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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

Deposition of Dr. Francisco J. Ayala - Day One - Page 3


in the field; is that correct?

A. No, it's not correct because for one thing,
if you read Thomas Aquinas and even the Greeks, already
they had theories about the earth not being the center of
the universe.

At the time of Copernicus these things were
debatable and scientists debated them and they sometimes
brought them in in script to avoid the church deciphering
their communications. I think at the time that it was
a legitimate debatable question. It is a debatable
question today.

Q. But at the time was it not true that the
geocentric theory of the universe was the predominant

A. Probably, but I'm not sure. There were some

Q. But if it was the predominant theory, then
at that point under your theory you could have not taught
anything except the geocentric universe?

A. No. So long as it is taught from knowledge
and a proper teacher at the time would say, "Here we
have a theory," and "There is another theory," and I
think if the evidence favors this theory, he would be
able to handle it properly.

Q. As long as scientists are debating the
question you think it would be proper to discuss both?

A. Yes, so long as one understands the word
"scientists" properly, in the plural, properly.


Q. Do you have any opinion as to whether the
state may prescribe a curriculum in the secondary schools?

A. I'm sure some aspects of it they can prescribe.

Q. In your opinion should the classroom and
secondary schools be open to all academic discussion?

MR. KLASFELD: If you understand what that means.

THE WITNESS: Anytime anybody would discuss

MR. WILLIAMS: Q. Do you think that academic
discussion in the secondary schools should be limited to
only what for example -- let me give you an example.
Do you think that academic discussion in a secondary
school should be limited only to what has been proved
beyond a reasonable doubt in the area of science for

A. Yes, in terms of presenting it as proven
beyond a reasonable doubt. One can mention other things.

Q. Perhaps you don't understand my question.
My question was in terms of the discussion in the
scientific classroom should the discussion be limited to
those theories which have been proven beyond a reasonable

A. No.

Q. In your opinion should the evolutionary
model of origins be subject to criticism in the public
school classrooms?

A. What do you mean by "evolutionary model of


Q. Well, the evolutionary model of origins may
include several things. I'm talking generally. Do you
think it's above criticism?

A. No. There are many aspects of it if you read
my papers. There are many components of the theory of
evolution that are being discussed in my papers that
should be discussed in classrooms.

Q. Are you familiar with The Structure of
Scientific Revolutions by Kuhn?

A. Yes.

Q. What is your opinion of that work?

A. A very interesting book.

Q. Could you be more specific?

MR. KLASFELD: Specific in what sense?

MR. WILLIAMS: Q. Do you agree with it?

A. Not with all of it, no.

Q. What parts do you agree with?

MR. KLASFELD: Which pages?

THE WITNESS: Parts was the question?

MR. WILLIAMS: If I can fairly summarize --

MR. KLASFELD: Are there some things you agree with
or disagree with?

MR. WILLIAMS: Q. Can you generally agree with the

MR. KLASFELD: Apparently not.

MR. WILLIAMS: He may not agree with it.

THE WITNESS: Okay. So the question is whether
I generally agree with it?



A. And I say I agree with many parts of it.

Q. When he discusses his concept of the
paradigm, p-a-r-a-d-i-g-m, which arises in the scientific
community and then all concentration and research
essentially are directed in support of futhering that
paradigm, is that one of the things he discusses as you
understand it?

A. Yes, but he uses paradigm in the book in two
different meanings. He will have to spend twenty years
of his life to clarify that. He has written many papers.
He uses that term "paradigm" in two different meanings
in the book.

Q. What are those two different meanings that
can be fairly said in two minutes?

A. Let me go off the record. It is very
difficult for me to be precise.

MR. ENNIS: You are not required to remember all
these books.

MR. WILLIAMS: Q. I want your knowledge, the best
you recollect.

A. One of many books is the Philosophy of
Science that I have read. I read it years ago. I have
reread it again more recently. It would take me some
effort to recollect with precision the two meanings, and
I would like to have some time to look at the book again
and be able to be precise.

Q. First you mentioned the last twenty years of


his life talking about these two paradigms.

A. I have a copy that was published in 1970,
and this is around '62, maybe '65, no later than '65.

Q. He talks about what is normal science.

A. I suppose you realize that as a way of
speaking he spent the last twenty years of his life.

Q. I don't take your terms literally.

A. Technicalities.

Q. When he talks about the idea of a paradigm
as being normal science, do you recall that discussion?

A. Yes.

Q. A paradigm is something of a universally
scientific principle or accepted theory, is that correct?

A. Yes, that is one of the meanings/

Q. What is the second meaning?

A. I would have to have the book and you allow
me a few minutes.

Q. Given the fact that your attorneys have said
you have to leave at 1:00 o'clock, do you have to leave
at 1:00 o'clock?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you have a class?

A. I have to introduce a speaker and I am
engaged to do something at 3:00 o'clock.

Q. Did your attorneys ever ask you as to whether
or not you could cancel that?

A. Yes, and I couldn't because it's a major
engagement I accepted many months ago. It involves some


very important scientists.

Q. Let's take the paradigm that I mentioned,
universally scientific principle of theory, and does
Kuhn not talk about there is pressure -- that may not be
the right term. I don't want to mischaracterize it, but
there is some force of continuity to change the paradigm,
the data that fits the paradigm, and if the data does not
fit, to try to modify it.

A. Yes, that is the way science works. You have
some of general models talking about more or less general
models, and as evidence accumulates we modify the

Q. He also says when discussing paradigms that
many times if there is data that does not fit in the
paradigm that sometimes it may not be seen at all in the
figurative sense.

