UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
REV. BILL McLEAN, et al., :
THE STATE OF ARKANSAS, et al., :
Deposition of MICHAEL
ESCOTT RUSE, held at the offices of
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Esqs.,
919 Third Avenue, New York, New York,
on the 23rd day of November, 1981, at
9:15 o'clock a.m., pursuant to Notice,
before Walter Holden. C.S.R., and
Thomas W. Murray, C.S.R., Notaries
Public of the State of New York.
JACK D. NOVICK, ESQ.
Assistant Director for Affiliate Program
American Civil Liberties Union
132 West 43rd Street
New York, New York 10036
STEVE CLARK, ESQ.
State of Arkansas
Little Rock, Arkansas
DAVID L. WILLIAMS, ESQ.,
M I C H A E L E S C O T T R U S E,
called as a witness, having been first duly
sworn by the Notary Public, was examined and
testified as follows:
Q. Would you state your name, please?
A. Michael Escott Ruse.
Q. It's Dr. Ruse, I believe?
Q. My name is David Williams and I am with
the Attorney General's office and we are here this
morning for your deposition in the case of McLean
versus the State of Arkansas. I am going to be
asking you questions about your background, about
anticipated testimony and perhaps some other areas
concerning this case. If I ask any questions that
are ambiguous, please let me know and I will try
to rephrase them.
Have you had your deposition taken
Q. Have you testified in court before?
Q. Has Mr. Novik or other attorneys
explained to you what a deposition is and the
purposes of it?
MR. WILLIAMS: Before we get started,
it's my understanding that plaintiffs are not
waiving signature of Dr. Ruse's deposition. The
plaintiffs have been requesting of us that the
deposition be signed within five days. If not
signed within five days it may be used as if it
MR. NOVICK: Have you agreed to that
when we made the request?
MR. WILLIAMS: I think we had some
response that we will try to do it as
expeditiously as possible.
MR. NOVIK: I will try to do it as
expeditiously, as well.
Q. Dr. Ruse, are you married?
Q. Separated. Do you have any children?
A. I do, two.
Q. What are their ages?
A. Nigel 12 and Rebeccas 9, nearly 10.
Q. Where do they attend school?
A. Nigel goes to St. John's School, Eloria.
That is in Ontario, and Rebecca goes to St.
Margaret's school in Eloria.
Q. Are those public or private schools?
A. They are private schools.
Q. Are they affiliated with any particular
Q. That would be?
A. Anglican. I guess you call it
Q. Have they taken any science courses as
A. Yes. At that sort of level.
Q. Are you aware of any of the content of
the science courses they have taken?
Q. Has the subject of origins been
discussed in any of their classes?
Q. Could you tell me what you know about
the discussion within their classes?
A. Nigel came home and told me that
dinosaurs were warm blooded.
MR. NOVIK: I would like to note for
the record that Dr. Ruse is a Canadian citizen
living in Canada, and that consequently the laws
of the Constitution of Canada would govern what
was appropriate to teach in the public schools, in
the schools of Canada, public or private. And
that those laws and Constitution and statutes, et
cetera, have very little bearing on what is
appropriate in the United States.
I think the line of inquiry is somewhat
irrelevant for that reason. But you are welcome
to continue with the understanding of his
citizenship and where he lives.
MR. WILLIAMS: Thank you, I am aware he
is a Canadian citizen.
Q. Would you please continue concerning
what Nigel said?
A. Nigel has been taught evolution, and
they have a science fair once a year. And he gave
his entry last time was insectivorous plants.
Venus fly traps. You may know that Darwin worked
on these. He discussed this and he gave it as an
Q. What of Rebecca?
A. I don't think it's been anything as
Q. Do you know whether THE CREATION
SCIENCE MODEL OF ORIGINS or anything on that order
has been discussed in their classes?
A. To the best of my knowledge, no. That
is to the best of my knowledge.
Q. Do you know whether THE CREATION
SCIENCE MODEL OF ORIGINS is discussed in either
public or private schools in Canada?
A. It is.
Q. In what way and in which schools?
A. Well, you got to draw a distinction --
again, as with you, we have different provinces.
I believe our provinces have a great deal more
autonomy on what they teach than with respect to
you in that we don't yet have a Constitution. Ask
me next week, we might have one.
We have both a public -- our public
school system is both secular and religious. In
Ontario we have a Catholic school system which is
state supported, and I believe, but I am not
speaking as an expert now, I think New Foundland
doesn't have any nonsecular schools, nonchurch
Q. Is it correct that the province in turn
has much discretion as to whether they want to
support a parochial school?
Q. Could you please continue?
A. Again, please understand I am not
speaking as an expert now.
Q. I understand.
A. I am just reading what I have read in
the paper and that sort of thing. But I
understand in some provinces in Ontario, in fact
evolution of creation is taught, I even understand
in parts of Alberta not much else is taught. In
fact, evolution is not taught.
I understand in Ontario one can
withdraw from the classroom if you don't like
evolution. You know, as I say, that is about -- I
believe that there are some -- I believe Nova
Scotia doesn't allow creation to be taught. That
is about as far as I can -- I am talking now about
biology classes as opposed say to general
discussion classes. Of course, again I am -- I
only have my own personal experience which has
been at the elementary level, not the high school
levels. I was not a student myself in Ontario.
Q. Have you reviewed any materials which
are used to teach creation science in Canada?
A. I don't know.
Q. Do you have copies of any of it?
A. Again, I have to say I don't know.
Q. You say you don't know. You don't know
whether you reviewed any of it or not?
A. I don't know whether I have reviewed
material which has been used in Canadian schools.
In other words. I have reviewed material. Whether
it's been used in Canadian schools -- I have
reviewed the Bible.
Q. How do they teach creation science, to
the best of your knowledge, in the Canadian
schools, where it is taught?
A. You know, I really don't know. As I
say, I am not an expert on Ontario or other school
systems. I presume that it's presented as at
least an alternative model, if not as -- I don't
know. As I say, I don't live in Alberta, for
example, and I read what I see in the paper. But
I am not, what shall I say, I am not a high school
Q. You have taken no steps the try to find
out how it is taught?
A. Not as yet.
Q. How long has it been taught there, to
A. Again, I, to be honest, it's not
something I know, though I say it, we learn more
about what goes on in America. By America, I mean
the U. S., than we do in Canada today. Much
things are much more polarized -- how shall I put
it, easy to define in America. You have a
Constitution, we don't.
Q. Are you a member of any organized
Q. Have you been in the past a member of
Q. Which faith is that?
Q. Could you give me the dates of the
A. I say from about the age of five -- I
might still be on the books in England.
Q. You no longer consider yourself a
Q. At what point did you consider yourself
to have -- to no longer be a member of the Quaker
A. It's a difficult question to say. To
answer. In the sense that I would no longer have
identified with them say in the early 20's. My
Q. What would you then be, approximately?
A. In my early 20's.
Q. You were born in 1940, sometime in 1960?
A. Yes, in the '60's.
Q. You say you no longer identified with
them. Could you describe why you no longer
identify with them?
A. The simplist thing to say is I came to
Canada in '62 and made just de facto something of
a break with my past life. I don't mean that any
more than a 3,000 mile trip is a past life.
Q. If you could explain further, because
the simple mileage does not explain to me how you
put the break between you and the faith you had
held in the past?
A. When I was a university student I used
to attend meeting. When I was at Bristol. That
was an undergraduate. When I came to Canada, you
see I came first to Hamilton, Ontario. They
didn't have a Quaker Meeting House. Naturally, I
went occasionally when people -- I lived with a
Unitarian and I went occasionally with them. When
I was in Rochester I went once or twice to
meetings. But basically, that's about it. 3,000
miles isn't irrelevant.
Q. What is your personal belief as to the
existence of a God?
A. I would say somewhere between deist and
Q. Could you articulate for me your own
conception of God, your own personal view?
A. I could speak very tentatively now. I
would say that I think that there probably is some
sort of world force.
Q. World force?
A. In some sort of way. As I say,
probably a God is an unmoved move. At least one
who doesn't interfere in his creation or her
Q. What does the Quaker faith say about
the origin of man and of the world and the unverse,
A. Quakers really don't say very much.
Quakers tend not to lay too much on obligatory
Q. Have you ever studied any religious
views of origins?
A. I am not quite sure I follow you now.
Q. The religious views on the origin of
man and of the universe?
A. Scientific creationism.
Q. Which you view to be a religious view?
Q. Other than that?
A. I have read quite deeply in some of the
Q. Do you believe that a religious person
can be a competent scientist?
A. Oh, yes.
Q. Do you know competent scientists who
are also religious people?
A. Yes, I have met people who I would want
to say are competent scientists and religious
people. And of course, I know of --
Q. You are presently a professor at the
University of Guelph?
Q. Have you been there since 1974?
A. No, I have been there since '65.
Q. You have been a professor since '74 but
you began as a lecturer in 1965.
Could you describe your duties as a
A. I teach philosophy and the last three
years, four years, I have also taught history.
Q. You teach philosophy in what areas?
A. I teach philosophy of science,
philosophy of religion, ethics, logic,
introductory philosophy. Most areas other than
some of the technical areas like medieval
Q. Beside your teaching duties, are there
other duties involved in your job?
A. Administrative work.
Q. Do you have any sort of assigned
A. I do research. I don't have assigned
Q. Is your research funded by any grants?
A. Yes. I think in the last page you will
Q. Your students there at the university,
how many of them come from Canada?
A. It's difficult to say. We have quite a
lot of foreign students. We have a big
agriculture school. So we have a lot of Third
World students. Most come from Canada.
Q. Have you found that the Canadian
students who have studied creation science in
school have greater difficulty in studying the
philosophy of science, for example, or any of the
other courses that you have taught?
MR. NOVIK: You have never asked him
whether he knows whether any of his students have
studied creation science in school. The question
assumes information not yet in the record.
MR. WILLIAMS: I will be glad to go
back to do that.
MR. NOVIK: I would appreciate it if
you ask the questions with the requisite basis.
Q. Dr. Ruse, do you know whether any of
your students have studied creation science in
Q. Have any of them ever told you that?
A. I would -- I am sure in 15 years, the
subject has come up. How can I put it? It's not
been a matter of great debate in Canada.
Q. In 15 years, do you have an opinion as
to whether you have had some students who have
studied creation science in some of the Canadian
MR. NOVIK: He already testified that
he does not know whether students have had
creation science. I think that is enough of an
MR. WILLIAMS: I am asking him if he
has an opinion. Not whether he knows personally
from talking with them. But whether he has an
opinion as to whether any of his students who have
come to his class would have studied creation
A. They have studied creation science in
Sunday School. I know a lot of them have done
that. To what extent they have done it in the
public schools, I just don't know.
Q. In your classes in the philosophy of
science has any identifiable group of students had
any problems in understanding the concepts of
philosophy of science?
MR. NOVIK: I am not sure I even
understand the question. What does identifiable
group of students --
MR. WILLIAMS: I am asking him if there
is any one particular group. It might be everyone
who has blond hair perhaps. I don't know.
Q. What groups?
A. The Chinese students that don't speak
Q. As far as you know, you have had no
problems in your philosophy of science course with
any students who might have studied creation of
science being able to understand the philosophy of
MR. NOVIK: I have to object to the
question. He's already testified he doesn't know
whether any students have studied creation of
science and the question is trying to get him to
admit that if such students had studied creation
of science they didn't have any problems in his
course. The question is just confusing, assuming
facts not -- which he said are not so, and
consequently irrelevant and objectionable.
Q. Dr. Ruse, in what province is
University of Guelph?
Q. In Ontario, you have stated earlier
that creation of science is studied in the public
A. I didn't say that. I think I said that
students could withdraw from evolution classes.
Q. What about the parochial schools there?
A. I really don't --
Q. Is creation of science studied there?
A. The Catholic schools?
A. I really don't know. I am not a
Q. How about the Anglican schools there?
A. These would be private schools.
A. Again, I can only speak to the
experience of my children's schools.
Q. Are you concerned about what is being
presented in the Canadian schools as science and
particularly as it relates to evolution and
Q. If you are concerned, why have you made
no effort to determine to what extent creation
science is being taught and how it's being taught?
A. Mainly because -- well, entirely
because I have only just become aware of the fact.
There was a big article in the paper on Saturday.
Q. As one who teaches the philosophy of
science and has been in the country since 1965 --
Q. 1962, up until recently you have made
no effort to determine the manner in which biology,
evolution, and any other theories of origins are
being taught in the Canadian public school system,
and private school system? Is that correct?
A. Sorry, as well as teaching philosophy
of science, I have made no effort -- let me put it
this way: I have been worried about the, what I
have perceived as the bad teaching of science in
Canadian schools. In talking to babysitters and
so forth. That was one of the reasons why I sent
my children to an Anglican school or Anglican
schools. That I guess is the extent of my own
Q. To answer my question, my question is,
if you are concerned, why have you lived there for
so very long without making any effort to find out
what is being taught?
A. I wasn't aware of the extent to
apparently that this is widespread. In Ontario, I
don't know to what extent creation science or
creationism, religion, in other words, is taught
in biology classes. I live in Ontario, not
Alberta. I am sure if I lived in Alberta my
answer would be different.
Q. Are you aware in 1979 that in Ontario
petitions with several thousand signatures were
presented to the Minister of Education advocating
teaching of creationism as a paralegal scientific
explanation when evolution was taught?
MR. NOVIK: Before you answer. Are you
reading from something, Mr. Williams?
MR. WILLIAMS: I am asking him if he is
aware of it.
MR. NOVIK: Are you reading from
MR. WILLIAMS: I am asking the witness
if he is aware of that fact. Either he is or he
MR. NOVIK: You seem to be reading from
something. If you are reading from something, I
think it appropriate that you make it known on the
record. I am not going to permit the witness to
answer the question until I find out whether in
fact you are reading from something, whether it is
an accurate quote and if so, what you are reading
MR. WILLIAMS: I am asking if he is
aware of it. he can say I am not aware of it or I
am, and the record will speak for itself.
MR. NOVIK: He could. I am not going
to permit him to answer unless you tell me whether
you are reading from something, whether it is an
accurate quote, and I would like to know what you
are reading from. In that regard, I might point
out that in Dr. Ayala's, deposition which I
believe you took, you purported to be reading from
a particular document or paper and, in fact, you
were apparently paraphrasing. The witness was
confused and the record was confused. I would
like to avoid such confusions in this instant. It
seemed to me that you were reading from something
and I am simply asking what it was and if it was
MR. WILLIAMS: I will object to your
characterization of whatever is in Ayala's
deposition. I think we can leave that for
whatever. Let the record speak for itself there,
Second, I am asking him a question. He
can respond to this question in a way which he
feels appropriate. It is not a confusing or
ambiguous question, I don't think at all. Unless
you have some objection to the form of the
question, I would like to move on.
MR. NOVIK: Would I like to move on,
too. Why don't we do that?
Q. Will you answer the question, Dr. Ruse?
MR. NOVIK: I am directing the witness
not to answer that question.
MR. WILLIAMS: On what ground?
MR. NOVIK: On the ground that you
appear to be reading from something. I have the
right to know whether it is an accurate quote and
a right to know what you are reading from.
MR. WILLIAMS: All right. I am not
reading from anything.
Q. Are you aware that in 1979
approximately 6,000 people in Ontario signed a
petition and presented it to the Minister of
Education, which stated that they felt that
creationism should be presented as a scientific
alternative to evolution when evolution is taught?
Q. In your opinion, does the course of
study of science in secondary schools affect the
quality of, first of all, the quality of student
in science that goes into the university school?
MR. NOVIK: Could you read that
MR. NOVICK: Do you understand the
THE WITNESS: No.
Q. Does the science curriculum in
secondary school have an effect for good or ill on
the university student, the student when they come
to the university to study science?
A. I don't know.
Q. Besides your courses in philosophy, the
philosophy of science in particular, have you ever
taught any courses in science?
Q. So if you had a student who, in
secondary school, never studied evolution, say
studied creation science exclusively, and then
went to a university and took a course in
evolution, you don't have an opinion as to whether
that would affect his ability to study evolution?
A. Are you asking me now as a professor or
as an individual?
Q. I am asking you in your professional
A. I can't answer that.
Q. So you have no professional opinion on
A. In the science course?
A. As a science teacher?
Q. No, not personally as a science teacher,
but as someone who teaches the philosophy of
A. It's very difficult for me to answer
this because I am one stage removed.
Q. I take it then your answer is you have
no professional opinion on that question?
