- Peter Burns
The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution
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Line Numbered Transcripts Index - P300-333
Submitted by Peter Burns on Tue, 2009-03-17 17:16.
1 A I think that they pretend to be scientific and they
2 are not going to be scientific at all. They know they are
3 not going to be scientific. And I think that they are
4 putting up a facade of being scientific when they know
5 perfectly well that they are pushing a religious belief.
6 Q Do you have any examples of the dishonesty of
7 creation science?
8 A Well, again, it's— Well, I think, for example,
9 they take things out of context like this. I think that's
11 I think, for example, in Morris' book, Scientific
12 Creationism, where they are talking about homologies.
13 They deal with it somewhat dishonestly. It's a general
15 Q Doctor Ruse, do you have an opinion to a reasonable
16 degree of professional certainty about whether creation
17 science is science?
18 A Yes, I do.
19 Q And what is that opinion?
20 A That it is not science.
21 Q What do you think it is?
22 A Well, speaking as a philosopher and speaking, also,
23 as one who teaches philosophy of religion, I would say
24 that it is religion.
25 MR. NOVIK: Your Honor, I have no further questions.
1 THE COURT: We will take a recess until 10:30.
2 (Thereupon, Court was in recess from 10:15 a.m. to 10:38
5 BY MR. WILLIAMS:
6 Q Doctor Ruse, isn't it true the last time you were
7 actually enrolled in a course in biology was at the age of
8 approximately thirteen or fourteen?
9 A Probably more like thirteen or fourteen.
10 Q That's what I said, thirteen or fourteen.
11 A Yes.
12 Q And you have not made any independent examination of
13 the scientific data to determine whether there are
14 scientific evidences which support creation science, have
16 A No.
17 Q You stated that all scientists that you were aware
18 of believed that evolution happened?
19 A Yes.
20 Q Do all scientists that you are aware of believe that
21 life evolved from non-life?
22 A No.
23 Q So to the extent that's part of evolution, all
24 scientists don't agree with that, do they?
25 A Well, to the extent that's evolution. But of
1 A (Continuing) course, as I said in my, earlier on, I
2 don't conclude that in evolution. I say I don't. I don't
3 think that evolutionists do.
4 Q Do not some scientists include that?
5 A Well, creation scientists.
6 Q Do not some scientists say that life emerged from
8 A Well, the word "emerged", of course, is a bit of a
9 funny word.
10 Q Evolved, I'll use that word.
11 A Certainly some scientists would say that. But as I
12 said, that's not necessarily part of the theory of evolu-
14 Q But it is a scientific theory, nonetheless, isn't it?
15 A Well, it's a scientific hypothesis.
16 Q It is science?
17 A Yes.
18 Q And do some scientists say that, or have theories
19 about how the universe was formed?
20 A They do.
21 Q And is that science?
22 A Yes.
23 Q How it was formed initially? The ultimate origin of
24 the universe?
25 A Well, you know, you'd have to tell me what exactly
1 A (Continuing) they are saying at a particular time.
2 I mean, scientists, a lot of them are very religious, and
3 certainly, I'm quite sure that some scientists have made
4 claims that I would certainly judge to be religious and
5 have then gone on to make scientific claims.
6 Q Are you aware of what is commonly referred to as
7 "the big bang theory"?
8 A I've certainly heard of it, but, no, this isn't my
9 area of expertise.
10 Q I understand that. But you consider that to the
11 degree that you are aware of the theory to be a scientific
13 A To the degree that I'm aware of it, yes.
14 Q Does the theory of evolution state exactly where man
15 evolved from?
16 A Not really. The theory of evolution shouldn't be
17 confused with sort of phylogeny, the actual path of evolu-
19 A theory is something to do with the actual causes, the
20 processes, rather than what actually happened right down
21 the line like that.
22 Now, certainly, I would say that evolutionists today
23 believe that man evolved naturally. And I'm sure we all
24 know that there is an awful lot of speculation about how
25 this occurred.
1 A (Continuing) But I wouldn't have said that the
2 actual point at which man evolved was part of the theory,
3 per se. It's something that you are going to try to
4 explain through the mechanisms.
5 Q You mentioned, I believe, was it Kant, is that
7 A K-a-n-t. Immanuel Kant.
8 Q And he spoke of, perhaps, evolution of the world
9 from some sort of clouds?
