A. Not that I know of.
Q. Okay. Do you have a understanding as to what the
term academic freedom means?
Q. As a teacher, what does that term mean to you?
A. That within the confines of the law that I should have
the freedom to teach my course in a responsible manner.
Q. What do you mean by confines of the law?
A. Well, my academic freedom to teach is limited by
Q. What kinds of laws limit what you teach?
A. Well specifically, the law can say that I cannot teach
this or that. So, within the confines of the law that's
what I can or cannot teach. The law says, for instance,
that you cannot have religion in -- so, within the confines
of the law.
Q. Do you believe in that particular law which prevents
you from teaching about religion?
A. You mean relative to science or relative to --
Q. In the public schools at all?
A. Well of course, I wouldn't be placed in that
position because I would never have to teach religion.
As far as teaching religion, I see nothing -- I'm not
sure the law states that you can't teach religion in
the school in the form of a social studies course, okay.
Only in the law -- only that in science, we don't teach
religion in science.
Q. What do you teach in science?
A. We teach science.
Q. Okay. Have you ever attended any debates about
A. Formal debates, set up as debates?
Q. Or discussions about it?
A. Well, only those that I have already told you
Q. Any discussions or debates about Evolution?
A. I've never attended a formal debate on --
Q. Okay. When you say formal, have you attended
informal discussion or debate about --
A. Yes, those that I told you.
Q. So, that's the two meetings.
A. There are many, many informal discussions. I mean
we have informal discussions on science all the time in
our teacher's lounge amongst teachers. So, I mean how many?
Well, there would be probably thousands. So, I mean if
you're talking about a formal set up, you know, not so many.
But if you're talking about informal discussions on
science, I couldn't possibly --
Q. Have teachers expressed to you opinions as to
whether or not Evolution should be taught?
Q. Can you tell me those opinions?
A. I think they feel like they think Evolution should be
Q. Have they expressed opinions whether or not
Creation Science should be taught?
Q. And what are those opinions?
A. Some say no and some say yes.
Q. Has a teacher ever said to you that they wouldn't
teach Creation Science?
A. In seriousness, I don't know. I don't recall
anyone saying that -- I better say I don't recall any
teacher ever telling me that they would not teach Creation
Q. Did they say they'd prefer not to?
Q. Did they say that they couldn't teach it?
Q. Tell me -- could you tell me where those
conversations were? Obviously, there was some doubt
expressed to you about it.
A. That is just conversation amongst teachers, science
teachers. We get together and we talk informally.
There are questions as to how well they've been prepared
at this point to teach.
Q. So, some teachers feel that they are not prepared
to teach Creation Science?
A. Most surely.
Q. Okay. Is there any indication that you are going to
be properly prepared to teach it?
MR. WILLIAMS: I object to that
question. I think it calls for speculation on the part
of the witness.
Q. Do you believe that your school or school
district is going to adequately prepare teachers to
teach Creation Science?
MR. WILLIAMS: Still calls for
speculation, I think.
MS. FERBER: If the witness has an
opinion as to whether or not --
MR. WILLIAMS: I think you should ask
him, do you think it's possible that they can be prepared.
I think --
BY MS. FERBER:
Q. As I understand it, your school district has
already indicated to you that they are going to do
certain things --
Q. -- as regards to Creation Science. From what
the school district has told you, do you feel that
that alone will prepare you to teach Creation Science?
A. I don't think so.
Q. Have other teachers indicated to you that they will
Do any additional research on their own --
Q. -- to equip themselves to teach Creation Science?
Q. Have they mentioned any difficulties in getting
materials to do that?
Q. Have they indicated any problem finding materials
that aren't religious in nature?
A. No. But I haven't had that very -- you know, that
question as to how well they're going to prepare themselves
really hasn't been a question.
Q. I understand. You told me that you consulted some
materials over the last year --
Q. -- that discussed Creation Science. Did those
materials contain religious references?
A. Some did.
Q. Did you believe, as a science teacher, that those
materials were accurate?
