Deposition of Jim Townley - Page 4
it's Quark, I think. But I am so unfamiliar with the theory
that I couldn't teach it.
Q. So, that's the only scientific dispute?
A. I wouldn't say that's the only.
Q. That you can think of anyway?
A. That I can think of. There are probably others.
Q. What I'm asking you is whether there are any which
you teach in your classroom now?
A. At this time I can't think of any, right now.
Q. Okay. And would you agree that there is a
scientific dispute -- or would you characterize it as a
scientific dispute between Creation Science and Evolution
A. I would characterize it -- there is a dispute going
on about how life started on this planet between people who
believe in evolution as a mechanism and those who believe in
creation as a mechanism.
Q. So, this would be --
A. I do not currently think that you can prove or
disprove, with my current briefs I might change this
later with further reading and more research. I do
not currently believe, based upon what I know, that either
could be proved or disproved. They maybe able to prove
or disprove them in the future.
Q. So, this would be the first such dispute that you
would be teaching in your chemistry class?
A. As far as I know. On the other hand, if I thought
back and had more time to think about it maybe there are
disagreements which we could, if you want to call them
disputes, that we could bring up. But if we're talking
about major disputes on major theory, I can't think of
any at this time. That doesn't mean that there aren't,
but that I can't think of any.
Q. So now, you read some materials in the last year
which you have --
A. That have placed in doubt some of my previous
Q. But you are not presently ready to teach Creation
Science. You have to do more research.
A. That's correct.
Q. And yet, you have expressed the opinion that
Creation Science should be taught in the science
A. That's true. That's right.
Q. And you believe, based on what you've read even
though you're not prepared to teach it, that it should be
taught to chemistry students?
A. That any part of it that involves chemistry should
be expressed as a possibility.
Q. Why do you think Creation Science isn't in the
chemistry textbooks that you currently use?
A. Probably for the same reasons I'm not familiar with
it. We weren't taught, we weren't given the alternative.
Q. Do you have any idea why you weren't taught it?
A. Well, I can go back to why were most people not taught
that the earth went around the sun, because most of the
people those days, those for two thousand years believed the
sun went around the earth. And they firmly believed that.
And they were taught by people who firmly believed one
idea even though it was wrong. So, I assume that my
instructors were no more -- they weren't prepared any better
than I was. And so therefore, they fully believed what they
were teaching. And I do not fault them for it.
Q. Are these Creation Science arguments new?
A. I think many of the statistical discoveries, yes are
new and they haven't been around for very long.
Q. These are the statistical discoveries that have to
do with the probability --
A. You're trying to pin me down on my total knowledge of
Creation Science. And I think that's irresponsible
because I've explained to you that I do not -- that I'm
not fully -- you know --
Q. Mr. Townley, I am entitled to test the extent of
A. And I'm entitled to give an opinion too. Right?
And so you're telling me this and I'm saying that.
Q. Mr. Townley, you're here to answer my questions.
A. True, and I'm answering them.
Q. And I can ask no more of you than to answer to the
fullest extent of your knowledge on this day.
A. That's right. And I've explained to you that my
knowledge is very fragile.
Q. That's right. And I just want to understand the
full extent of your knowledge. And that is all I am
trying to explore. One more time. You just mentioned
new statistical studies.
A. Well, new to me anyway. Okay. As far as I am
concerned they are certainly new to me.
Q. Are these the statistical studies we talked about
throughout this morning and this afternoon?
A. I would hope so.
Q. Okay. Off the record.
[Off the record discussion.]
Q. Have you ever taught any material in your chemistry
class that would -- in which you discussed a creator?
Q. Or God?
Q. Or a supreme being?
Q. Has a student ever asked you about the existence of
or the involvement of God, or a supreme being, or a
A. Not that I can remember.
Q. Do you believe that you can teach Creation Science
without that obvious question of who is the creator?
A. I wouldn't intend not to.
Q. I'm sorry, I don't understand your answer.
A. I would intend to say that there was a creator,
that there was a force external to. That's part of the
explanation. That there is a force beyond the understanding
Q. What if a student asked you who is the creator?
A. I would simply say I don't know because that's what
beyond the understanding of man means, that I don't know.
If it were not beyond the understanding of man I would know
what it meant, I guess.
Q. Isn't the concept of the creator an inherently
MR. WILLIAMS: I object to that as
being beyond the scope of this individual's knowledge.
MS. FERBER: I'm asking his personal
opinion as to whether or not creator implies a religious
MR. WILLIAMS: I object to the
questions and I instruct him not to answer them.
MS. FERBER: Mr. Williams, explain
the basis of your objection.
MR. WILLIAMS: You're asking him the
question as to whether a creator is inherently a religious
MS. FERBER: I asked if in his mind
MR. WILLIAMS: He's not competent to
answer that. That is a question which is so tied up with
theology and even which the theologians I have deposed
in this case I don't think can answer. And to ask him
that question is so far afield from the purpose of his
testimony and the purpose of his deposition that it's
just -- it's really totally objectionable.
MS. FERBER: Are you representing
Mr. Townley in this deposition?
MR. WILLIAMS: I'm representing my
client's interest. I'm representing the defendants.
MS. FERBER: But you are not
representing Mr. Townley?
MR. WILLIAMS: No, but I can object.
MS. FERBER: I do not believe you
can instruct him not to answer the question.
