Testimony of James C. Wood
Testimony of James C. Wood, Physics/Chemistry Teacher, John L. McClellan High School, Pulaski Co. Special School District (Plaintiffs Witness) - transcript paragraph formatted version.
THE COURT: You can step down, Mr. Coward. Mr. Cearley?
MR. CLEARLEY: Mr. Bill Wood. Your Honor, Mr. Gary Crawford will handle the direct examination of Mr. Wood.
WILLIAM C. WOOD,
called on behalf of the plaintiffs herein, after having been first duly sworn or affirmed, was examined and testified as follows:
BY MR. CRAWFORD:
Q: Would you state your full name for the record, please?
A: My name is William Carroll Wood.
Q: And would you tell us your age and occupation?
A: I'm 37 years of age. I am a science teacher at John L. McClellan High School in the Pulaski County Special School District.
Q: What is your educational and professional background
A: My educational background is that I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in zoology from the University of Arkansas. I am currently working on my Master's Degree in educational administration at the University of Arkansas. And I have twelve hours of graduate credit in physics
A: (Continuing) dealing primarily with the teaching of high school physics concepts.
Q: You presently teach what, physics and chemistry?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: At what level?
A: This is primarily to the eleventh and twelfth grade level in public high school.
Q: Are you a member of any professional organizations?
A: Yes, I am. I am a member of the Arkansas Education Association, National Education Association, the Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers. I am a member of the National Science Teachers Association, and until recently was a member of the Arkansas-Oklahoma-Kansas Society of Physics Teachers.
Q: And would you tell me just briefly if you received any honors or awards?
A: With respect to teaching?
A: In 1974, I was named an outstanding young educator by the Little Rock Jaycees. In 1975, I was honored as being selected as an outstanding physics teacher in the Arkansas-Oklahoma-Kansas Society, area of the Society of Physics Teachers. That same year I was selected as one of one hundred physics teachers nationwide to be so honored to go to Bell
A: (Continuing) Laboratories in New Jersey to a science recognition and symposium. And recently, this school year, I was named as the outstanding teacher in the Pulaski County Special School District.
Q: Mr. Wood, when was the first time you heard about creation science?
A: The first time that I heard about creation science was with regard to an action that took place at our particular school board meeting last January. At this school board meeting, it is my understanding that Mr. Larry Fisher made a proposal to the school board to involve a unit on creation science.
Q: I pass you what has been marked as Plaintiffs' Exhibit 28 for identification. Could you tell me, please, what that is?
A: This is a copy of the materials or the proposal that Mr. Fisher made at this presentation to the school board.
Q: And have you compared Exhibit 28, at my request, to the model resolution written by Wendell Bird and published by the Institute for Creation Research which is a part of Exhibit 83 previously admitted in this case?
A: Yes, I have.
Q: What did you find?
A: I found that they were identical in scope and in content. The only difference that I saw was the addition
[Page is missing]
MR. CRAWFORD: (Continuing) committee which I've just asked him about. He was elected spokesperson of it before the school board. And I will interrogate him only about those matters.
THE COURT: Go ahead.
MR. CRAWFORD: (Continuing)
Q: Who were the members of that committee, in a general way?
A: Well, it was my understanding, if I may continue my answer, it was my understanding then that the school board members or the school board directed the administration to form a committee and look into the matter of formulating a unit. I was then contacted as to my desire, if I wanted to serve on such a unit, on such a committee, and I did. We held a meeting, at which time we generally discussed why we were there, and that's when I first saw this.
Q: You are referring to Exhibit 28?
A: Yes. We were given materials by Larry Fisher at that time, and we were to look at these materials for— I believe the time span between the first meeting and the second meeting of our committee was about two weeks, at which time we were supposed to come back and make a report on what we had found.
Q: Who were the members of the committee?
A: Well, I don't remember all of their names particularly, but they work for different regions within our public schools. There were teachers of science on the high school and junior high level. There were central administrative personnel — I believe at that meeting Doctor Harold Measel, assistant superintendent there was a curriculum person; there was a science coordinator,
A: social studies coordinator, a person from our media area, and a school board member.
Q: Now, this was before Act 590 was even introduced into the State Legislature?
A: Yes, that's true.
Q: Which creation science books did you examine, did the committee examine?
A: I have before me a list of these books. I did not remember all of these, and this has been drawn up as an effort of two or three people for us to remember what books were on this list.
Q: After reviewing that list, you now have a general recollection that those were among the books that were examined by the committee?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: Would you please read the list of those books? And I think we have provided to you next to the name of the
[Page is missing]
Q: Which books did you examine in detail yourself?
A: I examined the first two, I believe.
Q: That's The Age of the Earth by Slusher, which is Exhibit 73?
Q: And Origin and Destiny of the Earth's Magnetic Field by Barnes?
Q: Those are the two. Were you in the courtroom when Doctor Dalrymple testified?
A: Yes, I was.
Q: Are those the two books that he mentioned in his testimony or do you recall?
A: I recall that he mentioned some books. I do not recall all that he mentioned, no.
Q: As a result of the conclusions that the committee reached, what did the committee do?
A: The committee then made a report back to the school board, and I was elected spokesman to do so.
Q: And what report did you make to the school board on behalf of the committee?
A: I made the report that we could not draw up a unit on creation science because we couldn't find any evidence for creation science in the materials that had been
A: (Continuing) presented to us. We couldn't find any science.
Q: All right. Nevertheless, the school board directed that a unit be written, is that correct?
A: That is my understanding.
Q: And another committee, a committee of two persons was subsequently appointed to do that?
A: Yes, that's right.
Q: Mr. Wood, are you familiar with the provisions of Act 590?
