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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

Line Numbered Transcripts Index - P534-566


1 Q Are geologists able to tell whether folding or

2 faulting or some other geological process has disturbed

3 the initial strata?

A Yes. And I should say it is not done secularly by

5 finding of fossil sequences, and then assuming that only

6 because of that there must be a fold or a fault. We look

7 for direct evidence, of fold or fault.

8 There are two main ways of doing that. The first is

9 geological mapping, where you actually trace out the folds

10 and faults in the earth's strata.

11 In the others you can well imagine what there is. For

12 example, in thrust faulting, a large block or blocks has

13 literally been pushed over. In another, there would be

14 some disturbance of the boundary. That is, this heavy

15 block of rock has literally pushed over the other. But

16 you would get fracturing and folding of rocks from either

17 side of the so-called thrust plane, and we find this.

18 Q Could you please give an example of a thrust fault?

19 A Probably the most famous thrust fault that is known

20 in the United States is the so-called Lewis Overthrust in

21 Montana where rather ancient rocks of pre-Cambrian age,

22 that is current even before we have the first

23 invertebrates and the fossil record, are thrust over much

24 younger rocks of Cretaceous age that is coeval with the

25 dinosaurs.


1 Q What do creation scientists say about the Lewis

2 Overthrust?

3 A They try to argue that it's a good example of why

4 the geological column is wrong, because of the sequence of

5 the mass and the sequence of fossils, and that it isn't

6 really an overthrust because they claim that the

7 sedimentary layers are in fact undisturbed, and that the

8 so-called thrust plane is really just a bedding plane, and

9 that it's a single calm sequence of the process of rocks.

10 Q Did they cite any evidence for that claim?

11 A Well, they certainly claim to. For example, again,

12 in the Genesis Flood that we referred to previously by

13 Whitcomb and Morris—

14 MR. NOVIK: That's Plaintiffs' Exhibit 126.

15 A —we find the following statement about the Genesis

16 flood. Whitcomb and Morris are here quoting from a

17 reputable source.

18 Q This is a statement about the Lewis Overthrust?

19 A Yes. A statement about the Lewis Overthrust from

20 an article by C.P. Ross and Richard Rezak quoted by

21 Whitcomb and Morris. And the quotation on page 187

22 reads: "Most visitors, especially those who stay on the

23 roads, get the impression that the Belt strata are

24 undisturbed" — the Belt strata is the upper strata of the

25 pre-Cambrian thrust, sorry — "that the Belt strata are


1 A (Continuing) undisturbed and lie almost as flat

2 today as they did when deposited in the sea which vanished

3 so many years ago."

4 And that would seem to indicate that it was just a

5 single sequence. It's rather interesting if you would go

6 back to the Ross and Rezak article and read the very next

7 statement, which Morris and Whitcomb did not cite, you

8 would find the following.

9 The very next statement, uncited by Whitcomb and Morris,

10 is as follows: "Actually," talking about folded rocks,

11 "they are folded, and in certain places, they are

12 intensely so. From points on and near the trails in the

13 park, it is possible to observe places where the Belt

14 series, as revealed in outcrops on ridges, cliffs, and

15 canyon walls, are folded and crumpled almost as

16 intricately as the soft younger strata in the mountains

17 south of the park and in the Great Plains adjoining the

18 park to the east," the younger strata being the Cretaceous

19 rocks below.

20 But that's certainly a good example of selective

21 misquotation.

22 THE COURT: Let me see if I've got both of those

23 references.

24 MR. NOVIK: The second reference, your Honor, I

25 believe has been marked as Plaintiffs'—


1 THE COURT: Before you get to the second one, the

2 first one is—

3 A The first one, your Honor, is from The Genesis

4 Flood.

5 THE COURT: That's Plaintiffs' Exhibit 126?

6 MR. NOVIK: That's correct, your Honor.

7 THE COURT: Page what?

8 MR. NOVIK: Page 187.

9 A The continuation, I'm citing from an article by

10 Christopher Weber called Common Creationist Attacks on

11 Geology.

12 THE COURT: Is that an exhibit?

13 MR. NOVIK: It's Plaintiffs' Exhibit 127, your

14 Honor.

15 THE COURT: From what page are you reading?

16 A That is on page 21, if I'm not mistaken. 21 and

17 22. It continues on 22.

18 Q Professor Gould, while the Court is making that

19 notation, if I might simply state, if you could slow down

20 your answers a little, the court reporter might be able

21 to—

22 A I apologize. My father is a court stenographer,

23 and I should know better.

24 Q Professor Gould, you've talked about the first two

25 principles geologists rely upon to assign relative dates


1 Q (Continuing) to this stratigraphic record. What

2 is the third principle?