A. Those materials were accurate.
MR. WILLIAMS: To the extent that you
recall even looking at them and reading them?
A. I'm sure the people that made the statements felt that
they were accurate.
Q. I asked --
A. Did I feel that they were accurate? I felt that
they were possible. Much of what I read I felt was
Q. Did you ever read anything which you, as a science
teacher, did not believe was accurate?
MR. WILLIAMS: For clarification, by the
term accurate, do you mean that's the way it actually
happened? Or that it's accurate in terms of good science
or a competent scientific theory?
Q. Did not -- well first, was it good scientific
A. Some not.
Q. Okay. Can you remember what?
A. And you're going to ask me to ask what was not.
Q. To the best of your recollection.
MR. WILLIAMS: If you can't recall you
can so state.
A. I can only say that some things which cannot be
validated both in Evolution and in Creation is not
Q. Okay. Were they presented as science.
A. I think in some cases both, in my opinion, are
presented as science.
Q. Both meaning?
A. Both meaning there are parts of Evolution and there
are parts of Creation that are presented in some cases as
science which are not. They cannot be validated, they
cannot be repeated, experimentation cannot prove it.
Q. What in evolution --
A. So, it's strictly hypothesis.
Q. Can you give me an example of something that you've
read or encountered in Evolution that you believe was
A. I can give you a hypothesis in Evolution that -- that
cannot be proved.
Q. For example?
A. They cannot prove that there has been -- man evolved
from a single cell.
Q. Have you personally reviewed any scientific data which
contradicts the evidence that man evolved from a single
Q. Do you believe that the scientific data which you
have read about establishes to a reasonable degree of
scientific certainty that man evolved from a single cell?
Q. What would it take, in your mind, to show to a
reasonable degree of scientific certainty that man evolved
from a single cell?
A. That some other organism -- I think first of all I'd
have -- for my own certainty, I'd have to see us recreate
a single cell, a living single cell animal from inanimate
material. Now, to me, that would create the certainty that
Q. So, your problem is that we can't create anything
from inanimate --
A. Right. We cannot duplicate the process of making
living material from inanimate material through random
collision, through randomness.
Q. What about -- okay. If we forget life from
A. Okay. Well, that's basically though what I would
be teaching. I would not be teaching basically from the
formation of the cell on because I'm not a biologist. I
would be teaching basically chemical reactions. And
basically, this would be inanimate material forming life, I
have great difficulty with that.
Q. So, you can't teach to the reasonable degree of
scientific certainty where first life came from?
A. That's right.
Q. How do you present that to your students?
A. Well, for years I've presented it and still present
it to be as -- that through random collisions, the
possibility of protein structures and then life or more
sophisticated molecules could have occurred. And it
could have happened that a single cell was formed in that
way. Probability does not exclude it.
Q. Do you deposit other ways that first life could
have arisen to your students?
Q. Do I understand you, therefore, to present that to
your students as a theory of the way first life occurred?
Q. And do you know of any other scientific theories as to
how first life occurred?
A. Well, certainly. Creationism. That a creator,
a power, a force not understood by man, beyond the
understanding of man created life in it's current form. That
there have been changes in that current form, but that the
current form did not start off as inanimate, progressed to a
single cell, and evolved through slow evolution to the forms
we have currently on earth.
Q. What is science to you?
A. What is science to me? Explaining natural
phenomenon, basing our explanations on experimentation,
validification through experimentation of events that
happened, and to a lesser degree to events that have
Q. Do you believe that science has depended on natural
A. I believe that that our science that we teach is
dependant on natural laws.
Q. Okay. Is Creation dependent on natural laws?
A. I believe that you can validify, through
experimentation, either that Creation could have occurred
or could not have occurred, with enough experimentation.
I believe that our continued experimentation, for
instance on Evolution, can lend more credence to the fact
that Evolution could have occured.
