McLean v. Arkansas Documentation Project


Testimony of Ronald W. Coward, biology/psychology teacher, Pulaski Co. Special School District (Plaintiffs Witness) - transcript paragraph formatted version. 


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THE COURT: (Continuing) up, and I will take a look at them.

(To Judge Byrd) I would suggest that until we resolve this maybe you ought to stay around.

JUDGE BYRD: Plan on it.

(9:20 a.m.)

(Open Court)

MR. CEARLEY: Your Honor, Plaintiffs call Ron Coward.

Thereupon,

RONALD W. COWARD,

called on behalf of the plaintiffs herein, after having been first duly sworn or affirmed, was examined and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY MR. CEARLEY:

Q: Will you state your full name for the record, please?

A: Ronald W. Coward.

Q: And your occupation, Mr. Coward?

A: I'm a teacher with the Pulaski County Special School District.

Q: How long have you been employed in that capacity?

A: I'm currently in my nineteenth year.

Q: What subjects do you teach?

A: I currently teach biology and psychology.

Q: Will you tell the Court - briefly , Mr. Coward , what
 

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Q: (Continuing) your educational background is?

A: I have a Bachelor of Science in Education and also a Master's of Science in Education from the University of Central Arkansas.

Q: And can you tell the Court what subjects you have taught over the past several years?

A: Yes. On the high school level, I have taught general biology, botany, zoology, human physiology, environmental biology and psychology.

Q: You are currently teaching which of those courses?

A: General biology, environmental biology and psychology.

Q: Are you familiar within the context of your employment in the Pulaski Special School District with how textbooks are selected?

A: Yes, I am.

Q: Will you tell the Court how that is done?

A: The State of Arkansas, the State Department of Education for the State of Arkansas selects a number of books that are certified to be on the State adoption list. When adoption time comes around for the school district, teachers, representative of each high school in the district, are selected to evaluate the contents, the format of individual textbooks. That committee, then, makes a recommendation to the school board which has the final approval on that textbook.
 

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Q: What textbooks do you currently use in the courses that you teach and in the biology course that you taught last year?

A: Use the textbook entitled Modern Biology by Madnick, Otto and Towle. It's published by Holt, Rhinehart, Winston.

Q: How about in psychology

A: Psychology, I use the book entitled The Invitation to Psychology. I believe that book is published by Scott Orsman.

Q: And in the advance Biology course that you teach?

A: It is entitled Biology. It's by Arms and Camp. I believe it's published by H. R. W. Saunders and Company.

Q: Will you tell the Court, please, sir, how the subject matter within a course is determined in the Pulaski County Special School District?

A: Within each individual course, teachers, more or less, have free rein or no restraints in deciding what the course content of that particular course should be. Generally, the philosophy of the school district is that we are the professional educators; we know best what is current in our particular discipline or our field. Therefore, that judgment is left entirely to us as educators.

Q: Does the county produce any curriculum guides similar to what Mr. Glasgow testified to yesterday?
 

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A: There are no curriculum guides produced by the county, but on different occasions the county has published a supplemental publication to extend beyond the scope of the textbook, particularly in relation to types of activities that might be carried on within the classroom. I think this was designed primarily for beginning teachers or teachers that are having a great deal of difficulty in learning to budget their time over the course of the school year. It's not a curriculum guide, as such, that is to be followed. It's strictly a supplement.

Q: Well, what constraints are there on you as a science teacher in determining what is going to be taught in your classroom?

A: There are none. Again, I might add that the County's viewpoint or the District's viewpoint is that we as professional educators certainly are supposed to have the professionalism and the ethics to decide what is current in our field, what is relevant or pertinent to the lives of our students, and therefore, we are given wide scope to do pretty well as we see. There could be limitations if you, perhaps, if you exceeded your ethical authority, I should say, within my discipline.
 

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Q: Within your own discipline in the area of science, how do you go about determining what is taught in the classroom?

A: Well, there again, I have to decide what is good science and what is not, and at the same time, base my opinion upon the types of students that I have in a particular course, their ability levels, their backgrounds, what their aspirations or future plans or goals might be. This helps me to determine or set my course curriculum.

Q: Are you familiar as a biology teacher, Mr. Coward, with the term "creation science"?

A: As a science educator, I am familiar with it. I do not consider it a science term.

Q: Will you tell the Court when you first became aware of that term?

A: I had not heard the science term until approximately eleven months ago. It would have been in January or February of this year, when I was asked by the Pulaski County School District to become part of the committee to investigate into creation materials to determine whether or not these materials had any validity or any substantial scientific content, and if so, to possibly incorporate this into our curriculum.

Q: As member of that committee, what did you personally
 

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Q: (Continuing) do, Mr. Coward?

A: We were presented with a creation science format very similar to Act 590) with very little modifications to it. At the same time, we requested to have presented to us numbers of creation science publications, textbooks, any type of pamphlets or literature that they had. And these were provided for us.

Q: Was there any particular textbook that you reviewed as a member of that committee?

A: Yes, there was.

Q: Do you recall the name of that textbook?

A: Yes. I have it here.

Q: I have placed in front of you, Mr. Coward, a copy of the textbook, Biology: A Search for Order in Complexity, published by Zondervan that's labeled as Plaintiffs, Exhibit Number 129 for identification?

A: That is correct.

Q: Is that what you have there in front of you?

A: Yes, it is.

Q: Did you report to the Pulaski County Board of Education with regard to your findings?

A: Yes, we did.

Q: And I think you've testified that you did review that particular textbook?

A: Yes. I think we met on two different occasions as a
 

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A: (Continuing) committee. And then on one occasion, we were allowed to take the materials home with us between meetings to preview for approximately a two week period of time.

Q: Did you do that with that book?

A: Yes. I did take this book.

Q: What was your report back to the Board of Education with regard to that book?

A: The committee-- Well, the committee made one final report back to the Board of Education. The committee reconvened following the examination of the materials. Each person on that committee then was given an opportunity to express their viewpoints based on the materials which they previewed. The general-- Not just general consensus, but the unanimous decision of that committee was that none of the materials previewed had any scientific merit or any scientific validity to it, and more often than not, seemed to advance the cause of religion more than it did science. This was the unanimous vote of this committee.

Q: What about your own personal reaction to the materials presented in Biology: A Search for Order in Complexity?

A: Well, I was surprised at the number of religious references that were made in this particular book. Also,
 

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A: (Continuing) I was surprised to find out things they considered science. Due to my science background, I did not perceive it to be science at all.

Q: With reference to that textbook, Mr. Coward, can you give the Court any illustration of the kinds of statements that you found in that book upon which you based your report?

A: I sure can.

Q: Please refer to the page number, if you will, Mr. Coward.

A: This is on page 12.

Q: If you will refer to the page number and tell the Judge where on the page you are reading from?

A: This is on page 12, your Honor. It is the lower left hand paragraph, second from the bottom.

Q: What appears there?

A: If I might read-- They are speaking of flowers closing up at night to protect themselves, and why roots grow geotrophically towards the center of the earth. Reading, "We talk of flowers that close up at night to protect their pollen from insects that cannot effect pollination. We talk of roots that grow toward water to supply the plant with this necessary. substance. Flowers and roots do not have a mind to have purpose of their own; therefore this planning must have been done for
 

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A: (Continuing) them by the Creator."

Q: How does that statement compare with your understanding as a biology and botany teacher?

A: As a biology and botany teacher, a creator does not enter into the subject matter at all. I think that there are natural laws and natural processes which are easily explained as to why roots grow toward the center of the earth. I think geotropism would be the appropriate term here. It's a physical law of nature.

Q: Would you just thumb through that book, Mr. Coward, to other illustrations that you've marked. And in like fashion, identify the page number and location on the page, and read to the Court?

A: Yes. On page 147, lower left hand paragraph. In other words, there are latent recessive genes that later become expressed. Also, some variation (from this viewpoint) is simply an expression of the Creator's desire to show as much beauty of flower, variety of song in birds, or interesting types of behavior in animals as possible.

Q: Is there any similar explanation of those phenomena in the biology or botany text that you have known in your experience as a biology and botany teacher?

A: I think each of these can be explained through natural processes.
 

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A: (Continuing) One other significance would be found on page 363.

Q: Go ahead.

A: This is a quote from the book of Matthew.

Q: What is the context that appears in, Mr. Coward?

A: They first cite a poem here by, I believe this is Wordsworth, if my literature is correct. "The exquisite beauty of color and shape in flowers exceeds the skill of poet, artist, and king. Jesus said (from Matthew's gospel) ..."

Q: And that is presented there to illustrate what?

A: That the beauty of the earth far exceeds the perception of poets, artists.

Q: Do you find like expressions in any biology or botany text with which you are familiar?

A: I certainly do not.

Q: What were your objections about that material in is that book?

A: That I would consider this to be very religious in nature, which is certainly out of the scope of my classroom.

Q: Did you have any other objections to that book? To the language or the overall order and presentation of the subject matter?
 

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A: The overall presentation or format of it probably would be very similar as far as sequential that you'd find in an ordinary textbook. But I find, again, no scientific content of any value. Fragmented pieces of science information are found at random, out there again, unless you associate scientific facts together, then really all you have, you have nothing. It's like individual bricks do not make a house until you can associate these pieces together and build something from that. I find that to be the case in this textbook.

Q: What do you find to be the case? What is the unifying theme of that textbook?

A: It seems to be that most of the science that is attempted to be used is pointing toward the fact that there is a sudden creation or inception of the earth; that man is apart from ancestral forms that relate him to earlier primates. I would say it readily supports the theme as depicted in the book of Genesis.

Q: Do you know of any other textbook that's on the market, Mr. Coward, that it has such a theme in it?

A: No, I do not.

Q: And by that, I mean any other biology text to which you've been exposed?
 

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A: No, I do not. This is the only biology text that I have seen, actual text that I have seen from creation publications. I've seen a number of soft cover publications. As far as biology text that I have ever examined on the state textbook adoption list that are put out by major publishing houses, I've never seen anything with this type of science or religion.

Q: Is the subject of evolution, biological evolution, treated in that textbook?

A: If you call it that, yes, it is.

Q: In what fashion is it presented?

A: Well, there again, most of the information that is used is used to conveniently present or to support the creation viewpoint of recent inception of the earth, catastrophic flood, and there again, man separate from apes.

Q: Are you thinking of any particular example or just the overall presentation?

MR. CLARK: If I may interject just a moment, for the record, we are going to tend to object to this whole line of questioning as being irrelevant from the standpoint that there's been no proof offered that this text or any of these other materials are going to be used to teach under Act 590.
 

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MR. CLARK: (Continuing) I understand the point that counsel is trying to demonstrate to the Court; that these are the only kinds of materials there. We have had cumulative testimony to this effect time and time again.

