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The Talk.Origins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

Kansas Evolution Hearings

Part 5


CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: It is now one o'clock. We're going to go ahead and get started again. Mr. Calvert.

MR. CALVERT: Thank you. I would like to call as our next witness Bryan Leonard. Mr. Leonard is a high school biology teacher from Ohio.


Q. Bryan, thank you for being here. Would you please tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, where you're currently employed and-- and a bit about your work on the doctoral degree?

A. Yes. Thank you. My name is Bryan Leonard. I received my Bachelor's of Science Degree in biology education. I received my Master's Degree in microbiology. I'm currently working on my Ph.D., actually a Ph.D. candidate at the Ohio State University studying science education.

Q. And are you also employed as a high school teacher?

A. Yes, I am, with-- in a suburban area right outside Columbus, Ohio

Q. Is that a privatized school? [Possible court reporter error: it is reported that the "public high school" was what was actually said. And Leonard is a public school teacher. -- Editor]

A. Yes, it is.

Q. And how long have you been teaching high school?

A. Teaching high school biology for nine years now.

Q. What is the work of your-- you're working on a doctorate degree. Right?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And could you tell us a bit about that?

A. I'm working on basically my doctoral dissertation deals with the area of evolution education, and specifically I'm looking at basically students reactions how-- how students react, how students believe and so and so forth when they're taught the scientific information both in terms of supporting and challenging macroevolution.

Q. Have you been involved in applying that knowledge to lesson plans for a while?

A. Yes. I was able to be a part of the science writing committee for the State of Ohio in which each of the members on the science writing committee, we had to write exemplar curriculum lessons plans that were in line with the Ohio State standards. And I serve on-- on that committee for those-- (reporter interruption). Writing science curriculum for our 10th graders.

Q. And in your high school you're teaching 10th grade biology?

A. Yes, I am.

Q. Teaching it how?

A. Well, the way in which I teach it is similar in a way in which basically we wrote the lesson plan that was-- that-- that serves as the curriculum mono lesson, entitled Critical Analysis of Evolution. So that particular lesson plan, I was the original drafter, however I had a number of people who were involved in generation, shaping and the molding of that particular lesson. Went through an extensive peer review process. And the way in which I teach evolution in my high school biology class is that I teach the scientific information, or in other words, the scientific interpretations both supporting and challenging macroevolution.

Q. How long have you been doing it?

A. I've been doing it for about-- I think this is probably about my fifth year. About five or six years now.

Q. And just going back a bit-- well, no. Why don't you tell us how your students, parents and school administrators and so forth have reacted to that-- that format, and are they aware you're teaching it that way?

A. Yes. Parents are aware. The administrators, they're aware. They've been very supportive. All of the responses that I have received from the parents have been just overwhelmingly supportive of it. I received calls, e-mails, parents pull me aside in the hallway as they came through the school. Just-- just very, very ecstatic in the way in which I've been teaching it.

The students actually have been really enjoying-- enjoying that lesson as well as, and I don't know.

Q. And you're going to-- as we get further in this dialogue, we'll pull the-- your power point demonstration out that you have. You'll have an opportunity, I guess, to explain that lesson plan and the way in which you've been teaching in your both sided approach in your high school class.

I want to get back in history a bit. As I understand it, I believe it was 2002 the State Board of Ohio adopted a science standard that would cause students to understand how science is criticized evolutionary theory. Is that the case?

A. Yes, that's correct.

Q. And as a result of that indicator, after the adoption of that, the Ohio State Board commissioned a group of scientists to develop lesson plans to support that. Is that correct?

A. Yes. A group of scientists, a group of science educators, both in teaching high school biology as well as evolution biology.

Q. And you were assigned that committee and worked with it?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Will you be discussing that in your power point or is this a good time to launch into that, or is there anything that you need to tell the people before you do that?

A. 'Um, at least --

Q. Beg pardon?

A. I said at least in terms of additional things, maybe some additional things to kind of generate that power point.

Q. Maybe you could tell us a bit about the process of developing a lesson plan and your involvement in the committee?

A. Okay. The lesson is-- is a-- is a product of a lot of steps. There's a lot of kind of quote-unquote very-- a lot of fingerprints that are on this lesson plan.

As I said, I was the original drafter, however, I presented the lesson in front of our writing committee, our 10th grade writing committee. The 10th grade writing committee consisted, again, of-- of research scientists, a veterinarian, high school biology teachers, and so having gone through that process, the lesson was kind of tweaked, molded, shaped into the best lesson that we could actually design to the students in Ohio.

The lesson was also tweaked and shaped and molded by other people. Our advisory team had input in it. The Ohio Department of Education officials, they had input in it, and also the lesson was field tested, so we sent it out to the field, university professors, other biology school teachers, community members, scientists. They all read it. There's a number of them who actually reviewed the lesson. There's some who actually-- actually used the lesson in the classroom, okay, per the-- our-- our requests for the field test and to give us feedback. And we tried our best to respond appropriately to the feedback to design the lesson how to best serve our students.

So like I said, this lesson went through an extensive, extensive peer review process, and what we have here is basically what we think is a good product that's going to benefit students and an excellent product that's going to help increase students' knowledge on evolution.

Q. You might touch on what were the goals of-- of this product, and does that lead into your power point?

A. Yeah, it could. Basically the-- the-- the goal of this lesson simply was to help students' knowledge of macroevolution, so that was basically the main goal of our particular lesson. Again, what type of things can we as educators, what type of things we as drafters of this lesson, how can we actually and sincerely put our students in a better position to learn evolution.

So as you see here-- I'm going to have to walk. I'm a school teacher, so standing right here pointing is kind of difficult. But as you see here, goal number one with the critical analysis of evolution lesson, as well as my goal as an educator is to increase the students' knowledge of macroevolution. And you'll see here I have the word "students" in red, and the reason why I have it in red is because what-- as you're looking at that you're focusing on that red word. So that's one thing, hey, we need to focus on our students. What type of things are students going to gain most of all as a result of implementing this lesson, so throughout the power point presentation you will see the word "students" in red to-- more so to try and-- a kind of constant reminder in our mind, hey, we want to focus on the students. You know, how we can put our students in the best position to learn macroevolution. So how-- how-- how can we actually increase students' knowledge of evolution.

All right. Go back. Go back. Okay. Find out what students are most interested in and teach towards their interests. Teach towards their interests. Yes.

I asked my students in my dissertation study here, question: Which of the following would be more interesting to you-- rather, for you to learn, number one, scientific interpretation supporting macroevolution only. Number two, scientific interpretation supporting and challenging macroevolution. So I posed this question actually before I got to the evolution unit, just curious. Again, we wanted to teach towards their interests.

Next. Here are the results. Out of 350 students-- and this is a poll that I did for the past couple years for use here. Of 350 students who responded to the question, we talked to 350 total, 312, in other words, 89 percent of the students said that they would be more interested in learning the scientific information supporting and challenging macroevolution. So, again, this is just real basic, clear data that shows the majority of the students are interested in learning both sides from a scientific perspective.

Heightened student interest equals higher test performances. Quote: "When reading in the area of individual interests students display heightened attention, concentration, positive effect, immediate comprehension of the material and subsequent test performances."

So what is my job as an educator? My job as an educator is actually trying to shape and mold and put my students in the best position to perform well on a test. Okay. You know, we have a set of assessments and various assessments there, so basically a-- I just want them basically to do well on the tests, as well as, of course, a number of other things, which I'll talk about a little later.