10 A Right.
11 Q Would you consider that to be a scientific hypothe-
13 A Well, I'd say it's a scientific hypothesis.
14 Certainly at that point it wasn't much more. In the
15 nineteenth century, quite a bit of work was done on the
16 nebular hypothesis, and certain aspects of it seemed to
17 work and others didn't.
18 Q So again, that is science?
19 A Yes. I would want to say so, yes. At least I would
20 want to say that it was something which could be dealt
21 with as science.
22 Q So generally, then, in terms of looking at theories
23 of origin, we are talking about ultimate origins of the
24 universe, the planet earth, and of life; that there are
25 what you consider to be theories or hypotheses of science
1 Q (Continuing) which address these questions. Is
2 that correct?
3 A No. I don't like your words "ultimate origins". I
4 think you are trying to slip that one in there.
5 Talking of origins, yes, I think that they can be
6 scientific theories. If you're going to start talking
7 about ultimate origins in the sense of where did it all
8 begin way back when; start wondering what was before time
9 started, then I don't see that this is necessarily going
10 to be scientific at all.
11 Seems to me you are really getting into metaphysics or
13 Q In other words, when you say ultimate, do you
14 consider that to mean, for example, where matter came
15 from, the inorganic matter from which life later evolved?
16 A I think you certainly could. But you are talking
17 about the nebular hypothesis, for example.
18 Now, Kant, as it were, took the gases. I mean, he said,
19 "Look, we start with these gases, and there seems to be
20 evidence of these. Now, how could these, as it were,
21 develop into a universe like ours?"
22 Now, in that sort of sense of origin, I would say that
23 we could certainly have a scientific theory; we can have
24 a hypothesis. I'm not sure, though, that I'd want to talk
25 about that as ultimate origins.
1 Q I understand that your theory of evolution, as you
2 have articulated in your testimony here today, takes life
3 as a given; that there was life?
4 A Well, it's not my theory.
5 Q Well, the one that you have articulated and we have
7 A Yes. I would say it takes life as a given. I'm
8 certainly not denying it, but there is going to be obvious
9 interests in, well, where did life come from before that.
10 Q And that can be a question of science?
11 A It certainly can, yes. Not that it can be, but
12 certainly is.
13 Q Then how can we, first of all, test those theories?
14 For example, the nebular hypothesis, how the world was
15 formed from clouds.
16 A Well, do you mind if we talk about how we test, say,
17 a theory, a biological theory, because, as I say, my area
18 of expertise is not positive physics.
19 Q But you have said this is a science theory, so I'd
20 like to know how—
21 A Sure. Well, what you're going to do is a number of
22 things. First of all, for example, with nebular hypoth-
23 esis, you might see, for example, whether it's happening
24 elsewhere in the universe, whether something analogous is
25 occurring. That's one way. It's sort of a natural
1 A (Continuing) experiment.
2 Alternatively, what you might try to do is run some
3 controlled experiments of your own. I mean, for example,
4 you might try to set up some sort of model which you think
5 in some respects is very similar, and then sort of run it
6 and see whether this comes out.
7 Today, obviously, you are going to be working with, say,
8 computer simulated models and so on and so forth. I mean,
9 clearly you are not going to go back to the original point
10 in time of our universe and start again and see if it
12 Q Why not?
13 A Well, because we don't have time machines.
14 Q You can't do it?
15 A You can't do it. That doesn't mean to say that it's
16 not scientific or that the scientists can't make any
17 scientific claims about it.
18 And of course, to continue, this is the sort of thing
19 which is occurring today on the origins of life. This is
20 the sort of work scientists are doing, running experi-
21 ments, what they think would be closely analogous, these
22 sorts of things, looking for evidences.
23 Q Closely analogous?
24 A Closely analogous. What they think would be closely
1 Q How it might have happened?
2 A Well, yes. I mean, the point is, look, we were not
3 there to see it happen. I mean, if we had been, I doubt
4 if you and I would be arguing like — well, we're not
5 arguing — talking like we are at the moment.
6 But what the scientist is going to do is clear up some
7 sort of hypothesis. For example, suggestion that maybe
8 the earth originally had certain gases, certain sorts of
9 compounds, certain sorts of electrical discharges and so
10 on and so forth.
11 Now, the hypothesis is that if you start with something
12 like this, then possibly way down the road, life might be
13 naturally produced.
14 And so you are going to start to think about the sorts
15 of stages in which life might be produced. First of all,
16 you are going to start with inorganic molecules, and then
17 put these people together into, say, amino acids or
18 certain more complex models, so on and so forth.
19 And what the scientist is going to do, what scientists,
20 in fact, have done is say, "Okay, here's my hypothesis.