MR. CRAWFORD: If your Honor please, before I go into that, I would like to move the admission of the Exhibits which Mr. Wood referred to that previously have not been submitted. That's Exhibits 71, 72, 73, 77, 79, 80, 81 and 82.
THE COURT: Those will be received.
MR. CRAWFORD: (Continuing)
Q: Mr. Wood, have you read and analyzed Act 590 to determine what the Act will require of you as a classroom teacher?
A: Yes, I have.
Q: Have you made an effort to determine whether or not the subject matter in your physics or chemistry classes will trigger the balanced treatment requirement of Act 590?
A: Yes, I have.
Q: And what conclusions have you reached?
A: I have reached the conclusion that there are several general areas, both in chemistry and in physics, which could, indeed, trigger Act
Q: Could you tell us in a brief fashion what those are in each course?
A: Yes. In chemistry, there are concepts at the beginning of most every textbook that deals specifically with measuring techniques. And in those measuring techniques, the textbook may or may not, depending on the type, on the book that you are using, may mention the concept of measuring great distances in space in terms of light years. There is another area in chemistry which may be included, which would be any science or chemical investigations of fossil fuels and their origins. There may also be in general chemistry text chapters relating to or concepts dealing with the concept of radioactivity in physics, again, most every science book speaks in general about the types of measurements that will be made in that particular field. And in physics, once again, the area of measurement which would involve great distances, the mention of light years. If you deal in any way with astronomy concepts, if you
(Continuing) were to deal with the concept of the Doppler effect, which the Doppler effect can be used to show and has been used to show the tremendous distances that exist in space; also in radiometric dating methods, particular Carbon-14. And these are the general areas in which these might be presented.
Q: And do those areas all necessarily require a discussion or understanding by the student that the earth and, indeed, the universe is very, very old?
A: Yes. I think that that would be a conclusion of some of the information in the texts.
Q: Now, you've identified those areas that you believe would trigger the balancing requirement of Act 590. As an educator reading the Act, what, in your opinion, would you be required to do as a classroom teacher?
A: I believe in these areas I would be required to give balanced treatment.
Q: Again, as a science educator, what do you think "balanced treatment" means?
A: Balanced treatment, to me, means equal dignity and equal treatment. It requires me to spend the same amount of time or the same amount of effort in developing a concept. It requires me to have a basis for incorporating it into our body of knowledge. It requires me to make sure that I am totally objective in my presentation.
Q: Well, whatever balanced treatment means, how do you feel as a science educator about having to give balanced treatment to creation science?
A: Well, I don't like it because I don't think it's science. I think it's religion.
Q: What makes you think that?
A: Well, if you refer to the Act in Section 4(a), the only theme that I can see that is weaved through any of these concepts are the concepts that one would find in the Bible in Genesis.
Q: You're talking about the six items that make up the definition of creation science in Section 4(a) of Act 590?
A: Yes, I am.
Q: As an educator, do you find that you must use some sort of unifying theme for the presentation of fact in your courses?
A: Yes. This is a most important aspect of science. Science cannot be a shotgun approach to information. My personal methods of teaching is something that I call the spiral approach. We start off with basic information, of which we have an understanding. And through the scope of our year, we add to that information. And we build— If you can imagine drawing a spiral spring, and the spiral goes upward. We cover the same or keep coming back to the same conceptual
(Continuing) ideas of science and see how these ideas are tied together in a unifying idea. And what I attempt to do is increase the students' knowledge both in depth of his actual world and in the breadth of it, how can we once again apply this same idea to include more of what we see in the world around us.
Q: What appears to you— As an educator, again, what appears as the unifying theme of creation science as it is defined in the Act?
A: The unifying theme is Genesis.
Q: Do you perceive that the Creator plays an important role in that definition?
A: From my standpoint of how I treat material in the science classroom, a spiral attempting or attempting to make a spiral out of these six items, would point to a creator, whereas a spiral using naturalistic ideas point to and give a better understanding of the naturalistic world.
Q: If Act 590 is found to be constitutional, what would you choose to do in your classroom?
A: I would choose not to teach these areas that I think would trigger the Act.
Q: What's the effect of that going to be on your course curriculum?
A: Well, I thought about that some. And some of the
(Continuing) effects are going to be that it can be detrimental to the students. And the reason it can be is, I don't believe that we can get a total spiral picture or the student cannot have presented to him a total spiral picture of the inner workings and inner weavings of science concept. This may affect him later. I have no evidence to prove this, out there may be some effect later when this student— As many as I have that go on to college, there may be some effect detrimentally.
Q: You do consider yourself a professional classroom educator, do you not?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: In your opinion, what sort of responsibility does a professional educator have toward the students in the classroom?
A: The scope of that is tremendous. I believe that as a professional educator I have an academic responsibility to my students to present them to the best of my abilities those materials that are, deemed as the ideas that are consistent with a community of science ideas. I must use materials that I have, I think, anyway, have been scrutinized, have weathered the test of time and are accepted in the scientific community. I can't very simply teach things because I have a
A: (Continuing) captive audience. That would not be academic responsibility in any way in my understanding of the term.
Q: How do the provisions of Act 590 fit into that analysis of your professional responsibility
A: Well, Act 590, I believe, makes a mockery of that.
Q: Would you feel comfortable answering questions from your students about matters that would trigger the balancing requirement?
A: I would feel very shaky about doing something like that because it requires balanced treatment. And the balanced treatment requires me to have the material to give the same sort of basic understanding to this idea. So I would not feel good about answering spontaneous
Questions that might trigger it.
Q: How easy is it for a teacher in the public schools to get into trouble because of what he or she says in the classroom?
A: I don't know that I have any basis of drawing that conclusion. We have ways, administrative ways of correcting deficiencies. Our school board has rules and regulations that we follow. And I'm sure that in the violation of these, a teacher could certainly get in trouble, if that's the way I understand you are phrasing the question.
