Navigation Links
Geological Society of America honors Judge Jones for upholding science in the classroom
Date:9/29/2009

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, 7𔃇 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 promotion of religion, in violation of the separation of church and state. In his 139-page decision, Judge Jones handed science a landmark victory.

"Using thorough analysis of the law, in-depth analysis of the history and origin of intelligent design theory and acute powers of reasoning, Judge Jones' opinion decisively laid to rest the notion that intelligent design should be taught in science classes, alongside evolution, as an alternative theory to the evolution of life," said Parrish.

Jones' background includes clerking for the Honorable Guy A. Bowe, Schuylkill County President Judge, private practice, a stint as Schuylkill County Assistant Public Defender, and Pottsville City Solicitor, as well as political roles as the co-chairman of Governor-elect Tom Ridge's transition team and chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. He is a member of the American, Pennsylvania, and Schuylkill County bar associations and of the Federal Judges' Association. His education was at Dickinson College, where he received a BA in 1977 and a JD in 1980.

GSA's silver President's Medal was established in 2007 to recognize individuals whose impact has profoundly enhanced the geosciences profession. "Our recipient's work qualifies as such an enhancement," said Parrish. "By following the law separating religion and public education he, by extension, defended the study of evolution as science and the teaching of evolution."

Information about the GSA President's Award, including past recipients, is available at http://www.geosociety.org/awards/aboutAwards.htm#pres.

Jones to speak at GSA Annual Meeting

Judge Jones will also participate in a 5-member panel discussion on Monday, 19 October, from 11:30 a.m.𔂿:30 p.m., as part of "Darwin Day" a day-long 200th birthday celebration of Charles Darwin in conjunction with the meeting. The session, titled "Overcoming Resistance to the Reality of Evolutionary Change in Nature," will take place at the Oregon Convention Center, and members of the media are invited.

Studies show that a majority of Americans accept or deny evidence of evolution, geologic processes and the age of the Earth to the extent that they can be reconciled with their religious or other core beliefs. Therefore, accuracy, clarity and engaging modes of presenting scientific knowledge are essential to enhancing public understanding of science and enabling more people to accommodate concepts they find challenging, without compromising the integrity of the science itself.

Jones will explore these issues along with:

  • Jeremy Jackson, Director, Center for Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and leading authority on human impacts on the oceans

  • Randy Olson, Marine biologist and independent film-maker known for his documentary Flock of Dodos: the Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus, and author of the forthcoming book Don't Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style

  • Kevin Padian, Professor of Integrative Biology and Curator, Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley, and President of the National Center for Science Education

  • Ray Troll, Artist whose quirky, energetic and humorous posters and books include Planet Ocean, Cruisin the Fossil Freeway, and Raptors Fossils, Fins & Fangs, which incorporate sound science and focus on evolutionary themes


'/>"/>

Contact: Christa Stratton
cstratton@geosociety.org
303-357-1093
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Core blimey! University of Leicester scientist calls for geological time machine
2. Colorado Rocky Mountain Region: A Geological Cornucopia
3. University of Miami scientist uncovers miscalculation in geological undersea record
4. American Chemical Societys Weekly PressPac -- Aug. 8, 2007
5. Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
6. American Chemical Societys Weekly PressPac -- Aug. 15, 2007
7. American Chemical Societys Weekly Press Pac
8. Society for General Microbiology 161st Meeting, University of Edinburgh
9. American Chemical Societys Weekly Presspac -- Aug. 29, 2007
10. American Chemical Society calls green chemistry bill a smart step
11. The American Society of Plant Biologists announces 2007 awards
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Geological Society of America honors Judge Jones for upholding science in the classroom
(Date:6/22/2016)... June 22, 2016   Acuant , ... verification solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ® ... for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and Continuous ... that add functional enhancements to existing physical ... and venues with an automated ID verification ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... 20, 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading ... for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced ... it has secured the final acceptance by all ... Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will ... be installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint attendance control software, ... employees are actually signing in, and to even control the opening of doors. ... ... ... Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160609/377487 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation ... increasingly precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class ... across 15 countries. Read More About the Class of ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome ... in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The ... to advance its drug development efforts, as well as ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner to ... traditional bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, ... Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I ... President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, ... 1 clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, ... and multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess ... of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... either as a single dose (ranging from 45 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: