Deposition of Jim Townley - Page 3
A. Definitely, I will follow their preference.
Q. Okay. What would happen to you if you didn't?
A. Well, under Arkansas Law, I guess if I went against
the wishes of -- of my school district I could be in
Q. What do you mean by be in trouble? You have to help
me out, I don't know Arkansas Law that well.
A. I guess on a worse case basis, I guess they could
decide that they didn't want me.
Q. You mean fire you?
A. I guess so.
Q. Even though you're a nonprobationary teacher?
A. I guess they could try to use that as
A. I don't think they would, but....
Q. Why did you think you had to ask a superintendant
for permission to teach Creation?
A. It's controversial.
Q. Would you have considered it controversial if you
didn't know this lawsuit was pending?
A. Yes, I would have.
Q. You mean, if this were three years ago and Act
590 had never been passed --
A. But there had been as much play in the papers as
there is now on creationism and evolution. I would have
still thought that it warranted my informing the school
district of my wishes.
Q. Was there that much play in the papers before Act
590 was ever considered?
A. When did Act 590 -- when was it considered?
MR. WILLIAMS: I think the record
reflects it was passed in March of this year.
Q. So, say this was 1980?
A. So, I can't answer that question because I didn't
request it, nor even get started until after that time.
Q. Okay. How many contacts have you had with the
Attorney General's office in regard to your testifying in
A. Several phone calls.
Q. Okay, with who?
A. David. Let me see if I have the name of somebody
Q. Is it Rick Campbell?
A. Tim Humphreys. Those are the only two that I
recall. There may have been another person involved?
Q. Okay. Are you being paid for your testimony?
Q. Have you ever been arrested -- I mean been
convicted of a crime?
Q. Have you discussed the specifics of your testimony
with the Attorney General's office?
A. As to what we went over this morning, absolutely
Q. What we went over this morning is my time to
test your information, to learn your knowledge of the
area. Have you ever discussed with the Attorney General's
office what your testimony at trial is going to be?
A. Somewhat, yes. Somewhat.
Q. Have you discussed your testimony with anybody else?
A. My wife.
Q. Anyone else?
A. My -- I've discussed the fact that I will be
testifying with my colleagues, my science colleagues.
Q. Have they expressed any opinions to you about your
A. Some were very pleased. None expressed, you know, any
ill feelings. They know, after our discussions, my feelings
and they -- I think they're all -- there would be no
unhappiness about it from them. We're all still friends,
very much so.
Q. What is your testimony going to be?
A. I have no idea what you're going to ask me. I had
no idea what you were going to ask me this morning. But
I assume that I'll be asked would I teach it. And I would
say, "yes, I would." And beyond that, I have no real
idea what you're going to ask me. I assume you'll ask me
my name, and you'll ask me if I graduated from certain
colleges, or whatever. And I guess that I will, you know,
give that information.
Q. You're right, there will be background questions.
We all assume that. Are you going to testify that you
do not now teach Creation Science because of the
uncertainty about the current state of the law?
A. I sure will.
Q. Didn't you just tell me that you're not teaching
creation Science now because your school district told
you not to?
A. Yes. But my school district implied that because
of the state of the law that they didn't wish me to.
Q. Are you not teaching it because of the state of the
law or you're not teaching it because you told me that you
could be fired by the school district if you went against
their wishes that you not teach it?
A. Well, I didn't tell you that they would fire me.
Q. They could, they might. They could take some
A. They could take some disciplinary action on me for
anything that I did that was, in their view, not correct.
Q. And you said from your expression --
A. That they would prefer that we not teach -- and
they have stated in front of many teachers that they
would prefer, because of the uncertainty of the law, for
us not to teach Creation Science until it has been settled
one way or the other.
Q. If this statute is upheld, you would feel free to
teach Creation Science?
A. I would feel free to teach that which is pertinent to
my area, right.
Q. Okay. Very shortly we will discuss what's pertinent
to your area.
A. I'm going to miss the Arkansas football game, that I
can already see.
Q. Let's go off the record.
[Off the record discussion.]
Q. What textbook do you use for teaching in your
chemistry class and your honors chemistry class?
A. I use "Modern Chemistry" by Dull, Metcalf &
Williams, I think it is. We use Modern -- I'm sorry. We
use -- the name of our textbook by Dull, Metcalf &
Williams, I think that's who we use. And we use another
textbook called "Foundations of Chemistry." We use
another textbook called "Chemistry -- I use so many
textbooks I really can't tell -- you know, I get the
authors all mixed up. I use, to teach my class from my
lectures, I must use ten or fifteen textbooks.
Q. Is there one textbook that's distributed to the
A. Right. That's "Modern Chemistry."
Q. "Modern Chemistry."
A. And also the other textbook is "Chemistry" that's
Q. Both of those are distributed?
Q. And --
A. We distribute a workbook which correlates with the
Q. Is that in your general chemistry class?
Q. And you teach an honors chemistry class?
A. That's the one that has "Chemistry" that's
distributed to it. And again, I use -- like right now, for
the first twelve weeks of school, I have not really taught
out of the book at all, but out of many, many books. So,
like even though the book is distributed, it's just -- we
say, "Well, this is what we're covering," but basically
we'll be covering so much more than is in the book that it's
mostly notes from the board.