MR. NOVIK: He has given his answer.
MR. WILLIAMS: He says its difficult.
I am asking does he or does he not have an opinion.
MR. NOVIK: I don't mind you asking the
question, but I prefer you not give him the answer,
Q. Do you have an opinion?
A. As a philosopher of a student who has
taken creation in a biology class, how they would
perform in a science class?
Q. Yes, in college. If they should study
A. I think I would have to say I do have
an opinion, yes.
Q. You said you had an opinion. Would you
A. I think they would have difficulty.
Q. On what do you base that opinion?
A. My knowledge of creation science, my
knowledge of science and incompatibility of the
two. Not incompatibility, but let me just say the
Q. In your tenure at University of Guelph,
have you taught any other courses besides the ones
you had previously mentioned?
A. History of science.
Q. History of science?
Q. Any others?
Q. What were your duties at the graduate
system in the University of Rochester?
A. Assisting in introductory to philosophy
Q. And at McMaster University as a
graduate assistant from '62 to '63?
A. Assisting in introductory classes.
Seminars and marking.
Q. When you speak of assisting, what were
A. Taking an hour of a three hour a week
class, and marking the students' papers.
Sometimes doing some library work for professors.
Q. You state that one of your major
interests is the area of ethical questions in
biology and medicine?
Q. Do you have an opinion as to whether
research in the area of medicine and in the area
of biology should sometimes be limited due to
A. Yes, I think -- I do.
Q. Can you describe your opinion in that
A. I think there are some areas where you
shouldn't allow it.
Q. Could you give me some examples where
you have that opinion, where you feel that way?
A. For example, I would say something akin
to Hitler's racial experiments ought not to be
Q. Anything in any of the issues that we
are facing today that you have an opinion that
should be limited?
A. One example I would -- hear much about
a lot of experiments being carried out on retarded
Q. Is that occurring today?
A. I read cases that this sort of thing
has occurred. Not treating people, a venereal
syphilis case where people weren't treated though
they were aware they got it. These sort of things.
Q. Do you have an opinion on some of the
controversy over the DNA research?
Q. Do you have an opinion as to whether
that should be limited at all?
A. I think in some respects it should be.
Q. How should it be limited?
A. I wouldn't allow research, for example,
expressly designed to create things to hurt people.
I wouldn't allow unlimited research on dangerous
organisms like smallpox virus.
Q. Why not?
A. Well, I wouldn't allow just unlimited
on smallpox virus, anyway, because it's very
dangerous. People die as they did in Birmingham,
Q. That is an example, though, of why you
wouldn't want or why you would limit some of the
research in this area. Could you give me the
overall principles on which you would make the
Q. That research in a given area should be
A. Inasmuch as it is incompatible with my
broadly based ethical beliefs.
Q. From where do you derive your broadly
based ethical beliefs?
A. I think that I would say that I intuit
them as objective realities.
Q. Are the ethics by which you would guide
your live, are they reduced to writing anywhere?
A. Are they?
A. Yes, I think the volume that is coming
up has at least some of what I want to say.
Q. What do you have your own code of
A. I am not quite sure I understand that
Q. We are talking about a code, I don't
mean a formalized written code, necessarily. but
the standards by which you judge your own life and
your own personal existence.
Q. What is that? Could you describe it
A. I would say it's a combination of
utilitarian and the Kentian position. I think
that I would feel strongly that you ought to treat
people as ends and not as means. I mean inasmuch
as one can, one should maximize happiness in the
eudamonistic sense. That means happiness as
opposed to pleasure.
Q. Anything else about your own, what I
term the code of personal conduct? Any other
attributes of it?
A. That is kind of a sweeping question. I
am not quite sure what you want as an answer there
at all. How can I put it? I think that my reply
is pretty broad. I have to apply it in particular
cases. I don't think of it as my personal code.
Q. What is the difference between
philosophy and religion?
MR. NOVIK: If there is a difference
between philosophy and religion.
A. Yes. I think of religion as
essentially something based on, in an important
way, on faith and related to some sort of supreme
being. I don't see philosophy as an area for
faith. Any knowledge of a supreme being or any
thoughts of a supreme being have to come through
reason. That is a bit broad. There are different
kinds of philosophy.
MR. NOVIK: I would like the record to
reflect that we are, in addition to many other
documents produced before the deposition again, we
are making a copy of Dr. Ruse's latest book in
manuscript form available to the government.
As I explained off the record earlier,
we intend soon to submit this document manuscript
to the judge as a proposed exhibit in the up-coming
trial. In connection with that submission to the
judge, we would normally make a copy also
available to the defendants. And would like this
copy made available at this deposition to be
responsive both to their document request and
counsel as a copy in connection with the exhibits
to the court.
(Discussion off the record.)
MR. WILLIAMS: It is my understanding
that the plaintiffs' attorney will receive the
original copy of the deposition and tomorrow will
send it by Federal Express to Dr. Ruse for his
signature with a return airbill or some method of
return by Federal Express as well?
MR. NOVIK: We will use some air
courier service to get it up and back as soon as
MR. WILLIAMS: If you would like
perhaps it would be better since the original is
coming to us if you could just have it after --
well, after you receive it, the original back, and
conform your copy to any changes, you would then
have it back Federal Express to our office in
Little Rock, I would appreciate it.
MR. NOVIK: The original?
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes.
MR. NOVIK: We will do that.
Q. Dr. Ruse, does religion necessarily
require a supreme being?
A. As a belief system, in some sense I
would say yes.
MR. NOVIK: Excuse me. I would like to
point out for the record that Dr. Ruse is a
philosopher, an historian of science and is not
being called here by the plaintiffs for anything
he has to say about religion. Dr. Ruse is not
here as an expert in religion. Anything he has to
say in that regard are his own personal views on
Q. Dr. Ruse, you teach a course in the
philosophy of religion, do you not?
A. I do.
Q. Do you feel you have some knowledge and
expertise in the area of religion?
A. In the area of philosophy of religion.
Q. Are you aware that there are religions,
whether or not there are religions which do not
have a supreme being or a god?
A. A god in the Judao-Christian sense,
Q. For example?
A. Certain Hindu forms, animalistic
Q. Would you consider atheism to be a
A. No, not as much.
Q. How do you define religion?
A. As a belief system or as a sociological
Q. Let's try both.
A. As a belief system, I think that one
has to have some sort of belief in some other
worldly entity or things. Perhaps there is a
distinction between the sacred and the profane
habits and customs associated with it. As a
sociological phenomenon, people gathering together,
perhaps in church or something like that, I think
there are borderline cases which -- is Marxism a
religion? I think you pay your money, you take
your choice. Catholocism is.
Q. In teaching the philosophy of religion,
do you use a text?
Q. Which text is it?
A. The main one is John Hick THE
PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION. I also use a collection
of readings by W. Alston, RELIGIOUS BELIEF AND
PHILOSOPHIC THOUGHT. That's readings. I have
used other books in the past, but those are the
Q. Where did you attend high school or
A. I went to two schools. When I was 11
through 13 I went to what the English call a
grammar school, what I guess you would call a high
school, a state school. In Walsall, that's in
England, called Queen Mary's Grammar School. And
then at the age of 13 in 1953 through 1959 I went
to what we call a public school and you call a
private school, in York, called Bootham School.
Q. You said this is what we call a prep
A. A prep school.
Q. Were these schools supported by public
A. The first was.
Q. Both were in England?
A. Yes. The second one was in York,
England. The first one was.
Q. What science courses did you take?
A. Grammar school, I did physics.
Mathematics. At the public school, we did some
natural history, mathematics, physics, chemistry.
Q. Did you take biology?
A. Only in the early years.
Q. By that what do you mean?
A. I mean 13, 14.
Q. Was biology offered in what I would
want to refer to as your secondary schooling?
A. It was offered. I didn't follow you.
You would take it.
Q. You didn't follow that you could take
it or you had to take it?
A. That you could take it.
Q. You couldn't take it?
A. Not if I did math, physics and
Q. Did you study origins during your
Q. Did you study evolution?
Q. Did you study in school the creation
model for origin?
A. Like I put it, I knew of the Bible.
But I didn't do creation science in science
Q. At Bristol University did you take any
science courses there?
Q. Did you take any biology?
Q. Did you have any study of evolution or
creation science there?
Q. You received a BA in philosophy in
Q. Did you study science courses in your
Q. Or in your Ph.D. program?
A. No. But I did attend some science
biology courses at Guelph when I started as a
lecturer and audit.
Q. The last time you had been formally
enrolled in a course in biology was when you were
13 or 14?
Q. Have you received any training in your
field other than your formal education? I am
talking now apart from any sort of independent
study or just reading on your own.
A. I mentioned auditing at Guelph.
Q. Are you a member of any professional
Q. Which ones?
A. American Association for the Advancement
of Science, American Philosophical Association,
Philosophy of Science Association, Canadian
Society for History and Philosophy of Science, I
think Canadian Philosophical Association.
Q. Have you been an officer of any of
A. I have held elected posts.
Q. But you were not an officer?
A. Well, head of the nomination committee.
Is that an officer?
Q. I would think probably so, as an
The organizations which you have
previously described aren't listed. Have any of
these organizations taken a position on the
creation science? Formal or informal.
A. To the best of my knowledge, the
philosophy ones haven't. To the best of my
knowledge, the American Association for the
Advancement of Science is opposed to the teaching
of the creation science in schools, in biology
Q. On what do you base that?
A. Base what?
Q. That conclusion, your knowledge they
are opposed to it.
A. Obviously, my conclusion is based on
what I have been asked to do as a member of the
organizations or more particularly not asked to do.
And what I have read.
Q. What have you been asked to do on
behalf of the AAAS?
A. I personally have not been asked to do
Q. You said --
A. I said to the best of my knowledge. I
read SCIENCE, the weekly magazine. I am aware
that great concern has been expresses in the pages
of this magazine.
Q. What professional publications do you
A. Philosophy of SCIENCE, SCIENCE, GENERAL
HISTORY OF BIOLOGY. I have a subscription to
NATURE, which I have not yet received.
Q. Are you on the mailing list of any
organization which supports the teaching of
creation science in public schools?
A. No. I was sent one thing independently.
What is a mailing list?
Q. What was that, that you received?
A. It was something by a man called
Wildesmith. HE WHO THINKS HAS TO BELIEVE.
Q. That was the name of the publication?
Q. Have you ever taught any theories of
origins in the classroom?
A. As a scientist, no. I certainly talked
about them as an historian of science, and as a
Q. Have you discussed the CREATION MODEL
A. As an historian, yes.
Q. Have you discussed THE CREATION SCIENCE
MODEL OF ORIGINS as it relates to present day
controversy of creation science versus evolution?
A. I have certainly talked about the works
about people like Morris and Gish.
Q. In the classroom?
Q. Have you done any writings on that
Q. Which of your writings?
A. The primary one is the one in front of
MR. NOVIK: The witness is identifying
the manuscript made available earlier.
Q. Darwinism Defended, A GUIDE TO THE
A. Yes. I think there is a mention of
scientific creationism in my book IS SCIENCE
SECTIONIST? And one or two of my recent
publications make tangential reference to it.
Q. In your manuscript, is there one
chapter which deals with creation science?
A. Two chapters.
Q. Which two chapters are those?
A. Final two.
Q. Would that be chapter 15 and 16?
A. Right. Part 6. It is called part 6.
It's chapters 15 and 16 in the manuscript form.
In fact, one of the earlier chapters was taken out
for -- for the to be published version. I think
it will come out of 14 and 15 in the published
Q. Part 6 of chapters 14 and 15.
A. I am sorry.
Q. This is the first mention that I see.
A. Yes. The version you have got it's
chapters 14 and 15, part 6. In the version which
will be published, those are virtually untouched.
It's 13 and 14, because one of the earlier
chapters is taken out.
Q. The content will be substantially the
A. I have a little bit more on laws and
the super natural. A couple of paragraphs.
Q. When were you first contacted about
testifying as a witness in this case?
A. About two months ago.
Q. Who contacted you?
A. One of the attorneys at Skadden Arps.
Q. Have you read Act 590 of the State of
Q. When did you first read it?
A. A month ago, A bit more, perhaps.
That is not quite true. That is the first time I
read it as a document. I have read reports of it
in NATURE earlier in the year.
Q. Have you provided to the plaintiffs'
attorneys any writings other than the ones you
have given me previously concerning your testimony
in this case?
MR. NOVIK: Let me say that in response
to requests by plaintiffs' attorneys, Dr. Ruse has
provided us with certain information in written
form. We have not made that available claiming
work product privilege with respect to those
Q. Dr. Ruse, the other writings which you
have provided to the plaintiffs, were those in the
forms of reports or writings? What were those?
MR. NOVIK: You can answer.
Q. Could you be more specific and tell me
what form they were? What form they took.
A. I have written digests of some of the
material I have written before. Lawyers like to
have things condensed.
Q. Have you prepared any report or summary
of your anticipated testimony or the areas that
you might cover in your testimony?
A. It's difficult to say that because I am
not sure what anticipation means quite in this
context. What can I say? I am here because I
write that sort of thing. That's anticipated
Q. I understand that there certainly are
things in here which may be gone into in your
testimony. Have you written any other documents
covering what you anticipate testifying about in
this case, which you have given to them?
A. I think the answer would probably be
Q. I would like to see those documents,
MR. NOVIK: I already said we are
withholding them from you and claiming the work
MR. WILLIAMS: To the extent that the
witness as an expert witness has prepared
documents on which he intends to rely, to
summarize his testimony or a report, I don't think
those are covered by work product. Indeed, if
covered by work product, then it means he is
working for the attorneys and there is a question
as to whether he is in fact unbiased.
You are entitled to ask whatever
questions you want and take whatever steps you
think appropriate. I have no intention of arguing
with you about it on the record. It seems a
little cumbersome and just wastes time. I prefer
to get through with the deposition.
Q. Dr. Ruse, these documents which you
have provided to the attorneys concerning your
opinions and possible testimony in this area,
could you describe for me what is contained in
MR. NOVIK: To the extent that you are
asking him for the substance of what is in the
documents, I object on the same grounds. If you
have any questions in the nature of attempting to
ascertain what they are, which I think you have
already asked, there are other questions that
would go to what the privilege is probably asserted,
you can properly request that information. For
the same reason I am not turning them over I can't
very well allow the witness to disclose to you the
MR. WILLIAMS: I am not asking at this
point what the exact contents are. I am asking
more in the nature of format.
MR. NOVIK: You can certainly answer as
to format. I instruct the witness not to discuss
the substantive content of what he has written.
A. Ten page papers. Three ten page typed
Q. Three ten page typed papers?
Q. What you did use as sources for these
A. At this point, primarily my published
or to be published writings.
Q. Do you recall the writings which you
relied upon, specifically?
A. Well, yes, the writings that I have
done on the history and philosophy of biology
recently. On Darwin, Darwinism, scientific
Q. I want a specific list. Of each of the
writings you relied upon.
A. I certainly relied upon my book, my
manuscript, DARWINISM DEFENDED. I have relied on
my published work, the DARWINIAN REVOLUTION,
Science Read in Tooth and Claw.
Q. DARWINISM REVOLUTION, what portions
there did you rely upon?
A. All of it.
Q. What was the other book you mentioned?
A. DARWINISM DEFENDED. I also relied on
my book THE PHILOSOPHY OF BIOLOGY.
Q. Any particular portions that you relied
A. All of it. I didn't discuss taxonomy.
Q. Dr. Ruse, I have some problem in
understanding how you relied upon all of it in
three ten-page papers.
MR. NOVIK: Do you have a question?
MR. WILLIAMS: I am leading up to a
Q. Can you describe to me how you were
able to in a ten-page paper -- describe for me how
you were able to rely upon the whole thing in just
a mere ten-page paper.
A. I think I would say simply that I draw
on the general philosophy using this in a general
sense, and historical facts that I put into these
various works, and condensed it down into succinct
Q. You mentioned something also about Read
Tooth and Claw?
A. It's the subtitle of my book the
Q. What other books did you rely on
besides these three?
A. My general knowledge drawn on basic
works in the history and philosophy of science.
Q. Any other of your own writings that you
relied upon in particular?
A. Not as such, but I wrote them without
spending my time pouring over my works. So if
somebody said to me well, you have used this line
in some other work, they could be right.
Q. I would like to show you a copy of Act
MR. WILLIAMS: Do you want to have a
copy made an exhibit? I don't think it's
MR. NOVIK: I think it's all right that
we not make it an exhibit.
