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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

Line Numbered Transcripts Index - P334-366


1 Q Excuse me. Could I get an answer to my question

2 first?

3 A Yes. The answer is yes. But of course, if I just

4 finish by saying yes, I've only said half of what I want to say.

6 Q I'm not trying to cut you off

7 A I've just said what you want me to say. Fine.

8 Q And you state finally that creation science is not a

9 science; it is a religion. And you base that in part

10 upon your own experience in teaching the philosophy of

11 religion. Is that correct?

12 A I do, yes.

13 Q Does the science curriculum in secondary schools

14 have an effect one way or the other for good or ill on a

15 student when that student enters a university to study

16 science?

17 A Is this sort of a general question?

18 Q You can take the question as you will. It's a

19 question.

20 A I would have thought so, yes.

21 Do you recall that you told me in your deposition

22 that you said, "I don't know," in answer to that question?

23 A Well, as I said, you don't— I think it's a very

24 general sort of question which is so general, I mean, you

25 could put it at different levels. And in the context of


1 A (Continuing) our discussion earlier, it could have

2 been much more specific, in which case I would have said I

3 don't know.

4 Q Is creation science taught in the public schools of

5 Canada?

6 A My understanding — and again, please understand I

7 do not speak as a professional educator at that level in

8 Canada, but my understanding is that in some schools it is

9 certainly taught and not simply in private schools, but in

10 some of the public schools.

11 I believe, for example, that in the Province of Alberta

12 it is taught.

13 Q Have you ever made any effort to find out how

14 creation science is taught in Canada?

15 A Have I made any effort?

16 Q Yes.

17 A In fact, interestingly, since you took my deposi-

18 tion, I have certainly talked to some of the evolutionists

19 on campus. I confess I haven't found out very much yet,

20 but I intend to.

21 Q Has the teaching of creation science ever been a

22 matter of much great debate in Canada?

23 A It's growing debate. For example, like that of the

24 event of welcoming Doctor Gish onto my campus in February,

25 I think it is.


1 A (Continuing)

2 And certainly, for example, about two months, ago I

3 debated with one of the creationists, in fact, one of the

4 co-authors of Doctor Morris' book on the equivalent of

5 public television.

6 Q But in the past, has it been a matter of much debate

7 or controversy in Canada?

8 A I wouldn't say it's been a matter of great debate,

9 great controversy. I confess, you know, an awful lot of

10 Canadian news tend to be about you folks, and you polarize

11 things much more quickly than we do.

12 That's not a criticism, by the way.

13 Q When you teach your courses in philosophy, do you

14 try to give some sort of balanced treatment to

15 different is theories, different types of philosophy?

16 A I certain try to give a balance treatment to what I

17 teach. But it doesn't follow that I should teach every

18 particular philosophy that every particular philosopher

19 has ever held or anybody else has ever held.

20 Q But you do teach some philosophies which might be

21 conflicting or at least not consistent with each other?

22 A I certainly do, in a historical context. I mean, I

23 teach— Look, I teach creationism in a historical

24 context. I mean, I teach history of science, I talk about

25 creationism as it was up through the 1850's and this sort


1 A (Continuing) of thing.

2 So, I mean, of course, I'm teaching it in a historical

3 context.

4 Q But you try to be fair in teaching these different

5 philosophies, don't you?

6 A I certainly do. For example, I'd like to think that

7 I'm being fair to the creationists, for example, in my

8 book on The Darwinian Revolution.

9 Q Do you have any objection to all of the scientific

10 evidence on theories of origin being taught in the public

11 school science classroom?

12 A Well, you used that term "scientific evidence"

13 again. I'm not prepared to accept scientific evidence

14 without talking about the theory.

15 If you say to me, do I have any objection to all

16 theories which I hold as, what shall I say, which are held

17 by the consensus of scientists being taught, I don't have

18 any objection, with the proviso that, of course, at the

19 high school level, at the university level, undergraduate

20 level, you are certainly not going to try to teach every-

21 thing.

22 And in fact, as I see it, high school level and also at

23 the university level, one is going to be teaching the

24 basic, the fundamentals. Certainly, one is going to talk

25 about some of the controversies, some of the ideas, this


1 A (Continuing) sort of thing.

2 But as far as, for example, teaching the latest thing in

3 punctuated equilibria at the high school level, somebody

4 said, "Oh, well, we are going to spend, say, six weeks on

5 punctuated equilibria."

6 I'd say, "Well now, listen, fellow, maybe you should be

7 spending a bit more time on Mendel's laws."

8 Q What you are saying, then, is because of a limited

9 amount of time, choices do have to be made in curriculum?