Next. Teaching contradicting evidence-- I'm sorry, information and multiple points of view suggests supporting and challenging, help students stimulate more complete understanding and critical thinking. In this particular book by Rophy (sp), it is talking about how you present students with information that contradicts other information, discuss, present contradicting information forces students to recognize that the issue is more complex than they thought and stimulates students to develop more complete understanding. So, again, as educators, we want to teach towards the interests there, but also what kind of things can we do as an educator to actually help our students to develop a more complete understanding. Okay. In teaching the-- the scientific information both supporting and challenging macroevolution I believe should and will do just that.

This book entitled "Understanding By Design," this is actually by these two authors there that we use that textbook often, basically in our professional development as educators back in Ohio, or at least particularly in my school. And what we're actually-- next.

Okay. So there's six facets of understanding. Well, facet number four, perspective, critical and insightful points of view. Students have the opportunity to take multiple points of view on the same issue. They must develop and use critical thinking skills to determine on their own the strength and weaknesses of the theory. Explanations, proof and arguments that they confront, thus the students should regularly confront plausible but incorrect historical narratives, false mathematical proofs and plausible, but outdated scientific theories.

Next. Goal 2, increase students' confidence in their knowledge of macroevolution. I asked this question to my students, again, trying to get as much data as possible, and I'm just going to sum it, unless somebody here-- just real basic quantitative, as well as qualitative results are received.

Question: Do you think that you learned more about macroevolution as a result of being taught the supporting and challenging information as opposed to being taught only the supporting information? Briefly explain why. Out of 61 students responding to the question there I had a grand total of 93 of the students, again students-- students felt they had learned more about macroevolution. Student one, these are quotes that I have drawn from the qualitative assessment, the dissertation analysis. Student number one: I feel much more knowledgeable knowing both sides. Student number two: I was given information twice on the subject concerning evolution instead of one. And this is actually a popular response, which-- so basically when-- I would teach the supporting information and then I would teach the challenging information that challenges that supporting claim. So basically, say, when I would teach, I don't know about, let's say endosymbiosis, okay, what this side says this about endosymbiosis, well the other side says this about it or challenges that or in terms of antivirus, bacteria, or what have you. And three, I learned a lot more by teaching only supporting information. It's like-- it's like teaching only half of the information out there. Okay. So by-- I'm saying by teaching only supporting information it's like teaching only half of the information out there.

Briefly explain your personal view of being taught both the scientific information supporting and challenging macroevolution. Out of 50 students responding to that question, that statement there, 98 percent of the students claim to have a positive experience. Student four: I feel that it is good because you are covering both sides. Student five: It was a good experience. Student six: It's a way to stimulate minds. Student seven: You learn less if you hear only one side of the story. That's-- that's critical, because if you're going to learn less, again as educators we want to maximize learning in our high school students. Student eight: If it's just supporting it is dull.

Did you like this lesson? Out of 57 students who responded to that question, 96 percent of the students said that they liked the lesson. Student 9: Yes, because being taught only one would probably make me side with the belief-- or rather, I'm sorry, with that belief because I wouldn't know of any other. Student 10: I felt I was given a choice to choose my views rather than to have it chosen for me. Student 11: I like it because I was not forced to believe one certain thing, but I could choose for myself. Student 12: Uh-oh, he didn't like it, but read on. He said: I didn't like it, but it still needs to be done because we aren't really sure of the truth.

So in my opinion the suggestion offered in the Minority report will ultimately assist in the following areas. Increase student interest in mac-- increase students' interests in macroevolution. Increase students' test performance. Increase students' understanding in macroevolution. Increase student critical thinking skills. Increase the likelihood of students having a more enjoyable experience learning an emotionally charged subject by generating a balanced and neutral environment. And the last part due to interest, increase the likelihood of students exploring more about macroevolution outside the classroom. Maybe this lesson will stimulate and create and cause and generate students to look at in terms of extension questions, which we use, you know, in teaching or simply just to be potentially lifelong learners in the topic.

So next. As far as the comparison between the Minority report and critical analysis of evolution lesson. There is some areas in which I pulled out and which to me I was able to see a connection, so it does appear that the Minority report has a wonderful beginning, wonderful-- you know, so it's definitely heading in the right direction. And basically some of the things that are brought up in the Minority report we actually have embedded in the critical analysis of evolution lesson in Ohio. So again, we used it in Ohio. It works. Kids love it. Again, parents call me and pull me to the side. They love it. Kids-- I have not had any negative, you know, report about it.

Actually, I think partly the only challenging negative thing that I had from a parent is when-- back in my first or second year when I started teaching evolution, you know, basic, you know, from the textbook, so on and so forth, I still do that, but I didn't offer like, you know, any challenging scientific evidence on that theory, but since I've been doing this, great.

This-- sometimes, you know, some people brought up that, hey, does this confuse students? There's absolutely no evidence that a lesson like this confuses students. It actually, I think, pushes students there to actually think on a higher level and try to basically increase their knowledge.

So, again, indicator 1-C. Here I think I just added like-- it talks about the fossil records there. Aspect 2: Fossil record. They've implied the critical analysis of evolution on Page 326, Page 327. Here, again, brief supporting answer, talk about, hey, how the fossil records, that's information there that supports the fossil records there. That supports in terms of fossil record, pseudo example to support macroevolution. Okay. Brief challenge sample answer. So, again, showing both sides of the fence from a scientific perspective. So I believe that indicator 1-C basically is somewhat consistently lines up with Aspect 2 of the fossil records.

Indicators 1-F in terms of-- talks about fossil records. It gets into Cambrian explosion so and so forth. So again aspect one in terms of homology that is-- if I was able to actually look at it and see that there is some connections there. So, again, looking at this indicator and looking at the aspects there there's some things, not the whole thing, but there's some things that, yes, definitely you can take from Aspect 1, from the aspects where critical analysis of evolution lesson there and bridge it with the indicators as proposed in the Minority report.

Again, Indicator 1-F just same indicator as above, but consistency-- some consistency as relates to Aspect 2.

In terms of micro and-- kind of go just a little bit. In terms of the micro and macroevolution as presented in indicator 3-A, 3-D, Minority report there, those are some things we dealt with in Ohio and we talked about it and we have it in the critical analysis of evolution lesson there. So that's something, of course, which we felt it is important to make sure to distinguish the two so that we have academic clarity. A lot of times people might say, hey, evolution, well, what to basically kind of clarify in terms of what we are talking about. I think that's it.

Q. Bryan, there is-- I don't believe that the Ohio lesson plan covers indicator seven in the Minority report, which suggests an addition of a new indicator, and as I'm fumbling here --

A. I know what the indicators are.

Q. Why don't you-- could you comment on the-- you're familiar with indicator seven in the Minority report that calls for an analysis of chemical evolution and the evidence for it and evidence against it. Would you comment on what would be involved in developing curricula for that and do you believe that's an indicator that should be covered by the Kansas standards?

A. I think that-- I don't think it would be something tough, I mean, extremely difficult to do at all. I think-- how many people are on the-- on the science writing committee?

Q. Well, there are 25 on the writing committee.

A. On the writing committee. Okay. And 25-- so, yeah, I think that that's-- I think that that's something that would not be difficult to do. I think it's something that would be time consuming to do. Based just by looking at, at least the pieces of the Minority report there, anyway where I read, talked-- had some things from the Majority report, the Minority report. I think that it's good writing there. And so I think that it's-- it's definitely like a nice piece, like I said, the Minority report, but-- adding an indicator like that, I don't think that it would be really tough at all, and I think that that, again, will go into showing students, you know, scientific interpretation, both supporting and challenging. And again that would just be another caveat, another component to stimulate students' minds and to get them excited about learning.