21 Let's try running experiments to see if this works. Let's
22 mix these various compounds together; let's put some
23 electric sparks through; let's see if the sorts of things
24 that I would like to see occur, my hypothesis predicts,
25 do, in fact, attain."
1 A (Continuing) This, of course, is what they've done,
2 and sometimes it hasn't worked. But sometimes it
3 certainly has.
4 Q How do scientists know what gases there were when
5 the world or the earth was formed?
6 A Well, there are various ways in which you can do
7 this. I mean, for example, you can study what there was,
8 you know, what's on other planets, what's on other
10 Q How do we know what was on this planet?
11 A Well, when we look at what the properties of the
12 earth are, these sorts of things, we can calculate what is
13 going to be thrown out from the sun or if something
14 exploded, what sorts of things are on our earth, what
15 sorts of things are on other planets, calculating with
16 gravity what sorts of things would have been lost, say,
17 from Jupiter or Mars but not from our earth, and so on and
18 so forth.
19 Q And from that we'd know what was on this planet?
20 A No. I don't think anybody is talking about 'we know
21 what's on this planet.' In fact, you may well know that
22 there's quite a controversy at the moment among scientists.
23 So again, I do want to emphasize I'm not a philosopher
24 of physics. But I read an article in Science I think
25 about this time last year where there's some controversy
1 A (Continuing) now about which, exactly which
2 processes or which products, in fact, were on earth.
3 But one's inferring back, as one always does, one is
4 working analogically from other planets and so on and so
6 Q So if we don't really know what the elements were,
7 how can we test or falsify that?
8 A Well, I think you are using the word "know" in
9 either `I know it or I don't know it.' It's sort of black
10 or white.
11 Now, I mean, there's a lots of sorts of shades of gray
12 in between. I mean, we've got certain sorts of
13 hypotheses, these sorts of things. Some things we know or
14 we feel more reasonably assured about than others.
15 And certainly if I've given the impression, for example,
16 that, what shall I say, of beliefs about the origination
17 of life here on earth, it's something that a scientist
18 today would want to claim, "Now I know; now there's no
19 doubt," then I'm sorry. I've certainly given a false
20 impression because that's not so.
21 This is the way that science works. You try out
22 hypotheses. You throw them up, you work with them. If
23 they seem to go for a while, then they enter as they were
24 in the community of science for a while.
25 If there seems to be things against them, then you put
1 A (Continuing) them on the back shelf, so on and so
3 Q You've stated that since shortly after Origin of
4 Species was published, evolution had never been
5 questioned, is that correct?
6 A No, I didn't say that. What I said was shortly
7 after the Origin of Species was published, credible
8 scientists, certainly scientists working in the field at
9 all interested in the topic — I'm not talking, now, about
10 creation scientists, obviously — were won over almost
11 completely to an evolutionary position.
12 Now, certainly, there were one or two old men who died
13 believing in sort of God's instantaneous creation. Adam
14 Safley, for example.
15 But my point and the point I certainly want to stand by
16 is that the scientific community was won over incredibly
17 rapidly, certainly, in Britain, which, of course, is what
18 I've written about most, but also, I think, in North
19 America to a great extent.
20 Now, for example, there's one well-known American, Swiss
21 American, Louie Agassiz, at Harvard who never became an
22 evolutionist. I think he died about 1872, 1873.
23 On the other hand, interestingly, his son, Alexander,
24 became quite a fervent evolutionist.
25 Q You stated, though, that in looking at Darwin's
1 Q (Continuing) Origin of the Species that all
2 scientists don't agree on natural selection. Some would
3 argue natural selection. Some would argue random factors
4 such as genetic drift. Is that correct?
5 A Well, no. Again, I didn't quite say that. What I
6 said was that there's quite a bit of debate both at the
7 time of Darwin and today about the causes of evolution.
8 My feeling is, and I think I can go so far as to say
9 that this is a very professional feeling, is that there
10 weren't many evolutionists who denied natural selection
12 I think increasingly they've allowed natural selection
13 an important role. And I think — I say even today — I
14 think today that this would be general consensus that
15 natural selection is extremely important.
16 People from Darwin on have always said that there are
17 other causes, and there is quite a controversy today. But is
18 what is not often known is that there was a great contro-
19 versy at Darwin's time.
20 For example, Darwin's supposedly great supporter, T. H.
21 Huxley, who was well-known for getting up and debating
22 with the Bishop of Oxford, in fact, always had quite
23 severe doubts about the adequacy of selection.