BY MS. FERBER:
Q. Mr. Townley, you can answer my question whether or
not in your opinion, to your personal knowledge, the
concept of creator is inherently a religious concept?
A. May I ask a question?
Q. Go ahead.
A. Not being a legal person.
Q. I'm not asking you for a legal conclusion.
A. I know what your question is, okay. But before I
answer the question, you've told me not to answer it.
MR. WILLIAMS: Uh-huh.
MS. FERBER: Mr. Williams, I would
ask you to withdraw your instructions and not confuse Mr.
Townley as to who -- as to whether or not you are
representing him in this deposition.
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, I don't want to be
obstructionist, I really don't. But I really think the
question is totally beyond the bounds of his knowledge.
Even to ask him if in his mind is so totally beyond the
bounds of his possible testimony in any relevance to this
MS. FERBER: Mr. Williams, I would
rather not clutter the record with our colloquy and our
testimony. The question is your're not -- you're
instructing him apparently not to answer. He is confused
at this moment as to whether or not you can instruct him
not to answer. And I would like you to clarify the
record as to that one matter?
MR. WILLIAMS: I will go ahead -- I
will withdraw the instruction on the grounds it's so
irrelevant that it is -- the question is stupid, but
we'll go ahead and let it be asked.
MR. CEARLEUY: That's a basis for
MR. WILLIAMS: When it's so totally
irrelevent, I think so.
BY MS. FERBER:
A. I -- can I ask you to go back over that question
Q. Mr. Townly, in your opinion, does -- is the concept of
a creator, a supreme being, God an inherently religious
MR. WILLIAMS: I object to that as
being a compound question.
Q. Is the concept of a creator an inherently religious
MR. WILLIAMS: I'm going to object
for the record again. You can answer the question. Not
only is the beyond the purview of his expertise of which
we have offered him as having none, although he would in
the area of science, it is further a legal conclusion
which is going to be decided from this case. And it is
not appropriate for him to make that conclusion.
MS. FERBER: Mr. Townley does have
expertise in the area of science.
MR. WILLIAMS: Are you going to
offer him as an expert witness?
BY MS. FERBER:
Q. Is the concept of the creator a scientific concept?
A. A scientific concept is one that can be experimented
on to prove or disprove or to lend credence to the
hypothesis. And since we can neither prove nor disprove
the creator, I wouldn't say that the -- that the creator --
to prove or disprove a creator would be a question of
science any more than to prove or disprove something that
didn't exist during our knowledge -- and let me finish,
which is exactly what's being done with evolution. So, based
on my personal belief, there would be no more a religious
teaching in that than the other.
Q. So, you're saying that teaching evolution is
A. I'm saying that teaching evolution you cannot -- you
cannot do experimentation on the foundation on which it's
built. And therefore, that's not science.
Q. Why is evolution taught in virtually every biology
A. You're asking.
MR. WILLIAMS: Calls for speculation, I
Q. Do you have an opinion as to why evolution is
taught if it's not scientific?
A. Would you rephrase that for me?
Q. Mr. Townley, you have just told me because
A. I don't think that there is any more validity to
teaching Evolution than to teaching Creation Science for
the reason that neither can be -- and call it absolute pure
science, because neither is absolutely -- can you do
experimentation on the original concrete basement from which
they both come. But for me to sit here and call, because
you can't do experimentation on the original conditions
under which creation is supposedly to have occurred through
evolution, would not justify me calling it a religion. But
on the other hand, it would justify me saying that you
cannot do experimentation on it. And therefore, it's no
more scientific than creationism.
Q. Is creationism no more religious than evolution is?
MR. WILLIAMS: Again, I'll object on
the grounds that he doesn't have the knowledge.
A. I personally do not think that creationism is a
Q. In your mind, is the concept of a creator an
inherently religious concept?
MR. WILLIAMS: I'm going to object
on the ground the question is ambiguous as well because,
are you talking about the creator in the sense as it is
presented in a religion or are you talking about the
creator which is discussed in the theory of Creation
Science as we have been talking about it?
MS. FERBER: Creation Science as Mr.
Townley has been discussing it.
MR. WILLIAMS: In other words, a force
above and beyond what we know, that's what we're talking
MS. FERBER: I would like Mr. Townley to
answer the question based on his own interpretation. I
would prefer that you did not define the term for him. He
has been using it all morning.
MR. WILLIAMS: But the question is
ambiguous, I'm trying to clarify it.
BY MS. FERBER:
Q. What does the term creator mean to you?
A. I think if you go back in the previous pages, must
be volumes by now, that you'll find that I sand an external
force, knowledge beyond the knowledge of man.
Q. Is creator, as in external force beyond the
knowledge of man --
A. Is it necessarily religious?
Q. Is it a religious concept?
A. Is it a religious concept? I don't know if I know
the answer to that question.
Q. Is it the same creator that you talk about in
A. I think the one that I talk about in church could
certainly be applied to it.
Q. And the one that you read about in the Bible?
A. Could certainly be applied to it.
Q. And the one that when you discuss Creation Science
in your Sunday school class, same creator?
A. Could be applied to it.
A. Not necessarily one and the same, but it could be
applied to it.
Q. As a teacher, do you have a definition of religion?
A. Of religion?
A. I don't teach religion.
Q. I understand that. But you do know that you
can't teach religion in the public school, right?
MR. WILLIAMS: That question has been
asked and answered at least twice.