Q. I take it that you've been teaching biology and-- and all of high school biology textbooks do cover that subject. Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And in your experience, is the subject herein covered comprehensively or is it just covered from one perspective?

A. There's a lot of high school biology textbooks out there. The one that I'm most familiar with is-- it covers a little bit more on one side of-- of, hey-- in terms of chemical evolution and, hey, what happened. There-- there are, I'm sure, yeah, I'm sure there are other potential resources that are out there. Some things I find even in peer review journals and it's covered in, critical analysis of evolution. That would I'm sure be available and help out to make that a nice fit to Kansas.

Q. Yes, but my-- my question is-- it's just focused on the content of the typical textbook for a high school biology class, how is that textbook covering the subject of chemical evolution? Does it cover it accurately or generally inaccurately?

A. There's-- I'd say that, yeah, it's really not as complete as I would like to see it. I think that it does show, you know, from one side in terms of the supporting science or the, hey, this is what happened chemically speaking there, at least the textbooks that I have seen. I have not seen anything I guess that would challenge it which I think would be a more adequate approach.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You have two minutes remaining.

Q. (By Mr. Calvert) And I guess the question would be, in order to cover that side of the issue, do you believe that will be technically difficult to do or is that something that could be done reasonably easy?

A. I think some day it could be done quite easily there, sure.

Q. Do you have an assessment-- a journal assessment of the Minority Report? I take it you've read the Minority Report and all the different proposals?

A. I read particularly focusing on Benchmark three, standard three, and, 'um, I think it's a good job. I was-- I was pleased with it. Again, some of the things in the Minority Report were pretty much like I said, similar to the things that we've dealt with in Ohio, things we brought up back in Ohio there, so I think that that definitely is on the right path.

MR. CALVERT: Thank you very much. I have no further questions.

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: Mr. Irigonegaray, you have 15 minutes.


Q. Are you ready?

A. I'm sorry?

Q. Are you ready?

A. Yes.

Q. All right. I have a few questions that I want to ask you for the record. First, what is your opinion as to what the age of the world is?

A. I really don't have an opinion.

Q. You have no opinion as to what the age of the world is?

A. Four to four point five billion years is what I teach my students.

Q. I'm asking what is your opinion as to what the age of the world is?

A. 'Um, I was asked to come out here to talk about my experiences as a high school biology teacher.

Q. I'm asking you, sir --

A. I was not under the impression that I was asked to come out here --

Q. I'm asking you --

A. -- talking about --

Q. -- sir, what is your personal opinion as to what the age of the world is?

A. Four-- four to four point five billion years is what I teach my students, sir.

Q. That's not my question. My question is, what is your personal opinion as to what the age of the world is?

A. Again, I was under the impression to come out here and talk about my professional experience --

Q. Is there a difference?

A. -- more of --

Q. Is there a difference between your personal opinion and what you teach students the age of the world is?

A. Four to four point five billion years is what I teach my students, sir.

Q. Is-- my question is, is there a difference between your personal opinion and what you teach your students?

A. Again, you're putting a spin on the question is-- you know, now I'll spin any answer, sir, to say that my opinion is irrelevant. Four to four point five billion years is what I teach my students.

Q. The record will reflect your answer. Do you-- do you accept the general principle of common descent, that all of life was biologically related to the beginning of life? Yes or no?

A. No.

Q. Do you accept that human beings are related by common descent to prehominid ancestors? Yes or no?

A. No.

Q. What is your alternative explanation as to how human species came into existence?

A. During my power point presentation I discussed nothing about offering an alternative, I just simply stated that here's the supporting and here is the information challenging --

Q. My question is, sir, if you do not accept, if you don't-- do not accept that there is a common descent to human existence, what is your alternative? I'm not asking you about your power point. I'm asking you what is your hypothesis for how we came to be?

A. Again, as I stated, that professionally-- that's something that-- that is a different question I guess in terms of my professional, in terms of my personal opinion, that's different. Again, I was asked to come out here and give my professional assessment, sir.

Q. Do you teach your students your personal opinion or do you attempt to teach your students what is the best of science?

A. As I said, I teach my students the four point-- four --

Q. That's not my question. Listen carefully.

A. All right.

Q. Do you teach your students your personal opinion or do you teach them what you believe is the best science?

A. I teach them actually what I believe is the best science, hence the scientific interpretation both supporting and scientific interpretation both challenging macroevolution. And that information has been generated by scientists, some of these scientists are here today.

Q. You mentioned scientific theory and I'd like to ask you a couple questions about that. Tell me if you agree with this statement, please: The notion that earth orbits around the sun rather than vice versa offered by Copernicus in 1543 is a theory. Continental drift is a theory. The existence, structure and dynamic of atoms, atomic theory, electricity is a theoretical construct involving electrons which are tiny units of charged mass that no one has ever seen. Each of these theories is an explanation that has either been confirmed to such a degree by observation and each of these theories is an explanation that has been confirmed to such a degree by observation and experiment that knowledgeable experts accept it as fact. That is what scientists mean when they talk about a theory. Not a dreamy and unreliable speculation, but an explanatory statement that fits the evidence. They embrace such an explanation confidently taking it at their best available view of reality, at least until some severely conflicting data or some better explanation might come along. Do you agree or disagree with that statement?

A. If you can repeat the main highlights of that theory. You know, you're-- after awhile just kind of lost you there.

Q. I lost you did I?

A. Well-- well, in terms of the actual theories.

Q. Let me repeat it --

A. Yes.

Q. -- and tell me if you agree or disagree. The notion that earth orbits around the sun rather than vice versa offered by Copernicus in 1543 is a theory. Continental drift is a theory. The existence, structure and dynamic of atoms atomic theory, even electricity is theoretical. Construct involving electrons which are tiny units of charged mass that no one has ever seen. Each of these theories is an explanation that has been confirmed to such a degree by observation and each of these theories is an explanation that has been confirmed to such a degree by observation and experiment that knowledgeable experts accept it as fact. That is what scientists mean when they talk about a theory, not a dreamy and unreliable speculation, but as explanatory statements that fits the evidence. They embrace such an explanation confidently taking it at their best available view of reality, at least until some severely conflicting data or some better explanation might come along. My question to you is, just yes or no, do you agree or disagree with that statement?

A. With those theories that you presented, I don't have a problem with that.

Q. You have no problem with that?

A. With those particular theories you presented.

Q. Do you teach your students in class the arguments against the theory of tectonic plate movement. You don't teach that, do you?

A. We don't deal with that in biology.

Q. Would you agree --

A. Or at least not my class.

Q. Would you agree with me that the evidence for evolution is overwhelming? Yes or no?

A. The evidence-- well, if you can define, sir, if you can tell me what exactly you mean by evolution, define it for me --

Q. Do you --

A. -- so we have clarity. Sorry.

Q. Do you-- do you believe, sir, that intelligent design should be taught in science classes as an alternative to evolution?