I don't see the relevancy of going through all this.

THE COURT: I will note the objection.

MR. CEARLEY: (Continuing)

Q: Did you have any particular reference in mind or were you referring to the presentation of evolution in general?

A: It was the presentation of evolution in general. I might cite a particular instance. This will be found on page 444.

Q: Were is that located on the page, Mr. Coward.

A: Bottom paragraph under subheading 23-4.

Q: Will you read that, please?

A: The subtopic here is "Differences Between Man and Apes." To show an example of the type of scientific information that they use, the major differences in man and apes, according to them, is the fact that an ape has a broader pelvis than man. They cite this as being evidence. The fact that a man's feet are flat on the bottoms and not designed for grasping, and the apes or the primates still have the grasping type foot, they cite this as
 

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A: (Continuing) evidence.

On the very next page, on 445, I believe it is, they point out that there are differences in man and apes other than physical. For an example, if I may read here -- This is 445, left hand side, middle paragraph: "There are physical distinctions that set man apart from the animals, but of much greater magnitude are the difference in behavior. An ape will not put a stick of wood on the fire even if he is about to freeze. He may use a stick or stone as a tool, if it is handy; but he does not make tools or foresee future use for a tool."

I don't think the fact that an ape would not put a stick on the fire to warm himself is hardly evidence that indicates our ancestor.

Q: How does that compare with your understanding of presentation of evolution in the biology text that you normally are exposed to?

A: Well, any theory of evolution is supported in the biology text. There again, it has some scientific evidences to support that theory. I don't believe any one field of science could cite any evidence to support this as a scientific viewpoint.

Q: Are the passages that you quoted to the Court illustrative of the presentation of the subject of creation or creation science and evolution in that
 

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Q: (Continuing) textbook?

A: This seems to be the general thrust throughout the book in skimming through. I might also point out one other modification in this text. When I first received this text at that previous meeting, this was not found on the inside cover (Indicating). This is a disclaimer that has been added since I first reviewed this textbook. May I read it?

Q: Yes, sir. For the record, Mr. Coward, are you referring to a pasted in label that appears just inside the hard cover of that textbook?

A: Yes, I am.

Q: Yes, sir. What does that say?

A: "This book is not designed or appropriate for public school use, and should not be used in public schools in any way." That's the main topic of that. Shall I read the entire disclaimer?

Q: Yes, sir, if you would.

A: "Books for public schools discuss scientific evidence that supports creation science or evolution science. This book, instead, discusses religious concepts or materials that support creationist religions or evolutionist religions, and such religious materials should not be used in public schools."

Q: Now, your statement was, with regard to the book,
 

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Q: (Continuing) that you first reviewed-- What was your statement with regard to that book?

A: The first book that I was given to preview and kept for some two weeks did not have this disclaimer.

Q: And when was that, Mr. Coward?

A: This would have been in either January or February of this year.

MR. CEARLEY: Your Honor, I would like to note for the record that the book from which Mr. Coward was reading was furnished to the plaintiffs pursuant to a request for production of documents that was served upon the Institute for Creation Research and Creation Life Publishers in California pursuant to these proceedings in court. And I would move the admission of Plaintiffs' Exhibit 129.

THE COURT: It will be received.

MR. CEARLEY: (Continuing)

Q: Now, Mr. Coward, you've examined Act 590, have you not?

A: Yes, I have.

Q: Is the subject of creation science, as you understand it, presented in any of the science textbooks that you currently use or have ever used in the past?

A: No, it is not.

Q: Do you know why not?
 

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A: I think probably because the writers, authors of these books, also the publishers and publishing companies that put the books out, Such as Holt, Rhinehart, et cetera, they do not view this. as science or part of the scientific community. Therefore, they chose not to put it in their publications.

Q: You testified earlier that the work that you did for the Pulaski County School Board was with regard to a proposal or resolution that was put to that Board, is that right?

A: That's correct.

Q: How does Act 590 compare to that?

A: I can't say if it is a word for word, but the general thrust or scheme of Act 590 is closely parallel to the earlier resolution, which I did see it.

Q: Have you reviewed Act 590 to determine what its provisions would require of you as a classroom teacher in the area of science?

A: Yes, I have.

Q: I call your attention specifically to the provisions of Section 7. There is a statement at Section 7(b) that public schools generally censure creation science and evidence contrary to evolution.

Is creation science censured in the Pulaski County Special School District?
 

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A: No, sir. I've taught School for nineteen years, and I had never even heard of creation science until this year, so there is certainly no censuring process. If it is censured at all it is because creation science censures itself by its very nature.

Q: And what do you mean by that?

A: The fact that it is religion and does not contain any science. It is self-censuring.

Q: In your effort to determine what Act 590 would require of you in the classroom, Mr. Coward, have you determined the meaning of the term "balanced treatment"?

A: I have attempted to. My interpretation of it probably stems from having somewhat of a science background. To me balanced" means "even" or "equal." There again, when I first think of this, I think of, again, emphasis on equal time, equal thrust or teaching with an equal zeal, and also attempting to be bi-partial or neutral.

Q: Turn, if you will, Mr. Coward, to Section 4? Do you have that Act in front of you?

A: Yes, I do.

Q: Turn to the definition, Section 4, and tell the Court, if you will, what you interpret 4(a)(1) to mean, "the sudden creation of the universe, energy and light from nothing"?
 

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A: Well, there again, I interpret this to be an instantaneous creation of matter and life forms on earth from, without any pre-existing matter or life forms.

Q: What does the term "creation" mean to you?

A: I think it refers to the fact that something is being born or formulated which would indicate to me there must be a creator or a force which is doing so.

Q: Do you have available to you, either in your experience or in the way of teaching materials, textbooks, audio-visual aids or anything of that sort that would constitute scientific evidence in support of sudden creation of the universe, energy and light from nothing?

A: Absolutely none.

Q: Do you have any way to explain that or to support that proposition to your students?

A: Not from a scientific point of view, no.

Q: From what point of view, then?

A: It would strictly be from a religious point of view.

Q: Look, if you will, to 4(a)(5), "explanation of the earth's geology by catastrophism, including the occurrence of a worldwide flood." Do you see that?

A: Yes, I do.

Q: Do you have any scientific evidence available to you in any fashion that would tend to support the occurrence of a worldwide flood at some time in the past?
 

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A: No. I have never seen a science textbook, film, film strip, cassette tapes or any type of audio-visual materials that would give a scientific explanation of this concept. Have you ever seen any support at all for that concept?

A: Not in the scientific community. I see it as a strictly religious concept.

Q: Well, specifically, to what do you relate the proposition of a worldwide flood, if anything?

A: I assume this is from the book of Genesis, speaking of the Noah flood.

Q: Is there any other place in your experience or your education where you've been exposed to the concept of a worldwide flood?

A: Only in my own religious background.

Q: How would you, Mr. Coward, explain to your students, if any inquired, about the occurrence of a worldwide flood?

A: As far as scientific explanation, I could not. I'd have to refer them, if they wanted to pursue this matter a little further, they'd have to go beyond the classroom and pursue this from some religious authority because I have no knowledge of it or no evidence or no type of literature that I could present this to them in a scientific manner.

Q: Will you look, Mr. Coward, to 4(a)(6), "a relatively
 

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Q: (Continuing) recent inception of the earth and living kinds"?.

A: Yes.

Q: What does the word "kinds" mean to you as a science teacher?

A: "Kinds" is not a scientific term. Usually in science, particularly in dealing with taxonomy or classification system, you refer to a specific level of classification, such as species, families, orders, classes or so forth. "Kinds" as a science term really has no meaning or significance at all.

Q: Is it a science term?

A: Definitely not.

Q: Have you ever seen the word "kinds" used in that fashion?

A: Used in the context that it is in the sentence, I think it is a Biblical usage.

Q: Do you have available to you any scientific evidence that would tend to support the thought that the earth and living kinds are of relatively recent inception?

A: No, none whatsoever.

Q: Do you know what "relatively recent inception" means?

A: Well, this has been debated in this court as to what kind of time frame that this is put into. The literature
 

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A: (Continuing) that I previewed on this committee, most of the literature that I looked at, insisted on approximately ten thousand years. But "relative", there again is, the word "relative" is relative in a sense.

Q: Do you present any information in your classroom with regard to the age of the earth or living kinds or plants, animals, man?

A: I do relate information to my students from a scientific viewpoint as to what is depicted as the age of the earth and the beginnings of time in relation to certain classifications of organisms. Strictly from a scientific viewpoint.

Q: And if you recall, what generally appears in the scientific literature?

A: In regards to what?

Q: In regard to the age of the earth?

A: Well, there again, generally in the vicinity of four and half billion years plus.

Q: Is that relatively recent in your mind?

A: Not in my perception of the word "relatively", no, sir.

Q: Mr. Coward, you've testified about 4(a)(1), 4(a)(5) and 4(a)(6). If you don't have any scientific information that would support that, what are you going to do if your
 

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Q: (Continuing) students ask you questions about those particular items?

A: There again, all I would be able to say to my students would be that there are no scientific evidences, to my knowledge, that would support any of these six points. Therefore, I assume that since I cannot support that scientifically, I cannot get into it from a religious point of view, and I assume that I have to also not teach them anything about evolution.

Q: Let me back up for a moment and ask you, if a student asks you about a worldwide flood, how will you handle that?

A: I would simply say to that student that as far as the scientific community is concerned, as far as my knowledge is concerned, there is no scientific evidence to support a worldwide flood. `If you chose to read on it further, then I suggest there is, obviously, there are religious sources which you might go to.' And quite often if a student were to ask me question like this, I might suggest that, well, you need to talk probably about this with your parents or perhaps talk with your minister, which is strictly a religious viewpoint. It's definitely not a scientific one.

Q: How does that kind of explanation fit in with your
 

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Q: (Continuing) understanding of the requirement of "balance treatment"?

A: We'll, there again, I can't use or cannot implement balance treatment in regard to creation science unless I can present scientific evidences. I think the bill itself is emphatic that I cannot get into the realm or scope of religion. Without any scientific evidences, I don't see how I can implement Act 590.

Q: Tell the Court, Mr. Coward, how, in your experience as a biology teacher, Act 590 would affect the way you teach students in your classroom and your relationship with your students?

A: I think several problems would probably be created as a result of implementing Act 590 in my classroom. One alone would simply be the time frame. Most textbooks generally have a unit, as such, on the theory of evolution and natural selection. But even aside that, evolution is interwoven throughout the fabric, really, of every chapter within the textbook, virtually on every page. At the time I made any statement at all regarding the development of fishes or amphibians or whatever lines of development, I'd have to stop again and attribute time to the creationist viewpoint. I would spend probably half of my time trying to make a
 

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A: (Continuing) statement of a scientific nature, then attempting to give balance to the other viewpoint. There is not time as it is to teach all the things we would like to do within a given school year. I would meet myself coming and going in circles attempting to do this.