Q, So, you know that -- so, somehow you can recognize the
difference between religion and something else?
A. Well, in the sense that teaching the Christian
religion, or Judiasm, or any of the ones that I'm
familiar with I don't, not as far as I know, any other
teacher use that in science.
Q. Is that the only way that you could teach religion
is to teach Judiasm or Catholicism or....
A. Or any other religion that I'm familiar with, yes. As
to try to draw from that what the definition of religion
would be, I'm afraid I'd have to go -- and since I'm not a
theologian on religion, I'd have to go and research the fact
or what definition you're trying to pull from me.
As far as my own Christian belief,
which if you want to get into my Christian belief you
can, I do not teach that in school.
Q. I assure you I am not trying to pull from you any
definition of religion. But I am trying to understand
whether or not you have a definition of religion or
how you will recognize religion when you see it or when
you talk about it?
A. Well, I can give you characteristics of it. But
characteristics of something doesn't necessarily define
Q. I would like to hear your characteristics of
A. Well, religion is something that's based on faith.
Q. Is it -- in the sense that you are a Christian, is
it part of your faith that there was a creator?
A. It's part of my faith that there was a creator
shaped in the image of man.
Q. How do you distinguish that creator from the
creator that is inherent in teaching Creation Science?
A. Creation Science doesn't give to the creator in that
thought the emotions of love, hate, envy, jealousy, give it
design, give it morals, give it desires as far as I know.
Q. I'm sorry, I'm confused. The creator has to have
A. My biblical God, my creator has emotions. The
Creator and Creation Science, as far as I know, I've
never read where they have to have these characteristics.
Q. So, that's the distinction you would draw between
the -- between your religious creator, God and between --
A. My religious God has set for me morals under
which I live, the facts on relationships that I must have
with my fellow man which Creation Science does not -- not
Q. I apologize if this has been asked and answered,
but I don't guess we want to read back the record and
find it. I asked you whether -- how you would respond to a
child who asks you who's the creator.
A. And I would say, for about the third or fourth time,
that it would be somebody who -- some knowledge between
the knowledge of man, some force, some power that we
don't have the ability to recognize.
Q. But you'd stop short of calling this religion
because you don't attribute that creator with the -- with
A. With a religion there is more to -- I think in a --
a religion has a god that has various emotions, that has
given you certain morals which you must follow, certain
relationships with mankind and each other that you
Q. Aren't those things -- what God gave to man rather
than the characteristics of the creator himself?
A. Right. That our God gave us that's part of our
religion, that's right.
Q. Does God have those characteristics to give them
A. If you're saying religion is just the fact that
there is a God, there are religions in this world who --
who do not have a God, it's my understanding.
Q. I'm not trying to understand every religion in the
MR. WILLIAMS: If you do you're in
the wrong deposition, it's going on down the hall.
A. Is there a shortage of science teachers in your
school or in your district?
A. I think there is probably a shortage of science
teachers in the United States.
Q. Do you --
A. Probably, you know, it's a guess. I don't really know
as to whether or not my district has a hard time getting
scientists to teach as science teachers. I couldn't answer,
I don't know. I've read, of course, that there is a
shortage of science teachers, and math teachers, and shop
teachers in the United States. Although there seems to be an
abundance of teachers as a whole.
Q. Do you -- do you know that there are teachers
who would refuse to teach Creation Science?
Q. Can Creation Science be taught without discussions
of the creator?
A. Without mention that there was a creator? I
Q. Is there any scientific evidence of who the creator
A. Not as far as I know.
Q. Do you believe that under Act 590 you would be
permitted to express an opinion as to the scientific
merit of Evolution?
Q. Do you believe that under Act 590 you'd be able to
express an opinion as to the scientific merit of Creation
Q. Have you discussed that question with the Attorney
Q. Did your opinion change after your discussion with the
Attorney General's office?
A. I didn't have an -- really that much -- I really
didn't have that much of a -- an understanding of what
you're referring to before I talked to the Attorney
Q. Did you believe that you could give your technical
balanced treatment equal time whenever you thought of it
before your discussion with the Attorney General's office,
and say, "But I don't really believe in this evidence
for Creation Science"?
A. I didn't know if I could one way or the other.
Q. Had you thought about it?
Q. And you didn't know whether you were free to
express an opinion or not?
Q. So, your current belief, subsequent to your
discussion with the Attorney General's office, is that
you could give balanced treatment to evolution science
and creation science and then say, but I don't really
believe any of the scientific evidence that I just taught
you for creation science?
A. I guess you could.
Q. Would you be able to, under Act 590, say that some
religions believe this about Creation Science?
A. I don't think so.
Q. Absent Act 590, do you believe that teachers
would be free to teach Creation Science?
A. Absent Act --
Q. If Act 590 had never been passed, had never been
considered by the legislature --
Q. -- do you believe that teachers would have the
freedom to determine whether or not to teach Creation
A. I think some would under great pressure. I think
there would be great pressure on many teachers if they
Q. You mean that -- what I'm asking you is you believe,
absent Act 590, you would have the right to teach
A. Of course, I guess any teacher could teach what
they wanted to ,but the results of what they tried to
teach might be disastrous.
Q. Like what?
A. Well, like -- as I expressed while ago, you know, if
you wanted to teach Moll Flanders, for instance, on the a
high school or junior high level. Although it's able to be
taught on a college level, I'm not sure it would be accepted
by the people or the local school district or possibly the
school board. So, you might have to -- just because you
jump in there and teach something doesn't mean that you
wouldn't suffer the consequences.
