- Peter Burns
The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution
|Dossiers | Home | Incidents | Literature | Projects | Public BB | Topics|
|Donate | NCSE | PT | TD | TOA | Public BB Archive | PvM's Blog|
There are currently 1 user and 4 guests online.
Deposition of Norman Geisler - Page 4
Submitted by Peter Burns on Fri, 2009-03-06 19:03.
Q. Then I asked you to describe what your understanding of that phrase was. Macroevolution.
A. That’s right.
Q. Now, I would like you to again state for me what your understanding of that phrase, macroevolution, is. You, your testimony. Not what other people think.
A. Yes. Yea, what I will testify to that secular Humanists believe that all living species evolve from lower forms of animal life, which arose out of nonliving matter, without the intervention of any divine intervention at any point to produce these new kinds of species, forms. Now that is secular Humanists, remember. I am answering a question about what secular Humanists would say. Now, there are some — evolutionists who are not secular Humanists, who don’t believe that. Theistic evolutionists.
Q. I’m, again, you are going to opine about evolution at trial —
Q. And you are going to talk about secular Humanists? And you are going to tell — you are going to testify what you just said? And one element of that appeared to me, as to secular Humanism, without divine intervention.
A. That’s right.
Q. Now, that’s an affirmative element, I guess I would call that answer. Its a key part of it.
Q. Now, that’s — which part of that description is the part of it that makes it secular Humanism. Is it evolution?
A. That’s it. Both.
A. There are two parts of it that are a part of the secular Humanism. Part one is that the lower forms gave rise to the higher forms. And the other is that they gave rise without divine intervention. There are really two essential elements to the secular Humanist contention. Vis-a-vis, the creationist’s contention. Creationists’ contend both that the lower forms did not give rise. There is no genetic connection between the lower forms and the higher forms by way of production. And that divine intervention is the key to the future.
Q. Doctor, could we talk about evolution without reference to creation-science. And I don’t mean to — to challenge your testimony, other than to answer the question. Can you describe evolution other than in reference to creation and special creation?
A. If you are talking about the evolution of animal species and their origin, no. Because, see, once the question of origin is raised, then the question of creation or evolution comes in. Either it did or did not result from divine intervention. If, it did not arise, then that yields to an evolu — evolutionary model. If it did, it fits with a creation model.
Q. But, you, yourself, just testified that there are theistic evolutionists who believe in that.
A. That’s right. But, that’s because they say there is intervention at the very beginning, and at the end of the process. But they agree with the secular Humanists in the whole middle of the process. Darwin, himself, believed that God created the first one or few simple forms of life. So Darwin, himself, was a theistic evolutionist.
Q. So, then it is possible for some people to talk about evolution with God, and other people talk about evolution without God. And some people can not be able to talk about evolution.
A. Now, I don’t know what you mean by the third one. But the first two are correct.
Q. So, when you describe secular Humanism. You’re describing evolution of living things, highest forms —
A. Arising out of lower —
Q. Arising out of lower —
A. Without —
Q. Without divine intervention.
A. That’s it.
Q. And I asked if both of those elements are essential to secular Humanism.
A. I would say yes.
Q. Ah. Now, the first part of that, lower forms to higher forms, that, standing alone, is that secular Humanism?
A. That lower forms preceded higher forms? On the paleontological record?
Q. No. No, I didn’t — I didn’t bring paleontological record anywhere into this, Dr. Geisler. I asked you in the description of evolution, you said that there were two concepts.
A. That’s right.
Q. One of them was evolution of living — lower living species, developing into higher living species.
A. Uh-huh. Right.
Q. And the second one was without divine intervention.
A. That’s right.
Q. And the first concept, that’s not secular Humanism, standing alone.
A. No. I would say that standing alone, even of itself, you have a radical difference between two views because a creationist would not hold that lower forms give rise to higher forms. And a secular Humanist does hold — so, sure, even in and of itself, standing alone, that would be a secular Humanist tenet.
Q. So, anyone who believes that higher forms or evolution of higher forms of the species evolving from lower forms is, by definition, a secular Humanist?
Q. So let’s go back again. That’s why I’m —
A. Because theistic Humanists don’t believe that.
Q. Ah, the —
A. Ah, they’re not secular Humanists.
Q. So, that in order to find somebody who is a secular Humanist, you have got to find somebody who believes in evolution up to the phylogenetic ladder, if I might use a layman’s phrase because I’m certainly not a scientist —
A. Uh-huh —
Q. And also without divine intervention?
A. I would say what both of those are part of it. But one of them or the other would still be a defining characteristic. It’s — It’s —
Q. Standing alone?
A. Standing alone, it is still a defining characteristic.
Q. So standing alone —
A. Without divine intervention —
Q. No. No. No. Let’s pick the other one because I understand that part of it.
Q. Evolution of living creatures, higher forms from lower forms, standing alone, defines a secular Humanist.
A. No, It is one of the tenets of secular Humanism.
Q. So, it happens to be something that secular Humanists believe?
A. And is an essential tenet of what they believe. That’s right.
Q. It happens to be something they believe?
A. And creation happens to believe that something that Christians believe.
Q. Are you telling me there are no Christians who believe in evolution?
A. No. I’m saying that there are — that most orthodox Christians do not believe in total evolution.
Q. So there are some orthodox Christians, who do?
A. Who believe in some varieties of evolution.
Q. So there are some orthodox Christians who believe in evolution of higher forms from lower forms?
A. That’s correct. They are called theistic evolutionists.
Q. So there is evolution consistent with Christianity?
A. With the belief of some orthodox Christians. That is some orthodox Christians think it is consistent with their beliefs.
Q. That’s like —
A. Now whether it is consistent or not, we could debate. I’d be glad to talk about that, but —
Q. I’m sure you would —
A. They surely believe that. H. H. Strong, for example. James Orr, for example. Believe that — they were orthodox Christians and they believed in theistic evolution.
Q. You think that’s wrong though?
A. I think that’s wrong.
Q. So you think there are only two things then, special creation with secular Humanism?
A. No. I think there are five views on creation, as I outlined in the notes that you have there. But I happen to believe that four of them are wrong, and one is right.
Q. But. The four that are wrong all involve evolution?
A. The four that are wrong. All involve macroevolution.
Q. All involve evolution of higher kinds from lower kinds?
A. That’s right.
Q. And the one that you think is right, does not?
A. I think that two or five — two could possibly be right but — of those — and both of those do not involve any macroevolution.
