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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

Testimony of Dr. Michael Ruse

Testimony of Dr. Michael Ruse, Professor of Philosophy, University of Guelph, Ontario Canada (Plaintiffs Witness) - transcript paragraph formatted version.


MR. WILLIAMS: (Continuing) one time that some of the quotes being read from the deposition could only go to impeach the witness.

THE COURT: I think he was complaining about the method of using the deposition and not whether or not it— Once it's in the record, it's in there.

MR. WILLIAMS: I just wanted to make sure. Thank you, your Honor.

THE COURT: Mr. Cearley, are you ready to call your next?

MR. CEARLEY: Yes, sir. Michael Ruse will be the first witness, your Honor, and Mr. Jack Novik will handle the direct examination of the witness.



called on behalf of the plaintiffs herein, after having been first duly sworn or affirmed, was examined and testified as follows:



Q: Would you state your full name for the record?

A: Michael Escott Ruse.

Q: Have you been sworn?

A: I have.

Q: What is your address? Where do you live?


A: I live at ** ********, North, Ontario, Canada.

Q: Are you a Canadian citizen?

A: I am indeed.

Q: And what is your occupation?

A: I'm professor of history and philosophy at the University of Guelph, Ontario.

Q: What is your particular area of academic specialty?

A: I'm a historian and philosopher of science. Typically, history and philosophy of biology. I also teach other areas in philosophy, philosophy of religion and philosophy of education. General philosophy.

Q: Doctor Ruse, is this your curriculum vitae?

A: Yes.

MR. NOVIK: Your Honor, this has previously been marked as Exhibit Ninety-Four for identification. Our copies of the exhibits are not yet here. I'd be glad to pass you a copy. We will fill it in with the—

THE COURT: Okay. It will be received. And if you would, make sure it's in the record.

MR. NOVIK: Yes, sir, I'll do that.

In light of Doctor Ruse's qualifications as described in the curriculum vitae, which has previously been made available to the defendants, I move that Doctor Ruse be qualified as an expert in philosophy of science and


MR. NOVIK: (Continuing) history of science, in particular, the philosophy and history of biology.

THE COURT: Mr. Williams.

MR. WILLIAMS: No objection, your Honor. MR. NOVIK: (Continuing)

Q: Doctor Ruse, will you please describe to the Court your understanding, as a philosopher and historian of science, of what science is today?

A: Well, Mr. Novik, I think the most important thing about science, if I was going to extract one essential characteristic, is that it be predominantly brought in the law. In other words, what one's trying to do in science is explained by law, whereby "law" one means unguided, natural regularities.

Q: When you say "law", you mean natural law?

A: I mean natural law. I mean Boyle's Law, Mendel's Law, Cook's Law.

Q: Doctor, is there any one single definition of science?

A: I wouldn't say there is one single definition of science, but I think the philosophers today would generally agree on that point.

Q: Are there other attributes of science that philosophers today would generally agree are important in defining what is a science and what is not?


A: Well, you say philosophers. Let's broaden it. I hope we can include historians. And I'd like to think that scientist agree with what we say.

Yes. I think what one's got to do now is start teasing out some of the attributes of science, starting with the notion of law.

Particularly, science is going to be explanatory.

Another thing there, another very important aspect of science is it's going to be testable against the empirical world. Another characteristic, and perhaps we can stop with these, is that it's going to be tentative. It's going to be, in some sense, not necessarily the final word.

Q: Would you explain to the Court what you mean in saying that science must be explanatory?

A: Yes. When I talk about science, or when philosophers and scientists talk about science being explanatory, what we mean is that in some sense we can show that phenomena follow as a consequence of law. Perhaps I can give you an example to sort of explain a little bit more what I mean. And let's take a very mundane example. I like to take mundane examples because one of the things I really want to point out is that science isn't that different from the rest of human thinking.

Suppose, for example, you've got, say, a baseball which


A: (Continuing) is being pitched from the pitcher to the hitter, and the ball goes along and then suddenly it dips down. The guy swings and the ball is not there, not— You know, I suspect the pitcher, you know, might start thinking in terms of divine intervention.

But a scientist would be saying things like, well, now, why did this happen. Well, let's look at Galileo's Laws; let's look at laws to do with air resistance together with initial conditions like the speed the ball was thrown and so on and so forth.

