Line Numbered Transcripts Index - P334-366
1 Q Excuse me. Could I get an answer to my question
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
17 A Is this sort of a general question?
18 Q You can take the question as you will. It's a
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
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
4 A Well, I mean, are you talking about Darwinism? Are
5 you talking about punctuated equilibria? Are you talking
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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?
2 MR. WILLIAMS: 55.
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
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
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
13 A Motivation. See, here we go again. What is
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
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
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