Q. And so the two that — so that the two that could possibly be right don’t involve any macroevolution?
A. That’s right.
Q. And the three that are wrong involve evolution?
A. That’s right.
Q. And the two that are right involve special creation?
A. That’s right.
Q. And the three that are wrong don’t?
A. That’s right.
Q. So it comes down to whether or not God created things.
A. It comes down to whether or not there is any scientific evidence for the higher forms evolving out of the lower forms.
Q. Doctor, we have just been talking for about thirty minutes. And we haven’t — I haven’t talked to you about the science of this. You are not a scientist and I’m not a scientist, is that right?
A. Well, we have been talking about scientific aspects of this, and neither of us are scientists.
Q. I haven’t talked about science.
A. Oh, yes we have.
Q. No. I haven’t used the word, science, once. I’ve tried to talk about your definition of — macroevolution —
A. I think that the record will show that you used the word, science, several times.
Q. Well. Let’s go back again now, since I’m a little confused again. You said that you would testify that macroevolution is the essential tenet of secular Humanism. Secular Humanism, in your view — secular Humanism in your view is a religious movement, isn’t it?
A. I think that’s correct. There are many secular Humanists who even claim to be religious.
Q. Dr. Geisler, you are going to be tendered by the State as a — an expert on religion. What is religion? I’m asking you for your opinion about whether secular Humanism, is a religion.
Q. And as an expert, you are going to say that macroevolution is the central tenet of secular Humanism?
A. No. I’m going to say the a-central tenet.
Q. It is the a-central tenet of secular Humanism?
A. That’s correct.
Q. Now, what other central tenets of secular Humanism, are there?
A. All of those listed in the Humanist Manifestos, which have already — we’ve already entered into the record. Or have we entered that into the record, yet? Humanist Manifesto.
Q. I’ve think we have marked that. So, you’re telling me that what’s ever there is —
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Siano, just please don’t argue with the Witness quite so much.
MR. SIANO: Well, Mr. Campbell. I object to your characterization. But, if you feel I am objecting with you, Dr. Geisler, you feel free to tell me, and I’ll stop doing what I’m doing, okay?
BY MR. SIANO:
Q. All right. Just so Mr. Campbell’s confused. We can continue with —
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Siano. Listen, we don’t have to get like this. All you have to do is ask your questions without raising your voice, and merely permit Dr. Geisler to answer them.
MR. SIANO: And I continue to object to your characterizations you have —
MR. CAMPBELL: Well, I’m objecting to your arguing with the Witness.
MR. SIANO: Good. And your objection is noted.
BY MR. SIANO:
Q. Now, whatever is in the Humanist Manifesto is coterminous with your understanding of what’s secular Humanism.
A. Not whatever, because even in the Humanist Manifesto they state that not every single thing there is held by every single secular Humanist. But, that if you take the common denominators of Manifestos I & II. And even Secular Humanists’ declaration that we gave you. If you take the common denominators of all of those, and narrow down to four or five basic fundamentals of Humanism. That evolution will always be one of those.
Q. What are the other three or four?
A. Well. I used that number just off the cuff. A naturalistic approach to the world. A non-theistic approach. That’s not the same as atheistic. Just non-theistic. Either there is no God or there is no need to invoke God into the picture. There are two. Three. Evolutionary origin of man and life. Four. Centro-Humanistic values such as freedom, tolerance, so forth. There are four that I find common and there may be more, but there are four central ones.
Q. Now. You defined then macroevolution as one of these central tenets.
A. Yeah. That’s right.
Q. I also get for the record. That definition is one.
A. The same as we said before, on the record. Macroevolution is the belief that all living species evolve from lower forms of animal life, and that that in turn arose out of nonliving matter. Without divine intervention.
Q. And then I asked you if it’s the evolution part of it or the without divine intervention part of it —
A. And I said both.
Q. — and you said both. And then I said to leave out the divine intervention part of it and you said that continues to define secular humanism.
A. And so does the other one.
Q. So does the other one?
Q. But standing alone, the evolution part of it, higher kinds, a layman’s word by our own acknowledgment here —
Q. — from lower kinds, our own nonscientific word also.
Q. That one standing alone would be sufficient?
A. That’s right.
Q. And then we stated that there were some orthodox Christians who think they believe in it.
A. There are some orthodox Christians who think that they believe macroevolution as we defined it with the exception that they believe in divine intervention at the very beginning and at the end of the process. But the whole middle that once you have the first form or forms, then they all evolve into the other ones and you don’t need God to divinely intervene until perhaps maybe to create the soul of man at the very end.
Q. That’s Theistic evolution?
A. That’s Theistic evolution.
Q. Do you think that’s right or wrong?
A. I think that’s wrong.
Q. All right. And your basis for that is what?
A. As I indicated in the notes that we already entered into the record, I think that it’s Biblically false, scientifically improbable and philosophically implausible.
Q. So what we’re left with is special creation being right.
A. There are five views. I think three of them are definitely wrong and one of the other two is correct.
Q. That means four are right and one’s wrong.
A. well, ultimately that’s right since they are mutually exclusive, one of the two Creationist views is right and one is wrong.
Q. And you think that Theistic evolution is wrong?
A. Is wrong.
Q. And you think Special creation, which you have here listed on Exhibit 9 I believe that’s supposed to be Fiat creation.
A. Fiat creation, yeah.
Q. Here I think it’s creation.
A. Creation is the word.
Q. And whether we pronounce it “Fe-aut” or “Fi-aut” (sic.) it’s still creation.
A. Right. Or progressive creation. One of those two I believe is true and the other three I believe are false.
Q. Which one of four and five do you think is right?
A. I believe in Progressive creation. That’s why I rejected article section 4A.6.
Q. On Exhibit 9, Sub B, is there an explanation of — what is that an explanation of?
A. Let’s see. What is Exhibit 9 and I will tell you what that is. I don’t have a number on it.
Q. It is the Anthropology document of several pages.
A. 9 what?
Q. Exhibit 9, Roman numeral I, capital letter B.
A. Biblical account of creation. That’s the account in Genesis. This is a theology course where we’re taking what does the Bible say about it and then what does science say and how do we harmonize.