Q. Looking at Act 590, section 1, does the
statement or phrase, "balanced treatment," what
does that mean to you?
MR. NOVIK: Dr. Ruse is not speaking as
a legal expert.
MR. WILLIAMS: Certainly. I am not
asking for any legal judgments. That goes without
saying. But it's been said.
A. I think I would prefer to answer that
question in the, without mentioning this
particular thing. If somebody else were to give a
balanced treatment between what shall I say, two
opposing philosophical positions, I would expect
you to draw on the major works, to talk about the
major works, perhaps at a certain level of
sophistication. The secondary sources, to expound
both in class, appropriate feedback. An
examination to cover both of these, or whatever
the appropriate thing is. And again, I speak as a
philosopher. Also to not penalize somebody for
drawing one set of conditions, as long as they
were done within fair context rather than another.
Q. I didn't understand that last statement.
A. What I am saying is, is the following:
If one were arguing say a philosophical position,
if one, free will versus determinism. As long as
the student was able to support his position,
either way, that is what you are evaluated on.
Q. Do you in trying to teach the different
philosophies try to give them balance, some sort
of balance treatment yourself?
A. yes, in the sense that I try to be fair.
That doesn't mean I have time to or attempt to
teach every philosophical claim which has ever
been made. I select the standard and basic
positions. Of course -- all right.
Q. When you are teaching some of the
different philosophies, do you -- are there
certain philosophies which are considered
predominant theory of philosophy and there are
others which are more of a minor view?
MR. NOVIK: I am not sure I understand
Q. In teaching philosophy, are there
certain views which are considered the more
standard and some are considered more minor?
Q. When you are teaching a minor view, do
you spend as long on a minor view as you might on
one of the more standard views?
A. Depends very much on the context, on
Q. What does the phrase prohibition
against religious instruction mean to you?
A. It means that you don't teach religion,
Q. I would like to direct your attention
to section 4 of the act, please. 4A, first of all
which states that "creation science means the
scientific evidence for creation an inferences
from those scientific evidences," and then below
that as you will see, it lists six separate
Section 4Al states, "sudden creation of
the universe, energy and life from nothing." What
do you consider that to mean?
A. Supernatural intervention by the
Q. Is that consistent with your religious
Q. Are you aware of any scientific
evidence which would support that portion of the
A. It's not science.
Q. That was not my question. Are you
aware of any scientific evidence that would
support that part of the definition?
A. My answer is I don't think it's of the
nature that could have scientific evidence.
Q. The next portion of that definition is
"the insufficiency of mutation and natural
selection in bringing about development of all
living kinds from a single organism."
Could you tell me what that means to
A. What it means?
A. It means that natural selection
differential reproduction of organisms working on
variations which are caused by changes in the
genes, is a mechanism -- if you talk about
sufficiency, it's mechanism sufficiently powerful,
if you talk about insufficiency, not sufficiently
powerful to cause the organisms of the world from
one initial first organism.
Q. Are you aware of any evidence which
supports that portion of the definition, any
A. Which supports insufficiency or
Q. The insufficiency.
Q. What is the evidence which supports
A. I would say that there is evidence of
random factors, quite possibly genetic drift.
These sorts of things.
Q. You feel there is scientific evidence
to support 4A2?
A. Probably. Single organism I don't know.
Q. 3 is the "changes only within fixed
limits of originally created kinds of plants and
animals." What do you understand that to mean?
A. I really don't know what that means.
It's fixed limits. I don't know what. It is too
Q. Then would you have any knowledge of
whether there is any scientific evidence to
support that portion of the definition?
A. As I said, I don't really understand
what fixed limits, I find to be so vague as --
Q. 4 is "separate ancestry for man and
apes." What does that mean to you?
A. It means human beings and things like
chimpanzees, if you go back far enough in time you
don't find an ancestor, common ancestor.
Q. Are you aware of any evidence,
scientific evidence which supports that portion of
A. Separate ancestry?
Q. Are you aware of any inferences from
scientific evidence which would support that
definition? Again, I am not asking you whether
you personally agree with these.
A. It depends. If separate ancestry
implies something -- does this imply nothing about
causes or not?
Q. Let's just take it on its face. I am
asking you what it means to you in the first
A. If it means something to do with causes,
miraculous causes, then my answer again is this is
something which I don't think could be subject to
scientific proof or disproof.
Q. We are looking just at part 4 there and
there is nothing mentioned about a miraculous
cause. If that is not included --
A. It's just a phenominal statement?
A. Them my answer is I do not know of any
Q. 5 is "explanation of the earth's
geology by catastrophism, including the occurrence
of world wide flood." What does this portion of
the definition mean to you?
Q. Do you think all catastrophic events
are miracles or implied miracles?
A. It's a loose word. It certainly has
meant that in the past.
Q. Are you aware of whether it still
maintains that meaning today?
A. In my readings of the scientific
creationists, I find it does.
Q. Are you aware of whether it maintains
that readings with geologists generally?
A. I am not sure this is a word that
geologists word use in this sort of sense.
A. You would have to show me specific
cases of geologists using it.
Q. 6 is, "a relatively recent inception of
the earth and living kinds." What does that mean
A. It's so vague as to be virtually
Q. Are you aware of any evidence which
A. As it stands here, I find it so vague
to be meaningless. As I read it in the scientific
creationist's works, again I find it to be
religious and not something subject to scientific
Q. Turning our attention then to evolution
sciences. The first part of that definition
states the emergence by naturalistic processes of
the universe from disordered matter, and emergence
of life from nonlife. What does that mean to you?
A. I am not sure about what the word
emergence means in this sort of context.
Emergence, does this mean some sort of higher form?
The word emergence to me is again a word I am not
sure that I would use. Something comes out of the
water. Naturalistic processes mean blind, unguided
law. Life being produced, if you want to say life
being produced from nonlife by blind law.
Q. Are you aware of scientific evidence
which supports this statement?
A. I know of evidence which bears upon it.
Q. Bears upon it in favor or against it?
A. Bears upon it favorably. As I say, I
don't like the word emergence in that context.
Q. Would this statement be consistent with
your religious beliefs?
Q. 2 is "the sufficiency of mutation and
natural selection in bringing about development of
present living kinds from simple earlier kinds."
What does this statement mean to you, Dr. Ruse?
A. It means the, that natural selection
differential reproduction of organisms working on
random variations can bring about the organisms of
Q. Is there scientific evidence in support
of this portion of the definition?
A. Sufficiency, if you mean total
sufficiency, the answer is no.
Q. Is this statement consistent with your
A. What, the false statement?
A. Something I consider false isn't really
consistent with anything I believe.
Q. You said the false statement. I
thought you said full statement.
A. Sufficiency, I don't subscribe to
Q. You mean as used here?
A. I don't subscribe to statement 2.
Q. 3, it says "emergency," but I think we
can agree that is a typo, and, "by mutation and
natural selection of present living kinds from
simple earlier kinds." What does that statement
mean to you?
A. It means more or less the same that 2
means. I would have thought that organisms -- I
suppose 2 says that sufficient and 3 says that
they did in fact occur through differential
reproduction working on random variation.
Q. Is there scientific evidence to support
A. Again, I don't like the word emergence
in this context. There is, if you say all living
kinds came only by that process, I would have said
Q. It doesn't on the face of it seem to
say that all living kinds came by that process, to
me. Does it to you?
A. If it doesn't -- yes, I think it does,
Q. 4, is the "emergence of man from a
common ancestor with apes." What does this
statement mean to you?
A. Again, I don't like the word emergence.
But I take it that it means that human beings and
present living higher apes like chimpanzees have
Q. Is there scientific evidence which
supports this portion of the definition?
A. I think there is evidence which points
in this direction, certainly, yes.
Q. Is this statement consistent with your
own personal religious beliefs?
A. Yes. As much as I qualified the word
Q. "5, explanation of the earth's geology
and the evolutionary sequence by uniformitarianism."
What does this mean to you?
A. Again, I find it difficult because of
the term uniformitarianism which has been used in
many different ways. If you mean by natural
causes, I -- if that is what it means.
Q. What does uniformitarianism mean to you?
A. How can I put it? What does it mean to
me or what has it meant to people?
Q. What does it mean to you personally?
A. Inasmuch as I mean uniformitarianism --
to me, uniformitarianism has to be defined in the
terms of what particular scientist who is using it
means. In other words, what I am saying is, it
doesn't mean one thing exactly to me. You have to
tell me who is using the term.
Q. Can you define uniformitarianism?
A. I can give a definition. Again, you
are not asking me as a geologist. I presume you
are asking me as an historian of science. What it
meant to Charles Lyell were causes of the same
kind, same intensity. And an unchanging world. A
steady state world.
Q. Are you aware of scientific evidence
which supports this portion of the definition?
A. If you mean it in those terms, Lyell's
terms, then I wouldn't accept it.
Q. Is there a more commonly accepted
definition for uniformitarianism?
A. If you mean same cause or causes of a
kind which se see around us today, effective or
same natural laws or something like that, then
subject to the fact that in the past you can have
different conditions -- preplate techtonic
situations, then I think that would make the
position that I think that the average geologist
today would subscribe to, and I would, too.
Q. What does preplate techtonic situations
A. I think what goes on in the world at
the moment might not necessarily be the way things
came together and worked in the past. It doesn't
mean to say, what I am saying that doesn't mean to
say that the laws as such are violated. It's just
that you got different conditions working when the
earth is molten instead of when the earth is now
in its present state.
Q. Does that mean that different laws of
nature and the --
A. That's the very point I was trying to
avoid saying. I was saying you have a different
situation. Same laws. Different situation.
Q. Uniformitarianism have a definition to
you, the idea that the same laws of nature which
are now in effect were and always have been in
A. If that is what you mean by
uniformitarianism, it can have that meaning and I
Q. Can it have that meaning in your mind?
A. It can certainly have that meaning in
Q. Given that definition, are you aware of
scientific evidence which supports this?
Q. And given that definition, would this
portion of the definition of evolution science be
consistent with your religious beliefs?
A. I am not happy with the term evolution
Q. That is the term that the act has. We
have to discuss those terms.
MR. NOVIK: Excuse me. You have made a
point of asking the witness his views as to each
of these items extracted as single units from the
statute. Your reference to the phrase evolution
science is an attempt to put this back into the
context of the statute, which the witness has
MR. WILLIAMS: I am not trying to
attach more significance. I was really trying to
reference the definition.
Q. This portion that we have read, just
that portion 5, is that consistent with your
A. In the way that we have finally worked
it out, yes.
Q. 6 is, "an inception several billion
years ago of the earth and somewhat later of life."
What does that mean to you?
A. That means that the earth started a
long time ago and that life appeared on earth for
some reason or by some cause, again presumably in
Q. Is that statement consistent with your
Q. As you read or have read Act 590 have
you read anything in there which, in your opinion,
would prohibit a teacher from expressing their
professional opinion as to the validity of either
evolution science or creation science as they are
defined in the act?
A. I am not quite sure I follow that
Q. In Act 590 as you read it, is there
anything in there which would prohibit a teacher
from expressing his or her professional opinion
concerning the validity of either the theory of
origin, which are covered by the act?
A. I see what you mean. To my way of
thinking, I think yes. I would want to say.
A. I look upon having to teach something
that you don't want to teach as a prohibition in
that sort of sense.
Q. A prohibition on expressing their --
A. If I am made to say things which I
don't agree with, then I look upon that as a sort
of a prohibition in the sense of not being allowed
to say things which I do agree with. I mean
subject to not allowing me to teach what you don't
want to. We have so many double negatives going
Q. My question is, is there anything in
the act which would tell the teacher you can't say
for example that I think that creation science is
not scientifically valid or I think that evolution
science is not scientifically valid?
MR. NOVIK: This is the third time you
have asked this question. He has given his answer.
MR. WILLIAMS: I don't think I have
gotten an answer to the question yet.
Q. Dr. Ruse, you can answer the question.
A. I run into the question of balance
treatment now. If a teacher were to teach
creation or were to have to teach creation science,
which as I say I don't look upon as science, I
think it would be extremely -- and -- extremely
difficult to say, for the teacher to say, to be
given a balanced treatment if the teacher were
introducing it and denying it all the way through
just flatly. I think a balanced treatment --
well, that's it.
Q. In teaching the various philosophy
courses that you do teach, do you at times ever
teach or discuss theories or philosophies that you
don't personally agree with?
Q. Do you think that a teacher should
teach only those things that he or she agrees with?
Q. In teaching philosophy, are there
philosophies which you think are at greater weight
or more valid than other philosophies?
Q. What is academic freedom, to you?
A. I think it's something which means the
teacher and the student and parents involved have
the right to express and explore ideas free from
Q. What do you mean by ideological
A. Well, for example, if a teacher were a
socialist, I would think that academic freedom
should protect him from the capitalist
superintendent of schools.
Q. If I understand your answer, you don't
mean that a teacher has to totally divorce
themselves from their ideological beliefs in
teaching, do you?
A. No, no. What I mean is that a teacher
and students and parents have the right to their
beliefs, within certain constraints.
Q. What are those constraints?
A. Suppose a teacher believed in
pedophilia, in other words, believed that it was
acceptable or morally right to sleep with small
children. Then I think I would say that --
academic freedom would not protect the teacher,
allow the teacher to preach this, this sort of
Q. Academic freedom is not an absolute?
A. I think it is an absolute notion, but I
don't think it's something without any -- I think
you would have to qualify it to spell it out.
Q. How can academic freedom be limited?
A. I think by higher moral considerations.
If it violates the integrity or rights of an
individual, or this sort of thing.
Q. What other moral considerations would
justify a limitation on academic freedom?
A. In some sort of overall sense,
happiness as well we are talking about, like two
basic moral concerns.
Q. How do you determine when the teaching
of some particular notion would violate, I think
you said, the integrity of an individual?
A. Of course, one draws on experience.
Rarely if ever does one come into a situation cold.
And one can look back on past experience and these
sort of things.
Q. To make a decision as to whether
teaching something violates the integrity of an
individual, is that an objective assessment?
A. I think one is working with objective
sense of values, surely. But human beings are
Q. Might two people differ on what
teaching would in fact violate the integrity of an
A. They could.
Q. In fact, would people would, more than
A. Not more than likely.
Q. In your opinion, may the state
prescribe the curriculum for secondary schools?
A. The curriculum?
Q. In your opinion, should the classroom
in a secondary school be open to all academic
A. What does academic mean in this context?
Q. Well --
A. Every idea? Every idea that people in
the state have held?
Q. What do you consider academic
discussion to mean?
A. I mean the broad, general knowledge
that we ourselves have developed and our parents
and the general consensus, sifted through
Q. Given that definition, do you think the
classroom in a secondary school should be open to
all academic discussion?
A. If we are talking about in the terms of
consensus, yes. In the discipline.
Q. Perhaps I am having a problem
understanding what you mean by consensus. Could
you elaborate for me on that?
A. What I mean is, I wouldn't allow
religion to be taught in science classs, for
example. The consensus of professional scientists
sifted through certain ideas or let's say medical
people, then for example I wouldn't allow, shall I
say, Christian Scientists to give courses at
Q. Do you think that if a science teacher
having reviewed all the evidence and data
available to him decides that creation science is
a valid scientific alternative to evolution, that
that teacher should have the right to teach that
in the classroom?
Q. Why not?
A. Because it's not science.
Q. Assuming you were to be presented with
scientific evidence which supported creation
science, could you accept creation science as a
A. You are asking me an impossible
question, because you are asking me for scientific
evidence for a nonscientific position.
Q. I am asking you, and I am asking you to
assume, please understand --
A. I can't assume it because it is
Q. If a competent, well skilled scientist
came to you and presented to you evidence for
creation science, scientific evidence --
A. It's impossible.
Q. I am not asking you if it is possible.
I am asking you if it in fact happened.
MR. NOVIK: The question, there is a
fallacy in the question. The witness is trying to
point it out. The question assumes that it is
possible to do what the hypothetical suggests.
The witness has stated now three times that he
doesn't believe it is possible or that the
question can be assumed. He is not answering it.
Perhaps a different line of inquiry might be
Q. Dr. Ruse, what you are saying, as I
understand it, is simply that no matter how much
evidence might be presented to you, you could not
accept creation science as science? Is that
A. As I say, the evidence, as such, is
irrelevant. I cannot accept creation science as
Q. Why do you say that it is an
impossibility to have scientific evidence for
A. Because creation science relies on the
Q. Why do you say creation science relies
on the supernatural?