Q. In both chemistry and honors chemistry?
A. No, no, Just in honors chemistry. Now, in
chemistry we have a basic textbook which we follow,
but again I draw problems that I use on the board from
many other textbooks. I don't even know how many
textbooks. I draw them from "Chem Study," which is by
Cotton, which is my favorite textbook that our school
system doesn't use that I would -- in fact, I used --
a lot of the experiments that we do come out of "Chem
Q. Who supplies the supplemental books that you
Q. What -- are your chemistry students in the 11th
A. My chemistry students are 10th, 11th, and 12th.
Q. Have they all taken biology?
A. No. Some have.
Q. Let me see if I understand. Are you teaching two
different courses now, one is a straight chemistry course
and one is honors chemistry?
Q. Are they given to the same grade level of students?
A. Predominantly, 11th and 12th grade students take
honors chemistry. They are people who have already had
Q. It is an advanced chemistry course?
A. It's an advanced chemistry course. And general
chemistry is open to 10th, 11th, and 13th graders. But
our second year course obviously is not open to 10th
graders because they couldn't have had it --
Q. They have to have taken --
A. They had to have had Chem I. This is my second
year to teach secondary chemistry. They do not teach
two years of chemistry in government schools.
Q. Students aren't required to take biology before
they take chemistry?
A. Not at all.
Q. Are they required to take biology for graduation?
A. No. They're not required to take any science or
any math for graduation.
Q. Do most of the students in your school take biology?
A. I would venture to say the majority certainly take
biology. I'm trying to figure out the exact -- we have
1,500 students, 500 freshmen. And we have, let's see, two
-- we have one teacher that teaches three classes of biology
and another that teaches, I think, four. And another, I
think, teaches three. So, that would be what, a total of
about ten classes of say -- we probably have 300, 400
students that take biology out of the school per year.
Which, if you streched it over a three year period, because
that's how long they're in high school, that you'd have
somewhere between 9 and 1,200 of those 1,500 take biology.
Which would mean, I guess that the majority of them take
biology, but not all certainly.
Q. Have you ever read The Balance Treatment for
Creation Science And Evolution Science Act?
A. The what?
Q. Have you ever read the --
A. Yes. I have read it through, but I don't know it.
Q. In preparation for this deposition, did you look at
Q. Have you ever seen the complaint that was filed in
A. To the best of my knowledge, no.
Q. If I wanted to learn about Creation Science, can
you point me to any books I would get?
A. From off the top of my memory I could not, no.
Q. Okay. You don't remember the name of the books that
Q. Have you read "Origin And The Species"?
Q. Is -- you mentioned before your favorite chemistry
Q. Is there a particular chemistry book which you
recognize as the best in the field?
A. I can only tell you the ones that I prefer. I
prefer "Chem Study" by Cotton. Cotton is one of the
Q. Is Evolution a science?
A. Well, science is certainly performed in trying to
Q. Okay. What would it take for you to be able to say
that Evolution was a science?
A. For there to be a -- you mean --
MR. WILLIAMS: I want to object to the
question. you say, "is Evolution a science?". I'm not
sure if anything is a science. Science is a --
Q. Is Evolution a scientific theory?
A. I think it's a theory. I think science is working in
it. I'd say yes, it's a scientific theory.
Q. We talked a little bit before about the attributes
of science. I just want to run down and see if you have
an understanding as to them and if -- or just make sure
that they fit with what you've told me before was science
Q. Is testability a criteria of science?
A. Yes, I'd say so.
Q. And predictability?
Q. How about observability?
Q. Does Evolution measure up to the attributes of
science -- those four attributes of science?
Q. What doesn't it measure up to?
A. It's not observable.
Q. Anything else?
A. If you'll read to me again I'll go through them one
at a time with you.
Q. Is it falsifiable?
A. Well, again if you mean statistically?
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, I'm -- we're not
going to deny that he can adequately handle these
questions. I'm going to object because we are not
offering him as an expert on what is science. And I think
that to go into that, unless you're going to try to make
him your own expert, is burdensome and oppressive on him.
MS. FERBER: I will try not to be
burdensome and oppressive.
MR. WILLIAMS: You're asking him
MS. FERBER: He's feeling his questions
MR. WILLIAMS: I agree with you on that.
MS. FERBER: We'll go through them
MR. WILLIAMS: But until you spend a lot
of time on what is science, unless you're going to
make him your own witness on this point --
MS. FERBER: I want to understand how
he teaches science in his classroom and what he tells
students science is. And I think he's handling the
questions very well.
BY MS. FERBER:
Q. Is Evolution testable?
A. The foundations, I think -- I think you can test
Evolution to some degree. You cannot test something on
which -- there are aspects of evolution that you cannot
test. For instance, you cannot test the random collision
of particles in -- under conditions that must have
existed when you don't know if -- whether or not, in fact,
they existed. I mean, if you do not know for certain,
and there is no way of telling whether or not those
conditions existed, how are they available except as a
A. It is -- it is pure conjecture as to what the early
atmosphere of our planet was. There is no way to, as
far as I know, to adequately verify for sure, for certain
what our early atmosphere was.
Q. Do you know whether there are any conditions under
which Evolution could be tested which would disprove it?
A. No, I don't.
Q. Does evolution -- is evolution predictable?
A. You mean by predictable that we can predict what
will happen through evolution?
