Deposition of Jim Townley
REV. BILL MCLEAN, ET AL. *
Plaintiffs * IN THE UNITED STATES
VS. * DISTRICT COURT, EASTERN
THE STATE OF ARKANSAS, * DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS,
ET AL. *
Defendants * WESTERN DIVISION
*,* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
ORAL DEPOSITION OF MR. JIM TOWNLEY
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
MR. ROBERT CEARLEY, Esq., Cearley,
Gitchel, Mitchell & Bryant,
1014 West 3rd, Little Rock,
Ms. LAURIE FERBER, Esq., Skadden,
Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom,
919 Third Avenue, New York
** For the Plaintiffs
MR. DAVID WILLIAMS, Esq., Deputy
Attorney General, Attorney
General's Office, Justice
Building, Little Rock,
** For the Defendants
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
LAURA BUSHMAN COURT REPORTING SERVICE
1100 N. University, Suite 223
Little Rock, Arkansas 72207
I N D E X
Witness sworn in: MR. JIM TOWNLEY 2
Direct Examination by MS. FERBER: 3
Objection made by Mr. Williams 35
Objection made by Mr. Williams 46
Objection made by Mr. Williams 54
Objection made by Mr. Williams 55
Objection made by Mr. Williams 59
Objection made by Mr. Williams 61
Objection made by Mr. Williams 72
Objection made by Mr. Williams 79
Objection made by Mr. Williams 86
Objection made by Mr. Williams 110
Objection made by Mr. Williams 112
Objection made by Mr. Williams 135
Objection made by Mr. Williams 155
Objection made by Mr. Williams 158
Objection made by Mr. Williams 159
Objection made by Mr. Williams 160
Objection made by Mr. Williams 161
Objection made by Mr. Williams 172
Objection made by Mr. Williams 183
Objection made by Mr. Williams 196
ANSWERS AND DEPOSITION OF MR. JIM TOWNLEY, a witness
produced on behalf of the Plaintiff, taken in the above
styled and numbered cause on the 14th of November, 1981,
before Michelle R. Nienstedt, a Notary Public in and for
Pulaski County, Arkansas, at the office of Mr. Robert
Cearley, 1014 West 3rd Street, Little Rock, Arkansas at
9:30 a.m., pursuant to the agreement thereinafter set
MRS. GLADYS HOLMES
the witness hereinbefore named, being first duly cautioned
and sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
but the truth testified as follows:
BY MS. FERBER:
MS. FERBER: This deposition is being
taken for all purposes permitted under the Federal Rules.
All objections except as to form are waived until trial.
Do you want to waive signing?
MR. WILLIAMS: No.
MS. FERBER: Okay. Then we will provide
an original to the witness for signing, which should be
signed within five days of receipt or we will be able to
use it without signing.
MR. WILLIAMS: I don't know about that.
I know the rules aren't five days, it is after thirty.
We will get it signed as expeditiously as possible.
BY MS. FERBER:
Q. Okay. Mr. Townley, first off I want to thank you
for coming today. I'll try not to keep you longer than
necessary. If I ask any questions which you don't
understand feel free to ask me to repeat them or to
Were you shown any documents -- asked
to bring any documents with you today?
A. No. Actually -- I take that back. I was asked at
breakfast, if I had any with me. And I did bring down
this information, but I wasn't sent any documents through
Q. Okay. Okay. Would you state your full name for
the record, please?
A. Jimmy Don Townley.
Q. And your address?
A. **** ***** ***** *****, **** *****, ********
Q. How old are you Mr. Townley?
Q. Are you married?
Q. Do you have any children?
Q. Are they in school?
Q. How old?
A. He's six.
Q. Is that first grade?
A. First grade. The other one is actually in school
too, but it's not public.
Q. What kind of school?
A. Christian school.
Q. And how old is that child?
Q. Would you briefly summarize your educational
background for me?
A. I graduated from Fort Smith Senior High. I
graduated from Arkansas State Teacher's College, which is
now called the University of Central Arkansas.
Q. What year was that?
A. That was 1962.
Q. And what was your degree in?
A. Bachelor of Science & Education.
A. I graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a
Master of Natural Science, M.N.S.
Q. When was that?
A. That was 1974.
Q. Any other degrees?
A. I've attended several other universities;
University of Bridge Port, off campus in Peurto Rico,
University of the Phillipines in the Phillipines, and --
Q. Briefly, what did you study at those other
A. I studied administration from the University of
Bridge Port for high school principles, or junior high
school principals, secondary principals. I studied, from
the University of the Phillipines, educational courses.
One in statistics, one in programed instruction.
Q. Okay. Do you have any academic honors from any of
Q. Have you ever applied for any grants of any kind?
A. Yes, my Master's Degree was on a National Science
Q. Okay. Did you do a thesis for your Master's?
A. We did a paper.
Q. What was your topic?
A. This was on "Oil Pollution."
Q. Was there a specific topic assigned to the grant
or a specific purpose for the funds?
A. This was to educate science teachers so that they
might be better informed to teach children.
Q. In general or in regards to oil pollution?
A. No, this was in general. Many teachers on the
Science Foundation were in various subjects in science;
physics, chemistry, biology, natural science, general
Q. Okay. Did you ever determine to go for an advance
degree beyond your Master's?
A. Not at this time.
Q. Okay. When you attended the various universities
after you got your Master's Degree, were you ever working
towards a degree?
A. I had already received a degree.
Q. Okay. So they were continuing education rather
than further degree studies?