10 A Not just because of a limited amount of time, but

11 because of the whole general philosophy of proper

12 education that educators must select.

13 Education isn't sort of an indifferent—

14 THE COURT: Where are you going with that?

15 MR. WILLIAMS: Pardon?

16 THE COURT: What is the point of going into that?

17 MR. WILLIAMS: The point of that is that in teaching

18 all scientific evidence and that curriculum has to be, he

19 will concede that you have to make some choice of

20 curriculum.

21 THE COURT: That seems so obvious to me.

22 MR. WILLIAMS: Well, to some degree. It's not

23 obvious in the plaintiffs' pleadings, your Honor. They

24 want to state that apparently the state has no right to

25 make any choice of curriculum; that, it falls to the


1 MR. WILLIAMS: (Continuing.) individual teacher to teach

2 what they want, when they want, how they want.

3 THE COURT: I don't believe they make that

4 contention, but let's go on to something else.

6 MR. WILLIAMS: (Continuing)

6 Q What is your personal belief in the existence of a

7 God?

8 A I would say that today my position is somewhere

9 between deist — that's to say in believing in some sort

10 of, perhaps, unmoved mover — and agnosticism. In other

11 words, don't really know.

12 I mean, I'm a bit like Charles Darwin in this respect.

13 Some days I get up and say, "You know, I'm sure there must

14 be a cause." And then other days I say, "Well, maybe

15 there isn't after all."

16 Q There must be a cause?

17 A There must be something that— There must have been

18 something originally.

19 Q The term "cause", what do you use that in relation

20 to your concept of a God?

21 A I'm talking about in the sense of some sort of

22 ultimate religious sort of reason. It doesn't necessarily

23 mean cause in the sense of a physical cause. It could

24 well be final cause or something like this.

25 Q Is your conception of a God some sort of world


1 Q (Continuing) force? Is that one way you would

2 describe it?

3 A As I say, I don't say my conception of a God is some

4 sort of world force. My conception is, perhaps, sometimes

5 there is more to life than what we see here and now.

6 Q But you did tell me in your deposition that your

7 conception of God would be that there might be some sort

8 of, quote, world force?

9 A There might be because, as I say, I'm not even an

10 expert on my own beliefs in this respect.

11 Q Do you have a personal belief as to whether a

12 creator, in whatever form, had a hand, figuratively

13 speaking, in creating the universe, the life or man?

14 A Not really. It's all so foggy to me.

15 Q Do you feel a religious person can be a competent

16 scientist, Doctor Ruse?

17 A Oh, certainly.

18 Q As you look at the definition in the Act of creation

19 science, Section 4(a)(1), "Sudden creation of life," et-

20 cetera, is that consistent with your own religious beliefs?

21 A Sudden creation of the universe, energy, and life

22 from nothing. I, you know, to be perfectly honest, to me

23 it's almost a meaningless question. You say, is it

24 consistent. I think that one— This sort of level, I

25 prefer not to talk in terms of consistency.


1 A (Continuing)

2 As I say, the whole thing is simply, a mystery to me.

3 And if I say, well, is this consistent, then already I'm

4 starting to define what my position is more than I'm

5 prepared to do.

6 Q Well, you have earlier equated Section 4(a) to some

7 sort of supernatural intervention by a creator?

8 A Right.

9 Q And is that consistent with your religious beliefs?

10 A That some sort of supernatural thing way back when—

11 I don't think it's inconsistent. I don't think, on the

12 other hand, that that's a very exciting part to me. I

13 mean, quite frankly, what concerns me is not how did it

14 all start, but how is all going to end.

15 Q But did you not tell me in your deposition, Doctor

16 Ruse, that that was— I asked you the question, "Is that

17 consistent with your religious beliefs," and you said,

18 "No." I'm referring to page 52, lines 7 through 9.

19 A Okay. I'm prepared to say no. As I say, it's so,

20 foggy that I'm no, yes. We're really getting to the

21 borderline here where if you insist on an answer, I would

22 have to say, "Well, I'll give you an answer if you want

23 it, but it's, you know, it's not something I feel very

24 confident about."

25 I mean, if you ask me, "Are you wearing glasses," I can


1 A (Continuing) say yes, and I'll stand by it. If you

2 ask me, "Was there a creator," I'll have to say, "Well,

3 possibly." And if you say, "Well, do you really think

4 there is, are you not an atheist," and I'd have to say,

5 "Well, no, I'm not an atheist." That's definite.

6 Do I accept 4(a)(1), could I accept 4(a)(1), well, I

7 guess possibly I could in some respects, but other

8 respects, possibly not.

