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Chapter 11: The Trial Decision

On December 18, 1981, the day after the close of the creation trial in Little Rock, ACLU Attorney Bruce Ennis was quoted on page 18A of the Arkansas Democrat as saying:

"The state tried to prove there is scientific evidence for creation. They failed not because of a lack of effort but because that evidence does not exist."

In the same article ACLU Attorney Jack Novik said:

"We've made that point several times. If creation science had any credibility, they wouldn't need a law to get it taught in classrooms."

These statements reflect the ACLU objectives throughout the trial. They tried to portray evolutionary scientists as objective, honest seekers for truth and to blacken the State's witnesses as religionists who only masqueraded as scientists. Novik's comment implied that my testimony for creation on the last two days of the trial had been completely discredited. Actually, during my cross-examination ACLU Attorney Bruce Ennis didn't even attempt to challenge my scientific evidence for creation. Instead, he first asked whether I accepted the Genesis account of creation—an attempt to brand me as a religionist rather than a scientist. Interestingly, he never referred to the falsification test that I had proposed.

Ennis' other line of questions focused on two scientific mistakes in an attempt to undermine my qualifications as a scientist. One involved the previously discussed work on superheavy elements; the other was a misidentification of a certain halo in the mineral fluorite. Both of them had been corrected in print years before the trial. Those mistakes were rectified as a natural part of my ongoing scientific research—an endeavor that involves [p. 139] testing new ideas over and over again, modifying and/or recanting as demanded by further experimentation and peer evaluation. In summary, the cross-examination seemed to be directed toward diverting the attention of the judge and the media away from my discoveries.

Evolutionists Win the Game

On January 5, 1982, Judge Overton ruled against Act 590. In his Memorandum Opinion, Judge Overton evaluates creation science as follows:

The proof in support of creation science consisted almost entirely of efforts to discredit the theory of evolution through a rehash of data and theories which have been before the scientific community for decades. The arguments asserted by creationists are not based upon new scientific evidence or laboratory data which has been ignored by the scientific community. (Overton 1982, Section IV.(D))

Such statements are not consistent with the evidence I presented to the court. Virtually none of my testimony consisted of a rehashing of previous data or theories. On the contrary, it visually portrayed how my recently discovered evidences for creation were based on laboratory experimentation and how, for the most part, they had been ignored by the scientific community.

In another part of his Opinion, Judge Overton states:

Creation science, as defined in Section 4(a) [of Act 590], not only fails to follow the canons defining scientific theory, it also fails to fit the more general descriptions of "what scientists think"; and "what scientists do." The scientific community consists of individuals and groups, nationally and internationally, who work independently in such varied fields as biology, paleontology, geology and astronomy. Their work is published and subject to review and testing by their peers. The journals for publication are both numerous and varied. There is, however, not one recognized scientific journal which has published an article espousing the creation science theory described in Section 4(a). (Overton 1982, Section IV.(C))

It is difficult to understand these remarks. In my own case Judge Overton was given references to twenty or more scientific publications. Wasn't this ample evidence that, for sixteen years, my work had been tested and subjected to review by my peers in the scientific community? Is it possible that the judge's designation of who is a scientist was based on one's position on origins rather than one's actual scientific associations and work?

[p. 140]

Court Judgment Reveals Evolutionary Bias

Perhaps the most revealing of the above comments was the statement, "There is, however, not one recognized scientific journal which has published an article espousing the creation science theory described in Section 4(a)." This should not be surprising since Section 4(a) of Act 590 covers a broad spectrum of creation science. Just as no one evolutionist is expected to expound on all the different aspects of evolution, neither does any one creation scientist have the expertise to write about all the diverse aspects of creation science. The real issue centers on the different scientific articles for creation science which had been presented before the Court. Why were these discounted when the judge wrote his Opinion?

Judge Overton gives his evaluation of my work as follows:

. . . Mr. Gentry's findings were published almost ten years ago and have been the subject of some discussion in the scientific community. The discoveries have not, however, led to the formulation of any scientific hypothesis or theory which would explain a relatively recent inception of the earth or a worldwide flood. Gentry's discovery has been treated as a minor mystery which will eventually be explained. It may deserve further investigation, but the National Science Foundation has not deemed it to be of sufficient import to support further funding. (Overton 1982, Section IV.(D))

Here Judge Overton greatly minimizes my difficulties with the National Science Foundation, which were presented in great detail before the Court. Readers may decide for themselves whether Judge Overton's comments about those experiences, as described in Chapter 6, represent an objective evaluation of the facts.

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