Q. Would you briefly summarize your work history for
me, or not briefly?
A. Starting way back when?
Q. Back when.
A. Back when. Okay. Would this would this mean after
college or --
Q. Start with after college.
A. Okay. I taught first of all at Fort Smith when I
graduated from high school. I taught --
Q. Give me a time frame, please.
A. 1962 through 1964. I taught mathematics and
chemistry. Geometry specifically, in mathematics.
In 1964 I was offered a job by the United States
Department of Defense teaching children overseas. I
was offered a job specifically in Spain in Rota.
Spain where our naval base is at. I taught there one
year. I taught physics, chemistry, physical science, and
general science. After one year I transferred to
Germany; Frankfurt, Germany. Taught again on military
bases for two years there, 1965 through '67. I taught
specifically; chemistry and geometry for two years. I
then transferred to England. I taught chemistry, and
introduction to physical science. I then transferred to
Bermuda, where I taught for two more years. I taught
physics, chemistry, earth science. I then transferred to
Q. I'm jealous already.
A. Tsuchiura, outside of Tokyo where I taught physics,
chemistry, and introduction to physical science. After
one year I transferred to the Phillipines, to Angelis
[sic.] City, out of Manila where I taught I.S.C.S.
A. I.S.C.S level two, which is a course which teaches
chemistry to junior high students.
Q. What does I.S.C.S. stand for?
A. Intermediate Science Curriculum Study.
Q. Is that a particular curriculum?
A. Yes, it is. It's -- it's a -- the most important
thing about I.S.C.S is the method of study by the
students rather than what is taught. The method of
study is one of individualized learning by students
with the teacher being a resource person, organizer
type of person who makes available the opportunity to
learn on an individual basis. It has to be a highly
organized -- highly organized program. Teacher does not
lecture, is not in the traditional sense a teacher.
Okay. Then -- I taught there three years.
Q. What years are we up to now?
A. Okay. I have to go back. I went overseas in '64.
I taught a year in Spain, that would be '64 through '65.
'65 through '67 in Germany. '67 through '69 in England.
'69 through '71 in Bermuda. Is that right? '71 through
'72 in Japan. '72 through '75 in the Phillipines.
And then we moved back to Germany to Bonn, Badgodesburg
[sic.] which is the capital of West Germany. Badgodesburg
is the suburb where all of our embassies are located.
And at that time I taught physics, chemistry, and
introduction -- introduction to physical science to 8th
graders. And a physics course to 12th graders. And
chemistry to 11th and 12th graders. Thirty-three different
embassies were there, their children -- I think it was
thirtythree, many. After one year there I moved to San
Juan, Puerto Rick, that would be in '76 and taught
there for two years until 1978.
Q. Where did you teach in Puerto Rico?
A. Fort Bucannon.
Q. Military base?
A. Military base. I taught 8th grade science. And in
1978 I resigned from overseas and moved back to Fort
Smith, Arkansas. And I taught junior high science,
general science in the 8th grade for two years. And
last year, which was '80-'81, I moved up to the senior high
and taught general chemistry and advanced chemistry. And
that's the same thing I'm teaching this year.
Q. Okay. Do you hold any outside employment at
any of the Fort Smith schools?
Q. What district is your school in? What school
district? Is it a Fort Smith school or county wide
A. It's called "Special School District of Fort Smith.
It's in Sebastian County.
Q. Have you ever applied for a job and been turned
down for a position?
Q. Have you ever been released from a position,
ever been fired in a position?
Q. Have you ever applied for a promotion which you
Q. Is there a tenure system in the Fort Smith schools?
A. There is no tenure in Arkansas, to the best of my
knowledge. We do have a state law which puts teachers on
probation for three years. And after three years you're
no longer a probationary teacher.
Q. So you are no longer a probationary teacher?
A. I'm off as of last year.
Q. Congratulations. Have you ever published any
Q. Have you ever submitted any articles for
Q. Do you have any writings at all?
MS. FERBER: Mr. Williams, we have
served you with expert interrogatories. Can you tell me
when you're going to respond to the interrogatories?
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes. I responded to them
yesterday. I filed a motion for extension of time, and
MS. FERBER: Have we been served with
MR. WILLIAMS: It was mailed yesterday.
[Off the record discussion.]
MS. FERBER: How long an extension did
you request in that motion.
MR. WILLIAMS: To December the 4th.
MS. FERBER: To December the 4th,
three days before trial?
MR. WILLIAMS: Right.
MS. FERBER: Being that you have a
motion pending we will respond in appropriate fashion.
MR. WILLIAMS: Okay.
BY MS. FERBER:
Q. I apologize Mr. Townley, I may have to ask you some
additional questions since I have not been provided with
anything which will tell me what your testimony is going
MR. WILLIAMS: You have been provided
in the list of witnesses. I think that we provided there
what his testimony would be.
MS. FERBER: Are you representing that
his testimony will be limited to the precise description?
MR. WILLIAMS: It will be simply
limited to that, that's correct.
MS. FERBER: Essentially.
MR. WILLIAMS: Obviously, the testimony
we will present will be in some fashion determined by the
testimony presented by the plaintiffs. Therefore, I
cannot exactly limit it only to what is in there.
BY MS. FERBER:
Q. Okay. Mr. Townley, are you a member of any
Q. Would you describe them for me, please?
A. I'm a member of the National Education Association for
Teachers, the Arkansas Education Association for teachers,
and the Fort Smith Classroom Teachers Association, local.