3 A The third principle is biotic succession, which

4 states that fossils occur in the same sequence everywhere

5 in the earth.

6 For example, if we go to one place and examine a

7 sequence of strata, and we find — Well, they don't have

8 to be organisms — suppose we found bolts, nuts, and

9 screws. Bolts in the oldest rocks, nuts in the rocks, on

10 top of them, and screws in the rocks on top of them. By

11 the principle of biotic succession, we would find that

12 same sequence anywhere on earth.

13 If we went to another area, for example, we would find

14 bolts at the bottom, rocks in the middle, and screws on

15 top. And we use that to predict.

16 Suppose we go to another area and we find only one

17 sequence with only nuts in it, we would predict that in

18 rocks below that, if we dug, for example, we would

19 probably find bolts, and then screws would be in rocks

20 found on top of that.

21 Q And is that what you find?

22 A Yes, indeed.

23 Q Everywhere in the—

24 A Except when the sequence has been altered by

25 folding or faulting, and we could determine that on other


1 A (Continuing) grounds.

2 Q In order to assign relative dates based on the

3 sequence of fossils, is it necessary to assume that the

4 fossils in the higher strata evolved from the fossils in

5 the lower strata?

6 A Certainly not. It's merely a question of preserved

7 sequence. You don't have to assume any theory or process

8 at all. It could literally be bolts, nuts, and screws.

9 If they compared the same sequence everywhere, we could

10 use them.

11 Q So is the creation science claim that the

12 assumptions of evolutionary theory are essential to the

13 relative dating of the stratigraphic record correct?

14 A No. It's a red herring. The stratigraphic record

15 is established by observation and superposition.

16 Q When were those relative dates first established?

17 A In broad outline, the geological column was fully

18 established before Darwin published The Origin of

19 Species. And I might add, was established by scientists

20 by the most part who did not believe in evolution, didn't

21 even have the hypothesis available.

22 In fact, some of the scientists who first worked on the

23 geologic problem didn't even believe that the fossils they

24 had been classifying were organic. They really did see

25 them as so many nuts, bolts and screws, and yet recognized


1 A (Continuing) that you could date rocks thereby.

2 Q And is that knowledge of when the relative dates

3 were first assigned widely known?

4 A Indeed.

5 Q Do creation scientists refer to that at all?

6 A Not that I've seen.

7 Q Is there any other evidence in the fossil record

8 which is inconsistent with flood geology?

9 A Yes. I think the outstanding fact of the fossil

10 record is the evidence of several periods of mass

11 extinction during the history of life. And by mass

12 extinction, your Honor, I mean that you will find at a

13 certain level in the geological column, a certain strata

14 in rocks of the same age, the simultaneous last occurrence

15 of many forms of life; that you would never find any of

16 them in younger rocks piled on top of them.

17 The two most outstanding such extinctions are the one

18 that marked the end of the Permian Period, some two

19 hundred twenty-five million years ago when fully fifty

20 percent of all families of marine invertebrates became

21 extinct within a very short space of time.

22 The other major extinction, not quite as tumultuous, but

23 in effect was more famous, was the one that occurred at

24 the end of the Cretaceous, some sixty-five million years

25 later. The dinosaurs became extinct then, as well as


1 A (Continuing) several invertebrate groups,

2 including the amniotes. That posed a problem for the

3 creation science literature I've read, because they want

4 to see the entire geological column as the result of this

5 single flood of Noah, and they are expecting a more graded

6 sequence. Due to hydrodynamic sorting or differential

7 intelligence, you wouldn't expect these several episodes

8 of mass extinction.

9 Q How do creation scientists explain away the

10 evidence of repeated episodes of mass extinction?

11 A In the literature that I've read, in a most

12 remarkable way, considering that this is the outstanding

13 fact of the geological records paleontologists study.

14 Simply by not referring to it.

15 In Scientific Creationism, by Henry Morris, again, what

16 he does is merely to cite from a newspaper report coming,

17 at least from a science newspaper, a secondary news

18 journal, not even from the primary literature, one single

19 citation in which he misquotes a scientist to the effect

20 that perhaps these extinctions don't take place.

21 And he then argues, `You see, there weren't any such

22 extinctions anyway,' which I think makes a mockery of

23 hundreds of volumes of scientific literature devoted to

24 the study of mass extinctions and their causes.

25 Q Is the flood geology proposed by creation


1 Q (Continuing) scientists a new idea?

2 A No, it isn't. It was proposed more than a hundred

3 and fifty years ago, tested and falsified. It was, in

4 fact, the subject of intense geological discussion in

5 England in the 1820's. It was assumed by many of the

6 early geologists particularly the Reverend William

7 Buckland, the first professor, the first reader of geology

8 at Oxford University— Now, he didn't try to claim the

9 whole geological column was the result of this single

10 flood, out he did try and argue that all the upper strata

11 were products of a single flood. And indeed, he wrote a

12 book called The Reliqwae Deluviavi, or the relics of the

13 flood, in 1820 to argue that.