Q. Do you have reason to believe that your school
district, absent Act 590, wouldn't let somebody teach
A. Well, let me put it to you this way. If 590
passes, my school district would allow me to teach. Now,
let me finish. We'll go a little logic. If the -- if it
doesn't pass, okay. If it doesn't pass, then my school
district would have no reason to say "wait" unless if it
doesn't pass they didn't intend to let me.
Q. I'm sorry, I'm confused. Maybe Mr. Williams
would like to....
A. Why should there be be any reason why -- if there
is no difference, whether it passes or doesn't pass, why
should we then be told to wait?
Q. Okay. There are....
A. We've been asked to wait in my school district.
Q. Have you been asked to wait until Act 590 passes the
legislature or asked to wait until the court rules on what
A. Until there is a ruling on Act 590.
Q. A ruling on whether the statute, which has already
been passed by the legislature, is unconstitutional or
A. I can't answer that question. I can only say that
our school district has asked us not to teach Creation
Science until this case which we're going through is over.
Okay. Now, if there were not -- there were not intention
to prevent it being taught, why couldn't it be -- why
would even such a statement be made? It seems to me
illogical that such a statement would be made at all if
there were not something intended -- there wasn't some
measure or desire for you not to teach it unless the
act passed. That's again, my own personal opinion. So,
it doesn't really have any merit other than just a
Q. If Act 590 had not passed the legislature and this
lawsuit didn't exist, would you be able to express an
opinion as to the scientific merit of Evolution?
A. In my classroom?
Q. In your classroom.
A. I'm not sure.
Q. Okay. Do you believe that the teaching of Evolution
reenforces any negative values in children?
A. Not that I know of.
Q. Do you think it enforces any negative beliefs?
A. Not that I know of.
Q. Does it impact on their religious beliefs at all?
A. It could.
Q. In what way?
A. Well, I guess if they believed strictly word for word
as the Bible is written, that it would be difficult for
a Christian to -- who was not very knowledgeable in
science to believe that there could be a world by
evolution. For me, personally as a Christian, I find
nothing that would prevent the mechanism by which God
would want to create this world, nothing in evolution
that would prevent that being the mechanism.
Q. Do you know what Christian Political Action is?
A. No. Well, I understand what the words mean, but I
mean as far as the group, I don't know any of the
philosophies of the group or what its intentions are?
Q. Is it a group?
A. I told you I really don't know. You asked me a
Q. I wasn't asking you about a group. I asked what
Christian Political action would mean to you?
A. What Christian Political Action would mean? I guess
it would mean political action taken by Christians.
Q. What kind of political actions would Christians
MR. WILLIAMS: I object. That's so
speculative and has so much conjecture. Really Laurie,
MS. FERBER: I'll withdraw the
Q. Did evolution, as taught in Public schools, deny
the existence of God in any way?
A. No, I don't think so.
Q. Do you believe that religious implications should
be considered along with scientific and academic aspects
in determining whether any subject is taught?
A. Do I believe whether or not what now?
Q. Do you believe that religious implications are
relevant in deciding whether a subject should be taught?
A. I'm not sure, I'd have to put in more thought on
that question. I think I would really have to put
in some thought on it. More than I could have to answer
now. There is a difference between teaching religion and
Q. Do you use audio-visual aids when you teach?
Q. Are they furnished by your school?
Q. Are you free to rent whatever audio-visual aids you
A. I don't know where the money would come from.
Q. Is there any budget for renting films?
A. Not that's open to me.
Q. Do you borrow films from other schools or school
Q. You told me earlier that your interpretation
of Act 590 was that a teacher either had to give balanced
treatment of creation science and evolution or had to
refrain from teaching evolution.
A. That's true.
Q. Do you believe that any -- that teachers will stop
teaching evolution because of the balanced treatment
A. It's possible.
Q. Have you heard any teachers say that they would
Q. Have you discussed that with any teachers?
MR. WILLIAMS: He's asked and answered
MS. FERBER: I don't believe he's
discussed that -- told me whether he discussed that
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, I think he said
that it has been discussed, but I earlier testimony
was that nobody has told him that they will not teach it.
BY MS. FERBER:
Q. That accurate?
MS. FERBER: Thank you Mr. Williams,
appreciate your testimony.
Q. Does Fort Smith Special School District have a
curriculum development committee?
A. I think so.
Q. Do you know what the responsibilities of that
A. Well, the name implies develop curriculum.
Q. Do they develop curriculum in the science area?
A. And I said, as far as I know, there's not curriculum
in chemistry so....
Q. Are there any guidelines from the State as far as,
you know, that apply to what you teach?
A. None that I've seen.
Q. Is there some process whereby scientific theories
gain acceptance in the scientific community before they're
taught in schools?
A. Well, most theories are not taught unless there's
some belief in the scientific community by a portion of
the scientific community that they're possible.
Q. For the most part are the theories, scientific
theories which you teach, scientific information which you
teach in your classes, reflected in textbooks?
Q. And is there some process whereby scientific theory
gains acceptance or the scientific community before it's
incorporated into textbooks?
A. Again, I'd have to say that it's believed by the
majority of scientists before --
Q. Do you have an opinion as to why Creation Science
doesn't appear in textbooks?