Q. Uh-huh. Can we predict?
A. We can't because according to evolutionists we're
talking about extremely long time spans over which some
organism must evolve. And under -- in our short life spans
it would be impossible to observe these. We can offer
conjecture hypothesis as to the possibilities and
probabilities I keep coming back to of these things might
occurring, you know. But if you want to say can we
therefore predict. Well, since we can't observe we can't
actually predict. We can make a supposition as to what
might happen, but we certainly can't say since we can't
-- and it
has never been observed in our entire life times. We
must only look at past records and then we must interpret
from these past records which, from my recent readings at
least, there is a lot of conjecture about.
Q. Don't scientists look at the information we have
about some period very long ago, and then based on
that information make predictions what would have
happened at some later time still in the past? And then
A. Wait now.
Q. If we have data as to what happened a million years
ago, some information --
A. All right. Assuming that --
Q. Assuming there is some evidence of what happened.
A. I assume that we agree that there's a million years
ago, but assuming that, okay.
Q. Any period of time ago --
Q. -- we have some information, don't scientists use
that information to predict what happened some years
later still sometime in the past?
A. Can you give me any specific example of where
you're coming from?
Q. Does the Theory of Evolution posit an explanation
of what set every thing in motion?
A. You mean give an explanation of what set everything
Q. We spent a lot of time talking about first life. We
didn't talk in a more general sense life, man, the earth,
Q. Does evolution posit a theory, posit an explanation
of what set life in the --
A. When you say, "posit," would you explain to me what
you mean by posit?
Q. Give a theory, give an explanation of what set life
in motion or the earth in motion?
A. As far as I know, through random collision. It's
just simply the random collision of particulate matter.
Q. Okay. We just went through four attributes of
science, falsifiability, observability, testability,
and predictability. We agreed on it, right?
A. I guess.
Q. Does Creation Science measure up to those four
attributes of science?
Q. Is Creation Science a science?
A. In the sense that evolution's science, it is.
Q. It's no less of a science or more of a science?
A. As far as I'm concerned, right.
Q. Is evolution a belief system?
A. It's a hypothesis which we're working to -- I think
science is working to validate or to invalidate. And,
you know, most hypotheses that you start off with you
haven't validated them. They are when you start, and it
may take a long time span to validate them, a belief.
Q. Is it a religious belief, a faith?
A. I've heard it called such.
Q. Do you belief that it is a faith system?
A. I haven't really honestly given it that much
thought. As far as I'm personally concerned, I don't
call it a religion. But now --
Q. Is creation a religion?
A. In my own mind, no. I think that many religions can
apply theirself to it. I think many religions feel more
comfortable with it. On the other hand, there are
religions that I've been told that feel more comfortable
Q. What controls what you teach in your individual
A. I think when I teach chemistry that I try to
teach the basics of -- of chemistry, of particulate
matter, their interactions, how they react with each
other. Q. What determines that that's what you'll
A. Because that's what chemistry is. That's the
definition of chemistry is particulate matter, models of
particulate matter, the interactions that particulate
matter has with itself.
Q. Does your school board, or your school, your
department, anybody require that you teach specific
A. They do require that we use certain textbooks,
that we issue them to the students. In a sense, to some
degree that dictates what you teach.
Q. So, the textbook significantly influences --
A. Signigicanly influences what you reach.
Q. Is there any curriculum guide or syllabus for
A. Not as far as I've seen
Q. Does anybody come -- anybody sit in on your classes
and monitor what you teach?
A. Yes they do.
Q. Who does that?
A. My principal.
Q. Unannounced or announced?
Q. How often?
A Twice this year.
Q. And do you have an opinion as to what the principal
is looking for when they sit in on your class?
A. He's looking to see if I'm doing my job in the best of
Q. Does he have any way of measuring whether what
you're teaching is chemistry, whether you're moving
through the curriculum, whether you are in fact teaching
what's in the textbook?
A. Well, at the end of the school year our children --
my students take a test, a national test in chemistry.
Q. What test is that?
A. I just -- I was sitting here -- I knew you were
going to ask that, and I honestly can't remember the
name of the test. But I will get you the name of the
test. It's the Chem -- last year there were 114 schools
that took this test across the nation. And I can't
recall the exact name of the test, but I will get it
Q. How come your students were in one of the 114 schools
that took it?
A. There may be more than 114. There were 114
schools, if I remember correctly. You know, again I --
that number may be off five schools or, you know.
Q. I understand.
A. Were used to establish norms. Okay. Other schools
then may utilize the test that was not part of the norm
Q. Was there any information on Creation Science included
on that exam?
A. Not as far as I know.
Q. Was there information in what we have been calling
Evolutionary Theory on that exam?
Q. Was it tested with -- whether the origin of life
was through random --
Q. So, to make sure I understand, there is no
curriculum that's mandated for you?
Q. Is the bible read in your school?
A. I'm sorry.
Q. Is the bible read in your school?
Q. I am certainly getting the sense that I didn't know
before that there is a vast amount of information in the
field of chemistry.
A. There is.
Q. And that you have students who are in a class with
you a limited amount of hours a year and you have to make
some judgement as to what you're going to teach in your
Q. How do you decide what information to include
and what not to include?
A. Based my past experience as to what will be required
at university level for them to enter, based upon
scores that our children take from tests that are
national tests, various national tests, based upon
the S.A.T. scores that our children take in chemistry.