Q: In connection with these characteristics of science that you've identified, can you tell us what you mean by testable?

A: Yes. Again, it all follows, I think, very much from the nature of law. A scientific theory is not a hypothesis of a body of science. It must, in some sense, put itself up against the real world. That is to say, one must be able to do experiments, either in the lab or out in nature and try and get inferences from the main body of science, and then to see whether or not they follow and whether or not they actually obtain in the world. I think one would want to say that any science that's worth its salt is certainly going to have a lot of positive evidence in its favor. More than that, I think a very important aspect of science is that somehow it must


A: (Continuing) be sort of self-generating. In other words, a scientific hypothesis, a scientific theory is not only going to explain what it set out to explain, but it's going to lead to new areas as well, and one has got to be able to test it in this respect.

Q: Is it fair, then, to say that a science has to generate new facts which then can be tested against a theory?

A: Well, it's not generating the facts, but it's generating inferences about expected facts. Do you want an example or two?

Q: No. That's fine.

In connection with the attributes of science and this issue of testability, does the concept of falsifiability mean anything to you?

A: Yes. The concept of falsifiability is something which has been talked about a great deal by scientists and others recently. It's an idea which has been made very popular by the Austrian-English philosophist, Karl Popper. Basically, the idea of falsifiability is that there must be, as it were, if something is a genuine scientific theory, then there must, at least, conceivably be some evidence which could count against it. Now, that doesn't mean to say that there's actually going to be evidence. I mean, one's got to distinguish, say, between something


A: (Continuing) being falsifiable and something being actually falsified.

But what Popper argues is that if something is a genuine science, then at least in the fault experiment, you ought to be able to think of something which would show that it's wrong.

For example, Popper is deliberately distinguishing science from, say, something like religion. Popper is not running down religion. He's just saying it's not science. For example, you take, say, a religious statement like God is love, there's nothing in the empirical world which would count against this in a believer. I mean, whatever you see-- You see, for example, a terrible accident or something like this, and you say, "Well, God is love. It's free will," or, for example, the San Francisco earthquake, you say, "Well, God is love; God is working his purpose out. We don't understand, but nothing is going to make me give this up."

Now, with science, you've got to be prepared to give up.

Q: I was going to ask you for an example of falsifiability in the realm of science.

A: Well, let's take evolutionary theory, for example. Suppose, I mean, contemporary thought on evolutionary theory believes that evolution is never going to reverse itself in any significant way. In other words, the dodo,


A: (Continuing) the dinosaurs are gone; they are not going to come back.

Suppose, for example, one found, say, I don't know, somewhere in the desolate north up in Canada, suppose one found evidence in very, very old rocks, say, of mammals and lots and lots of mammals and primates, this sort of thing, and then nothing for what scientists believe to be billions of years, and then suddenly, mammals come back again.

Well, that would obviously be falsifying evidence of evolution theory. Again, I want to make the point, you've got to distinguished between something actually being shown false and something being in principle falsifiable. I mean, the fact that you've got no contrary evidence doesn't mean to say that you don't have a theory. I mean, it could be true.

Q: The last characteristic you mentioned was that science was tentative. Can you explain that characteristic of science?

A: Yes. Again, this is all very much bound up with the points I've been making earlier. What one means when one says that science has got to be tentative is that somewhere at the back of the scientist's mind, he, or increasingly she, has got to be prepared to say at some point, "Well, enough is enough; I've got to give this


A: (Continuing) theory up." It doesn't mean to say you are going to be every Monday morning sort of requestioning your basic principles in science, but it does mean that if something is scientific, at least in principle, you've got to be prepared to give it up.

Q Doctor Ruse, in addition to those four characteristics, natural law, explanation, testability and tentativeness, are there other characteristics of science, methodological characteristics of science which serves to distinguish science from non-scientific endeavors?

A: Yes, I think there are. of course, one starts to get down from the body of science and starts to talk more about the community of scientists. Fairly obviously, scientists have got in some sense to try to be objective. One has got to, even though scientists might have personal biases, personal issues, at some level you've got to try to filter these out in science.

Science has got to be public. In other words, if you've got some sort of scientific ideas, you've got to be prepared to let your fellow scientists see it.