A. Can you define evolution?

Q. Do you believe intelligent design should be taught in science class?

A. I don't teach intelligent design --

Q. And why don't you?

A. -- in science class. Because I just have chosen not to.

Q. You've chosen what?

A. Well, in terms of teaching intelligent design, so are you asking me or should teachers teach it?

Q. I'm asking you. Do you teach intelligent design in the classroom?

A. I have not taught intelligent design in the classroom.

Q. Do you think it should be?

A. In terms of other teachers or myself?

Q. I'm asking just you.

A. You know, I really haven't given it much thought.

Q. Is the teaching of intelligent-- strike that. Is intelligent design a hypothesis?

A. Is intelligent design a hypothesis, I really haven't given it a whole lot of thought in terms of if it's a hypothesis or if it's really something else. I --

Q. Would you --

A. I don't teach it. I have not taught it.

Q. Would you agree with me that one of the basic principles of science is that when a hypothesis comes along in science one should be able to challenge it?

A. Yes, if-- if a hypothesis comes along, and then, of course, you have to test the hypothesis, repeat the tests, so and so forth.

Q. Falsification part of it?

A. Falsification would be part of it.

Q. Would you please explain to us how we could falsify the existence of a designer?

A. How to falsify, I don't know.

Q. That's the crux of it, is it not, because it's a philosophical argument and not a scientific construct?

A. I'm-- I'm saying I don't know because I really haven't thought about it like that.

Q. Have you read the Majority Opinion, draft two of the standards?

A. The Majority, no, sir.

Q. You have been brought to Kansas to challenge the Majority Opinion and you have not taken the time to read it?

A. I read the part of the Minority Report that --

Q. I didn't ask you about the Minority. Listen carefully to my question. Have you read the Majority Opinion and the answer was no?

A. Yes.

Q. And the follow-up question is, you have been brought to Kansas to tell us how educate-- how we should educate our Kansas children and you have not bothered to take the time to read the Majority Opinion. Correct?

A. Again, yes-- no, I have not read the Majority Opinion.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: No further questions.


Q. Bryan, I have a couple questions for you. First of all I would like to compliment you on your being a high school biology teacher. My high school biology teacher influenced my interest in science, Mr. Tom Tally, many years ago. So keep it up. You won't know for a long time, you may never how much you influence your students.

A. Thank you.

Q. The other thing is, would this lesson plan that you developed be available for teachers in Kansas to access?

A. Yes. That's part of-- well, it's on the Ohio Department of Education web site.

Q. Say it again, the Ohio Department State-- State Department of Education?

A. Ohio Department of Education.

Q. Okay. Thank you very much. About how much time do you spend in your classroom over lessons like this? Is it more than one class period so far?

A. Yes. The lesson is basically designed to go anywhere from four to six weeks. That lesson was actually designed to I guess be used after-- kind of like midway or towards the end of the evolution unit, so we had some other lessons that teachers could use to teach the students before.

Q. So what we're seeing here is parts of a bigger lesson plan?

A. Well, that's the lesson in terms of that particular lesson. There are other lessons that can be used, you know, that could lead up to that theory, but there are some teachers who just, you know, maybe due to time.

Q. What about the page numbers here, what are they referring to that are in the margin, pages like 326, 327? Is that in the lesson plan or in the textbook?

A. Is that the comparison?

Q. Yes, comparison.

A. Yes. That is the part that actually corresponds to the critical analysis of evolution lesson.

Q. And so the lesson plan is very long it looks like?

A. Yes.

Q. Several hundred pages long?

A. Well-- well, this particular lesson is about 20 pages long, 20, 21 pages long.

Q. But the complete lesson plans would include all of this?

A. Right. Well, yes, the-- all the-- the curriculum, because we have a compunction lessons there --

Q. I see. More than just one plan?

A. Yes.

Q. Thank you.


Q. Mr. Leonard, do you have information that indicates that the students you taught actually scored better when tested when they were taught the strengths and weaknesses of new Darwinian evolution?

A. Actually, yes. Basically when I taught-- gave evolution on the tests, basically that evolution only tests. As time went on of course their scores got different, or rather increased. One set is known as between subject design where you have subjects where that is supporting information and subjects where you teach the supportive and challenging information and compare the two. Okay. I in my dissertation, I did not do that. I did what is known as repeated measures-- as repeated measure design where I taught the students basically all the same thing. The reason why is because I felt that if I had-- if I utilized the research and design between subjects-- design, those students if I would have taught them just the supporting information alone I think that they would-- I think that would be a disservice to them.

And then kind of going on, and, again, in Ohio standards that's something that is in the Ohio standards, you know, suggesting to do for academic achievement. And, again, also in the Ohio standards, it's important for teachers such as myself to see it in writing that teachers are allowed to teach the supporting and the challenging information, in writing. Not so much that, well, it doesn't say that you can't. That's not good enough for teachers. You know, we want to see it in writing. And if there's-- I guess, you know, other people, you, know, say, well, you know, it doesn't say that you cannot, then if you're so comfortable with it then put it in writing, because that's what gives teachers security, number one, and, number two, it says that, hey, you know, we as the state or school board, or whoever, adopt this, again, showing the research data that-- that's for the students.

Q. You are a high school biology teacher?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Are you the only biology teacher in your high school?

A. No, sir.

Q. Do the other teachers teach along the similar lines in showing the supporting and the challenging aspects?

A. In terms of biology teachers, some, to most of them do. Sometimes, you know, every year as a biology-- as a teacher, there are teachers in the middle there. Some years you might be able to teach everything, you know, that's in the curriculum and some things you might have to kind of depend upon the homework factor. But, yes, majority of the biology teachers in the school, yes, we do show both sides.

Q. Is that just in your school district or is that across the state?

A. Basically-- I don't know if it's so much just in my school district, we have two high schools and --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Two minutes remaining.

A. We have two high schools in the school district there. That's just something that's-- that some of us do. There are some other people who actually do it as well and I spoke with them and they have just positive, positive results with that.

The critical analysis of evolution is something that teachers are not required to do. It's an exemplar lesson saying, hey, here's an exemplar lesson that teachers can actually use there. Sometimes they use it, but they're not actually required to use it.

Q. Concerning the Minority Report and the corresponding areas in the Majority, do you have an opinion concerning which will allow a curriculum that will help students understand the full range of scientific views that exist?

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: I'm sorry, sir, can you repeat the question, I did not hear you?

Q. (By Chairman Abrams) Concerning the Minority Report and the corresponding Majority Report, do you have an opinion concerning which will allow a curriculum which will help students understand the full range of scientific views that exist?

A. I think that's-- the Minority Report shows that. Again, showing both sides of the fence. That's something I've been doing. I'm experienced in doing that and, again, the research data strongly supports that this is something that's going to benefit, again, the students. That's basically our goal, trying to increase the students' knowledge as it goes to evolution.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: Mr. Abrams, if I may, just as point of order, I would ask that that answer be stricken from the record. He did not compare the Majority or Minority opinion if he has not read the Majority.

MR. CALVERT: I would disagree with that, because the Minority Report contains changes in context and so those changes reflect what the Majority Report proposes with respect to that issue and the precise suggested change. And I think it's wholly disingenuous for this counsel to be badgering these witnesses because they have not read the four corners of the document.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: It's the least they can do for Kansas children, counsel.

A. Again, my research has suggested that I don't think there's much of big difference between Ohio students and Kansas students. I haven't lived out here, but, again, the research basically says the students will benefit from it, absolutely.

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: Thank you, Mr. Leonard.

THE WITNESS: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: Mr. Irigonegaray, that was the reason I stated the question, the Minority Report and the corresponding, because I understood your question when he answered he did not read the entire document.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: He told me he did not read it.