We have Standardized Achievement Tests which are given
nationally called S.A.T.'s.
Q. In chemistry?
A. In chemistry. That they take based upon the
performance of my children, my students how well they
achieve on these tests, I know whether or not that I am
teaching the material that I should be teaching.
Q. So, initially you make a judgment as to what's
A. I guess I'm just about the only one that makes a
Q. How do you decide that one subject matter needs two
weeks of treatment, another one needs two hours?
A. Whether or not my children can be competent after
I've explained it to them. If they can learn it an hour,
then that's the only time that I spend on it. If it
takes to weeks then it takes two weeks. If it takes a
month then you take a month.
Q. You said one of the things that you base your
judgment on is what's required at the university level.
Do many of your students go on to study science in
Q. About what percent?
A. 80% of the students at the particular school that
I'm at go on to study college, or so. How many of those
enter into a university, in can't give you a specific
percentage -- in chemistry, I can't give you a specific
Q. How many hours a year do you have students in the
A. I have them 180 times, times 55 minutes.
Q. Do you use just about every minute of that time?
A. Just about every minute.
Q. And you don't teach Creation now, at all?
A. Not at all.
Q. So, if you're going to teach Creation, that time is
going to have to come from somewhere.
A. That's true.
Q. What would you stop teaching?
A. I would not stop teaching anything.
Q. Okay. We've got 180 times 55 minutes and every
minute is utilized.
A. No, I didn't say every minute.
Q. Just about every minute.
A. Just about every minute.
Q. How many minutes aren't utilized?
A. You're being nit picky, but I would say that
probably at the end of each day, I give them about ten
minutes to where they can study their material. And
then if they have questions individually over what we
went over in class they can come up and ask me.
Q I'm really not being nit picky. I'm really trying
to understand what happens in the classroom time. So,
are you saying that those ten minutes that you have them
review the materials are times that you could use for
A. The amount of time that would be necessary to point
out what I would want to point out to my students would
probably take very little time.
Q. What's very little?
A. Twenty minutes.
Q. Twenty minutes to teach -- to fully teach Creation?
A. No. To teach the aspect that I want to teach.
Q. What aspect do you want to teach?
A. I thought I had said that before.
Q. We talked about one aspect before.
Q. I didn't know if that was the only aspect that --
A. That's the only -- now if I were teaching, for
instance, if I were teaching some other science then I would
want to teach that which is applicable to that science.
Q. Now, let me make sure I understand. The only part
of your curriculum that you would alter would be when you
teach the origin of first life?
A. That's right. That's the only part that I'm
interested in. And that would not be to all students.
That would not be my Chem I students, but would be to my
Chem II students.
Q. And in Chemistry I there is nothing that you would
A. Nothing that I would change.
Q. So, it's only in your honors chemistry course?
A. That's right.
Q. Do you teach anything about the origin of life, man,
the earth, or the universe in Chemistry I?
Q. Okay. And you've read The Balance Treatment For
Creation Science And Evolution Science Act?
A. Yes, I have.
Q. And you told me that your understanding is that if
you teach anything having to do with Evolution Science;
theory of the origin of life, man, the earth, and the
universe, them you have to fully teach the Creation
A. No. Fully the part on which I've -- of either.
Q. Right. That's relevant to your curriculum area.
A. That's relevant to what I'm talking about, right.
Q. The only thing in your curriculum that's relevant
would be about twenty minutes in Chemistryl II.?
A. Well, there is another area that would be relevant.
Of course, that's radioactive dating.
Q. And you teach radioactive dating?
A. In second year.
Q. In Chemistry II?
A. Chemistry II.
Q. How much time do you spend on radioactivity?
A. Probably a week on radioactivity. Maybe -- it
depends on how well the children pick it up and how much
the -- and Chemistry II is a completely different program
than Chemistry I. Our program is dictated by the interest
of our children, how well they -- how much -- where their
interests lie. They've had -- for instance, this years
students have had a tremendous interest in organic
chemistry. So therefore, we spent eleven weeks on
organic chemistry. Last year's students didn't have that
interest, we spent six weeks on it.
So, it's an enlightenment course to
further an area of chemistry that -- for students who are
interested in this. And it's -- we've already covered in
first year the basics of chemistry.
A. And this is for honor students to take, and the
areas that they wish to cover. If they get into
radioactive material and they decide they want to spend
more than the week that I cover, well we'll do it.
Q. Okay. You say you normally cover a week on
A. That's all I have planned right now is a week.
But again, if they really become interested in this
thing, which in the past it varies from class to class as
to how much their interest might be.
Q. In that week as you would -- as you normally teach
it, what information do you teach that would require
you to balance that with a Creation Science alternate model?
A. The possibility that dating is incorrect, that
methods of dating are incorrect. I have never taught
that before. To go into what some scientists have points
of view that our current dating techniques are incorrect.
And there could be fallacies in these dating techniques?
Q. How would you teach that?
A. I would try as best I could to point out both --
the arguments of both people.
Q. And what are the arguments that our dating techniques
A. As I told you when we first started this interview,
that I had brush read this material very quickly through
Q. I understand that.
A. And I haven't read it since, but --
Q. To the best of your recollection.
A. To the best of my recollection, there are areas in
radioactive dating which have caused error in our current
Q. Like what?
A. Assumptions on the original amounts of radioactive
material present. And again, my memory is really vague
on this, but when I read through the material it impressed
me as being very plausible.