Q. Have you ever held an office in any of these
A. Yes. I am -- are you talking currently?
Q. Start with currently.
A. Yes. I am president now of the Fort Smith
Classroom Teachers Association.
Q. How long have you been president?
A. Since June 1st.
Q. Okay. And what are your duties as president?
A. To run our organization, to appoint people to
serve on various committees that we have.
Q. What kind of committees do you have?
A. Publications Committee; we have also a Political
Action Committee; we have Rights and Responsibilities
Committee; Negotiations committee; Publicity committee,
we have Golden Apple Committee; we have -- We have a
committee which I've forgotten the name of.
Q. What does it do?
A. Provides tea and cookies.
Q. What is the Golden Apple Committee?
A. This is the committee that selects four people usually
per year for an award for outstanding contributions to
education from our local school district and from -- not
from -- either from the educational viewpoint or for
professional educators within the system to business people
who may have contributed worthwhile contributions to
education in our school district.
Q. Are you a member of any of these committees?
A. Yes, I am. I am -- by appointment, I am a member
of all committees. I specifically head only one.
Q. Which committee is that?
Q. What does the Political Action Committee do?
A. Political Action Committee interviews candidates
specifically for school board positions, finds out their
positions, and ask each -- ask each candidate the same
essential questions for the interview. And then based
upon their responses chooses the candidate that we
wish to back in the -- in the race for school board
position. And we recommend this to our general assembly,
the pace [sic.] committee does, recommends it to the
general assembly of teachers which meets in spring. And
the general assembly then will vote to sustain the
recommendation or not to sustain the recommendation.
Q. Does that committee take any position or conduct any
interviews in regard to pending legislation?
A. Not to the best of my knowledge.
Q. And what is the Rights and Responsibilities
A. This would be the rights of teachers, what rights
they have relative to education. Responsibilities, would
be what responsibilities that they have in their teaching
field, what duties they must perform and how much leeway,
I guess, they would have to perform these duties. That
is one of our least active committees.
Q. I was about to ask you how often it meets. Have you
held any position in a -- in any of the organizations you
listed prior to this time?
A. I was vice president of our own Fort Smith local
teachers organization last year.
Q. What is -- I'm sorry you had mentioned before
that you were a member of the N.E.A., the A.E.A., Fort
Smith Classroom Teachers Association?
A. Right. I am currently a member of all of those.
Q. Now, was that a different organization you just
A. I was Vice President last year of the Fort Smith
Classroom Teachers Association, before. And previous to
that, I've been a board member of the S.E.T.A, Southeast
Asia Teachers Association.
Q. Okay. You mentioned that the Fort Smith Classroom
Teachers Association has a publications committee.
Q. Does the organization have it's own publication?
Q. What is that.
A. "The Informer."
Q. And what kinds of articles of information do
A. Anything that is pertinent to our local
Q. How often do you publish it?
A. Once a month.
Q. Have you published any articles relating to Act 590?
Do you know what I mean when I refer to Act 590? Have
you heard of the -- let me get the title right, The
Balance Treatment for Creation Science and Evolution
A. Yes, I have heard it. And we haven't published
anything with regards to that.
Q. Have you ever published any general articles about
the teaching of Creation Science?
Q. Or the teaching of Evolution?
Q. About science curriculum, in general?
Q. About Academic Freedom?
A. No. Our newspaper just started in September. It
has had three publications
Q. Thank you. Do you ever intend to publish any
articles about it?
A. I don't -- my -- the publications chairman is Ann
Scott Gray, and I do not interfere with what she does in
the newspaper. If she wants to, she may.
Q. When you were contacted by the Attorney General's
office in order to arrange for your deposition today, was
there any discussion of you furnishing documents or
bringing any materials to this deposition?
A. Not that I remember.
MR. WILLIAMS: Let me state for the
record that I think we mailed him and apparently did not
get there, did not have my schedule as attached there.
MS. FERBER: When did you know about
MR. WILLIAMS: Sometime this week, I
don't know. And I've gone over it with him. You can go
over it with him if you like, as far as knowing anything
responsive to it, I don't think he does.
MS. FERBER: I will accept your
representation that he does not. If it -- of course, if
it comes up in the deposition that he does, we'll have to
leave the deposition open.
MR. WILLIAMS: No problem.
MS. FERBER: In fact, I think we will
have to do that since you have provided me with four tapes
which I'm about to identify.
MR. WILLIAMS: Let me state -- okay.
You can identify the tapes. You can ask him if they
belong to him. Technically, they are not responsive to
that either because they are not his own tapes. Those
are something he happened to have borrowed and had with
him. And I asked him to bring them with him.
MS. FERBER: I think they will be
relevant to future questions. And since they are
here on tape -- and unless we take a break for me to
listen to all of them I may have questions which come from
the tapes. And we'll probably have to leave the deposition
open until I review the tapes.
WITNESS: Wait just a minute.
MS. FERBER: Yes.
WITNESS: I cannot give you those
tapes, they're not mine to give.
MS. FERBER: Okay. We can deal with
MR. WILLIAMS: They'll make copies of
MS. FERBER: We can copy the tapes.
The four tapes which Mr. Townley has provided to me all
come from the Institute for Creation Research in San
Diego, California. The first one is "Dinosaurs And The
Deluge" I believe by Henry M. Morris, P.h.D. The second
one is, "Evolution Mechanisms: Do They Really Work?" by
Duane T. Gish. The third tape is, "Creation, Evolution,
And The Fossil Records" also by Duane T. Gish. And the
final one is, "Latest Research On The Origin Of Man" by
Duane T. Gish.