A. Because every work by a creation
scientist that I have read invokes the creator at
some point. Which then is outside law.
Q. Why does the creator necessarily imply
something outside natural law?
A. It's a question of definition, for
starters. But it's also stated quite explicitly
by creation scientists.
Q. It is stated in Act 590?
A. Not in Act 590.
Q. So you are being influenced by what you
have read on creation science other than Act 590?
A. Let me qualify that. If you ask me is
it in Act 590 literally, no. My reading of Act
590, the only way I can make sense of it, is by
the notion of the creator.
Q. I think you changed terms.
A. I am qualifying it. I am putting in a
second clause. Not changed. Extended.
Q. You were talking about supernatural and
now you mentioned a creator.
A. I am sorry. Supernatural intervention
by a force outside the natural cause of things,
called as a creator.
Q. If there were -- assuming there were
scientific evidence for creation science --
MR. NOVIK: The witness has already
responded to that assumption on three separate
occasions. And I have let him give that answer on
three separate times now. I think it is unfair to
continue to use that hypothetical in your question.
You are questioning his objection to it.
MR. WILLIAMS: You may be right.
Q. Let me ask you this: Do you have any
objection to all scientific evidence on the theory
of origins being presented in the classroom?
A. All scientific evidence?
A. I have no objection at all. At the
Q. Do you feel that high school students
can appreciate different theories of origin?
Q. Appreciate, distinguish.
A. I would say upper level ones, yes.
Q. How do you define evolution?
A. A continuous development, succession of
forms, organisms from one or a few number, early,
back in life history through natural processes up
to the present. That's organic evolution.
Q. As distinguished from what?
A. Inorganic evolution.
Q. What is inorganic evolution?
A. The belief that the universe had
evolved. The nebular hypothesis.
Q. The big bang?
A. Or whatever. I am not sure whether I
want to use the term evolution in terms of big
bang. I am not a master physicist.
Q. Is there a difference in your mind
between a theory and a model?
A. Yes, I think I can draw a distinction.
Q. What is the distinction?
A. I think models are small pictures or
small stories that a scientist, in a particular
context theory, as the overall, what shall I say,
set of the models.
Q. A theory is larger than a model?
A. More comprehensive in some sense. Yes,
they are technical terms. Different philosophers
or different scientists would use them in
Q. Some might use them interchangeably?
Q. Is the theory of evolution or the
evolution model, if you will, observable?
A. A theory isn't observable. A theory is
a set of claims. That is not observable.
Q. Why is a theory not observable?
A. The theory is not the sort of thing
that could be observable.
Q. Is evidence for the theory of evolution
A. Evidence, yes.
Q. Is the theory of evolution testable?
A. From inferences that one can draw from
it and check against the world.
Q. Is the theory of evolution falsifiable?
A. What do you mean by the theory of
Q. I am content at this point to use your
definition for organic evolution.
A. Without regard to some specific
A. Is it falsifiable, you asked me?
Q. Yes, that is the question.
Q. How is the theory of evolution
A. Again, I don't want to be awkward, but
it's a little difficult without specifying a
little more about mechanisms to know what sort of
specific claims one might make. For example,
Darwin's theory and Lemarck's theory are separate.
What might falsify one theory might not falsify
another. As we get specific, I think I would have
to have a little more.
Q. Is the theory of evolution repeatable?
A. Again, if you just use the term the
theory of evolution, it's difficult to know quite
what you mean. Some theories have allowed that.
Q. Some theories of evolution have allowed
it, you mean?
Q. Are you aware of whether there are
scientists who feel that the theory of evolution
cannot be falsified?
A. Some scientists have made some claims
to that effect, about some parts.
Q. Are you aware of whether some
scientists have said that no genuine evidence can
be found in favor of the theory of evolution?
A. Can be found in favor of it or can be
Q. In favor of the theory.
A. Some scientists said there is no
genuine evidence in favor of it?
A. I can't recollect scientists who said
there is none at all. But it's possible.
Q. What about Manser?
A. He is not a scientist.
Q. What is he?
A. A philosopher.
Q. A philosopher, then. Are there other
philosophers who have said that the theory cannot
A. There are philosophers who have said
Q. Are these philosophers creation
Q. While you may differ perhaps with him
on opinions, would you respect someone like Manser?
A. As a philosopher I could respect him.
Not necessarily as a philosopher of science.
Q. The point is, that experts in the field
of philosophy of science differ, do they not, on
whether the theory of evolution is falsifiable?
MR. NOVIK: You have used experts in
the plural; is that right?
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes.
MR. NOVIK: You have only cited one.
Do you know of others?
MR. WILLIAMS: I am asking him.
MR. NOVIK: Is that the question,
whether more than one expert believes --
MR. WILLIAMS: That's right.
A. You are asking me about today?
Q. Let's start with today.
A. I am not sure.
Q. Have there been more than one expert in
the last 20 years?
MR. NOVIK: By expert, do you mean
MR. WILLIAMS: Expert in the area of
philosophy of science.
A. Not philosophy of biology.
Q. Who are the experts in the philosophy
of science who have held this view that the theory
of evolution is not falsifiable?
A. Popper, Carl Popper.
Q. Would you regard Popper as the foremost
philosopher of science?
Q. He is regarded by some?
Q. In that role, is he not?
Q. Popper, wasn't he the one that said
that evolution is a metaphysical research program?
Q. What does a metaphysical research
program mean to you?
A. To me it doesn't mean very much. To
Popper it meant some sort of overall guide for
formulating theories which itself would not be a
scientific theory but sort of a conceptual
framework into which you would fit one.
Q. Popper, as you understood his thought,
felt that the theory of evolution was not overall
a scientific theory?
A. He thought that the Darwinian theory
Q. Who else besides Popper?
A. Medawar, he's got certainly
philosophical pretensions. Other philosophers --
not too much.
Q. What did Manser say? Did he not hold
A. Yes. Manser certainly held that
position. He is not a philosopher of science.
Q. What is his area of expertise?
Q. What about Goudge?
He was a philosopher of science. He is
a philosopher of science.
Q. What was his position on the
falsifiability of the theory of evolution?
A. I think he thinks that it's falsifiable.
Q. Is criticism of a scientific theory
Q. Do you think that the theory of
evolution should be critized?
A. You keep saying "the theory of
evolution." You mean one particular theory?
Q. Does that have a meaning to you, the
theory of evolution?
A. If you mean, most people I guess
without qualification, I would mean some form of
Darwinism. If that is what you mean, yes, I think
it should be open to criticism.
Q. Is the evolution theory of origins an
unquestionable fact of science?
A. Origins? What do you mean by origins?
Q. Origin of the universe, the earth, of
life and man?
A. That's a big grab bag.
Q. I understand that.
MR. NOVIK: What was the question?
Q. Is the theory of -- is the evolution
theory of origins of the universe, of the earth,
of life and man an unquestionable fact of science?
MR. NOVIK: If there is an evolutionary
theory of origins in the way you have defined it,
then the witness can answer, if he understands it.
A. Well, yes. I think that the evolution
of organisms is a genuine theory.
Q. Is at unquestionable fact of science?
A. I don't quite know what that would mean,
an unquestionable fact of science. It's a genuine
Q. You would not agree with the statement
that it is an unquestionable fact of science?
A. I don't see theories as being
unquestionable facts. Nothing is unquestionable.
Q. Does the theory of evolution presuppose
A. No -- well, depends what you mean by
Q. You previously used, I think, creator
as some sort of supernatural intervention?
A. The theory of evolution carried through
consistently, in its modern form, precludes an
Q. In teaching the theory of evolution in
its modern form, is it required that substantial
emphasis be given to the preclusion of a creator?
Q. Is the concept of a creator an
inherently religious concept to you?
A. Because it deals with the supernatural,
outside natural law.
Q. If the creation theory of origins could
be discussed in the classroom free of any
religious references, would you oppose its
A. It can't.
Q. I understand that's how you feel. But
if it could --
A. I don't think it could be.
Q. What is teleology?
A. It's understanding in terms of future
or ends rather than initial causes.
Q. It seems like I have heard or read one
time, the concept of teleology is the hand, the
hand is made for grasping. Could you give me an
idea of what that was and just refresh my own
memory on it?
A. A teleological explanation of the hand
would be contrasted with a normal causal
explanation. A normal causal explanation would be
in prior causes, how the hand grew and what made
it grow. A teleological explanation would be one
which in terms of what function or what end does
the hand serve.
Q. Have teleological explanations
traditionally been or had theological implications?
A. Until 1859.
Q. Do you consider the concept of
teleology to have religious overtones?
A. Not necessarily.
Q. It's possible, is it not, to have a
theological teleology and a nontheological
Q. How do you distinguish the two?
A. A theological one is done in terms of
God's intention, God's purpose, God's design. A
nonteleological one -- a nontheological, sorry,
would be one which still looks at things in terms
of the ends but doesn't impute some sort of great
designer in the sky.
Q. Could you enlarge upon the
A. Yes. I think Darwin himself admitted
to being a teleologist. I think a lot of modern
biologists think of themselves as teleologists,
although today they often use the term teleonomy
to give a non -- to show it's a non --
Q. Why do they use that term?
A. To show they are using the sense of
teleology without theological connotations.
Q. Trying to overcome the semantical
A. Right. Teleological explanation in
today's terms would be someone who said I am
trying to explain why do we have what shall we say
is the tail on the back of the dinosaur, or what
is the purpose, what end. I think most of them
would want to translate this out in terms of
natural selection. What function does it serve.
But as I say, there wouldn't be any implication
that God had especially intervened or put it on
the drawing board.
Q. You said teleology is or is not a
byproduct of natural selection?
A. I think inasmuch as a scientist uses it,
a biologist uses it today, I think it is connected
to natural selection. I think. Much discussed by
Q. Is there a dispute over that?
A. Not on theology.
Q. Not on theology but?
A. But on the exact, on packing.
Q. I think you said that the theological
teleology continued to 1859?
A. It went on after that, but that is the
Q. That is the date origin of the
A. On the ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES.
Q. Was written. What is faith to you?
A. Some sort of commitment or belief which
transcends or is other than reason in some way.
It transcends, is not the word I want. Other than
reason, some sort of commitment to a belief for
which there is neither empirical nor logical
evidence. At least -- which is arrived at other
than that. One can have both.
Q. Do you think there is any faith placed
in some in the theory of evolution?
A. I wouldn't want to deny that some
scientists sometimes have gone beyond the evidence.
As -- but again to go back to my term of consensus,
no. I wouldn't use the word faith in that context.
Q. By the term "consensus," you don't mean
unanimous, do you?
A. No. I take it you are asking me
whether the average biologist believes in
evolution through scientific reason or faith.
Q. I am not really asking that question.
I am asking you when you use the term
consensus, you said some people have gone beyond
the data or the evidence. By the term consensus,
you mean not each and every scientist or biologist?
A. The well sifted experience of the
Q. The predominant school of sort?
Q. Before 1859, was there a nontheological
A. I think that people like Darwin and
there were others who were working on the idea.
Darwin had the idea for 20 years.
Q. But at some point prior to 1859 or
prior there to, teleology was considered to be an
inherently religious concept, wasn't it?
A. I would -- yes, I think I would say
that is a fair comment. By 1859 I don't mean an
Q. I understand.
Dr. Ruse, your article that you wrote
entitled -- perhaps it's a book -- THE REVOLUTION
Q. Is it a book?
A. That was an article I wrote in 1969.
Or 1968, I wrote it.
Q. What is the general -- could you give
me the idea what it was about?
A. It was the first one I ever wrote.
Q. First article that you wrote?
A. Yes. It's an analysis of Kuhn's, the
philosopher or historian and philosopher, and his
book structure of scientific revolutions, put
forward a theory of scientific change. Which is
relativistic. What I was trying to do was analyze
it and show that it wasn't right.
Q. When you use the term relativistic
applying to his notion, what did you mean by that?
A. Kuhn's theory which I don't think he
holds to today, was that scientists have a
particular paradigm, a particular conceptual
framework, and that when they change their minds
they do it for reasons which are often not simply
a question of looking at the facts and deciding on
these. To a certain extent one's beliefs define
the evidence. So Kuhn argued that one has a sort
of a switch, revolution.
Q. A conversion?
A. I think he may well use that term.
It's not a position to which I subscribed at that
Q. When you wrote the article, you are
A. Right. And on out.
Q. I think you said that you don't believe
that Kuhn still holds to that position.
Q. Has he recanted?
A. Taken quite a bit back.
Q. How has he modified his position, as
you understand it?
A. I think that now, you would allow a
much bigger place for cross communication between
scientists and different paradigms, and more,
shall I say more weight to more objective evidence.
And shared rules.
Q. Has he changed his basic notion of that
a paradigm arises and attracts a number of
adherents and then all evidence or all work to
support that paradigm until someone breaks out and
tries to establish a new one?
A. He certainly changed it to the extent
that it's now clear that paradigm can involve a
much smaller group of scientists than we thought
A. Smaller group. Almost tow or three
gathered together can constitute a paradigm. It's
much more of a microtheory rather than that sort
of global position that all scientists hold and
then switch to.
Q. What are the other criteria by which he
would measure a paradigm?
A. He uses sociological terms, as you
pointed out. That you accept a certain work, or
that sort of thing. That you accept certain basic
positions and then work from within this. And try
and solve puzzles as he says within the basic
position and holding to your basic beliefs.
Trying to work around the evidence.
Q. Is part of his idea that when the
evidence doesn't fit the model or the paradigm,
then you start tinkering with it and modifying the
paradigm a bit?
A. Certainly was, yes.
Q. Is it still?
A. He has modified his position, as I say.
I am not sure.
Q. Is there any publication that you can
recall right offhand where he has modified this
A. Yes. A book edited by Fried Suppe.
It's a collection with an article by Kuhn. THE
STRUCTURE OF SCIENTIFIC THEORIES.
A. I am sorry. It's an edited collection
by Fred Suppe, called the structure of scientific
theories. Kuhn has some comments there. There
are other places, as well. But that is one place
Q. While you would differ, as I understand
it with Kuhn in some particulars, would you
recognize his work as being authoritative?
A. What does authoritative mean?
Q. Authoritative, recognized as an
A. As an authority, yes. Authoritative --
Q. By authoritative, I don't mean to imply
that it's the final word in the sort of absolute
A. I would prefer to use the word
Q. With whom did you have a debate that
was reduced to video tape?
A. Lane Lester, I debated with.
Q. When did that debate occur?
A. A month, six weeks ago.
A. On the TV Ontario. That's our
equivalent to PBS, in Toronto.
Q. Who is Lane Lester?
A. He teaches, I think, at some Christian
college in Tennessee or somewhere like that. He
is a professor of biology there. If not Tennessee,
one of --
Q. How many minutes did you have in the
A. It's not a debate as such. It's a host
and two people and you put the position and then
people phone in. It's a 60 minute tape altogether.
Q. Do you have a transcript of this?
A. I don't, no.
Q. Are transcripts available?
A. Not to the best of my knowledge.
Q. Do you recall what you said during this
Q. Could you give me kind of a summary of
some of the things which you said about creation
science during the debate?
A. I said it wasn't science and that as
such, shouldn't be taught in science class rooms.
Q. How do you define science?
A. I think the most important thing is an
appeal to natural law.
Q. An appeal to natural law?
A. That scientists work by trying to bring
phenomena beneath natural laws. This has
Q. If there are things about the natural
law -- are there things about natural laws that we
don't understand yet?
A. That we don't understand?
A. I am not sure how you could answer that
Q. Do you think -- do you think we reached
the maximum potential in understanding the natural
A. The natural law, no. All natural
Q. All natural laws?
A. Certainly not.
Q. You stated in one of your books, I
believe, that the modern synthesis theory of
evolution has been proved beyond a reasonable
MR. NOVIK: Are you quoting?
MR. WILLIAMS: I am paraphrasing.
MR. NOVIK: Do you know which book you
MR. WILLIAMS: I really don't recall
A. I think that aspects of it are
certainly proven. That doesn't mean to say that
new evidence can't come up or something like that.
Q. THE PHILOSOPHY OF BIOLOGY, page 121,
you stated, "Because of all the evidence taken
together the truth of the synthesis theory in the
sense discussed at the beginning of the chapter
and the falsity of its rules is beyond reasonable
MR. NOVIK: Before you answer, can I
(Handing document to counsel.)