Q. This is the -- just to make sure. This is the
material that you borrowed from the community college
when you first became interested in Creation Science?
A. That's correct. Also the fact that our sun has always
been considered to be a constant invariable. Apparently,
some of our scientific satellite research have indicated
that our sun does vary it its output. If there had
been significant variances in our sun, it's my
understanding from this reading that this would affect
Carbon 14 dating because it would affect the amount of
Carbon 14 that would be in our air. Carbon 14 is a
radioactive constituent, and the amount of carbon
radioactive available to be ingested and to organisms
would then vary. If it varied, this would invalidate our
Carbon 14 dating techniques because we wouldn't really
know how much Carbon 14 should have been at specific
times in organisms. The only way you can -- the only
way you can use radioactive dating is that you assume
that -- that the -- that it has been consistent
Q. Okay. So in other words, what you read this
summer casts out on what you had been teaching that our
sun was considered constant, and that dating techniques
A. It casts out on that, that's correct.
Q. And so what you would teach is that there are some
A. That there are some scientists who would point
these things out.
Q. And you would teach -- would you teach the
scientific evidences on which they rely?
A. Uh-huh, as best I knew. I point out what they
stated in their books just like I point out what's stated
in our current textbooks.
Q. Okay. Can you think of -- can you think of any
other area in your curriculum that might be impacted?
Q. Okay. Do you teach about the half lives of the
Q. Okay. In Chemistry I and Chemistry II?
A. Chemistry II.
Q. And don't some of the elements have half
lives that are greater than ten thousand years old?
A. As far as we know, yes.
Q. Would you --
A. Some have -- as far as we know, if you use the --
the vast majority of scientific research indicates that we
have elements that are billions, have half lives of
billions of years. Anywhere from Uranium 238 is 4.5 billion
years. I think it's 4.37, but I'm not sure.
Q. Do you think that under the Balance Treatment For
Creation Science And Evolution Science Act you would
have to balance that with any other teaching when you --
A. Not as far as I know.
Q. In the definition of Creation Science contained in
Act 590, it indicates that Creation Science includes the
scientific evidence that is related and that it would
indicate a relatively recent inception of the earth and
living kinds. Do you have an idea of what relatively
A. I assume several thousand years.
Q. Okay. So, when you reach that there are elements
that have half lives of --
A. Four and a half billion years.
Q. Four and a half billion years.
A. That's not in conflict.
Q. Why isn't that in conflict?
A. Why would it be?
Q. I'd like to know.
A. You're asking me why would it be, and I don't know
why it would be. So, you're going to have to tell me why
would it be.
Q. We have elements that we can test. We know -- now
I don't know very much about chemistry, so I may be asking
A. Right, so I'm answering your questions.
Q. If we can measure that half life of an element, it's
gone through. And that element --
A. It doesn't necessarily preclude that it went through
half its life. Because there is an element present
that has a half life of four and a half billion years
does not necessitate that there have been four and a half
Q. Is there anything else we know about elements and --
I'm probably going to mess up the terminology here, but
elements; basically, isotopes changing into other isotopes
that are -- that suggest that some very long period of time
has to have passed for some chemical reactions to have
A. Chemical reactions have nothing to do with the
sequence or isotopes forming from radioactive materials.
Chemical reactions are interplays between electrons. And
what you're referring to as far a nuclear chemistry has
to do with changing of the nuclei of atoms, which has
nothing to do with chemical reactions.
Q. How does coal get formed?
A. How does coal get formed?
Q. Well let me short cut this. It is my understanding
that we have things such as coal and oil through a very long
history of changes in the earth, a history significantly
longer than ten thousand years?
A. It is theorized that's true that that happens,
yes. That is not an absolute fact.
Q. Do you teach anything about petroleum chemistry?
A. When we study organic chemistry, I think in our
book that it states that it takes long time spans for
petroleum to form. And it goes through the processes
that living materials were one time present on the
earth. And from these living materials who are pressed
beneath the surface of the earth, that through various
processes that petroleum was formed from them, or that coal
was formed from them.
Q. Is there any evidence that we would have petroleum
today if the earth wasn't millions of years old?
A. It depends on, you know, whether you say it was
there originally or whether it wasn't.
Q. I'm sorry, I don't understand. Originally meaning
when God created --
Q. -- the earth? Okay. Can you --
A. You mean, can you --
Q. -- can you.
A. You mean, what you're trying to get around I think,
correct me if I'm wrong. What I think you're trying to get
around to is could petroleum and coal have been formed in
short time spans?
A. Right. I can't answer that question. Possibly.
Q. Can you -- do you know any scientific evidence
in support of a theory that they were formed in short
A. Man can make diamonds now synthetically in very
short time spans.
Q. Aren't they synthetic diamonds?
A. They're synthetic diamonds, that's true.
Q. We're talking about synthetic petroleum.
A. We're not talking about nonreal diamonds. We're
talking about real diamonds, okay. Now, real diamonds
could have been made in short time spans. I assume that
you also know that it's hypothesized that diamonds are
made over very long time spans also. And it's necessary
for them to be created over extremely long time spans.