BY MS. FERBER:
Q. Mr. Townley, how did these tapes come into your
A. My school district is -- I borrowed them from my
Q. Do you know where your school district got them
A. Well, I assume that they got them from California.
Q. Do you know why they got them?
A. Yes. They got them because your teachers -- the
school system is currently, on a voluntary basis, offer
the teachers the opportunity to review materials on
Q. Do you know who in your school district is responsible
for providing those materials?
A. Mr. Floyd and a Mr. Sherry.
Q. Mr. who?
A. Floyd and Sherry.
Q. And who are these gentlemen? What are their
A. They’re -- they work in the admin office.
Q. Admin, administration?
A. Administration office.
Q. And how is it communicated to teachers that there
are materials available?
A. Each school receives papers that come out stating that
these programs will be available on a voluntary basis to
review Creation Science in case the law is passed, so
that teachers can be better informed as to what the views
of creationists are.
Q. When were these materials -- when were teachers
first informed the materials were going to be made
A. Sometime this fall. I can't give you a specific
date because I don't remember, but we've been -- we've
been -- we've attended two sessions as this time, which I
guess, maybe was three weeks ago, the first one. That
would be a guess. At that time we saw materials. These
haven't -- we haven't used these yet. And that's the
reason I borrowed them is because these haven't been
utilized yet by the school.
Q. Who attended these sessions?
A. Science teachers of Fort Smith education session,
not all but some.
Q. Were -- what -- do you know what materials were
made available at a meeting?
A. There were -- there was two filmstrips with audio
cassettes. But I do not --
Q. Did you review the film?
A. Yes, we did. We reviewed the film and had
Q. Do you know the names of those films?
A. I really do not.
Q. Were you provided with a list of available
Q. If I mention the name of the filmstrips, do you
think you would recognize them?
A. It's possible.
Q. Do you know what organization the filmstrips
A. I think from the same place. I think we have all of
the materials from the same place.
Q. That would be from the Institute for Creation
A. I think, but I'm not sure. One was about a
Q. About a butterfly. What grade level were the
filmstrips designed for, if you know?
A. I don't think they were designed for children. I
may be wrong in that.
Q. I'm sorry. When you say children, are you
referring to a specific age group?
A. No specific age group. I think they were designed
for background -- again I'm not sure but, somehow or
another -- and my memory maybe wrong in this, but I think
that it may have been as background material.
Q. For teachers, you mean?
A. Yes, I think so or for adults.
Q. I'm going to read off a list of names and just
answer yes or no whether any of these filmstrips sound
familiar. "Whose World?".
A. [Witness nodds.]
Q. "The Miracle Of It All"?
A. [Witness nodds.]
Q. Answer audibly, the recorder can't record a nodd.
A. No, I don't --
Q. "Winged Royalty"?
A. That may be if that has to do with the monarch
Q. The title is "Winged Royalty: Life Cycle Of The
Monarch Butterfly"? "How The Sun Effects Our World"?
Q. Did you see a description of the winged butterfly
A. It was about the life cycle of the monarch
Q. Let me read you a description and then you can tell
Q. "The life cycle of another beautiful creation of
the master designer is examined, including ecology and
migration routes. Junior to adult, Suitable for public
school, 22 minutes, 142 frames."
A. That could possibly be the description.
Q. "Creation And Evolution, A Comparison Of Two
A. Would you read the description there?
Q. "An excellent sound and color presentation that
compares the two primary scientific models for origins.
Suitable for public schools, 22 minutes, 74 frames."
A. That very well could be the one we saw.
Q. "The Ark Of Noah"?
Q. "The Heavens Declare"?
Q. "The Earth, God's Home For Man"?
Q. "The Moon, God's Gift To Earth"?
Q. "The Planets, God's Reminder To Men"?
Q. "The Stars, God's Mirror"?
Q. "Foot Prints Of God"?
Q. "Rocks Reveal Noah's Flood"?
A. You want to read the description?
Q. Geological documentation showing that there is
sufficient evidence on earth today to indicate that there
was once a worldwide flood. Discusses logistics of
of building and surviving on the ark.
Q. "Fossils, Strata, And Evolution"?
A. Would you read the description of that one?
Q. Prevents an extensive investigation of "wrong
order" strata regarding the dating of geological
formations by so called index fossil."
A. No, but I think one of these -- the reason -- one
of these I think refers to that.
Q. By one of these, you're indicating one of the tapes
which you brought with you?
A. Right, uh-huh.
Q. "Design In Mature Probable Or Improbable"?
A. We may have.
Q. Will the description help?
A. Yes, maybe.
Q. "A scientifically descriptive review of design and
nature with respect to the origin of life. Junior high
A. Maybe. There -- we did have a filmstrip on
probabilities, but I don't remember what the name of it
Q. And your understanding was that both -- there were
two filmstrips and they both came from the Institution
for Creation Research?
A. We may have seen three, you know.
Q. Did you review any books or pamphlets?
A. None, none.
Q. Were there materials there if you wanted to review?
Q. Were you told that the school had gotten other
materials that would be made available to you?
A. Yes, these are going to be made available. And I
think they have some other -- I think they said that they
had several sessions that they're going to put us through.
We've been through two of those sessions. These particular
tapes that you have in front of you is going to be the next
Q. Third session?
A. And then -- obviously, there would have to be more
materials in order to have more sessions. So, I assume
they have other materials.
Q. Mr. Townley, you told me the first session was
three weeks ago?