14 That proposition was extensively tested throughout the

15 1820's and falsified, because scientists, including

16 Buckland, who came to deny his previous assertion, found

17 that all the strata that they assumed were the same age

18 and a product of a single flood, were in many cases

19 superposed, and, therefore, represented many different

20 episodes.

21 Now, we know today that they, in fact, represent the

22 remains of glacial ages, not floods, and that there were

23 several ice ages.

24 Indeed, in 1831, the Reverend Adam Sedgwick, then

25 president of the Geological Society of London, read in his


1 A (Continuing) presidential address, his recantation

2 of the flood theory. And I'd like to read it, because to

3 my mind it's one of the most beautiful statements ever

4 written by a scientist to express the true nature of

5 science as a tentative and correctable set of principles.

6 Adam Sedgwick, in the 1831 address, first of all, writes

7 that the theory is falsified, and says, "There is, I

8 think, one great negative conclusion now incontestably

9 established, namely, that the vast masses diluvial gravel"

10 — That's the name they gave to this strata they were

11 trying to attribute to the flood — "scattered almost over

12 the surface of the earth, do not belong to one violent and

13 transitory period."

14 Then he makes what is one of my favorite statements in

15 the history of science. He writes, "Having been myself a

16 believer, and to the best of my power, a propagator of

17 what I now regard as a philosophic heresy, and having more

18 than once been quoted for opinions I do not now maintain,

19 I think it right as one of my last acts before I quit this

20 chair" — that is the chair of the Geological Society of

21 London — "thus publicly to read my recantation. We

22 ought, indeed, to have paused before we first adopted the

23 Diluvian theory" — that was the flood theory — "and

24 referred all our old superficial gravel to the actions of

25 Mosaic flood. In classing together distant unknown


1 A (Continuing) formations under one name and giving

2 them a simultaneous origin, and in determining their date

3 not, by the organic remains we have discovered, but by

4 those we expected hypothetically hereafter to discover in

5 them, we have given one more example of the passion with

6 which the mind fastens upon general conclusions and of the

7 readiness with which it leaves the consideration of

8 unconnected truths."

9 Q Professor Gould, in your professional opinion, has

10 the flood geology theory required by a literal

11 interpretation of Genesis been falsified?

12 A Yes, it has, more than a hundred and fifty years

13 ago. Nothing new has occurred since then.

14 Q Is it consistent with a scientific method to

15 persist in a theory that has been falsified?

16 A Certainly not.

17 Q Professor Gould, have you read Act 590's definition

18 of creation science, as it relates specifically to

19 paleontology?

20 A Yes. Item 2.

21 Q What does Act 590 provide with regards to

22 paleontology?

23 A It states explicitly that there are changes only

24 within fixed limits of originally created kinds of plants

25 and animals, and then explicitly states there must be a


1 A (Continuing) separate ancestry for man and apes.

2 Q Have you read the creation science literature

3 relevant to paleontology?

4 A Yes, I have.

5 Q Are Sections 4 (a), subdivisions 3 and 4 of the

6 Act's definition of creation science consistent with that

7 creation science literature?

8 A Yes. The main point that that literature makes is

9 how the existence of so-called gaps in the record — and

10 by `gaps' we mean the absence of transitional forms

11 linking ancestors and descendants — but the gaps in the

12 record are evidence for the changes only within fixed

13 limits of created kinds.

14 Q Is that a scientific theory?

15 A In its formulation, certainly not, because it calls

16 again upon the suspension of natural law and the divine,

17 or the creation by miracle, by fiat, of new forms of life.

18 Q How does the creation science literature deal with

19 the fossil evidence in this regard?

20 A By selected quotation, by overstating the extended

21 gaps, by not mentioning the transitional forms that do

22 exist in the literature.

23 Q Are there natural law explanations for these gaps

24 in the record?

25 A Yes, there are. Though there are gaps, and I don't


1 A (Continuing) mean to say that every aspect within

2 them has been resolved. But there are two major natural

3 law explanations, the traditional one, and one proposed

4 rather more recently, in part by myself.

5 The traditional explanation relies upon the extreme

6 imperfection of the geological record, and the other

7 explanation argued that the gaps are, in fact, the result

8 of the way we expect evolution to occur. It's called the

9 theory of punctuated equilibrium.

10 Q Let's turn first to the imperfection in the fossil

11 record. Would you please elaborate upon that explanation?