Q. Can it validate Evolution?
A. I don't think it can validate Evolution. I think --
Q. But experimentation could validate creation?
A. I don't think so.
Q. I'm sorry, I thought I understood you to say that.
A. I think that you can lend credence to it, that you
can make it acceptable. But you can also make something
unacceptable. If we could ever, in any way, show that
things couldn't have happened and you can invalidate even
the hypothesis of the theory.
Q. Do you say we can ever disprove Creation?
MR. WILLIAMS: You're talking about potentially or
conceivably, not whether it will be done.
A. It's possible.
Q. Would your religious believes allow you to accept
that evidence which disproved or, I think you said, lent
credence for -- led us to believe that Creation did not
MR. WILLIAMS: I'm going to object to
that question. I think you're mixing Creation in a
religious sense and Creation Science in a scientific
Q. I believe I understood you to say that we could gather
scientific data that would lend credence to --
A. Either theory.
Q. Either theory, Creation Science or Evolution. And
that it would be scientifically possible to disprove
Creation, that it might be?
A. It might be. It might be. I don't see how it can
be done now, but it might be.
Q. Okay. You told me a few minutes ago that you
presently teach your students that through random
A. Chemical reactions occur.
Q. -- chemical reactions occur and first life may have
been formed in that way?
A. That's a possible way that the first celled
mechanism -- the first celled organism may have occurred.
Q. And do you present any other scientific explanation
to your students?
A. Not now.
Q. And you told me a few minutes ago that Creation is
an alternative scientific explanation of first life.
A. Right. That it was not random, but that it was
planned by some force, some external force to nature.
Q. Okay. And you told me that science is dependent, I
believe, on natural laws?
Q. Is Creation dependent on natural laws?
Q. Then how is Creation an alternative scientific
explanation of first life?
A. Because science can experiment, through laboratory
experimentation, and see if they can validify if there is
the possibility that some external force did create life.
Q. What scientific evidence are you aware of in
support of a creation explanation of first life?
A. What scientific evidence am I aware of that is in
support of --
A. There has been work done on the probabilities of
particulate matter coming together and forming molecules.
Statistically, to show that it would have been a very
small probability that inanimate matter could have formed
a living system through randomness. If that is not so,
that leaves you with what alternative? And the only
alternative that I'm aware of, through the process of
logic, is an outside force.
Q. So, it is through your logical reasoning and
A. And experimentation on statistics.
Q. -- on an evolutionary explanation of first life,
which causes you to say that Creation is an --
A. As a possible -- as an alternate explanation for
how life was created. There are examples of this in the
past. The theory, for instance, that the earth was not
the center of the universe, it was not geocentric, but
instead that the cosmos, as we know them, were heliocentric.
Even that has been disproven, but that was the theory at
Capericus thought that the world was --
as a center of the universe, was not reasonable
explanation. And he felt like that the sun, being the
center of the earth, was a much more reasonable
explanation. No experimentation had been done at that
time. he couldn't come up with experimentation to give
that explanation, but because of experimentation that had
been done on the current system to show that it lacked --
it was lacking in his eyes. He believed in the
heliocentric system as a possible explanation for natural
events. Work continued to be done, and it wasn't until
several hundred years later that it was ever validated,
verified that what he actually thought to be true was
Scientific experimentation continued by
means at that time that they didn't know until they did
finally prove that theory and prove that it was not
geocentric. And yet, the geocentric university, which was
the theory at that time explained to within like 2% of the
movements of the stars and the heavens, the planets and the
heavens, and all the moons. It was extremely difficult to
get anybody to even listen to the other theory, to the event
that Galileo, who is one of the most learned people in his
day, was locked up in house arrest until he died because of
his beliefs, or at least partially because of his beliefs in
a heliocentric system.
So, now to ask me to be an authority on
this, I think is -- I'm giving a personal view point, I
think is incorrect. To ask me to be an authority on
what I teach currently, today, I think is incorrect. I
currently teach organic chemistry. I am a teacher, I
learn it to the best of my ability. As soon as somebody
tells me, this is what you are to teach I read books and
materials and teach what is known.