MR. WILLIAMS: That supposes that
it does not.
MS. FERBER: I believe Mr. Townley
testified that he does not know of any textbooks which
include Creation Science.
MR. WILLIAMS: In his district, You're
saying all textbooks.
BY MS. FERBER:
Q. Do you know of any text books which include
A. Unless you're talking about those sitting on the table.
Q. Textbooks -- all right. do you know of any
textbooks that you have seen which would be used in the
public schools that include Creation Science?
A. Of course, I also told you that I've only viewed
about three books, you know. So, that --
Q. Have you seen a lot of chemistry textbooks in your
A. That have Creation Science? No, I haven't.
Q. Have you seen -- and you have reviewed many
chemistry textbooks in your many years of teaching
A. That's true.
Q. And you've never seen one that includes Creation
A. That's true.
Q. Okay. Do you believe that it's professionally
responsible to teach theories or information which have
not gained acceptance in the scientific community?
A. Well, if it wasn't then we would have had -- we
would still be back believing that the sun went around
the earth. We'd still believe that the blood ebdon
[sic.] flowed in the body because the vast majority of
the teachers, during those times, believed that the blood
ebdon flowed in the body.
Q. I didn't ask you whether scientists could study and
teach us new information. Are you suggesting to me
that people were teaching that in the schools at the same
A. No, they weren't. They were not.
Q. That's not my question then Mr. Townley, sorry.
What I asked you was whether it was professionally
responsible to teach theories or scientific information
which have not yet gained acceptance in the scientific
A. I'm not sure I can answer that question.
Q. Do you teach scientific theories which have not
gained acceptance in the scientific community?
Q. Do you believe that Creation Science has gained
acceptance in the scientific community?
A. By a segment of it.
Q. How big a segment a segment of scientific community
has to accept a theory before you think it ought to be
taught in schools?
A. I really don't know.
Q. So, if you read it in a couple of books, is that
enough to convince you that you ought to teach it?
A. No. But when I see the people that have -- the
number of people that are writing books, the number of
scientists that are doing research on it; such as in
England, such as in Michigan, such as in California and
when I read their credentials, as I've already
Q. If they have P.h.D. after their name and they're
from a school that you recognized?
A. That are highly recognized.
Q. Highly recognized.
A. That's the only judgment or criteria that I have
to go on. Since I'm not an expert in those fields, I
do not do research. I can only make judgment values
based on what I read.
Q. Do you know who published the books that you
A. At the time that I read them I looked at the
authors and -- and looked at them, as I have stated.
Q. Did you have any information about those publishers?
A. I don't have any information about the people that
currently or in any other time I've looked at textbooks.
That's a question which I've already answered also.
Q. How would you feel if you knew that the companies
that published the Creation Science books that you
reviewed were connected to church organizations?
A. I don't think that would bother me.
Q. It wouldn't, in any way, influence your opinion as
to the size of the validity?
A. I don't think so. They're just publishing
Q. Once again, we've talked about the option of
avoiding teaching Evolution Science. Is that an option
that's open to you? Rather than teaching Creation
Science, could you excise from your course that part of
the curriculum which has to do with Evolution Science?
A. I could.
Q. Without doing any damage to the information that you
should be teaching to your students?
A. That's a question which is speculative. I don't if
I -- you know, if you're saying by not telling them or
giving them all the information you have could harm them
or not harm them, that's an opinion.
Q. Do you believe that you should have that option to
stop teaching a part of your curriculum?
A. I didn't say I was going to stop teaching that.
Q. I asked if you should have the option of doing
A. I believe in our democracy. And I believe that
there are -- in the process that we have that if -- if
various committees throughout our lands decide that
we shouldn't teach it, that we should (1) either not
teach it or we should get out of the profession.
Q. The Balance Treatment For Creation Science And
Evolution Science Bill gives you two options. Or the
Attorney General's office tells you there are two options.
A. Right. And if I don't wish to teach those -- if I
don't wish to do one or the other -- If I wish to teach
one without the other, then I'm breaking the law. And
then I either must move to a state to where -- that I can
do that or I should have to get out of teaching. We have
to obey the laws of our land.
Q. What I want to know is, whether you believe that
you ought to have that option -- or whether you have a
right to exercise that option to stop teaching a portion
of the curriculum which you've determined ought not to
A. If the law says that I should, then I should.
Q. According to the information you've given me, in
some areas of your curriculum now you will be teaching
two alternative theories of how something occurred.
Do you believe that students have the academic background to
weigh the relative merit of the two different theories that
you will be presenting?
A. I have presented different theories as to why
things have occurred in other areas in science and
haven't seen that harm them.
Q. What areas have you presented different theories in?
A. Such as in geology where -- in mountain building
you raise several possibilities, several theories of why
mountains are built, raised.
Q. Do you think any of that area in any way requires
students to choose between the different models you
present of reconcile.?
A. No, I don't think it makes them choose between them.
They recognize that they are models, they recognize
that there are different possibilities.
Q. Do you believe that presentation of Evolution
Science and Creation Science might cause students to have
to choose between the two models in order to reconcile?
A. I don't think they have to choose between the two
models. I don't have to choose between the two models.
And I'm just as -- I would have to consider myself as the
only place I can make the value judgment.
Q. So, students who are many years younger than
you lack your academic rating?