Q. On what do you base your opinion that
the truth of the synthetic theory is beyond a
A. In terms of the evidence that we have.
You got to understand that I am talking about
things like morphological characteristics, the
hand and the eye. I am not talking about
molecular biology. It is a qualified sentence.
Q. When you use the term "synthetic
theory," what do you mean that to mean?
A. I am talking about Darwinian theory of
evolution through natural selection as the cause
of thinks like the hand, the eye, so on and so
forth. I am not implying that everything -- I am
not ruling out the logical possibility of genetic
drift, I am not talking about molecular effects as
such, or something like that. When I use a term
like beyond reasonable doubt, I deliberately drew
the analogy with the legal position in the sense
that we have to make decisions to go along with
things. As you know in court cases, sometimes
evidence gets re-opened and something new comes up.
I am not arguing beyond reasonable doubt in the
sense of 2 plus 2 equals 4 logically could never
be disproved or the case could never be reopened.
Q. Have you changed your opinion on this
point since you wrote this book?
A. That the hand, the eye --
Q. No. The synthetic theory of evolution?
A. As much as it applied then I would
Q. Does the modern synthetic theory as you
understand it involve the slow and gradual change
over time --
A. How gradual is slow and gradual?
Q. I am not trying to put any limits on
those terms. As I understand it, that has been
part of the modern synthesis theory; is that not
A. There is some debate about that and I --
as you know, and I don't think that the level of
the synthetic theory that I am talking about there,
I certainly wasn't taking on that issue.
Q. Again, maybe I don't understand what
you meant by the synthetic theory here.
A. I mean evolution through natural
selection leads to things like the hand and the
eye, is beyond reasonable doubt in a sense that we
would use it in a court of law. It doesn't mean
that it's logically necessary or that one is
ruling out the possibility that anything ever
would make you change your mind. I mean I
deliberately used that analogy. What I meant by
it is that this is something that we as reasonable
human beings now learn to accept and get on about
our business, as it were.
Q. Close the case, so to speak?
A. Close the case. One can always open a
case in a court of law. What I mean is, that you
don't spend your time worrying about it.
Q. This appears to me to kind of, if you
will, fit into Kuhn's notion of the paradigm. The
paradigm has been accepted and we cease to really
look at some of the underlying assumptions or
potential problems that have gone to support the
paradigm. Would you agree with that?
A. We cease to look at them. We quit
bothering about them or something like that. Yes.
I don't think Kuhn is completely wrong. What I
was talking about with Kuhn was change.
Q. Are there any assumptions which
underlie the modern synthetic theory of evolution?
A. What do you mean by assumptions?
Q. The premises.
A. The laws of logic for example.
Q. Could you be more specific than the
laws of logic?
A. In order to do science at all, you have
to make certain implications or make certain
things about science, about mathematics, for
example. I certainly think that those assumptions
are presupposed. I think you have to make
scientists as a scientist assume that there are
laws to be found. That is part of the scientific
method. One makes certain assumptions about say
the nature of deduction or inference. A implies B
or something like that. I mean all of those sorts
of things. That I mean as a scientist, I think
one makes certain, how shall I say, accepts
certain rules of play. Testability,
falsifiability. These sorts of things.
Q. Is there an assumption in organic
Q. The question I think is is there an
assumption in evolution, organic evolution, I am
talking about now, for example that life emerged
A. I am not sure that there is an organic
evolution, no. I think that is a separate
Q. How would you classify that?
A. Perhaps it's sort of inorganic to
organic. But from the point of view of an
evolutionary theory, one doesn't get into that as
Q. Are you familiar with a book by Kerkut
called THE IMPLICATIONS OF EVOLUTION at all?
A. I know the title, I am not sure that I
have ever read it. Certainly the title I know of.
Q. He makes, to broadly paraphrase it, it
is my understanding of his book in which he
discusses some of the implications, some of the
assumptions of evolution, that because of the
assumptions involved in it, and because we have a
fairly uniform system of education where everyone
learns the same thing,, the theory of evolution is
taught and the assumptions are not really stressed.
The assumptions then become re-enforced
because everyone learns them to the point that
when you get from secondary school to college and
really in an area where you could do some research,
scientists are perhaps unable to give a fresh
appraisal to the evidence because of this kind of
process that he talks about. Have you ever
thought about that?
Q. Do you think there is any merit to that?
A. I think it could certainly be true of
individual scientists. I think you better draw a
distinction between being prepared to, if cause
arises, and spending every day doing so. The
scientist as a scientist has to get on with his or
her job. Just as you as a lawyer have to.
MR. NOVIK: I am a bit confused. You
are referring to this book that the witness has
never read. You are talking about assumptions
that the author claims are part of evolutionary
theory; is that right?
MR. WILLIAMS: I am not trying to get
this witness to adopt those assumptions. I am
merely talking about an overall idea about the way
in which scientists perhaps approach the subject.
Whether ever thought about this idea. I am not
trying to tie him down to the book.
MR. NOVIK: Or the underlying
MR. WILLIAMS: No. I was trying to
give some background. For purposes of background
rather than trying to talk him down to it. I am
in no way trying to do that or have him adopt
Q. I think another concept which I have
heard mentioned is for some of these reasons that
perhaps the study of "scientific heresies" should
be encouraged. Have you thought about that?
MR. NOVIK: Does this come from the
same author, also?
MR. WILLIAMS: I think it does.
A. Of course, it depends what you mean by
heresy. My position is as follows: I think that
science is an enterprise like other aspects of
life. Like the law. I think that certainly you
work on ideas and you try them out, you explore
them. They work, you can take a pragmatic
position or you can in some sense encode them.
Then there comes a point when you don't spend your
time worrying about them all the time. As I say,
whether it be Constitution or some sort of basic
claims. That does not mean that -- I think good
science means working from this and going ahead.
That does not mean that you should never look at
them again or that there never comes a time to
look at them again or beyond reasonable doubt that
there comes a time one could never open up the
case again. Certainly. My point that I make here
I would accept with Kuhn, I think, that it is not
unreasonable, not a question of faith in any
religious sense, to assume certain basic sort of
things have now been established. Let's get on
with the job. Not start from scratch every Monday
Q. Would it be fair to kind of talk about
it in the sense that there is a base there and
that you are talking about the base has been
established, let's build on it rather than always
trying to see if the base is correct?
A. Right. It doesn't mean that you never
can look at the base again or in teaching, you
talk about heresies. One of the reasons I think
history of science is very good for students is
that they do invoke -- you do introduce them to
some of the earlier ideas in life. But if you say
to me is it good teaching to introduce Balakovsky
in every physics class, no.
Q. As an example of the idea you are
talking about of going on, saying this has been
established, let's get on about the business, it's
my understanding from my very limited knowledge
about the history of science, that the geocentric
theory of the universe predicted within 98 degree
of accuracy some of the orbits of the planets and
stars. Not stars, but orbits of the planets and
of the moon; is that correct?
A. Probably can now. I am not sure
Ptolemy ever did.
Q. With that degree of accuracy, would
that have been a basis for just going on and
furthering that model of that paradigm rather than
looking at the underlying basis?
A. No. Because there were serious
conceptual differences with the Ptolemy theory.
Q. Where do you determine where the
serious conceptual difficulties are, if there are?
A. In the Ptolemy theory, for example, the
only way you could explain the planets going
backwards, retrogressing -- Ptolemy did it through
epicycles, and this didn't fit in with the causal
connection of crystal spheres. So one had serious
internal contradictions within the theory. Which
Copernicus was at pains to remove. And unanswered
questions within the theory about the inferior and
Q. Explain to me why, first of all, is it
true when you start defining what is science and
what is biology, that this is a philosophical
input rather than a scientific one?
A. Yes, and historical.
Q. Why is that a philosophical inquiry?
A. I guess it's a question in the nature
of the philosophy. Philosophy is a second order
discipline. We are not scientists, we are looking
at the methods, concepts that -- ideas of
scientists. And of course in other areas of
educationalists and so forth. That is what
Q. As one who is new to much of this, in
fact most of it -- I think about the term which is
often used, the question that is asked, is this an
exact science? The idea being that science is
somehow very exact in itself. But yet, when we
begin to define science we depart from science and
enter into philosophy.
MR. NOVIK: Is there a question?
Q. I would like to know why.
A. Because that's what philosophy is.
Science is an empirical study of the natural world.
Trying to invoke law and you mentioned testability,
falsifiability, objectivity, that sort of thing.
That is what science is. Philosophy is the
enterprise which looks at what is going on and
asks questions, say, like is what one scientist is
doing like what another scientist is doing. A
scientist can act like a philosopher.
Q. Do you have an opinion as to who is
better equipped to determine whether a theory is
scientific, a scientist or a philosopher of
A. I would say that whoever is going to do
it is going to be doing it as a philosopher of
Q. Do you agree with Popper's notion of
what is a scientific theory?
A. I am empathetic to much that Popper
A. Empathetic. Philosophers really agree
Q. Where would you differ with him?
A. I am not -- we talked about Kuhn, for
example, and we had seen that I am empathetic,
obviously, to some of Kuhn's ideas. Inasmuch as
Popper would accept these, then I think Popper and
I would be very close. I would probably disagree
with some of the more strident Popperians who made
falsifiability of every item the absolute
criterion of something being scientific.
Q. Why would you disagree with them?
A. As I said, science to a certain extent
has to be almost pragmatic enterprise in the sense
that you don't spend every day criticizing or
looking at every item all the time. Popper, I
think, was fully aware of this. In fact, most
scientists don't read past the first chapter.
Popper himself is very much aware of these sorts
of things. I differ from Popper again in Popper
says history isn't so important. I think history
of science is very important.
Q. Why did Popper feel that the history is
not so important?
A. Philosophers could do, should do their
work just by looking at the present.
Q. Why do you feel that we must look at
A. Because I think often -- first of all,
I think you can get a better grasp of what happens
now through looking at the past. Certainly I
think I have. I guess that's -- particularly if
you are looking at things on a temporal dimension.
Q. In stating that the synthesis theory
has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, how do
you respond to the individuals who are now
forwarding the punctuated equalibertarian theory?
A. My feeling is something like Francis
Koyarla. I don't see that debate as being one
which causes any trouble at all. I see the sort
of things I was talking about there and referring
to the work of someone like Bashanjki, as being
quite compatible with some of the different
interpretations of the fossil record between
paleontologists. In other words, what I am saying
is, loke other people, like other Darwinians today,
I don't find the debate at all worrisome.
Q. Do you --
A. I think it's exploring areas which up
until this point hadn't been filled out.
Q. Do you think that the modern synthesis
theory and the punctuated equilibrium are
A. I think there had certainly been
extreme statements on both sides. I am quite
prepared to accept that some people cannot agree.
That some paleontologists have disagreeing
positions. I said that. On the other hand, I
believe that most scientific change doesn't come
about through victory or failure but usually some
sort of synthesis. I think that this is the sort
of thing that is occurring here. I see nothing
what is going on at the moment to deny the sorts
of claims I wanted to make there.
MR. NOVIK: There being your book?
A. When I talk about the synthetic theory
in the question of genetic change. I don't
logically preclude the possibility of opening up
Q. It hasn't been opened up yet, to your
A. The hand and the eye, no.
Q. One of the things, as I understand it,
the exponents of the punctuated equilibrium cite
in support of their case the fossil record. The
fossil record doesn't support any transitional
forms. It doesn't spring up suddenly. Do you
agree with that?
A. There are different positions within
the punctuated equilibrilists. One I think, some
would argue for a more rapid change than others.
Again, it's difficult for me to make an equivocal
unqualified statement yes or no.
Q. For example, Steven Gould, what does he
A. At one point he has argued very
strongly that his position stems from the
synthetic theory. He argues that his position is
based on the founder principle, which for example
I discuss in chapter 4 there.
Q. The founder principle?
A. Yes, founder principle. Which is as
the work of Meyers. Certainly he has argued very
vigorously in some of his writings. What he is
doing is taking orthodox evolutionary theory and
applying it to fossil records. Other places he
said other things.
Q. What else has he said?
A. I think recently, he's been exploring
the possibility that when one might get some sort
of double chromosome number in Zebras. But I am
not -- I don't want to pretend to be an expert on
the particular position of Gould, per se. Every
last new answer, of course. I think it's a
developing position that he's got which is the
nature of science.
Q. If a scientist were to try to look at
for example the origin of first life and using
accepted scientific principles and mathematical
principles, to determine that the origin of first
life could not have been possible by pure random,
nondirected chance, would you consider that to be
A. I am not sure that this is part of the
evolutionary theory you are asking me about now.
Q. Why is it not?
A. Traditionally, the evolutionary theory
starts with life. Darwin and the origin says one
or a few forms.
Q. He said the creator breathed life into
the first few forms, also, didn't he?
A. Yes, something like that. The first
part of my answer is I am not sure that at least
as far as evolutionary theory is concerned that
that is a question. But no, my answer to the
second part is no, that if a scientist stops using
blind natural regularists, then he quits being a
Q. How did he stop using blind natural --
A. I thought you said that was your
hypothetical, if a scientist stops doing this and
Q. My question was if a scientist should
determine that based upon the laws of science and
of mathematical probabilities that it simply would
be impossible for the first life to have evolved
purely by chance, would that be scientific?
MR. NOVIK: Excuse me. I have trouble
understanding the question. You said first life
evolved through chance?
MR. WILLIAMS: I misspoke.
Q. To have occurred, for life to have --
A. To have occurred through blind law?
MR. NOVIK: Excuse me again. Are you
asking whether chance combination is the only way
life could have originated?
MR. WILLIAMS: No.
Q. I am asking if a scientist who has
looked at and studied the origin of first life and
has determined, looking at what would be necessary
to make a living cell, and some of the
mathematical probabilities of that occurring by
chance, and determines that it would be impossible
for it to have occurred by chance, would you
consider that to be scientific?
A. If he said it's logically impossible
that we could have a natural explanation of this
phenomenon, at that point I would say he has gone
beyond being a scientist. He might say I can't
answer it at this point.
Q. In effect, what you are saying, are you
not, that science could not admit its own
A. No, I don't think I am saying that. I
am saying I could well accept that one is only
exploring in a certain area. But what I am saying
is that as science, one accepts a certain
methodology, and if you don't do that, you are no
longer doing science. You may like baseball, but
what shall I say, if you introduce a ball this
size you may prefer it but it is no longer
Q. In the DARWINIAN REVOLUTION, you make
reference in the prologue on page I. Just a
passing reference I think, five lines from the
bottom, "That for many aspects of the causes of
origin are still highly controversial."
What are some of those causes of origin
that are still highly controversial?
A. What I am referring to in this specific
case, if you notice the reference to Lewontin was
about the debate, on-going debate about the amount
of variation that there is within populations.
And the extent to which this has, this variation
is held in place by selective forces or not.
Q. The variation within the population?
Would that be the same or different than variation
within a species?
A. Populations going up to make full
species. Some people think there is a lot, others
think there is a little. That is what I have got
in mind at that particular point.
Q. Does the word converted have inherently
religious connotations to you? When you talk
about someone becoming converted to a particular
A. Not necessarily. I think -- no, I
think it depends on the position. I can get
converted for example to -- I would use the term
for example I could get converted to a belief in
say the superiority of Japanese cars. To take a
comfortable example. That does not to my way of
thinking necessarily imply the sort of experience
that Saul had on the way to to Damascus: It's a
generic term. I would use it for changing your
mind. If I were writing a book on religion or
philosophy of religion I would probably be -- that
is the sort of word I would clarify and specify.
Just as here I clarify and specify the word law.
But that is a key word to my discussion.
Q. The word "converted" can have a
religious meaning, can it not?
A. It can have.
Q. Like teleology?
A. Can have, surely.
Q. On page 5 of this same book, again you
are talking about Kuhn there.
A. Background to the problem?
A. You quote Kuhn, not quoting but you
paraphrase him I think there and you mention that
when discussing those who tend to break with the
past and open new and fertile fields of scientific
field of exploration tend to be very young. One
of the reasons for that is that young people for
some reason are the people who open the new fields
are not as emotionally or intellectually as
committed to the past, for example. Is that what
you say there in part?
A. That's what I say there.
Q. Do you agree with that?
A. At the individual level, yes.
Q. If you study only one theory or one
model of origin rather than any alternatives,
would that not tend to make a person more
emotionally intellectually committed to the past?
A. One model of origins? You mean only
one particular mechanism of evolution?
Q. No, just one model of evolution. One
model speaking of evolution, if you just study
evolutionary theory as opposed to any other theory.