Q: You mentioned evolution as a theme in biology?

A: Yes, I did.

Q: I have placed in front of you a document labelled Plaintiffs' Exhibit 15 for identification, and ask if you can tell the Court what that is, Mr. Coward?

A: Yes. That is a photostat of the advanced biology textbook that is used. It's entitled Biology by Arms and Camp, publishers H. R. W. Saunders.

Q: Is that book used by you?

A: Yes, it is.

Q: In a course on advance biology?

A: Yes, that's correct.

Q: How is the subject of evolution presented in that book?

A: In this particular book, there are seven explicit chapters on the theory of evolution. Some are dealing with primates, some chapters are dealing with flowering plants and so forth. But the scope of the book in all includes seven predesignate chapters. Beyond those chapters, the entire concept of
 

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A: (Continuing) evolutionary theory and natural selection, again, is interwoven throughout the chapters. Virtually, every page makes references to some type of ancestry or lines of descendance. That is the very fabric or fiber that bonds the scientific information together. It's the glue that holds it all together.

Q: Have you, at my request, extracted from that textbook several pages that illustrate how evolution is treated?

A: Yes, I have.

Q: Would you just very quickly refer to Plaintiffs' Exhibit 15 and tell the Court what is illustrated there?

A: An example might be found on the very inside cover of the text, which there is a full two page overview of the entire geological time scale dating the various types of organisms and when they appeared on earth. Also dating even the emergence of the various mountain ranges, particularly in regards to the North American continent. And all of this is done on a geological time scale or time clock.

Q: Is that kind of presentation unusual in a biology text, Mr. Coward?

A: No. In fact, it is standard in a biology text. I don't recall, offhand, seeing one that did not present
 

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A: (Continuing) some type of display such as this. Sometimes it will be put into, like, a twenty-four hour face of a clock, and everything will be put into a time sequence, out generally it is displayed in some fashion, yes.

Q: What other illustrations have you selected? Just pick one or two, if you would.

A: Okay. Beyond the chapters of evolution? I think, which would speak for themselves, there are numerous references made throughout the book in scattered chapters. These would be some at random. This will be page 323.

Q: And what is illustrated there?

A: It's talking about the evolution of fishes, but this is not in an evolution chapter, as such. It's strictly as

A: chapter regarding fish development, talking about the three major classes of fish. These two groups, speaking of Chondrichthyes, which are the cartilaginous fish, and the Osteichthyes, which are the bony fish, these two groups of fish have made two major evolutionary advances over their agnathan ancestors. Agnathan ancestors is referring to the jawless fish, which we think was the first fish group on earth. I think that would trigger Act 590.

Q: In addition to the illustrations that you've pointed
 

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Q: (Continuing) out, there are seven full chapters on evolution, is that correct?

A: Yes, there is.

Q: Are the illustrations you've mentioned consistent with the manner in which evolution is presented in that textbook?

A: Yes, they are.

MR. CEARLEY: Your Honor, I move the introduction or admission of Plaintiffs' Exhibit 15.

THE COURT: It will be received.

MR. CEARLEY: (Continuing)

Q: How, Mr. Coward, will you balance the treatment of evolution with creation science in those courses that you teach?

A: I see it as an impossibility.

Q: Do you have materials available with which to do that?

A: No, I do not. I have none.

Q: Do you know of any?

A: None that I have previewed I would consider of a scientific nature enough that be acceptable for my classroom.

Q: You also stated that you teach the subject of psychology, is that right?

A: That's correct.
 

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Q: What grade level students take psychology?

A: These would be juniors and seniors.

Q: Have you also thought about the effect that Act 590 would have on methods and manner in which you present the subject of psychology?

A: Yes. I have given that some thought.

Q: And will you tell the Court how Act 590 will affect your presentation of psychology?

A: Well, as we all know, there are a number of experiments that are done in psychology based on behavior comparisons of man to other forms of animals, particularly in regards to primates. I might cite as an example Jane Goodall's studies of chimpanzees or Dianne Fossi's studies of gorillas or Harry Harlow's study with monkeys on surrogate mothers, Skinner's experiments with rats, pigeons and so forth. These are examples which if there are no inner- relationships between these organisms, either biochemically, genetically or from a behavioral standpoint, then these studies would have no relevance to our lives at all. It would be a study in futility. it would prove nothing. If Act 590 stands and I have to present the idea of the concept to my students that man and other primates do not have common ancestry, then the first question I will get
 

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A: (Continuing) from them is, `what is the significance of this study'. And there I'm caught with really nothing to tell them. It would be no significance, I assume.

Q: How could you balance that presentation?

A: I could not balance it.

Q: What would be left for you to do?

A: I would, more or less, have to disregard these studies and not make reference to that, or have a negative viewpoint and just tell the students up front, `well, this study doesn't really mean anything because there are no common similarities or relationships between man and primates. So the study is really irrelevant. I just thought I'd tell you about it.' That's about what the effect would be.

Q: How do you think that would affect your teaching psychology and your relationship with your students?

A: I think it would have a great handicap on the teaching of the subject of psychology because I think these are relevant and important studies. At the same time, if I tried to be impartial and not take sides on this issue, as I assume Act 590 insinuates that I should be, I think very quickly, students are very bright people, and they perceive a great deal. I think the students would see in a hurry that I am

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A: (Continuing) trying to slip something by them, trying to make them believe that I believe this or that I accept this. I think they would see through this. I believe it would have a great effect on my credibility as a teacher because they do put a great deal of stock in our professionalism and our ability. And I think they do openly admit that they think that we really know whatís best for them in the educational system. If we donít, I donít know who does. I think they admit this readily. I think my credibility would be greatly questioned or destroyed to some degree if I try to implement this in and not be partial. They would see through it.

Q: Section 5 of Act 590, Mr. Coward, says, ďThis Act does not require any instruction in the subject of origins, but simply requires instruction in both scientific models (of evolution science and creation science) if public schools choose to teach either.Ē In your courses on biology and psychology, what effect would exercising that option not to teach anything about origins have?

A: Well, there again, I think that the concepts and the theory of evolution and natural selection, including origins, I think is really the cornerstone of biology,
 

751

A: (Continuing) particularly in biology. I think without being able to teach the evolutionary theory, if I was forced to abandon it because of this, I think without teaching it that my students would be definitely unprepared for future college work. About fifty to sixty percent of our student body does attend college, according to our records. On the other hand, a lot of these students, this would be the last science course that they will ever have. This is the last shot, really, of giving them some type of a scientific background or working knowledge or understanding of how science is and what it is and so forth. I think by being forced to give up the teaching of evolutionary theory by not being able to balance or by choosing not to balance, my students would have scattered fragments of scientific information, but there would be no cohesive force that brings this, or cohesive substance that brings this information together where it collectively can be interpreted and have a significant meaning to it.

Q: Are there any other constraints on your methods of teaching or the manner in which you present your subjects to your students that are similar to those imposed by Act 590?

A: Certainly not. The only restraints that a teacher
 

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A: (Continuing) might find themselves being influenced by would be if they, more or less, over extend themselves, perhaps, in a given subject area. There again, we have to use our professional judgment, professional ethics to decide what is pertinent and relevant to our students. But there are no restraints that are handed down by the school district by which I am employed; no restraints from the administration within the particular building which I work. We have pretty well free rein as long as we do not abuse that freedom.

Q: What statements do you make in your teaching of the theory of evolution or mutation or natural selection that deals in any way with the existence or non-existence of a creator?

A: There again, this is not a science concept. It is a religious concept, and therefore, the subject of a creator does not normally come up in my classroom. I do not deal with that.

Q: Do you believe yourself, Mr. Coward, in divine creation?

A: Iím open minded on the matter. Iím not firmly convinced of that, no.

Q: Has your teaching or knowledge of the subjects of biology and psychology and botany destroyed your religious
 

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Q: (Continuing) convictions?

A: Absolutely not. To me religion is apart from science. It is metaphysical where scientific is strictly based on physical understanding of laws of nature and interpretation of those laws.

Q: You serve with the Pulaski County Special School District pursuant to a written contract, do you not?

A: That is correct.

Q: Is that renewed automatically from year to year unless you get fired or quit?

A: Not exactly automatically. I think each employeeís work production for that particular year is analyzed again, but more or less you could say it is automatic for general purposes, unless they have reasons to the contrary.

Q: If Act 590 is implemented, Mr. Coward, do you have the option to continue to teach biology the way youíve always taught it?

A: Certainly not.

Q: Why not?

A: Well, there again, there is a great deal of confusion, I think, thatís centered around the interpretation of what we are supposed to do or what we can do. I am told, according to Act 590, that I must teach scientific evidences of which I have none. Iím also told that I cannot cite or quote or instruct in any religious
 

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A: (Continuing) materials or doctrines. That leaves me with absolutely nothing to present to my students from my point of view as a science educator, which, to me, looks like if I cannot balance Act 590 in order to comply with the law, then Iíve got to abolish the teaching of evolution, which, to me, is the very heart of biology to begin with.

Q: Do you know how you will comply with Act 590?

A: Iíve given it a great deal of thought. Of course, it doesnít go into effect until another school year. By nature, Iím very much inclined not to comply with Act 590. I do not want to appear to be a revolutionary or a martyr or anything of this nature, but as a science educator I think I know what science is. I think I know what professionalism and ethics are. I think I realize my obligations to my students. If I donít, I wouldnít have been in this business this long, thatís for sure.

MR. CEARLEY: Thatís all I have, your Honor.
Your Honor, I now have in my hand the documents that were furnished yesterday pursuant to the subpoena. They have not been copied, and I donít know if anyone has even examined them, but I will tender them to the Court.

THE COURT: Okay. Set them up here, please, sir.

MR. CEARLEY: (Handing documents to the Court.)
 

755

CROSS EXAMINATION

BY MR. CLARK:

Q: May I look at that textbook just a moment?

A: Certainly.

Q: How did you say this came into your possession?

A: The committee on which I serve for the Pulaski County Special School District, Mr. Larry Fisher was asked, since he provided the resolution to the district in the beginning, he was asked to provide us with some materials from the creation science publishers. This was one of the textbooks which he provided.

Q: And who did you say was the publisher of this book?

A: I believe itís Zondervan, I believe.

Q: Do you know with whom that might be affiliated?

A: No, I do not.

Q: Do you know if itís affiliated with the Institute for Creation Research?

A: Not for certain, I do not, no.

Q: Or with any other creation research society?

A: No, I do not.

Q: You served on the Pulaski County committee to review materials for creation science, is that correct?

A: Thatís correct.

Q: Materials that you reviewed were those that were furnished to you, correct?
 