Q. These statements that are here in this anthropology, would you call this Theistic anthropology?
A. Systematic theology.
Q. The top of the page says “Anthropology.”
A. Uh-huh. That’s the — that’s one of the subdivisions of systematic theology. Systematic theology is divided into the study of God, that’s called theology proper; study of man, which is called anthropology and so forth.
Q. So in the anthropology part of this course you have various Biblical — various references to the Biblical account of creation?
Q. And that goes on for three —
Q. — four, five. About five and a half pages?
A. That’s right.
Q. And all of the references there in this anthropology course are to the Bible in that section.
A. That’s correct.
Q. And there are no — in that section there are no scientific statements whatsoever?
A. That’s correct. This is a theology course.
Q. And then we have Subdivision C, Reasons for rejecting evolution.
Q. And you have Biblical reasons.
Q. Then you have philosophical and scientific reasons there.
A. Right. Let’s just remember that this is about, oh, I would say one day’s lecture of a total course. So it’s just that it overlaps there so we treat it. Then I had them read a book on evolution for outside of class reading.
Q. What book do you have them read?
A. I have them read Wilder Smith’s book on your bibliography Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny. And then I also allude to and encourage them to purchase Wysong’s book, also in the Bibliography there. Creation Evolution Controversy’ so they get a balanced picture of both sides.
Then we explain all five views. In the first page we go through all of those views.
Q. Now, does anything in Exhibit 9 or Exhibit 11 form the basis for the opinion that you just stated to me about secular humanism as it relates to Act 590?
A. Only what is on page 7 under point 2, philosophical and scientific reasons.
Q. You don’t have any citations under any of those do you Doctor?
A. No. This is just a course outline and I lecture from it. Then some of that is in the books they’re reading, the two texts. So this is just to kind of organize it for them.
Q. So if you’re going to testify to this at trial, this will be the basis for what you’re saying?
A. Those seven arguments there are the scientific philosophical basis that I would have; yeah.
Q. All right. Why don’t you tell me what the citations for 2.a. “Nothing cannot produce something.”
A. I use the most-ardent skeptics that ever lived, David Hume for example.
Q. All right. Anything in Mr. Hume’s work?
A. Yes. He just generally, but falsely, thought to believe that that principle is false. And somebody wrote Hume and asked Mr. Hume if he believe in the principle of causality (sic.) because he appeared to deny it. And he wrote back a letter to John Stewart and said he never ever denied the principle of causality or that things could arise without a cause.
So I feel if you can use somebody on the other side of the fence — now David Hume was hardly a born again Bible plumping Christian. He’s known as the most famous skeptic in modern times. And yet he never denied that principle. It’s a fundamental principle.
Q. Did he embrace the principle?
Q. In that letter you just described?
Q. All right. Now 2.b., what authority are you going to cite for that?
A. 2.b., 2.c., and 2.d. really all go together. Michael Polanyi, the one we cited earlier. The reason he gives that lower forms don’t produce higher forms, alphabets don’t produce dictionaries, dictionaries don’t produce Shakespearian sonnets.
Then gaps in the fossil record, Dunbar would be the authority. Second Law of Thermodynamics, just, you know, any scientific source. That’s just widely accepted scientific law. The amount of available energy in the universe is decreasing or things are tending toward disorder.
Q. Is that the Second Law of Thermodynamics?
A. That’s right.
Q. That’s your understanding of the Second Law —
A. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is stated many ways. But two of the ways of putting it is the amount of available energy decreasing or things are tending toward disorder. This is a basic scientific premise, and to the degree that it is, I will argue that creation is a more reasonable conclusion than evolution.
Q. Any other basis other than these, Doctor?
A. Not that wouldn’t be a subdivision of them.
Q. Nothing worth writing down?
A. No, otherwise I would have included them in my notes.
Q. All right. Doctor, how would you go about proving or annulling the existence of God without the Bible?
A. I’ve gone into this in detail in two chapters. One in “Philosophy of Religion” and one in “Christian Apologetics” two books noted earlier. In brief, if you begin with some accepted fact of reality such as something exists, there is a world. Something that’s accepted by all scientists. For example, they wouldn’t be doing scientific research on something that wasn’t there. So you begin with the existence of a world, of a changing world which, of course, evolutionary scientists accept the changes occurring. And you argue that every event has a cause, principle of causality even accepted by Hume. Every event has a cause and the world is the sum total of all events, then the sum total of all events must have a cause.
Another way to put it is something exists, nothing cannot produce something, therefore something must necessarily and eternally exist. If nothing ever existed, nothing ever would exist since nothing can’t give rise to something. Then only something must give rise to something. Therefore, there must be the eternal necessary being who was the cause for the world that exists.
Or thirdly, either the universe has a beginning or it doesn’t have a beginning. If it has a beginning, it must have been created because nothing can’t produce something. Therefore there must be a creator beyond the universe.
Second Law of Thermodynamics shows that the universe had a beginning because it’s running down. Whatever is running down can’t be eternal, therefore there must be a beginner of the universe. That’s the three short summaries of the —
Q. What’s the basis for you can’t have nothing create something?
A. Take, as the song put it in the “Sound of Music,” nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could. The basis for that is it takes something to make something.
Q. What’s the basis for your statement?
A. The basis for my statement is that that is a — it is contradictory to affirm that nothing can produce something because “can produce” implies that you have something. So that you’re saying that nothing can produce, and can produce implies something so you’re saying nothing and something simultaneously, which is contradictory.
Q. So the limits of your logic and reasoning indicate to you that that condition exists.
A. Well, I would say that the principles of reasoning are common to all men, philosophers use them. We’re just using the valid principles of human reasoning as known by all rational men to draw the conclusions.
Q. So that’s an absolutist rule you just stated?
A. All philosophy is predicated on the truth of the principle of noncontradiction; and that nobody can even think or deny the principle of noncontradiction without using the principle of noncontradiction. Therefore, anything contradictory is false, it is contradictory to affirm nothing can produce something. Therefore, it’s false to affirm nothing can produce something.
Q. That’s just a logical argument?
A. I hope so. That’s what we’re trying to do is give logical arguments.
Q. What other topics are you going to acclaim about if you appear at trial, Doctor, other than what we’ve talked about today?