MR. CALVERT: Dr. Abrams-- Mr. Leonard, I really appreciate your coming all the way from Ohio to testify for us today. I thank you so much for your testimony.

Dr. Abrams, committee, Mr. Irigonegaray and public and so forth, I would like to introduce you to Dr. Dan Ely. Dr. Ely is a Professor of Biology at the University of Akron, Ohio.


Q. And Dr. Ely, would you please tell me a bit about your background and experience and how your work you're doing may be related to the proposed changes in the Minority Report, specifically relating to the evolution benchmark?

A. First, thank you for inviting me here. My background is I'm trained as cardiovascular physiologist in medical school and my research has been with high blood pressure for over 30 years. My experience recently in this field has led me into the areas of gene therapy, gene targeting, molecular biology, the genetics of animal breeding. And so combined with the team that I have at the University we've been pursuing the question of what causes high blood pressure, so we've developed an animal model for that and we are the first research team actually to identify a locus on the Y chromosome which is responsible for high blood pressure and we are currently funded by national institutes of health to pursue that question.

However, I have another arm that I'd like to also bring out. Besides my research endeavors that have led me into some of the questions we're dealing with today, I was also on the Ohio Science Writing Team with Bryan Leonard, and in that process of two years discussing the lessons and coming up with many lessons, a lot of the questions that you're dealing with today we dealt with in committee and I want to tell you that they can be successful, but they're not easy. They take a lot of work and what's amazing is that we have a lesson plan on looking at nine different evolution lessons and that hasn't been brought out. We have nine lessons in the Ohio plan dealing with straight evolution you can find in any textbook. We have one, which is the tenth lesson looking at the critical aspect. I think that's an important aspect to look at.

Also something else that I wanted to emphasize is the idea that balance is so crucial and the balance that we had, as Bryan had mentioned, ranged from high school teachers to professional scientists, but also it went out to professional scientists in the field, and because of that, it's amazing that we have a lesson at all, because as you can see from the debate here and the debate we had, you trim and you trim and you trim and you edit, and we ended up with a lesson, which is I think a real-- I think a feather in the cap of all the people that participated in Ohio because it is compromised but it's a good lesson and it is being used.

That 300 some page document, just to clarify one aspect here, was not in-- wasn't in all life science lessons. That-- those are the lessons from K through 12 for Ohio. They're all on the web site. Parents can bring them up, help their kids with lessons, as well as teachers, as well as anyone else. So you can pull up those lessons. You have to go through several menus, a little cumbersome to get into, but they're all available and they're being used right now in the Ohio classroom.

Getting back to the aspect of some of the background with regards to my research, I hope you can indulge me just a little bit as I go through some of my research slides here showing you how I got involved in this.

I was raised in biology and chemistry with regards to evolution. I never questioned evolution. It was in the textbook, I was taught that, I went through biology, evolution was it. I just never questioned it. It never came up, until later in my life I started getting questions about it and my research started bringing up some red flags that I personally was interested in. So if we could have the first slide.

Q. Before --

A. Okay.

Q. Before we get to that slide I want to show you in particular an area of the Minority Report that comments on an issue involving common ancestry, I believe. There we go.

Okay. This is indicator 1-F and it deals with the view that the living things in all the major kingdoms are modified descendants of a common ancestor has been challenged in recent years by, and there are three different issues there. And the first one relates to discrepancies in molecular evidence previously thought to support that view. And my understanding is that your discussion here will address that particular point. And while we're at it, I might ask you, do you believe that to be a valid indicator for students to look at? Is there indeed, in your view, molecular evidence that tends to not support the idea of common ancestry?

A. Yes, this-- this indicator here, F-1 here, discrepancies of molecular evidence was something that you will see in textbooks, again, looking at what they call phylogenies, looking at trees of life. The ones you usually see in textbooks are based on morphology or structure, fossil records of bones very often. Some of the newer ones, because of our newer molecular technology, follow the actual molecules, the actual DNA sequences. And I would fully agree with that that there are discrepancies in that.

If you can imagine, I'm a biologist in a university biology department and I am questioning this, so what did I do, I go to our molecular biologists that are following molecular phylogenies and I say, is there any discrepancy here? This is your area, it's not my area specifically, are there discrepancies? Are there controversies? Absolutely. And so they would go on to explain to me either from plants or from animals the different discrepancies that there are.

And so I want to show you some-- some data that comes from my lab that we didn't set out to show this. This is totally a secondary effect. But if we could take a look at a little bit of the data here.

The-- a lot of the trees that we see are based on-- as I said on animal fossils and morphology or structure and they make a good just so story, and you see those pictures in the books and they look quite nice as you develop from a longer limb or a-- something develops into a wing and so forth. But if we look at this we find that when you look at the molecules themselves they're very inconsistent. They don't match up exactly with the structural fossil phylogeny tree, and even using different molecules or different sets of DNA structures they don't always match up. So there's discrepancies there.

Often you can look at the different molecules, a molecule for what we're going to talk about is this specific gene that is the sex determining gene in males. We're going to look at that and see how it has changed and what kind of evidence is there and what arguments can you get for design or for microevolution or for macroevolution. And also you can have different laboratories analyzing the same molecule. There's a lot of assumptions that go on when you do the DNA sequencing and look at phylogenies. You don't just usually look at the one gene, you're looking at a lot of data sets, and so you try to combine and use statistics to come up with what's the best predictor of where this came from. And so a lot of the clarification is-- is confusing. And as I went to further experts in our department that were geneticists and individuals in molecular phylogeny like this, I said, is there something that we're missing in evolutionary theory? I don't belong to any special groups. I've come to these conclusions on my own. And they said absolutely, absolutely there's discrepancies. There's discussions all the time.

And so one of the things that I want to show you is what we found then as we were doing our research on hypertension or high blood pressure. On the left-hand side is just a clan they call-- you can call this a tree of life, looking at different animals over here and how they branch off. At each one of these points where there's a branching it's called a node and that's the most recent common ancestor. So these animals here would branch off into different groups. And as you look at this there's one set of animals by this phylogeny that all has this common ancestor.

If we go to the molecular tree we see that there are different common ancestors for a lot of these structures, a lot of these animals, and a lot of them don't even fall into the same groups. We have some outliers here fall into different animal groups. So what do you want to use, the molecular data or a lot of DNA sequences? Do you want to use genes or do you want to use data that's in between the genes, different signatures that are markings that are often used?

And so depending on what you use, you come up with different data for students to look at this and say, hey, they can even have fun playing with this. I can reclassify an animal into something else based on some other data. They're learning about different aspects of biology and evolution.

So here's a quote from the U.S. National Academy of Scientists teaching about evolution here. "The greater the differences in DNA, different"-- "different structures, different signatures, the longer the time since two organisms shared a common ancestor. The DNA evidence for evolution has confirmed evolutionary relationships derived from other observations." So they use this as a basis to say where our common ancestor lies. Okay.

Next. If we take a look at some of the work from Michael Denton in a book that's called Evolution: A Theory-- a Theory in Crisis. You can take a look at the divergence here. What this is is molecular divergence from a specific very basic type of an enzyme called cytochrome C and it's often used for comparison purposes. And what this shows is if you look over here on the left-hand side you'll see that the divergence here of 64 percent for horse, pigeons, tuna, silk moth, wheat and yeast. Organisms that aren't even closely related, nobody would even think that they were, and yet the divergence here should show a much greater divergence than about 64 percent.

