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The Newsletter of The North Texas Skeptics
Volume 4 Number 1 www.ntskeptics.org January/February 1990

In this month's issue:

Only a theory

Evolution in Texas Textbooks, New Requirements, and a Bit of History

by Scott Faust

Part 1

In 1921 William Jennings Bryan added 'The Menace of Darwinism" to his repertoire of Chautauqua speeches. Thus began the first period of significant public antievolution activism in 20th-Century America. The movement had waned by the early 30's, leaving in its wake legislative resolutions, laws, and administrative rulings prohibiting or limiting evolution in public school curricula or text books. Retrospective studies have shown that textbook content on evolution deceased notably after 1927 [1]. Substantive and forthright treatment of the topic was not generally restored until the post-Sputnik reformation of science education began to affect biology texts in the early 60's. Post-Scopes texts had glossed over or excluded evolution, some of the new books actually emphasized it. This stimulus quickly revived anti-evolution activism, and the movement's current advent has now spanned two and a half decades. A belated response by small cadres of scientists, religionists, educators and concerned citizens, as well as several organizations concerned with science, academics, first amendment issues, etc., has probably extended the controversy.

Trends during the 70's and early 80's in text book content, in state legislatures, in local schools and school boards, etc.-must have inspired a sense of deja vu in science education activists relearning the history of the Scopes era and its aftermath. A determination rapidly developed not to see the revived movement, like its fore-bear, become a victim of its own success. Likewise, anti-evolutionists are unlikely to give up as long as evolution has the slightest prominence in texts or curricula, or is not countered at every turn by a Bible-derived "creation science."

There are three general strategies which anti-evolutionists have directed against evolution in science education. The first-exclusion of evolution to whatever degree achievable-dominated the movement of the 20's. It is still pursued, but is often sublimated to other approaches by more astute activists. A later strategy was to counterpose scientific instruction with Biblical literalism. Adaptations of this approach led to legislative attempts, in the mid to late 70's and early 80's, to mandate the teaching of "creation science" as a coequal alternative to "evolution science" in science classes [2]. The third strategy can be called the "only a theory" approach. It involves attempts to characterize evolution as little more than speculation or guessing, and has permeated anti-evolution propaganda all along. It is often disguised as an attempt to avoid dogmatism in science education. A worthy purpose, unless it is only the theories a particular group happens to disagree with that are singled out for "undogmatic" treatment. Were Christian Scientists as active as fundamentalists, the germ theory of disease would doubtless fall victim to this gambit.

A related tactic places special emphasis on the fact that evolution is a theory. This would be effective if the meaning of "theory" in science were generally understood [3]. It isn't, of course, so evolution is implicitly demeaned as "just a theory" or "only a theory." These tactics provide entrees for the other strategies: Once a popular conception of "theory" is tacitly accepted, demands for the inclusion of "other theories" (which don't meet the structures of the scientific definition) may seem reasonable. And in pursuance of exclusion, textbooks which treat the topic of evolution substantively and comprehensively can be rejected as "too dogmatic."

The "only a theory" strategy has a history here in Texas [4].In the early 70's the State Board of Education (SBE) required texts to carry an introductory disclaimer that any material on evolution be "presented as theory rather than as a fact." In 1974 a more extensive evolution rule was added to "general content requirements" [5] for textbooks. It mandated the following: Evolution should be identified "as only one of several explanations of the origins of mankind ... ." Textbooks "which treat the subject of evolution substantively in explaining the historical origins of humankind should [1ater 'shall'] be edited, if necessary, to clarify that the treatment is theoretical rather than factually verifiable." A disclaimer must also be included on an introductory page. The above also holds for books which "make reference to evolution indirectly or by implication," except that the disclaimer is not required. The 1974 rule was drafted in response to a complaint by textbook activists Mel and Norma Gabler. [4]

Evolution is, of course, the only scientific theory that the Texas SBE has ever seen fit to regulate. In March1984, Attorney General Mattox issued an advisory opinion on the constitutionality of the evolution rule. The opinion held that the rule failed to evidence a secular purpose and was therefore probably unconstitutional. The opinion noted that evolution had been singled out for special qualifications applied to no other scientific theory. The opinion suggested that, "if the board feels compelled to legislate in this area, it should, in order to avoid the constitutional prohibition, promulgate a rule which is of general application to all scientific theory..." [6]

At the April 1984 meeting of the SBE Mike Hudson of the Texas People for the American Way warned the board that a coalition of 26 groups of scientists, educators, parents, and religious leaders was "prepared to sue to enforce Attorney General Mattox's ruling." The board then abolished the rule, replacing it with a requirement that, "theories shall be clearly distinguished from fact and presented in an objective, educational manner."