And yet, we can synthetically make them over very short
time spans now.
Q. Are you suggesting that somebody synthetically
made oil and coal to appear --
A. No, I am not suggesting that at all. I'm suggesting
to you that there is a mechanism now that is possible
to create something in short time spans over which
we have indicated that it takes long time spans in nature to
do. Therefore, the inferences that possibly there is a
mechanism by which the others could be done. Many things
that I don't know the answers to could be, and that's all
Q. Okay. But when you teach petroleum chemistry and
you reach that all theories agree the petroleum represents
the transformation of living material formed in
geological ages, millions of years ago you wouldn't feel
the need to balance that with any alternative theories
that suggest --
A. Yes. I would try to do research to find out
if there were an alternative theory to it.
Q. And if there was?
A. Then I would teach that also.
Q. You would teach that in your classroom?
Q. Is there any other areas like that that you might
have to research in to find out whether there is
something you need to balance that with?
A. I'm sure there are.
Q. So, there might be a lot more effect on your
courses then just in the two hours that we identified?
A. There would not be a lot, but there might be
Q. Okay. Let's go off the record.
Q. Mr. Townley, you told me earlier this morning that
you reviewed some books that you got from a community
Q. And I wanted to show you some books and just see if
any of these books sound familiar to you.
Q. "The Handy Dandy Evolution Refuter"?
A. Definitely not.
Q. "The Creation Explanation"?
A. There certainly are topics in this book that look
Q. You're referring to the Cophaler & Seagraves
"Creation and Explanation."
A. But -- Now, what we're referring to is there was a
period of about two weeks that I borrowed some books from
another teacher and read them in my spare time as fast as
I could and -- enough for me to --
Q. Now, these are Xeroxes you may need to thumb through
to tell. "Scientific Creationism"?
A. That picture really rings a bell. It's hard on
the way it's colored here, but that picture does ring
a bell. Let me look through the table of contents. It
doesn't have --
Q. Okay. I'll see if I can find an original of the book
A. I may have read this book.
Q. That's "Scientific Creationism" by -- put out by
the Institute For Creation Research. How about "The
Scientific Case for Creation" by Henry Morris?
A. Cover doesn't ring a bell.
Q. Okay. Or "The Bible has the answer"?
Q. "Creation Acts, Facts, and Impacts"?
A. You know, with that unusual a title you'd think it
would ring a bell. It doesn't.
MR. WILLIAMS: For the record, I want
to object. This is so irrelevant. It's hard for me to
conceive what relevancy it can have, it really is. This
would be like me asking evolutionist -- showing him a
book published some years ago which said that based on
Evolutionary Theory the average black individual has
evolved to the stage of an eleven year old. Go by
MS. FERBER: Your objection is noted
for the record.
BY MS. FERBER:
Q. "Evolution The Fossils Say No"? I believe that title
was familiar before.
A. The name sounds familiar. Could be.
Q. Okay. I would request that you attempt to find out
what books you reviewed and furnish the names to Mr.
Williams for him to furnish to us.
MS. FERBER: Is that agreed Mr.
MR. WILLIAMS: If he wants to do
that and gives it to me I will forward it.
Q. I will appreciate it if you will attempt to see what
books you reviewed. I request that you will do that.
When did you first hear of Creation Science?
A. Recently. It's been within the last year or two.
Q. Okay. Do you know if Creation Science is currently
taught in any public schools?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. You never heard any mention of it being taught in
A. It may be. Not as far as I know. There is in
non-public schools, non-grades K through 12, but on a
university level they are taught at West Ark as I stated
Q. Do any textbooks currently in use in Arkansas that
you know of discuss Creation Science?
A. Not as far as I know.
Q. Do you know of any library materials available in
your school or other schools that discuss Creation
A. Not as far as I know.
Q. Do you know of any case where the legislature ever
mandated or prohibited the teaching of any subject other
than Act 590?
A. You mean Arkansas?
A. Of course, I'm not familiar with Arkansas Law, so
Q. Well, you are a teacher.
Q. Do you know of any subjects which were mandated
or prohibited from being taught by the legislature?
A. No. But on the other hand, I -- you know, just
common sense tells me that there is certain things that
you can't teach in Arkansas too.
Q. Like what?
A. Well, like I'm sure that if you started to teach
something that had to do with pornography that you would
be, you know, told with I'm sure very firm strictness that
you couldn't teach it, okay. But I don't know that there is
such a law against it, but I mean -- so, you know, you're
asking me to judge on something that the only thing I can do
is give you a judgment based on personal reason rather than
on the law. So, I can't answer the question.
Q. Do you know whether your school district
ever considered whether Creation Science should be taught
before Act 590 was passed last March?
A. I would not know.
Q. Did you ever consider teaching Creation Science
before Act 590 was passed?
A. It hasn't been passed, but before it was brought
up. I have indicated that I've only recently started
reading Creation Science. I would say this, that as soon
as I would have read the materials I would have started
having thaughts that it should be taught; it should at
least be mentioned that it should be brought up as a
Q. Had you ever, before you read Creation Science
materials, read any scientific writings that contradicted
any of the information which you were teaching in your
A. I'm not saying that Evolution contradicts what I teach
in any science classes.
