Deposition of Dr. W. Scott Morrow - Page 3
A That's a very admirable experiment. I
wish I had done it.
Q Well, why doesn't that experiment satisfy
you with respect to --
A Oh, that's your thrust. Miller was able
to show, for example, that hydrogen, methane, and
another synthetic could produce polypeptides of a
molecular kind. As far as I know, there has been
an insufficient amount of catalytic activity on the
part of those synthetic polypeptides to account for
what would be needed for DNA synthesis to occur.
Q Are there other authorities in the field
who have done these calculations and satisfied them-
selves that there wasn't enough time?
A I don't know.
Q Is there anybody in the field who agrees
with your position that there wasn't enough time?
A I don't know.
Q But you're not aware of any?
A No. I haven't really looked around for
Q Are there people in the field who do
believe there was enough time?
A I would expect that someone like, Seygud
Q Now, Seygud's not a biochemist.
A Well, that doesn't keep him from having
the opinion of the statistical validity of other
Q Are there people in this area of expertise
who do believe there was enough time?
A Well, I would expect Miller or Steinman
and Fox, of course, any of Oparin's students -- any
of the people that are particularly in molecular
evolution, I would guess that they are working with
the assumption that there is sufficient time. This
is the prevailing belief; okay?
Q Okay. Are all of the combinations that
you would take into account in doing this study,
this statistical study, are all of those collisions
A As far as I know, they're random. In
order to be nonrandom, you would have to be able to
show a chemical -- a preferential chemical affinity
for certain groupings; okay?
Now, I don't really think, from what I've
read, that there's a sufficiently strong argument
for a preferential chemical affinity.
Q So that even once it got started in a
very basic way, that the advance from there was
A Well, see, randomness, in chemistry, may
or may not be operating in a given system. Typically,
what we call randomness has some preferential
possibilities over others. But I don't really see
that there's enough evidence for that preferential
activity to support an accelerated formation of a
Q Are you aware of anyone who has done
these calculations which --
A I would assume that Kenyon and Steinman
have made such calculations, and I would assume that
they found them insufficient and had been to propose
Q Have you read any of these studies of
A I've read an interesting textbook by
Steinman and Kenyon. It's called "A Predistical
Q But in that text, don't they believe that
there was enough time for all these things to take
A I don't think they discussed it that
way. I don't think they were concerned with the time.
I don't remember it being in there.
Q Why did you make reference to the text?
A Because I said that I presumed that they
needed to postulate another factor.
Q Do they postulate another factor?
A They postulate what I think would be
equivalent to another factor.
Q Which is?
A The general idea that there is an
accelerating tendency for molecular organization as
a function of molecular weight. At least this is
what I get out of what they wrote.
Q What do you understand the science of
Creation Science to be? How would you define it?
A I would say it's an accumulation of
asserted inconsistencies or insufficiencies in the
Q Sort of a negative science?
A I think that's too harsh.
Q Well, are there any positive theories that
A I would say the fact that the criticism
comes from people with respectable credentials makes
it a positive contribution to science.
Q But do they postulate any kind of
positive kind of notions that replaced the areas that
A Well, they look at the same evidence
that the evolutionists do and draw different conclusions.
Now, I find this a positive activity if, for no other
reason, as an evolutionist it would make the evolution-
ist's work a bit harder to prove their case and find
Q Well, this about the creation of the
earth 10,000 years ago, is that part of Creation
A I'm certain it is in the minds of some
people, but I don't consider that of any particular
importance in holding my own position.
Q Well, but the Statute -- I mean, we're
talking about the Statute here. That's what this
case is about.
A Does the Statute say that? What does
it say in here that --
Q It says "relatively recent."
A Well, does it say 10,000 years?
A Well, then, relatively recent, to me,
might mean two billion years.
Q How would you feel about the teaching that
the earth is 10,000 years old?
A I think that would be very interesting.
I think it would be very difficult for someone to be
able to establish to the satisfaction of a group
of scholars that the earth was 10,000 years old.
Q But we're not talking about a group of
scholars. We're talking about a group of eleventh
A Okay. Let's make it a group of five-year-
olds. Let's put it that way. Any way you want. If
the experiment is properly designed, you bring in your
evidence and you state your case, and then you let
the people sit there and make their decision. I
wouldn't want to have to prove that it's 10,000
Q But this bill would require the teaching
of separate ancestry from different --
A Fine. I think that's perfectly satisfactory.
A teacher does not have to be an exponent and a
believer of everything that he presents; all right?
If we want to foster understanding on the part of
students, you let alternative hypotheses exist and
be weighed in the balance of the classroom.
Q Well, why these alternative hypotheses?
A Why not?
Q Why these?
A Because I think they affect a substantial
number of people who send their children to school
in this country in a government-sponsored program.
Q What is the source of all these people
believing these six listed things?
A The human intellect.
Q Anything else?
Q Does it have anything to do with Genesis?
A Oh, I suppose some of them believe in
Genesis literally, and some don't; but I think that's
Q But you think these six things don't have
anything to do with Genesis.