12 A Yes. The fossil record is a woefully incomplete

13 version of all the forms of life that existed. Some tiny

14 fraction of one percent of all the creatures that ever

15 lived have any opportunity of being fossilized. In most

16 areas of the world rocks are not being deposited, but

17 rather are being eroded.

18 Lyell expressed it in a famous metaphor, usually known

19 to historians as the "metaphor of the book." Lyell argues

20 that the fossil record is like a book of which very few

21 pages are preserved, and of the pages that are preserved,

22 very few lines, of the lines that are preserved, few

23 words, and of the words, few letters.. We can well imagine

24 that in such a book you would not be able to read a

25 particularly complete story.


1 Q Given the infrequency of fossilization, would

2 scientists expect to find a complete record of the

3 evolutionary process?

4 A No, you would not.

5 Q Would you please briefly explain the theory of

6 punctuated equilibrium?

7 A The theory of punctuated equilibrium, which is an

8 attempt to explain gaps as the normal workings of the

9 evolutionary process, begins by making a distinction

10 between two modes of evolution. First, evolution might

11 occur by the wholesale or entire transformation of one's

12 form, one's species into another.

13 We maintain in the theory of punctuated equilibrium that

14 that is, in fact, not a common mode of evolution, but what

15 normally happens, the usual way for evolutionary change to

16 occur, is by a process called speciation or branching.

17 That it's not the whole transformation of one entire

18 species into another, out a process of branching, whereby

19 one form splits off. In other words, a small group of

20 creatures may become isolated geographically from the

21 parental population, and then, under this small isolated

22 area, undergo a process of accumulation of genetic

23 changes to produce a new species.

24 The second aspect of the theory of punctuated

25 equilibrium— The first one is—


1 THE COURT: Did you say equilibrium?

2 A Equilibrium. I did leave out a point there.

3 That most species, successful species living in large

4 populations, do not change. In fact, are fairly stable in

5 the fossil record and live for a long time. The average

6 duration of marine invertebrate species was five to ten

7 million years. During that time they may fluctuate mildly

8 in morphology, but most of them — I don't say there

9 aren't exceptions — most of them don't change very much.

10 That's what we would expect for large, successful,

11 well-adapted populations. And that's the equilibrium part.

12 By punctuation, we refer to those events of speciation

13 where descendent species rather rapidly in geological

14 perspectives split off from their ancestors. And that's

15 the second point.

16 First, that evolutionary changes accumulate, not

17 through the transformation of entire population, but

18 through events of slipping, branching, or speciation.

19 Then we have to look at the ordinary time course, how

20 long the event of speciation takes. And it seems to be

21 that it occurs probably on the average — there is an

22 enormous variation — in perhaps tens of thousands of years.

24 Now, tens of thousands of years, admittedly, is very

25 slow by the scale of our lives. By the scale of our


1 A (Continuing) lives, ten thousand years has been

2 deceptively slow. But remember, we're talking about

3 geological time. Ten thousand years, in almost every

4 geological situation, is represented by a single bedding

5 plane, by a single stratum, not by a long sequence of

6 deposits.

7 And therefore the species forms in ten thousand years,

8 although that's slow by the standards of our life, in

9 fact, in geological representation, you would find all of

10 that represented on a single bedding plane. In other

11 words, you wouldn't see it.

12 What's more, if it's a small, isolated population that's

13 speciated, then the chance of finding the actual event of

14 speciation is very, very small, indeed. And therefore, it

15 is characteristic of the fossil record that new species

16 appear geologically abruptly. This is to my mind a

17 correct representation of the way in which we believe the

18 evolution occurs.

19 Q Professor Gould, would it assist you in your

20 testimony in explaining punctuated equilibrium to refer to

21 a chart?

22 A Yes. I have a chart that I presented to you. What

23 we see here, your Honor—

24 MR. NOVIK: Professor Gould, let me state for the

25 record, I am handing to you Plaintiffs' Exhibit 101 for


1 MR. NOVIK: (Continuing) identification.

2 Q Does that exhibit contain a chart illustrating

3 punctuated equilibrium?

4 A Yes. I have two charts here. The first, your

5 Honor, illustrates the principle of gradual-

6 Q What page would that be?

7 A That is on page 642. -illustrating the slow and

8 steady transformation of a single population.

9 The next page, page 643, illustrates punctuated

10 equilibrium in which we see that in geological

11 perspectives, though remember, we're talking about tens of

12 thousands of years, that in geological perspective,

13 species are originating in periods of time that are not

14 geologically resolvable and are represented by single

15 bedding planes and, therefore, appear in the record

16 abruptly.