Q. All right. I didn't say that evolution contradicts
A. Or that Creation Science contradicts it. I'm not
sure that -- the only thing that I'm saying is that there is
a possibility of things not being as they're taught. That
doesn't -- when you say possibility, that doesn't eliminate,
that doesn't contradict.
Q. Are you telling me that what you read --
A. When you say contradict you mean that means
something is in error. And I have never said that
evolution isn't a possibility. In fact --
Q. I understand that.
A. So, in fact, I'm not saying that there is a
contradiction. I'm saying that there is an alternative
explanation for it.
Q. Didn't you tell me that you read information
which led you to believe that the scientific data on
which the Evolutionary Theory of the origin of man was
A. Was flimsy, was statistically shallow? Yes, I said
that. That doesn't mean that it contradicts it. It just
means that it says that it's unlikely.
Q. Now, do you believe that information which says
that one model is unlikely supports the alternative model,
A. Not necessarily.
Q. So, what information are you -- to the extent you
teach Creation Science, what information are you going to
teach to support that scientific theory?
A. I didn't say that it was a scientific theory
anymore than I said evolution was a scientific --
in fact, we went over that before that science cannot
do experimentation on what it cannot see. It can only
extrapolate which it is doing in evolution. And it
can do the same thing in creationism. And until I see
statistical data saying that it could not have been done,
it's just as much of a possibility as evolution.
Q. Didn't you tell me that what you teach in a science
class is science?
A. Yes. What I teach in science class we call
science, that's right.
Q. Okay. Now, I would like to know what information that
you would categorize as science you're going to teach
in your science classroom in support of the Creation
A. You want me to go back through what we went through
MR. WILLIAMS: I think the question has
been asked and answered.
A. I've already answered it, I think, once before. And
If you want me to go back through that whole thing again
on statistics, on the possibility of particulate matter
coming together, which we already went through.
Q. As I understand it, and correct me -- I'm sure you'll
correct me if I'm wrong. The information which you told me
diminished in your mind the probative value of the
statistics in support of what we are calling an evolution
science explanation of origins.
Q. And that's the same information which is the
scientific support for a Creation Science explanation of
A. Not necessarily in itself. If there were only two
-- if there were only two possible solutions and you
excluded one, then certainly the exclusion of one would
support the other.
Q. Did you you tell me that the origin model --
A. That's -- the only two models that I know of are
those two models. That doesn't exclude that there
aren't others, just none that I know of.
Q. So, now we've said that the information which
diminishes in your mind the probative value of support
for Evolution Science has not been fair in information in
support of Creation Science. So, what is the scientific
information that you will teach in support of the Creation
A. As I also told you, you know, since we're getting
down to this and because this is taking so long, that if
I teach a subject I would research it thoroughly. And since
I told you I have not researched it for this interview I
don't know why these questions continue on that vein. And
quite frankly, I really don't.
Q. Would you believe that you could teach Creation
Science as science in your science classroom?
A. Yes, I do. I could answer some of the questions
that are answered now by Evolution. They are just as
much scientific, in my own personal opinion, as the
way the questions are answered by Evolution.
Q. But you do not currently have the tools necessary --
A. No, I do not.
A. -- to teach Creation Science as science?
A. That's true.
Q. You've told me that your school district is putting
on some workshops and showed you some filmstrips.
A. That's correct.
Q. And thus far, you don't think those filmstrips are
A. I did not say that. I said --
Q. I do not mean to mischaracterize it. What did you
A. I said that they wouldn't be sufficient in
themselves to allow me to teach creationism.
Q. Did you also tell me that they would be
objectionable because they contain biblical references?
A. That's true, some of them do.
Q. Some. Do all of the filmstrips contain some
biblical references --
A. I can't remember if all of them do or not.
Q. -- or otherwise refer to religion?
A. But several of them do refer to -- maybe all the
three that I've seen referred to. But the ones that
do refer to biblical references, I personally would not
use. Now, if that answers your question, fine.
Q. So thus far you haven't seen any materials which
you could use in your classroom to teach Creation Science?
A. I did not say that. If there are ones which do not
refer to biblical references, then I will use them or
would feel free to use them.
Q. Thus far, you have not seen any materials which.
MR. WILLIAMS: And he has said that
some of those did not contain biblical references. And he
said he could use those.
Q. Is that what you said?
A. Any of the information that is available to me
without biblical reference I will use. If it has biblical
reference I would not use it.
Q. All I'm asking you is whether you have seen
anything that does not contain biblical references
that you could use?
A. My memory it's not -- I just don't remember.
Q. So, you don't know if you've seen any materials
that would be suitable for use in the public school to
teach Creation Science?
A. Yes, there is material which I would use to teach
Creation Science because I can edit out any religious
content from written materials that I don't have to use --
because the author refers to this maybe as being or
lending itself more to the view of a religion, I don't
have to teach that in my classes.
Q. That's in the written material that you reviewed on
A. In any written material. I don't have to use
religious material in my teaching.
Q. Mr. Townley sir, the only material I'm addressing
myself to right now -- as I understand it you have seen two
kinds of materials?
Q. That material which you reviewed on your own
A. True. And I can use some of that material to teach
with as long as I don't refer to any biblical references
that are in that material. The same thing with these
audio cassettes. There are references to the Bible
in that material, but that doesn't mean that I have to use
it in my teaching. I can use that as resource material
myself to take notes on it and teach it to the children.