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A: Thatís correct.

Q: Did you make any independent effort to obtain other materials?

A: I did not.

Q: Why didnít you?

A: On the first committee on which, on the first meeting of that committee, there was not enough materials available for us to make a fair appraisal. The committee as a group requested from Mr. Fisher at that time, since he seemed to have the availability of the materials to himself , he was asked at that time if he would provide us with more materials at the next meeting, and which, I understand, he was to do and did so. I did not make an independent search of my own.

Q: Do you participate in the selection of textbooks for the county?

A: I have on two occasions.

Q: Do you have any judgment as to the validity or the currency of those textbooks, how current they remain in terms of what is happening in science today?

A: I imagine what is happening this morning has changed science considerably, but I imagine by the time something becomes relevant in the field of science, it probably is in the course of maybe three to five years before it actually appears in high school textbooks.
 

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Q: When you go to select a textbook for use in your classroom, what sort of steps do you follow in terms of selecting that text?

A: As a member of the committee?

Q: As a member of the committee or individually?

A: We are interested, of course, first in the format of the textbook. Most, again, there will have the same general arrangement, phylogenetic arrangement from simple to complex organisms. We are interested, obviously, in the reading level of the book trying to make it appropriate for the level of students which will be using it. We are interested also in the types of illustrations, the vividness of the book. There is a lot to say for the book being attractive, obviously. The students find it much more appealing and easy to read if they are turned on by it, in a sense, has a lot of eye appeal. And of course, one of the things I am most concerned with is the scientific content of it.

Q: Do you consider yourself to be a scientist?

A: Thatís a relativeó Depends on who you are talking with. I think my students consider me, probably, to be a scientist. I donít profess to be a working scientist. Iím a science educator because I chose to be, but I have enough science background that some people may consider me
 

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A: (Continuing) to be one of sorts.

Q: Do you not recall telling me in your deposition that you were a scientist who had chosen to be a science educator?

A: Thatís right.

Q: So to some degree, at least, you consider yourself to be a scientist?

A: To some degree, yes.

Q: As you evaluate texts for use in your classroom, you then evaluate them from a scientific aspect also, as well as the other things youíve already mentioned?

A: Most definitely.

Q: As you evaluate texts for use in your classroom, the State, as I understand, had an approved or recommended list of texts for biology, is that correct?

A: Thatís correct.

Q: Do you review all of those?

A: No, I do not.

Q: Why not?

A: The time the textbook selection committee is formed and we have our first meeting, by some fashion thatís unknown to me, the Pulaski County School District has already narrowed the list down through their own preliminary processes to normally five or six texts. Then the committee of teachers selects from that group.
 

759

Q: Did you say earlier in your direct testimony a few moments ago that you know what science is?

A: I think I do.

Q: All right. Do you accept the recommendation of the textbook committee as to what is science as is contained in your books that you are recommended to use for your classroom or do you make an independent judgment?

A: Well, I thinkó We discuss the books. This meeting is an all day type thing. We discuss the books. And even though we do not all agree on which is the best book for our particular students which we teach, I think we all agree on what is science and which books really have the most meat or substance to them.

Q: But you accept the recommendation of the committee as to which books to discuss rather than discussing all that are on the recommended list, is that correct?

A: That is correct.

Q: So you are accepting someone elseís recommendation as to what is science, at least their judgment?

A: Well, I have no choice but to select from the books which are provided for me by, I assume, the school district administration.

Q: Since you served on that committee, and I assume the committeeís work is complete as to their recommendation on the materials they reviewed for creation science, is that
 

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Q: (Continuing) correct? Has that committee completed its work?

A: Yes, it has.

Q: Since that time, have you done any other review to see if there are materials that support the creation science explanation of origins?

A: No, I have not.

Q: Since the commencement of this litigation last May and the proceedings that followed therefrom and the publication of the Stateís witnesses, which I think was about October 15th, the people that would be here to testify on behalf of the State as scientists who would advocate scientific evidence explaining a creation explanation of origins, have you attempted to obtain copies of any of their works or any of their publications?

A: No, I have not.

Q: Why not?

A: I did not see the necessity for doing so.

Q: Do you not have to enact or implement Act 590 next school year if itís declared to be constitutional?

A: I believe thatís correct.

Q: Are you not at a crossroads in trying to understand how to do that?

A: Yes, I am.

Q: Would it not assist you, then, to look at these
 

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Q: (Continuing) materials to see if there is scientific evidence or explanation for creation science?

A: If it is enacted and upheld in this court, then I will do so.

Q: Have you already presumed it wonít be enacted?

A: No, I havenít.

Q: Have you ever read any works by Doctor Russell Ackerage?

A: Iím not familiar with him, no.

Q: Doctor Wayne Friar?

A: No. I say that I havenít. Let me qualify that. The materials that were presented to us on that committee by Mr. Fisher, Iím not aware now of the particular titles of these materials or who some of the authors were. They could be incorporated in this group of materials and my not know it. But Iím not personallyó

Q: You made no independent effort whatsoever?

A: No, I have not.

Q: In the science that you teach in your classrooms, the textbooks that youíve chosen, have you ever made any inquiry into the validity of the concepts in that science text?

A: I donít think Iíve ever set out to make a particular search to try to find out if these are valid concepts because in any type of book that I use or reference that I
 

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A: (Continuing) use, I find the supporting evidence in any book or film or type of material that I might use. Itís always supportive in its content.

Q: Supportive of what? All that you believe to be science?

A: All of the book from which I teach. Other books that I use as resource materials or outside readings are always supportive of that text. Iíve never found anything that was really to the contrary except maybe on a particular point or something.

Q: Youíve heard testimony in this courtroom during the times that youíve been here ó I know you havenít been here every day, but youíve been here many days ó the fact that there is no absolute answer in science, thereís no final truth, thereís a great deal of discussion and debate
about what is science; is that correct?

A: Thereís not a great deal of debate about what is science.

Q: Well, concepts of science. Excuse me. Let me narrow that a little bit. About in biology, for instance, on the concept of evolution from punctuated equilibrium to gradualism and all those things. Youíve heard that debate?

A: Yes, Iíve heard that debate.

Q: As a science teacher, you have never taken the
 

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Q: (Continuing) textbook from which you teach and inquired as to the authors, as to their academic training, as to their professional training to try to determine anything about them in terms of their merit or standing in the scientific community? Have you ever done that?

A: No, I have not.

Q: Have you ever contacted the publisher of any of those scientific texts which you use and ask him how they collected or compiled the data that went into that text?

A: No, I have not.

Q: Is it an accepted concept in the scientific community to, or in any ó letís say the scientific community ó to use the concept of jury or peer review articles that are going to be published for science? In other words, circulate them among your peers and let them evaluate as to its credibility or itsó

A: I think this is the way the scientific community works, yes.

Q: Do you do that in terms of texts, materials you use to present in the classroom that you are going to present to students in any way? Do you jury the publications? Are you critical of them?

A: Iím not sure exactly what youíre asking me.

Q: Okay. Let meó Do you take that textbook and in any fashion look at it with a critical eye? That is, by
 

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Q: (Continuing) trying to get into the background, the training, professional standing of its authors, its contributors or its publishers before you elect to chose it to teach as the source for your classroom instruction?

A: No, I do not. I might add at this point, if I might, that there again, as science educators, we cannot possibly know the people or the backgrounds of people who write, edit and publish scientific materials. But we generally accept, within the teaching circles or teaching community, we generally accept that the publishers, the writers, the publishers and the editors of these publishing houses are credible people. We have to, more or less, rely upon their expertise since we have noó

Q: You rely on them as being credible people because they publish the text thatís generally accepted by the community?

A: No, sir. But they all have science proofreaders and editors that edits this material before itís entered into those textbooks.

Q: Does science make any assumptions?

A: A scientist might make a given assumption on a particular point.

Q: Could it be assumptions contained in the material that you are teaching to your students today in the
 

765

Q: (Continuing) science textbooks you are using?

A: On a particular point, there could be an assumption, but assumptions do not become part of the scientific body of knowledge, though. I might use an assumption on a given experiment. ĎWell, letís assume that this were to happen.í The assumption does not become part of that body of information we recognize as scientific knowledge.

Q: Then it would be your testimony that in the text material, in the textbook that you use in your classroom, there are no assumptions in that material? Those assumptions have been proven valid?

A: I didnít say there were not any assumptions. I said there might be an assumption on a particular minute point.

Q: Minute point?

A: But there are not any assumptions, I donít think, on the overall scope of what might come into this body of knowledge.

Q: Are those assumptions subject to prejudice?

A: In most cases I would assume that they are not.

Q: They are not?

A: Most of them are scientific assumptions. I cannot say that a scientist cannot be prejudiced because they are human like anybody else. But I think most of them are scientific assumptions
 

766

A: (Continuing) based on a given amount of material or data.

Q: Itís been several questions asked of you on how you would explain various portions of Act 590. In your classroom, how do you explain to a student who asks you, what is the origin of first lifeí?

A: I normally do not deal with the origin of first life in my classroom. In the concept of the overall theory of evolution, that really is not a necessary part. What Iím concerned with on a high school level is what happens following. Assume that the life is here, regardless of by what meansó

Q: Let me interrupt you just a second. Iím sorry. You said to the concept of evolution, the explanation of first life is not a necessary part?

A: Well, on a high school level, itís not necessary. Iím sure that some of the Ph.D.ís that have testified here earlier, that itís very necessary in their realm or scope in which they work. On a high school level, it is not necessary, I donít think, for the student to understand the first concept of origin of life. If they ask me, I do make references to it.

Q: What references do you make?

A: I might cite theó The only scientific, really,
 

767

A: (Continuing) references that we would have would be the theory proposed by A. I. OíParin in 1936 which was followed by Stanley Millerís experiment in 1953 on trying to create or synthesize materials in a laboratory, organic materials such as DNA and sugars, amino acids.

Q: What do you know about that theory? Is that a hypotheses?

A: OíParinís was a hypothesis.

Q: What was Doctor Millerís?

A: An experiment.

Q: Does that prove theory?

A: Iím sorry?

Q: Does that prove scientific theory, an experiment?

A: No. It just simply gives credibility to the fact that it is feasible.

Q: That it is feasible?

A: That it is feasible. This could have happened. It certainly in no way explains the origin of life. Now, thatís really as far as I can go with my students at the level I teach.

Q: Are there any assumptions made in that experiment that you know of?

A: Not that Iím aware of, no.

Q: Do you know how the experiment was conducted?

A: Basically.
 

768

Q: Please tell me that?

A: Well, a number of compounds such as methane ó might not have the correct ones, but I believe methane, perhaps ammonia, hydrogen, water vapor, maybe carbon dioxide. These compounds or these elements or compounds were used or chosen because we understand these are the basic ingredients of the earthís atmosphere at the time we think first life was begun on earth.