A. We’ve already covered this question before and I’ve already answered it. I have nothing new to add.
Q. So you’re going to testify — in section 4.a of Exhibit 4, subdivision 1, “Sudden creation of the universe, energy, and life from nothing.” That’s creation ex-nihilo (sic.) isn’t it?
A. That’s correct.
Q. Now that would seem to run afoul of that little lesson in logic you just gave.
A. That’s incorrect.
Q. Why is that?
A. Because the lesson in logic I just gave said nothing cannot produce something. This is saying that someone produced something from nothing. That’s an entirely different thing. This is saying God; with nothing in his hands, produced something. So that’s someone producing something whereas the secular humanist would have to believe that nothing produced something.
Q. So you’re suggesting to me when you read subdivision 2 here, you say that God created the universe, energy and life based on your position as a philosopher and theologian.
A. That’s correct. Sudden creation, the word creation is here in point 2 right under it.
Q. And point number 1, is that reflected in Genesis?
A. I think that the book of Genesis also teaches sudden creation.
Q. So the answer to my question is yes, then?
A. No. The answer to your question is that a similar statement is also taught in the book of Genesis, but not that the book of Genesis is teaching this statement.
Q. Subdivision 4.a. (2) “The insufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of all living kinds from a single organism.” Now we’ve already agreed “kinds” isn’t a scientific word. Isn’t that right?
A. Well, you and I have for the sake of our discussion. But I think the-word “kind” can be endowed with scientific meaning. Even though it is not commonly accepted scientific term and doesn’t appear in under , phylogenetic (sic.) tree, I think it is a meaningful scientific term and can be given a definable meaning.
Q. That’s your opinion?
A. That’s my opinion.
Q. Now does subdivision 2 indicate to you the existence of a God?
A. I think the whole creationist science model implies the existence of God. I think that’s what it’s all about. I would find it absurd to talk about creationism with no God. After all, creation implies a creator.
Q. Doctor, earlier you indicated to me you took issue with two of the elements of 4.a. If you would just give me the numbers of those.
A. 5 and 6.
Q. What is it about 5 that you disagree with?
A. They’re really both linked together and there are two theories that my opinion, which is open to change. I mean if you met me a year from now, I may have changed my opinion to agree with 5 and 6 if the evidence leans that direction. But right now, the evidence as I know; it, I tend to disagree with 5 and 6 on two grounds. One is I think the evidence supports an old Earth. I think the evidence supports that the Earth is at least ten billion years old. Both of those seem to imply a young Earth, thousands of years old.
The second thing I disagree with is catastrophism, as understood by geologists, is a total geological system. It’s not just that some catastrophes occur here and there, which even uniformitarians (sic.), who are the opposite of catastrophists, admit. But that you can explain the whole of the geological column by a one year catastrophe called the Flood in the Days of Noah. And I tend to reject that theory.
Q. You don’t reject the occurrence of a worldwide flood?
A. No. I just reflect that catastrophism is the explanation for it
Q. For the flood?
Q. Do you have an explanation for what I believe the Bible describes as “Noah’s flood.”
Q. Can we refer to it as Noah’s flood?
A. Yeah. Sure.
Q. Do you have an explanation for Noah’s flood?
A. I don’t have any scientific proof of how it occurred. My own opinion is that it probably is to be a reinterpreted glacial theory. That is that the last glacier that scientists date ten or fifteen thousand years B.C. is probably the scientific equivalent of Noah’s flood.
Q. Can you refer me to any scientific treatise or book that relates that?
A. There are scientists who hold that and who teach it. There are also the book — a book that teaches it. It’s been a long time since I read these flood books. I can’t remember a specific name of a book, but I do remember a teacher who held that at the college I attended years ago. Let’s see. What was his name? A teacher of science who taught at Wheaton College. One was Boardman. He held the other view. The other one’s name eludes me now who held that view. Also I believe a Dr. Lerd Harris who is a scientist and theologian who taught at Covenant Seminary. I think he held a form of that view. There are about — last time I counted there were about, oh, one, two, three, four different explanations. Scientific explanations. The flood, Velikovosky’s (sic.) World in Collision. A guy by the name of Patton wrote a book on the flood. And then there is this glacier theory and then there is Morris and Whitcomb who wrote the book “The Genesis Flood.”
They may be right. They have had some interesting, fascinating scientific arguments that need to be heard. So, I wouldn’t object to — at all to their being heard.
Q. What — I would like you to take a look at 4(b). Is 4(b), Sub.(1) consistent with Biblical inerrancy?
Q. Is 4(b), Sub.(2) consistent with Biblical inerrancy?
A. I do not believe so.
Q. Is 4(b), Sub.(3) consistent with Biblical inerrancy?
A. I do not believe so.
Q. Is 4(b), Sub.(4) consistent with Biblical inerrancy?
A. I do not think so.
Q. Is 4(b), Sub-(5) consistent with Biblical inerrancy?
A. Yes, it is.
Q. So therefore, what you are saying is: The earth’s geology and its evolutionary sequence was not impacted by catastrophism?
A. I am saying that that is not inconsistent; that that could possibly be true and you could still hold a Biblical inerrancy.
A. Yeah, you could behold a Biblical inerrancy and believe that — and be a uniformitarian in your geological views. You just have to explain flood in a different way and explain creation in a different way.
Q. What way would you explain the flood?
A. Glacial Theory - local flood.
Q. Does the Bible state that the flood was Glacial Theory?
Q. What does the Bible say?
A. It doesn’t speak to that particular issue. All it says is what it says. There were eight people that went in an ark, and two of each kind of animal, seven of the clean kind, and that the whole world was destroyed. All the animals outside of the ark and all living things outside of the ark were destroyed.
Q. Doesn’t it say something about rain?
A. Well, yeah, it was destroyed by water. The flood of the earth and covered the tops of the mountains.
Q. But does it say it was rain?
A. Yeah. Well, it says it was water: It says it came, from heavens above and from the earth beneath, both.
Q. So it was rain plus something else?
Q. Does the strict factual view of the Bible, in particular the Old Testament, give rise to any particular age of the earth?
