Thursday, May 20, 2004

McLean v. Arkansas - Plaintiff's transcript, testimony of Stephen Jay Gould.........

As you can see from my right sidebar, I have a section devoted to "debunking your creationist/Intelligent design Friends". One of the sites I have found most helpful recently in terms of keeping me abreast of the latest struggles science is dealing with in the nations courtrooms is The Panda's Thumb. The site is named after the famous essay by Stephen Gould, The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History.

One of the most fascinating links I stumbled across was the following transcript from McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, which is known as one of the more high-profile court cases relating to evolution since the scopes trial. The case pitted creationists against pastors, priests, teachers, and scientists. "McLean et al. vs. Arkansas" sought relief from Arkansas' Act 590, which mandated that evolutionary biology instruction be balanced with "creation science". Unlike the 1925 Scopes trial in Tennessee, the Arkansas court heard testimony from a large number of witnesses on both sides of the case. Judge Overton ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and Act 590 was deemed unconstitutional. One of the witnesses for the trial was none other than Stephen Gould himself.

This is the transcript still available of the testimony from Dr. Gould for the plaintiffs and the cross-examination from the defense. I am linking to this testimony for the benefit of others to read and distribute, because it is in danger of becoming erased from history due to the neglect of the official records and the lack of centralized data storing in the Arkansas court systems.

I suggest perusing the testimony to get better acquainted with the history of this debate, as it is fundamental to our progression scientifically to desist wasting time on non-scientific theories in science classrooms.

No comments: