Boulder, CO, USA - Geological Society of America (GSA) Past President Judith Totman Parrish recently named Judge John E. Jones, III, as the 2009 recipient of GSA's prestigious President's Medal. Parrish will present the award at the GSA Annual Meeting Presidential Address & Awards Ceremony on Saturday, 17 October, 7 p.m., at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.
"It is particularly fitting that Judge Jones receive this medal in 2009, the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin, whose work forms the basis of modern evolutionary theory," notes Parrish in citing Jones for this award.
She explains that "the theory of evolution is one of the foundations of geosciences. Through the study of fossils and living organisms and the changes they have undergone through time, scientists are revealing not only the history of life, but the history of the Earth itself. The theory of evolution was established by careful, diverse, and revealing tests carried out by scientists in a wide array of disciplines. Yet despite the strength of the evidence for evolution and its practical importance to society, it is unique among the great scientific theories in being under nearly constant attack." Proponents of religious creationism and more recently, intelligent design theory, object to the teaching of evolutionary theory in schools because it contradicts literal interpretation of the biblical description of Earth's history.
Judge Jones had been serving on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania for four years when, in 2005, he was assigned to the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case (informally known as the Dover trial). The Dover, PA school board was being sued over their decision to require that a disclaimer be read to 9th grade biology classes about the validity of intelligent design as an alternative to the theory of evolution. A group of parents argued that the disclaimer was an unconstitutional promot
|Contact: Christa Stratton|
Geological Society of America