A. Emotionally attached to it? I think he
would probably be very sincerely attached to it.
When I use the term emotional here, I am talking
about an individual scientist who perhaps has done
a lot of work in something and then feels
threatened. I am not talking about the scientific
community having an emotional attachment to
Q. Does that occur, where they do a lot of
work in something and then become emotionally
attached to it?
A. I think sometimes, yes.
Q. And they may become intellectually
attached to it as well, if they work in the same
sort of mind set for a great many years?
A. An individual scientist, yes. Not all.
Q. Also, to a certain degree, if they had
done work in a particular area and they have
established a stature in that area, their stature
is going to be determined in large part by the
success or failure of that theory?
MR. NOVIK: Is that a question?
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes.
Q. Isn't it?
A. Sure. Some scientists, but not all.
If you read on in the book you will see how Lyell
sweats it out. And really goes quite a long way.
As I say, I think that I would want to distinguish
between Kuhn's sort of perceptive insights about
the individual scientists and be wary of
generalizing to the general scientific community.
Q. If we could just just consider
evolutionary theory and think about it apart from,
as much as we can from this creation science
controversy, if there arose a new alternative
scientific theory to the theory of evolution,
would you agree that there would be something akin
to an institutional resistance to accepting it?
A. That is awfully hypothetical and it's
very difficult to answer that one. I think the
answer is possibly but not necessarily. It would
depend on the evidence.
Q. Kuhn talks about part of a normal
scientist to defend the model?
A. Yes. But scientists can change their
mind as a group very quickly. Plate techtonics.
It depends on the evidence that is brought up.
It's like everything else, you go with something
and you give it up but, of course, depending on
what the force of the evidence which is brought
against it. For example, if you convict somebody
and then the next week you gat an identical murder
and another person actually caught doing it, that
is much stronger evidence than a bit of tangential
evidence 20 years later. You change your mind
much more quickly in the one case than the other.
Q. I guess I am really asking you a larger
and what appears to me to be more philosophical
question of are scientists immune from really the
human condition that --
A. Scientists as such, as individuals, no,
Q. When we look at the history of science
and we look back at some of the notions which were
once considered scientific, today, with the
benefit of hindsight, some of those appear
laughable and ludicrous?
A. Reading Kuhn teaches you not to laugh
Q. But they would appear to that?
A. If you held them today they would be
ludicrous. For them to have held them was not
Q. Do you have any reason to think that
one day someone might look at what some of the
notions that we currently hold to be scientific
and have the same opinion?
A. I am sure they will.
Q. That raises the larger question is
science affected by society at large?
MR. NOVIK: Isn't that a bit broad?
Q. The idea, for example, that someone
like Sir Fred Hoyle says that if science affects
society then there is no reason to think that the
converse is not always true?
A. I think it would be naive to say that
can't happen. Particularly in the social sciences.
Q. Do you think it happens in the physical
A. It has been known to. But I think
science has its sort of self-correction or its
methodology, its attempts to rise above this. So
that it would be unfair to say that science is no
more than, what shall I say, some sort of trendy
popular idea of the time, which is purely
subjective. Like a liking for Elvis Presley or
something like that. One society likes, another
Q. But there is that influence there?
A. The influence, yes. But there is also
the, how can I put it, the counterbalance of what
I would call the scientific aim, scientific method
overall, which helps, what shall I say, the truth,
knowledge, science, to emerge. Rise above the
individual, above the time.
Q. Is pursuit of the truth, is that a
proper inquiry for science?
A. I think that is a --
Q. You didn't finish.
A. How can I say no.
Q. On page 244 of the DARWINIAN REVOLUTION,
you make a statement that depending on one's a
priori conviction, one could draw completely
different conclusions from the same facts. Do you
A. Of course, I am talking here now about
a time when religion and science haven't been
separated out. At least on this issue.
Q. What reference is that?
A. In the 1860's. I am talking about the
Duke of Arguyll, who was very explicitly a
Christian, and very explicit about the extent to
which he let his Christian beliefs influence him.
I am also talking about Charles Lyell, who again
was a very ardent deist and letting his religious
beliefs influence him. I am certainly not denying
that individual scientists have done this, or
individual scientists have let their religious
Q. Would you say that that statement is
any less true today than it was --
A. Yes, I think so. In the sense that I
think that we do now have a clearer notion of
science, once acceptable. And it's an evolving
and been an evolving concept. Darwinian
revolution was part of it.
Q. Do scientists today not have any a
A. Apriority convictions? 2 plus 2 equals
4. If you want to call than an a priori
Q. You can have an a prioric conviction
A. I wouldn't want to say that every
scientist today is as pure as driven snow. On the
other hand, I think now as indeed then, in the
1860's, I think there was a scientific methodology
which enabled people to sift through things. And
what shall I say, approach some sort of scientific
consensus. Individual scientists in the 1860's
had different views. But it didn't mean to say
they were all equally valid then or now.
Q. If a scientist is working on
evolutionary theory accepts the general
evolutionary framework or concept rather than
testing it, does not have an a prioric conviction
concerning evolutionary theory?
A. I prefer not to use the word a prioric
conviction here. I this is a point that goes back
to a point I was making earlier. I think there
can come a time when it is no longer reasonable to
go on worrying about that particular position.
That does not mean that it is necessarily a priori.
You convict somebody and, okay, let's go on from
there. That does not mean that your belief in the
person's guilt or innocence is a priori. What it
does mean is that you don't now spend the rest of
your legal career going over that one.
Q. Doesn't your analogy breakdown, though,
because if you look at the criminal justice system,
a decision has to be made, you can't have the
fellow charged interminably?
A. All analogies break down. If they
didn't they wouldn't be analogies. No, I don't
think so. God knows, in America you go on long
enough with your cases, anyway. No. How could I
put it? Surely, perhaps in the courts you have to
say some sort of formal mark of the time when you
say enough. In science, even there, I suspect, in
a sense there comes a point where you say to your
students, look, how can I put it, you drop it from
the course now. Because you say look, that's
decided. It doesn't mean that it could never,
ever be opened again. But it means that you go on.
It may not necessarily be a formal court which
says right, we have now proven or we have now
established these things like this. But you do
get marks of acceptability like Nobel prizes and
Q. Then you say we shouldn't bother with
that, we should go on with other things?
A. Double helix.
MR. NOVIK: Shall we break for lunch?
(Luncheon recess: 1:05 p.m.)
M I C H A E L E S C O T T R U S E, having
been previously sworn, resumed the stand and
testified further as follows:
BY MR. WILLIAMS:
Q. Dr. Ruse, do you thing that a teacher
in a class on evolution, if asked a question about
evolution and religion should try to answer it
fairly and honestly?
A. Depends on the question.
Q. If a student should ask for example a
question as to whether in a discussion of
evolution, as to whether the concept of evolution
precludes the existence of a God in bringing about
life, how should a teacher answer that question?
A. I think you would probably say
something along the lines of -- certainly, some
people have been evolutionists and believe in a
God and others haven't been. Some Christians have
not been evolutionists and vice-versa. In the
context of an ordinary classroom discussion. But
more than that, I think you lay off.
Q. Do you think that would be a honest
A. I think so, yes.
Q. Earlier today, didn't you tell me that
the concept or the theory of evolution in its
terms precluded the existence, not the existence
but the necessity of an intervention by a creator?
A. A necessity. But it didn't preclude
the intervention. Precludes the intervention of a
creator on an on-going basis like that, yes.
Obviously, you can't be a rigid fundamentalist and
an evolutionist at the same time. But you asked
me whether one could be a Christian or something
like that. I think you can be a Christian and an
Q. Do you think that evolution is contrary
to the religious, moral and philosophical beliefs
of some students?
A. I suspect it's contrary to some of
their religious beliefs. It's a difficult
question. It depends how far their religious
MR. NOVIKL Which students are we
talking about? His students?
MR. WILLIAMS: Not his students.
Students in general. Some people.
A. Moral beliefs, I don't think so. What
was the other one?
A. Not necessarily.
Q. I note in your manuscript, in chapter
14, I think it will be 13 in the published volume,
you at some length tried to expound on what you
consider to be creationism; is that correct?
A. Scientific creationism.
Q. And you rely almost exclusively on it
but call it creationism, published by the
Institute for Published Research; is that correct.
You made a determination as to?
Q. Have you made a determination as to
whether the book SCIENTIFIC CREATIONISM would be
permissible under Act 590?
A. I got a feeling that is a legal
Q. Just from your reading of it.
A. Well --
MR. NOVIK: Excuse me. Permissible is
a legal issue. There might be other questions you
can ask, but I am not sure permissible is the
right question. I think perhaps the witness ought
to try avoiding seeming to interpret the statute
in terms of what is permissible or not.
MR. WILLIAMS: I think the statute if
implemented would probably be implemented by
educators probably more than lawyers.
MR. NOVIK: Is that a response?
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes.
MR. NOVIK: The purpose of this lawsuit
is to find out what is permissible or not. And
that is to be decided by lawyers and judges.
MR. WILLIAMS: I have no problem with
approaching it a different way.
Q. Are you aware that Act 590 does contain
language which prohibits religious instruction or
reference to religious writings in --
Q. Have you examined SCIENTIFIC CREATIONISM
to determine whether that book meets those
Q. What is your opinion on that?
A. Well, I find bill 590 --
Q. Act 590?
A. To be somewhat contradictory. On the
one hand it does prohibit religious teaching. On
the other hand, that particular book, the textbook,
I think fits -- puts forth in six points.
Q. If, speaking in the realm of the
hypothetical, if there were a creator who did
cause the first life, if you will, in whatever
form it might have occurred, would that be
A. I think so, If he did it in a
supernatural way, I mean.
Q. How do you distinguish between morals
A. Religion has a belief in some sort of
supernatural creator or some extraworldly entity.
Morals has to do with code of conduct. Some
religions certainly incorporate a moral system.
Q. Would it be true in large part that if
you take atheistic religion, if you take the
presence of a supernatural being out of there,
that you would be left probably with some sort of
A. Well, I am not quite sure how to answer
that. If you took God out of Christianity, I am
not quite sure how much you have left.
Q. If you took just the precepts and some
of the rules that are given by which to guide one's
life, wouldn't you still have a moral code?
A. You would certainly have moral claims,
but I am not sure how much you are going to have
left if you take God out of Christianity.
Q. Is it quite so simple to separate
morals from religion, one has a God and one
A. No, it is not simple, no. You say one
has a God and one doesn't. I don't think it is
quite an either/or like that. I myself think that
morality is something which exists independently
of a god, certainly of an atheistic god. I think
it is something that one intuits. Certainly
certain religions have emphasized or reinforced
this or specified this, often with their own
particular side twists, as it were.
Q. You do think that a school should teach
morals; is that what you say in your manuscript?
A. Yes. I think that a school should
certainly teach morals. Not all morals in the
sense that not all things that people have claimed
as morals, but loving, integrity, honesty.
Q. How do we decide what morals we teach
and what we don't?
A. Again, I think one falls to a great
extent back on the accumulated wisdom of the ages,
what we have worked out, the sorts of things that
we were taught very much.
Q. Where did you learn this?
A. At school and at home, and to a certain
extent in the Quaker Church.
Q. How do you teach morals in school?
A. Often you do it by example. In other
words, if the teacher is honest, the teacher keeps
his/her word, the teacher plays fair, I think this
is an important thing. Also to a certain extent
by talking about these things, by having rules,
and obviously a certain amount of enforcement.
Q. Could you summarize for me your
argument that scientific creation should not be
taught in public schools because of the morality
problems you see?
A. As I have said, the problems I have
here are the sort of what I call the side effects
or the twists, as I said in a rather inelegant
phrase I used earlier. I see scientific creationism
as endorsing a particular set of moral claims. By
moral claims here I mean claims that people make
in the name of morality. For example, certain
aspects of the Old Testament about the status of
women, homosexuals, some of these sort of things,
which I personally find ethically offensive. But
my point is not so much whether I find them
ethically offensive, but I think these are sort of
particularly divisive aspects.
Q. Because you think they are personally
divisive you wouldn't like to see them taught in
A. I personally find them that. But the
reason why I object is because I don't think these
are today, with our present understanding, part of
what I call the consensus, accumulation of
Q. Does the theory of evolution have any
A. I really don't think so.
Q. When you talk about natural selection
and survival of the fittest and you apply that to
all areas of your life, do you not think that
would have some moral implications?
MR. NOVIK: He never said that natural
selection and survival of the fittest applies to
all aspects of his life. Your initial question
assumed a state of facts which the witness never
MR. WILLIAMS: Let's go on.
Q. Do you understand my question?
A. I think I do. I find it a difficult
question to answer because I am not sure how much
sense it makes. It is rather like asking me does
the law of gravity apply to all aspects of my life.
Q. For example, was some knowledge or
notion of evolutionary theory used -- who was it,
by Carnegie? -- to justify the corporate system?
A. John D. Rockefeller. I think this is
something he is reading into evolutionary theory
and then reading out.
Q. I really fail to --
A. A knowledge of biology can help you to
make moral decisions. Genetic counseling, for
example, the knowledge of this certainly. But I
don't think your moral decisions and morality per
se stem from science. It stems from your moral
code, utilitarianism, Kantianism. But to apply
moral decisions you have to bring particular
circumstances into effect.
Q. If a student learns that one of the
laws of nature, of evolution, is survival of the
fittest, that general notion, and understanding it
as a law he seeks to apply it to other aspects of
his life, could that not lead to some results
which would be contrary to even your own set of
A. If. But that is not teaching
evolutionary biology as it is presently understood
today. If somebody is taught badly, sure things
can go wrong.
Q. Maybe the question is not one of the
quality of the teaching but the application which
the student might give it. Is that not true?
A. How can I put it? You teach a student
how to drive, he might do something wrong. But
the job of the driving instructor is to teach you
properly so that you minimize the possibility of
accidents. I see nothing in contemporary
evolutionary theory which would lead the student
to go out and behavior like the mad hulk.
Q. Isn't what you are saying that the
evolutionary theory is in this nice neat little
box called evolutionary biology and it shouldn't
go out of there?
A. No. What I am saying is that
evolutionary theory doesn't have these horrendous
ethical principles or consequences that you are
trying to draw out of it.
Q. It has been used for that, though,
A. So has Christianity.
Q. Both can be abused?
Q. In your manuscript you talk about the
creationists' cries for, quote, equal time, closed
quote. Is there any piece in the Act which
requires equal time to be given?
A. Balanced treatment.
Q. Does that mean equal time?
A. I would have thought the presumption is
Q. Other than the balanced treatment,
there is nothing in there that indicates equal
time to you, is there?
A. That to me is enough.
Q. In your manuscript you also describe
creation science and you make a statement about
the creationists, quote, "Here at last, one can
find a firm basis for morality."
MR. NOVIK: Can we see that?
MR. WILLIAMS: Do you have a copy of it?
MR. NOVIK: I don't, I'm sorry.
A. What I am saying here is that this is
the creationists' belief. If you will notice in
the sort of context I am talking about, how people
feel worried about the collapse of moral behavior,
as I say, I am tending somewhat simplistically to
a belief or set of beliefs that they can hold on
firmly to. That is not my claim.
Q. Are you in effect saying here that
creation scientists look at creation science and
say here is a firm basis for morality in creation
A. No. I think they find a firm basis for
morality in the Old Testament.
Q. You said you think that the
creationists have had great success. Was that
Q. Why do you think they have had such
A. Well, here we are. What more can I say?
Q. Have you ever taken any step to oppose
the teaching of creation science in the schools of
Q. Do you oppose it in the schools of
A. I do indeed, yes.
Q. Have you ever testified in any efforts
in Canada to have creation science banished from
Q. Have you ever written any letters to
any educational officials in Canada opposing it?
Q. You make a comment in your manuscript
about the Arkansas law and state, "Significantly,
the Arkansas law makes the same charge as that
leveled by the California creationists, claiming,
that, if anything, it is the teaching of evolution
which is unconstitutional!" Where do you find that
in that 590?
MR. NOVIK: Would you like to show him
A. This was written in the summer. I got
this secondhand out of Nature. Well, here we go.
How about Section 7(c), "Evolution science is not
an unquestionable fact of science because
evolution cannot be specifically observed, fully
verified or logically falsified, because evolution
science is not accepted by some scientists.
Evolution science is contrary to the religious
convictions, moral values, philosophical beliefs.
Public school presentation of only evolution
science without any alternative model abridges the
United States Constitution protection of freedom
of religious exercise."