9 Q Would you look at the definition is 4(b) of

10 evolution science, 4(b)(1), for example. Would that be

11 consistent with your religious beliefs?

12 MR. NOVIK: Excuse me, your Honor. I've allowed the

13 questioning to go an without objection because I thought

14 the relevance would become apparent. To me, it has not.

15 And I object on the grounds that this line is entirely

16 irrelevant to these proceedings.

17 THE COURT: What relevance is it?

18 MR. WILLIAMS: Your Honor, if the plaintiffs want to

19 stipulate that the religious beliefs of the witnesses on

20 these matters are not relevant, we will stipulate to that,

21 and I can go on to other matters.

22 THE COURT: I think the religious beliefs of the

23 witnesses could be relevant on the issue of bias or a

24 question of bias of a witness. I think they are

25 relevant. I just wonder how relevant they are to go into


1 THE COURT: (Continuing) all this kind of exchange of

2 words. It doesn't seem to get us any place.

3 MR. NOVIK: That was precisely my point.

4 THE COURT: It seems to me like you've got about as

5 much out of that as you can. If you want to continue to

6 beat it, that's fine with me.

7 MR. WILLIAMS: Your Honor, I want to make sure that

8 the record is clear that, for example, in this witness'

9 case, that the theory or the part of the Act, the

10 definition section, that he personally thinks is more

11 correct is also consistent with his own religious beliefs.

12 THE COURT: Okay. If you can ever make that clear.

13 MR. WILLIAMS: I think I'd like to try, at least.

14 THE WITNESS: Your Honor, it's my soul which is at

15 stake, so I don't mind keeping going if we can find out

16 what—

17 MR. WILLIAMS: (Continuing)

18 Q Doctor Ruse, looking at Section 4(b) generally,

19 4(b)(4) and 4(b)(6), is it not true that when you talk

20 about man coming from a common ancestor with apes and you

21 talk about an inception of the earth several billion years

22 ago, those are consistent with your own religious beliefs?

23 A Oh, certainly. Yes.

24 Q Do you think that evolution is contrary to the

25 religious beliefs of some students?


1 A Yes. I think that I would want to say that, yes.

2 But then again, so is a lot of science.

3 Q In teaching philosophy courses, do you ever teach

4 theories or philosophies that you don't personally agree

5 with?

6 A In a historical context, certainly.

7 Q And a teacher should not have to teach only those

8 courses which they agree with, isn't that correct?

9 A Now, hang on. Try that one against me again.

10 Q Do you think a teacher should teach only those

11 things he or she agrees with?

12 A Well, you say "should only teach those things that

13 they agree with." I mean, for example, I teach a lot of

14 things that I don't agree with. But of course, as I say,

15 I do this in a historical context.

16 I mean, it seems to me that a historian could certainly

17 teach all about the rise of Hitler without being a Nazi

18 themselves.

19 Now, one can teach and deal with things that you don't

20 agree with, certainly in a historical context.

21 Q Are there scientists that you would consider

22 scientists who feel the theory of evolution cannot be

23 falsified?

24 A Are there scientists that I would consider

25 scientists— Well, now, you say the theory of evolution.


1 A (Continuing) What are you talking about?

2 Q Well, what would you consider the theory of

3 evolution?

4 A Well, I mean, are you talking about Darwinism? Are

5 you talking about punctuated equilibria? Are you talking

6 about—

7 Q Let's talk about Darwinian evolution.

8 A Certainly some people have thought that Darwinian

9 evolution cannot be falsified.

10 Q As a matter of fact, that's an increasing number of

11 scientists, isn't it?

12 A No, I don't think it is. In my opinion, it's a

13 decreasing number of scientists.

14 I'm glad you made that point because, in fact, one of

15 the leading exponents of the book, Unfalsifiability of

16 Darwinism, is Karl Popper. And recently, certainly, he's

17 started to equivocate quite strongly on this and so are a

18 number of his followers, by the way.

19 Q When did you write an article entitled "Darwin's

20 Theory: An Exercise in Science"?

21 A Well, I wrote it, I think, earlier this year. It

22 was published in June.

23 Q in that article, did you not state that, "Although

24 still a minority, an increasing number of scientists, most

25 particularly, a growing number of evolutionists,


1 Q (Continuing) particularly academic philosophers,

2 argue that Darwinian evolutionary theory is no genuine

3 scientific theory at all"?

4 A I think that I'd probably say something along those

5 lines

6 Q So you did state in this article, did you not, that

7 there was an increasing number?