A They don't have to.
Q Well, what if --
A It's irrelevant.
Q Well, what about my theory about God
creating the world yesterday?
A Fine. Then get out there and use your
legal/political pressure and use it in your school
Q And if I could pass it in Arkansas, then
that would be okay with you?
A Yes. If, indeed, you're paying taxes
and we're talking about a government-sponsored system.
Q Would you be for any bill that -- let me
ask you this. Were you for this bill before it passed?
A I'm for the concept of people being able
to control the education that their children receive
at taxpayers' expense, and if they want something
taught, it's taught; if they don't want something
taught, you don't jam it down their throats. If
something is deeply controversial, believe me, the
knowledge can be gotten by other means than the public
Q Why did you testify for the Act in South
A Because I believe in the necessity for
openness in education; I believe in intellectual
fair play --
Q But why this particular belief system?
A What belief system?
Q Why this particular theory?
A Because it has a coherent body of --
there's a coherent body of opinion in the State of
South Carolina manifested by people who are taxpayers
in South Carolina and that are satisfied with the
existing state of affairs.
Q Okay. I guess where I started was, I was
asking you what Creation Science was, and you said
that it was --
Q -- more or less an accumulation of
asserted inconsistencies in the evolutionary model.
A As I see it.
Q Well, the Statute says -- defines
Creation Science as, among other things, the
explanation of the earth's geology by catastrophism,
including the occurrence of world-wide flood.
Q So is that part of the science of Creation
A Presumably. And if I were teaching in a
classroom, I'd go off and try to find the evidence
and present it to the class.
Q And separate ancestry for men and apes
is part of Creation Science?
A I would presume so.
Q And changes only within fixed limits
originally created kinds of plants and animals?
A Yeah; all the things there.
Q That's part of Creation Science.
A I would presume so.
Q Is there any scientific evidence in
support of any of those things?
A I don't believe it's my responsibility
to produce the evidence. I'm interested in making
the possibility available for the people who think
they have the evidence to come forth and make it
available in a classroom.
Q And you would support any bill that
offered the teaching of a different model in any
A I would support legislation that improves
the chance that there is dogmatic presentation of
anything in a public institution.
Q Do you have any expertise in the area of
A I doubt it.
Q Why does the complexity of the brain
lead you to believe that there wasn't enough time
to have it evolve?
A Well, it has to do with the formation
of brain circuits. I don't know how many billions
of neurons and neuronal circuits exist in the human
brain, but let's say it's ten billion; all right?
How do these things spring up? It's incumbent upon
people who believe in some type of slow development
of complexity that produce the circuits available on
a molecular level.
Q Do you think that evolution in and of
itself in any way contradicts the Second Law of
A That's a very interesting question. It
depends on how you interpret the Second Law of
Q Does it have anything to do with evolution?
A I certainly think it does.
Q Do you see any conflict between the Second
Law and evolution?
A I see potential conflicts, yes.
Q What are the potential conflicts?
A Well, it has to do with how you define
Q What's the problem with defining the
A You can pretty much get anything out of the
Second Law, depending upon how you define your terms.
Q You're talking about whether it's an
open system or a closed system?
A Only in part.
Q What other aspects of the definition of
A Closseous referred, I believe, to an
Q How does the sun's interaction with the
earth affect those issues? Isn't it an open system
in the sense that the sun is always providing energy
to the earth?
A Again, it depends upon how you define your
terms. You can have a system that's essentially and
almost completely closed, as opposed to one that is,
you know, much more in contact with the rest of the
Q I understand all of that.
A Right. Okay. So if you --
Q But what possible conflict do you see
between the Second Law and evolution?
A Well, it's -- I don't see any way to
prove the bloody thing.
Q Prove what bloody thing?
A I don't see any way to prove that evolution
is in concert with the Second Law.
Q Well, do you see any problem with it?
Do you see any inconsistency?
A The inconsistency is that you can't prove
it. The Second Law -- as far as I know, the Second
Law seems to best work for relatively straightforward
cases in nature.
A And when you start in making the system
larger and larger and larger, it becomes more
universally applicable, but increasingly difficult
Q Yes. But what conflict is there between
the Second Law and Evolution?
A Well, that's what I'm trying to tell you,
that -- well, what -- I can't answer that many questions.
To be able to answer that, you have to tell me what
you mean by "the Second Law."
Q Well, I'm reading in this letter to you
A All right.
Q -- Duane Gish. It says, "I have read the
book 'Biochemical Predestination' by Kenyon and
Steinman, as well as many others books on the
origin of life and on the Theory of Evolution. I have
yet, however, to find a rational explanation of the
apparent contradiction between the Second Law of
Thermodynamics and the Theory of Evolution."
Are you aware of any apparent contradiction?
A Well, it's a question of how you define
Q Do you know what Dr. Gish was making
reference to in his letter to you?
A Dr. Gish, if I remember correctly, feels
that evolution violates the Second Law; okay? And
there is various ways to understand the Second Law.