It seems to me the implications here
are starting to be that evolution science is
treated as a religion.
"Public school presentation of
evolution science produces hostilities towards
many atheistic religions." Then it goes on to say,
"These nonatheistic religions are like atheism, in
that these religious faiths general," I think that
should be generally, "include a religious belief
evolution." That seems to me to make the case.
Q. Do you read the Act as saying that the
teaching of evolution is in itself unconstitutional
or that the teaching of evolution without the
balanced treatment required by the Act is
A. As I explained to you, I find the Act
somewhat internally inconsistent anyway. But I
certainly find the implication in those parts that
I just read to be that evolution is religious, in
which case at least certain aspects of the Act
seem to imply that evolution should not be taught.
Q. But the Act in fact requires that it be
taught if either theory is taught, doesn't it?
A. Well, I didn't write it.
Q. How many years have you been involved
in the study of the Darwinian thought, Darwinian
MR. WILLIAMS: That is the title of one
of his books.
A. I would say it is a 15-year project.
Q. I take it that the notion of the
success of the creationists have had inspite of
your 15-year project of trying to write on Darwin,
in simple terms, makes you mad, doesn't it?
Q. You say that you even think that "the
creationists have had and can anticipate great
MR. NOVIK: Are you reading from the
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes.
Q. Is that correct?
A. Well, have had.
MR. NOVIK: I am sure Dr. Ruse did not
mean to imply anything about the outcome of this
Q. Do you think, honestly, they will
continue to have great success, as you claimed?
A. You are asking me about the outcome of
Q. No, not with reference to this trial.
I really would not ask you that.
A. Put it this way. I don't think things
are going to be over by Christmas.
Q. When I look at this and try to read, as
I am told by people like yourself and other people
in science who propose the evolution model, that
the overwhelming weight of evidence is in favor of
evolution, I think about have the evolutionists
somehow failed? Do you have a response to that
MR. NOVIK: I didn't hear a question,
first of all. Second of all, there has been no
testimony about what scientists think of the
evolution model. It is not a phrase that Dr. Ruse
has used once, as I have heard this testimony
MR. WILLIAMS: I can use "theory" just
as well. It matters not.
MR. NOVIK: Well, it matters a bit to
Q. Dr. Ruse, do you think that the
overwhelming scientific evidence is in favor of
the theory of evolution as opposed to the theory
of creation science?
A. I think the scientific evidence is in
favor of the theory of evolution as opposed to
other scientific hypotheses. I think scientific
creation or creation science is not science.
Q. Do you feel that the theory of
evolution has been accepted?
A. By whom?
A. That is a sociological question I am
not really that competent to answer. My guess
would be not entirely.
Q. Approximately 120 years, since THE
ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES, approximately, with all the
scientific evidence and certainly the bulk of the
scientific community on the side of evolution, do
you have an opinion as to why evolution, that
theory of evolution, has not been accepted?
MR. NOVIK: Accepted by whom? Do you
mean the community of scientists? Because he has
already testified as to what he believes about
Q. I am talking about generally in terms
of its acceptance by people. Maybe I am assuming
something. But as I read this work, some of it,
particularly the last position, there seems to me
to be a sense in your writing that the theory of
evolution simply has not been accepted by many
people. Is that fair?
A. I think in North America a lot of
people certainly have not accepted evolution. In
England I really don't know. I would hazard a
guess that more have. But I am not an expert in
Q. We will confine ourselves to North
America, keep it narrow. In view of everything on
the side of evolution and in terms of the things I
mentioned earlier, those three factors, why do you
think it has not been accepted?
A. I think one reason is that it hasn't
been properly taught. I think there has been a
lot of ongoing pressure from special interest
groups who fairly effectively excluded the fair
teaching of evolution in the schools.
Q. When you say it has not been effectively
taught, what do you mean?
A. I mean precisely that.
Q. Do you mean it has been too watered
A. Probably not even taught at all. As I
say, you are getting me beyond areas that I feel
competent. I am not an educationalist in the,
quote, professional sense. I am an educationalist
in the sense I am a teacher.
Q. In your manuscript you state that, "Even
in areas in the U.S. where creationism is not that
strongly entrenched, course materials are directly
affected by the beliefs of those who take the
Bible literally." Then you have a reference to
Nelkin, 1976. In what areas is creation strongly
MR. NOVIK: What areas of the country?
MR. WILLIAMS: Of the country.
A. Towards the south and Alberta.
Q. On what basis do you make that
conclusion or have that opinion?
A. Again, it is reading things like --
people like Nelkin. It is reading newspapers like
The New York Times, which report to me where these
bills are being passed at places like Arkansas
rather than Pennsylvania. That is the inference I
Q. Have you made any study of the textbook
publishers in the scientific area?
A. The textbooks?
Q. The publishers.
A. I have talked to one or two publishers.
I haven't more than that, no.
Q. Do you have an opinion as to whether
the textbook publishers, the non creation science
publishers, if this bill is upheld and the one in
Louisiana and any others which might be passed,
whether they would meet the need for a market for
so-called nonreligious scientific creation books?
A. I am not sure.
Q. You don't have an opinion on that?
A. I think the textbooks would be altered.
Q. Is it true that the Natural History
Branch of the British Museum has had a display
which portrays creation science as an alternative
Q. You quote in your book from, it is
Medawar, that, "There are philosophical or
methodological objections to evolutionary theory.
It is too difficult to imagine or envision an
evolutionary episode which could not be explained
by the formula of neoDarwinism." Do you agree
Q. Is Medawar a creation scientist?
Q. On Page 428, and you can look at this
if you like, you talk about, quote, "We have the
creationist position which supposes that in the
fairly recent past the world was created
miraculously by God, that animals, plants, and
humans was all brought into existence at that time,
and that was it as far as new life was concerned."
Are those things necessarily required under
creation science as defined by Act 590?
A. I would need to put it line by line.
But, yes. If you want a definitive answer, I want
to look at the two texts together. But certainly
the gist seems to be there.
Q. For example, you state that "animals,
plants, and humans were all brought into existence
at that time." I assume you mean at the same time.
Where in Act 590 do you find that?
A. At the relatively recent inception, I
Q. Does that say that they were all
brought into existence at the same time?
MR. NOVIK: You asked him where he drew
the comparison, and he told you the place.
MR. WILLIAMS: I am asking are they in
fact in there.
A. If you are asking me, for example, does
it say they all have to be done in the same five
minutes, the answer is obviously no. However, if
you look at what I say through the context here,
you will see that it is clear that I am not
implying there that it is all done at exactly the
same moment. What I mean there is fairly early on.
MR. NOVIK: "There" pointing to the
THE WITNESS: Yes.
Q. You state in your manuscript that after
these animals, plants, and humans was brought into
existence, that "that was it as far as new life
Q. Is there in the definition of creation
science anything which precludes other new life
coming into existence after the creation?
A. Are you asking me if creation science
allows the creation of new life -- let me try that
one again. Are you asking me whether the bill
forbids a teacher from suggesting that new life
occurs on a daily basis?
Q. On a daily or any other basis.
A. I am not sure that if somebody wants to
teach that it is actually occurring today -- well,
yes. It seems to me Section 4(a)(3), "Changes
only within fixed limits of originally created
kinds of plants and animals." certainly to my way
of thinking has the implication that all the new
life that is going to come has come.
Q. You agree, do you not, that if the
world is not the billions of years old which the
evolutionists think that it is, that evolutionary
theory cannot be upheld?
A. In its present form.
Q. If you look at Act 590 and look at the
creation science and think about the creator that
is either implied or, as some would say,
presupposed by that, what do you know about that
creator, just from the definition there?
A. He is obviously going to have to be a
designer of some sort if he can suddenly create
the universe, energy, and life from nothing. And
I take it this is in juxtaposition to emergence by
naturalistic processes. I would say he is
certainly going to have to be a designer of some
sort. It would imply that he is going to have
some sort of special place for man. I would want
to unpack the implications of the worldwide flood,
Q. What do you mean unpack them?
A. What you are asking me is what can I
infer about the creator from Section 4(a), I take
MR. NOVIK: Do the unpacking.
A. What I am saying is, as I see it, we
are dealing with a creator who is obviously
all-powerful in some sort of traditional sense.
He is obviously or she or it is obviously a
designer of some sort. I see from 4(a)(4)
presumably one who is concerned about man.
Q. How so? How do you get that?
A. Man is separated right off from the
apes. In other words, man doesn't come under
4(a)(3), for example. We are dealing with man and
the apes, obviously separate.
Q. Does that necessarily mean he is more
concerned about man?
A. He has a special concern, let me put it
Q. If he created all kinds separately,
then he just created all kinds separately. Does
that necessarily mean a special place for man?
A. As I see it, 4(a)(3) is allowing some
changes within the limits. So I see somebody who
has some special concern about man.
If I am unpacking 4(a)(5), a creator
who is responsible in some way for a worldwide
flood, as I see it, implies how certain do you
want to unpack this. I ask myself why would there
be a world-wide flood? Then I go and look at the
works by creation scientists.
Q. Rather than looking at the works, I
would like for you just to look at that Act and
what is defined in there and tell me what you know
about the creator.
A. I think I have done as far as I can go
at this point.
Q. So we know that there is a power, it is
a designer, with some special concern about man.
And yet the question about the worldwide flood
doesn't really tell you anything about them, does
A. I think it does.
MR. NOVIK: Them?
MR. WILLIAMS: Did I say "them"?
A. I think anybody who does all this and
presumably wipes everything out, I take it a
worldwide flood is going to last long enough that
we can't just swim on the top.
Q. Do you know necessarily that this
creator has love or compassion or any of those
qualities which would typically be associatesd
with a god?
A. I find this very difficult to answer
because you are insisting again, I think, on my
confining myself to an impossibly narrow thing,
Q. You can look at other portions of the
bill if you would like.
A. Thank you. I do look at 4(b). I say
at least we are implying a god of some particular
kind, maybe a stern god, a vengeful god, a just
god, something along these lines. For example, if
I look at 4(a)(5), then I start to ask, well, how
many organisms got left, where did they go? You
are asking me these sorts of questions. I can't
do this out of the context of Genesis. I can't do
it out of the context of creation science writings.
Q. Is there anything in 4(a) which
necessarily implies that -- back up. In your text
here you have a quote with several adjectives
applied to the creator. You don't have a
reference for that. Is that from creation science?
A. I'm sorry, if there isn't one, there
should be. It is from Morris's edited work
Q. From 4(a) do we definitely know that
this creator was infinite?
A. I would have thought that we are
getting fairly close to in with 4(a)(1).
Q. What in there tells you that?
A. Anybody who can create everything out
of nothing has got pretty significant powers.
Q. I was thinking infinite more in terms
of either size or endurance.
A. Does one mean that by "infinite"? What
does one mean by "infinite" in the theological
Q. What about "eternal"?
A. It is difficult to say. One assumes
that this is a god outside time. Don't forget,
eternal doesn't necessarily mean everlasting. So
I would infer again from 4(a)(1) that we are
getting fairly close to something eternal in the
sense of beyond, outside, time.
Q. Also the sudden creation of energy --
A. We are dealing with someone that can
create something out of nothing.
Q. That doesn't necessarily mean that they
have been there forever, does it?
A. I think you are confusing everlasting
Q. What is the difference in your mind?
A. Everlasting is where you have events
going on like this and that. Eternal is something
outside of time. Pythagoras's theorum hasn't been
everlastingly true. It extends outside of
My implication from 4(a)(1) would be
that we are dealing with a being which in some
very important and very real sense stands outside
physical phenomena. As I understand religious
discussion, and I am talking now as a philosopher,
that would be eternal.
Q. I take it you would find the
omnipotence in 4(a)(1)?
A. I think so, yes.
Q. How about omnipresent?
A. Again, having built in the eternal, we
are probably getting pretty close to omnipresent,
and 4(a)(5) certainly shows that the god --
Q. What is (5)?
A. Explanation of the earth's geology by
catastrophism including a worldwide flood, I would
have thought is pushing fairly close to being
A. But omnipresent, again, we are unpacking
4(a)(1). I see 4(a)(1) being associated with sort
of our Western intellectual tradition as you can
best unpack it with a god who is all powerful,
eternal, omnipresent, and so on and so forth.
MR. NOVIK: Excuse me. I think we may
have lost somewhat the fact that Mr. Williams is
reading from a quote within Dr. Ruse's book, the
quote coming from a Mr. Morris, a noted creationist
who uses these words in support of his argument
for scientific creationism.
THE WITNESS: It is not just Mr. Morris.
This is a book that he has edited.
MR. WILLIAMS: But it is the Plaintiffs
who are to inextricably tie this Act back to these
MR. NOVIK: That is something we can
argue about later. I was just trying to clarify
the record as to what you were reading from.
MR. WILLIAMS: Right.
Q. Is there necessarily in Act 590 any
indication that this god is a moral god or creator?
MR. NOVIK: Is that another one of Mr.
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes.
A. I would have thought that 4(a)(4) and
(5) would be difficult to expound on without in
some sense bringing morality in.
Q. The worldwide flood --
A. You are asking me to make a cloak
without cloth at the moment. You are asking me to
comment on rather ambiguous fragmentary passages,
like separate ancestry from man and apes.
As I unpack that, we are obviously
dealing with some sort of special status for man
or for humans. That, again, one has to put this
in sort of common sense and general intellectual
tradition and everything like this. When you
start talking about special status for man, you
start to get to morality and spirituality very
Q. What you are really saying there when
you are talking about this Western intellectual
tradition is simply that that sounds like
something from the Bible, therefore it must be the
same creator as in the Bible?
A. No, I think I am saying something a
little stronger than that. I am saying that in
these sort of fragmentary states that these are in
and rather ambiguous phrases these are in, the
only reasonable way to interpret them as they
stand at the moment is to take what we know and,
as it were, build something which makes sense. In
order to do this, the presumption as I see it
would be that we are dealing with a moral being, a
being certainly which has a special place for man.
Q. Are you extrapolating? When I asked
you the qualities that you could read into it, you
only gave me a power, designer, a special concern
about man, and then some question about a worldwide
MR. NOVIK: He also said all-powerful.
A. I am getting close to moral, too.
Q. Do you think that the theory of
evolution is consistent with the beliefs of some
A. Yes. Not inconsistent, put it that way.
Q. Do you know whether evolution is the
tenet of some religions?
A. I don't, no.
Q. Are you familiar with the Society of
Q. Have you ever read the
HUMANIST MANIFESTO 1, 2, or 3?
Q. Something else about your manuscript
that I want to ask you. Let me show it to you.
You state here that, "Remember how blatant the
Arkansas bill is in this matter. Homosexuals will
be condemned and excoriated as moral degenerates,
women will be confined to perpetual second-rate
citizenship, and all nonbelievers will be labeled
perfidious infidels." Do you get that from the
A. I see that as an implication of the,
what shall I say, the enforcement of the Arkansas
bill. I don't see the Arkansas bill condemning
MR. NOVIK: I think the first sentence
in that paragraph adds some light on what Dr. Ruse
means by that.
MR. WILLIAMS: For the record, the
first sentence is, "The trouble with the
creationists' position is that it really does open
the way to a teaching of a specific religiously
Q. You think teaching about a creator,
that is religious, is that what you think?
A. I say teaching about a creator is
Q. How do you deal with ORIGIN OF THE
SPECIES then in this reference to a creator?
Should it not be taught?
A. I am not sure that Darwin intends it
literally at that point. He does qualify himself
in later editions to point out that he doesn't
necessarily mean it in a literal sense.
Q. But he did use a capital C Creator,
A. Yes. But he does point out later on
that he didn't intend it in the literal sense.
Q. Do you think that the first editions
then of origin of the species should not be taught
in the classroom?
A. No, because I don't think Darwin
intends that. But I would certainly expect the
teacher to be able to point that out or point out
the ambiguity there.
Q. In other words, when the concept of a
creator is included in an evolutionary theory, you
have no problem with the teacher being able to
point out what was going on; is that correct?
MR. NOVIK: That is argumentative,
don't you think?
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes, it is. I will save
Q. Could you summarize for me your
argument on why creationism should not be taught
based on knowledge?
MR. NOVIK: Can you refer us to the
argument you are talking about?
MR. WILLIAMS: Sure. It is on Page 48
of his manuscript. He has three specific
arguments. One is religion, one is morality, one
A. I worry that students will be forced to
accept such bad and falacious arguments that this
will hinder their development, intellectual
development, so that generally speaking they will
be unable to make proper judgments.