8 A An increasing number. I think I said an increasing

9 number, of philosophers, don't I, or people with philo-

10 sophical pretensions or something along those lines.

11 Q I think the record will speak for itself as to what

12 was said. I think the word "scientists" was used.

13 A You know, I'm not a sociologist of science. I'm not

14 a sociologist of philosophies. You know, you want to take

15 a head count, you could be right, I could be right. Who

16 knows.

17 I certainly know that a number of important scientists,

18 or I'll put it this way, a number of important philos-

19 ophers have certainly changed their minds.

20 Q Has Popper changed his mind about that?

21 A I really don't know. Popper is an old man, you

22 know. Without being unkind, I think Popper is getting to

23 the point where mind changes aren't that important to him

24 anymore.

25 Q Did he not state that evolutionary theory was not


1 Q (Continuing) falsifiable?

2 A Oh, no. Certainly at one point, Popper wanted to

3 claim that Darwinism was not falsifiable. Now, where

4 Popper stood on evolutionary theories per se, I think is a

5 matter of some debate.

6 It's certainly the case that he himself in the early

7 seventies was trying to come up with some theories which

8 he thought would be falsifiable.

9 In recent years it's certainly true to say that Popper

10 has argued more strongly that at least at some level

11 evolution theories can be falsified.

12 Q At some level?

13 A Yes.

14 Q But he also said, did he not, that evolutionary

15 theory was, in fact, a metaphysical research program?

16 A I think he said that Darwinism was. I'd have to go

17 back and check to see whether Popper ever said that all

18 evolutionary theories are unfalsifiable or metaphysical.

19 MR. NOVIK: Excuse me, your Honor. We learned from

20 the Attorney General yesterday in his opening argument

21 that the State is interested in demonstrating that

22 evolution is not science, and that evolution is religion.

23 This line of questioning seems to go to that issue.

24 The plaintiffs contend that that entire line of

25 questioning as to both of those points are irrelevant to


1 MR. NOVIK: (Continuing) these proceedings. Evolution

2 is not an issue in this case.

3 We have previously submitted to the Court a memorandum

4 of law arguing this issue, and I would request the Court

5 to direct defendants' counsel not to proceed along these

6 lines on the grounds stated in that motion.

7 I'd be happy to argue that briefly at the present time,

8 if the Court desires.

9 THE COURT: Is that the purpose of the questioning,

10 Mr. Williams? Are you trying to establish that evolution

11 is a form of religion?

12 MR. WILLIAMS: Not this particular line of question-

13 ing itself. But in view of the Court's ruling on the

14 motion in Limine, that it is appropriate to consider

15 whether creation science is a scientific theory, I think

16 we are entitled to try to show that creation science is at

17 least as scientific as evolution.

18 Indeed, the Bill on its face raises this issue in some

19 of the findings of fact. And to the extent that they have

20 been attacking the findings of fact in the Act, I think we

21 are entitled to go into this to show one as against the

22 other, the relative scientific stature of these two models.

23 THE COURT: Why don't we take a ten minute recess,

24 and I'd like to see the attorneys back in chambers.



1 (Thereupon, Court was in recess from 11:40 a.m. to 11:50

2 a.m.)

3 THE COURT: Mr. Williams, just to put this in some

4 perspective, as I understand it, the State is not making

5 the contention that evolution is not science. The purpose

6 of the questions is simply to demonstrate that some

7 scientists do not think that evolution meets all the

8 definitions of science as this witness has given a

9 definition

10 MR. WILLIAMS: That is it in part, your Honor.

11 Also, just the point being to demonstrate that, we are not

12 demonstrating that evolution is not science, but that if

13 you, according to this particular definition, that

14 creation science clearly would be as scientific in that

15 neither could meet, according to some experts, the

16 definition of a scientific theory.

17 THE COURT: Okay.

18 MR. WILLIAMS: (Continuing)

19 Q Doctor Ruse, what is the concept of teleology?

20 A Understanding in terms of ends rather than prior

21 causes.

22 THE COURT: Excuse me. What is that word?

23 MR. WILLIAMS: Teleology. T-e-l-e-o-l-o-g-y.

24 THE COURT: What is the definition? That's not one

25 of those words that's in my vocabulary.


1 THE WITNESS: Shall I try to explain this?

2 THE COURT: Yes, sir.

3 THE WITNESS: Well, a teleological explanation, for

4 example, one would contrast this with a regular causal

5 explanation. For example, if I knocked a book on the

6 floor, you might say "What caused the book to fall to the

7 floor." In which case, you are also talking about what

8 happened that made it fall.