Q: Let me interrupt you again. You said ďWe understandĒ, ďwe thinkĒó

A: Well, science understands.

Q: Who is ďwell? Who is ďscienceĒ?

A: Well, you are changing the question now?

Q: Well, you said ďwe understand.Ē You told me the answer was science. Now, tell me who is ďwell and ďscienceĒ that understand these were the compounds in the earth when first life was formed?

A: There again, Iím not a scientific expert. Iím not offering this as an expert.

Q: Well, what is your understanding as a science educator?

A: I think people that work in the areas of biochemistry and geophysics and so forthó

Q: You have no personal understanding of that? You are
 

769

Q: (Continuing) relying on someone else?

A: They indicated to us this was the earthís condition at the time.

Q: Who is ĎtheyĒ that indicated to you?

A: There again, the literature from which I read or that I have to rely upon as a science educator, the people that write this material, this is the indications that comes from the millwork of the scientific community. This is accepted among them. I have to rely on that. I have no way of verifying this or testing this myself. As a science teacher, I always have to rely on upon the scientific community.

Q: You cannot perform that experiment in your own laboratory?

A: I do not have the expertise to do so.

Q: Could it be performed in a laboratory?

A: Certainly. It could be performed any given day.

Q: Are there any assumptions in that experiment?

A: None that Iím aware of.

Q: It is not an assumption to believe that at the time first life was formed, whatever that date may be, that those were the compounds that were found in the earthís atmosphere?

A: According to the scientific community, this is not an assumption. Here again, I am not an expert on that
 

770

A: (continuing) subject area.

Q: You said, I think, a minute ago ó I want to make sure I understand this ó that in a high school classroom, a secondary classroom, it is not necessary to explain the origin of first life to teach evolution. Is that what you said?

A: Thatís correct.

Q: Under Act 590, it says you donít have to instruct in origins, isnít that correct? Read Section 5 with me, clarifications, sentence number two. ďThis Act does not require any instruction in the subject of origins.Ē Is that correct?

A: Thatís correct.

Q: Did you testify earlier on direct that you canít teach the theory of evolution because of the balanced treatment required in creation science?

A: Thatís correct.

Q: Now, is the theory of evolution, in terms of the theory of evolution, are you saying that the evolution explanation of origin or first life can be deleted from your classroom and not negatively impact on your students at all?

A: If I understand your question, I can delete the teaching of origin in my classroom without losing the validity of the concepts of the theory of evolution.
 

771

Q: Then you can teach evolution?

A: Not by theó Not according to the six guidelines set down in Section 4.

Q: Not according to the six guidelinesó

A: Only one of those, I believe, deals with origins. The others deal with catastrophic floods, separate ancestry of man and apes. I could not handle those in my classroom even disregarding origins.

Q: You said earlier that you consider yourself to be a scientist who has chosen to be a science educator. When was the last time when you, as a scientist, had any scientific training?

A: I think I would be correct in saying about 1968 or 9.

Q: í68 or í69. Thirteen years? Twelve or thirteen years is the last formal science training youíve had?

A: Thatís correct.

Q: But you consider yourself competent to understand or to evaluate what is science?

A: Thatís correct. If I canít, then they need to find somebody to replace me in my classroom.

Q: Iím interested, Mr. Coward, I know you have a B.S.E., a Bachelor of Science in Education? Correct? Masterís of Science in Education?

A: Thatís correct.

Q: In those disciplines you were taught science and
 

 

772

1  (Text Missing [TM]) Continuing) educational principles and techniques?
2  (TM) s correct.
3  (TM) you have any formal academic training in
4  (TM) y?
5  (TM) I do.
6  (TM) much?
7  (TM) approximately twenty-four hours, I would say
8  (TM) at the graduate level?
9  (TM)
10  (TM) undergraduate?
11  (TM) I take that back. Yes, I do have. Probably
12  (TM) it is at the graduate. I was thinking of
13  (TM) duate.
14  (TM) you define for me what is the scientific
15  (TM) Youíve talked about the body of science.
16  (TM) says, they say, we say. Is that the scientific
17  (TM) ty?
18  (TM) do you want it in specifics?
19  (TM) Yes. Is ďtheyĒó Are ďtheyĒ the scientific
20  (TM) ty?
21  (TM) Well, when I say ďtheyĒ, Iím referring to the
22  (TM) fic community.
23  (TM) Now, tell me what that is?
24  (TM) The scientific community is made up of the men and
25  (TM) who work in the field of science each day. And
 

773

A: (Continuing) their primary objective, of course, is to perform experimentation to uncover data, to analyze data and empirical qualities and quantities, and to assimilate this information into working theories and hypotheses, make it applicable to our daily lives.

Q: Are you a part of that scientific community?

A: No, Iím not.

Q: What is your role in relation to that community in teaching?

A: As a science educator, I am a go-between, in a sense, between the scientific community and my students. My role is to, more or less, try to keep abreast of what is going on within the scientific community, try to sift through the abundance of data and information that is made available through publications and new texts and so forth, and try to sift through and sort through this material to determine what is applicable to the particular students that I have, whatís applicable to their lives and what do they need for basic understanding of science, and what do those need that are preparing themselves to further education, to college or what have you. Now, this is my role, to sift through and decide what is applicable to them, get it on a working level which is understandable by them and can be used by them or utilized.

Q: Would it be fair to characterize your role, then, as
 

774

Q: (Continuing) that of sitting as a judge to (TM) for your students what concepts in science they should learn and acquire in order that they might prepare themselves for their advance careers?

A: Not exactly. I think the scientific community is the judge of what is valid and what is not simply in a sense there is so much of that information that I do have to select or scrutinize the information.

Q: Do you believe that life evolved from nonlife?

A: I think it is feasible.

Q: You think itís feasible. Whatís your basis for that belief that itís feasible?

A: Based on, there again, the study by Henry Miller shows that itís a feasible process. It doesnít mean that it occurred, but itís feasible.

Q: Is there a scientific explanation for first life for origin?

A: No.

Q: Is there confusion among the scientific community as to the explanation of that in your judgment?

A: Depends again onó ďConfusionĒ there is a relative word, too.

Q: All right. Let me say itís a disagreement.

A: I would say that there are probably people in the scientific community who do not totally agree on that
 

775

1  Continuing) concept, yes.
2  (TM) re other areas in science where the
3  (TM) munity disagrees on biology concepts?
4  (TM) ry one.
5  (TM) ed equilibrium, gradualism being two?
6  (TM) y.
7  (TM) you realizing this disagreement in the
8  (TM) mmunity, have the responsibility and the
9  (TM) judge what concepts should be passed on to
10  (TM)
11  (TM) of the disagreements or each viewpoint of
12  (TM) ent still has scientific merit or scientific
13  (TM) en I feel that I should present both
14  (TM)
15  (TM) believe both of those have scientific merit?
16  (TM) nes are you speaking of?
17  (TM) ted equilibrium and gradualism.
18  (TM) they do. There again, Iím not expertise in
19  (TM) s
20  (TM) Mr. Coward, letís pretend Iím one of your
21  (TM) Iím going to ask you that question. Whatís
22  (TM)
23  (TM) id think they would both have a certain degree
24  (TM) ic validity.  Iíd have to do further research
25  (TM) ougn, before I could testify as to the validity
 

776

A: (Continuing) of those.

Q: what kind of research would you do before you would tell me they do as a student?

A: I would probably try to obtain some type of publication by Doctor Gould would be one good source.

Q: If you heard the testimony of a witness for the State today or tomorrow, whenever we begin to put on our case, that cited scientific evidence for creation explanation of origin, would you do some independent research there, too, and then explain that in your class?

A: If I heard the evidence and I considered it to be scientific, I would further investigate it, yes.

Q: Well, now, wait a minute. Whose standard are we judging science by now? Yours or that of the scientific community?

A: Well, the position Iím in, I have to be a judge, to some degree as to what is science. If Ió

Q: Then you are a judge as to what concepts are passed on?

A: To some degree. Iím more or less like a traffic cop; not a judge.

Q: All right. More or less like a controller, a coordinator? Will you take that?

A: Director, yes.

Q: A director. All right. You are a director when information is passed on. As a director, do you think
 

777

Q: (Continuing) itís fair to pass on information about concepts in terms of evolution that deal with gradualism and punctuated equilibrium; is that correct? I donít want to say something you didnít say. Is that what you said?

A: Would you restate that?

Q: As a director, you think itís proper to pass on concepts, educational concepts, to your students in the theory of evolution, gradualism and punctuated equilibrium?
Do you?

A: If I find both are from the millwork of the scientific community and both seem to have validity in my judgment, I think it would be certainly within my power as a director to present both viewpoints.

Q: Are they from the millwork of the scientific community?

A: I believe they are.

Q: Then they would be passed on?

A: If that was within the scope of my course that I teach, but it is not. But if I were teaching, perhaps, aó

Q: In biology when you teach evolution, itís not within the scope of the course to talk about gradualism and punctuated equilibrium?

A: There again, as the director, I have to keep the work level of my course on the comprehensive level of the
 

778

A: (Continuing) students which I teach. This may or may not be beyond them. It would depend. But I would use my judgment at that time. I think this is probably a little bit, maybe, beyond the scope of high school biology.

Q: To expose them to the ideas beyond the scope of high school biology?

A: Perhaps.

Q: To expose them to the idea that there may be another explanation for first life or origin as based in creation explanation is beyond the high school studentís competence, if thereís scientific evidence? I understand the burden is to prove that. But if there is, as a director, is that beyond their scope and is competence?

A: Perhaps not.

Q: Perhaps not?

A: Iím not sure of an exact understanding of what youíre asking.

Q: Okay. And yet as a scientist, you tell me you havenít had any training for twelve or thirteen years, is that right?

A: Thatís correct.

Q: No formal institutes, no formaló

MR. CEARLEY: Your Honor, Iíd like to make it clear
 

779

MR. CEARLEY: (Continuing) to, the Court and to counsel that Mr. Coward was offered as a witness as a science teacher and not as a science expert. And heís not ever been represented as such. Heís answered Mr. Clarkís questions about how he perceives himself.

MR. CLARK: Your Honor, Iíve never asked himó

THE COURT: Go ahead.

MR. CLARK: (Continuing)

Q: I want to come back to something I asked you earlier. You said in your search for materials that explained a creation explanation of origin that you found none that were presented to you that scientificallyóExcuse me. I think you said you found no valid scientific publications, text materials that were valid within the scientific community; is that correct? No established is publishers, printers, those sorts of things, is that correct?

A: That is correct.

Q: You also said you did not make much of an independent effort on your own, but what you had seen, no valid publisher would have done that or had done it, to the best of your knowledge?