A. Not in my opinion.
Q. Not in your opinion?
Q. Is that a view shared by all fundamentalists?
A. No. Many fundamentalists think that there are no gaps in the genealogical record, nor are there any gaps between the days and the days are 144 hours. So once you start with Genesis 1:1 you can add up the genealogical record . Genesis 5 and Genesis 10 and you have an unbroken, non-gap record. And you can add it up and it comes out around 4,000 years B.C. Others believe there are small gaps in the records that maybe comes out to 10,000 BC., but you can’t stretch it indefinitely. And there are others of us that believe that there are possibly large gaps in there and it could be billions of years.
Q. Do you have any basis for your belief that there are I take it that your belief is that there are gaps?
Q. Do you have any basis for that?
A. Yes. I think there are both Biblical and scientific bases for believing there is gaps.
Q. Why don’t you give me the Biblical basis.
A. Matthew Chapter 1 Verse 8 says that Joram begat Uzziahs or Ozziahs, depending on which translation you are following. If you will compare that to First Chronicles Chapter 3 you will notice that there are three generations left out; that is that that very record that is being quoted he is summarizing and leaving out three generations. If you have one demonstrable gap where three generations are left off by extrapolation that could exist in other such genealogical tables.
Q. But you demonstrated that gap to your own mind by looking at one Biblical reference to another Biblical reference.
A. That’s half of my reason for believing that.
Q. Fine. But that’s the only one you found by examination of the Bible or —
A. No, There are others.
Q. Why don’t you tell me about those.
A. Well, Luke 3 mentions Cainan in the genealogical table. It should be recorded in Genesis 5 and 10, but Cainan is not mentioned there. So there is apparently a name left out of the Genesis 5 or 10 record. So, I have scientific reasons. It seems to me there are credible reasons for believing earth is old.
Q. I wanted the Biblical reasons first.
A. Those are the two Biblical reasons.
Q. Are there any others?
A. Well, there are some others — other comparisons, but those are the most important two right there.
Q. would you describe Section 4(a) as being a model for origins?
A. 4(a), a model for origins. I am not sure what you mean. Give me — like a scientific model?
Q. Well, just sort of one story of creation.
A. Well, 4(a) and — I understand 4(a) and 4(b) as being two models for origins. One is a creation model and one is an evolution model. And I understand the word model to be a theory that purports to have scientific evidence and subject to verification and falsification.
Q. Are you aware of any other model for origins which have scientific evidence in support of it which is subject to verification, falsification?
A. Well, there are other models and they have scientific aspects to them, but generally speaking, they are subsumable under these two unless you ask the question, “What kind of god is being supposed,” and then, of course, there are all kinds of answers. As I see this, this has nothing to say about our distinguishing one kind of god from another, say for example a Pantheistic God or a Pantheistic God from a Theistic God. I see this as leaving that question open. So apart from that question about what kind of god, may be the god who created us that this doesn’t speak to, these are the major two models because they are mutually opposites, either it was by divine intervention or it was not by divine intervention.
Q. So you are suggesting that evolution-science, as it is defined here, forecloses the existence of God?
A. Well, it does not foreclose it entirely, but it implies it. And apart from the theistic evolution model, you know, we’re back to our old question about the two aspects now. It doesn’t foreclose theistic evolution, but it certainly — theistic evolution is a macroevolution model. Once the first life is created between that and the creation of man’s soul it is macroevolution in the middle.
Q. So theistic evolution permits the existence of a god in the context of what you define as macroevolution?
Q. Would theistic evolution, in your view, come within this description in 4(b) in this statute?
Q. It would?
A. Uh-huh, because — let me look at it again. I don’t see anything in there with respect — I don’t see anything in there with respect to the existence of God directly implied or directly negated. I would have to look at it more closely. Let me look at it. The only thing that would be problematic is .4, the emergence of man. It all depends on how you define man. If you define man there just in a biological sense — if you define man in a theological sense as having a soul and that was created then that would be subsequent. Other than that, I don’t see anything in there that rules out a theistic model, which is part of the good feature. See, it includes both. It includes — it doesn’t eliminate the teaching of the theistic evolutionary model either, right along with the other models.
Q. That’s in 4(b)?
Q. 4(a) assumes the existence of a creator, you testified?
A. Yeah, that’s right.
Q. And you define creator as God?
A. As some supreme being who has creative power.
Q. Doctor, you are a theologian and a philosopher. Using that phrase, what do you mean? You mean a deity?
Q. Dr. Geisler, I am going to show you Exhibit Number 14, a book I have marked which is Evolution And The Fossils Say No, Duane T. Gish, Ph.D.
(Thereupon Geisler Exhibit 14 was marked for the record.)
Q. Have you ever seen that book before, sir?
A. Yes, I have seen this.
Q. Is that the same Duane Gish you testified earlier today was an authority in the area of creationism?
A. That’s the same Duane Gish.
Q. All right. I ask you, sir,— directing your attention to page 28, and then the book reads, “It is apparent that acceptance of creation requires an important element of faith.” Do you agree with that statement?
A. If you mean — if he means by that the Biblical account of creation, yes.
Q. So you don’t know from reading that whether he is speaking as a philosopher or a scientist?
A. I haven’t read this entire book. I have seen it but I have not read it and I know — I say know — I know of Dr. Gish. I am not even sure I ever met him. But I am just questioning and I would have to read the context. I see him quoting verses just before and verses after it, so, I assume he is talking of Biblical context; and surely that’s so because not every detail of the account in Genesis has been proven by modern times. So there is an element of faith. If you accept the Biblical account you are accepting some of it on faith.
Q. Now, I would direct your attention, Dr. Geisler, to the second page of the Preface of that book. You will note — it seems to indicate that Mr. Morris — that gentleman that we’ve also had your testimony is an authority in scientific-creationism —
Q. — and seems to have written that. Mr. Morris seems to indicate here and I quote, “This book has gone through several printings of its first edition and has already been eminently successful in its mission of convincing men of the truth of creationism. In this new enlarged edition it is still more convincing and will no doubt have a greater acceptance than ever before. Anyone who reads this book and who still — who then still rejects creationism in favor of evolutionism must at least acknowledge that he believes in evolution in spite of the massive witness of the fossil record against it.” That seems to indicate that Mr. Morris and Mr. Gish are speaking as scientists?
A. Uh-huh, I would say. I would say that Mr. Morris is speaking as a scientist here. And even if — I can think of a sense in which Mr. Gish may be speaking as a scientist, because all scientific theories involve an element of faith. Even those who believe in evolution there is an element of faith, because there are aspects about it that they have not proven, for example, that there are missing links which have never been found. That’s an element of faith. We don’t have any evidence for them. We haven’t found them.
Q. You don’t have any evidence one way or the other?
A. Well, if you don’t have the evidence for it and you believe it, it’s an element you believe by faith.
Q. Believe what?
A. That they were there. If you believe that there are missing links there and you have never found any of those missing links then you believe it by faith.
Q. We are talking again about the paleontologic record?
A. That’s the record we are talking about.
Q. And what do you base your conclusion saying that there are no what you describe as missing links in the paleontological record?
A. I base that conclusion on the fact that a hypothesis must be verifiable or falsifiable or does not deserve to be called scientific. One of the things that you must do is a hypothesis must propose ways that it can be tested. And for over 100 years now the hypothesis of evolution was proposed a way that it could be tested, namely, finding missing links. It has come up negative — empty-handed.
Q. What I am asking, Dr. Geisler, is the basis for that last statement, i.e., there are no “missing links” as you use the term.
A. That’s the basis for it right there. The basis for it is that after 100 years of searching for confirmation of a hypothesis, which predicted by its very nature as a hypothesis, and predictions are to be testable, that there would be missing links. There have been none, therefore, the hypothesis has been falsified.
Q. What, sir, is the basis for your statement that there have been no “missing links”?
A. Evolutionists themselves admit that the fossil record shows, — and they have not discovered, after 100 years the so-called missing links.
Q. What evolutionists are you referring to in that statement and what statements by them are you —
A. Well, for — just for example, a very recent example, the program Nova (sic.) that was on television last week, in which Dr. Gish participated with evolutionists. And the conclusion of the program, the most recent “scientific” conclusion is that the fossil record has not brought out any missing links, and that there were several evolutionists who appeared on the program, and who admitted that. And they said, “But we’ve gotten a different explanation.” Darwin was apparently wrong, and now we have a different explanation. So in effect, Darwinian evolution, as hypothesized, has been dis-confirmed.
Q. That’s the basis for your statement?
A. That’s one of the bases. The other is, by looking at the evidence, as reflected in books like this, The Fossils in Focus, the book that I did read, that I mentioned before in the bibliography, relates the evidence in there, and anyone is welcome to take a look at it, to look at the evidence.
Q. So your basic —
A. Let me finish that answer. My basis is the study I’ve done in geology, based on evolutionary textbooks, such as Dunbar, the statements made by evolutionists, who believe in evolution that nevertheless admit that there is no evidence in the fossil record for the missing links. And the recent conclusion by evolutionists, as reflected in the Nova program that that is a dead end street, and there probably are none, and we should come up with a different theory.
Q. Dr. Geisler, you testified earlier that you’re an amateur rock hunter.
A. That’s exactly right.
Q. That you went down the Paluxy River and looked at the footprint; and that you’ve read some books, some of which you’ve been able to identify and some of which you can’t. But you’ve also told me you’re not a scientist.
A. That’s right.
Q. And you also told me you can’t remember the names of the statements that you’ve read from evolutionists, other than this gentleman by the name of Dunbar, whose book you’ve cited to me several times.
A. No. That’s wrong.
Q. All right. Why don’t you tell me some of the statements that you just relied on, in the answer you just gave me.
A. I told you where they can be found. They’re in the book, Fossils in Focus, which I have read, and they’re all documented there with the chapter, verse, and book.
Q. All right. So it’s Fossils in Focus and Mr. Dunbar’s book, and the television program?
A. And many other sources too. In all of the books — there are many other books on here. For example, Wilder Smith has sections in there. Wysong had a section in his book that is written on — uh — several other books on this list that I mentioned here, too.
Q. You don’t seem — how about — how about —
A. I haven’t read Duane Gish’s book — uh —
Q. But you accept that he’s an authority?
A. Yes. I accept he’s an authority. I’ve heard him debate; I’ve seen his academic credentials; I have — uh — you know, looked at other material he has presented, and he is not only an accepted authority in creationist circles, but he is a reputable science, (sic.) and has — had a good reputable scientific career before he became active in this movement.
Q. And he says, on page 28, of the book I have put in front of you that, “An acceptance of creation requires an important element of faith.”
Q. So you don’t differ with that statement?
A. I don’t. I —
Q. I would like to direct your attention to page 27 of that book. And on page 27, Mr. Gish says, “In this revelation found in the first two chapters of Genesis of the Bible, the account of creation is recorded in a grand but concise fashion.” Do you agree with that statement?
Q. Does that statement indicate to you, Dr. Geisler, that Mr. Gish is talking about six days’ special creation?
A. Not in and of itself, no.
Q. No. All right. Dr. Geisler, you were describing the theory of the age of the earth, and your concept of Biblical literalism as being consistent with an earth of great age, and that you indicated there might have been spaces in the Bible story?
Q. Are those spaces attributable to the days being different lengths?
A. Uh, my answer to this is given in the notes that we — now — that we entitled number something. Let’s find the number. That we entitled #11, and on the #11, Problems in Anthropology, page 33. I list 12 views of the days of Genesis for my class.
A. Of these 12 views, only one is directly incompatible with the orthodox Christianity. Of the other 11 views, which are therefore, compatible with our view, there are relative merits assessed. This is good; this is bad; this is weak; this is strong. And then I make a conclusion to it, and my conclusion to it is on the last page, and it says — page 36 2a, “Only one view is categorically opposed to evangelical theology, the ‘religious only’ view.” That makes no factual statements here at all. (b) “No single view should be used as a test of evangelicalness.” I don’t think that any of these other 11 views, one should say is the only view an evangelical could hold. 3, “Crucial problem is the age of the earth.” If we could decide how old the earth is, we could narrow down the views considerably. But that’s an open scientific question. The Bible doesn’t speak to it. It’s debatable scientifically, so it must be left open. (D) “Exegetical arguments for the ’24 hour days’ seem stronger, but are not absolute.” For example, the 7th day is not a 24 hour day in Genesis. Because it says God rested on the 7th day, and he’s still resting, so it’s definitely longer than 24 hours. (e) “Granting long time periods, millions or billions of years, does not help evolution.” And Wilder Smith in his book, that’s the book, Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny, points out that the longer time we have, the more random things should be without Divine Intervention. Now, which view is accepted, whichever view is accepted, we should be careful to preserve the historicity of Genesis 1-2, and the historical-grammatical interpretation of Scripture.’ So that’s my conclusion.
Q. Now, I’m going to ask my question again. Do you, as an expert have an opinion as to whether the days were longer, or whether there were ages between the days?
A. Yes. My opinion is that the days were longer than 144 hours, that is six direct 24 hour days. I do not — it is my opinion that the creation of the earth did not occur in 144 hours.
Q. So those six days of creation did occur?
Q. But they were longer than 24 hour days?
A. Or there were gaps between them. Or they were days of revelation, not days of creation. See there are several 24 hour day views. You could hold that there are 24 hour days in which God revealed, say to Adam, or to Moses, what he did. But what he did took millions of years, but he just sat down and explained day by day in a sequence, so that he would have a pattern. So they could be days of revelation not days of creation. Or they could be days of creation but have gaps between them. He created in this 24 hour period, and long ages rolled by, and then he created again, and long ages rolled by. Or they could be longer periods of time. A day is with the Lord a thousand years, a thousand years is a day. Can we be absolutely sure that they must be 24 hour days from a Biblical point of view, my opinion is no.
Q. So, I’m asking you, Dr. Geisler, your opinion, as a philosopher and theologian of what the Bible means when it refers to the story of creation in Genesis. What is your opinion? You have been very kind to me in giving me all of these alternatives. I would like you to tell me what you believe.
A. With respect to days themselves, or the rest of the story.
Q. Let’s start with the days.
A. Okay. With respect to the days, my opinion, lightly held with no tinge of dogmatism, open to falsification tomorrow, if I got some good evidence tomorrow to the contrary, is that the days of Genesis are probably, a literary framework. That they are something like slides to a motion picture. If you had a half hour motion picture of your family picnic, and you wanted to encapsulate six major things you did, you could get six slides: One at the beach, one eating the lunch, one playing the ball game, that would really be a good summary framed in of the whole 30 minute picnic. So I take them to be an ancient literary device, saying something like chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3 of God’s dealings, a literary framework of the great creative events of the past for the purpose of outlying organization, memory, teaching man what God did.
Q. So the days weren’t 24 hours long?
A. That’s my opinion.
Q. Well, you state you are a philosopher and a theologian, and I asked for your expert opinion, and although you said it was lightly held, is it in fact your opinion.
A. It’s my opinion at the present.
Q. And was it your opinion before we started today?
Q. All right. Do you have an opinion, sir, as to whether there are gaps anywhere in the account of origins. Now, you’ve given me a couple of them.
Q. Now, your opinion remains that there are also gaps?
Q. All right. So we now have days which are not 24 hours long, and we have gaps —
A. That’s my opinion. That’s my opinion.
Q. — in the history. Now, this opinion, is it based upon your analysis of the Bible and your philosophy training or is it based upon your view of the scientific record and the work of others?
Q. Both. So you feel those are consistent?
A. Well. Well, after all, science — scientific evidence in the minds of most scientists is for a long earth.
So far, in a way, most scientists agree that scientific, evidence supports billions of years, so if you accept that as a fact, and you accept that there are gaps in the Bible, then some such reconciliation would be feasible.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Siano, just approaching that time, Dr. Geisler needs to board his plane.
MR. SIANO: I’m sure. Dr. Geisler, again, I show you Mr. Gish’s book, Evolution of Fossils, Say No, and I direct your attention now to pages 59 and 60. And I will read you a paragraph there again, and ask you. Some creat — the paragraph reads, “Some creationists accommodate the Uniformitarian concept of historical geology, by assuming that the creation days of Genesis were not literal 24 hour days, but were creative periods of time. It is assumed that God allowed varying periods of time to intervene between successive creations, and that animals and plants were created in sequence required by the geological column. This concept has severe Scriptural problems as well as scientific difficulties.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement, sir?
A. Well, it all depends how much weight you put on severe. I think the word severe is too strong. But in general I agree with it, and I would — the only change I would make is that this concept has Scriptural problems as well as scientific difficulties. I agree with that. Because there are scientific arguments for a young earth too. And severe is too strong a word, because there are Scriptural problems, so that there’s no doubt. For example, one Scripture problem is that in Exodus Chapter 20 it says, “In six days God made the Heaven and the earth. He rested on the seventh. So you work six days, you rest on the seventh.” Now that looks very much like it’s comparing 24 hour days and —
Q. But it seems here, that Mr. Gish is also speaking as a scientist though, doesn’t it?
A. No. I think you’re wrong in your assumptions in all of Your questions about Mr. Gish. I think that you’re wrong, because Mr. Gish is also a Christian. He speaks about Genesis as a Christian. He speaks about scientific creationist as a scientist.
Q. Now I asked you earlier in the deposition, Dr. Geisler, if — who the authorities in scientific-creationism were. You indicated to me Mr. Gish was one of them.
A. That’s right.
Q. I certainly don’t mean to argue with you, but this book talks about evolution and a refutation of evolution by a gentleman that you described as being an authority on scientific-creationism. And he uses the phrase scientific difficulties. And I’m asking you, do you agree with his analysis or not?
A. Well, On that phrase — I said I agreed with that phrase. There are scientific difficulties, because there are a lot of scientific arguments for a young earth.
Q. All right. And the second part of your analysis as given to me before was that in addition to days of greater than 24 hours duration, there were also gaps between the days or in various parts of the origin account. And I would like to read you another paragraph from Dr. Gish’s book, and ask you if you agree or disagree with that. The gap theory — “The gap theory: According to his theory, Genesis 1.1 describes an initial creation spanning geological ages. A great time span then intervened between Genesis 1.1 and Genesis 1.2. The geological column is believed to have formed during this initial period of creation and subsequent time spans. Genesis 1.2, is then translated to read, ‘And the world became without form and void.’ Thus God is said to have destroyed his original creation for some reason, perhaps at the fall of Lucifer or Satan. A second creation in six literal 24 hour days has been described in succeeding verses. It is believed the Gap Theory is accepted by many conservative Christians, and is an attempt to accommodate both the geological column, with its vast time span, and the six 24 hour day creation described in Genesis. This theory has scriptural problems as well as serious scientific difficulties.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement?