A. Would not have to make a value judgment, no.
Q. Is it too conceivable to you that because of the
religious training they get at home --
A. They might.
Q. -- they might have to reconcile with inconsistent
MR. WILLIAMS: Calls for speculation
Q. You don't know?
A. I --
Q. You don't know, is that the shrug?
A. Obviously --
Q. The reporter can't report a shrug.
A. Well, the reporter can report that I stated
previously and which I've answered many times. You know,
I seems like many of these questions I'm answering for
the fourth or fifth time.
Q. I think the questions have been slightly different.
And I need the answers. I apologize to for --
A. Would you want to rephrase the question again?
We'll see if it's rephrased in the same way.
Q. I will ask the question. Thank you.
A. Okay. Let me hear it again.
Q. Is it conceivable to you that because of religious
training, religious beliefs, students may feel compelled
to reconcile the two models you present or feel confused
by the two models?
MR. WILLIAMS: That's still --
A. You ask me if it's possible, of course, anything is
MR. WILLIAMS: That's still speculative
and I object.
Q. Okay. Can chemistry be taught without teaching the
origin of life, man, the earth, and the universe at
Q. How much of your curriculum would you be excising
to do that?
A. Not much. Again, it's very difficult for me to say
because you -- as before, you brought up an area which I
hadn't thought of, so it's difficult for me to say. It's
difficult for me to say. Not much. There aren't too
many areas that are -- that involve creationism vs
evolution in chemistry. Chemistry is the study of
particles and how they interact
with each other. The mechanisms, how they interact with
each other. The products by which are produced by these
mechanisms. When we get into -- only when we get into the
area of the production of extremely long polyatomic
molecules and the probability statistically of informing do
we get in on the -- the basement of both theories. I'm sure
that there are probably other areas to where you could draw
parallels in some way.
Q. So, you do not know exactly what part of your
curriculum you'll have to alter to comply with that?
A. I would have to give it more time than the five
minutes that we're talking about here. I would have to
go home and look through my curriculum, look through the
textbooks, try in the best of my judgment to come up
with all the areas that would have to be involved.
Q. So, when you said Creation Science should be taught
in your chemistry class you didn't know what part of your
curriculum that would affect and how much additional time
it would take?
A. I have not looked because the only areas that I wish
to cover in that area, under my own personal opinion at
this time, was that which was the formation of long
Q. Is your personal opinion what is going to determine
what you have to do under Act 590?
A. Under Act 590?
A. I hadn't -- what I requested hadn't been relative to
Act 590. Act 590 hasn't been passed or not passed yet.
When Act 590 comes up then I'll have to look through the
whole text to find out what areas are involved, but at
this time that hasn't.
Q. Are you familiar with the Arkansas Science
A. No, I'm not.
Q. Are you required to file lesson plans?
Q. What does the term model mean to you?
A. A model is a -- if you're talking about a scientific
model it's a mechanism by which something can take
place, explain something. It helps to get insight
to -- to how something takes place.
Q. Do you have to file copies of tests that you give?
Q. Do you --
A. We do have to file copies of -- we have to submit
semester and year examinations, but those are the only
copies we have to submit.
Q. Have you reviewed the four takes that you brought with
Q. Have you listened to any of them?
Q. What -- which have you listened to?
A. "Dinosaurs And -- whatever the name of it is.
"Dinosaurs And Deluge."
Q. By Henry Morris?
Q. Does it contain any biblical references?
A. It certainly does.
Q. Does this tape discuss any information which you --
which is taught in your chemistry course?
Q. Or which would be -- which would require --
A. None that I remember.
Q. Or does it touch on subjects -- would it provide
the balanced treatment for subjects that you teach
Q. Have you ever heard of the Arkansas Citizens
For Balance Education And Origin, or Arkansas Citizens
For Fairness In Education?
Q. Act 590 prohibits religious instruction. What does
religious instruction mean to you?
A. I guess I better find out what religious instruction
means if the bill passes. But to me, of course, I refer
only to my own Christian Religion. And my Christian
religion, it means I believe in Jesus Christ as my savior.
To me it believes that I should act as he acted, that he is
the model by which I should live by.
Q. Is that -- do you mean that only if you instruct
about Jesus Christ the savior that you're giving religious
A. No. There are other aspects of the Christian
religion, sure. As I said before, if you want me to go
into what is religion, I guess I better get me out some
books and start finding out what religion that you're
Q. Are you currently prohibited from teaching religion
in the public schools?
A. I do not teach religion in the public schools. I
teach chemistry. Chemistry is the interaction of matter
with itself, particulate interactions.
Q. Do you mean to tell me that you have no opinion
as to what religion instruction means?
A. Yes. I just told you I assume religious instruction
would be that they're referring to biblical religious
instruction. I'm sure that there are probably other
religious instructions that they're referring to.
Q. Act 590 prohibits reference to religious writing.
A. That's true.
Q. Does this mean merely that the teacher can't refer
to the Bible?
A. I would assume that they can't refer to Buddhism,
Hinduism, any other religions of the world of which I'm not
Q. Did that mean just that you can't quote scriptures?
A. I would assume that it means that you can't refer
to the basic beliefs of those religions. And since I'm
not familiar with the basic beliefs of all the religions
of the world it would be very....
Q. Mr. Townley, what I was focusing on was the
prohibitions against reference to religious writings and
asking you whether you thought that religious writing
meant only the Bible or other scripture?