Now, if we take, as a presentation of
the Second Law, the idea that there's a natural
tendency in the universe for physiochemical processes
to go in a direction of increased disorder, that
appears to be in violation of the evolutionary concept
where you have disorder moving toward more order.
Q But that will only be true in a closed
system, wouldn't it?
A As far as I know, it's true in an
Q Well, is the earth an isolated system
relative to the sun?
A I think that that is difficult to show one
way or the other. I think the best guess would be that
it is not an isolated system. But I'm not a thermo-
Q Plants grow, don't they?
A What's that got to do with it?
Q Well, it's increasingly complex from the
seed to the plant. Doesn't that violate the Second
A Not necessarily.
Q Wouldn't it if the earth was an isolated
A If the earth were an isolated system
and if you saw, let's say, as an overall net effect
on this planet, increasing complexity, that would be
a violation of the Second Law.
Q Do you see increasing complexity?
A Yes. Well, now, wait. We see other
things too; right? You see more that increasing
complexity out there.
Q What else do you see out there?
A You see a whole host of phenomena that
are very difficult to sum up in terms of a net effect.
Q Are the aspects of Creation Science, as
defined in the Statute, testable?
A You mean right here (indicating)? To a
Q Which ones, and to what extent?
A Well, I presume that -- let's say, .1
here, we could envision designing an experiment to
produce living systems very, very quickly starting
with, let's say, the most fundamental elementary
particles and energy.
Q How would you disprove that the universe
was created from nothing?
A You can't.
Q Okay. So that's not testable?
A Well, you can design experiments that
parallel what we think a hypothetical scenario would
involve, and you could run the experiment and look
at the conclusions and extrapolate back into the
Q What sort of experiments would you propose?
A I don't have any such experiment to propose.
Q So you couldn't devise an experiment that
would test that?
A I don't think so. But I'm not saying it
can't be done by other people.
Q How would you test the explanation of the
earth's geology by catastrophism, including the
occurrence of a world-wide flood?
A Probably, this would be an observational
activity. You'd go out there and look at the geology,
take core samplings all over the planet, and then,
let's say, hypothesize processes that would be consistent
with a world-wide flood. It's incumbent upon the
people who accept these and believe these things and
go do them.
Q But you're testifying on behalf of this
A I'm testifying on behalf of the
Statute in terms of the importance of the Statute
fostering learning in a public school system.
Q But you don't care --
A I'm not testifying in support of
Creation Science, so to speak.
Q As you understand it, is your testimony
going to be limited only to the educational value of
teaching an alternate model, or are you going to
testify about the science problem?
A I say there's three, let's say, pins
on which I could base my testimony; okay? To a
certain extent, as a scientist, as an educator or
teacher, and as a parent or citizen.
Q To what extent as a scientist?
A To the extent that I believe I can present
or at least give support to the statistical problems
in going from a sterile planet to a replicating cell.
Q Through these mathematical computations
that you've never done.
A I think that's an unnecessarily harsh way
to put it. There are many things that we feel to be
right in science and other fields that we cannot embody
in specific experiments or mathematical formulas,
Q How do you define the study of evolution?
A It's the study of processes that are
either Darwinian or pre-Darwinian.
Q Well, is evolution what took place from
the formation of life up to the present, or does it
necessarily include the formation of life in the
A I think if you want to study evolution,
you have to concern yourself with the very, very
beginning of all things, and then you continue on to
where we are now and project it into the future.
And, also, you try to make some type of relationship
here, let's say, to culture.
Q To culture?
A Right; yes.
Q In what regard to culture?
A Sociobiological extensions of Darwinial
Q What do you mean by "sociobiological
A Well, sociobiology is essentially the
science of evolution of human behavior and culture
and all the things that lead up to it.
Q Is it satisfactory to you that a science
only be negative? I mean, other examples of science --
A In the very beginning of a science,
I think that's the perfectly logical way to begin.
Q Is this the beginning of Creation Science?
A What. I don't know what you mean.
Q Well, you're saying that it would be okay --
A Creation Science may be in its infancy
right now, I think is what you're asking; and I think
if you would take the time to study the development
of scientifical concepts, you'll typically find
that the best progress is made where people find
insufficiencies in existing explanations, so in
nomalies, and attempt to explain them. There's nothing
wrong with starting with a negative position at all.
Q This theory embodied in the definition
of Creation Science, wasn't that a theory deposited
in the 1820's and 1830's by the geologists in England?
A Possibly. I don't know.
Q Are you familiar at all with the historical
debate among the geologists in England in the 1820's
A Not familiar enough to discuss it
Q Are you familiar enough to recognize that
this theory embodied in the definition of Creation
Science is approximately the same argument that they
were making then?
A I would say no. I would rather study
that a bit more to give a sensible answer.
Q Are you familiar with any other scientific
discipline which is made up only of inconsistencies
A Well, off the top of my head, I'd say no.
But the thing is, given enough time, I mean -- I would
say that probably all science has grown by people
focusing on what's not known and what insufficiencies
are in existing explanations.