If we take a look at the right-hand side among some of the data that we're starting to fill in now, we're starting to look at the same thing for a gene that we're looking at, SRY.

If you look at the next slide it shows us a little better what the differences are in our gene. I'm sorry. Let's-- let's just look at the Y chromosome. Go ahead to that slide. Go ahead to that slide. But I want to give you a basis on the Y chromosome.

One of the things that's very unique about the Y chromosome is it does determine male sex in mammals, but it doesn't have any kind of a parroting mechanism. In other words, there's no mechanism that it lines up with. All of the other chromosomes line up. Even the X chromosomes line up with each other with an X in the female.

In the male you've got this Y kind of by itself in terms of being able to repair itself. It doesn't correct itself nearly like the other chromosomes do. And so if any of the chromosomes that has the most mutations, has additions, things that have been added to it, it has deletions, things that have been taken out of it. It has inversions. It has repeat units. And so because it's so different it's been used in-- to track male lineages. And so they actually use the Y chromosome to go back in time and look at Adam or look at whoever the first male human was in time. And it's a good marker because it has lots of differences on it.

The sex-determining gene is-- for the male is also on this Y chromosome. The name of it is SRY. It's in mouse, rat, man for comparison purposes. It still functions the same for determine-- for sex determination, but through our manipulation of a rat model looking at blood pressure we have found there's six copies of this gene, which is kind of unusual, six copies on this Y chromosome.

Next slide. Again, this-- this is just to show you that there's some real science behind this. I don't expect everybody here to understand this. But over here on the top it's SRY one, two, three and several variants on the third one. And what this is is just looking at specific DNA sequences and where they're located. We put section numbers for these so that anybody can go into the web site at the gene bank and find these and look at what the differences are.

So we have differences in six copies of a sex-determining gene. Does this mean this rat is super rat? Is this rat really a super male or what's happening here. So next slide will show you something quite interesting. If we look at SRY's protein, an actual product that the DNA makes, it's more like human than the mouse. And if we look at the normal ancestor we find that the mouse and rat diverted. They have common ancestor but they diverted. So a mouse and rat are quite different. Physiology is different. A lot of different things about a mouse and a rat, not just size. But they should be quite related. They should be equally distant from human and they aren't.

If we look at the amino acids, for instance, a mouse to human has four out of the six amino acids in the gene we're looking at as different. Rat to human has only one of six amino acids different. It seems to be much, much closer. Again, it doesn't make sense if we're just following standard protocol on evolution how this is going to happen. And, of course, you can make-- you can make arguments for this. You could make a hypotheses and argue from an evolutionary standpoint macroevolution. This could happen. You could make it just a story and it could happen. But you could also say, no, it didn't happen. And you can look at design and say that's a hypothesis. You want to look at it. How is this designed, why was it designed. Why if we have millions and millions of years with the Y chromosome that can't really repair itself very well. You know what evolution predicts, that the Y chromosome is going to disappear because it doesn't repair itself like it should.

I'd call that deevolution. You know, we're going to lose the Y chromosome. Lose the Y chromosome, guess what happens, you know, schools out.

So the implication is that the divergence of the amino acids really don't follow the morphological phylogeny.

This is an ancestral tree that my colleague that I've worked with is a molecular evolutionist and believes purely in textbook evolution and we have discussions all the time about this and I learn a lot, he learns a lot. And I think there's good evidence right there from a scientific viewpoint there's controversy, you know, let alone at the student viewpoint to see what happens. And so this is a slide that my colleagues put together, here of the different genes that we found, the six copies of the gene, and then we followed them back to a common ancestor. And how is this done, by DNA sequences. How common are these? And so you come up with this common ancestor there. That's the typical approach that's taken.

Okay. Next slide. Okay. We'll go back to that last one. So I'll stop there with my research and where that's taken us. These last two slides have to do with the Ohio lesson, so if we want to get into that a little.

Q. Why don't we just go ahead and get into that.

A. Okay. What-- what you saw with regards to the Ohio lesson, and specifically the evolutionary theory of critical analysis lesson, this shows you what Bryan does in his class. They form groups of students, two to three students, but not more than four, so small groups. They get into this group and they actually pick some of the evidences here. Here's five of them in terms of an evidence, the theory of common descents looking at homology and they can determine either by chance, flipping a coin, what group they want to be in, or they can decide they want to be in one group or the other, looking at either the pros or cons of that theory. And so we look at homology, anatomy. They look at fossil records. They look at the idea of antibiotic resistance, pepper moths and whether there's environmental changes and whether there's genetic selection for that, and then the idea of where organelles came from. So those are just five out of actually ten that we had, had been trimmed down to five specific controversies that are being looked at.

Now, one of the things that I think is important to note here is that students take ownership of this. Bryan showed you some data from his students. I've taken a little bit different approach at the university level and I don't teach a pure evolution course at the university. I teach a course called physiological genetics with a geneticist and microbiologist and we get into these controversies, students get into this and they pick different areas, usually with molecular controversies that I showed you and they present both sides of the question. They take ownership of it and they argue and defend what they have to say and other students will ask them questions. The same type of thing here.

The feedback we've gotten has been very, very good. I've actually been disappointed in my own research because I usually go around the university and teach my hypertension high blood pressure research and they would ask me to come over and give that talk. Well, two years ago I gave a talk on intelligent design and evolution, comparing and contrasting and now they don't ask me for my hypertension research. That hurts. They want me to go out and talk about evolution and intelligent design. And I just got a call the day before I came here, totally unsolicited by one of the honors instructors and she said, sir, can you do that same lecture? I said the hypertension one? No, we want you to give the intelligent design evolution one. Why is that? She said because the students write up a paper on what you present and they get into discussing it and they bring out the issues themselves and they have a good debate and discussion with it. Yes, that's university students, but I'm not so sure they're that much different from high school students.

Next slide will show you a little bit more detail about what Bryan showed you, too. We give them some-- some supporting answer to get started and then we give them a challenging answer, so one group will take kind of the supporting answer, the other would take the challenging answer and then they go after it.

I can't emphasize enough, those of you that are scientists and go through peer review know what I'm talking about, but I'm the editor of a journal, associate editor of a journal. I review for all the big organizations for grants, and the peer review process is extremely thorough, and I must say that this review process here that this lesson went through was worse than any review any of my papers in science has gone through, because it goes through the opponents, the proponents, it went through all of the teachers. It went through all the individuals that are I think boycotting this meeting. We had them at our meeting and they fired out opposition and we had to modify our lesson. We-- we took the feedback from those teachers out in the field. We modified out lesson. It took two years to get the whole process through, but now it's on the board. And I think the key issue is balance. We had-- we had checks and balances all the way through the process. And I think that would really, really have kept the lesson so that it didn't go too far one way or the other.

Q. Dan, I think we talked with Bryan a little bit about indicator seven, which addresses the issue of origin of life, would you comment on that particular indicator and evolution benchmark in the Minority Report, and is that something that ought to be included in the curriculum you believe, and if so, what would be involved in accomplishing that?

A. Yeah. The origin of life question I think is-- is an important question. We heard this morning Dr. Peltzer talk some about that. The basic idea of chemistry and where it came from. And I think, again, we actually have a lesson in Ohio-- not a lesson, but we have one of our indicators as part of our evolution question dealt with the origin and chemical origins there. So a lot of that has been mapped out and there's good critique on both sides of the question, but it gets the students to learning chemistry because they learn the right hand from the left hand molecule. That's not very interesting in pure chemistry. Go in and start looking-- I can argue the origin of life in one way or the other, but it gets them engaged. So I think it is a good indicator. I would like to see that, and I don't think it's that difficult. There's-- there's definitely scientific evidence out there to talk about both sides.