Q. You told me earlier today that even though you had
heard of some mention of other theories of how life began
that the only two scientific explanations that you knew
of were Evolution and Creation?
A. That's correct. The only two basic -- there are --
if somebody tells you that life comes from -- from a bug.
Somebody says we were all created from a giant bug, that
we evolved from a bug. Well, that in a sense is
Q. I understand. I just want to be certain that what
you're telling me is that because you believe that there is
evidence which shows that there is statistically a small
probability that an inanimate matter could have been formed
into living systems through randomness, that that diminishes
the probability that life began through an evolutionary
process, and therefore supports the scientific theory of
MR. WILLIAMS: You mean you're just
trying to summarize his testimony. You're not saying
that's the only evidence.
Q. Can you tell me any other scientific evidence
that would support the creation model of how life began?
A. If you have matter which is an unorganized,
disorganized, no organization at all completely and
totally random, there should be -- there should be
randomness someplace. There should be total
disorganization of all existing material. But no matter
where we look in nature, from the smallest rock, smallest
grain of sand, to any living thing highly organized and
highly patterned, you may think that something is random
and disorganized but when you look at it further it
is totally organized and patterned.
To ma, this is not acceptable. It's
not acceptable that we can't find total randomness when we
look at the stars on a large scale. I know when we first
look at it they look random. But yet when we look at it in
greater detail there seems to be great patterns.
Q. So, are you telling me that because we can't find --
A. There doesn't seem to be total disorganization. And
yet through evolution, there should be -- there should be
disorganization. There should be lack of pattern.
Q. Are you saying -- is the problem with the second
law of thermodynamics?
A. You're bringing in -- I know you're bringing in a
second law of thermodynamic, but that doesn't -- when
you say that matter tends to go from organized to
disorganized, matter does tend to go from organized to
Q. I did not mean to confuse you or bring in the second
law. I'm trying to understand what is the impact, to you,
the fact that we can't find this total randomness?
A. It doesn't disprove evolution, but it certainly
doesn't lend --
Q. Additional support?
A. It doesn't lend support to it. I -- to me there
are serious questions with evolution. There always have
been in my mind.
Q. Okay. Now, one way that I understand that you
teach subject matter relating to the origin of life
is in a discussion of where first life came from in a
chemistry class, is that correct?
A. Yes, that could come up. Yes.
Q. And under The Balance Treatment For Creation
Science And Evolution Science Act, you would then be
required to teach fully the creation explanation of where
first life came from?
Q. Excuse me.
Q. How would you teach fully the Creation explanation of
how life began?
MR. WILLIAMS: I'm going to object.
Because he's already stated he does not -- at this time
he's done enough study on his own to be able to do that.
Q. Mr. Townley, you've read some books on the matter.
I understand it was in the last year and you can't
remember everything, but you do -- do you feel that
you read a representative sampling of the material that
A. I've read some, right.
Q. And --
A. I'm sure that there is much more, quite -- a
tremendous amount more material that I haven't read.
Q. How many books did you read, do you remember?
A. I think I read three books.
Q. And you're not aware of any other scientific evidence
that would -- that you could present in your classroom in
support of the creation explanation of the origin of life?
A. There has been work done on -- you know, your own
observations would be, for instance, that here on earth
we have many billions of people. And that through
interaction with each other should show that -- one, that
this species cannot change to another species, or that
possibly we could change to another species. And as far
as with billions of interactions, which there has not been
at least that we know about. Sometimes when someone makes a
theory we work on that theory and work on that theory, and
as long as we can't disprove it we have to consider it a
valid theory, such as atomic theory. We've never seen the
atom, we do not know what the atom looks like. It is a
theory. We do much experimentation on the atom --
A. -- to substantiate that it does follow the patterns
that we think it should because of what we've theorized.
A. But we've never seen it. All of our evidence
is indirect, but we still have the theory because, why,
we can't disprove it not because that we can prove that
it's exactly this way. Okay. We cannot disprove much.