A. I think so.
Q. You saw two filmstrips at that time?
A. I'm getting --
Q. Two or three?
Q. And there was a second session?
A. The second session -- the second session, I think
we may have had another filmstrip. And I think that one
may have dealt with -- there was a filmstrip there on
probability -- we had some -- in one of those sessions we
had a filmstrip that dealt with probabilities.
Q. Could you tell me a little bit more about that?
A. I'm trying to remember back. I have to think back
a little bit.
Q. Take your time.
A. Okay. It's -- the reason I hesitated, it's sometimes
difficult for me to remember what was discussed there and
what I read in other books.
Q. That's fine.
A. Because we did have a long discussion after each
filmstrip in which everybody shared views and ideas. And
sometimes you get confused what we shared and what was
actually in the filmstrip.
Q. That's okay.
A. One of the filmstrips discussed the various types
of -- of men Peking men, Chromagnum, Neanderthal. One
went into probabilities, but I cannot remember exactly in
what respect it went into it.
Q. Can you tell me what probabilities means?
A. Probability of an event occurring.
Q. Do they use a specific event as an example?
A. For instance, I can give you an example of
probability that wasn't used in the film. If you had a
roll of the dice and you have two die, each with six
numerals atttached, and you role the die. The
probability of a specific number coming upon the
die is called probabilities.
Q. Can you give me an example from the filmstrip?
A. I've forgotten, not offhand.
Q. Do they discuss the probability of the earth being
millions of years old?
A. It may have come up in the discussion or it may have
been in the filmstrip.
Q. Okay. All right. Approximately how long did
each of these two sessions last.
A. Hour and fifteen minutes.
Q. And how many teachers, approximately, attended each
Q. And who led the discussions?
A. Well, I would not say led. Tony Sherry and Mr.
Floyd were the people who carried on the sessions, but
they simply said, what do you feel about this. And then
the dialogue between the teachers carried it on from
Q. Can you tell me what you remember about the
A. Well, there were of course, people who felt like
that the filmstrips were presenting material which was
not scientific. And there were people who felt like that
the filmstrips presented material which were. And we had
dialogue and discussion about the importance of the
filmstrips and their possible validity.
Q. Did you believe that the material presented in the
filmstrip was scientific?
A. Yes I did, some of it anyway.
Q. Can you tell me what you thought wasn't scientific?
A. Well, of course, it's not scientific to say that
something is true unless it can be experimented on,
unless it can be proven to be repetitious, can be
validated. That doesn't mean to say that something which
cannot be validated, cannot be repetitious isn't scientific.
It just means that you're continuing to work on it. Okay.
For instance, let's say that I hypothesize some theory.
A. Science would run experimentation to validate or
not to not validate, to invalidate the hypothesis.
That's what science is to validate or to invalidate
the material that's hypothesized.
Q. Okay. I'm a little confused. You -- I think, and
I do not mean to mischaracterize what you said, that you
thought some of the material presented was not scientific
because something isn't scientific unless it can be
experimented on, validated, repeated. But that's not to
say something is not scientific if it isn't those things.
So, I'm not sure what was in the filmstrips then.
A. For instance, if you have -- if you make a
statement that something has occurred in the past and you
cannot experiment on it, it would be very difficult
to validate that. All you can do is to make a guess or an
assumption. For instance, if I were to say to you that the
the world was purple in the beginning, it would be very
difficult to disprove that. We could do a lot of
experimentation to -- that would show that that would
probably not be true, that that would probably have no
credence at all, but it would be impossible to -- to
A. So to me, there are worse statements made that
it is impossible to validate. It's impossible to find
out on -- involving both creation and evolution.
Q. Okay. Did you believe that these filmstrips were
suitable for use in public school classrooms?
A. In some cases there was material that I would not have
Q. Can you give me an example, please?
A. They made -- again, I think they made specific
references to biblical material.
Q. Okay. Did other teachers express an opinion as
to whether or not they thought the material would be
usable in the classroom?
A. No. I didn't express that opinion either. That's
just an opinion which I expressed to you.
Q. Did the school district indicate whether these
materials would be available for use in the classroom?
A. I think they indicated that they would prefer that
they not be used in the classroom.
Q. Can you remember anything else about the discussion
that followed the filmstrips?
A. It was lively.
Q. Did teachers express any opinion as to how they would
teach creation science?
Q. Did they express any opinion as to whether or not they
would teach creation science?
A. I don't think so.
Q. Can you remember what comments you made?
Q. Would you tell me about those comments, please?
A. Let's see. I remember stating that that I felt like
ideas which are brought forth about how man came into
existence, how life came into existence on this earth
should be fully explored. That science, in the best that
I can -- can do, should do experimentation to either
validate the theory or not as best as possible in the
hope that you can clear up the miss -- any misconceptions
about the belief as to how life came to earth.
Q. Do you have a personal belief as to how life
came to earth?
A. You mean on the mechanism by which life came to earth?
Q. Okay. We can start with that.
A. Okay. I personally believe that -- that there is a
God that created life here on earth. The mechanism that
God used to create that life, I'm not sure of. It is
acceptable to me that God could have created life on
earth in any way. And I will not be -- or not
place myself in the position of trying to be all
understanding. I do not understand how God created earth.
It is within the realm of possibility that God created
all life instantly. It is within the realm of
possibility that God created life in an evolutionary
process. I -- if -- for me to exclude one or the other
would be making a judgment on God.