24 Q Also, are not some scientists today arguing some-
25 thing which is commonly termed the "punctuated equilibrium
1 Q (Continuing) theory of evolution"?
2 A They certainly are. In fact, I can see at least two
3 or three of them right here today watching us. I hope
4 they are enjoying themselves.
5 Yes. Because they are punctuated equilibrists — I
6 suppose that's the sort of term — you might want to slap
7 a subpoena on them and find out exactly what they do
9 Because they believe it, I would say that they also
10 believe that selection is important. I mean, what they
11 are saying is selection is not everything.
12 Q And is one of the people who you would identify with
13 that group, in fact, one of the leading authorities on
14 that Stephen J. Gould, one of the plaintiffs' other
16 A Yes. And furthermore, I'd want to say one of the
17 most important and stimulating evolutionist writing today,
18 a man for whom I've got a great deal of admiration.
19 Q You've talked about how the creation scientists
20 quote evolutionists out of context, using one sentence.
21 Yet, if an evolutionist should quote a creation scientist
22 out of context, would that be any less dishonest, in your
24 A I think that I would have to say that it would be no
25 less dishonest if one sort of played fast and loose with
1 A (Continuing) that point there.
2 Q And when you quote from some of the books you
3 mentioned earlier, specifically, Doctor Gish's book, you
4 didn't point out to the Court, did you, that Gish goes on
5 to talk about how neither, under the pure definition as
6 articulated by Karl Popper, neither evolution nor creation
7 science can qualify as a scientific theory?
8 A I thought it was—
9 Q Did you point that out? If you did, I didn't hear
11 A Well, if you didn't hear it, then I expect I
12 probably didn't. But I, you know— Let me add very
13 strongly that I want to dispute the implication that I'm
14 being dishonest at this point.
15 My understanding was it wasn't evolution on trial here;
16 that it was, if you like, creation. That's the first
17 point. And secondly, as you know, I personally don't
18 necessarily accept everything that Popper wants to say.
19 So I've don't think that I've quoted Gish out of context
20 at all. I was asked to give an example of a passage in
21 scientific creationist writings where the scientific
22 creationists quite explicitly appeal to processes outside
23 the natural course of law.
24 Now, I'd be happy to reread it, but I think that's what
25 I did, and I think I did it fairly.
1 Q Doctor Ruse, you and I can agree, can we not, that
2 that book does specifically talk about how in the author's
3 opinion if you used the criteria which you have used this
4 morning of testability, falsifiability and the other
5 criteria, that neither creation science nor evolution
6 science can be classified as a scientific theory?
7 A I think we can agree on that. I think I can go
8 further and say that this is a very common claim by the
9 scientific creationists that neither side is— I mean, I
10 don't think they are altogether consistent at times.
11 I mean, for example, I've got a book by these people,
12 what is it, Kofahl and Segraves, who talk about a
13 scientific alternative to evolution.
14 Sort of on page one, on the cover, I'm told that it is
15 scientific. And then, you know, later on we're told,
16 well, neither is scientific. I mean, you know, to a
17 certain extent, pay your money, take your choice.
18 Q Don't the creation scientists make the claim that
19 creation science is as scientific as evolution science?
20 A Well, you know, it's like—
21 Q Excuse me. Can you answer my question? Do they
22 make that claim?
23 A What? That it's as scientific?
24 Q Yes.
25 A No. They make so many different sort of fuzzy
1 A (Continuing) claims. What they say is that, they
2 quite often say that they are the same status.
3 Now, sometimes they want to say they are both
4 scientific; sometimes they want to say they are both
5 philosophical; sometimes they want to say they are both
6 religious, which is certainly true.
7 And of course, this is one of the things I was talking
8 about with Mr. Novik, that the creation scientists want to
9 put evolutionary theory and creation theory on the same
11 My understanding, that's what the bill is all about.
12 Q You also quoted some works, a book by Parker?
13 A Yes.
14 Q That was by Gary Parker, is that right?
15 A That's right, yes
16 Q It was not Larry Parker?
17 A No. It was Gary Parker, Creation: The Facts of
19 Q You testified on: direct examination that Section
20 4(a) of Act 590 as it, defines creation science is
21 identical to— Act 590 is identical to the creation
22 science literature, the definition used. Is that correct?
23 A Yes. In the sense that this is one paragraph, and
24 creation science literature is, you know, there's an awful
25 lot of it. Pretty Victorian in its length.