Q: Mr. Wood, are you a scientist yourself?
A: No, I am not a scientist. I'm a science teacher. And I see that I am on, if I might use a comparison there, different rungs of the ladder. I'm a disseminator. I try to give to students who are coming to me with, not with a variety of backgrounds, but within those backgrounds, their science levels are not all the same. Their mathematical levels are not all the same. And it is my job on my rung of the ladder to start building in these students scientific ideas, how science works and what science is. I don't consider myself to be a practicing scientist. I consider myself as a practicing teacher.
MR. CRAWFORD: Thank you.
THE COURT: Is that all, Mr. Crawford?
MR. CRAWFORD: Yes, your Honor.
THE COURT: We will take a recess until— I suppose we need to take up this matter about the witnesses. We will be in recess until 1:30, and I would like to speak with the attorneys in my office and Judge Byrd at 1:00 o'clock, if we could.
(Thereupon, Court was in recess from 12:05 p.m. until
1:30 p.m.) 25
(In Chambers - 1:00 p.m.)
THE COURT: Judge Byrd, I did an in camera review of these materials. And this material was just loose. I don't know to which file it belongs.
JUDGE BYRD: They were originally segregated.
MR. CLARK: They were all in one group as one witness.
MS. KERR: I think that's Mr. Hunt's.
JUDGE BYRD: To be candid with the Court, we don't mind them having this information. To be candid with the Court, I talked it over with my folks. They asked for all of our records. Now, in Reverend Blount's records, if I can pull it, I believe it's three letters.
THE COURT: I looked at these, and—
JUDGE BYRD: Reverend Blount is the only one—
THE COURT: Let me finish. I looked at these, and those are things which appear to be in some respects kind of personal and part of some letters from some people who were supporters. And I didn't see that they were particularly relevant.
JUDGE BYRD: There is one letter in there that might be a little— If I can leave these out, there may be one more that may affect my folks?
THE COURT: Here is the material from Mr. Hunt's
THE COURT: (Continuing) file.
JUDGE BYRD: Now, the files belong to these folks. We are willing for folks to copy them, but we want the files back. We don't mind those.
MS. KERR: Your Honor, we obviously haven't had a chance to see what those documents are. To the extent that they deal with the efforts made by these people to communicate with the legislature and to lobby and gain support for the bill, we think they are relevant.
THE COURT: We can make this a long drawn out thing or not, out let me tell you, you don't care about what's in there . And if you want to insist on it, we will go ahead and go through the whole process, but I promise you, you aren't the least bit interested in that. If you are willing to take my word for that, that will save a lot of time.
MR. CLEARLEY: We are willing to do that, your Honor.
JUDGE BYRD: As far as Ms. Kerr is concerned, I will sit down and go over it with her if she wants to make an objection. We just don't want them out for general information.
MS. KERR: Let me point out that I offered to stipulate to the confidentiality of these documents at the very first instance.
JUDGE BYRD: Well, I understand your stipulation,
JUDGE BYRD: (Continuing) but you represent your clients.
THE COURT: well, here are the two files, and that, material is just loose.
MS. KERR: This is Curtis Thomas' material.
MR. CLARK: The loose material is Mr. Thomas' material.
MR. CLEARLEY: Judge, we will copy that this afternoon and return it to Judge Byrd.
MR. CLARK: Judge Byrd, I do have at counsel table the depositions, the originals to be signed by your clients that we have gotten back. Now, we are you going to have to see about getting that done because Mr. Cearley wants to offer them into evidence. We object on grounds of relevance, but—
MR. CLEARLEY: We'd like to have them signed unless you are willing to waive signature.
JUDGE BYRD: I am not willing to waive it, but I don't run the Court. I just represent the clients. If Steve wants to waive it, I can't keep him from waiving it.
THE COURT: I think the client has the right to insist on reading and signing the deposition.
JUDGE BYRD: They wanted to read and sign it. Now, your Honor, we practiced law around here a long time, and ordinarily we could stipulate. I will only have one of them available this afternoon. I'll have to run the
JUDGE BYRD: (Continuing) others down.
MR. CLEARLEY: I'll be happy to do whatever I can to assist in that.
JUDGE BYRD: Let me consult with my clients. The reason I gave Mr. Clark the records, as you know, I have a real bad back, and some days I can't make it go. And I didn't want to hold up the Court's process.
THE COURT: I appreciate that.
JUDGE BYRD: That was the purpose of it.
(Thereupon, the in chambers hearing was concluded.)
(Open Court - 1:30 p.m.)
BY MR. CHILDS:
Q: Mr. Woods, was the creation unit, which was your Exhibit Number 4 to the deposition made an exhibit—
MR. CRAWFORD: if your Honor please, I think I can clear that up for Mr. Childs.
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing)
Q: Would you tell Judge Overton what you understand this creation unit to be?
MR. CRAWFORD: If your Honor please, just a point of inquiry, this is the creation unit with respect to which Mr. Childs objected on the grounds the witness didn't have personal knowledge, and I promised not to interrogate him on that. And I don't know whether he intends to. We are
MR. CRAWFORD: (Continuing) going to call Mary Ann Wilson who is the author of that document as our next witness, so I'm just advising the Attorney General's office in the interest of expedition, if they wish to take advantage of it.
MR. CHILDS: Your Honor, I do not intend to question Mr. Wood as to his personal knowledge of the formulation of this material. What I want to question him about is whether or not this would provide scientific evidence regarding Act 590.
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing)
Q: Mr. Wood, can you identify that as Exhibit Number 4 to your deposition?
A: Yes, I can.