Q. Have you ever, in the course of your science
studies, encountered any explanations of how life was
created that you did not agree with or could not agree
A. In the study of science? Not that I can exclude
the possibility of. There's been only, in my existance
in the study of science, two possibilities for the
creation of life on earth. And one is the creation
theory and one is evolution.
Q. I'm sorry, would you repeat that please?
A. As far as my basic understanding, there's only been
made mention of the two possibilities for the way life can
-- have been brought about here on earth. One is through the
mechanism of creation, that God created everything, life as
it was, instantaneously in basically the form it is now. Or
second of all, that God created -- or that God didn't create
life to be formed from inanimate material and progress on up
through man, which is called evolution. And the second
belief, evolution precludes the need for an exterior force.
Q. Evolution, I'm sorry.
A. There is no need for an exterior God in evolution.
On the other hand, I don't think in my own personal
belief that evolution excludes the possibility that God
used that as a mechanism by which life was created.
Q. So, the only two alternative scientific models of
origins that you are aware of are the creation model and
the evolution model?
A. That's the only two basic theories that I'm aware
of. I know that there are others, but I haven't studied
them. Such as -- I've heard that there are eastern
philosophies on life, that life was created from -- in
other ways, but I'm not familiar with them.
Q. Have you ever heard of Eric Von Donegan?
A. No, I have not.
Q. Have you ever heard of a theory that life was
transported here from another planet?
A. If life were transported here from another planet, it
would still necessitate that life had been created some
place else in one of the two ways that I referred, either
through evolution or through creation.
Q. Okay. Have you ever had a student ask you what
mechanism God used to create life?
Q. Okay. Have I exhausted your memory about your
comments following those filmstrips?
A. I think you have. It's difficult to remember between
what kind of conversations take place when you're having
one discussion and when you're having -- you have had
other discussions with teachers at break, recess.
Q. Mr. Townley, were you ever asked to respond to a
set of interrogatories?
A. You have to explain.
Q. Okay. Were you ever asked by the Attorney General's
office to state the subject matter on which you would
be expected to testify?
A. You mean write it down?
Q. Did you ever have a discussion with anybody where
they were writing down what you would testify about?
A. I don't know if they wrote it down or not. Most our
conversations have been on the phone.
Q. Okay. Were you ever asked to state the substance
of the facts and opinions on which you were expected to
MR. WILLIAMS: I object to that.
That's kind of a legal conclusion calling for on what he's
going to testify. And obviously, we may talk on
general terms and we would derive from that what we would
expect him to testify to.
MS. FERBER: Mr. Williams, counsel for
plaintiffs was in your office yesterday. Nevertheless, I
understand that you've mailed to us a copy of a notice of
objections and a motion for extension of time to respond to
interrogatories. We have not received those papers and I'd
like you to explain to me the grounds for the objection.
MR. WILLIAMS: The grounds for the
objection, and I'll be glad to get you a copy, it's my
understanding that first of all this was not available --
was not completed when Joan was in the office yesterday.
We are objecting on the ground that the earlier orders
of the court requiring parties to disclose the name, the
subject matter of the testimony, et cetera, of the
witnesses has essentially muted the need for the
interrogatories. Further, to the degree that any more
specific information is desired, that information will not
be obtained until such time as the discovery depositions are
completed. And we simply are not in a position at this
point to respond to those interrogatories. I think we have
responded to the extent available in our earlier pre-trial
defendant's list of witnesses, one and two.
MR. CEARLEY: Let me interject here
since I am the one that any understanding would have been
had with. The purpose of these interrogatories, without
regard to the purpose of the Court's entering an order
requiring the exchange of the names of witnesses and
other information, was to put the plaintiffs in a
position -- or plaintiff's counsel in a position of being
prepared to define the scope of the testimony to be
offered by the defendant's witnesses at the trial and
to be prepared to take their discovery depositions with some
advanced notice of the areas within which they were going to
testify and with regard to experts, in particular with
regard to experts. The opinions which they intended to
state and the basis for those opinions.
The interrogatories were filed by the plaintiffs not ordered
by the Court. They were not in anyway muted by anything
that the Court did. And there is no law that would have
done that and no rule of procedure which would have done
that. And we are severely prejudiced with eight depositions
scheduled in the coming week of expert witnesses because we
do not have this information. Not only was this the topic
of discussion as late as November the 4th, and then perhaps
several times after that, but I wrote a letter to you as
counsel -- to Mr. Williams as counsel confirming an
agreement that the answers to interrogatories would be
furnished by Wednesday, November 11th, stating that this
agreement is to accommodate the depositions scheduled which
was presented which contains depositions scheduled to begin
on November 13th. There has been one deposition canceled
for the 13th, and another one canceled for today since that
And it appears to counsel for
plaintiffs that the Attorney General's office is
meeting with its witnesses on the day prior to depositions
and making decisions then that should have been made
before now, and putting counsel for plaintiffs in the
position that we're going to have no advance knowledge of
the area in which a witness is going to testify or the basis
for his opinions. All in contravention of our agreements
and noncompliance with the answer date or response date on
the interrogatories. And frankly, I feel so strongly about
that and so prejudiced by it that I want to try to contact
the Court today and request a telephone conference in regard
MR. WILLIAMS: I have no problem with
that. Let me tell you that I -- our agreement and our
understanding, as I understand it, was that we would provide
you with what we had. Now, we have talked with our
witnesses by telephone to the extent that time and
circumstances allow. The information that we essentially
have on their testimony is what's contained in the
defendant's list of witnesses. And we simply are not in a
position to respond with any more specificity.