Science has got to be repeatable. Fairly obviously, again I say, science has got to try to be honest. I mean, obviously not all scientists all the time have been all or any of these things. But speaking of science as sort of a general body of knowledge and a body of men and women


A: (Continuing) working on it, these are the sorts of ideals we are aiming for. They are not that different from philosophers and lawyers.

Q How does science deal with a new observation or new experimental data which is not consistent with a theory that science has generally accepted to be true for a period of time?

A: Well, you know, it's a little difficult to answer that question because what can one say. It depends on the scientific theory which is threatened. It depends on the new evidence.

I guess a good analogy would say science is something as happens here. Suppose, for example, there was some question about whether or not somebody is going to be convicted of a crime. Well, you have them up, you have a trial, and then let's suppose they are found guilty. Now, they are found guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. You accept the supposition. That doesn't mean to say that never, ever could you open up the case again.

For example, if somebody else was found the next week committing exactly the same crime, you'd probably look very hard at the first one. So, I mean, there are things that would make you change your mind.

And I think it's the same with science. I mean, if you just establish something, and then something pretty


A: (Continuing) massive comes up fairly soon afterwards, then you're going to rethink it. On the other hand, suppose somebody has been convicted twenty years ago, and his mother on the deathbed says, "Well, he didn't really do it." Well, you might say, "I'm not too sure about that."

It's the same with science. If you've got something which is really working, really going well, lots of evidence for it, you get something which seems to be a bit against it, I mean, you don't ignore it. You say, "Let's try and explain it."

On the other hand, you don't suddenly say, ooh, I've lost everything. I've got to start again.

Q Do scientists work at trying to fit the new data into the old theory?

A: They work at trying to fit it in. What can I say. mean, sometimes they, I suspect that first of all they are going to look very carefully at the data again. Other scientists are going to see if the data really is what it's supposed to be, try new experiments, so on and so forth.

Q Doctor Ruse, have, you ever seen reference to observability as an attribute of science?

A: Well, I've certainly seen reference to it in the scientific creationist literature.


Q How do creation scientist use the term "observability"?

A: Well, they seem to make it an essential characteristic of science, and they tend to use it in the sense of direct eyewitness observation.

Q Now, as a philosopher of science, do you believe that observability is an attribute of science?

A: It's funny you say that. Certainly empirical evidence is important, but I wouldn't want to say that direct empirical evidence is important for every aspect of every science. We don't see electrons, for example.

Q Why is science not limited to the visible, to what you can, to what an observer can actually see?

A: Well, because-- This takes us right to the heart of the way science works. I mean, scientists pose some sort of hypothesis, some sort of idea, suppose about the nature of the electrons, something like this. From this he tries to derive inferences, ultimately trying to find something out about the real world, and then you argue back to what you haven't seen.

I mean, you don't see that I've got a heart, but you can infer that I've got a heart from all of the observable characteristics like the fact that it thumps and so on and so forth.

Q Speaking of your heart, I note--


A: Yes. It's thumping quite a bit at the moment.

Q --I note that your latest book is titled _Darwinism Defended_. Does the title of that book suggest that evolution is in question and that evolution is in need of defense?

A: Certainly I hope not. Certainly-- Well, let me put it this way. I do not want to imply that the happening of evolution, as we understand it today, is in any sense under attack by credible scientists.

I am concerned, I'm talking in the book about mechanisms, forces and so forth.

Q Do I understand you to be drawing a distinction between the happening of evolution and the mechanics of evolution?

A: Yes.

Q And what is that distinction?

A: Well, the happening of evolution is claims about the fact or the supposition that we all today, and the fossil record is a function of the fact that we all evolved, developed slowly over a long time from, to use Darwin's own phrase, one or a few forms.

The mechanism, the cause of evolution is -- what shall I say -- it's, I won't say why, but it's the 'how did it happen' sort of question.

Q When scientists today speak of the theory of


Q (Continuing) evolution, are they referring usually to the theory that evolution happened, or are they referring to the theory about how evolution happened?

A: Well, I guess I'd have to say it tends to be used somewhat ambiguously. Sometimes you see it one way; sometimes you see it the other way. To a great extent, I think you have to look at the context in which the discussion occurs.

But I think usually it's true to say that scientists today are concerned about the mechanisms. They accept that evolution occurred.