9 A teleological explanation is often done in terms of

10 design. For example, in a sense of, "Well, what purpose

11 or what end does this glass serve." In other words, why

12 is the glass here," something along those sort of lines.

13 Sort of things that were being talked about yesterday

14 afternoon.

15 MR. WILLIAMS: (Continuing)

16 Q And is it possible to have both a religious and sort

17 of theological concept of teleology and a nonreligious or

18 nontheological concept?

19 A It's possible. I mean, not impossible. I mean,

20 there have been both concepts.

21 Q How would you distinguish the two?

22 A Well, I would say the theological one is where, for

23 example, you explain the nature of the world in terms of

24 God's design, the sorts of things I find in 4(a), where

25 one tries to understand why the world is, as it is because

that's what God intended and that was God's end.


1 A (Continuing)

2 A non-theological one would be the kind, I think, the

3 kind of understanding that evolutionists, Darwinian

4 evolutionists, for example, who says, "What end does the

5 hand serve." In this case, they are looking at it as a

6 product of natural selection and looking at its value in a

7 sort of struggle for existence in selection.

8 Q So some modern biologists do consider themselves to

9 be teleologists?

10 A Let me put it this way. Some certain philosophers

11 think that biologists are teleologists.

12 Q Do they always use the term "teleology"?

13 A The philosophers or scientists?

14 Q The philosophers in describing this concept?

15 A Not always. In other words, sometimes used as

16 teleonomy, but I personally like the word teleology.

17 Q Is this word, teleonomy, used to show that they are

18 using the concept of teleology in its non-theological,

19 nonreligious sense?

20 A I would think that's probably true, yes.

21 Q In other words, they are trying to overcome a

22 problem of semantics?

23 A Well, they are trying to set themselves up against

24 their predecessors. Scientists like to do this.

25 Q Do you consider Thomas Coon's book, The Structure of


1 Q (Continuing) Scientific Revolutions, to be

2 recognized as an authority in either the history or

3 philosophy of science?

4 A Well, we don't have authorities in the philosophy of

5 science. You know, they are all pretty independent

6 types. I would certainly say that Thomas Coon's book is

7 considered a very important book. I think it's a very

8 important book.

9 Q In your book, The Philosophy of Biology, you state

10 that the modern synthesis theory of evolution is true

11 beyond a reasonable doubt, do you not?

12 A Right.

13 Q And you further state that the falsity of its rivals

14 is beyond a reasonable doubt?

15 A Right.

16 Q Is not the so-called punctuated equilibrium theory a

17 rival to some degree to the modern synthesis theory?

18 A I'm not sure that it's a rival in the sense that I

19 was talking about it in the book, quite honestly. I dealt

20 with a number of alternatives, and punctuated equilibrium

21 theory certainly wasn't one of those which was there to be

22 considered when the book was written.

23 What I was saying was things like the original

24 Lamarckism, you know, are false beyond a reasonable

25 doubt. It certainly holds to that.


1 A (Continuing)

2 What I also said was that the importance of selection,

3 mutation, so on, are true beyond a reasonable doubt.

4 Q Again, to my question, is not the punctuated

5 equilibrium theory a rival, contrasting to the modern

6 synthesis theory which you think has been proven beyond a

7 reasonable doubt?

8 A Well, that's a nice point. I think some people

9 would think of it as such. I don't personally think of it

10 as such, and I'm glad to find that a lot of evolutionists

11 like Ayala doesn't think of it as such.

12 Q Others do, do they not?

13 A Well, quite often I think some of the people who put

14 it up like to think of it as a rival. But, you know,

15 we're still— I mean, the punctuated equilibria theory is

16 a very new theory. We're still working on the sort of

17 conceptual links between it and the original theory.

18 And I think it's going to take us awhile yet to decide

19 whether we are dealing with rivals or complements or

20 whatever.

21 But of course, let me add that in no sense does this at

22 any point throw any doubt upon evolution itself. We are

23 talking just about causes.

24 Q Is defining a science a task which falls to

25 philosophers rather than to scientists themselves?


1 A Well, it falls to people acting as philosophers.

2 Scientists can certainly act as philosophers.

3 Q So is science a question of philosophy?

4 A It's a philosophical question.

5 Q Do philosophers uniformly agree on what is science?

6 A I think that basically we would agree, yes.

7 Q They would not agree entirely, would they?

8 A Well, philosophers never agree entirely. Do lawyers?

9 Q Do you think that in the society with a commonly

10 held religious belief that religion could properly be

11 taught in the public schools?

12 A Try that one on me again.

13 Q Do you think in a society with a commonly held

14 religion that religion could properly be taught in the

15 public schools?