17 I might say at this point, if I may, that there are two

18 rather different senses that would turn gap into record.

19 The first one refers to an existence of all interceptable

20 intermediate degrees. And to that extent, those are gaps,

21 and I believe they are gaps because indeed, evolution

22 doesn't work that way, usually. They are gaps because

23 that is not how evolution occur.

24 There is another sense of gaps in the record claiming,

25 in other words, there are not transitional forms


1 A (Continuing) whatsoever in the fossil record.

2 It's, in fact, patently false.

3 Indeed, on page 643, if you consult the chart, we do

4 display an evolutionary trend here on the right, and

5 evolutionary trends are very common in the fossil record.

6 Punctuate equilibrium does not propose to deny it. By

7 evolutionary trends, we mean the existence of intermediate

8 forms, structurally intermediate forms between ancestors

9 in the sense that we don't have every single set, and we

10 find transitional forms like that very abundant in the

11 fossil record.

12 But the theory of punctuated equilibrium says that you

13 shouldn't expect to find all interceptable intermediate

14 degrees. It's not like rolling a ball up an inclined

15 plane, it's rather, a trend is more like climbing a

16 staircase, where each step would be geologically abrupt.

17 In that sense that are many transitional forms in the

18 fossil record.

19 I might also state that when the geological evidence is

20 unusually good, that we can even see what's happening

21 within one of these punctuations.

22 Q Within one of these bedding planes, as you refer to

23 it?

24 A What is usually bedding planes, but in very rare

25 geological circumstances, we have finer geological


1 A (Continuing) resolution. Those ten thousand years

2 may be represented by a sequence of deposits, and we can

3 see what is actually happening within that interval of

4 tens of thousands of years.

5 MR. NOVIK: Your Honor, I'd like to move that

6 Plaintiffs' Exhibit 101 for identification be received in

7 evidence.

8 THE COURT: It will be received.

9 Q Professor Gould, you have testified that in some

10 rare instances you can find actual evidence of

11 punctuation; is that correct?

12 A Yes.

13 Q Can you give us an example of such?

14 A There is one very good example that is published in

15 Nature magazine by Peter Williamson. It concerns the

16 evolution of several species of fresh water clams and

17 snails in African lakes during the past two million

18 years. At two different times water levels went down and

19 the lakes became isolated.

20 Now, in lakes you often get much finer grained

21 preservation of strata than usual, so you can actually see

22 what's happening within one of these punctuations.

23 So the lakes become isolated, and we can see in the

24 sequence of strata the transformation of ancestors and

25 descendants within a period of time that is on the order


1 A (Continuing) of tens of thousand of years.

2 I have submitted three photographs-

3 Q Would it assist you in your testimony to refer to

4 these photographs?

5 A Yes, it would.

6 Q Let me state for the record, Professor Gould, that

7 these photographs have been previously marked as

8 Plaintiffs' Exhibit 123 for identification.

9 A In the first photograph, marked number one, you

10 see, your Honor, on your left is the ancestral form. It's

11 a snail that has a very smooth outline, and on your right

12 is a descendant form that comes from higher strata. You

13 notice that the outline is stepped, more like the Empire

14 State Building, in a way.

15 The second photograph shows the actual sequence of

16 intermediate forms. Again, on your left is the ancestor,

17 on your right is the descendant. The three or four snails

18 in the middle are average representatives from a sequence

19 of strata representing tens of thousands of years.

20 And the third, which is the most remarkable that we

21 actually have evidence for the mechanism whereby this

22 transition occurred, we have three rows there. The top

23 row represents a sequence of representative series of

24 snails from the lowermost strata, in the ancestral form.

25 And you'll note that there's not a great deal of


1 A (Continuing) variability. They all look pretty

2 much alike.

3 On the bottom row are the descendant forms, the ones in

4 the uppermost strata in this sequence, and they all,

5 again, look pretty much alike, but they are different

6 forms. These are the ones that have the stepped like

7 outline.

8 In the middle row, notice that there is an enormous

9 expansion of the variability. Presumably, under

10 conditions of stress and rapid evolution, there are

11 enormous expansions of variability. There you have a much

12 wider range of variation. There are some snails that look

13 smooth in outline, there are some that look pretty much

14 stepped, and there are all intermediate degrees.

15 Here is what happened, you get a big expansion of

16 variability, and the natural selection or some other

17 process eliminated those of the ancestral form. And from

18 that expanded spectrum and variability, only the ones that

19 had the stepped-like outline were preserved.

20 And in the sequence, we, therefore, actually see the

21 process of speciation occurring. So it's not true to say

22 that punctuated equilibrium is just an argument born of

23 despair, because you don't see transitional forms. When

24 the geological record is unusually good, you do, indeed,

25 see them.