A. If it is done by a competent scientist.
Scientists take great pride in showing evidence that goes
against prevailing theories because it's one way of
getting attention and challenging scientists, so I think
it's unlikely as a general statement.

Q. Does Kuhn's book include the concept that it
has been historically difficult once a paradigm is
established for a new paradigm to come along and
supplant it?

A. The book largely consists with precisely the
fact that the history of science consists largely of
scientific revolutions, changes of paradigms. I think


he overstates that rather than understates it.

Q. How does he overstate it?

A. I don't think paradigms are so fully replaced
in the history of science as he claims. Maybe some
branches of science it does.

Q. Why is it difficult in your opinion for one
paradigm to be replaced by another?

A. Because usually a paradigm if it is an
accepted set of principles is usually supported by an
enormous amount of evidence. By the time it has reached
that stage having many scientists gather in lots of
evidence, people don't give up that easily and they

Q. You said they what?

MR. KLASFELD: Don't give up so easily, and they

THE WITNESS: What is accumulated information?

MR. WILLIAMS: Q. He talks about the difficulty
for those who go outside the paradigm who try to establish
a new one that they may be met with resistance from the

A. Those who do it within the scientific
community don't get resistance; they get a lot of
attention. He is not a good sociologist.

Q. Does he say that?

A. No. I'm saying that.

Q. So you disagree with him?

A. Yes, that fact.


Q. Would you agree this book is generally
recognized as something of an authority on general
scientific principles?

A. He is an authority but an authority which is
very much questioned.

Q. Many authorities are much questioned, are
they not?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it your opinion that there are no
competent scientists who espouse a scientific theory of

A. Competent scientists in the field of
evolution. Yes, that is my opinion. You phrase your
question they are not competent specialists on evolution-
ary theory or knowledge relevant to evolution. You
formulated it that way. My answer is yes, there are no
such competent specialists in the field. I'm sure that --

Q. Please go ahead and continue.

A. I'm sure there are competent specialists
in microelectronics, somebody who does not know about
evolution and may espouse that.

Q. You think there are no competent scientists
in the general study of origins, origin of life, the
universe, man, plants and animals?

A. Evolution of life, yes.

Q. There are no competent scientists who would
espouse creation science or a portion thereof?

A. In my opinion the evidence is such that only


an ignorant person or person who is unable to judge the
evidence fairly can deny it.

Q. Are you aware that there are even some
experts who would agree with you on evolutionary theory
and would differ with you as to whether it would be only
an ignorant person who espouses Creation Science?

A. I said a person ignorant of the relevant
evidence. A person may be very knowledgeable in other

Q. My question is: Will you not agree that there
are experts in the field of evolutionary theory who would
disagree with you as to the existence of other competent
scientists who believe that a Creation Science model is
supported by scientific evidence?

MR. KLASFELD: Is the question are there experts
in evolution who think there might be a legitimate reason
to believe in creation science?

MR. WILLIAMS: Q. My question is; In your opinion
are there any or can there be maybe, can there be an
expert in evolution who would admin or agree that
creation science was a valid scientific model?

A. If he is a real expert, I don't think it's

MR. WILLIAMS: For the record I want to strenuously
object to the cessation of this, or recess I should term
it, of this deposition. I have been given only this
morning, as I said, the curriculum vitae that has over
two hundred publications, none of which we have had a


chance to get beforehand. Further, the request for
documents which I gave to plaintiff's counsel last week
apparently was not shown even to their own co-counsel and
certainly not to this witness until such time as I
presented it to them today, so we are being severely
prejudiced by this, and either we will have to take it
up by way of further deposition or by way of motion to
the court.

MR. KLASFELD: I have one question for cross-


MR. KLASFELD: Q. To the extent that you make
any reference to Creation Science in the courses that
you teach, is that reference to the evidence in support
of Creation Science?

MR. WILLIAMS: Objection. The question is leading.
It suggests an answer.

MR. KLASFELD: You have your objection. You can't
direct him not to answer.

MR. WILLIAMS: I think in this deposition when it is
your witness and you are asking what is blatantly a
leading question --

MR. KLASFELD: You can't direct him not to answer.
You have your objection.

THE WITNESS: What is the question?

MR. KLASFELD: Q. The question is: To the extent
that you teach Creation Science in your classes, do you
teach the evidence, the scientific evidence, which


supports Creation Science?

A. I do not reach Creation Science in my classes.
When I refer to creation, I refer to the story of the
origins of man and living things as it is told in the
Book of Genesis.
                                    DR. FRANCISCO J. AYALA


STATE OF CALIFORNIA                          )
                                                           )   ss.

       I hereby certify that the witness in the foregoing
deposition named

                    DR. FRANCISCO J. AYALA

was by me duly sworn to testify the truth, the whole
truth and nothing but the truth in the within-entitled
cause; that said deposition was taken at the time and
place therein stated; that the testimony of said witness
was reported by


Certified Shorthand Reporters and disinterested persons,
and was thereafter transcribed into typewriting, and that
the pertinent provisions of the applicable code or rules
of civil procedure relating to the original transcript
of deposition for reading, correcting and signing have
been complied with.

       And I further certify that I am not of counsel or
attorney for either or any of the parties to said
deposition, nor in any way interested in the outcome of
the cause in said caption.

       IN WITNESS WEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand
and affixed my seal of office this _____ day of
November, 1981.



       I have read the foregoing transcript and desire
to make the following corrections:

                 Reads                          Should Read

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                                    DR. FRANCISCO J. AYALA