1 Q The creation science literature that you have read,
2 some of it does rely upon religious writings, does it not?
3 A It does.
4 Q And Act 590 specifically prohibits the use of any
5 religious writing, does it not?
6 A Yes. But if you will remember, I was very careful
7 to state and, furthermore, to keep the sorts of references
8 I was dealing with to public school editions as much as I
10 For example, Scientific Creationism, the book that I
11 referred to, that comes in a Christian edition as well.
12 And I deliberately didn't use that one. I wanted to use a
13 nonreligious version.
14 Q Within Act 590, is creation science ever identified
15 or called a theory?
16 A Well, I don't see the word "theory" there, just as I
17 said earlier. I see the whole passages as being written
18 very carefully to avoid the use of the word theory.
19 But as I went on to say, in my professional opinion, I
20 don't think that one can read this without understanding
22 And if you remember, I drew this particularly on the
23 analysis of the first two sentences. In other words,
24 4(a), creation science means the scientific evidences for
25 creation, et cetera. Evolution science means the
1 A (Continuing) scientific evidences for evolution.
2 And my point is, was, that it doesn't make any sense to
3 talk about scientific evidences in isolation. I mean,
4 scientific evidences mean, well, what? Scientific
5 hypothesis, scientific theory.
6 Q How about data, the facts?
7 A What about the facts?
8 Q Cannot scientific evidences mean the scientific data?
9 A Not just a naked fact on its own, that's not
10 scientific. I mean, it could just as well be religious or
11 metaphysical or anything mathematical.
12 You see, the thing is, science is a body of knowledge
13 which you try to bind together to lead to scientific
14 understanding. Facts disembodied on their own are not
15 part of science. It's only inasmuch as your bringing
16 together within a sort of framework that you start to get
18 And that's precisely why I want to say that creation
19 science means scientific evidences for creation is
20 meaningless unless you are talking about a theory of
22 Q What is a model?
23 A In my opinion, a model is — it's one of those words
24 which is very commonly used I think of a model as being
25 a sort of subpart of a theory.
1 A (Continuing) For example, another of the witnesses,
2 Doctor Ayala, has written a book called Evolving: The
3 Theory and Processes of Evolution. And presumably, I
4 assume what he's doing is, in the overall context, talking
5 about a theory, and then later on he talks about models
6 where what he's trying to do is set up specific little
7 sort of explanations to deal with specific sorts of
9 Q So a model is more narrow than a theory? A theory
10 is broader? Is that generally—
11 A Well, let me put it this way. That's the way which
12 I would use it as a philosopher of science. And I think
13 most philosophers of science would know what I'm talking
15 Q Can you have scientific evidences for a model?
16 A Well, a scientific model is certainly something that
17 you use in the context of scientific evidences, but
19 Q You talked about the use of the word "kind". You
20 said that's not an exact term?
21 A Yes.
22 Q In taxonomy are the terms species in general and
23 other classifications, are they fixed? Has there been no
24 change in them?
25 A What do you mean by "fixed, has there been no
1 A (Continuing) change in them"?
2 Q Well, has the definition of the species or the
3 particular classification of animals, for examples, into
4 species, has that been unchanging through time?
5 A Well, you know, that's a very interesting question
6 from a historical point of view. And certainly, I think
7 one can see differences in emphasis.
8 But I think it's very interesting, for example, that you
9 talk about species that, in fact, you see a concept of
10 species being used, say, in the early nineteenth century,
11 before Darwin, which is very, very similar in many
12 respects to the concept of species today.
13 That's to say, a species is a group of organisms like
14 human beings which breed between themselves, don't breed
15 with others. And certainly this was a notion of species
16 which certainly goes back, as I know it, a couple of
17 hundred years.
18 Certainly, again, genera and higher orders, perhaps
19 higher orders are, as we all know, brought up a lot more
20 arbitrary in the sense that it's a lot more place for the
21 taxonomist to make his or her own decisions.
22 Q Species, you said, though, are groups which
23 interbreed and do not breed with other groups?
24 A Basically, yes.
1 Q For example, is a dog a different species than a
3 A I guess so.
4 Q Do they interbreed, to your knowledge?
5 A Sometimes you get this. But of course, the point
6 is, you see, you can't turn this one against me because
7 I'm an evolutionist and I expect to find that. This is
8 the whole point about the evolutionary theory.
9 Q But the definition for species that you gave me
10 breaks down in that one example, does it not?