Q: The first page is an outline of content. Under Roman numeral 1, it appears "Biological" and under A, "Evidences that Imply Separability of Man and Other Primate Ancestry." Would you refer over in the outline under 1, Roman numeral I(a)(1).
A: I have it.
Q: What is indicated there?
A: Do you wish me to read this?
Q: Yes, please.
A: "Item I(a), evidences that imply separability of man and other primate ancestry, genus Ramapithecus whose only
A: (Continuing) remains are fragments of jaws with teeth, has for many years been put forward as an evolutionary ancestor of man. Analyses of the data by David Pilbeam of Yale indicates Ramapithecus as probably neither an ancestor of modern humans nor modern apes."
Q: And where did that appear?
A: That appeared in Science Digest, April, 1981, Volume 89, Number 3, page 36.
Q: Under Roman Numeral I(a)(2), what does it state?
A: "The genus, Australopithecus, after study by Oxnard and others, appears to have too many specialized and ape-like characteristics to either be in the direct ancestry of man or the direct line leading to man." Doctor Charles F. Oxnard, "Australopithecus versus the Computer", University of Chicago Magazine, 1974, page 8, and A. Montagu, "Man, His First Million Years", World Publishers, Yonkers, New York, pages 51 through 52, 1957.
Q: In reference to the material under Roman numeral I(a)(1) and (2), do those appear to be publications, or creation science publications
A: I don't recognize them to be creation science publications.
MR. CRAWFORD: if your Honor please, there is more than one draft of this document. I don't know which one Mr. Childs is referring to. If he could tell me that, I
MR. CRAWFORD: (Continuing) could follow along with him.
MR. CHILDS: It's Defendants' Exhibit 3 and Wilson's Exhibit 4 and Wood.
THE WITNESS: May I say that this is not the final document that I understand the committee came up with. This is one that I was presented with to view in light of some of the findings of the committee that was appointed to come up with a model. I understand this is not their working format at this time.
MR. CHILDS: I understand that.
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing)
Q: Now then, my question is, is the information under Roman numeral I(a)(1) and (2) evidence that implies separability of man and other primate ancestry?
A: That's what it says on this piece of paper, yes, sir.
Q: Do you have the scientific sophistication to tell me if this is true or not?
A: I couldn't make an opinion on that. I don't have the whole article here. This is someone else's. For me, this is tertiary information. This is information that somebody else has interpreted from someone else. I would have to see some sources that I could— I would have to have the whole article myself. And then if you are asking me to evaluate this material, then of course,
A: (Continuing) it would take me some time. I would have to look at their footnotes. I would have to be in a position to have these materials accessed to me so that I could make a decision in relation to whether I particularly thought that this assumption in I(a)(1) was a true analysis of what the article so stipulated. I would also make the same comment for I(a)(2).
Q: Turn over to Roman numeral I(b), please. Under number 2, what does that state?
A: Are you asking me to read I(b)(2)?
Q: Yes, please.
A: "Mendel's laws of genetics explain almost all of the physical variations that are observed within like categories such as the dog family. These laws, in their modern day refinement, seem to indicate limits to such variation."
Q: Do you understand what that statement is saying in a scientific sense?
A: I understand what this paragraph says. I am able to glean a meaning for me from this reading, yes.
Q: Would that be evidence that imply changes only within fixed limits of originally created kinds of plants and animals, which is Roman numeral I(b)?
A: I don't think this meets the criteria in any way for evidence.
Q: What is this?
A: This is somebody's interpretation of something to do within like categories in the dog family. Those are very loose terms . I don't know anything about the dog family, and I don't know what the laws are of Mendel's genetics, offhand, to be conversant with you about them and their modern day refinements. It seems to indicate limits to such variation. I'd have to know what variation we are talking about.
Q: What about under Roman numeral I(c).
A: Yes. I'm with you.
Q: It's headed "Evidences Implying a Sudden Creation of Life."
A: Yes. I'm with you.
Q: Would you please read that?
A: I(c)(1) states, "Polonium-218, Bismuth-214 and Polonium-214 have half lives of 3 minutes, 19 minutes and 1.47 x 10 to the negative fourth seconds respectively. The existence of these elements is indicated by the Pleochroic—" I suppose that's how you pronounce it."— Halos without evidence of parent nuclides of the uranium series argues for an initial sudden creation of these elements." "Critique of Radiometric Dating" by Slusher, Institute for Creation Research, 1973, page 19. "Cosmological
A: (Continuing) Implications of Extinct Radioactive from Pleochroic Halos" by Robert V. Gentry, Creation Research Society Quarterly, 3.2, 1966, page 17 through 20.
Q: Can you tell me whether or not this information would be evidence implying a sudden creation of life?
A: Again, I am having to answer you that this is someone's interpretation of the evidence. I see no evidence presented here in terms of how this experiment or how these words tie together to give this meaning to it. It requires that, if I'm to evaluate this one particular thing, that I be able to see how those evidences do relate to that as you are using the term "evidence."
Q: When you were serving on this committee selecting, reviewing what you call creation science materials, did any of these concepts that we've gone over in this outline come to your attention?
A: I believe that there is a couple of concepts that are in here, but I would have to have a moment to find them in this whole work.
Q: Tell us about the ones that we've gone over?
A: The ones that we've gone over?
A: In the textbooks that I previewed, no.
Q: Under Roman numeral I(c)(3), would you please read that?
A: I(c) (3)?
Q: Yes, sir.
A: "Symbiotic relationships such as exist between algae and fungi in the lichens imply sudden creation. The complexity, variety and perfection of parasitic adaptation, particularly where animals and plants are interdependent, or where a parasite demands several hosts, imply sudden creation of all of the systems. The pronuba moth and the yucca plant provide an excellent example of plant-insect interdependence." Evan Shute, "Flaws in the Theory of Evolution", Nutley, New Jersey, Craig Press, 1961, page 62.