I think that the purpose for which
those interrogatories were issued has been obviated
by the -- by the list of witnesses. But secondarily, if
the objection should not be sustained, we are requesting
additional time in which to respond pursuant to Rule
33B of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure where the
Court has the authority to order that.
Further, if you look at the depositions,
particularly of expert witnesses, Rule 26, it says that
those interrogatories which can be issued concerning
their opinions can be -- can be issued and then after
that time the Court may order further discovery for
depositions. Now, we have agreed to depositions which
essentially mutes that because the rules specifically call
for the interrogatories and then that. But we have gone
ahead and established depositions by agreement. So -- and
there has never been an order of depositions from the Court.
I'm telling you that we are giving you what we've got.
MR. CEARLEY: I understand that, I'm
just not satisfied with it David.
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, I can only
do so much as humanly possible.
MR. CEARLEY: Well frankly, my position
is simply that you've given us a list of twenty witnesses
that are all over the country. And if you don't have
time to determine what those witnesses are going to
testify to at the trial prior to the time that you find
out when we take their discovery depositions that you've
put the normal sequence of things in reverse order. And
we shouldn't be in a position of structuring your
testimony for you. We ought to know in advance why
they're being called so we can question them with regard
MR. WILLIAMS: We have given you that
MR. CEARLEY: Well, I don't have that
information other than what you responded with that
was ordered by the Court, which is just a very general
statement of the area of claimed expertise of the witness.
It's not in any semblance a proper response to the
MR. WILLIAMS: We also supplied -- We've
also supplied curriculum vitaes for all of the witnesses
which we now know.
MR. CEARLEY: Which was also ordered by
the Court. They were ordered by the Court at the pretrial
of October 1st.
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, I'm scheduled to
take a deposition of Frances Ialah on Tuesday, and I don't
have his curriculum viatae yet.
MR. CEARLEY: That's one out of all the
MR. WILLIAMS: Right. That's the first
one. That's the first deposition of your own expert, I
don't have his.
MS. FERBER: Excuse me, this is the
first deposition of one of your experts and I do not have
Mr. Townley's curriculum viatae?
MR. WILLIAMS: Mr. Townley, do you have
a curriculum viatae? Do you have a resume prepared?
MR. CEARLEY: None the less David,
I think objections at this date come a bit late. It's an
eleventh hour effort. And the normal sequence of events was
not necessarily followed here because of the time frame at
that time we're operating in. And asking for an extension
to respond to these interrogatories until three days prior
to the trial --
MR. WILLIAMS: I'm not asking for an
extension, that's the only alternative. I'm objecting on
the first ground.
MR. CEARLY: I understand that, but
furnishing this information to us three days prior
to the trial is absolutely useless. And by that time it's
all over but the trial and we could do absolutely nothing
with that information at that time. So, the reason
I'm going through all of this is I wanted to make a
record of our conversations. And I do want to discuss it
with the Court. And I'm going to make an effort to
do that and see if I can set up a telephone conference.
And if you have other information, I'd like to have it.
If you don't, I want to know that. Recognizing you filed
an objection, if you want to stand on that, then fine.
But I'm not asking this information of you in an effort to
harass your office or take advantage because you just have
two lawyers working on it, if that is the case. The fact
is, we have forty depositions scheduled in the following --
three weeks following this date. And unless it's done in an
orderly fashion, it's not going to get done, or not get done
And I want that information.
MR. WILLIAMS: We've given you the
information as to what the witnesses' qualifications are and
the subject matter of their testimony. Obviously, as to the
exact basis for each of their opinions, that's something you
can inquire into and you're going to inquire to in your
depositions. And it's entirely duplicative to try to do
this when we've already given it to you once you've had a
MR. CEARLEY: There's no sense in our
arguing about it --
MR. WILLIAMS: And it's burdensome in
view of the time frame allowed. I am going to be out of
the -- you know, I could get a brief extension. Let's say
I got a brief extension of a week. One week from today,
I'm going to be taking Carl Sagen's deposition in New
York. I cannot conceivably respond to them from New
MR. CEARLEY: I understand that. They
were filed, however, thirty days ago -- not filed, but
prepared thirty days ago. And the -- the plaintiffs gave
no direction to the defendants on who to call as
witnesses, expert or otherwise. If you don't know what your
own experts are going to say, then we ought not to be placed
in the position of taking their depositions just so you can
MR. WILLIAMS: I know what they're going to
say. They're going to testify that Creation Science is
supported by scientific evidence within your own particular
field of expertise. And they're going to testify why it
should be taught.
MR. CEARLEY: Well, that's all I need to
get on the record. We can go forward with this
deposition and I'll see if we can get ahold of the Court
and see if we can get something settled on it or have a
hearing on it. But I have fully stated our position. Go
BY MS. FERBER:
Q. Mr. Townley, do you know whether your school
district purchased the filmstrips which you reviewed at
the two meetings you've described?
Q. They did purchase?
A. As far as I know, they purchased them. I assume
that they didn't borrow them.
Q. Did they purchase the four tapes which you have
provided to me today?
A. As far as I know, they did.
Q. And have they purchased other materials, as far as
A. As far as I know -- it would be my opinion that they
Q. Have you ever been told the names of other
publications which they have?
Q. And did you tell me that you thought all the
materials were from the Institute of Creation Research,
including the books which have been -- books or pamphlets
which were --
A. I don't really know. As far as I know, that's
true. But I don't really know whether they've gotten
materials from other places or not.