11 A Oh, listen, that's the whole— Any definition you
12 give in biology, you are going to find conflicts. For
13 example, what I'm doing is I'm giving you the point about
14 biological concepts, is that they are not like triangles.
15 If I give you a definition of triangle, then if it
16 hasn't got three sides, it ain't a triangle. On the other
17 hand, when you are dealing with concepts in the biological
18 world, then you are dealing with things which are a great
19 deal fuzzier. Now, that doesn't mean to say we don't have
20 paradigm cases.
21 I mean, for example, humans don't breed with cabbages;
22 we don't breed with horses; we are a good, you know,
23 classification of the species.
24 Now, of course, as an evolutionist, my belief is that
1 A (Continuing) one species will change into another
2 or can split into two different ones.
3 Of course, I expect to find species all the way from
4 being one species like human beings to being sort of two
5 separate species like, you know, say, some sort of species
6 of fruit fly and human beings.
7 So the fact that we find, you know, borderline cases, it
8 doesn't worry me at all.
9 Q You testified concerning kinds, that that concept
10 did not have any fixed definition. But your definition of
11 species does not apply to the just one example I
12 mentioned. Is that not correct, Doctor Ruse?
13 A Well, I think you are twisting my words, Mr.
15 Q I'm just merely asking you, does your definition of
16 species, that they interbreed within themselves and do not
17 breed with others, does that fit the example of the
18 species of a dog and wolf?
19 A No, it doesn't. But—
20 Q Thank you.
21 You had discussed the example of these peppered moths as
22 an example of evolution. Did those peppered moths—
23 There were peppered moths and what was the other, a
24 darker colored moth, is that correct?
25 A Yes. There's light and dark.
1 Q Now, did the peppered moths become dark colored?
2 Did they change into dark colored moths?
3 A No. You mean, did the individual moth change?
4 Q Or the species changed?
5 A The species, yes. Certain races or groups, popula-
6 tions within the species did indeed, yes.
7 Q Are you aware that in discussing that example in the
8 introduction to the Origin of Species, L. Harrison
9 Matthews stated that these experiments demonstrate natural
10 selection in action, but they do not show evolution in
12 A Am I aware of that passage?
13 Q Yes.
14 A I have glanced through it. I am quite sure you are
15 reading correctly, and I know those are the sorts of
16 sentiments which he expresses in that introduction.
17 Q Is L. Harrison Matthews, to your knowledge, a
18 creation scientist?
19 A You certainly know perfectly well that I know that
20 he isn't.
21 Q Was any new species created — excuse me — evolved
22 in that peppered moth example?
23 A To the best of my knowledge, no.
24 Q So you had two species when you started and you had
25 two species—
1 A No. You've got two forms within the same species.
2 Q All right. Two forms.
3 And there were still two forms, correct?
4 A Yes.
5 Q Now, you mentioned that, in discussing the defini-
6 tion of creation science in the Act, that they — "they"
7 being the creation scientists — talk about a relatively
8 recent inception of the earth, and you take that to mean
9 six to ten thousand years?
10 A Well, as I say, I interpret that against the
11 scientific creationist literature. As I said, if you just
12 look at the sentence right there, it could be anything
13 from, well, let's say, a hundred million years to, as I
14 said, a week last Friday.
15 Q So it could be several million years old and still
16 be relatively recent on the scale of the several billion
17 year age which some scientists think the earth is?
18 A Yes, I think it could be.
19 Q You also talked about the two model approach, which
20 you say it polarizes. It's either/or?
21 A Right.
22 Q And just looking at the origin of life and of man
23 and the universe, can you think of any other options
24 besides there was some sort of creator at some point and
25 there was not?
1 A Well, you know, I find that very difficult to answer
2 because that's a sort of religious question or at least a
3 metaphysical question.
4 And I think one would have to specify a little more
5 definitely what you meant by creator in that sort of
7 I mean, now, if you say to me, "Well, by creator, I mean
8 Yahweh of the Old Testament, then, yes, I would say that,
9 for example, I could think of some sort of life force or
10 world force, like, for example, Plato suggests in The
12 So I can think of lots of different notions of creator.
13 And same of the others were talking about some of these
14 yesterday, so I certainly think there are lots of options
15 that are open.
16 Q But if we talk about creator in the broad context of
17 that word, can you think of any other options besides
18 having a creator and not having a creator?
19 A I don't really think I can. But as I say, not
20 having a creator, does that mean that the earth is eternal
21 or that it just was caused by nothing?