A. Well, it has difficulties. Again, the word severe, I think, is too severe. But I — my answer to that is given on Exhibit 11, page 33, under Gap Theory. And I analyze the Gap Theory there, and say, its merit is that it recognizes vast times, fits them between Genesis 1:1 and 2. But its weakness is, it’s a poor exegesis of Genesis 1:2. And in geology the chaos is not there at the beginning. It’s — there is no evidence in the geological column for it, in other words. So I have scientific and Biblical objections to the Gap Theory myself. But the Gap Theory should not be confused with the statement that there are gaps. The Gap Theory is a technical theory that applies only to a gap between the first two verses, not between the days. And that Gap Theory, I think is wrong, geologically and Biblically.
Q. So what you’re saying is Mr. Gish is right here, but you have a different theory?
A. That’s right.
Q. Dr. Geisler, I direct your attention to page 64 of Mr. Gish’s book, and I direct your attention to the quote at the top of the page. “It is this author’s belief that a sound Biblical exegesis requires the acceptance of the catastrophist — recent creation interpretation of earth history.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement?
A. I disagree. I mean, I agree that it’s this author’s belief, but I disagree with it —
Q. You think Mr. Gish is wrong?
A. — with the belief. Yeah. I think he’s wrong.
Q. We haven’t marked that yet, have we?
A. We didn’t mark that the next one?
Q. Would you mark that the next one please?
(Thereupon Geisler Exhibit 15 was marked for the record.)
Q. Dr. Geisler, I show you what has been marked as Geisler Exhibit 15, and I ask you, have you ever seen that book before?
A. Oh, this is the one I was referring to before, that there appears to be two editions of, a shorter version and a longer version. I, — unless the book has grown since I saw it, I’ve read the shorter version; not this version.
Q. Have you seen the public school edition?
A. I’m — I’m not sure. If I saw the cover, if you have one, I might recognize it. But there is a smaller version of this that I did read by Morris, but I don’t think I have seen this more amplified version, unless it just happens to be a fatter edition.
Q. Well, he’s got some other books, but I think that’s that — that’s the book. That doesn’t seem right to you? Where’s your bibliography?
A. It’s not on my bibliography. Those are — I remember I mentioned two books that I’ve read since I compiled that bibliography. But I am sure there is a smaller version of this.
Q. Is this what you’re —
A. Oh, that’s — that’s right. I knew the titles were similar, but — yeah. That’s the one I read. The Scientific Case for Creation, and not — I have not read this one, Scientific-Creationism.
Q. Let me see if I can get a couple questions out of that before we — before you have to disappear.
A. You gave it to me on page 224 and 225, for some reason?
A. Yes, but you haven’t seen the book before. Why don’t — why don’t I ask you —
A. That’s all right. I haven’t seen that one before either I believe.
Q. The book I have in front of you, Dr. Geisler, you haven’t seen that book before have you?
A. I’ve seen it but not read it all.
Q. Not read it. That’s by that gentleman Morris?
Q. You identified to me as being one of the authorities in the area of scientific-creationism?
Q. And I direct your attention to page 225 of that book, and I ask you, if you agree or disagree with the following statement which appears thereon? “In view of all the above considerations, it seems quite impossible to accept a day age theory, regardless of the number of eminent scientists and theologians who have advocated it. The writer of Genesis 1 clearly intended to describe a creation accomplished in six literal days. He could not possibly have expressed such a meaning any more clearly and emphatically than in the words and sentences which are actually used.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement?
A. I disagree. Notice the chapter is entitled Creations According to Scripture, though. He’s not giving a scientific opinion there, he’s giving his Biblical interpretation.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Siano, we’ve got to —
MR. SIANO: All right. I will state for the record that this examination is not over, and that I have indicated off the record, to Mr. Campbell, that I object to the witness leaving, and that I expect him to be reproduced at a mutually convenient time when we can continue.
MR. CAMPBELL: I will state for the record, that when this deposition was set up, we were — we did inform Mr. Cearley, the local counsel for the Plaintiffs in this case, that Dr. Geisler would be available from 10:30 until approximately 4:15. It’s 4:20 now, and you’ve had an adequate amount of time, in our opinion to examine him on his testimony. These last several set of questions have been on science, where Dr. Geisler is being offered as an expert on religion.
MR. SIANO: I’ll state for the record, in response, Mr. Campbell, only so you’ll know the basis upon which I disagree with you. And the first is that as you well know, I spent the first hour determining in fact, that the State in this case has made utterly no attempt in the last 30 days to comply with the expert witness interrogatories, which were served on the State. That took a substantial amount of time. Furthermore, the failure of the state to comply with our expert witness interrogatories has made this into a much more laborious and much more time consuming. And finally, the last few questions in Dr. Gish’s own words, have related to matters of Scripture and science, all of which relate to questions of credibility, and I do not think that my — my inquiry should be limited in the manner you suggest.
MR. CAMPBELL: Finally for purpose, of the record, the first set of interrogatories, I told you we had objected to. Simultaneously we asked for an extension of time to complete those. We gave you all the information, which we had, concerning the testimony of Dr. Geisler, in the trial, which we hoped to have him testify to at that time, and we believe that you have elicited from him the substance of his testimony, and the assumptions that he is going to make and rely upon in his testimony at trial.
MR. SIANO: Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, indicate we’re entitled to the substance and facts of the opinions, to which the expert is expected to testify. Those have in no way been provided, other than the mere few documents, which have been thrust upon me this morning in the beginning of the deposition, or any time prior to what you describe as your application. And I guess this is the kind of thing that’s going to be resolved some other time in some other place.
MR. CAMPBELL: I guess it will.
(Thereupon the above styled deposition was concluded at 4:20 p.m.)
Antievolutionists Say the Darndest Things
Antievolutionists often express outrage over alleged incivility from those who oppose their efforts to evade the establishment clause of the First Amendment. But they have no difficulty in dishing out the abuse themselves. Here is a sample from the Invidious Comparisons thread that documents egregious behavior on the part of the religious antievolution advocates.
Behind this student movement is a more general intellectual movement that will bear fruit in the coming century. It is a bit thin on the ground for now, but so was the Christian faith in the first century. Materialism as a philosophy is superficially powerful but moribund, as we saw when the Soviet Union collapsed without a struggle a decade ago. Methodological naturalism is a branch on the materialist tree that will lose its power to intimidate when the tree is known to be hanging in midair.