16 A Yes. I think that for example, in medieval Europe

17 where, in fact, everybody is a Catholic, I see no reason

18 not to teach it in the public schools.

19 Of course, that has absolutely no relevance to us here

20 today. We are talking about America and we are talking

21 about Arkansas.

22 Q Is part of your opposition to creation science, and

23 more specifically to Act 590, based on your belief that

24 it's just a foot in the door, as you view it, for the

25 fundamentalist religious groups?


1 A Yes, I think I would. It's part of my belief. I

2 mean, I think it's important to oppose Act 590 in its own

3 right. I think it's wrong, dreadfully wrong. But

4 certainly I do see it as a thin end of a very large wedge,

5 yes.

6 Q And you see it as some sort of wedge which includes

7 attacks on homosexuality on women and on other races,

8 don't you?

9 A Insofar as it spreads a very natural literalistic

10 reading of the Bible, which as you know and I know

11 certainly says some pretty strong things about, say,

12 homosexuals, for example, certainly, yes, I can see it as

13 a thin end of a very big wedge, yes.

14 Q But Act 590 has absolutely nothing to say on those

15 subjects, does it?

16 A Well, I didn't say that it did. I mean, my point

17 simply is that if you allow this, this is the thin end of

18 the wedge. You don't talk about all the wedge when you

19 are trying to shove the tip in.

20 Q We are dealing here with the law, Doctor Ruse. And

21 is it not true that part of your reason for being against

22 the law is what you think might happen in the future if

23 this law should be upheld?

24 A Certainly. But as I said earlier, my opposition to



1 A (Continuing) the law is independent in its own

2 right.

3 Q I understand that.

4 Who is Peter Medawar?

5 A I think he's a Nobel Prize winner, a biologist or

6 biochemist. Lives in England.

7 Q Is it not true that he has stated and as you quote

8 in your book that there are philosophical or

9 methodological objection to evolutionary theory; it is

10 too difficult to imagine or envision an evolutionary

11 episode which could not be explained by the formula of

12 neo-Darwinism?

13 A Medawar as opposed to Darwinism. But of course,

14 that does not mean in any sense that Medawar opposes

15 evolutionary theory in the sense of general evolution per

16 se.

17 Q But isn't what Medawar is saying there is what we

18 talked about this morning, that Darwinism can accommodate

19 any sort of evidence?

20 A But you are doing what we talked about this

21 morning. You are confusing the causes with the fact of

22 evolution.

23 Yes, Medawar was certainly uncomfortable, let's put it

24 that way. I don't know where he stands today. I know

25 that Popper has drawn back, but Medawar was certainly

uncomfortable with the mechanism of neo-Darwinism.


1 A (Continuing)

2 But to the best of my knowledge, Medawar has never, ever

3 denied evolution.

4 Q Is Medawar a creation scientist?

5 A I said to the best of my knowledge, Medawar has

6 never, ever denied evolution.

7 Q Do you consider the Natural History Branch of the

8 British Museum to be a creation science organization?

9 A Of course, I don't.

10 Q Is it true that this museum has had a display which

11 portrays creation science as an alternative to Darwinism?

12 A Well, of course, this is hearsay. I guess we are

13 allowed to introduce this, but my understanding is, yes, I

14 read it in the "New Scientist." I've certainly been told

15 about this, yes. I think it was a shocking thing to do,

16 frankly.

17 Q That's your personal opinion?

18 A That certainly is. It goes to show that this is a

19 real problem we've got in Arkansas, in Canada and, alas,

20 in England, too.

21 Q Whether it's a problem depends on one's perspective,

22 does it not, Doctor Ruse?

23 A I don't think so, no. I think the problems can be

24 objectively identified. That it smells of problems.

25 Q Do scientists, after doing a degree, a lot of work


1 Q (Continuing) in an area, sometimes, become

2 emotionally attached to a theory?

3 A Scientists are human beings. I'm sure they do.

4 Q And might they also be intellectually attached to a

5 theory?

6 A Individual scientists, certainly. But not

7 necessarily the scientific community. I mean, Louie

8 Agassiz that we talked about earlier was emotionally

9 attached to his position, but the scientific community

10 wasn't.

11 Q Had not, you written that Darwinian evolutionary

12 theory is something which you can love and cherish?

13 A Me, personally, yes, I do indeed. I think it's a

14 wonderful theory.

15 Q Also, have you not advocated that the subject of

16 creation science is a battle which you must fight?

17 A That is why I'm here.

18 Q And how long have you been writing on Darwinism

19 yourself?