22 Q I'm not asking you what significance you would
23 attach to it. I'm asking if you can think of any other
25 A Well, I'll tell you something, I'm not altogether
1 A (Continuing) sure that I know what the disjunction
2 means. So if I say no, I can't, I have to confess it's at
3 least partly predicated on the fact that your question—
4 And I'm not trying to be clever, now. It's just so
5 fuzzy that I'm really not sure what you're talking about.
6 Q If there are two approaches, two models, and if they
7 should be mutually exclusive, would not evidence against
8 one be evidence for the other if they are mutually
10 A If they are, then, of course, I would agree with
11 what you're saying. However, you've got the if in.
12 Q I understand that.
13 A And if wishes came true, then beggars could ride.
14 Q You also talked about the other theories on, as I
15 understand, the creation of life or how life came about,
16 let me put it that way. And you mentioned one that life
17 was generated by some slow processes. And you mentioned a
18 theory or hypothesis espoused by Crick. And then you
19 mentioned one espoused by Hoyle and Wickramasinghe.
20 Do you consider those to be scientific hypotheses?
21 A Well, I'll tell you, I haven't read Crick's book, to
22 be quite honest about it. I just saw a review of it in
23 the New York Review of Books. I have read rather quickly
24 Hoyle and Wick—whatever it is, book.
1 A (Continuing)
2 I thought, and this, was my opinion, that at least parts
3 of it were acceptable as scientific hypotheses. Person-
4 ally, I thought that they ignored an awful lot of evidence,
5 but I thought parts of it.
6 On the other hand, I think that finally there are parts
7 of their book where they certainly seemed to me to slop
8 over into religion.
9 However, I would want to say that at least as far as
10 life coming here on this earth is concerned, I would have
11 thought that this is at least a form that science could be.
12 I mean, it's not well confirmed science, as far as I know.
13 Q Directing your attention to Act 590, again, let's
14 look at 4(a)(2) which mentions the insufficiency of
15 mutation and natural selection in bringing about
16 development of all living kinds from a single organism.
17 First of all, do you know whether there is any
18 scientific evidence to support that portion of the
20 A Well, I don't like the term "single organism"
21 there. I don't know that there is any scientific evidence
22 to suggest that it's a single organism or many organisms.
23 And I'm not sure that anybody else does.
24 Q All right. Let's look at the first part?
25 A The insufficiency of mutation and natural selection
in bringing about development of all living kinds. Yes.
1 A (Continuing) I would have thought that, for
2 example, there is good evidence to suggest that certain
3 random processes are also extremely important.
4 Q And could there be natural laws which would be
5 utilized in looking at that aspect of the definition?
6 A I would have thought so, yes. Of course, it doesn't
7 necessarily— I mean, part of the excitement is we don't
8 know all of the laws. And if we knew all of the laws,
9 there would be no jobs for evolutionists.
10 The excitement of being a scientist is that a lot of the
11 laws we don't know at the moment, but we are working
12 towards them.
13 Q And science is a changing—
14 A It's an ongoing process, yes.
15 Q And when we look back now at some of the things
16 which were considered to be scientific years ago, in light
17 of our present-day knowledge, they don't seem very
18 scientific, do they?
19 A You know, again, that's an interesting question.
20 They certainly wouldn't be very scientific if we held
21 them, and certainly there are some things that we would
22 count out.
23 We'd say today, for example, "Well, that's not
24 scientific; that's obviously religious. On the other
1 A (Continuing) hand, there are some things I think
2 we'd want to say, well, no. Obviously we wouldn't hold
3 them as scientific today, but they certainly were validly
4 scientific by our own criteria in the past.
5 I mean, for example, the Ptolemaic system belief that
6 the earth was at the center, and in my opinion, was a
7 perfectly good scientific theory. It made a lot of sense.
8 Q As we, to the extent that we can, look into the
9 future, do you think that people will look back on this
10 day and age and look at what we consider now to be
11 scientific and have the same sort of impression that that
12 is not scientific as they look at it, although it may have
13 been today?
14 A Do you know, that's a very interesting question. I
15 hope I'm around two hundred years from now to answer
16 that. I hope we are both around.
17 But I'm not sure I agree with you there. I think in the
18 last two, three hundred years the notion of science has
19 started to solidify, and that, for example, at the time of
20 Newton, people were getting to the point where they could
21 have a good feel for what science was.
22 Now, certainly, I think you are right to suggest that,
23 say, a couple of hundred years from now people will look
24 back at us and say, "Well, how could they have believed
25 all those sorts of things?" And I, you know, I hope very
1 A (Continuing) much that's the case. It's going to
2 be a pretty boring future for our grandchildren, otherwise.