Recent events in Texas concern the latest "Proclamation of the State Board of Education Advertising for Bids on Textbooks"-Proclamation 66. The results of this affair will be considered (in Part II) in relation to the history outlined above. Proclamations are drafted by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and adopted annually by the SBL Each covers a number of courses, providing publishers with guidelines and requirements for texts submitted for adoption by the state. The more important subjects in this cycle are Elementary Science, Biology I, Biology II, and Mathematics.[7] Consideration of bids under Proclamation 66 will begin in 1990 after the State Textbook Subject Area Committees organized in late April. The Committees will hold hearings in June and July, and made their recommendations, as many as eight books in each subject, to the SBE in August. reviewing these, the Commissioner of Education may drop books from the list, but not add any. The same is true for the SBE which will hold public hearings and make final selections in November. Adopted materials will be used beginning with the 1991-1992 school year.[8]

Since a given subject or course usually appears in a Proclamation only once about every six years, biology texts may not be adopted again until around 1996. Those currently in use were adopted in 1984.[9] Preliminary Proclamation 66 was presented to the SBE by Commissioner of Education Dr. William Kirby in January. In the Proclamation textbook content requirements are divided into "process skills" and "content."

Evolution appeared in "content" for Biology I, II, and Elementary Science. For example, in Biology I: 9. Evolution 9.1 scientific theory of evolution 9.2 scientific evidence of evolution 9.3 mechanisms of evolution 9.4 processes of evolution Biology II used similar language. For Elementary Science, see Part 2 of this article, where the board's amendments are discussed.

The mere mention of evolution would be all but unprecedented for a Texas proclamation. Proclamation 65, adopted during a brief period when the SBE was an appointed body, did require evolution for geology texts, but few students take this course.

The appointed board was a recommendation of H. Ross Perot and the Select Committee on Public education. Perot said that the evolution rules discussed above had brought Texas "national embarrassment," and several committee members indicated textbook selections as influencing their support of this recommendation. A public hearing was held on Proclamation 66 when the document had its second reading at the 10 February of the SBE.[10]

An Austin area community college teacher told the board that "God is watching you. Please do not provoke his wrath." David Muralt, Texas director for Citizens for Excellence in Education (a sister organization of the National Association of Christian Educators), claimed that, "teaching students that they are evolved, and nothing more than animals, degrades their quality of life and robs them of meaning and purpose for ..... the fruits of this God-denying teaching," he added, "are lying, cheating, stealing, promiscuity, chemical abuse, suicide and crime of all sorts, including the Holocaust"

Don Patton, of the Dallas-based Metroplex Institute for Origin Science (MIOS), was also present A major charge for MIOS is the support and promotion of creationist activities on the Paluxy River near Glen Rose, specifically those of "mantracker" Carl Baugh. Patton showed the Board pictures of what he and Baugh claim are human footprints found along with dinosaur tracks in the cretaceous Glen Rose limestone [11]. Holding a conspiratorial view of science, Patton claims that such evidence is the kind of thing systematically censored from science textbooks, although he concedes that further published documentation is required on the mantracks.[12]

In opposition to those denouncing evolution or promoting" creation science;" clergy, educators, scientists and textbook activists appeared to support the Proclamation. The latter categories included, among others, Texas People for the American Way (PAW) director Mike Hudson; Steven Schafersman, a geologist and president of the Texas Council for Science Education; Elizabeth Judge of Broader Perspectives, Inc.; and Basset Maguire, a biologist from UT Austin. In notable absence February were textbook reformers Mel and Norma Gabler, with Mel reportedly recovering from heart surgery. The Gablers' well-known textbook campaigns originated in 1961, and biology texts first came to their attention when Texas adopted new ones in 1964. This was only a year after the National Science Foundation funded Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) marketed its first books. Norma believed that BSCS texts, which adopted the scandalous practice of actually integrating evolution into biology instruction, would "undermine the faith of thousands of students." The Gablers participated in a energetic campaign against the books. When all three were adopted (the only time this would happen in Texas), the Gablers urged local school districts to reject them and select another adopted book that was "much milder" on evolution.[13] Having battled evolution for a quarter of century-and not without some success-the Gablers were not about to sit this one out. On 20 February, less than three weeks before the SBE would meet to adopt Proclamation 66 in its final form, the Gablers appeared as guests on Marlin Maddoux's "Point of View" radio talk show. Produced in Dallas, the show airs nation wide on conservative Christian radio stations. It is a kind of national fundamentalist town meeting.