A: Thatís correct.
 

780

Q: I want to show you a textbook here.

MR. CLARK: Your Honor, Iíd like to have this marked for identification as Defendantsí Exhibit, I believe, 4.

MR. CLARK: (Continuing)

Q: That textbook is entitled The World of Biology, is that correct?

A: Yes, it is.

Q: Who is it published by?

A: McGraw Hill.

Q: Is McGraw Hill a reputable publisher?

A: Yes, they are.

Q: Would you turn in that text to what would be numbered, I believe, page 409? Have you found it, Mr. Coward?

A: Yes, I have.

Q: Would you read the title of the chapter that starts on page 409?

A: ďEvolutionary Theory and the Concept of Creationism.Ē

Q: Would you then turn to page 414?

A: Yes.

Q: On page 414 you see in bold print or type, the second paragraph, actually, would you tell us what the title is leading that paragraph? What does it say?

A: Sub-topic is ďCreationism.Ē

Q: Would you take just a minute to peruse the next two
 

781

Q: (Continuing) or three pages and see if those include some explanation of the creation model or creation, theory for origins?

A: They appear to, yes, sir.

Q: Thank you, very much.

You indicated in your direct testimony, Mr. Coward, that teachers ó and I think you were speaking specifically, I think you might have been, of science teachers know what is current in the field; is that correct?

A: It is part of the responsibility to attempt to keep current, yes.

Q: How do you do that?

A: Through the reading of books, periodicals.

Q: What periodicals? What books?

A: In what particular area are you speaking of?

Q: Biology.

A: Some of the books on the subject such as Origins by Richard Leakey, Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan, Human Fossil Remains, I donít recall the title of that one, this type of thing.

Q: What do you read regularly?

A: I read a good dealó In biology, I assume, that you are talking about?

Q: Yes. Please.

A: Most of my reading recently has been in psychology,
 

782

A: (Continuing) but I am very much interested in evolutionary theory and for that matter, the scope of history of evolution.

Q: But specifically, what have you read recently or do you read regularly in terms of biology? Well, just take evolutionary theory, your ongoingó

A: I skim through current periodicals such as Scientific American and National Geographic and these type things.

Q: You skim through those, you say?

A: Well, read areas that might be of particular interest to me. Iím not knowledgeable of all the publications and all the articles that are written in the field of science.

Q: You testified on direct about the text called Biology: A Search for Order in Complexity, and you testified as to its general nature. Did you read that entire text?

A: Not cover to cover.

Q: Did you read excerpts?

A: I did a fair random sampling of the entire book, yes, I did.

Q: In your direct testimony, you admitted you have some confusion about the implementation of Act 590 in teaching in the classroom, is that right?
 

783

A: That is correct.

Q: You said that confusion surrounded the fact that you found no scientific evidence to explain the creation model, is that correct?

A: Thatís part of the confusion, yes.

Q: The second part of that confusion was that you were specifically prohibited from using religious materials, is that correct?

A: Thatís correct.

Q: Would it be fair to say, Mr. Coward, that if there were scientific evidence offered to you that you can comply with Act 590 without problem?

A: If the scientific evidence comes from the scientific community and is recognized to be science by authorities in the field.

Q: Now, you define the scientific community as what?

A: Itís the group of men and women in the field who dedicate their lives to field and laboratory work, investigation and analyses of data, and produce theories and hypotheses from that information. This is their livelihood.

Q: So if the state presents witnesses who have Ph.D. education and academic training, publications, and they are from the scientific community, in the sense that they do experiment, publication, evaluation, propose hypotheses
 

784

Q: (Continuing) and those sorts of things, are they in the scientific community, and that testimony supports creation explanation?

A: Iím not sure that I could answer that. Iím not in the scientific community, so Iím not sure how they are accepted oró

Q: Well, if you are not in it, how do you recognize it?

A: Through all the publications with which I am familiar.

Q: Well, which publications tell you what is the scientific community?

A: There are a number of scientific publications that come from the millwork of the community.

THE COURT: Mr. Clark, how much longer are you going to be?

MR. CLARK: About another fifteen, twenty minutes, your Honor.

THE COURT: Why donít we take a recess until 11:00 oíclock.

             (Thereupon, Court was in
            recess from 10:45 a.m. until
            11:00 a.m.) 23 24 25

785

MR. CLARK: Your Honor, I donít think I moved for the admission of Defendantsí Exhibit Number 4, The World of Biology, portions of The World of Biology, and I would Like to move their submission now.

THE COURT: It will be received.

MR. CLARK: (Continuing)

Q: Mr. Coward, you testified on your direct about the impact of Act 590 on you as a teacher and your students What is your belief of academic freedom as a teacher?

A: I believe it is the freedom of students in a given class or given discipline to pursue information or knowledge within that discipline.

Q: Youíve given me a definition of academic freedom for students? Is that what you just gave me?

A: Thatís basically correct, yes.

Q: And Iím sorry. I was asking for a definition of academic freedom for a teacher, but I will start with the student. So would you restate that for me so I will make sure I heard everything you said?

A: I think it allows students to pursue available information or knowledge in a particular discipline or academic area.

Q: Would you give me that definition for a teacher, definition of academic freedom?
 

786

A: Well, as I understand how it would apply to a teacher?

Q: Yes, thatís what I mean.

A: I would assume that it allows a teacher who is the professional or supposedly is the expertise in that given area, it allows that teacher to decide what is academically sound basing their choices on what to teach and what not to teach.

Q: Are there any restrictions or limits on that academic freedom of that teacher as it applies as you defined it?

A: I do not know of any mandated limits that are set by anyone such as school boards or administrators.

Q: The principal canít set some fixed limit on that?

A: No.

Q: The superintendent cannot set any fixed limit on that?

A: No.

Q: The school board cannot set a fixed limit on that?

A: Not within a given class.

Q: Not within a given class?

A: No.

Q: Can they in some other circumstance?

A: They have, obviously, they have a say-so in course offerings. Iím not sure that would come under the head of academic freedom. In fact, as I understand it, the State
 

787

A: (Continuing) of Arkansas does this.

Q: Would in course offerings but not in a specific course, is that correct?

A: Thatís true.

Q: Can the Education Department for the State of Arkansas place any limits or restrictions on that academic freedom?

A: They can set guidelines, course guidelines for graduation purposes, but there are no guidelines set for courses within a particular subject area.

Q: They cannot within a particular subject area?

A: Not to my knowledge.

Q: Can the State of Arkansas do that through its legislative body?

A: I know of no circumstance other than this particular one.

Q: Did you tell me in your deposition that academic freedom can be limited in some subjects like sex education?

A: No, I did not.

Q: You did not?

A: Not exactly in that context.

Q: Do you remember what you did tell me?

A: Yes, I do.

Q: What was that?

A: I said that academic freedom does not, or school
 

788

1  (TM) ng) districts or what have you cannot
2  (TM) s say, the discussion of sex education in a
3  (TM) oom, certainly in a biology or human
4  (TM)  ssroom.
5  (TM) a teacher might receive reprimand is where

6  (TM) more or less, overextends themself
7  (TM) y, maybe does too good a job of teaching,
8  (TM) it.
9  (TM) s overextension? Personally, I donít think I
10  (TM) hat.
11  (TM) letís say maybe becoming a little bit too
12  (TM) this particular area. It could bring recourse
13  (TM) mmunity or the administration.
14  (TM) teacher overextend or become too explicit in
15  (TM) area and, therefore, require limitation?
16  (TM) opose they could.
17  (TM) you give me an example?
18  (TM) istory teacher, for example, might, letís say,
19  (TM) t the communist form of government is a superior
20  (TM) overnment to the democratic system.
21  (TM) eaching what communism is and teaching it as a
22  (TM) ay of life is two different things. I think a
23  (TM) might very well overextend themselves there.
24  (TM) w, Iím trying to make these things fit, Mr. Coward.
25  (TM) d me that in terms of academic freedom to teach
 

789

Q: (Continuing) course matter, that there werenít any restrictions that could be imposed by the principal, by the superintendent, by the school board, by the Education Department, by the State through its legislative body, period; is that correct?

A: No restrictions that say you cannot teach this subject area, that particular part of the subject. There are no restrictions that say you cannot teach sex education or you cannot teach about communism. But as a professional, I have to be very careful not to overextend myself when I do teach those areas.

Q: But as a professional, if you taught, for instance, using your example, that communism was a superior form of government to the democratic process, it would be over- extension and a violation of academic freedom?

A: No, not a violation of academic freedom, but would be a violation of professional ethicsó

Q: Professional ethics?

A: óas an educator.

Q: Is it a violation of academic freedom or professional ethics to teach a creation explanation of origin?

A: Iím sorry. Restate that.

Q: Is it a violation of academic freedom or professional ethics to teach a creation explanation of
 

790

Q: (Continuing) origin?

A: I think it is, yes.

Q: Is a violation of which or both?

A: I think it is a violation of academic freedom?

Q: Why?

A: Because it is mandated by a governmental body.

Q: Well, nowó

A: A governmental body is telling you what you will do or will not do within a given classroom.

Q: Letís take my question and back up a little bit. Instead of using Act 590 at this point, which, as we know, is obviously in litigation, today, assuming the void or

(TM) nce of Act 590, is it a violation of academic freedom to teach a creation explanation of origin in the classroom?

A: Iím not sure that I can say. I understand that we have people that are doing it.

Q: Is that a violation of academic freedom, in your
judgment?

THE COURT: Wait. Whose academic freedom? The studentís?

MR. CLARK: I think itís the teacher we are talking about here, your Honor.

THE COURT: Are you saying it is a violation of the teacherís academic freedom for the teachers to teach creationism in the classroom?
 

791

MR. CLARK: I understand the Courtís confusion, and I share that. What Iím trying to find out from Mr. Coward, your Honor, is in his definition of academic freedom, he has indicated there are some limits, at least with ethics or academic freedom or a mixture of the two.
Now, Iím trying to find out that if I, as a teacher, or someone else, as a teacher, wants to advocate a creation explanation of origin, is that inconsistent with what is academic freedom by his terms.

THE COURT: I understand that question.

THE WITNESS: Well, Iím still confused on it.

MR. CLARK: Iím sorry Iím not helping, Mr. Coward. Iím not trying to make this difficult. Iím just tryingó

THE COURT: I assume if somebody tries to keep a teacher from teaching creationism, is that a violation of the teacherís academic freedom?

MR. CLARK: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: For example, the school board?

MR. CLARK: Principal, superintendent.

THE WITNESS: They say that a teacher cannot teach academic freedom or cannot teach Act 590?

MR. CLARK: Yes.

THE WITNESS: I assume not. I donít know. I havenít thought about that.