Q. You were talking about intelligent design and the Minority Report does not propose that it be incorporated in the standards, however, it also urges the State Board to take a position that in its view it shouldn't be prohibited. Would you comment on that?

A. Yes. We ran into the same argument when the standards were being developed before I got into the science writing team. I wasn't on the standards committee, but the same arguments were developed there, and because of that, I don't know if you've noticed on Bryan's top or not, but on part of the lesson at the very top it said the intent of this critical analysis of evolution lesson is not to teach intelligent design. It's to introduce the controversy, and so as the controversy is introduced, we limited it to specifically looking at the data itself arguing for or against the evolution. So there in that lesson it doesn't really get into design. But also it's an optional lesson. If teachers don't feel comfortable with it they don't have to teach it. If they would like to pursue that they can. And so I'm in contact with a teacher close in Akron and he's been teaching it and I've been getting feedback from him. His data is pretty much the same Bryan shows. The students, no matter which side they take, really like the engagement and they learn I think a lot more from it.

Q. One final question, turn your attention to indicator 1-A and the first sentence, biological evolution postulates an unpredictable and unguided natural process that has no discernable direction or goal.

Given the mechanisms of biological evolution do you believe that is a scientifically valid statement?

A. Yes, I would agree with that statement that it's-- that's what biological evolution possibly is.

Q. Do the mechanisms of biological evolution enable the system to be pointed towards a particular goal?

A. That's a very testable hypothesis, and if you look at some of the arguments for different mechanisms there you can then go back and take a look at this whole idea of how specific, how complex the organization is, and as you go back you can see, well, there's a good design. There's a good design for a car. Basic design is there. There's a good design for an arm, a leg, whatever that may be. You can go back and show does that-- does that show evolution in design or is there some point where it breaks off from that. So you can make a prediction based on good design. You can't reduce that any further than that element is or does it go all the way back to some chemicals and gases and so forth that could generate the first life form. So they are testable. The idea that these things aren't testable either by design or evolution, they can be tested, but as was brought out, a lot of these things are historical evidence and make a case or hypothesis for that.

Q. So what you're saying is that the statement biological evolution postulates unpredictable and unguided natural process, you can actually test that statement?

A. You can-- you can test that statement, that's correct.

Q. Okay. Do you have any general final comments on the Minority Report?

A. As previous speakers, I read the Minority Report and the Majority Report that would be changed because of it, so I didn't go through the entire Majority Report, no. But I did read the specifics, spent a lot of time with that, and went through each of these and think overall you're not quite as far along as Ohio, but I think it's-- I think you're right on track. And I wouldn't disagree with any of them. I fully endorse the Minority Report.

MR. CALVERT: Thank you very much.

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: Mr. Irigonegaray, you have 12 and a half minutes.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: 12 and a half minutes?



Q. Welcome to Kansas. I have a few questions for the record for you. First I have a group of yes or no questions that I would like for you to answer, please. What is your opinion as to the age of the earth?

A. In light of time I would say most of the evidence that I see, I read and I understand points to an old age of the earth.

Q. And how old is that age?

A. I don't know. I just know what I read with regards to data. It looks like it's four billion years.

Q. And is that your personal opinion?

A. No. My personal opinion is I really don't know. I'm struggling.

Q. You're struggling with what the age of the earth is?

A. Yeah. Yeah. I'm not sure. There's a lot of ways to measure the age. Meteorites is one way. There's a lot of elements used. There's a lot of assumptions can be used and those assumptions can be challenged so I don't really know.

Q. What is the range that you are instructing?

A. I think the range we heard today, somewhere between 5,000 and four billion.

Q. You-- you-- you believe the earth may be as young as 5,000 years old. Is that correct?

A. Well, we're learning that there's such a thing as junc --

Q. Sir, answer --

A. -- really has a function.

Q. Just please answer my question, sir.

A. We're learning a lot about micro --

Q. Sir?

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: Mr. Abrams, please instruct the witness to answer the question.


Q. (By Mr. Irigonegaray) The question was-- and winking at him is not going to do you any good. Answer my question. Do you believe the earth may be as young as 5,000 years old?

A. It could be.

Q. Do you accept the general principle of common descent, that all life is biologically related back to the beginning of life? Yes or no?

A. No.

Q. Do you accept that human beings are related by common descent to predominant ancestors? Yes or no?

A. No.

Q. What's your alternative explanation how the human species came into existence if it is not through common descent?

A. Design.

Q. And design would imply a designer?

A. Implies a designer, but we don't go there.

Q. Do you have any idea as to when the designer, in your opinion, created man?

A. No.

Q. You would agree, would you not, that the Kansas Standards do allow and encourage a broad range of discussion on the subject of evolution in Kansas?

A. To try to get a yes or no to that is a difficult one, because I'm not sure you have nine lessons on evolution like we do in Ohio

Q. Did you read the Majority standard on that issue?

A. Yes. When we take a look at the Minority compared to the Majority I guess I would take the view that it's better to have something in writing that allows this to occur because probably of what is happening is teachers are afraid to teach something that they don't know if it's even legal or not.

Q. Is it --

A. It makes a more positive statement in the Minority Report.

Q. Tell me if you would agree or disagree with this statement: There are many issues which involve morals, ethics, values or spiritual beliefs that go beyond what science can explain, but for which solid scientific literacy is used for. Do you agree with that statement?

A. It's-- it's kind of a compound statement there. Could you repeat just the second part of that?

Q. Let me repeat the whole thing. There are many issues which involve morals, ethics, values or spiritual beliefs that go beyond what science can explain, for which solid scientific literacy is used for. Do you agree or disagree with that?

A. Scientific literacy is useful, is that what the last part said?

Q. Yes.

A. Yes.

Q. Does this sentence seem to reflect naturalism. The philosophy that matter and energy are all there is or does it seem to reflect the philosophy that there's more to the world than what science can investigate?

A. Well, it appears like naturalism.

Q. That appears to you to be naturalism?

A. The first part of that, yes.

Q. There are many issues which involve morals, ethics, values or spiritual beliefs that go beyond what science can explain. How is that naturalism?

A. I miss-- I misunderstood the question.

Q. It doesn't imply anything about naturalism, does it?

A. No, it doesn't.

Q. And are you aware that those are the Kansas standards?

A. Well, yes, I'm aware of that, but just because of the way they're stated out of context I think there's confusion with that. You know information theory doesn't follow under matter and energy.

Q. You cited earlier Mr. Denton in support of your position. Do you recall that?

A. Yes.

Q. I want to have you please listen carefully to this statement, and let me know if you agree or disagree. In his advocacy of special creationism I believe Johnson is merely the latest in a succession of vigorous creationists advocates who have been very influential within conservative Christian circles, particularly in the United States during the 20th century. None of these advocates, however, has had any lasting influence among academic biologists. This is not because science is biased in favor of philosophical naturalism, but because the special creationist model is not supported by the facts and is incapable of providing a more plausible explanation for the pattern of life's diversity in time and space than its evolutionary competitor. The reason why no current member of the United States National Academy of Science is a special creationist is because of the facts, the same facts that in the 19th century convinced Darwin and Wallace and all leading Christian biologists, including Joseph Hooker, Assa Gray and Charles Riley of the reality of descent with modification. Please tell me yes or no, do you agree or disagree with that statement?