Maddoux and many of his guests encourage listeners to engage in activist support of politicized ideological fundamentalism. Mel Gabler told Maddoux and his audience that, "God will do a miracle," through people writing letters, and showing up in person in Austin, to protest new guidelines which would greatly increase evolutionary dogma in texts. The Gablers would not ask that evolution be excluded, but claimed that two changes in the Proclamation were necessary to prevent dogmatic presentation. The first was to change "theory of evolution" to "theories of evolution," for there are, the Gablers claim, multiple and self-contradictory theories. Mel listed three Darwinian Gradualism, currently discredited and abandoned by many evolutionists; Punctuated Equilibria, which is the same as the "Hopeful Monster" theory; and Cladistics. Gabler literature indicates that they would like to "cite [these multiple theories] against each other [to] discredit them all."[14] Cladistics is a methodology in taxonomy. Not even by the most extreme stretch of the imagination can it be considered a "theory of evolution." Punctuated Equilibria is a theory about the tempo of evolution, and proposes no fundamentally new mechanism. It is equated with the 'Hopeful Monster" theory (which claimed a significant role in evolution for genetic macro- or systemic mutations) only by anti-evolutionists. The Gablers supplied many other examples of misrepresentation and sheer ignorance. The couple seem to have learned everything they think they know about evolution from creationist sources. One might as well try to learn about Jewish culture from Mein Kampf. The Gablers also wanted to have equal evidence for and against evolution required. They would still prefer to have overt creation science included. Not surprisingly, the arguments against evolution they cite are drawn from the shoddy scholarship of "creation science."[15] Norma said the language should read as follows for Biology I (her changes emphasized): 9. Evolution 9.1 scientific theories of evolution 9.2 scientific evidence for and against each theory of evolution. Listeners to "Point of View" could receive copies of two handouts the Gablers were offering. "Speak up on Evolution" had an address for the Commissioner of Education and suggested language for letters. The other had names and addresses for all SBE members.

Anti-evolutionists are well networked. As word went out by radio, pulpit, etc, SBE members were inundated with hundreds of letters and phone calls, many of them concentrated in the last weeks before the March meeting.

In Part 2 we will look at the final proclamation and see how the SBE responded to fundamentalist pressure.


1 Skoog, Gerald. "The Topic of Evolution in Secondary School Biology Textbooks: 1900-1977", Science Education. 63 (1979). Grabiner & Miller. Effects of the Scopes Trial," Science. 185 (1974), 832-7.

2 LeClerq, Frederic S. "The Monkey laws and the Public Schools: A Second Consumption?", Vanderbilt Law Review. 27 (1974), 209. Larson, Edward J. Trial and Error: The American Controversy Over Creation and Evolution. Oxford Univ. Press, 1985.

3 Theory, n. 1. an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena: (the theory of evolution) ... 'Theory" implies a larger body of tested evidence and a greater degree of probability [than does "hypothesis"]. Hammond Barnhart Dictionary of Science. Hammond, Inc., 1986.

4 For more information see: Schafersman, Steven. "Censorship of Evolution in Texas", Creation/Evolution Journal. Issue X (v3, n4; fall 1982). House Study Group. "The Texas Textbook Controversy," Special Legislative Report, No. 101. (tx Doc; L1801.7; 4816).

5 These first appeared in the annual textbook proclamations, but are now found in the board rules (19 TAC sec. 81.71).

6 Attorney General Opinion No. JM-134.

7 Introductory Biology was dropped from this cycle and will appear in a subsequent Proclamation. The biology courses are high school level, elementary science grades 1- 6.

8 Local school districts go through their own adoption process, selecting from the state's list of approved texts. These are supplied free. Local districts are not permitted to use non approved texts, even if purchased with local funds, except in the case of supplementary texts and certain other special circumstances (see 19 TAC sec. 81.151).

9 Moyer, Wayne A. "How Texas Rewrote Your Textbooks," The Science Teacher. Jan. 1985, p.23-7.

10 I was not at any of the SBE meetings. Newspaper accounts and conversations with participants have been used here. All direct quotes are from the former.

11 The coexistence of humans and dinosaurs in the Cretaceous would constitute a reasonably conclusive falsification of the theory of common decent (which Patton claims is unfalsifiable), at least with respect to humans.