Q I think that I would agree with you about
that. Is there some insufficiencies in our knowledge
about whether or not man and apes evolved separately
from our ancestry?
A There are certainly debatable opinions
even among evolutionaries in this as to how it
happened and when it happened and --
Q And I think those are important questions
A Why, I do, too.
Q Aren't we past the point of studying
whether or not it came about that way?
A Not necessarily. Not necessarily.
Q What information are you aware of that
leads you to believe that that would be a worthwhile
scientific pursuit, to study separate ancestry from
man and apes?
A Well, a scientist does not study
necessarily with a specific goal in mind. He goes
and looks for evidence, and he hopefully has the
courage and the intellectual openness to take -- to
go where it takes him. Then he interprets the evidence.
Now, if I'm in applied science or
technology, I might be trying to make a better glass
to hold a Coca-Cola. That's directed science. We're
not talking about directed science here. As far as
I know, we're talking about what is appropriate for
scientists to do.
Now, if scientists find it interesting
and valuable to look for separate lines of divergence,
fine; they go look for it.
Q They are not talking about separate lines
for divergence; they are talking about --
A Or separate lines of origin.
(Thereupon, a short recess was held, and
Dr. Norman Giles and Dr. John W. Crenshaw
exited the deposition.)
BY MS. FERBER:
Q Dr. Morrow, do you know when the Arkansas
Citizens for Balanced Education in Origins was founded?
MR. CHILDS: I want the record to reflect
that we object to more than one attorney con-
ducting the depositions. It hasn't happened
in the last week. This is the first time,
and I just make that for the record.
MS. FERBER: Off the record.
(Whereupon, an off-the-record discussion
Q (By Ms. Ferber) Are you an officer in the
Arkansas Citizens for Balanced Education in Origins?
A I believe so.
Q What office do you hold?
A Vice President.
Q How did you come to be Vice President?
A I was asked to be Vice President by Professor
Q And how did you first come in contact with
A The phone rang and I picked it up, and he
was on the other end.
Q Do you know why he called you?
A I would suspect he called me because he had
found out that I was generally interested in supporting
this type of legislation.
Q Do you know how he would have found that out?
A Not specifically, but it was certainly no
secret in South Carolina that I was in favor of it.
Q What is the purpose of the organization?
A The purpose is to require a balanced treatment
for the topic of origins in the public schools of Arkansas.
Q And how does the group seek to achieve this
A Passing a law to require it to be done.
Q Do you know where the organization gets its
A No, not specifically.
Q Is it connected with any other Creationist
A I would imagine it is. I would find it diffi-
cult to believe that they were working on an independent
Q What organization is it connected with?
A Well, I don't know. I said I imagine that
Q What has been your duties as Vice President?
A Up to now, they have asked me to do nothing.
Q Okay. Why did you agree to be Vice President?
A Because I believe in their cause.
Q So it is a token office only?
A I wouldn't want to say that.
Q But you haven't done anything as Vice Presi-
A Maybe just sitting here doing what I'm doing
here this afternoon. That is what they wanted me to
do. I did tell them I had an awful lot of time to
travel and lecture and things like that, but I presume
they are simply agreeing with my original request.
Q What other persons are involved in the organi-
A I would assume that Miran is, since he's the
Q Anybody else that you know of?
A I don't know anybody else.
Q Are there attorneys that represent the group?
A I would imagine so.
Q Do you know who they are?
A As far as I know, Wendell Bird may be one. I
think the gentleman sitting behind me, he is probably
Q Are you indicating Mr. Childs?
A I believe so. I would assume that Humphries
and the others --
MR. CHILDS: Not so, not so.
THE WITNESS: Well, I stand corrected
Q (By Ms. Ferber) Was it explained to you why
anybody wanted you to co-chair the organization?
A Was it explained? Well, if I remember correctly
I had a conversation with Gran. We seemed to be in
agreement on the purposes of the organization, and I
would have, I guess I could say, that he was pleased
that as an evolutionist I take the position that I do.
Q Was it ever explained why they would ask
somebody from South Carolina to chair the Arkansas
Citizens for Balanced Education in Origins?
A I don't think so. But I don't find that
unusual. I mean, if the organization has to have some
MS. FERBER: I would like to mark as
Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 2 a one-page letter
to Dr. Morrow on Wendell Bird's letterhead.
(Whereupon, the document was
marked by the court reporter
as Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 2
Q (By Ms. Ferber) Dr. Morrow, this is a copy
of a one-page letter to you from Wendell Bird. Have
you seen this letter before?
A I don't remember specifically, but --
Q I believe --
A -- if it's in the bundle of stuff I gave you,
Q Okay. And this letter indicates he is trans-
mitting to you a copy of the affidavit requesting that
you notarize it and return copies to Wendell Bird and
Curtis Thomas. Is this the cover letter that would
have come with the affidavit in support of your inter-
A I would imagine so, yes. If I have a copy
of it, it ought to be in that pile of stuff.