A. I'm sure it means other religious group's writings
Q. What does creation mean?
A. Made from, created. It's been made, put together,
Q. Does the term Creation Science -- does the term
creation, as used in reference to Creation Science, mean
the act of a supernatural creator?
A. Creation means that that a supernatural power
above and beyond our intelligence has created life.
That's the way I would read Creation Science.
Q. Okay. Mr. Townley, I'd like to show you the
definition of Creation Science contained in Act 590 which
you've told me you have read before. It's Section 4A,
A. It means the scientific evidences of creation --
would you like for me to read that to you?
Q. You don't need to read it into the record.
A. Okay. For the record, that after being on this for
over five hours, it seems like, that one does get tired. And
I'll put that in the record.
Q. I appreciate that and I am trying to wind it up.
A. And one who reads the record can obviously see how
many times the questions have been repeated, how tired
one can get.
Q. We'll try not to test your patience much longer.
A. I would hope so.
Q. In the mean time, I'd like to get through the
questions so we can all get out of here.
A. That's very good. As long as we only ask them one
time it seems like we could get through them in less than
Q. Mr. Townley, had you read the definition of
Creation Science before I questioned you about it?
A. Yes, I have. That does not mean that I remember Act
590 and what they wrote as their definition.
Q. I am asking you just to read it right now.
A. All right. I've read the definition of Creation
Q. Where would one go to find the scientific evidences
for creation as it's defined in that section of the Act?
A. I imagine one would have to do research through
various materials that have been written.
Q. Do you know where the six elements of that
definition of Creation Science come from?
A. No, I do not.
Q. Are you familiar with the Genesis account of
A. I am -- unless somebody asks me to quote it word
for word I am fairly reasonable to the Genesis account,
Q. Are those six elements of the definition of Creation
Science found in Genesis?
A. I don't remember that the Genesis account uses the
terms energy, insufficient mutation, natural selection.
Q. I doubt very much that it does.
A. Separate ancestry, earth's geology catastrophism.
Q. Do you believe that the concepts implicit in those
six definitions are found in Genesis?
A. It's quite possible. It's quite possible that
Christian religion would relate more to one theory than
to another. In fact, it would almost have to relate more
to one than another.
Q. Is that listing of the six elements of Creation
Science inclusive as far as you're concerned? Or could
other evidences for creation be taught?
MR. WILLIAMS: Could you -- am I
understanding the question correctly? Do you mean
are those six the only evidences that are being taught?
MS. FERBER: No. I'm asking him
whether he knows of other evidences that could be taught.
A. Well, it's possible that there are other evidences
that could be taught.
Q. What are kinds?
A. I would assume that kinds means similar.
Q. Number 3 in that definition says, "changes only
within fixed limits of originally created kinds of plants
A. Similar kinds of plants and animals.
Q. What is a kind?
A. Or if it changes only within fixed limits that were
originally created kinds.
Q. Do you recognize --
Q. Types. Is that word used any place else to
describe groups of plants and animals or living kinds?
A. I wouldn't know.
Q. Is that word used in the Bible?
A. I wouldn't know. Maybe, quite possible.
Q. Number 4 says, "separate ancestry for man and
apes." Why does creation theory require separate
ancestry for man and apes?
A. It's my understanding that through Creation Science
God created all basic life forms as they are basically in
their form today. That there may have been slight
changes within those life forms today, but basically they
have remained the same. Therefore, since an ape being
different from a man it would require that they have
Q. Why can't man and apes be part of the same kind?
A. They're different. They have different
Q. Are you offended by the concept that man and apes
A. Offended, what do you mean offended? In what way
Q. Does it bother you to believe that man and apes
A. If that's the mechanism that God wanted to create man
by, no it doesn't offend me.
Q. What does catastrophism mean?
A. A catastrophy would mean a violent or sudden
Q. So, what does it mean to say, "explanation of the
earth's geology by catastrophism"?
A. It means that the forms on the earth, that is --
again, I'm giving you my opinion. I would certainly read
further if I were going to teach the science, Creation
Science. But my understanding of catastrophe would
be that you could explain various geological forms due to
catastrophe rather than to slow processes. And in fact,
that many things that are seen in geology could be
explained better by that than possibly by the other.
Q. Number 5 refers to the occurrence of a worldwide
flood. Is this the same flood referred to in the
bible as involving Noah's ark?
A. I wouldn't know. There is theory which also
states that the world -- and I don't know where I've
heard this theory, so you can't ask me to give it in any
book. There is a theory that says the world was -- above the
atmosphere of the world there was an envelope of water,
which completely surrounded the earth. That some major
event caused the piercing of that envelope of water, such as
a huge meteorite hitting it causing the vortex to pull the
water from the envelope towards the earth. Once that vortex
was broken, the envelope of water and the water
cascaded down upon the earth that created a catastrophe,
creating geologic forms because of that catastrophe. That
theory is not a Noah's flood theory as far as I know. And
yet, it is a different view of flood mechanism. I don't
teach it by the way.
Q. Do you --
A. And I don't believe it either, but anyway....
Q. Do you know what -- but you do believe in the
occurrence of a worldwide flood?
A. Yes, I do believe in the occurrence of a worldwide
Q. What does that have to do with origins, the subject
of Act 590?
A. I'm not sure that it has any -- you asked me if I
believe it. I do believe it because of my obvious
Q. I am referring to the fact that, the definition of
Creation Science as contained in Act 590 includes the
scientific evidence and related inferences that indicate
the occurrence of a worldwide flood.