12 See, Hastings, Ronnie J. "The Rise and Fall of the Paluxy Mantracks," Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, vol. 40, no. 3, Sept. 1988, pp. 144-155, and works cited therein.

13 Hefly, James C. Are Textbooks Harming Your Children? Norma and Mel Gabler Take Action and Show You How! Mott Media: 1979: pp.15. 43-51.

14 See flyer cited in footnote 15 below.

15 For example, see: "Secular Scientists Speak on Evolution" and "Scientific Evidence Against Evolution" in the flyer "Parents, Teachers and Students Win Big in Austin", The MEL GABLERs. T-715, 1989.

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Touching for scrofula

by John A. Thomas

It's helpful to have a historical perspective on the many irrational beliefs and practices that persist today. Most of the New Age, for example, is not really new, particularly its healing dogmas. lord Macaulay's History of England has an amusing passage illustrating the results of mixing religion, statecraft, magical thinking and illness.

When Macaulay takes up the story, William of Orange has just come to the throne after the revolution of 1688 and finds himself in trouble for his lack of appreciation for some old English traditions: It was known that he [William] was so profane as to sneer at a practice which had been sanctioned by high ecclesiastical authority, the practice of touching for scrofula.

This ceremony had come down almost unaltered from the darkest of the dark ages to the time of Newton and Locke. The Stuarts frequently dispensed the healing influences in the Banqueting House.

The days on which this miracle was to be wrought were fixed at sittings of the Privy Council, and were solemnly notified by the clergy in all the parish churches of the realm. When the appointed time came, several divines in full cannonicals stood round the canopy of state.

The surgeon of the royal household introduced the sick. A passage from the sixteenth chapter of the Gospel of St. Mark was read. When the words, "They shall lay their hands on the sick and they shall recover," had been pronounced, there was a pause; and one of the sick was brought up to the King. His Majesty stroked the ulcers and swellings and hung round the patient's neck a white riband to which was fastened a gold coin. The other sufferers were then led up in succession; and as each was touched, the chaplain repeated the incantation, "They shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

Then came the epistle, prayers, antiphonies, and a benediction The service may still he found in the prayer hooks of the reign of Anne. indeed it was not till some time after the accession of George the First that the University of Oxford ceased to reprint the Office of Healing together with the Liturgy.

Theologians of eminent learning, ability, and virtue gave the sanction of their authority to this mummery; and what is stranger still, medical men of high note believed, or affected to believe, in the balsamic virtues of the royal hand.

We must suppose that every surgeon who attended Charles the Second was a man of high repute and skill; and more than one of the surgeons who attended Charles the Second has left us a solemn profession of faith in the king's miraculous power. One of them is not ashamed to tell us that that the gift was communicated by the unction administered at the coronation; that the cures were so numerous and sometimes so rapid that they could not he attributed to any natural cause; that the failures were to he ascribed to want of faith on the part of the patients; that Charles once handled a scrofulous Quaker and made him a healthy man and a sound churchman in a moment; that, if those who had been healed lost or sold the piece of gold which had been hung round their necks, the ulcers broke forth again, and could he removed only by a second touch and a second talisman.

We cannot wonder that, when men of science gravely repeated such nonsense, the vulgar should have believed it. Still less can we wonder that wretches tortured by a disease over which natural remedies had no power should have eagerly drunk in tales of preternatural cures; for nothing is so credulous as misery.

The crowds which repaired to the palace on the days of healing were immense. Charles the Second, in the course of his reign, touched near a hundred thousand persons.... The expense of the ceremony was little less than ten thousand pounds a year, and would have been much greater but for the vigilance of the royal surgeons, whose business it was to examine the applicants, and to distinguish those who came for the cure from those who came for the gold.

From History of England, vol.2. Chapt. xiv. A good Nineteenth century survey of superstitious folly through the ages is Charles Mackay's Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

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New age or old nonsense?

by Keith Parsons

Keith Parsons lectures in philosophy at Georgia State University. This article is reprinted by permission from the Georgia Skeptic, June, 1989

What is the New Age? Is it J. Z. Knight and "Ramtha?" Is it quartz crystals and Shirley McLaine? Is it Nancy Reagan's astrologer? Is it a movement? An ideology? A cult? Actually, the New Age is all of this, but it purports to be much more.

It purports to be an entirely new world-view. What is a "world-view?" A world-view is a set of fundamental concepts and categories that shapes our entire perception of reality. Reality, as philosophers since Kant have argued, is never perceived in the raw.