MR. CLARK: (Continuing)

Q: You assume not. You assume it is not a violation of
 

Page 792 is missing
 

793

A: (Continuing) what new discoveries come from the millwork or framework of the scientific community, and deciding if these discoveries or theories have enough validity that I can present it to my students and support that viewpoint.

Q: Does academic freedom place any restraints on your ability to decide what is good science or bad science?

A: I do not believe it does.

Q: So you are the sole arbiter of that question?

A: I guess that more or less comes with the job, yes.

Q: Did you testify on direct that in pursuance of this academic freedom weíve just talked about that you decide what is good science and bad science based on your studentsí ability to learn, their career goals, and you may have given one or two other things?

A: I donít necessarily decide what is good science and bad science. I decideó From the science that I use, I decide what is ó itís kind of like better and best ó what is the best information that we have available at the time and if it is a reliable source and that the information can be supported or substantiated by other people within that scientific framework, then I assume it is good science. Then I select what is relevant to the lives and to the futures of my students.
 

794

Q: Go back and tell me again what is academic freedom to a student?

A: I think it is the ability of that student to, allowing that student to pursue an area of information or knowledge within a given discipline.

Q: Are you, by your own definition, in terms of academic freedom and the way you apply it in choosing science to be taught in your classroom, denying your own students academic freedom by virtue of precluding some ideas that could be discussed in your classroom?

A: I donít believe so. I think it is part of my role to sift through and decide what is relevant to them.

Q: Do you see a conflict between those two?

A: Not really. There is a wealth of information that comes from the scientific community that could be passed on to the students . Itís certainly not conceivable that this could be done within the scope of even the entire four years of high school, much less within the one particular subject area.

Q: But if academic freedom for studentsó Is it a privilege or a right, in your judgment?

A: I havenít given that thought. Maybe both.

Q: If itís a privilege or a right, is it a privilege or right to pursue the available information in a discipline?

A: Of that particular discipline.
 

795

Q: Is there any absolute to that, in your judgment?

A: I wouldnít say anything is absolute.

Q: Okay. As absolute as something can be?

A: Perhaps so.

Q: And yet you are telling me and youíve told this Court that you tempered or in some way modified that based on what is your best judgment as to what science should be taught based on their level, ability and those sorts of things and available concepts that you think have validity
in science?

A: Itís part of my job description. Thatís what Iím hired for. Thatís why I acquired a background in order to be able to do so.

Q: You testified on direct as to portions of the Act and the definition in particular of creation science. You testified under Section 4(a), you testified to 1, 5 and 6, sudden creation of the universe, energy and life from nothing, explanation of the earthís geology by catastrophism, including the occurrence of a worldwide flood; and a relatively recent inception of the earth and living kinds. Was it your testimony on direct that those were religious?

A: Yes, I believe they are.

Q: Have you ever done any sort of scientific research
 

796

Q: (Continuing) or made any effort as a scientist to see if there is any validity in these?

A: No, I have not. In fact, one of the basis of science is you have to be able to test something, and that doesnít fit that description.

Q: In definition number 6, ďA relatively recent inception of the earthĒ, what does that mean to you?

A: Well, the time frame is not as important to me as the fact that recent inception seems to indicate that it all happens at one time. The time frame, I donít think, even all the creationists agree on it, as I understand. But from the literature I read, there again, itís around ten thousand years.

Q: Wait a minute. You said that it all happened at one time?

A: I believe this is the context of that.

Q: Read 6 to me again, would you?

A: ďA relatively recent inception of the earth and living kinds.Ē

Q: Where do you get in those words the ďconcept it all happened at one timeĒ?

A: Well, in the total context of Section 4, this is what itís indicating. That particular thing there, of course, would defy ó that particular statement, number 6 ó would defy most of the principles and understandings
 

797

A: (Continuing) that we have, the theories involving geology and geophysics. There again, I have to rely upon those people to verify whether or not that is a valid statement.

Q: You testified on direct another problem you had with Act 590 was, you didnít understand what ďbalanced treatmentĒ
was, is that correct?

A: Thatís correct.

Q: And it was your testimony that you figured youíd have to spend about half your time on a counter or alternative explanation thatís based on a creation explanation if you are going to give balanced treatment?

A: Thatís correct.

Q: And that is predicated on your personal judgment as an educator?

A: Thatís predicated on my interpretation of what ďbalancedĒ or ďevenĒ means.

Q: Have you ever thought about in terms of implementing this act the concept of teaching the creation explanation that might include a unit that would go two days or three days or a week or two weeks?

A: I guess it could be implemented. It would be against my better judgment as an educator or as a person with some science background.

Q: Why is that?
 

798

A: Because it is not science.

Q: Well, I understand your disagreement with Act 590. But assuming there is scientific evidence for 590, the creation explanation of origin, and we are talking now about the implementation which you say gives you pause, problems. As an educator now ó letís rely on your education aspect of your career, experience and formal training ó have you ever given a thought to the concept of teaching the creation explanation in lectures of a two or three day or a five day or a week or two week unit?

A: Youíre assuming there is scientific evidence, which there isnít.

Q: I understand. Iíd just like you to humor me and make that assumption with me.

A: Hypothetically you are speaking, right?

Q: Yes.

A: Hypothetically, I guess if there is scientific evidence to support this, then I guess a person could put in a two to three day unit on creationism. To me, that alone, does not give it balance.

Q: It does not?

A: No, sir.

Q: Why not?

A: Because there are numerous references throughout the
 

799

A: (Continuing) chapters. For example, numerous references are made to, there again, ancestral inheritance lines, blood lines or what have you, family trees and so forth.

Q: So an explanation of origin withó A creation explanation of origin given in a unit thatís taught and the lectures as a whole does not balance if you donít do it minute for minute, day for day, time for time?

A: No, sir. As I understandó I believe itís Section 6ó Iím sorry. Section 5.

Q: If you are looking for the definition of balanced treatment, go back to the front of the Act.

A: No, sir. Section 5.

Q: Okay. What about Section 5?

A: I believe itís in 5. Somewhere within this it says that each lecture does not have to be balanced; that each textbook does not have to be balanced. But at some point in here it does say that on a whole they must be. That does not mean if I give an hour lecture today that I have to divide it in thirty minutes between the two models. It means I give an hour lecture on the theory or the concepts of evolution today, then at some point in time Iíve got to give an hour one on creation science.

Q: As an educator, are you familiar with the concept of
 
 

800

Q: (Continuing) scope and sequence in the classroom, the presentation of materials in a semester or a year? It's a teaching technique. Scope and sequence. Scope the course, sequence the course. Are you familiar with that?

A: Are you talking about the over all plan by which you will teach your students during the school year?

Q: Yes.

A: Yes.

Q: Do you follow that sort of technique and that procedure?

A: Yes, I do.

Q: Is that technique and that procedure for you to outline a discussion of all the material in the biology class you will teach, for instance, for the course of a semester or the course for the year?

A: Well, the entire scope is more or less pre-set in my own mind by the time the school year begins. I may modify my sequence based upon the students' ability to grasp concepts and this type thing.

Q: As you construct that sequence in conjunction with the scope, do you intend to give balance to all ideas that are recognized in biology or science?

A: Of course not. We don't even touch on all of the ideas in biology or science,

Q: In the ideas that you teach where there are
 

801

Q: (Continuing) conflicting theories, do you attempt to give balance?

A: If there are conflicting theories, and both of those theories, again, comes from the framework of the scientific community, then I think they both have credence and both could and probably should be used.

Q: Do you do that minute per minute in balance?

A: There is no law saying that I have to, either.

Q: As an educator, though, you don't do you?

A: It's within my own personal discretion. If I feel like both of these have merit, and it does have some significance or meaning to my students, then I will do so, yes.

Q: And your interpretation of Act 590 is your interpretation, correct? It hasn't been imposed upon you by any higher authority in the sense of the school district or the school Board or anyone else in terms of what is balanced treatment?

A: I don't understand that question.

Q: Okay. No one has told you from youró Let me back up. Has your principal, has your superintendent, has the school board, the State of Arkansas or the State Department of Education of Arkansas told you what balanced treatment is?

A: No, they have not.
 

802

Q: So what you are testifying today is what you think balanced treatment is?

A: Well, I might classify that or categorize that answer. According to this Act right here, the State of Arkansas is telling me, I think, what balanced treatment is.

Q: But it's your definition?

A: It's my interpretation of the statements, yes.

Q: Now, in your educational philosophy, if you teach two ideas in science, in biology, that you think have it validity and merit, do you think you could teach them sound in terms of educational policy or philosophy and not give them minute for minute weight, is that correct?

A: That's correct.

Q: Then why can't you teach a creation explanation alongside an evolution explanation and not give it minute for minute accountability and still reach that balance?

A: Because somewhere in here it does say that they will be given equal treatment as a whole.

Q: In other words, it's your problem, isn't it, Mr . Coward? It's not the State's; it's your problem about how to interpret this Act, is that right?

A: I'm the one that's got to do it.

Q: Now, if someone tells you, if the State tells you what is balanced treatment, you can follow that, can't you?

A: It will have to be much more explicit than it is in
 

803

A: (Continuing) Act 590, yes.

Q: If the State told you that the answer to balanced treatment is what you presently do in the classroom now when you weigh out how much time to give to any two conflicting theories in biology, you could accept that and teach it, couldn't you?

A: I think that would be infringing on the right of academic freedom if I did.

Q: Why?

A: The same point I made earlier, I don't think the State should mandate within a given classroom that we do or not do anything or say or not say anything.

Q: If the State tells you as a professional, which you've testified that you are a professional competent teacher, as a professional competent teacher, you use your best judgment to teach these two concepts and give them balanced treatment as a whole, can you do that?

A: I could do that if I had concepts that had equal merit.

Q: Assuming that you had concepts that had equal merit in science, can you do that as an educator?

A: I could if the concepts had equal merit, yes.

Q: You said on your direct that balanced treatment requirement of Act 590 affects your credibility as a teacher. I don't understand that. Could you tell me what
 

804

Q: (Continuing) that means?

A: Well, there again, I assume "balanced" means being impartial in the eyes of my students; not necessarily taking sides on the issue. I feel like if I try to remain impartial and run this through under the guise of science and try to convince my students that this is science and that this is good science, that it all has credibility, I think they will see through me like pea soup. I think, there again, that that destroys my credibility because they depend upon me as a professional educator for some background in this area, some expertise in this area to really decide what is good and what is valid and what is, more or less, current and what is accepted. I would be having to falsify my viewpoints and guard my words so carefully because they would understand that I was doing this.

Q: I asked you earlier in this cross examination for an explanation of origin. And you gave me an explanation that was predicated on experiments done by Doctor Stanley Miller, right?

A: It's not an explanation of origin, no.

Q: It was a statement of feasibility of origin, is that right?