20 A Oh, altogether, fifteen years. I mean, quite

21 frankly, some of my early stuff was done when I was a

22 graduate student. I mean, I don't know whether you'd call

23 that writing.

24 Q Doctor Ruse, in an article entitled "Darwin's

25 Legacy", did you state—


1 MR. NOVIK: What page?


3 MR. WILLIAMS: (Continuing)

4 Q —did you state, first of all, that Christianity and

5 other forms of theism and deism are not the only world

6 religions today; that in many parts of the world there is

7 a powerful new rival?

8 A Marxism.

9 Q And then you write at some length, do you not, about

10 Marxism, particularly as it is affected by evolutionary

11 thought, as it affects that thought?

12 A Right. I'm talking, of course, in the context, very

13 much the context of discovery there as opposed to the

14 context of justification.

15 In other words, what I'm saying is that certain

16 scientists have tried to blend their position with

17 Marxism, and certainly extra scientific ideas have been

18 importantly influential in leading people to certain

19 scientific theories.

20 I am not at all saying, for example, that evolutionary

21 theory is Marxist.

22 Q I understand that. Back to the point you just

23 mentioned, science is really not concerned, then, is it,

24 where a theory comes from or a model comes from? The more

25 important question is, does the data fit the model?


1 A Well, more important to whom? Certainly, to the

2 scientist, of course, is a question of you get the ideas

3 and then you put them in a public arena, and how do they

4 fare.

5 For example, Copernicus was a Pythagorean, but we accept

6 Copernicus' theory, not because we are Pythagoreans and

7 Sun worshipers, but because Copernicus' theory works a lot

8 better than the Ptolemaic system does.

9 Q Do you consider Marxism to be a religion?

10 A In a sense. We talked about this in the deposi-

11 tion. As I said, religion is one of these very difficult

12 terms to define.

13 I would have said if you are going to define religion

14 just in terms of belief in a creator, then obviously not.

15 But if you are going to talk of religion in some sort of

16 ultimate concern, some sort of organization, something

17 like this, then, as I said, I'm happy to talk about

18 Marxism as a religion.

19 Q In your article at page 57, do you not state, "But

20 cutting right through to the present and quietly

21 admittedly basing my comments solely on a small group of

22 Marxist biologists working in the West, what I want to

23 point out here is that just like Christians, we find that

24 the Marxists try to modify and adapt Darwinism to their

25 own ends and within their own patterns. I refer


1 Q (Continuing) specifically to such work as is being

2 done by the Marxist biologist, Stephen J. Gould,

3 particularly his paleontology hypothesis of punctuated

4 equilibria introduced and briefly discussed early in this

5 essay?"

6 A I say those words. I certainly do not in any sense

7 imply that punctuated equilibria is a Marxist theory. In

8 fact, the co-founder who is sitting over there would be

9 horrified to think that it is.

10 What I am saying is that Gould as a Marxist, from what I

11 can read and what he has done, has probably been led to

12 make certain hypotheses and claims which he finds

13 certainly empathetic to his Marxism.

14 I do not want to claim that punctuated equilibria is

15 Marxist, per se, and I certainly don't want to claim that

16 only and all Marxists could accept punctuated equilibria.

17 In fact, my understanding is that a lot of Marxists

18 don't like this.

19 Q Please understand, what I understand you are saying

20 here, in fact, what you state is, for example, with

21 reference to Gould, that he is strongly committed to an

22 ideological commitment to Marxism in his science. And you

23 have previously equated Marxism with a religion. Is that

24 not correct?

25 A No. You know, you are twisting my words here. I'm


1 A (Continuing) saying, "Look, here's a guy who, to

2 the best of my knowledge" — and, goodness, you are going

3 to be able to ask him tomorrow yourself — "here's a guy

4 who has got strong philosophical" — if you want to call

5 them religious beliefs, I am prepared to do this — "who

6 certainly would like to see the aspects of these in the

7 world," certainly using his philosophy, his religion to

8 look at the world just as Darwin did, incidentally, and

9 just as Copernicus did.

10 And I see, you know, nothing strange about this. I see

11 nothing worrying about this. Once you've got your theory,

12 then, of course, it's got to be evaluated and is indeed

13 being evaluated by independent objective criteria, and

14 there's nothing Marxist about that.

15 Q What you are saying is that these Marxist biologists

16 are conforming their science to some degree to their

17 politics or if you consider politics religion?

18 A No, I'm not. I don't like the word "conforming".

19 You know, we can go around on this all day. I don't like

20 the word "conforming".

21 What I'm saying is that some of their ideas are

22 important in their context of discovering plus for formulating

23 their ideas.