Q. Why do you feel this in particular will
hinder their intellectual development?
A. Because I read the works of the
scientific creationists, and I see a great many
logical and formal and informal fallacies being
committed, passages being quoted out of context,
people being taken to say things that they don't
mean to say, arguments being distorted, claims
that things are being tested when they are not
being tested, pseudo explanations. In other words,
just about everything I teach my students not to
do. I worry that if this is taken to be
acceptable intellectual discourse or intellectual
reasoning, that this will lead to a general
downfall of intellectual, what shall I say,
criteria, methodology, teaching.
Q. Do you think that creationists are to
be equated with Auschwitz and Hiroshima?
A. I don't think that Harry Morris is
another Hitler, no. I do think that bad thinking
of all kinds, shoddy thinking, leads the way for
evil people to take action and to seize power.
Q. Did you tell me this morning that you
thought that a teacher who thought that creation
science had some merit, and as you will recall I
think my question presupposed that the teacher had
reviewed all literature and made a conscious
effort, you still thought he should be prohibited
from teaching that; is that correct?
A. Teach it on Sundays.
Q. But he should not teach it in the
A. In public schools, no.
Q. How do you determine when a science
teacher should be prohibited from teaching an idea?
A. When it is religion.
Q. Is what is religion a fixed standard, a
A. I think there are fuzzy edges, but I
think that doesn't mean you can't say that some
things are religion and some things aren't.
Q. Do you think that the neoDarwinian
theory of evolution is axiomatic?
MR. NOVIK: Are you going to tell us
what neoDarwinian is?
Q. Do you understand what that means?
A. Yes. Synthetic theory.
MR. NOVIK: Is that what you mean?
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes.
A. I think in part it is.
Q. What do you mean by axiomatic?
A. You start with certain basic axioms and
from these you derive other statements as premises,
Q. Are axioms provable?
A. They are certainly up for test.
Because something is axiomatic, there is an
ambiguity here, doesn't mean to say it is accepted
without question. Within a system it is, but it
doesn't mean to say that the system itself has to
be accepted without question.
Q. Except for tests. But my traditional
sort of layman definition of an axiom is something
which can't be tested. Does that apply here?
A. As I say, that is a confusion between
the two senses of "axiom" here. I mean unproved
within the system.
Q. Have you studied physics much?
A. In my past I did. My undergraduate
degree included a fair amount of theoretical
Q. Are you familiar with any parallels
between physics and some of the Eastern mystic
A. No. That is beyond my field.
Q. Are you familiar with the Taoist
A. I know of it, but I have not read it.
Q. When the creation scientists talk about
evolution as being not testable or falsifiable, is
Dobzhansky in their corner on that?
MR. NOVIK: Read that back.
Q. Does he agree with them?
A. It wasn't the creationists. I think
the phrase was the creation scientists. You are
not implying that Dobzhansky was a creation
Q. No, not at all.
A. I would not have said that Dobzhansky
would have agreed with them on an overall basis.
Q. What was Dobzhansky's position on that
point as you understand it?
MR. NOVIK: On falsifiability?
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes.
A. To the best of my knowledge, he would
have thought the theory was falsifiable. But, to
be honest, I can't pretend that I have read all of
Dobzhansky's works and I have never met him.
Q. Are you familiar with MATHEMATICAL
CHALLENGES TO THE NEODARWINIAN INTERPRETATION OF
A. I think I glanced at it 10, 12 years
ago, but that is my familiarity.
MR. NOVIK: Is that a book?
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes.
MR. NOVIK: Who is the author of it?
MR. WILLIAMS: Murray Eden.
Q. Do you have an opinion about that work?
A. I have come across Medawar's article on
it, which I don't agree with. But other than that
I really don't.
Q. Are you familiar with either Paul
Ehrlich or L. C. Birch?
A. I know of them, yes.
Q. Are they evolutionists?
A. I am pretty sure that Ehrlich is, and
Q. Do you know who L. Harrison Matthews is
A. He is a fellow of the Royal Society. I
think he may have been president of the
Sociological Society or at least important in
those sorts of circles.
Q. Is he an evolutionist?
Q. Are you familiar with H. S. Lipson,
A. I think I have come across -- I was
shown an article by him -- is he from Manchester
or somewhere like that? I forget.
Q. I think he is, yes.
A. Then I think I know who you mean.
Q. Do you consider him to be a competent
A. I don't know.
Q. You don't know, have no opinion?
Q. Are you aware that Gould has stated
that if Mayer's characterization of the synthetic
theory is accurate, then that theory of the
general proposition is effectively dead?
A. Yes, right.
MR. NOVIK: Was that a quote?
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes.
Q. What is your opinion of that statement
A. A, I disagree with it. But, B, I think
that if you look at what Gould has to say in the
context of the whole article you will see that he
is nowhere like as far from Mayer's position as
that one paragraph implies. Although he does say
Q. Are you aware of any other scientific
explanations or theories for the origin of the
world, life, and man?
Q. What other scientific theories are
A. There are versions like the one that
Fred Hoyle is pushing at the moment, that life
came from outer space or something like that. I
believe there are several versions of this now
that life was brought here by intelligent beings
or that life was planned by intelligent beings. I
think Hoyle's version is that in some sense
intelligent beings planned the comet so we would
pass through cloud dust or something like that.
Q. Do you consider that to be a scientific
A. Hoyle's stuff is very difficult to
follow when he gets to his religious chapter. I
think that it would be possible to divorce that,
as it were, the earlier part perhaps, from the
later part. I think when he gets to talking about
intelligent beings, then he is going into religion.
But if one had a position that life had just
always existed, I see no reason why that shouldn't
be a scientific position of some sort. I don't
say that it would necessarily be true.
Q. I am not asking you to adapt the theory
as being true. Any others that you can think of?
A. Not offhand. But that could be a
function of my limits of imagination.
Q. Do you have any correspondence other
than this with the attorneys in this case on the
subject of creation science?
A. What we were talking about this morning?
Q. Other than what was passed between the
attorneys in this case and you.
Q. Have you done any other writings on
creation science other than what we discussed here
and that you brought with you?
Q. Other than the professional societies
of which you are a member, are you a member of any
A. I think St. John's Parent Teachers
Q. Are you not a member of the ACLU?
(Discussion off the record.)
A. I was asked whether I have everything
on the table literally which is on my CV. I am
fairly certain that there are about three articles
probably not in that group.
Q. Do you know which ones they are?
A. I don't, but I will certainly check
them and make them available. It was a function
of hurried time, getting them done.
I don't have my book reviews.
Q. In your book reviews have you ever
written about creation science?
A. To the best of my memory, no. I
wouldn't want to say that there has never ever
been a sentence on creation science. I am looking
down the list. There are a lot of reviews over a
long time. I would certainly say there is nothing
here which is not already on the table.
Q. What did you say about Gould's EVER
A. I said that I thought it was a most
enjoyable book and that everybody should buy a
copy for themselves and for their favorite great
aunt for Christmas.
I think I also mentioned I do have this
edited volume, if you will look on the penultimate
page, annotated papers from the 1980 Montreal
symposium. I only contribute the preface. The
preface in fact is on the table.
Q. What was your review in essence of J.
Farley's SPONTANEOUS GENERATION?
A. I expressed admiration for somebody who
knew so much science and so many foreign languages.
I said it was an interesting book. I think I
implied that it was a little bit on the dull side,
which it was.
Q. What was the concept and the thrust of
SPONTANEOUS GENERATION? What was the general
thesis of SPONTANEOUS GENERATION?
A. Farley was talking about the
development of the idea that life had been created
out of inorganic matter by natural processes. He
goes back to the Seventeenth Century and brings it
up to the Twentieth Century. He is concerned to
show that the popular view that it was all simply
a question of experimental evidence in fact wasn't
always true, that there were other considerations
which motivated people, including religious
considerations. I think that's about it.
Q. Have you brought with you the papers
you have read at conferences?
A. I confess I haven't. I'm afraid I
don't have them. But I would say that there is
nothing in the papers that I have read at
conferences which didn't find its way into print
on the table.
Q. I would like you, after today if you
would, to check and see which articles you don't
have here. If you would send them to us, I would
A. I certainly will do that.
Q. Have any interviews with you ever been
A. I think not, no.
MR. NOVIK: Have you ever been
THE WITNESS: Yes, I have been asked
questions, that sort of thing, when I worked on
Darwinian evolution theory.
Q. What evidence is there against the
theory of evolution, if you think there is any?
A. There is evidence against some theories
or some mechanisms. I am not sure that there is
evidence against the, how can I put it, the
neoDarwinian version. There are some areas where
we are obviously debating hotly. But I don't know
of evidence which is firmly against it.
Q. Firmly against it, that is something of
a subjective judgment, isn't it, the
interpretation you are going to give the data?
A. You asked me what evidence is there
against it, which kind of implies that there is
evidence against it.
Q. I said if any.
A. My reply is that there are areas where
matters are certainly not settled, where we don't
have enough evidence.
Q. When did you write this manuscript?
Q. Yes, over what period?
A. February through September.
Q. Of this year?
Q. When did you write the portion --
A. Towards the end.
Q. In September of this year?
A. Probably earlier. You write something
and then you revise it. For me it is a holistic
Q. Did you write it before or after you
were contacted about being a witness in this case?
A. Before, all before.
Q. You wrote it before October 8th or 15th?
Q. Do you have a personal belief as to
whether a creator, in whatever form, had a hand in
creating life, man or anything else or the
A. Not really.
Q. You think it all evolved by natural
A. I think inasmuch as one can know at
this level of existence, yes.
Q. What do you discuss in "Cultural
A. I am talking about the sorts of things
which might lead to the sort of change of customs,
habits, beliefs in the human world and whether or
not one can draw an analogy between what happens
in the human world and what happens in the
Q. Can you draw an analogy, do you think?
A. Probably, but not in the way I suggest
in that paper.
Q. You have changed some of your concepts
since 1974 when you wrote this or some of your
thoughts on it?
Q. How do you think you can draw an
A. Since the writing of that paper
sociobiology has been discussed, and I am inclined
to think that now one can perhaps not just
analogize but relate behavior in a more direct way.
We know more about it than I suggested in that
Q. What analogies do you draw?
A. Perhaps "analogies" is not a good word.
What I am saying in that paper is I think that one
can draw sort of a Lemarckian sort of inheritance
or some sort of analogies between the kinds of
adaptive strategies that organisms take in the
biological world and what we do in the human world.
But, as I say, that paper was written from what I
call a group selection is the point of view, and I
would repudiate most of what I say there now,
along with most biologists.
Q. What publication is this article from?
A. This is from NEW SCIENTIST.
MR. NOVIK: Could you read the title?
MR. WILLIAMS: Sure. It is "Darwin's
Theory: An Exercise in Science."
Q. Could you briefly summarize what your
statements and findings are in this article?
A. That natural selection is not a
Q. I take it in this article you were
trying to answer even some of the evolutionists
who were saying that it is tautology?
A. Some of the philosophical evolutionists,
Q. What is sociobiology?
A. It is the study of behavior from a
Darwinian perspective, group behavior, social
Q. Do you think that is a valid science?
A. I think it is a valid enterprise. I
don't necessarily think that every hypothesis
which is put forward is fully confirmed yet.
Q. But some of the hypotheses are validly
A. I think in the animal world some are
very good, yes.
Q. Do you think there are gay genes?
A. Let me put it this way. I don't think
it is any worse than some of the other explanations
that have been put forward.
Q. You wrote an article entitled "Is Human
Sociobiology a New Paradime?" What is the answer
to that question in your mind?
A. It goes back to what we were talking
about this morning, what is a paradime? In some
respects yes, in some respects no.
Q. Are you familiar with THE CONTROVERSY
OVER MAN, A COURSE OF STUDY?
A. No, I don't think so, no.
Q. Would you have any objection to an
interdisciplinary course on the study of origins
in which both religion and science were studied?
A. In a public school, yes.
Q. You would. Even if they were just
studying scientific theories of origin and some of
the different religious beliefs on origins?
A. If you are asking me at a comparative
religion level, then I don't think I would, if you
are asking me in a general knowledge class or
something like that what do people believe. But
if you are asking me something which could be
taken as an either/or, something as you do in a
biology class, then yes.
Q. If you had a course on the study of
origins which looked at it from a comprehensive
viewpoint, considered all the scientific evidence,
whatever that might be, considered religious
theories of origins and just talked about how that
question affects us generally and some of the
sociological implications, would you have any
problem with that sort of course being taught at a
A. I am not sure how specialized a course
one would teach at this level anyway.
Q. How about in a college?
A. In a college?
A. In a certain general affairs class or
something along those lines, I think one could
cover different beliefs, a history of religions
class or something like that. But I would
certainly in a public institution, publicly funded
institution, I would certainly have objections to
a course being taught which presented creation
science as a viable alternative to biological
Q. But as along as it was not presented as
a viable alternative, you would not object to it?
A. In the sense that I could see a teacher
telling students about Communism in public affairs
class, O would not object to that happening. I
would object to a teacher, say, lecturing on DAS
KAPITAL as something the students must accept and
Q. Would you have a problem in, say, a
history course, where you were studying the
American Revolution, trying to give a balance to
it from the American perspective as well as the
A. Well, I talk about history in my own
science class. So I am not saying under any
circumstances at any time in a school or
university could one not ever possibly mention it
or anything like that. My objection is to
teaching creation science in the biology classes
as a viable option today.
Q. Maybe the problem is with the idea of a
viable option. If it was presented in the form of
there are individuals who -- I am trying to avoid
the use of the term "scientist" there because I
think you may find I would have some problems with
that -- but individuals with Ph.D's who work in
the field of science who believe there is
scientific evidence to support it, would you
object to that? Support it, I mean the theory of
MR. NOVIK: Excuse me. There are a lot
of questions in that question. Do you want me to
explain or do you want to rephrase it?
MR. WILLIAMS: I will be glad to
restate it if you have some problems with it.
MR. NOVIK: I have problems with the
Q. In a biology class, if the students
were told, in addition to being told about
evolutionary theory, that there are individuals
who have studied science and who have Ph.D's in
several fields of science and after having studied
it feel that there is scientific support for the
theory of creation science, would you object to
A. Being taught or just a mention of the
Q. First of all, that being mentioned.
A. If somebody just mentioned the fact in
passing, preDarwinians, I would hardly object to
that. But if the person now went on and tried to
teach from it as a viable option in a biology
class, I would object.
Q. Put aside for the moment the question
of a viable option. After they made this mention
they gave a summary, here is what the creationists
say and what the evolutionists say, kind of just a
contrasting position, would you have a problem
with that? Would you object to that?
A. I think probably yes.
Q. Why would you object to that? We are
talking about a summary form, just kind of a
A. I think, again, we go back to viable
options. Inasmuch as it is just something
mentioned in the course of teaching, we can't
pretend that the world doesn't exist, making
reference to preDarwinians or something, one
doesn't want to stand over the teacher and say
never ever mention the word "creation."
But I think we can all draw the
distinction between, say, a passing reference and
saying now, kids, now students or whatever, this
is what the creationists believe, et cetera. And
certainly any implications that there might be an
evaluation or that the students might be expected
to learn this or be tested on it.
Q. So you could mention that there are
creationists but you can't mention what they say?
A. You know the level I am talking about.
If the students said to me, if a student put their
hand up in biology class and said, sir, have you
read about the creationists, I would say yes. The
student would say, well, can we explore this? I
would say, sorry, no, that is religious concepts,
this is a science class.
(Continued on following page.)
MR. WILLIAMS: No further questions.
MR. NOVIK: I don't have any questions.
MR. WILLIAMS: Thank you, Dr. Ruse.
THE WITNESS: Thank you.
(Time noted: 4:15 p.m.)
Subscribed and sworn to before me
this ______ day of ______________ 1980.
C E R T I F I C A T E
STATE OF NEW YORK )
COUNTY OF NEW YORK )
I, THOMAS W. MURRAY, C.S.R., and WALTER
HOLDEN, C.S.R., Notaries Public within and
for the State of New York, do hereby certify:
That MICHAEL ESCOTT RUSE, the witness
whose deposition is hereinbefore set forth,
was duly sworn by me and that such
deposition is a true record of the testimony
given by such witness.
I further certify that I am not
related to any of the parties to this action
by blood or marriage; and that I am in no
way interested in the outcome of this matter.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto
set my hand this 24th day of November, 1981.
THOMAS W. MURRAY, C.S.R.
WALTER HOLDEN, C.S.R.