3 Q If we are not, science will be—
4 A But I don't think they are going to say we are not
6 MR. NOVIK: Your Honor, Mr. Williams on a number of
7 occasions interrupted the witness' answer, and I would
8 appreciate it if he could be instructed not to do that.
9 MR. WILLIAMS: Your Honor, my understanding is he's
10 finished the answer. Also, the witness has interrupted me
11 on a couple of occasions, too.
12 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, your Honor. You know,
13 professors talk too much.
14 MR. WILLIAMS: (Continuing)
15 Q Now, looking back at the definition in 4(a) again,
16 if you look at 4(a)(3), "changes only within fixed limits
17 of originally created kinds of plants and animals," if we
18 start looking at the degree of change, is that not
19 something we can look at by resort to natural laws?
20 A That we can use— That we can look at— Now, I'm
21 not quite sure I'm following you.
22 Q (3) speaks of the degree of change that there is.
23 A We can certainly look, for example, at how much
24 change has occurred since certain times in the past and
1 A (Continuing) using laws, of course.
2 Q Does that require miracles to study that?
3 A No, I certainly don't think it does, because
4 evolutionists do this and they don't use miracles.
5 Q And (4), looking at the ancestry for man and apes.
6 It says "separate" there. But separate or not separate,
7 did that require the implication of miracles to study that?
8 A No. But of course, it does require the willingness
9 to be prepared to take counter-evidence to what you find.
10 And as I pointed out earlier, I don't think creation
11 scientists would be prepared to take counter-evidence.
12 Again, for example, one could talk about Parker's book
13 where he flatly denies or twists every finding by paleo-
14 anthropologists in the last ten years about human ancestry.
15 Q Looking, then, at (5), explanation of the earth's
16 geology, is explanation of the earth's geology something
17 which we could study by resort to natural laws rather than
19 A Yes it is.
20 Q And (6) "a relatively recent inception of the earth
21 and living kinds." There we are talking about the age of
22 the earth and how long life has been on the earth. Can we
23 look at that or resort to natural laws without looking at
25 A We can. However, what I do want to suggest is that
1 A (Continuing) very frequently the creation
2 scientists do not. They argue, for example, that the laws
3 change or speeded up or grew in certain intensities and so
4 on and so forth.
5 So, certainly, I think one can study the age of the
6 earth naturally by using laws and inferring back. I'm
7 quite prepared to accept that.
8 I'm not prepared to accept that creation scientists do
9 do it.
10 Q You said that something which can explain everything
11 is not a scientific theory?
12 A Right.
13 Q If that statement were true about the theory of
14 evolution, it, therefore, would not be a scientific
15 theory, would it?
16 A Well, it's another of your hypotheticals, Mr.
18 Q Well, I'm asking you if it were true?
19 A But I'm just saying, accepting the hypothetical that
20 if it were the case, then your consequent follows.
21 However, once again, we've got, "If it were the case."
22 Now, what I'm saying and what I've said earlier is that
23 it's not the case, so I argue that the consequent doesn't
25 Q You also talked about creation science or about the
1 Q (Continuing) quality or attribute or criteria of
2 science as being falsifiable. And you said that creation
3 scientists, they start with the Bible and if it doesn't
4 fit in there, we don't accept it?
5 A Right.
6 Q As you look in Act 590, does it limit the scientific
7 evidence which can be brought in to support creation
8 science to Biblical references?
9 A Act 590 says nothing at all about the Bible in the
10 sense that Act 590 does not use the term "the Bible"
12 Q What does Act 590 say you can use to support
13 creation science?
14 A Well, the words are "scientific evidences."
15 Q All right. Thank you.
16 The books you have referred to, do you happen to know
17 whether those have been accepted by the Arkansas Depart-
18 ment of Education for use as textbooks in implementing Act
20 A No, I don't.
21 Q Many of them, in fact, based upon your own
22 knowledge, would not stand the scrutiny of this law
23 because they do rely upon religious references, is that
24 not true?
25 A That's the problem, Mr. Williams.
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.
IDC advocate Stephen C. Meyer:
Another interesting aspect of the press conference was a statement by Ken Miller, featured on the evening news, to the effect that ID advocates are trying to present their views to the public "without the approval of science." Afterwards, in private, Steve Meyer kept repeating Miller's pompous declaration with a heavy German accent, sounding for all the world like Heinrich Himmler, Hitler's propaganda chief.Link