Q: Do you know if the Craig Press is a creation science publication?
A: I have no idea. I've never heard of the Craig Press.
Q: Do you consider this as evidence in support of the concept of a sudden creation of life?
A: No, I wouldn't.
Q: Would you please read the information under Roman numeral I(c)(5)?
A: "The sudden appearance of diverse multicellular life forms all together in the fossil record without trace of previous ancestry implies that all were suddenly created."
Q: Would you consider that evidence in support of a model of sudden creation?
A: No, I would not.
Q: Under Roman numeral II(a) headed "Evidences that imply young earth and solar system," would you please read the information in (1)?
A: "Atomic Clocks, which have for the last 22 years measured the earth's spin rate to the nearest billionth of a second, have consistently found that the earth is slowing down at the rate of almost one second a year. If the earth were billions of years old, it's initial spin rate would have been fantastically rapid, so rapid that major distortions in the shape of the earth would have occurred." Arthur Fisher, "The Riddle of the Leap Second," Popular Science, Volume 202, March 1973, pages 110, 113 and 164 to 166. Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory, "Earth Motions and Their Effects on Air Force Systems," November, 1975, page 6. Jack Fincher, "And Now, Atomic Clocks," Reader's Digest, Volume 3, November, 1977, page 34.
Q: Do you consider any of the information in Roman numeral II(a)(1) as evidence implying a young earth and solar system?
A: I didn't hear the first part.
Q: Would you consider the information you have just read as evidence implying a young earth and solar system?
THE COURT: Mr. Childs, did you take his deposition?
MR. CHILDS: Yes, I did.
THE COURT: Did you go through all this in the deposition?
MR. CHILDS: No, I didn't, unfortunately.
THE COURT: Maybe you could ask him if there is anything on that outline that he considers evidence supporting those propositions and save us all a lot of time if all we are going to get is negative answers. And I assume that something out of the Reader's Digest he's not going to consider that to be scientific evidence in support of the proposition.
MR. CHILDS: Let me just go through the publishers, your Honor.
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing)
Q: Under Roman numeral II(a)(2), that information appears to be from Melvin A. Cook, "Prehistory and Earth Models," London, Max Parrish,
A: What are you asking me, sir?
Q: Does that— Let me rephrase the question. Do you know if Max Parrish Publishing in London is a creation science organization?
A: I'm not familiar with it. Maybe I can save the Court some time, I am not familiar with a lot of these publications listed here, and this is certainly one that I
1 (TM) ing) am not familiar with to any degree.
2 (TM) but under Roman numeral II(a)(3), which is
3 (TM) erica? Are you familiar with Scientific
5 (TM) m.
6 (TM) a creation science publication?
7 (TM) s not.
8 (TM) er Roman numeral II (a)(4), is Physics Today
9 (TM) cuse me. Are Physics Today and Science,
10 (TM) eation science publications?
11 (TM) on't believe they are creationist literature
12 (TM) is.
13 (TM) er (5) it shows Presbyterian and Reform
14 (TM) mpany. Do you know if that's a creation
15 (TM) shing company?
16 (TM) not.
17 (TM) out Natural History?
18 (TM) is not.
19 (TM) ack to that point to clarify my answer here.
20 (TM) d on that too quickly.
21 (TM) rence to what?
22 (TM) stion was asked me, I believe, if I thought
23 (TM) ian and Reform publication was a creationist
24 (TM) My answer is I do not know if it is or not.
25 (TM) out Natural History?
A: I do not think Natural History is a creationist.
Q: And Roman numeral II(a)(6), refers to the Astrophysical Journal. Do you know if that would be a creation science publication?
A: I am not sure that it is, but I am guessing that it isn't.
Q: Did you have an opportunity to review the information in this creation unit publication
A: Are you asking me if I reviewed this?
Q: Yes, sir.
A: Yes, I did.
MR. CRAWFORD: If your Honor please, I would just note for the record the fact that it is not a publication. It's an initial draft of a creation unit developed internally within the school system.
MR. CHILDS: Your Honor, I will object to that statement. I think—
THE COURT: Let's go on.
MR. CHILDS: Your Honor, I move that this document be admitted as Defendants' Exhibit 5.
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing)
Q: Mr. Wood, is there anything in Defendants' Exhibit Number 5 that you would consider as evidence supporting Section 4(a) of Act 590?
A: Are you asking me if there is science evidence?
Q: Yes. Is there anything that would be included in Defendants' Exhibit 5 which would support as evidence Section 4(a) in Act 590?
A: I'm going to have to disagree with you here.
Q: I'm not saying it is. I'm asking if you see anything in Defendants' Exhibit 5 which you would consider scientific evidence in support of 4(a) in the Act?
A: No, I would not.
Q: Would you tell me why not?
A: Evidence in itself does not make a science. All I see in Exhibit 5 there are paragraphs of unrelated material that never really show or point to one thing. I don't see any interweaving of these ideas except as I made in my direct testimony; that the interweaving in Section 4(a) is that that points to Genesis.
Q: Do I understand you to be saying that all information has to be related together before it can be considered scientific evidence?
A: Yes. That is the nature of scientific evidence. Scientific evidence— Evidence in itself doesn't mean anything. If I might use an example, if I saw these pictures around the wall here out in different places, they in themselves wouldn't mean anything.
Q: Does the concept of evolution, as you are describing it, does it all fit together in some sort of manner?
Q: And how does it fit together?
A: It fits together in that generally the same conclusions have been reached by different areas of investigations. And there has been, and I believe has been indicated by witnesses up here previously, that there is a preponderance of that evidence; not just from one area of biology, but from the fossil record and from other areas that we normally say that do operations within our scientific community.