1 Q Professor Gould, how does creation science deal

2 with the theory of punctuated equilibrium?

3 A From the literature I've read, it's been very badly

4 distorted in two ways. First, it's been claimed that

5 punctuated equilibrium is a theory of truly sudden

6 saltation, that is, jump to a new form of life in a single

7 generation. That is a kind of fantasy.

8 The theory of punctuated equilibrium doesn't say that.

9 It merely says that the correct geological representation

10 of speciation in tens of thousands of years will be

11 geologically instantaneous origin.

12 The second distortion is to claim that under punctuated

13 equilibrium we argue that entire evolutionary sequences

14 can be produced in single steps. In the transition from

15 reptile to mammal or from amphibian to reptile might be

16 accomplished under punctuated equilibrium in a single

17 step. That's manifestly false.

18 The punctuations in punctuated equilibrium are in much

19 smaller scale record the origin of new species. And we

20 certainly believe that in the origin of mammals from

21 reptiles that many, many steps of speciation were

22 necessary.

23 Again, as I said, it's like climbing a staircase. But

24 believers and those who advocate the theory of punctuated

25 equilibrium would never claim mammals arose from reptiles


1 A (Continuing) in a single step. And yet that is

2 how it's often depicted in the creation science literature.

3 Can I give an example?

4 Q Certainly. Let me offer you Plaintiffs' Exhibit 57

5 pre-marked for identification.

6 A The Fossils: Key to the Present, by Bliss, Parker

7 and Gish.

8 On page 60 we have a representation of punctuated

9 equilibrium which distorts it exactly in that way. The

10 diagram implies that the transition from fish to amphibian

11 and from amphibian to reptile and from reptile to mammal

12 and from mammal to man occur, each one, in a single step.

13 And that, therefore, there are no transitional forms.

14 The theory of punctuated equilibrium does not say there

15 are no transitional forms. When we're talking about large

16 scale evolutionary trends, there are many transitional

17 forms.

18 MR. NOVIK: Your Honor, at this point, before we go

19 on, I'd like to offer Plaintiffs' Exhibit 123, the

20 photographs, in evidence.

21 THE COURT: They will be received.

22 Q So the charts from creation science literature on

23 which you are relying suggests that punctuated equilibrium

24 would require great leaps from-

25 A Yes. Single step transitions, in what we, in fact,


1 A (Continuing) believe are evolutionary trends in

2 which ancestor and descendent are connected by many

3 intermediate steps. But again, they are not smooth,

4 gradual transitions, because evolution doesn't work that

5 way. It's more like climbing steps.

6 Q And that's not what the theory suggests at all?

7 A No.

8 Q Does the fossil record provide evidence for the

9 existence of transitional forms?

10 A Yes, it does.

11 Q Are there many such examples?

12 A Yes, there are.

13 Q Could you give us one example?

14 A One very prominent one is the remarkable

15 intermediate between reptiles and birds called

16 Archaeopteryx. Archaeopteryx is regarded as an

17 intermediate form because it occurs, first of all, so

18 early in the history of birds. But secondly, and more

19 importantly, is a remarkable mixture of features of

20 reptiles and birds.

21 Now, I should say that we don't expect evolution to

22 occur by the slow and steady transformation of all parts

23 of an organism at the same rate; therefore, we find an

24 organism that has some features that are very birdlike and

25 some that are very reptile-like. That's exactly what we


1 A (Continuing) would expect in an intermediate form,

2 and that's what we find in Archaeopteryx.

3 Archaeopteryx has feathers, and those feathers are very

4 much like the feathers of modern birds. Archaeopteryx

5 also has a so-called furcula or wishbone, as in modern

6 birds.

7 However, in virtually all other features of its anatomy

8 point by point, it has the skeletal structure of a

9 reptile; in fact, very much like that of small running

10 dinosaurs that presumably were their ancestors.

11 For example, it seems to lack the expanded sternum or

12 breastbone to which the flight muscles of birds are

13 attached. It has a reptilian tail. And detail after

14 detail of the anatomy proves its reptilian form.

15 Most outstandingly, it possesses teeth, and no modern

16 birds possessed teeth. Archaeopteryx and other early

17 birds possess teeth, and the teeth are of reptilian form.

18 I can also say, though this is not the opinion of all

19 paleontologists, but many paleontologists believe that if

20 you study the arrangement of the feathers and the inferred

21 flight musculature of Archaeopteryx, that it, in fact, if

22 it flew at all, and it may not have, was a very poor flier

23 indeed, and would have been intermediate in that sense, as

24 well.