MS. FERBER: I'd like to mark as Plaintiff's
Exhibit No. 3 a copy of handwritten notes which you
provided to us today.
(Whereupon, the document was
marked by the court reporter
as Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 3
Q (By Ms. Ferber) Dr. Morrow, I show you
Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 3. Are these a copy of your
A Very definitely.
Q Where it indicates, I believe, transportation
and lodging expenses to be paid by Defense Fund --
Q -- do you know what Defense Fund that refers
A I would presume the A.C.B.E.O.
Q And that is a defense in support of this
A I am guessing that. I told them I did not
have the money to pay for the expenses myself.
Q And these are notes of a conversation you had
with Rick Campbell, Assistant Attorney General of
A Let me take a look at it.
No. I remember -- I remember something like
this, where he asked if I charged a fee, and he said
Q And Mr. Campbell indicated that the Defense
Fund would pay your expenses to Arkansas for trial?
A I've written down to be paid by defense
Fund. Well, I guess he indicated it if I wrote it. It
could be -- I don't know if I heard him correctly, okay,
but I wrote down that, sure.
Q Thank you.
How long have you known Paul Elanger?
A I guess a year or two, probably a couple of
Q Do you remember how you first came in contact
A I seem to recall getting a letter from him,
or some other type of correspondence, and I would guess
that he asked me if I would appear or give support to
the South Carolina law that somewhat is similar to the
Arkansas law, and he may have called me on the phone,
I forget. But one way or the other, I said sure.
Q Who is Mr. Sisk?
Q Have you ever heard of Mr. Sisk?
A I don't know anybody called Sisk. Who is Mr.
Q In a copy of a letter between Elanger and Mr.
Gish, he refers to correspondence from Dr. Morrow and
Q Did Paul Elanger write to you and describe
any probable control mechanisms you could conceive which
A I don't know if it was Elanger. I think maybe
Gish asked me that, or something like that.
Q When was the first time that you saw Act 590,
the Statute that was passed in Arkansas?
A I think it was today.
Q Okay. Had you ever seen a similar bill?
A I would say the South Carolina bill was
Q Do you know if it was almost exactly the
same or exactly the same?
A If I remember correctly, the South Carolina
law was not as specific or definite, I'll put it that
way, and probably not as inclusive.
Q At the time when you signed your affidavit
in support of the Motion to Intervene, --
Q -- had you ever seen Act 590?
A I didn't see a copy of it.
Q Okay. Had somebody explained to you what the
bill was about?
A They would have had to, or I would not have
agreed to support it.
Q Do you remember how that bill was explained
A No, not as such. I would guess it had been
explained to me by Wendell Bird, the guy that was maybe
taking the deposition. I may have said, well, what is
it that you people are trying to do, and somebody pro-
bably explained to me. And I said that sounds pretty
good, if it sounds like the South Carolina thing, I
would certainly do it.
Q What is your understanding of what 590 requires?
A It mandates a teaching in the balanced way
of these two different models in the public schools of
Q What is --
A Now, I've got to correct that. It does not
require the teaching of both, but it does assert that
if you are going to teach the evolution model, then you've
got to teach the balanced.
Q Okay. What does balanced mean to you?
A An evenness of approach that provides alter-
native scenarioes or explanations for origins that
ideally is, you know, not dogmatic.
Q In Section I, Act 590, it states that balance
is required if material deals in any way way with the
subject or origins.
Q What is meant "in any way"?
A If the topic comes up, then you have balance.
Q Section II of the Act prohibits religious
instruction. What does "religious instruction" mean?
A I would say directed teaching of religious
concepts, say, direct teaching of religious concepts
Q What are religious concepts?
A Well, concepts based upon metaphysical beliefs
that are typically not scientific testible.
Q Is Creation Science scientifically testible?
A I've answered that quite a few times.
Q And am I correct that you answered, no, it's
A I said, in my opinion, it is -- it would be
difficult, or is difficult to test many aspects of
Creation Science, if not all of it, in somewhat the
same fashion that it's difficult to test similar aspects
of evolution science.
MS. FERBER: I'd like to mark as Plaintiff's
Exhibit 4 a one-page document with the heading
"Citizens for Fairness in Education," a
document which you produced to us today.
(Whereupon, the document was
marked by the court reporter
as Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 4
Q (By Ms. Ferber) I call your attention to
the lower half of the chart head, "Scientific Creationism
Creation Science," and under that chart, there is a
box headed "Inherent Religious Implications."
Q I understand that to be referring to the
Inherent Religious Implications of Creation Science?
A Yes; kind of directly.
Q Okay. Do you believe that there are Inherent
Religious Implications to Creation Science?
A Yes. And also in Evolution Science.
Q Thank you.
Section II of Act 590 also prohibits reference
to religious writings. What does religious writings
A Writings by people whose primary vocational
activity is religious belief or theory or actions.
Q Does this mean merely that a teacher can't
refer to the Bible or textbook, can't quote scripture?
A It would include that, but not really restricted
Q What are kins?