MR. WILLIAMS: Catastrophism including
the worldwide flood.
MS. FERBER: Catastrophism, that's
Q. And I'm asking what that has to do with the subject
A. Well, I think it has to do with explaining why that
certain features of the earth are as they are. Or it
has -- I think that Creation Science uses this as a
mechanism by which they explain the finding of certain
fossil evidence such as dinosaur-bones, why that they --
why that certain species of life here on earth have
disappeared rapidly rather than to have a slow
disappearance. Again, that assumption can be wrong,
but that's my own understanding of Creation Science.
Q. Section 4B of Act 590 merely defines Evolution
Science and lists six scientific evidences and related
inferences for Creation Science.
A. I have to --
Q. I'll let you read it first. What I want to know
is whether you think that you have to teach all six
elements before the balanced treatment requirement is
triggered or if you just mention one of them whether you
have to balance it with something about Creation Science?
A. If I only mention one I think I'd only have to
balance with it with one from the other.
Q. Do you believe that presentation of evolution alone
undermines the religious convictions, and morals of
philosophical values of students and parents.
A. For the second time at least, the answer is no.
Q. Do you believe the presentation of evolution alone
hinders religious training and moral training by parents?
MR. WILLIAMS: I want to object. I think
it's irrelevant whether he believes it. It's whether the
legislature believes it or not is what's important.
MS. FERBER: I'm entitled to it if it's
A. You want to repeat that again. I'm getting rather
tired, but -- I'm having trouble concentrating.
Q. Do you believe that presentation of evolution
alone hinders religious training and moral training by
A. I think in some cases it might, it's possible.
Q. Do you believe that presentation of evolution
alone produces hostility toward atheistic religions?
MR. WILLIAMS: I just want to enter a
continuing objection to all these questions based upon the
findings of fact.
A. I don't know. I guess it -- you know, anything is
possible. It's possible.
Q. Can you imagine any scientific evidence that would
cause you to give up your belief in creation as described
Q. Let's take a brief break.
Q. Do you discuss fossils and fossil records in your
Q. Do you discuss the geologic column?
Q. Do you talk about the speed of light?
Q. Are you aware of any Creation Science theories which
contradict the evidence which you currently teach about
the speed of light?
A. I'm not aware of it. There may be, but I'm not
aware of it.
Q. In a science class, can you attempt to explain
things other than by natural laws?
A. No, I don't try to.
Q. Did you ever contact anyone in regards to Act
A. What do you mean by that?
Q. To support the bill?
A. On my own initiative, no. In fact, and I may get
hot water here, but I'm going to go ahead and state it.
As part of the A.E.A. I spoke against the Act. Not because I
disbelieved in Creation Science because I did believe in
Creation Science. And I'm on record in front of the entire
elected delegates to the National Education Association in
being in favor of the fact that creation should be taught.
My original understanding of the Act was incorrect. And
after I had discussed with teachers, and people, and so
forth, my understanding and found out that I was incorrect,
I wasn't against the Act.
Q. What was your understanding?
A. As I said, it would probably get in trouble, right.
That every dotted "i" had to be exactly the same. And
that's no longer my understanding, so I'm not against the
Q. Could you explain a little more fully what your
understanding was, other than the dotted "i's"?
A. That every single -- that every single second that
was spent on creation would have to be spent on
Q. Okay. And when did you get disabused of this
A. I knew see that you'd call back something that I
don't really want to remember or have remembered or
whatever. But I no longer have that view of it and I no
longer support that it shouldn't be taught. Well, I
didn't ever -- as I said, didn't ever support that it
shouldn't be taught, but I was against the law because
of a misunderstanding. And I further confirmed that
misunderstanding through the Attorney General's office.
And it is -- in fact, I was in error.
Q. Mr. Townley, I've asked you to furnish me with a list
of the Creation Science materials that you've consulted in
the past year.
A. And as best as I can I will furnish it.
MS. FERBER: Mr. Williams, if you plan
to have Mr. Townley refer to the materials he's consulted
anywhere in his testimony, I would request that we be
furnished with that answer within five days.
MR. WILLIAMS: I don't plan, nor
have I ever planned to have him refer to that material.
MS. FERBER: So, you will not in anyway
ask him what materials on which he bases his opinion that
he can teach Creation Science?
MR. WILLIAMS: No. If I should change
my mind, I will let you know.
MR. CEARLEY: And furnish the materials
I hope, or names.
BY MS. FERBER:
Q. Do you teach about DNA?
Q. I understand that you may have answered some version
of a couple of questions early in the record. And if you
want we can take the time to go back and read the entire
transcript and find the answers.
A. I should make you do that, shouldn't I?
Q. If not, we can just very quickly go through them.
A. I should make us sit here and go through them.
Q. If you would like to sit here and go through it
I would be more than glad to. But if not, I would just
like to know when your first contact with the Attorney
General's office was?
A. Time within the past two months.
Q. And how many conversations have you had with the
Attorney General's office?
A. Several. I can't count them. Several.
Q. More than five?
A. Maybe five, maybe six.
Q. Have you ever read Act 590?
Q. And you read it subsequent to your first contact
with the Attorney General's office?
A. I may have because we had it -- it was brought up
at the A.E.A. But I don't remember if I read it fully at
that time, I really don't.