A. Now, we can hypothesize many things. And if you
hypothesize something and you tried to disprove it a
hundred thousand times, your hypothesis gains credibility.
On the other hand, if you have never experimented on it,
you have never tried to disprove it, it lacks credibility.
But the more that you experiment to disprove, even though
you never prove it, the more validity it acquires.
Q. Okay. When you -- when a scientist learns new
facts, if those facts contradict the theory that he's been
operating on, doesn't he then have to adjust the theory?
A. He can adjust the theory or it might be so damaging
that you have to throw the theory away. For instance,
they have had to throw theories away in the past,
completely discard major basic theories, basic theories
that were prevalent to all of their explanations, totally.
As example, theory of place, which said that everything
sought it's natural position due to it's natural place
such as air, earth, fire, and water that there was a
natural place. For all earth like objects to be at the
bottom, water to be resting on that, air resting on that,
and fire sought it's place through that. Experimentation
disproved that theory. It had to be discarded totally. An
all the subdivisions of that theory had to be discarded.
The total theory for the explanation of the universe, the
Ptolemetic System, which was carried forth --
MR. WILLIAMS: Spell it for her.
A. P-t-o-l-e-m-y is Ptolemy, oaky. The man Ptolemy who
upon the Ptolemetic Theory was based. And -- and there
are many men named Ptolemy in history. But the original
one was a Greek.
Q. The theory.
A. Okay. So, Ptolemy's theory totally explained
within a very narrow percentage of movements of the stars,
astronomical observation. But it had to be totally
discarded because it was wrong even though, and all the
consequences and the rhetrograde motions, and the epicycles,
and the sequence, and all totally had to be discarded.
Not just a little part of it, but all of it had to be
On the other hand, sometimes a very
small modification will not cause us to discard a theory,
but will cause us to change a theory. An example, we
originally, within the last hundred years, have modified
the structure of the atom many times. We have not had to
discard the basic theory that all matter is made of
particles. We've only had to modify what the -- how the
particles are made, what our view of these particles is.
We have went from indestructible atoms to atoms that are
subdivided, that have many subdivisions, from electrons
to protons. We've made many suppositions on where the
electrons are going within this particle. And we've found
that we were in error. And because of the error we've
modified the theory, but we haven't thrown or discarded
the theory away. On the other hand, there are theories
which could change even that. Okay.
So, there is still theories, but yet we
believe them very much. In other words, we teach them.
And because of the way they're taught, in many cases, and
theory, kids begin to take atomic theory as actual fact.
That there are little atoms with little solar system
electrons roving around the nucleus, and that is a fact when
it is not because we don't pound home the idea that this is
theory and most likely will be changed. Even when we go
into current theories, Shrodenger's wave equation and the
models of the electron clouds that are predicted because of
it and with the use of our computers, we don't really pound
home to our students the fact that these are still theories
and will probably be, as current technology and science
becomes even better, modify even those pictures of the atom.
Q. Okay. Do you believe that there is significant
scientific data in support of the theory that life, first
life occurred through random collision?
A. No, I don't.
A. I think it's possible, but I don't think there
is overwhelming evidence that it happened.
Q. Do you believe that there is significant scientific
data in support of the theory of Evolution?
A. I'm sorry, would you repeat that again?
Q. Do you believe that there is significant scientific
data in support of the theory of Evolution?
A. I think there is enough observation to warrant that
it be taught. I think there is not enough observational
evidence to prove that it was the way that life evolved.
Q. do you have a personal opinion as to the age of
A. I think the earth could be very old. I think the
earth might not be very old. It could be anywhere from
ten thousand years old to five billion, ten billion, or
even longer. It's -- most science today says the earth
is somewhere in the vicinity of five billion years old.
Q. Do you know whether there is scientific data that
contradicts the theory that the earth is ten thousand
A. Yes. But that is based upon -- if you -- if you look
at radioactive dating, radioactive dating currently says if
you believe -- the vast majority of scientists, that there
are objects on this earth that are many times older than ten
thousand years old even up to hundreds ofthousands, hundreds
of millions of years old. There are those scientists who
say that these dating techniques are in error. And I feel
that their hypothesis should be looked at more fully.