Q Do you know of any scientists other than the so-called creation scientists who question the happening of evolution?

A: No, I don't really think I know anybody I would call a scientist. I say scientist in the sense of professional, credible scientist. Now, certainly the creation scientists want to argue that it didn't occur.

Q You say that scientists today agree that evolution happened.

A: Yes.

Q Why is that so?

A: Well, quite simply, the evidence is overwhelming.

Q What is the history of the consensus in the scientific community that evolution has happened?


A: Well, like everything, I think in Western intellectual thought, you could well go back to the Greeks. But probably the story, at least as affects us, of the scientific revolution picks up off Copernicus' work showing that the earth goes around the sun and not vice versa.

I think it's true to say that Copernicus' ideas and the ideas of the Copernicans spurred a number of things which led ultimately to evolution thought.

For example, on the one hand, one had the fact that even Copernicus' ideas put certain pressure on the Bible taken literally. For example, in the Bible, it talks of the sun stopping for Joshua, implying the sun moves. And people pointed out-- In fact, Luther and Calvin pointed out, even before Copernicus published, that this seemed to go against the truth of the Bible.

And as people began to accept Copernicanism, they started to say, "Well, you know, if one part is not literally true, maybe another part isn't either." That was one thing.

Another thing was although the Copernican theory, per se, doesn't talk about how things actually came about, certainly it set people thinking this way. And certainly during the eighteenth century, there was an awful lot of speculation and hypothesizing about the way in which the


A: (Continuing) universe might have come about through natural law.

And in particular, there was a very popular hypothesis known as the nebular hypothesis which was developed including part of this by the great German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, which suggested the fact this universe of ours has evolved gradually by natural law from clouds, clouds of gases.

So in physics one is getting what I say analogical directions. Then in the biological sciences themselves, people are finding more and more evidence which were leading them to think that maybe Genesis wasn't quite all that could be said.

For example, more and more fossils were being found, and people were starting to realize that these fossils simply weren't just curiously shaped pieces of stone, so on and so forth.

To cut a long story short, I think by the end of the eighteen century a lot of people were starting to think that maybe organisms had, in fact, developed slowly. In fact, one of the first people to think up the idea was Charles Darwin's grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, who used to write unbelievably bad verse all about how we all evolved up from the oak tree and everything like this. Probably the first really credible scientist to put


A: (Continuing) everything together was a Frenchman by the name of Lamarck, Jean Baptiste de Lamarck, who published a work on evolutionary science or evolutionary theory in 1809.

After that, people started new evolution ideas. They didn't much like them, but they talked about them more and more. Certainly in the Anglo-Saxon world, evolutionism got a big discussion with the publication in 1844 of a book by an anonymous Scottish writer known as Robert Chambers.

So again the people went on talking and talking and talking. Finally in 1859, Charles Darwin published _Origin of Species_. And I think it's true to say that within a very short time, and I mean a very short time, certainly the scientific community was won over to evolutionism. And from that day on by the professional body of scientist, certainly by biologist, I don't think evolution has ever been questioned.

Q When you say the scientific community was won over to evolution, I take it you mean that shortly after the publication of Origin of Species, the scientific community accepted that evolution happened, is that correct?

A: Yes.

Q Charles Darwin also proposed a theory of describing


Q (Continuing) the mechanics of evolution, did he not?

A: He did indeed.

Q What theory was that?

A: Well, it was the theory of natural selection.

Q Now, do scientist today generally agree about how evolution happened?

A: No, not at all. In fact, sort of looking about the courtroom at the moment, I can see several people who, as it were, when they get outside start to disagree very, very strongly indeed about the actual causes.

Q Can you describe the nature of that debate about the mechanics of evolution that is ongoing today?

A: Yes. I would say that if you like to use sort of a boxing metaphor, in one corner you've got the more orthodox Darwinians who think that natural selection is still a very, very major factor.

I don't think anybody, even Darwin himself, ever thought that natural selection was all there was to it. But certainly, you've got some people who want to argue that natural selection still plays the major role.

On the other hand, you've got some people who want to argue that there are other factors which are probably very important random factors, some important genetic drift -- I'm sure you will be hearing more about that -- and other sorts of factors which could have been involved in evolution.