Q. Was any statement made to the teachers at these
meetings or in the notices that were sent out that
described the kinds of materials that would be available
A. To the best of my memory, they stated that there
would be workshops on Creation Science. I don't remember
if they said any specific materials would be used.
Q. When you say workshops, are you referring to
the two meetings that you described or --
A. Right, that kind of thing where they would show
filmstrips. And then, of course, after we had the first
meeting they've told us what's going to occur at the next
meeting. Like they told us that at the next meeting we'd
listen to some cassettes. And then after we listened to the
cassettes, we'd talk about them.
Q. At these meetings, has there been any discussion of
what The Balance Treatment for Creation Science and
Evolution Science Act requires teachers to do?
A. It required -- It was stated that, to their
understanding, it would require teachers to teach both if
they taught one, or to teach neither. If they would
teach one of the sciences, one of the explanations for
life that they'd have to teach both. But if they didn't
teach one, then they couldn't teach the other.
Q. If I understand you --
A. If they taught one, they had to teach both. Or
they had the option of not teaching either.
Q. In other words, the teacher either has to give
balance treatment to Creation science and Evolution or
refrain from teaching evolution?
A. Right. That they had to teach both or to not each
Q. Now, were you told what teaching both meant?
Q. How much of each do you have to teach?
Q. Were you told that you had to give balance
A. I don't remember that word being used.
Q. Were you -- was anything said other than you're
going to have to teach both Creation Science and
A. As far as I can remember, nothing was said except
that we would have to teach both.
Q. Did you -- do you have an understanding of what
teaching both would mean?
A. My -- you want me to give a personal opinion as to
what teaching both would mean?
MR. WILLIAMS: Okay. I want to -- he
can answer that question, but I want to make sure he is
not giving -- he's not qualified to give a legal
interpretation of what "teaching" both means under the
Q. No. Your personal opinion as to what you would be
required to teach.
MR. WILLIAMS: Okay. That calls for a
legal conclusion and I object of what he would be required
Q. No. I'm asking your current understanding, today
as a teacher, of what you believe you will be required to do
pursuant to Act 590.
A. To teach both theories as fully as possible. To
teach -- if I taught one -- if I were to teach one, that
I would teach the other also. That irregardless of how
much time it took me to teach one, I would utilize that
amount of time to teach that one.
Q. I'm sorry. Irregardless of how much time it takes
you to teach one --
A. That's the amount of time I would take to teach it.
Q. To teach that one?
A. That one.
Q. And then how much time would you take the other?
A. However much time that it would take to teach it.
Q. In other words, you have to teach each one fully?
A. Fully, to the best of my ability to teach each one
A. I'm talking about in the narrow regards to that
specific part of the theory that applies to what I'm
Q. I understand that. And I will ask you about that
in a little while. Are you a member of any Creation Science
Q. Have you ever heard of the Creation Research
A. I think so.
Q. Do you remember when you first heard of the
A. I think when I started reading the materials.
Q. Okay. And reading what materials?
A. I borrowed some books of which I can't remember the
Q. From whom?
A. From a community college teacher, from their
library. And -- for my own personal reading. Not to
teach, but just for personal interest.
Q. What was that teacher's name that you borrowed the
A. His name was John Deaton. And I can't remember, I
may have talked to a man named Clark, I don't remember.
He also teaches over there. They both teach physics
and chemistry over at the school?
Q. How did you know that they would have books on
A. A course has been taught on Creation Science at the
school for several years. And I thought that would be the
best place to get some information on it. I can't remember
exactly what I was reading at the time that caused me to
become more interested. But I did become more interested in
creation, the ideas. I wanted to read more on their ideas
when I read it in some publication. And so with this in mind
I started asking around and trying to find out where I could
get that kind of information. And I can't remember who, but
somebody said that, you know, that it was being taught at a
local community college. And so I called up out there and I
said, "is there anyone here who can give me some literature
which I can read?" I don't remember the exact books they
loaned me, it's been a year ago. And I borrowed some books,
I read the materials through. Quite frankly, as in any
reading of any text type materials, you forget a lot of it,
you know. Quite frankly, if I were going to teach it, I
would certainly go back review the text material. I would
make notes. I would not, at all, try to teach from what I
currently have committed to memory.
Q. Okay. So, you do not feel that you presently
have the knowledge necessary to give full treatment to
A. Oh, on. I would have -- definite have to do
research on my own as I do in any subject. Right now I'm
teaching advanced chemistry, and yet when I teach organic
chemistry, I certainly have to go back and pour through text
materials to refresh myself, to jot down those things that
are important to make plans.
Q. Would you look to your school or school
district to provide materials or training for the teaching
of Creation Science?
A. I would not expect them to. If they did, I would
certainly utilize the materials.
Q. Do you think that your fellow teachers are --
presently have the knowledge required to reach Creation
Q. Now, you said that you first heard of the Creation
Research Society when you started reading those materials
about a year ago?
A. About a year ago, I guess.
Q. Were some of these written by the Creation Research
Society or published by them?
A. Yes, uh-huh.
Q. Do you remember any particular names; Duane Gish,
A. Gish certainly comes to mind. Morris would not have
come to mind, but I did hear a tape yesterday evening
from Morris called "Dinosaurs And The Deluge."
Q. Why did you hear the tape yesterday evening?
A. It was one of the ones that's going to be presented by
our school system. And it's -- I borrowed them to listen to
them on the way down here, particularly because of this
Q. Okay. Does the name Slusher mean anything to you?