McLean v. Arkansas Documentation Project
These (ACLU) notes from the collection of McLean materials donated to the NCSE by plaintiffs witness William V. Mayer. They document the testimony of State's witness Jim Townley.
Please note that this is not an official trial document.
school educator educational background B.S.E., M.S., teaches general chemistry I
& II; responsible for committees. Taught in U.S. Government schools overseas
for 14 years.
teaches beginning chemistry (10-12th grade); honors chemistry.
590: What does he think of
you utilize any part of evolution theory or creation theory, you would have to
teach that part as completely as you could - he would teach part of c-s theory
relating to polyatomic molecule.
has not ever taught creation-science, due to school board's ruling; if he taught
creation-science, he would be afraid of disciplinary action. Act 590 would allow
him to teach it.
is studying creation-science important?
doubts about evolution re inability of / improbability of organic material to
come from inorganic matter.
590 and academic freedom: It will
allow him to teach something he can't now teach; high
school teachers are limited in what they can teach
Treatment" teach completely each
theory - cover them "in their entirety."
Feels he can give balanced treatment to the two models;
that he can teach creation-science in a secular, nonreligious way;
doesn't think c-s is a religion; will have no adverse effect on students - make
them more interested in science.
heard of creation-science - 1 year ago. Can he prepare himself to teach it? ---
Yes. Believes other teachers can also; teacher doesn't have to agree with a
theory to teach it.
teaches the brighter students, around 80% go on to college.
"balanced treatment" - present corollaries?
just the part triggered by subject.
Would Act allow one to say c-s was not science?
Equal time? When did he change opinion?
Att'y General's office - equal time not necessary.
Statistical probability re: origins of life---
Now, he avoids that aspect of science; doesn't get around to it in class (lack
of student interest) - didn't go into statistics or probability because school
(board) said to avoid it.. (Board said this one month - six weeks ago.
textbook require teaching abiogenesis in dogmatic fashion;
he has not been prohibited to teach anything. Last year, he asked Dr.
Owen if he could bring it into next year's curriculum. Looked into it but Board
said to hold off. They had discussions among the teachers.
Why can't he teach statistical improbability now?
Evidence leads to no other solution than external factor - Creator
Ages; other information indicates same doubt about radioactive ages not being as
old -- this gives credibility to creationist ideas.
Why isn't it logical to teach scientific study showing young age of
The ideas are intertwined with creationist theory.
Why can't you simply teach the studies without reference to creation?
Because he wants to teach creation -- thinks people should experience these two
thoughts on the origin of life.
What scientific evidence outside of creationism shows radioactive dating
to be inaccurate?
What alternative does one give to students – sudden creation or
Is your testimony based on belief that there are only 2 possibilities -
Does science deal with supernatural explanation?
No - with what can be proved or disproved.
Can cs be taught without reference to creator?
CS-supernatural creator beyond our knowledge?
Yes - not a scientific concept.
can't prove many things taught in science classes suppositions called
science. "Creation-Science" not a religion. Is "creator" a
religious concept? (no answer Neither model can be proved?
Explain "creative force".
It is beyond my knowledge -- like other things in science;
of a "creator" -beyond
his knowledge; beyond understanding of man: his experience of a creator is from
Sunday school; and in creation science. In his Christianity, his God has traits
we have given him, as creator, not necessarily applicable to creationist creator
= undefined; could be, literally, a force beyond our knowledge.
in creationist literature does this creator appear? He has never seen anything
but a characterless creator.
in Creation science?
590: meaning of "kinds"?
think of any creation-science material that does or doesn't have religious
What scientific evidence could convince him that life did arise from
Examples of abiogenesis.
His belief re age of the earth?
Not definite: "recent" -- 10,000 - several million years
different things to different people.
How will teachers know what "kinds", "sudden
creation" and "recent" means?
"Kinds" -- doesn't know
"recent" - evol theory: millions,
tens of million
10,000 years? - most teachers
accept that earth
is old; 10,000 - several million is recent
science: much earlier - doesn't know
enough creation science literature to know time-range.
He wouldn't have any trouble teaching solely the scientific evidences from c-s material with religious references; wants to teach possible explanations for what we see in nature. Would not teach anything other than scientific evidences.
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