Q Doctor Ruse, you testified earlier that creation scientists often confuse the difference between the happening of evolution and the how of evolution, is that right?

A: I did indeed.

Q Would you please explain what you meant by that, please?

A: Well, what they do is they'll, say, take a passage where a scientist, a biologist, something like this, is talking about the question of causes, the question of reasons, this sort of thing, and they will quote just this one sentence or half a sentence, one paragraph, and then as it were, automatically assume and lead the reader to assume that what's under question here is the actual occurrence of evolution itself.

So one gets, I think, this sort of mixing of the two.

Q Doctor Ruse, are you familiar with creation science literature?

A: Yes.

Q In your book, Darwinism Defended, do you analyze creation science literature?

A: Well, I analyzed one work in particular. This is a work edited by Doctor Henry Morris of the Institute for Creation Research.

It's one-- It's not only edited by him, but I think


A: (Continuing) there are some thirty other scientists, including Doctor Gish, who were either, co-authors or co-consultants.

This is the work which was published in 1974 call Scientific Creationism. It's a work which was published in two versions. One was the public school edition, and the other was the Christian school edition or the Christian edition.

I analyzed the public school edition. It seemed to me that this was about as frank and as full a statement of scientific creationism as one was likely to find.

Q That was analyzed in your book?

A: That's analyzed in the final two chapters in my book, yes.

Q In addition to the book, Scientific Creationism -- Excuse me, Doctor Ruse. There are two editions of Scientific Creationism. One is the sectarian edition, and one is the public school edition. Which of those did you consider in your book?

A: I considered the public school edition.

Q Doctor Ruse, in addition to Scientific Creationism, the book Scientific Creationism, have you read scientific literature excuse me creation science literature extensively?

A: Yes, I have.


Q Could you describe some of the books that you've read?

A: Well, I've read a couple of books by Doctor Gish. I've read Evolution: The Fossils Say No and the book for children, Dinosaurs: Those Terrible Lizards. I should add, by the way, that Doctor Gish and I are sort of old friends, old adversaries. And we've debated together, and I've been reading this stuff for a while now. Also, I read what I believe is taken to be the classic by creation scientists. That's the Genesis Flood by, I think, Whitcomb and Morris.

I have read a couple of recent books by a man called Parker, one which is his testimony on how he got converted to creationism, and another which is a very recent book, the most recent book I've found by the creationists, called Creation, something on the facts or the facts say so, something like that.

The Handy-Dandy Evolution Refuter by a chap called Kofahl, and another book by him. Creation Explanation: A Scientific Alternative to Evolution, that's by Kofahl and I think somebody called Segraves.

Q Is it fair to say you have read widely in creation science literature?

A: Well, I think so.

Q Have you considered the creation science literature


Q (Continuing) in your scholarship?

A: Yes.

Q Have you examined that literature as a philosopher and historian of science?

A: Yes, I have.

Q You testified earlier that creation scientists often confuse the difference between the happening and the how of evolution. And you suggested they do so in part by taking quotations out of context. Is that correct?

A: Yes.

Q Do you know any examples of that?

A: Yeah. Well, for example, in Parker's book, which I said was the most recent, I think, or the most recent book I've come across by creationists, I think you'll find at least one very flagrant example of that.

Q Doctor Ruse, I'd like to show you a copy of Act 590?

A: Yes.

Q Act 590 has previously been admitted as exhibit number twenty-nine.

Doctor Ruse, I'd like to direct your attention to the references to creation science in Act 590. In particular, I'd like to refer your attention to Section 4(a) of the Statute.

As a historian and philosopher of science and someone who has read extensively in the creation science


Q (Continuing) literature, how does Act 590 relate to the body of creation science literature that you have read?

A: I would say very closely indeed. In fact, so closely I would want to say identical.

Q What are the similarities that you see between the description of creation science in Act 590 and creation science as it appears in the body of literature that you've read?

A: Well, a number of things. But I think what one would want to say is, there are at, least three features which are obviously interrelated.

First of all, one has this sort of stark opposition between two supposed positions, so-called creation science and so-called evolution science. And one is often sort of an either/or, this sort of notion of balanced treatment of these two models. Let's call that sort of a dual model approach.

Secondly, the fact that creation science in 4(a) deals point by point with all and virtually only the things that the scientific creationist deal with.