24 But as I say, you know, you could take Darwin, for



1 A (Continuing) example. Darwin was a deist, no doubt

2 about it. The only reason why Darwin became an evolution-

3 ist is because it fitted best with his religious ideas.

4 Copernicus was a Platonist.

5 Q Have you not said that Gould, for example, pushes

6 his scientific positions for three Marxist related reasons?

7 A What he does is, he pushes the ideas to get them out

8 on the table. This is the sort of thing he likes. Of

9 course, you do. You sharpen your ideas. Copernicus

10 pushed his ideas.

11 It doesn't mean to say that Gould is going to be a

12 punctuated equilibrist because he's a Marxist. It doesn't

13 mean to say that Eldridge or anybody else is going to be a

14 punctuated equilibrist because they are Marxists.

15 What it means is that probably Gould pushes these sorts

16 of ideas. You see, again the context of discovery, the

17 context of justification.

18 People discover things. People come up with ideas for

19 all sorts of crazy reasons and all sorts of good reasons.

20 But once you've got them out, as it were, within the

21 scientific community, then they've got to be accepted

22 because of the way that they stand up, do they lead to

23 predictions. I mean, does punctuated equilibria lead to

24 predictions that are predictions within the fossil record.

25 Q Doctor Ruse, but you have previously stated, I


1 Q (Continuing) think, and would agree that this idea

2 of punctuated equilibria, this debate that you see in the

3 evolutionary community is a healthy debate?

4 A I do indeed.

5 Q And they are not challenged — "they" being the

6 punctuated equilibrists — have not challenged evolution

7 over all, have they? Just merely the mechanism?

8 A Right.

9 Q But their challenge as you have stated in these

10 writings states that it has come from a motivation based

11 on Marxism which you have identified as religion, doesn't

12 it?

13 A Motivation. See, here we go again. What is

14 motivation?

15 Q Is that correct? Is that what you have said?

16 A Well, if you read the passage, I'm quite sure I said

17 those words, but you are deliberately refusing to

18 understand what I'm saying.

19 Q And then on the other hand, you simply, because

20 someone challenges evolution, the theory of evolution

21 itself, and you feel they are doing it based on religious

22 reasons, and you are someone who is an adherent of

23 Darwinian thought, you object to that. Is that not

24 correct?

25 A Look, you are twisting my words. The challenge is


1 A (Continuing) being done on an evidentiary basis,

2 that is, moving into the context of justification. In

3 that paper and other papers I'm talking about a context of

4 discovery. What I'm saying is that when scientists

5 discover things, often they have different sorts of

6 motivations.

7 But whether or not one is to accept punctuated

8 equilibria has nothing at all to do with Gould's personal

9 philosophy, personal religion.

10 It's the fossil record. It's what we find out there

11 that counts.

12 Q You call it a healthy' debate, but you also state

13 that this fails as science. This—

14 A What, fails as science?

15 Q This Marxist version of evolutionism, as you term it.

16 A Well, I say it fails, as science. But what I'm

17 saying is I don't think it's true, but I don't think it's

18 true or false because of Marxism.

19 I personally don't accept it because I don't think

20 they've made the case on the fossil record. Now, Gould

21 thinks that he has. We can argue that one.

22 But when I talk about its failing as a science, I do not

23 mean it is now nonscientific. What I mean is that I don't

24 think as a scientific hypothesis that it will fly.

25 But as I say, Marxism is a red herring here.


1 Q I'm merely referring you to—

2 A What I was doing, I was talking about the context of

3 discovery. And if you want to talk about that, I'm

4 prepared to do so.

5 Q Well, you've said that the Marxism version of

6 evolution has failed as science, but that's healthy. But

7 creation science fails as science and that's unhealthy?

8 A Well, you see, you are putting words into what you

9 want me to say. Marxist version of evolutionary theory.

10 What I'm saying is, one prominent evolutionist is a

11 Marxist. That led him, I think that encouraged him to try

12 out certain ideas.

13 But I don't think that punctuated equilibria theory is

14 Marxist, per se. I certainly don't think the judgment is

15 going to get into evidentiary level.

16 Q Now, you are not a scientist yourself?

17 A No, I'm not a scientist. No. I'm a historian and

18 philosopher of science which I would say encompasses a

19 great deal of other areas in philosophy.

20 Q The discovery basis you mentioned, if a creation

21 scientist believes in a sudden creation, should that not

22 be advanced and then fail or succeed on its merits of

23 scientific evidence?

24 A No. Because we are not talking about scientific

25 theory here. We are talking about religion. As a