A Well, the way this seems to be used by Creation
Scientists is an alternative to, I guess, species.
Q Okay. Do you know what the origin of the
term "kins" is?
A I would suspect it's -- well, I would expect
it to be in a religious writing.
Q The Bible, perhaps?
A Probably. In fact, I think it does.
Q Okay. What does catastrophism mean?
A It means processes that happen rather suddenly,
perhaps unpredictably, in such a way that the effects
are enormous, relative to the system that's being
Q Does it have anything to do with the inter-
vention of God?
A It would be consistent with it, but it doesn't
Q Does Creation Science necessarily infer the
concept of the creator?
A I would say, no, not the way I see it. It's
consistent with it, but it's not a necessary require-
Q So you -- how would you teach Creation Science
without reference to a creator?
A Without reference to a creator? Well, I
would concentrate on what evidences there would be for
and against different scenarioes for the appearance
of life on the planet. Okay?
Q And when a student asks you where that life
come from, what would you say?
A I would have to tell them, of course, that's
unknown, and as far as we know, it's untestable.
Q How do you feel as an educator as leading a
student to a question that you can't answer?
A It's a perfectly valid way to do things, my
goodness. In your -- in teaching at all, most questions
that you are asked, you can answer, and what I try to
do is foster an intellectual activity in the student
and yourself to try to get answers.
Q Would you agree that teaching the concept that
the Earth was created by a supernatural creator is a
A Well, let's just try that again.
Q Isn't teaching the concept that the Earth was
created by a supernatural creator instruction in a
Q At 590 states that it prevents the establish-
ment of theologically liberal, humanist, Nontheist,
or Atheist religions.
A May I see that somewhere?
Q Yes. It's in Section VI of the Act.
Q In the middle.
Q What is a theologically liberal religion?
A Didn't you ask me a question on that?
Q No. I stated the Act said that, as a pre-
ference to my question.
A Okay. Go ahead.
Q What is a theologically liberal religion?
A A theologically liberal religion? It's kind
of a funny question to ask and agnostic. I would say
that a theologically liberal religion is one that is
rather non-stringent in the specific dogmas that must
be accepted to partake of -- to partake in that relig-
Q What is a humanist religion?
A I think that's a religion that's based upon
man being the ultimate center of the universe and it's
a religion of by and for human kind, for mankind.
Q By the way, these may be strange questions to
ask and agnostic, but I'm asking them of somebody that
is a supporter of Act 590.
Q What is a Nontheist religion?
A I guess it would be a religion that does not
require the belief in a God or, shall we say, does not
require a belief in a specific or traditional God.
Q Section VIIB of Act 590, states, Public
Schools generally censor Creation Science and evidence
contrary to evolution.
A As far as I know.
Q Does censor mean to suppress or Creation
Science arguments haven't been argued as a Creation
matter to warrant inclusion in a text?
A I think it's a combination of those things.
Q Creation arguments have not had sufficient
secular merit to warrant inclusion in textbooks?
A I would phrase it somewhat differently. I
would have no doubt that there is a certain degree of
conspiracy involved. And the second thing would be,
insofar as there being secular support -- in order to
have such censorship, you only really need, let's say,
an understanding or a belief on the part of the people
that are responsible for the teaching that that is so.
In other words, what I'm trying -- what I'm trying to
deal with is a certain aspect of what you said.
MS. FERBER: I'm sorry, could you read
back his answer so far?
(Whereupon, the court reporter read the
record as requested.)
THE WITNESS: I would not want to support
the idea that a majority of people were opposed
to the teaching of Creation Science. What I'm
trying to say, is, that's taught in the class-
room, and is left up to the teacher within the
teaching community today, I think there's a
general bias against teaching Creation Science.
Q (By Ms. Ferber) Why?
A Largely because if what they were taught.
Q Since the time that these teachers were
taught biology, let's say --
Q -- have there been significant advances that
would lend more credence to Creation Science?
A Not necessarily. Not necessarily.
Q Therefore, students of biology today would be
taught the same as your term "biases" as teachers of
today who were students several years ago?
A Possibly. But let me phrase it a little
differently. In conversations with people who teach
all sorts of things, and perhaps especially those aspects
of biology, I have found too few teachers who know
enough about evolution to really teach it appropriately.
Okay? And I think there's an unacceptable degree of
the non-acceptance of Evolutionary Theory on the part
of biology teachers, rather than an understanding that
science is a developing-type knowledge, and as a
general tendancy on teachers to teach things that are
proven facts. And then we go to the next thing.
Q How much contact do you have with elementary
and secondary school teachers?
A Well, over the last 15 years or so, off and
on, I've talked to biology teachers and other teachers.
Q Preferably, how often?
A How often? I guess maybe about every six
months I run into one or two of them.
Q And do you feel you have a good grasp of
what they are teaching in biology?
A I think so. I -- let's put it this way: I
remember one occasion where I was asked to do some in-
service teaching and Chesnee in South Carolina, and I
wasn't particularly satisfied -- those teachers were
fine people and all that, but they werent' really
science teachers, in the sense that I would want them
to be science teachers.