25 Q How do creation scientists deal with this evidence


1 Q (Continuing) of a transitional form?

2 A Again, mostly by ignoring it. And using the

3 specious argument based on definition rather than

4 morphology -

5 Q What do you mean by morphology?

6 A Morphology is the form of an organism, the form of

7 the bones as we find them in the fossil record.

8 In that sense, Archaeopteryx had feathers, and since

9 feathers are used to define birds, that, therefore,

10 Archaeopteryx is all bird, thereby neglecting its

11 reptilian features. The question of definition is rather

12 different from a question of the assessment of morphology.

13 For example, Duane Gish, in Evolution: The Fossils Say

14 No-

15 MR. NOVIK: That's Plaintiffs' 78 for

16 identification, your Honor.

17 A -says on page 90, "The so-called intermediate is

18 no real intermediate at all because, as paleontologists

19 acknowledge, Archaeopteryx was a true bird - it had

20 wings, it was completely feathered, it flew. It was not

21 a half-way bird, it was a bird."

22 And then for the most part just ignoring and not talking

23 about all the reptilian features of Archaeopteryx, or by

24 using another specious argument to get around the most

25 difficult problem, namely, the teeth of Archaeopteryx.


1 A (Continuing)

2 Gish writes on page 92, "While modern birds do not

3 possess teeth, some ancient birds possessed teeth, while

4 some other did not. Does the possession of teeth denote a

5 reptilian ancestry for birds, or does it simply prove that

6 some ancient bird had teeth while others did not? Some

7 reptiles have teeth while some do not. Some amphibians

8 have teeth, out some do not. In fact, this is true

9 throughout the entire range of the vertebrate subphylum -

10 fishes, Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves," - that is birds -

11 "and Mammalia, inclusive."

12 That, to me, is a specious argument. It's just a

13 vaguely important question. Yes, it's true, some reptiles

14 have teeth and some don't. But the important thing about

15 the fossil record of birds is that the only birds that

16 have teeth occur early in the history of birds, and those

17 teeth are reptilian in form. Thus, you have to deal with

18 not just the issue of some do and some don't, and that is

19 not discussed.

20 Q Professor Gould, you have just talked about a

21 transitional form, Archaeopteryx. Could you give an

22 example of an entire transitional sequence in the fossil

23 record?

24 A Yes. A very good example is that provided by our

25 own group, the mammals.


1 Q Would it assist you in your testimony to refer to

2 an exhibit?

3 A Yes. I have a series of skulls illustrating the most

4 important aspect of this transition.

5 Now, in terms of features that would be-

6 Q Let me state for the record, Professor Gould, I

7 have just handed you Plaintiffs' Exhibit 125 for

8 identification.

9 Please continue.

10 A Yes. In terms of the evidence preserved in the

11 morphology of bones which we find in the fossil record,

12 the outstanding aspect of the transition from reptiles to

13 mammals occurs in the evolution of the jaw.

14 The reptilian jaw, lower jaw, is composed of several

15 bones, and the mammalian lower jaw is composed of a single

16 bone called the dentary.

17 We can trace the evolution of those lineages which gave

18 rise to mammals a progressive reduction in these posterior

19 or back bones of the jaw, until finally the two bones that

20 form the articulation or the contact between the upper and

21 lower jaw of reptiles becomes smaller and smaller and

22 eventually becomes two or the three middle ear bones, the

23 malleus and incus, or hammer and anvil, of mammals.

24 And you can see a progressive reduction in the charts

25 I've supplied. The first animal, Dimetrodon, is a member


1 A (Continuing) of a group called the pelycosaur,

2 which are the ancestors of the so-called therapsids or the

3 first mammal like reptiles.

4 And then within the therapsids you can trace the

5 sequence of the progressive reduction of these post

6 dentary bones until - and this is a remarkable thing -

7 in advanced members of the group that eventually gave rise

8 to mammals, a group called the cynodonts. In advanced

9 members of the cynodonts, we actually have a double

10 articulation, that is, a double jaw joint. It is one

11 formed by the old quadrate and articulate bones, which are

12 the reptilian articulation bones, the ones that become the

13 malleus and incus, the hammer and the anvil, later.

14 And then the secondary articulation formed by the

15 squamosal bone, which is the upper jaw bone of mammals

16 that makes contact with the lower. And at least in these

17 advanced cynodonts, it seems by a bone called the

18 surangular, which is one of the posterior post-dentary

19 bones, and then in a form called Probainognathus, which is

20 perhaps the most advanced of the cynodonts, you get, in

21 the squamosal bone, the actual formation of what is called

22 the glenoid fossa, or the actual hole that receives the

23 articulation from the lower jaw.

24 And in Probainognathus, it's not clear. Some

25 paleontologists think that the dentary was actually


1 A (Continuing) already established, the contact. In

2 any event the surangular seems to be in contact.