A. I've read through some of the material, which I
cannot recall in detail, but I -- you know, if you wish
for me to go on I'll go on as best I can but
understanding that it's not, you know -- but that their
dating techniques are incorrect. Okay.
Q. Okay. Do you believe -- do you know of scientific
data which contradicts the creation explanation for the
origin of first life?
Q. So that the scientific data in support of the
possibility that life first occurred through random
collision does not contradict the creation explanation of
the origin of life?
A. Would you restate that again?
Q. Okay. I believe you told me earlier that some
probability, whatever size --
A. However small --
Q. -- some probability exists that life first occurred
through random collision?
A. There is some possibility not probability. There is
some possibility that life could have evolved through
random collision, correct.
Q. And we talked about -- okay. Do you believe
that that probability, whatever size it is, is based on
A. You must remember that as a teacher and not a
researcher that I only know what I read. And sometimes
what I read is contradictory to each other. And that
based upon what I've read, there is evidence that it
would be extremely unlikely that life could have come
through on this earth through random collision, but it
does not exclude the possibility.
Q. Okay. We talked about the fact that if a scientist
encounters significant data that contradicts his theory
Q. -- he either needs to abandon the theory or see if
he may revise it.
A. That's true.
Q. And do you teach students that that's how
scientific theories are developed?
Q. Okay. How are you going to present to students
data in support of the creation explanation of first life,
and data in support of what we're categorizing as
evolutionary explanation of the origin of life.
A. Okay. In the formation of molecules here on
earth from inanimate material, there is the possibility
that under the right conditions, which do not any longer
exist in earth nor is there anyway to prove that those
conditions did exist, but they could possibly have
existed. But under the proper conditions, inanimate
material could have come together to have formed
molecules. These specific molecules then could have been
formed that would have been amino acids.
to authenticate that amino acids can be formed under
certain conditions which cannot be verified, but at least
the possibility has been shown that they could have
formed, which leads -- which gives credence to evolution.
A. These -- there is a possibility that these amino acids
could have then come together to form long chain molecules
necessary for life, such as proteins. It is then possible
that many of these molecules could have come together under
a process of randomness and formed a living cell.
Q. Is that what you basically teach now?
A. That's what I basically teach now. Now, statistics
show, which I don't teach now. There are many
scientists who now show that statistically, the
probability for this happening is extremely slim. In
fact, according to a few scientists in the world, the
statistics show that it is so slim as not to be very
Q. Why don't you teach that?
A. Because I've just learned it. It wasn't taught
Q. Okay. Good reason.
A. And for twenty years I didn't know it until I started
reading that literature.
Q. So, it was the literature which you have reviewed
in order to teach -- in order to learn about Creation
Science is what has shown you that there is a small
probability that life could have been been formed through
A. Through random collision.
Q. Okay. Have you -- okay. You don't remember what
those books were?
Q. Did you do any kind of review of the scientific
credentials of the authors of books that you read?
A. I looked at the authors and many of the people who
were the authors of the books were professors at -- in
California at very highly recognized universities. Some
were from Michigan, some were from England, some were from
Michigan. They seemed to be very creditable authors. Of
course, I can't personally validify there is -- nor could I
personally validify anybody in evolution as far as that's
concerned. I just simply look and if they have, you know,
what appear to be -- they appear to be from good
universities, good reputable universities, they have
Q. They were from universities that you recognized?
A. I recognized as being highly thought of
Q. Okay. And what you read in those books contradicted
the probabilities that you had had?
A. Well, I think it awakened me to the fact which I
hadn't thought of in the past, of how improbably it was
that life did form through random collision.
Q. Okay. Do you have any other tools available
to you that would enable you to interpret -- enable you
to determine how much credence you ought to attach to
that -- this new information you're learning.