Q: What do you do with observed phenomena which do not fit into this construct that you are talking about?
A: What do I do with it?
Q: Yes. What would you do with it?
A: Well, I can't speak as a scientist because I'm not one. If you're asking me to speculate on what I would do with it, I can speculate on it only as a person and not as an expert in the field.
Q: Can you tell this Court if you know how the scientific community handles observed phenomena which do not fit without the construct of evolution?
A: I believe that they report it, and I believe that they set it up for other people to falsify or to prove in order to show consistent trends in this information that you are talking about.
Q: What do they do with information that they cannot explain within the structure that they have?
A: The very nature of science deals with those problems in my understanding of science. That is not something in science to be swept under the rug. That is something in science to be looked at in terms of challenges.
Q: Well, I'm asking you if you can tell me what happens when there is a particular piece of observed phenomenon which cannot be explained in the scientific community?
THE COURT: He's told you two different ways.
MR. CHILDS: Perhaps he has, your Honor, but maybe I missed it.
THE COURT: Okay.
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing)
Q: Would you like for me to rephrase the question?
A: Yes, if you don't mind.
Q: Were you aware of any situations where there has been observed phenomenon which would stand the entire construct on its head? Do you know what happens in that kind of situation?
A: I don't believe I can go that far to say that I know of something that would stand the entire construct on its head. There may be areas that have long been held that some new observations might point to different conclusions than
A: (Continuing) previously held conclusions. But as I understand the scientific community to work, and again, I'll have to say this, that those are put forth for scrutiny.
That's how science grows. Science is a growing process. We certainly hope that it never stagnates. And in this process requires people to put forth their materials to the scientific community and allow the scientific community to evaluate those materials. And through evaluation we grow. We may sidestep a little, but we grow.
So the scrutiny part of it is very important. It may be one of the most valuable things that we can do in science, is to have someone present something to the scientific community where all of the constructs or all of the pieces don't necessarily fit together. It gives scientists challenge.
Q: Who asked you to serve on the — for lack of a better word — the preliminary committee in response to the request of the school board to come up with the creation unit?
A: Doctor Harold Measel. He is the assistant superintendent in charge of secondary instruction — I believe that's his correct title — in our school district, Pulaski County Special School District, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Q: Did you volunteer to serve on the committee?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: Can you tell me if Larry Fisher was on that committee?
A: Larry Fisher was on that committee. It was— Larry Fisher had to be there since be brought the materials, yes.
Q: Did he serve on the committee?
A: I don't know that be served on the committee or if he was the person who brought the committee. I don't know exactly how to define your term "served."
Q: Well, did he— When you all were reaching a consensus, as I understand, a unanimous consensus among you, was he consulted about the merits of the evidence?
A: I don't believe Larry Fisher, in our discussions as we went around the table, offered any. Privately, outside getting a cup of coffee, Larry and I talked about a couple of the points, but just very simply. But as we went around the table, each person— You see, our purpose there, as I understand it, was, the first meeting was to take the books home, evaluate them, and then those persons that did the evaluation, to bring back that evaluation. Since Larry Fisher's purpose in that committee was not to evaluate the books, he did not take part in the process of explaining the evaluations.
Q: Okay. I think I understand what you are saying. Now then in your deposition, you advised me that for something to be science, it would have to be published by reputable sources, did you not?
A: I believe that was one of the criteria that I stated in there, yes.
Q: And what other criteria would there be?
A: The other criteria, for something to be accepted as science, it must have been arrived at through the scientific processes. It must have validity, internal validity. In other words, was the document constructed in the manner in which science accepts the constructs. Was the person who did this, was he a recognized person operating in that field by our national community of science. Pardon me. Our international community of science.
Q: So it would be safe to say you consider science that which is accepted in the scientific community?
A: Yes, I would.
Q: Now then, I want to go over briefly with you the information in your chemistry book and your physics book which would, as you see it, trigger Act 590. Do you have your chemistry book with you?
A: I do.
Q: Would you please tell me the first page in numerical
Q: (Continuing) order that you feel would trigger Act 590?
A: I don't have these pages marked, so it's going to take me a minute. If you can point to a page, I'll sure turn to it.
Q: Let's try page 373, fossil fuels.
Q: And how would that trigger Act 590 in your judgment?
A: May I read the sentence?
A: On the Section 18.5, Natural Gas and Petroleum, the second paragraph says, "Natural gas and petroleum were probably formed by the decay of plants and animals living millions of years ago."
Q: I believe the next pages were around page 591 in chapter 30?
Q: I believe that has to do with radioactive dating?
A: It has— The entire chapter has to do with radioactivity.
Q: Do you usually teach chapter 30 in your chemistry course?
A: No, not in chemistry.
Q: Now then, would it be— Can you think of any way that you could balance the reference on page 373 as to
Q: (Continuing) fossil fuels being formed millions of years ago.
A: Wait a minute. What page?
Q: Page 373.
A: Will you repeat the question?
Q: Is there any way that you can think of right now on the stand that you could balance "millions of years ago" in your textbook?
A: That I could balance millions of years ago in my textbook? What kind of balance are you asking? Are you asking me to give Act 590 balance?
Q: As I understand it, your position is that "balanced" means "equal."
A: "Balanced" means "equal dignity."
Q: Now then, is there any way you can give equal dignity to a relatively recent inception of the earth in reference to that page?
A: Not scientifically.
Q: I'm not asking you as a scientist. I'm asking you as an educator. Is there anything that you could think of now that you can write in that book which would balance it and give it equal dignity?
A: But you see, I am a science educator and I have to deal within the constructs of science.