It is always mediated, structured, ordered, and arranged by human language and concepts. even sense perception Is "theory laden." We don't experience uninterpreted "sense data" or "raw feels." The instant we perceive something we are already thinking about it-Identifying It, classifying it, deciding how to react to it, etc. Hence, the world we experience is not the buzzing, booming, blooming confusion it must be to the newborn infant.

Our experience is (usually, at least!) coherent and orderly; we have learned to interpret reality in ways that make it manageable and predictable. our world-view, then, is Just that set of basic concepts that we employ to make sense of the world. civilizations occasionally undergo a change of world-view.

One such change In world-view was the breakdown of the Aristotelian-teleological world-view and Its replacement by the mechanistic-corpuscularian view of modern science. Since such changes involve profound, sometimes radical shifts in the way that a culture views reality, such conceptual sea changes have a momentous effect upon the lives of persons in those cultures.

Hence if New Agers do propose a new world-view, their proposal is one of the utmost significance for all of us. We should therefore take their claims with the deepest serious-ness and not be distracted by the obvious silliness of trance channellers and crystal healers.

What, then, is the new world-view advocated by the New Agers? what's wrong with our present world-view? Historians of ideas point out that new world-views emerge when the old one reaches a crisis point. That is, when an old world-view Is faced with a host of pressing problems, a new world-view must then be hammered out that will resolve those difficulties.

But is the present scientific world-view of industrially advanced societies so bankrupt, so ridden with intractable problems and conundrums that it must be changed toto caelo? Yes, say the New Agers. Just look at how we have raped, plundered, exploited, and squandered the precious resources of our Mother Earth. Look how we live in constant fear of nuclear annihilation. Look at the spiritual vacuum in the computerized, digitalized, programmed lives of present-day humans. New Agers believe that we have brought all these evils onto ourselves because of our allegiance to the mechanistic, reductionistic, atomistic, and deterministic world-view we have inherited from the early days of modern science.

In place of that old world-view they want one that emphasizes holism, relativism, metaphysical idealism, and mysticism. Let us enlarge on some of these purported differences between the New Age and the old one.

"Holism" is one of the buzzwords of the New Age movement. "Holism" Is contrasted with "reductionism." Old fashioned science is said to be reductionistic; that is, it finds out about things by reducing them to their constituent parts and finding out how those parts operate. Thus, reductionist science finds out about organisms by looking at their cells; it finds out about cells by looking at their constituent molecules; molecules In turn are explained by their individual atoms; atoms are explained by subatomic particles, which most physicists hold to be fundamental and not subject to further explanation.

Not even the most avid New Ager can deny that reductionistic science has had its successes. However, New Agers feel that the pervasive reductionism of science has had many dire effects.

Reductionistic medicine, for instance, is accused of leading doctors to forget that patients are complete persons with mental, emotional, and spiritual needs as well as purely physical ones. Indeed, the purportedly excessive reductionism of science is seen as inherently destructive. in their zeal to get to the inside of things, scientists allegedly become like peevish children who smash an expensive toy to see how It operates. By taking things apart they obscure the beauty and significance of the whole.

Hence, New Agers recommend a more holistic approach. The slogan of holism is that "the whole is greater that the sum of its parts."

What does this mean? In what sense is a whole entity greater than the sum of its parts? Is this a coherent assertion? Well, it certainly is coherent if it means that in understanding something we must consider not only its isolated parts, but also the order, arrangement, interactions, and relationships of those parts.

Clearly, a house cannot be understood completely in terms of the individual bricks that constitute it. Neither can living bodies be understood wholly in terms of individual livers, spleens, kidneys, etc. A living body is a system-a dynamic and organic whole-and must be understood as such. if this is what New Agers mean when they say that the whole is greater that the sum of its parts, we can wholeheartedly agree with them.

But if this is all that holism means, it is not at all dear that a major revision of scientific concepts and practice is called for. Indeed, science is already holistic in that sense.

No atomic scientist would dream that the properties of atoms could be understood just by looking at the features of individual particles and never asking about their interactions or relations with one another. No biologist would for a moment think that evolution can be understood by looking at individual organisms in isolation from other organisms and the environment.

Hence, If New Agers mean something revolutionary by their slogan, they must mean more than this. Perhaps the slogan means that whole entities often possess properties that their individual constituents lack.