A: That's correct.
 

805

Q: All right. We won't quibble on words. I asked you if your students asked you for an explanation of origin, I think you responded that this was a statement that you made about the feasibility of life evolving from nonlife, is that right?

A: That's correct.

Q: Then I asked you were there any assumptions based on that. What was your answer?

A: I believe there are no assumptions based on that.

Q: Then I asked you, do you know for a fact that the earth's atmosphere contained the elements that you identified or the ones we together tried to identify under Doctor Miller's experiments?

A: I was not there at that time.

Q: That's correct. You were not. Now, you don't know if that's what the earth's atmosphere contained, correct? Do you tell your students that?

A: I tell them that I have to rely upon the best available information.

Q: Do you tell them about the possible inconsistency or inaccuracy or assumption of that experiment that explains the feasibility of life evolving from nonlife? Do you tell them that?

A: Would you restate that?
 

806

Q: Yes Do you tell your students when they ask you about the feasibility of life evolving from nonlife, when you tell them about the experiment of Doctor Miller, do you tell them that that experiment may be predicated on the assumption that the elements that were used ó ammonia, nitrogen, whatever they were ó are assumed to be those that were consistent with the atmosphere at the time that this occurrence occurred four billion years ago or whatever?

A: No, I do not.

Q: Now, if you don't, if I tell your students that, does that affect your credibility with them?

A: That, according to what the geophysicists and geologists tell us, though, those were the conditions at that time based on the best information that I have available to me. As a science educator, I have to rely upon the fact that those were the conditions at that time.

Q: Based on the best information available to you at the time?

A: That's correct.

Q: Now, do you not make that disclaimer to your students?

A: I think it's the general understanding within a classroom that I am not a walking encyclopedia. I did not perform these experimentations or observations myself.
 

807

A: (Continuing) They know that I must pull from other resources; that I am strictly the go-between.

Q: Did you not just testify, though, it's a general understanding in your classroom that your students look to you to tell them what is correct in science?

A: They look to me to decide what is the best information available. There again, if there are conflicting evidences, then I normally relate this, too. That's part of the credibility, too. You also have to point out sometimes the fallacy or the flaws of a given hypothesis or whatever.

Q: Do you do it with that one experiment? Do you ever point out the fallacy or the flaws or the possibility of those?

A: I don't think I do on that particular experiment.

Q: Have you ever done it?

A: On that particular experiment?

Q: Yes.

A: I don't recall.

Q: Have you ever given any other statement about the feasibility of life from nonlife other than based on that experiment?

A: No. Because that is not really relevant to my course content, that subject area.

Q: But when asked, have you ever given any other
 

808

Q: (Continuing) explanation?

A: Not that I recollect.

Q: Does that not affect your credibility

A: I don't believe so.

Q: Does that not indicate some sort of prejudicial or propagandist type position in terms of an explanation of origins of life from nonlife?

A: I don't believe so.

MR. CLARK: I have no other questions of this witness, your Honor.

THE COURT: Any redirect?

MR. CLEARLEY: Very briefly.

REDIRECT EXAMINATION

BY MR. CEARLEY:

Q: Mr. Coward, I've placed Defendants' Exhibit Number 4 back in front of you, which is the entire text of The World of Biology published by McGraw-Hill. Would you look inside the initial flyleaf, please, of that book, Mr. Coward, and tell the Court what the copyright date is on The World of Biology?

A: It's 1974.

Q: Will you turn to the first page in chapter 17. It should be about page 393 or 395.

A: 394, I believe.

Q: I believe there is a statement of chapter learning
 

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Q: (Continuing) objective there, is that correct?

A: Yes, there is.

Q: What is the title of that chapter?

A: "The Origins of Living Systems."

Q: And what's the chapter learning objective?

A: "Chapter learning objective. The student must be able to complete an examination on the process of organic evolution, including its history as a concept, modern evolutionary synthesis, terminology and evidence bearing upon its validity."

Q: Now, turn, if you will, over to the portion of that chapter that Mr. Clark had you read from. It appears, I believe, on page 415. In fact, turn to page 414, if you would, the first full paragraph from the top on page 414. Will you read that, please, sir?

A: "To sum it up, the vast majority of biologists consider the evidence to be overwhelmingly in favor of evolution. That is, that the diversity of organisms is best and most simply explained in terms of evolution. Most scientists, while readily conceding that some of the hypotheses about particular events may have to be modified as new evidence is found, still accept the concept of evolution as one of the most fundamental theories of biology."

Q: And the next paragraph is titled in bold type,
 

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Q: (Continuing) "Creationism". Will you read the first three sentences in that, please, sir?

A: "A few scientists, even today, remain unconvinced, however, holding the view that evolutionary theory does not satisfactorily explain all the facts and that the divine creation of organisms is, at least, as probable. This view is called Creationism is generally ignored in the science textbooks on the grounds that it is not a scientific explanation."

Q: Will you read the next two sentences, please?

A: "Thus far, at least, most of the concepts surrounding Creationism have been of the kind accessible to the techniques of the scientific inquiry."

Q: will you read that sentence again, please, sir, Mr. Coward?

A: "Thus far, at least, most of the concepts surrounding Creationism have not been of the kind accessible to the techniques of the scientific inquiry."

Q: And the next sentence?

A: "Consequently, Creationism is generally held to be an unfalsifiable hypothesis. In the words of an American Association for the Advancement of Science, the statements about Creation that are part of many religions have no place in the domain of science and should not be regarded as reasonable alternatives to the scientific explanations
 

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A: (Continuing) for the origin and evolution of life."

Q: How does the language which you've just read compare to the treatment of creation science and other biology text that you are aware of in which it is presented?

A: I would say that the main thrust of this is the same; that it is generally not accepted. It may be acknowledged or mentioned in a given text, but generally, there is the overall viewpoint that some people might hold this view, but it does not come from the realm of the scientific framework and is not acceptable as an alternative theory to evolution.

Q: Will you look down to the next to the last paragraph in the text on page 414?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you see there the second sentence beginning, "For one thing ...

A: Yes, I do.

Q: Will you read that, please, sir?

A: "For one thing, consideration of creationist arguments should help considerably to delineate the nature of science."

Q: How would it do that?

A: I think, there again, it would be the point of confusing students to really what is science and what is not, how do we make scientific investigation and inquiry.
 

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A: (Continuing) I think my students would have a hard time understanding even what science is by the time I got through with the creationist point of view,

Q: Now, Mr. Coward, will you turn over to page 417 of that book, please? Is that the last page in that chapter?

A: Yes, it is.

Q: Does that conclude with a bibliography for further reading?

A: Yes, it does.

Q: Will you read the first two sentences in that first paragraph where it says, "For further reading"? It begins, "A mountainous accumulation ...

A: Okay. "A mountainous accumulation of literature has grown up on the subject of evolution. We have tried to provide only some of the more readable and popular evolutionary works here. Additional references are easily obtained in the card catalogue of any good library. We have taken more pains to obtain a fair sized listing of creationist literature since this is not readily available, and what is available is often irresponsible. Creationist titles are starred."

Q: How does that statement compared with your review of creation literature?

A: It's almost as if I had written it.

Q: And finally, Mr. Coward, will you look down to the
 

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Q: (Continuing) bibliography, which is in alphabetical order, and after Norman MacBeth, tell the Court who is cited there for further reading on creation?

A: It would be John Moore and Harold Slusher, who are the authors of this book.

Q: Which book?

A: I'm sorry. I'm incorrect on that point.

Q: They are the authors of what book as shown?

A: They are authors of the book, Biology: A Search for Order in Complexity.

Q: That's been entered in the record as Plaintiffs' Exhibit 129, is that correct?

A: Yes, that's correct.

MR. CLEARLEY: That's all I have, your Honor.

THE COURT: Anything else, Mr. Clark?

MR. CLARK: Yes, sir. Just one moment.

RECROSS EXAMINATION

BY MR. CLARK:

Q: While you have that publication in front, Mr. Coward, there's one little excerpt I'd like for you to read, also. Let's go back to page 414, the final paragraph on that page begins with "finally". Would you read that?

A: "Finally, we cannot imagine that the cause of truth is served by keeping unpopular or minority ideas under
 

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(Continuing) wraps. Today's students are much less inclined than those of former generations to unquestionably accept the pronouncements of authority. Specious arguments can only be exposed by examining them. Nothing is so unscientific as the inquisition mentality that has served, as it thought, the truth, by seeking to suppress or conceal dissent rather than by grappling with it. Therefore, we will briefly state, for those who are interested, several major theses of the creationist position and a few of these questions raised by this dispute. In general, the majority of creationists support their view with most or all of the following arguments."

Q: There's a list of some six or so arguments?

A: Six, I believe.

Q: And on the last page that you read, on page 417 on the various authors, you noted that those materials that were creationist in origin were starred, is that correct?

A: That is correct.

Q: Mr. Coward, I asked you if you'd done any independent research to see if there was any scientific validity to a creation explanation. I think your answer was no. Is that not correct?

A: That is correct.

Q: Would you read now about two thirds of the way down to an article entitled, "Kenyon, Dean Kenyon and Gary
 

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Q: (Continuing) Steinman? What is the title of that?

A: "Biochemical Predestination."

Q: Who is it published by?

A: It's McGraw-Hill in New York.

Q: When is it dated?

A: 1969.

Q: If I told you Mr. Kenyon had been on the list of the witnesses the State would call to prove the creation explanation of first life or of origin, would you say that's a noncreationist publication

A: Not necessarily.

Q: Would you say by definition of this text it is?

A: (No response)

Q: It either is or it isn't, Mr. Coward.

A: I'm not sure exactly what you are asking.

Q: This text said that those pieces of literature which were creationist would be starred, did it not?

A: That's correct.

Q: Is that one starred?

A: No, it is not.

Q: Would that be a representation in the scientific community?

A: According to the people who did the starring on this page, yes.

MR. CLARK: Thank you.
 

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THE COURT: You can step down, Mr. Coward. Mr. Cearley?

MR. CLEARLEY: Mr. Bill Wood. Your Honor, Mr. Gary Crawford will handle the direct examination of Mr. Wood.

Thereupon,

WILLIAM C. WOOD,

called on behalf of the plaintiffs herein, after having been first duly sworn or affirmed, was examined and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY MR. CRAWFORD:

Q: Would you state your full name for the record, please?

A: My name is William Carroll Wood.

Q: And would you tell us your age and occupation?

A: I'm 37 years of age. I am a science teacher at John L. McClellan High School in the Pulaski County Special School District.

Q: What is your educational and professional background

A: My educational background is that I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in zoology from the University of Arkansas. I am currently working on my Master's Degree in educational administration at the University of Arkansas. And I have twelve hours of graduate credit in physics

 


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