A. Thank you for the speech. I think --

Q. Do you disagree or agree to that?

A. It was so long I would have to disagree.

Q. You disagree?

A. Yeah.

Q. Are you aware of the fact that that statement was written by Michael Denton --

A. I am.

Q. -- the same man that you used for supporting your positions?

A. Hey, I agree a lot with Darwin, too, just not everything.

Q. Do you agree that you said that information of the Y chromosome could be used to track back to Adam or whomever the first human was?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you believe that there was a first human, assuming that you don't accept common descent, which is what you've said?

A. Common descent says there was a first human.

Q. You believe there was a first human?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it your belief that that first human was Adam, as mentioned in the Bible?

A. I don't know. I don't know. The-- the different theories now go into Asia and Africa in regards to where we came from, so there's confusion there.

Q. Do you agree further, sir, that it is essential for scientists to remain neutral in their work as far as bringing into their work a supernatural process?

A. I think so. I think I would agree with that.

Q. And you would agree with me, would you not, sir, that throughout human history we have oftentimes simply not understood an observation around the natural world. Correct?

A. Correct.

Q. That still happens today. Correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And you would agree with me that it is in the best interest of science when that happens that we do the appropriate research, that we do the appropriate studies, that we do the appropriate investigations to try to find out within the natural process what's going on. Correct?

A. Everything except just the natural process, yes.

Q. Are you of the opinion, sir, that if we do not understand something that we are observing that it is appropriate to attach to it a super natural quality such as intelligent design?

A. Not necessarily, you need to have the data and then the data, you know, it gives you the answers to the question. Junk DNA was thought to have absolutely no function, now we realize it has a lot of function.

Q. And that was something that when we looked at junk DNA mainstream scientists didn't say that must have been by design because they didn't understand it. Correct? They simply put the question aside, worked on it, and now we have answers to what we used to think was junk DNA. Correct?

A. Some of those support --

Q. Excuse me?

A. Some of these answers support design.

Q. Isn't design a philosophical assumption?

A. No.

Q. How do we falsify the designer?

A. We don't go there. We're not going to talk about the designer.

Q. Well, if you don't go there --

A. DNA --

Q. -- how can you name it a scientific process?

A. You have a blueprint that's wonderful for life. You can argue evolution with DNA, you can argue design with DNA.

Q. Well, you can argue it, but that's not the scientific process, is it because --

A. Yes, it is.

Q. -- you agreed with me early on that science should be neutral?

A. It doesn't mean you don't argue. Science is-- that's where we get the truth from is arguing.

Q. So philosophically discuss it, but it's not a good idea to interpose the supernatural in what should be a scientific process. Correct?

A. We're not doing that.

MR. IRIGONEGARAY: No further questions.


Q. When I leave here I might be asked what hard evidence did you come up with then to refute evolution, Darwinian evolution, and so I may have the opportunity for one sentence, so help me if I have this one sentence correct, and if not, could you briefly correct me. The Y chromosome doesn't repair or mutate which is evidence?

A. No, it-- the Y chromosome mutates more than any other chromosome because it doesn't have the same kind of repair mechanisms. So I hate to give arguments for females, but it's been said that the Y chromosome is a junk chromosome and it accumulates a tremendous number of mutations because it doesn't have all the facilities to repair itself.

Q. So it doesn't repair. It does mutate, but it doesn't repair?

A. Yes. There's something called gene conversion which can happen to repair it, but it's not like the other-- you don't have recombination which is really going to help, don't have all the repair mechanisms, so it's really faulty on that.

Q. And would you say that's evidence refuting Darwinian evolution?

A. No. It would predict that we're going to lose the Y chromosome, therefore males.

Q. Thank you.


Q. Dr. Ely?

A. Ely.

Q. Ely. You have had-- I'm going back to your discussion and your work with Ohio State Science Writing Committee, excuse me, do you have information-- you haven't had any firsthand knowledge at the high school level?

A. Yes, I have.

Q. Oh, okay. Do you have information at the high school level or the college level that the students that you actually taught scored better when they were taught the strengths and weaknesses of Neo Darwinian evolution?

A. I don't have-- I'll have to just rephrase I guess what you said when I agreed with you. I've used different types of questionnaires. I don't have data on because at the college level we don't test on evolution versus say design. I just have feedback from the students on how they enjoyed the controversy.

With the high school, yes, we do have feedback from one of our high schools in the Akron area, very similar to what Bryan showed that they've taught it both ways and the students do score better when it's taught both ways and also enjoy it better when it's taught both ways. So we have data on that in Akron. We'll have a lot more at the end of this school year when the data is compiled.

Q. Would you say that it's-- that those students would be more academically prepared, more intellectually stimulated and better able to progress with whatever jobs or education that they're willing or wanting to pursue?

A. Yes. It's-- when I was a kid communism was huge. We're talking duck and cover drills to get underneath our desk when the alarms went off. You know, we learned about communism. We needed to know what it was all about. I am all for learning both sides of the question and I think, yes, critical analysis is much better when students see both sides of the question.

Q. How would you describe the ability of the Majority draft to teach the students to distinguish the data and testable theories of science as opposed to the religious and philosophical claims that are made in the name of science?

A. I'm not sure what you're getting at the last part.

Q. Okay. How would you describe the ability of the Majority draft and Minority draft, comparing those two, to teach the students to distinguish the data of science from the religious and philosophical claims that are made in the name of science?

A. You know, I'm not sure that it's going to-- either one, Majority or Minority is going to differentiate some of the religious claims there. One of the fears I had before I got involved in this whatsoever was the idea that, hey, we do not want to teach any kind of religion or faith in the school. That's not what it was about. I was concerned about that. After we've gone through the process now and I've interviewed teachers and done it at the University level, not once have I had a question about the designer, about religion about faith. They-- we stopped at that point. And so the critical analysis I think was very valuable. The Minority Report, what I liked about it was what other speakers said as well, it gets more specific and allows more freedom for the teacher to explore those areas. Right now a lot of teachers are-- are threatened in Akron. I got stories all the time. They're threatened by the principal not to even touch it and yet it's in the books. And so I think we need more education of what is allowed and what isn't allowed, and the Minority Report I think gives you some of that freedom.

Q. Does empirical science, I have been defining it as what is observable, measurable, testable, repeatable or falsifiable, does empirical science provide data of the type that would support one hypothesis and refute another and be able to assist you in-- or assist the student in being able to distinguish the data and testable theories?

A. Yes. Yes, it does. One of the things I do and I didn't have time here, I show a slide. We go through all kinds of data. Here's what evolution predicts, macroevolution, here's what design will predict, and then the students come up with predictions. You can make the prediction, you can test them, you can see what the data shows, and make a decision. And the students come up with the decision. They're not influenced by the teacher. The teacher doesn't take a stand either way.

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: I thank you, sir.

MS. MORRIS: I have a question.


MS. MORRIS: How many years of data do you have that supports better scores when students are given the critical analysis approach?

THE WITNESS: I think that the data that's-- would be data you can put into a science education journal would be data that Bryan showed, and I think he said around four years of data, something like that.

MS. MORRIS: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: Thank you, Dr. Ely. We're going to take a break now. We're going to reconvene at 2:50, 15 minutes from now.

(THEREUPON, a short recess was had).


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