Q How would you want them to be science teachers?
A I would want them to be much more interested
in teaching kids how to learn things than just teaching
them specific bodies of information.
Q Do you think it's important that students
learn what science is?
A I think it's very desireable, yes.
Q Do you think Creation Science is a good
A It can be as good as the person teaching it,
just as evolution can be as lousy as the person
Q Is it possible that Creation Science isn't
a science at all?
A To answer that, I would simply have to say
that something is as scientific again as how well you
could test it.
Q Okay. If Creation Science isn't testable,
and it's taught along side something, which educators
believe should be taught as science, what does that
do to students' ability to understand what science is?
A Well, the way you phrase it, Creation Science
would fall flat on its face, wouldn't it, and the
students should be able to observe that. On the other
hand, if the same degree of skeptisism is presented to
the evolutionary ideas, I think you'll find the typical
student would not accept that either. He concludes
that science has nothing really to offer him in regards
to these things.
Q Why shouldn't the same healthy degree of
skeptisism be applied to evolution?
A I think a healthy degree should be applied to
all healthy aspects of proven things.
Q I'm having trouble with understanding how a
high school biology student, most commonly a tenth
grader, is equipped to deal with this healthy skeptisism.
A You are having trouble with that?
A Well --
Q I'd like to know what tools a tenth grader
brings to the classroom by which he's going to under-
stand that what is being taught to him is a science,
and what is not a science, is emerged as a science?
A Well, I think that the typical tenth grader
today finds enormous difficulties with many intellectual
concepts which are introduced prematurely to them.
Now, ideally if a teacher is trying to handle
these kinds of things, the teacher might pose a series
of problems that require explanation or solution, then
the teacher should try to foster student inquiry to
accumulate the evidence for an organic hypothesis. In
teaching them the scientific method --
Q Okay. If you teach students about science,
and you teach them the scientific method, and then
you teach them in a science classroom something that
is not science, how are they going to understand what
A Now, you present them with a problem. You
try to explain to students what the scientific method
is. Okay? Then you present a problem, can science
offer us information for understanding in this, on this
Q Act 590 requires that Creation Science be
taught as science.
Q You have thus far indicated some problems of
the Theory of Evolution --
Q -- which appear to me to be the evidences that
you have offered in support of Creation Science.
A Yes; in a sense, yes.
Q Okay. Are there any other evidences, scien-
tific evidences for Creation Science, other than the
problems with the Theory of Evolution?
A I think those are quite sufficient.
Q Okay. If what you teach students is a scien-
tific evidence for Creation Science is far more than
the evidences, the problematic evidences for evolution,
why is that science?
A I don't see why it's not. What we should be
trying again is to foster this healthy skeptisism.
Q Okay. Didn't you earlier say that some
kind of panspermiogenesis is another possible theory
Q Are there any other Theories of Origins?
A Well, there's a whole flock of them, but I
don't think they necessarily are all testable poten-
tially as, let's say, panspermiogenesis.
Q Are the scientific evidences that suggest a
problem of evolution also evidence in support of pan-
A To a certain extent, I guess.
Q Okay. Why does Act 590 only require that
evolution and Creation Science be taught?
A Those are the things of most concern pre-
sumably to the people of Arkansas.
Q Okay. If the problematic scientific evidences
about evolution are evidences in support of panspermio-
genesis, why are they also scientific evidence in support
of Christian Science?
A I don't know if I understand.
MR. CHILDS: I don't think you can expect
him, and I very rarely say anything, but I
really don't think you can expect him to tell
you what members of the Arkansas legislature
were thinking, and that's assuming they were
thinking about this. The Arkansas legisla-
ture, by our 1876 Constitution, can only meet
for 60 days every two days.
MS. FERBER: Yes.
MR. CHILDS: Except for, I think, they
can -- there's some way that the Arkansas
Supreme Court says they can have a 15 day or
a 30 day extension.
MS. FERBER: Right. Or a special session.
MR. CHILDS: Emergencies -- no, not for
a special session.
MS. FERBER: Okay.
MR. CHILDS: The Governor --
MS. FERBER: I'm sorry, I don't know
what that has to do with his opinion as to
the scientific evidences that Act 590 requires
to be taught.
MR. CHILDS: Well, you asked him why the
Act did not have panspermiogenesis.
MS. FERBER: No, I didn't. I asked him
why the scientific evidences that he taught
would have to be taught under Act 590, why
those were scientific evidences for Creation
Science, and not for something else. And my
next question would be, how are school children
to understand that?
MR. CHILDS: I'm sorry. I misunderstood
your question. I thought you asked why the
third theory was not being taught. I with-
Q (By Ms. Ferber) Okay. If the only evidence
in support of Creation Science are the same evidences
which also support panspermiogenesis, or any other
Theory of Origin, other than evolution, how does the
school child understand that those are evidences in
support of Creation Science?