Q. But you couldn't show any material, the filmstrips
that you saw or play any types?
A. I would not show any filmstrips or tapes that had
reference to biblical statements.
Q. I understand that you would not. All I'm trying to
understand is do you --
A. And I've answered your question that I don't know,
don't recall. I don't know how I can state it any more
clearly than that, then to keep going back over it.
Q. Okay. I just want to understand. And I'm entitled
to that understanding.
A. Right, but not so many times.
Q. Do you know how textbooks are selected for your
A. We have a textbook committee formed by teachers,
Q. And are teachers required to use the book that they
Q. Do you know how those textbooks are selected by
your school district?
A. That's what I just said.
Q. That's district-wide, I'm sorry.
Q. And are there any criteria that that district-wide
A. I'm sure they must. I have never served on that
Q. Do they pick one book for chemistry or do they
pick several that you can choose between?
A. They pick two. But there have been many books
in the past that are different from the two that they may
be currently using and we use those for resource material.
Q. Okay. What training do high school science
teachers have that would enable them to teach Creation
Science as science?
A. I would doubt very little. I would doubt if
many of the teachers, if not -- instead of using many,
maybe most of the teachers have any formal training. But
on the other hand, teachers as a whole teach from what
they studied by themselves in a non-formal situation.
They do independent study and use that material that
they use in independent study to teach with.
Q. Do you think that some kind of teacher training
programs are necessary to get high school science teachers
to the point where they can teach Creation Science as
A. I would certainly hope that the school system would
initiate some activities to do that.
Q. Do you have any continuing education requirements --
A. In the State of Arkansas?
Q. -- any kinds of inservice training or anything?
A. Yes, we do.
Q. What are those requirements?
A. Requires six hours of college credit I think every
five years. It may be every six years, but it's a certain
number of hours every so often?
Q. That's a course that you would take out of college?
A. They're courses that you have out of college or you
can take inservice workshops that they give in our
system, this is not statewide. In our system they have
inservice workshops that you can go to and get points
for. And if you get as many as twelve points this
will satisfy the requirement instead of six hours.
Q. Do you have an opinion as to the kind of retraining
that would be necessary for high school science teachers
to teach Creation Science?
A. No. I think that my opinion would be -- because
there are different kinds of science teachers that teach
different subjects in which they would be more involved
in teaching one area than teaching another, it would take
more for one teacher than another to -- in order to
Q. What subjects do you think this has the most effect
Q. Anything else?
A. Geometry, teaching earth science.
Q. Did you ever hear of a seminar given to teacher in
Arkansas on Creation Science?
Q. We've been talking about the Balance Treatment for
Creation Science And Evolution Science, Act 590. Do
you have an opinion as to what "balance treatment" means?
A. Well, yes I do.
Q. What do you think that means?
A. I think a balanced treatment would mean that you
would teach the viewpoint of both to it's fullest extent
that is necessary to get across to the students the
idea of the theory and what it means in that respect.
For instance, if it took me one minute to fully explain
to the students one theory, one part of one of the
theories and yet it took me fifteen minutes to explain
that same part of another theory, then I would expect
that you spend the amount of time necessary. In other
words, whatever is necessary to explain that concept
would be used.
Q. Okay. Are you aware of the fact that Act 590
requires that balanced treatment be given to these two
models in textbook materials taken as a whole for each
A. Balanced has been explained to me to mean that you
be able to teach the viewpoint completely.
Q. Who explained it to you in that way?
A. The Attorney General's office.
Q. When did they explain it to you?
A. I don't know if it's been in the past week or if --
it's been in the past week.
Q. Do you remember whether you had an opinion as to
what balanced treatment meant before it was explained to
you by the Attorney General's office?
A. Balanced treatment before the Attorney General's
office -- it was my opinion that it meant that you would
probably have to spend about the same amount of time.
Q. Now, I had just asked you whether you were aware of
the fact that Act 590 require that balanced treatment be
given to Evolution Science and Creation Science in
textbook material taken as a whole?
A. I never -- I personally never considered that, I
considered only the time element.
Q. Do you know of any textbook materials that would be
available to give balanced treatment to Evolution Science
and Creation Science?
A. I currently do not know of any single textbook
which would give equal treatment to both.
Q. And have you seen any supplemental textbook
materials and any things which you could use -- textbook
materials which could be introduced into the classroom,
into the public school classroom in order to meet the
balanced treatment requirement?
A. Of course, I haven't looked so I don't know.
Q. And Act 509 also requires balanced treatment for
those two models in library materials taken as a whole.
Have you --
A. Again, I haven't looked so I can't answer the
Q. Do you have any understanding as to whether there
are any library materials currently in your school on
A. Going out on the limb, I would say that there is
not any. And that would be a guess, that's just a guess.
Q. In your class now, are there any topics which you
teach where the -- the scientific explanation is in doubt,
where there are two competing theories, what you would
call an unsettled area of science?
MR. WILLIAMS: I think there were
three questions in there.
Q. Do you -- are there any unsettled areas of chemistry
that you currently teach?
A. Any areas in which absolute facts are not known?
Q. You could answer that one, simply.
A. Yes, there are.
Q. Okay. Are there scientific disputes going on in
chemistry where you teach both sides or the various sides
of the dispute?
A. The one that I can currently think of now is on the
basic particulate matter using the Quark Theory, I think