And thirdly, the fact that 4(b) -- what shall I say -- this hybrid, this hodgepodge known as evolution science appears described here, and once again that is something which occurs, basically as a unit like this, I think, occurs only in the scientific creationist literature.


Q Doctor Ruse, I'd like to explore each of those areas with you. First, what is your understanding of the theory of creation?

A: Well, that the whole universe, including all organisms and particularly including ourselves, was created by some sort of supernatural power very recently. As it was tacked on, the fact that having done this, he or she decided to wipe a lot out by a big flood.

Q Where does that understanding of the theory of creation come from?

A: Well, my understanding comes from the reading of the scientific creationist literature.

THE COURT: I'm sorry. I didn't catch what you said earlier. What was the question and the response? Do you mind starting on that again?

MR. NOVIK: Not at all. Did you hear his understanding of the theory of creation?


MR. NOVIK: I could start after that.

THE COURT: Start with that, if you would.

MR. NOVIK: (Continuing)

Q What is your understanding of the theory of creation?

A: That the world, the whole universe was created very


A: (Continuing) recently. And when I talk about the whole universe, I'm talking about all the organisms in it including ourselves.

And as I said, sort of added on as sort of a -- what shall I say -- a sub-clause, that some time after it was done that everything or nearly everything was sort of wiped out by a big flood.

Q How was that creation accomplished according to the theory of creation?

MR. WILLIAMS: Objection, your Honor, to the use of the term "the theory of creation." As previously pursued in our Motion in Limine, the term "theory of creation" is used nowhere within the Act.

MR. NOVIK: Your Honor, a few more questions, and I think that objection will answer itself.

THE COURT: Okay, sir. Go ahead.

MR. NOVIK: (Continuing)

Q Doctor Ruse, I believe I asked you whether the creation you mentioned was accomplished by any force?

A: Yes. By a creator.

Q Where does your understanding of the theory of creation come from?

A: Well, from my reading of the scientific creationist literature.

Q Is that theory of creation a part of Act 590?


A: Well, I think so, yes.

Q Is the creation, the theory of creation that you have identified in the creation science literature the same as the creation science theory identified in Act 590?

A: Yes.

Q Does Act 590 mention a creator with a capital C?

A: It doesn't actually use the word.

Q Where do you see in Act 590 the theory of creation?

A: Well, I see it very much in the first sentence of 4(a). And I think all the time when looking at 4(a), one has got to compare it against 4(b) because these are obviously intended as two alternative models.

And if you look, for example, at 4(b), you see that evolution science means the scientific evidences for evolution, inferences from those evidences.

We are talking about scientific evidences. Scientific evidences for, well, what we mean, a theory. Scientific evidences outside the context of a theory are really not scientific evidences.

Q What theory do the scientific evidences in 4(b) support?

A: Well, they are talking about this theory of evolution science. What I want to say is if we go back to 4(a), then if we are going to start talking about scientific evidences, then presumably we are talking about


A: (Continuing) scientific evidences for some theory. And analogously, what we are talking about is the theory of creation.

Q Where in Act 590 do you see a reference to a creator?

A: Well, again, as I say, I don't see the word creator. I think the, Act is very carefully written so that I wouldn't.

However, I think if you look at 4(a)(1), sudden creation of the universe, energy and life from nothing, I think a creator is clearly presupposed here.

Again, if you look at 4(b)(1), which says "Emergence" -- that's not a word I care for particularly -- "Emergence" by naturalistic processes of the universe from disordered matter and emergence of life from non-life.

Now, you will notice that the key new word here is naturalistic processes, which doesn't occur in 4(a)(1), sudden creation.

So my inference is that we are dealing with non-naturalistic processes in 4(a)(1) and non-naturalistic processes, meaning by definition a creator.

Q Looking at--

THE COURT: Wait a second. Let's go back over that again.

A: What we are dealing with is the question of to what extent 4(a)(1) implies some sort of non-naturalistic


A: (Continuing) creator.

And the point I was trying to make, your Honor, was that I think if you look at 4(b)(1), it says emergence--

THE COURT: Okay. Fine.