A The school child is going to experience a
considerable amount of confusion on these topics.
Q Thank you.
A May I add something?
A But that is unrelated to this law.
Q Do you think confusion in school children is
a good thing?
A It depends on what we are talking -- what kind
of confusion we are talking about. I think it's obvious
to me in talking to students that come to Wofford
College, there are largely South Carolina students,
but they do come from outside the state, too, their
understanding of origins is rather muddled.
A Quite frankly, I think the teachers that
have taught it have been asked to teach something that
is most difficult and perhaps in perfectly misunderstood
at best, even by the experts in the field.
Q Isn't it likely that their understanding of
origins is muddled because not of what they learned in
the classroom, but because it conflicts with religious
teachers and origins?
A Not at all. I find the same type of muddle-
ness in understanding the American Economic System.
Q Act 590 states that Evolution Science is
contrary to the religious convictions or moral values
or philisophical belief of many students and parents,
including individuals of many different religious
faiths and with diverse moral values and philisophical
A It certainly can.
Q Does it hinder religious training and moral
training by parents?
A I think the dogmatic teaching of anything can
have that effect.
Q Will hinder religious training?
A I think the dogmatic training of anything can
have that effect, yes.
Q Does the presentation of evolution alone
produce hostility towards many religions?
A It can have that effect.
A Students can be rather vunerable to what's
presented to them in a classroom, and a teacher has
an obligation to understand their intellectual vuner-
ability, and not to capitalize on it for, say, they're
teaching specifically philisophical purpose. A teacher
has to recognize that a balance is needed in many
things, and to teach students, perhaps, how to get to a
state where they can pick in a more unbiased way their
final understanding of things.
Q Is evolution a religion?
A It can be, and frequently I think it's taught
as if it's the equivalent of religion.
Q So that teaching of evolution underminds the
religious belief of fundamentalist students?
A It can, yes.
Q Does a presentation of Creation Science support
the belief of fundamentalist students?
A It can.
Q Is the desire to prevent the underminding of
religious belief one of the major reasons for requiring
that Creation Science be taught?
A It's not one of mine. Other people who are
in support of it would have to answer it in their own
Q What's your major reason?
A I believe in openness and fairness in educa-
tion, and I believe that it makes good sense again to
teach, say, a multiplicity of explanations or models.
Q Do you expect that belief in literal interpre-
tation of Genesis would be --
A I doubt it. It would be exposed to arguments.
Q Have you ever taught in the elementary or
Q Okay. Are you familiar with Creation of
Science writings textbooks?
A To a certain extent.
Q Have you ever read any of that that don't
contain biblical references?
A Not that I can think of.
Q Are you aware of any Creation Science teaching
materials that would be available to implement Act 590
in public schools?
A It seems to me that the -- I will say I have
in my files enough material that I could put together
a cogent summation of Creation Science without --
without reference to scripture.
Q Okay. For your own teaching?
Q But not materials you would hand out to your
A Oh, I would have to put these materials
Q And this is material that would enable you
to present Creation Science on the college level?
A I would think so, yes.
Q Are you ever involved in training teachers?
A Well, once again I was involved in an in-
service effort, which was like a one day shot.
A I have had an occasional student at Wofford
College who has gone on to high school teaching.
Q Do you believe that teachers are properly
trained to teach Creation Science?
A I would have to say that I have some reserva-
tion that teachers are properly trained or educated
today to teach most things, including all forms of
Q Do you think that most teachers know how to
teach Creation Science without relying on the religious
A I sort of answered that with my previous
statement. It would be a rather incompetent teacher
who has to lean on religious materials to teach Creation
Q So teachers would be incompetent to lean on
religious materials, or not know how to teach it?
A They would have to learn how to teach it.
They would have to sit down and study the topics rigor-
Q In your experience, do teachers sit down
rigorously and present them in a --
A Not as much as they should.
Q Are any unsettled areas, scientific disputes,
currently taught to school children?
A Yes -- wait a minute, unsettled areas in
Q Similar to the Creation Evolution controversy.
A Possibly the sociobiologist discussion, that's
at least controversial as Creationism and --
Q What is sociobiology?
A Again, it's the study of the evolution of
human behavior and culture.
Q Is that taught in high school biology courses,
as far as you know?
A It can be fashionable for teachers to intro-
duce a certain cutting edge of scientific inquiry, and
I would expect some sociobiology to be taught or
discussed, at least, in pre-college level work.
A And then in a certain sense, if you are
dealing with the influence of science and technology
on human decision making and human civilization, that's
Q Can you think of any other scientific disputes
that you think are taught to pre-college level students?
A I can't think of any, but I really doubt that
the teachers in this level of instruction are that
knowledgeable in those disputes. I think they have
their hands full with a lot of other things.
Q So the Creation Evolution controversy would
be one of the first, or the first such dispute that
most teachers would be teaching in science courses?
A Could very well be, yes.
Q What does academic freedom mean to you?
A Well, let's see, the best answer to that, I
think I've already put that down in one of these documents.