3 And then in the first mammal, which is called

4 Morganucodon, the dentary extends back, excludes the

5 surangular and you have the complete mammalian

6 articulation formed between the dentary of the lower jaw

7 and the squamosal of the upper jaw.

8 Now, Morganucodon, it appears the old quadrate

9 articulate contact is still present, the bones that go

10 into the middle ear, although some paleontologists think

11 that, in fact, that contact may have already been broken,

12 and you may have this truly intermediate stage in which

13 the quadrate and articular are no longer forming an

14 articulation, but are not yet detached and become ear

15 bones.

16 I might also state that if you look at the ontogeny of

17 the growth of individual mammals and their embryology,

18 that you see that sequence, that the malleus and incus,

19 the hammer and anvil, begin as bones of the jaws. And in

20 fact, in marsupials, when marsupials are first born, it is

21 a very, very undeveloped state that the jaw articulation

22 is formed still as in reptiles, and later these bones

23 actually enter the middle ear.

24 Q Now, Professor Gould, you've used a lot of

25 technical terms here. If I understand you correctly, the


1 Q (Continuing) point of this is that this transitional

2 sequence for which we have good evidence shows the

3 transformation of the jaw bones in reptiles to become the

4 ear bones in mammals; is that correct?

5 A Yes. We have a very nice sequence of intermediate

6 forms. Now again, it's not in perceptible transition

7 through all intermediary degrees, because that's not the

8 way evolution works.

9 What we do have is a good temporally ordered structural

10 sequence within the intermediate forms.

11 Q How does creation science deal with this evidence?

12 A For the most part simply by not citing it, as they

13 usually do, or by making miscitations when they do discuss

14 it. For example, again, Duane Gish, in Evolution: The

15 Fossils Say No-

16 MR. NOVIK: Plaintiffs' Exhibit 78 for

17 identification.

18 A -gets around the issue by discussing only a single

19 form, a form called Thrinaxodon. Now, Thrinaxodon is a

20 cynodont; that is, it is a member of the group that gave

21 rise to mammals within the therapsids, but it is, in fact,

22 a primitive cynodont. It is not close within the

23 cynodonts of the ancestry of mammals, and, therefore, it

24 does not have many of these advanced features.

25 Mr. Gish discusses only Thrinaxodon in his discussion


1 A (Continuing) and writes, "Even the so-called

2 advanced mammal-like reptile Thrinaxodon," that's an

3 interesting point. Thrinaxodon is an advanced mammal-like

4 reptile because all the cynodonts represent an advanced group.

5 But within the cynodonts, it is a primitive member

6 of that group, and therefore, would not be expected to

7 show the more advanced features.

8 "Even the so-called advanced mammal-like reptile

9 Thrinaxodon, then, had a conventional reptilian ear." We

10 are quite simply not talking about the more advanced

11 cynodonts who have the double articulation.

12 Q He does not discuss the example you have just

13 testified about at all?

14 A Not in this book published in 1979. It was

15 published long after this information became available.

16 Q And the example he does use is, in your opinion,

17 irrelevant on this point?

18 A Yes. He discusses only the genus Thrinaxodon, which

19 as I have stated, is a primitive member of the cynodonts.

20 Q Professor Gould, is there evidence of transitional

21 sequences in human evolution?

22 A Yes. It's rather remarkable that the evidence is as

23 complete as it is, considering how difficult it is for

24 human bones to fossilize.

25 Q Why is it so difficult for human bones to fossilize?


1 A Primarily for two reasons. First, there weren't

2 very many of us until rather recently. And secondly,

3 creatures that lived in fairly dry terrestrial

4 environments where rocks are more often being eroded than

5 deposited, are not often preserved as fossils.

6 Q What does the fossil record indicate with respect to

7 human evolution?

8 A A rather well formed sequence of intermediate

9 stages. The oldest fossil human, called Australopithecus

10 afarensis, or often known as "Lucy", is one of the most

11 famous specimens and a remarkable specimen is forty

12 percent complete, so it's not just based on fragments.

13 Lucy is an animal that is very much like Archaeopteryx

14 and contains a mixture of some rather advanced human

15 features with the preservation of some fairly apelike

16 features.

17 For example, based on the pelvis and leg bones of

18 Australopithecus afarensis, we know that this creature

19 walked as erect as you or I and had a fairly so-called

20 bipedal gait. Indeed, we've even found fossil foot prints

21 that indicate this bipedal gait.

22 On the other hand, the cranium of Australopithecus

23 afarensis' skull, in many features, is a remarkably

24 apelike cranium and perhaps it is scarcely if at all

25 larger than the ape, with a comparable body size in the