Q: Mr. Wood, we've been over that in great detail. My
Q: (Continuing) question is this, is there anything that you can think of as an educator, college graduate, by which you could write in the margin of that book that a publisher could add which would balance it?
A: No, I could not. Not in a science book.
Q: If a statement appeared in there, "Some scientists, however, feel that fossil fuels have been formed relatively recent, say within the last one million years", would that give it a balance?
A: Not in my opinion, no.
Q: I'm not asking you for your opinion. I'm asking you if that would balance the words in the book?
A: But again, I must give you my opinion. No, it would not, because I am the one who has to make the interpretation as to the balance. You are asking me to make an interpretation, so it must be my opinion. So my interpretation is that in my opinion, no.
Q: Do you have your physics book?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: I believe the first page in the physic book is page 30?
Q: Is that the page that has pictures on it?
A: It has one picture and then a chart diagram
A: (Continuing) referring to sizes of things that we deal with in physical sciences.
Q: Okay. I believe the reference on that page is something relating to the distance to the stars?
A: Yes, it is. The distance to farthest photographed galaxies in terms of light years.
Q: What does it say?
A: It says the distance to the farthest photographed galaxy is twenty-five light years.
Q: Now, as I understand, it is your position that that would trigger Act 590?
Q: As precisely as you can, tell me why you feel that way?
A: Because as the teacher, and I'm dealing with concepts that are based on our scientific community thought and our scientific community concepts, the idea of light years, the idea of distances in space are pretty well tossed around to be statements of acceptance. So when I use this, then I think that I would have to balance this also by saying `there are people who might also think, or I would have to have some evidence that would show me that this would not conflict or it would be interpreted to be one of the things in Section 4(a).
Q: What I'm trying to deal with is the textbook that
Q: (Continuing) you actually use. Now, the method in which you teach it, I'll get to in a minute. My question is, could you not put a statement in there that there are scientists who believe that the stars are not quite that far away?
A: I would have to have the community of science give me some evidence for that point before I could put that in.
Q: I'm not asking you to act as a scientific editor in the book. What I want to know, would that balance it as far as the textbook is concerned under the Act?
A: I have to rely on my interpretation of balanced treatment. And my balanced treatment interpretation requires that I give equal dignity and equal treatment. And equal dignity requires that I develop the ideas. I can develop the idea of the concept of a light year. 1 don't have any problem developing that concept. What I would have trouble developing, you see, is finding out how we could develop an idea that would relate to distances not being that great.
Q: The next page was 242, which was the Doppler effect?
A: Yes. The Doppler effect covers from page 242 — pardon me — from 240 to 242, yes.
Q: Do you teach that material?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: And I believe on page 352, 353 there are some
Q: (Continuing) pictures of galaxies?
A: Yes, there are.
Q: Do you teach that material?
A: I'm not currently teaching it this year. I have in the past.
Q: What about pages 566 through 568?
A: I do currently teach these. These refer to radioactive decay methods.
Q: And on page 581 through 582?
A: I use the method of Carbon-14 dating as a method of how radioactive dating can be used, yes.
Q: What about page 609, the law of parity?
A: I do not teach that.
Q: In reference to pages 30, 566 through 568, 242 and pages 581 through 582, could you yourself—
A: Just a second I need to get all of these arranged so that—
Q: I'm not going to ask you about them specifically. I'm going to ask you about them in combination because I think I know the answer. In reference to those pages, could you as an educator add anything to the text of those pages which would give balanced treatment as you interpret it as required by the Act?
A: No, I could not.
Q: As I understand it, in all of the Plaintiffs' exhibits, which are, the numbers that I have, 73, 72, 79, 75, 71, 77, 81, 80 and 57, and then there were three that were subsequently numbered, that in none of those books was there anything which you consider as evidence which would support creation science as set out in Section 4(a)?
A: I must repeat as I did in my direct, I only looked at two of those. The entire committee, we divided those books up in various ways.
Q: So the only books you can testify as to whether or not there is any scientific evidence would be those two books?
Q: As I understand your position, you interpret the word "academic responsibility to be the same as academic freedom?
A: For my definition, that's exactly correct.
Q: And you consider that to be the right to present material that is currently held as valid material in terms of the science community?
A: That is the responsibility that I have.
Q: If you were faced with the situation that a curriculum guide was developed for the Pulaski County School District which set out in it material regarding creation science, would you teach it?
A: Well, again, I have no way of evaluating that because I don't know that that would be the action taken.
Q: I realize that. To take this academic freedom and academic responsibility concept further, we have to put it into a hypothetical situation where you would have to make the choice. Now, assuming that a curriculum guide was developed by Pulaski County School District which had in it material regarding creation science, would you teach it?
A: I would not.
Q: And as I also understand it, you interpret Act 590 as establishing that you would not be able to make any professional comment as to the respective models of creation science and evolution science?
A: Yes. My understanding of balanced treatment would prevent me from doing such a thing.
Q: Do you currently have any process by which— Well, if you were named the outstanding teacher, I guess you would know. Are there evaluation methods?
A: Are there evaluation methods?
Q: Yes, sir.
A: Could you be more specific?
Q: Well, does the Pulaski County—
A: Special School District.
Q: —Special School District have some way of evaluating classroom performance of their science teachers?
A: Most definitely.
Q: And you won, right?
A: I'm not saying that's the— Or what are you referring back to?
Q: No. I mean you won an award as an outstanding school teacher, right?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: And was that the method that was used when you got your award?
A: I'm sure that my evaluation— Maybe you and I are talking about two different things here. We have a process on a yearly basis in which our administrators within our school and sometimes our science coordinators come in and evaluate our work, see what we are doing, talk to us about it, get some idea of our sense of direction, where we are going. And this is what I would refer to in terms of a formal evaluation.