Again, this is dearly true. Brains can think even though individual neurons cannot. So, once again, something else must be meant by this slogan. Just what that extra meaning could be, however, is hard to say.

If saying that medicine should be more holistic means only that doctors should treat their patients as people and not just as collections of symptoms, then we may concur with this excellent advice. We may even agree that a patient's mental outlook could affect his liability to illness or his ability to recover from disease.

After all, thinking is a physical process and it certainly seems reasonable to suppose that brain states could affect other bodily systems.

But again, New Agers seem to mean more than this when they call for a holistic approach to medicine. It therefore seems that to say that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts is either to say something that is obviously true and will not require massive overhauling of scientific practice, or it is to try to say something that is not clear at all.

If the slogan means something more than what I've indicated above, this has to be fleshed out if we are to make any sense of New Age teachings.

In the next issue, Parsons continues his inquiry into the philosophical problems of New Age thought and its shaky conceptual foundations.

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Meeting notes

At our November meeting Dr. Laura Millicovsky gave us a psychiatrist's perspective on the New Age movement. Dr. Millicovsky specializes in adolescent psychiatry. The often nihilistic and highly subjective belief systems of many of her young clients inspired her to study the philosophical foundations of New Age thinking. Dr. Millicovsky took Willis Harman's book Global Mind Change as her paradigm. Harman rejects so-called materialistic monism (the idea that matter gives rise to mind), as well as dualism (the notion that mind and matter are two different things) in favor of "transcendental monism" This is the belief that mind gives rise to matter.

Further, there is an overall mind that forms or "dreams" the physical world. The scientific method cannot get at this primary reality because it is inherently subjective. Such a belief has consequences, and Dr. Millicovsky developed them not only from Harman's book but also from the "Seth" materials of channeler Jane Roberts.

Some of these are: We create our own reality; we plan the events in our life. We are multi-dimensional beings who live different lives and evolve over time. Evil and destruction do not exist. By following our own impulses we can best lead our lives. Intuitive sense is just as reliable as reason.

Such beliefs have some common ground with "traditional" religion-except that the role of God is replaced by the individual. Dr. Millicovsky feels that this set of beliefs empowers many people who otherwise feel powerless, and makes them feel they are not alone. Of course, such subjectivity and emphasis on total control have their dark side. One can become hag-ridden by the oppressive burden of total responsibility. Abandonment of reason and objectivity can obviously lead to bad choices and the setting of impossible goals. However, she feels that such beliefs can sometimes be turned to advantage in psycho-therapy. For example, a client who accepts total responsibility may be persuaded to exercise that responsibility to realistically deal with his problems.

For our December program, we returned to that old time religion--creationism. Dr. David Dunn of the University of Texas at Dallas spoke on his personal encounters with the creation "scientists."

In the early '60s, he was Dean of Science at New Orleans University. At this time the Louisiana legislature was considering the creation-science law that would eventually be declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. Dr. Dunn testified before the legislature against the bill, and when it became law, joined the legal team which set out to challenge it, preparing lists of expert witnesses and assisting in the examination of the state's creation-science witnesses.

The Louisiana law did not attempt to outlaw the teaching of evolution; rather it sought to vitiate it by opposing it at every turn by the teaching of creationism. The legislature attempted to disguise its motives by characterizing the bill as one promoting "academic freedom."

Dr. Dunn became convinced that the best way to talk to a creationist is "across a deposition table." Several of the creationist experts bowed out when the plaintiffs forced them to conceded that they intended to get rich writing and publishing text books that would be required under the new act. Others were rendered unusable for the state after rigorous examination compelled them to admit that their beliefs about the age of the earth and human evolution were ultimately founded on religious belief and not on data. One, Harold Slusher, a physicist, finally gave up and conceded after two and a half days of testimony that that earth was 6000 years old because Archbishop Ussher said it was, and not because the scientific data showed it so. The plaintiffs were able to gradually expose creation science as just an attempt to marshal arguments by pseudoscientific sleight of hand for an essentially religious position. Mostly because of this hard-hitting approach, the plaintiffs were able to have the case decided on motion for summary judgment, without a trial. The US. Supreme court eventually upheld the judgement declaring the law unconstitutional.

Although the creationists would now seem to have no legal recourse left to get their teachings in the public schools, Dr. Dunn feels that are not yet out for the count. He thinks that "intelligent design" may be the coming buzzword, and that a more sophisticated attack may be on the horizon We may see this already in the activities of the local Foundation for Thought and Ethics. We hope to have a story on that group and its plans early this year.

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