A. Well, some of this information -- and I can't tell
you what. But I looked at some of the copyright dates
and some of the copyright dates were early '70's. I
have not -- and I certainly haven't read all major science
major literature, but most certainly I would assume that
anything which would -- which would greatly prove or
disprove very important theories would make banner headlines
sort of like.
Q. So in other words, what you read didn't make
A. I have never read any literature which tries to show
that the probabilities that these men write about are not
true. I haven't seen anyone or any written literature which
says these people are crazy.
Q. But now, let me see if I understand you. You used
to believe that there was a fairly --
A. Reasonable chance of these -- of these type things
Q. And now you read something else which says that --
A. Several, several books.
Q. Several books all of which you read when you were
reading Creation Science literature in the last year?
A. Right. And in each of these books it is pointed
out again and again of the improbability of through
random collision that statistically, which all -- almost
all science today is based, by the way, on statistics,
probabilities. Okay. Our atomic theory is based on
probability of orbital structure looking like it is.
Probability is something that science uses
as a tool. And when I -- and when I here that probability
is suddenly not very likely, that makes me perk up. Or if I
heard that probability said something was likely, that
would make me perk up and say, "hey, you know, this is
Q. What I want to understand -- what I think my last
question went to was whether you have, when you read this
new information and you looked at what schools the people
were from and you saw they had P.h.D.'s after their names,
whether there is any other resources available to -- for
you, to aid you to determine whether or not to credit what
you were then reading, and therefore based your teaching on
A. No. Nor is there -- the same question could be
applied towards all of my knowledge, any text book
that I read. I must just look at the text book and
assume at the credentials from well known institutions
and P.h.D.'s in those fields, that these people have
creditable ideas and are knowledgeable in the areas
in which they speak.
Q. You went through several years of formal education.
A. That's true.
Q. And you are trained to be a science teacher.
A. That's true.
Q. And in all that training, were you ever taught about
Q. Were you ever taught that the probabilities were
small that life occurred through random collision?
Q. Okay. Have you discussed the specifics of your
testimony in this case with the Attorney General's office?
A. Nothing of what we've been going over now.
Q. How did you first hear about this lawsuit?
A. I think in the newspaper. I don't remember exactly
how I heard about it.
Q. And who asked you to testify?
A. The Attorney General's office.
Q. And that first time was within the last couple of
A. I think so, yes.
Q. Okay. Did the Attorney General's office ever
tell you how they happened to call you and ask you to
A. Did the Attorney General's office -- I think that
they told me that they had heard my name as a teacher who
would teach Creation Science if the law passed.
Q. Had you made that statement to somebody previously?
A. Many people.
Q. Okay. Was that --
A. I've even applied through the superintendant
of the schools. I requested that I be allowed to present
the view of creationists towards the formation of -- of the
statistical probabilities of formation of -- I asked that I
be allowed to point out an alternate view to randomness and
collision theory for the making of long chain molecules,
which was Creation Science.
Q. When did you --
A. And I asked that oh, at the beginning of the
Q. Beginning of this past summer?
Q. What was that in response to?
A. That was in response to the fact that I had read
some material which made me think that maybe what I had been
teaching was possibly not the only way that these things
could have come about. I had been in -- in my own mind,
a true evolutionist, I guess in that sense of the word,
before that time and before my doubt was created. And
to me as a scientist, the statistical evidence was so
overwhelming on the odds that I saw written in books that
I felt like it was my responsibility as a teacher to
relay this information to my students and present the
fact that there was an alternative possibility. And that
the fact that since no other alternative possibilities were
on the horizon, that it should be expressed.
Q. What was the response of the superintendant?
Q. Has he ever given any reason for his answer?
A. During these presentations they have asked that we
not teach Creation Science.
A. Well, their statement was that they would prefer
that we wait until the outcome of the law -- until the
outcome of the court case is known. And that that would
be their hope that we would not go above their wishes.
And of course, I will not.
Q. Was there ever an expression of preference that
prevents you from teaching?