Q: Is the curriculum guide used in determining whether or not you are within the appropriate course material?
A: I don't think that, up to this point, that that has been included in our particular evaluations. I don't think it ever has been in mine.
A: (Continuing) I cannot say for all areas in Pulaski County Special School District. I can only say in the area of science.
Q: Do you have an opinion as to whether or not a teacher who was teaching creation science in the Pulaski County Special School District would suffer a negative evaluation if they were teaching the creation science model?
A: Are you saying now, right now?
A: I would say no, not on the basis of that. There are many ways in which we are evaluated. It has to do with a lot of things, including our appearance on a daily basis and our rapport with students. It's a multifaceted instrument, of which I don't believe that is on there anyplace.
Q: Is it possible?
A: Would you rephrase that again? What is possible?
THE COURT: You don't need to rephrase that. Go on to something else.
Q: Mr. Wood, have you had an opportunity to examine a copy of "The Science Teacher", volume 43, number 8, November, 1976?
A: Number 8? Would you give me those numbers again? I've got two copies of "Science Teacher". I want to make
A: (Continuing) sure I'm on the right one.
Q: One of them has "Moore" written across the top of it. The other one has "Lester".
A: Which one do I read?
Q: Okay. There is a number under "Science Teacher", volume 43, number
A: Well, both of these say number 8. One has Moore and one has Lester.
Q: Would you look inside one of them and tell me the name that appears?
A: There is one here, but I can't make out all, but the author, I suppose, is John N. Moore. Is this the one you are referring to?
Q: Is that not a clear copy?
A: Well, I can't make out the total words here. That's what I was referring to.
Q: Does that appear to be an article written in favor of the teaching of creation science?
A: I have no idea. I haven't been able to read all of this. I could not make an evaluation of this at all. I'd have to spend a little time reading it. Are you wanting me to read it right now? Would you like for me to?
Q: I gave it to you before you went on the stand so you would have a chance to.
A: Yes. About three minutes. I'm not a speed reader, Mr. Childs, and I did not read it all. Honestly, I did not. I got started.
Q: The article that— The original magazine that I gave you, did it appear to have four articles? Two in favor of the teaching?
A: I don't know.
Q: Would you read this paragraph to yourself, please?
A: I have read this introduction.
Q: What does that indicate?
A: It indicates they held a debate. They didn't do any science. They just held a debate.
Q: Where was this debate held?
A: This debate was held at a National Science Teachers' Association area convention in Atlanta last fall, which from this data, the article, then that would be the fall of 1975.
Q: Does it indicate that Doctor Moore and Doctor Lester argued the position that creation science should be taught?
A: If these are the two people that are involved in it. As I said, I got it and I started looking at one of the articles, but I have not been able to summarize them in any way.
Q: Is the "Science Teacher" a publication available to science teachers that's reputable
Q: (Continuing) Yes. I think it's a good journal, yes.
MR. CHILDS: Your Honor, I would submit the part of the address by Doctor Lester as Defendants' Exhibit 6, and the material by Doctor John N. Moore as Defendants' Exhibit 7.
MR. CRAWFORD: If your Honor please, for what purpose is it being offered? I didn't understand.
THE COURT: I guess for the purpose of proving somebody had a debate down in Atlanta.
MR. CRAWFORD: I guess I object to that.
THE COURT: And somebody took the pro side and somebody took the con side.
MR. CRAWFORD: Well, your Honor, the witness has not read the article that's being offered for the truth of the matter asserted. It's hearsay. I would prefer if they want to put it in their case for creation science that they do it through witnesses that we can examine.
MR. CHILDS: Your Honor, it's being submitted to show that there is information available in reputable periodicals within the science teaching field which supports creation science, and for that limited purpose only.
THE COURT: I think the point of the objection is, you've got a witness on the stand who has never even read the article. He read one paragraph there and tried to
THE COURT: (Continuing) identify or agree with you about what the article is about. That's no basis for admitting it into evidence. I suppose if you are trying to get in somebody's opinion that creation science should be taught in schools, the way to do that is to call that person and put them on the witness stand and ask them questions so that they will be subject to cross examination. Now, just because they may have— At this point, you've established they had a debate. Just because there may have been a debate doesn't mean it's admissible.
MR. CHILDS: Your Honor, this witness testified that there wasn't any information available that he knew of other than creation science sources. And this is put in to show, to attack his credibility on that issue. I think it should go in the record. And in the alternative is to have Mr. Wood step down from the stand and have an opportunity to read these and then recall him later.
THE COURT: You are introducing this evidence to impeach his credibility?
MR. CHILDS: Yes, your Honor.
MR. CRAWFORD: Your Honor—
THE COURT: Why don't we take a recess. May I see the attorneys back in chambers?
(Thereupon, Court was in
recess from 2:20 p.m.
until 2:25 p.m.)
MR. CHILDS: Your Honor, pursuant to your ruling, have marked Defendants' Exhibit 6 and 7 for identification.
THE COURT: Okay, Sir. Those will be refused and I'll show that you made an offer of proof of those.
MR. CHILDS: I have nothing further of this witness.
MR. CRAWFORD: The witness may be excused.
THE COURT: You may step down, Mr. Wood.
called on behalf of the Plaintiffs herein, after having been first duly sworn or affirmed, was examined and testified as follows:
BY MR. KAPLAN:
Q: State your name and your address, please?
A: My name is Ed Bullington. I reside at **** ****** ****** ****, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Q: And by whom are you employed?
A: Pulaski County Special School District.
Q: Tell me a little bit about your educational background, your degrees from the time you graduated college, please?
A:: I graduated from Ouachita Baptist University with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Currently, I'm nearing completion of a Master's Degree in Educational