A: --emergence by naturalistic processes. I feel very strongly that to understand 4(a) you've got to compare it all the time with 4(b) and vice versa. And my point simply was that 4(b) talks about naturalistic processes, so presumably in 4(a), which doesn't, we're talking about non-naturalistic processes.

Q In 4(a), the language to compare with naturalistic processes you said was sudden creation, is that correct?

A: Yes. Right.

Q Now, looking at 4(b)(3) and 4(a)(3), can you comment on those sections with respect to the issue of creator?

A: 4(b)(3), "Emergence by mutation and natural selection of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds." Again, the word "kind" has a superfluous connotation. It makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, certainly in talking about it in the context of science.

Q But in 4(b)(3), does the Statute make reference to naturalistic processes?

A: Well, it doesn't mention naturalistic processes. It doesn't use the word "naturalistic," but clearly one is talking about naturalistic processes. Mutation, natural


A: (Continuing) selection, these the epitome of naturalistic processes.

Q Yes, sir. And how does that compare with 4(a)(3)?

A: Well, one's only got changes only within fixed limits of originally created kinds. And I take it originally created since we are not dealing with naturalistic processes. We are dealing with non-naturalistic processes.

Q Does the word "kind" in 4(a)(3) have any special significance in that context?

A: Well, as I mentioned, the word kind certainly is not a word which we find used by biologists. It's a word which occurs in Genesis.

Q Do scientists use the word kind at all in any professional taxonomic sense?

A: Well, I'm sure if you went through the literature you might find that some scientists some day. But, no, it's not one of the categories.

Q Doctor Ruse, I believe you testified earlier that each of the six elements of creation science identified in Sections 4(a)(1) through 4(a)(6) were identical to the elements of creation science as you knew them through the literature. Is that so?

A: Yes.


Q Would you please give an example of the similarity between the elements of creation science in Act 590 and the elements of creation science in the literature?

A: Well, by an example, what I want to say is that every one of these elements in 4(a)(1), 4(a)(2), so on and so forth, as you go down them, can be found mirrored virtually exactly in almost the same order in Morris' edited book, _Scientific Creationism_.

If one wants to pick out specific examples, for example, section 4(a)(5) talks about a worldwide flood. And this is something which is discussed at some length in Scientific Creationism.

Q Doctor Ruse, I believe you also testified that another similarity between creation science literature generally and Act 590 is the reference to evolution science in 4(b) of the Act, is that so?

A: Yes.

Q Would you explain what you meant by that?

A: Well, this term "evolution science," as we can see in 4(b) includes a great many different things. And my reading both of the work of scientists and the work of scientific creationists is that it's only the scientific creationists who want to deal with this as one package deal. Evolutionists and other scientists separate them out and deal with them separately.


Q What other scientific disciplines are implicated by the provisions of 4(b)?

A: Well, it's almost a question of what isn't. I would say physics and chemistry in (b)(1). I would suspect that most of the social sciences in (b)(4). I would have thought geology in (b)(5).

Q Doctor Ruse, you are not a scientist, are you?

A: No.

Q Do you have any training as a biologist?

A: No.

Q Do you have any training in the philosophy and history of biology?

A: Yes.

Q What do scientists generally mean by the word evolution?

A: That organisms descended through constant generation from one or a few kinds.

Q Does the theory of evolution presuppose the nonexistence of a creator or the nonexistence of a God?

A: I don't think the theory of evolution says anything at all about the Creator. I mean, in other words, it doesn't say if there is one; it doesn't say that there isn't one.

Q Understanding that scientists do not generally use the term, "evolution science," let me, nonetheless, direct


Q (Continuing) your attention to the definition of evolution science in the Statute.

Looking first at Section 4(b)(1), what is your professional assessment of 4(b)(1) as a scientific statement?

A: "Emergence by naturalistic processes of the universe from disordered matter and emergence of life from non-life." Well, the word "emergence," I think, is not one that scientists would readily use. But taken as it stands like that, I think it's at least potentially a scientific statement.

Q Does 4(b)(1) reflect an accurate description about scientific learning about the origins of the universe and the origins of life on this planet?

A: It certainly doesn't represent the consensus. In fact, there's quite a debate going on at the moment about where life came from originally on this earth. Certainly, I think a substantial body. of scientists would think that it developed naturally on this earth from inorganic matter.

Q Doctor Ruse, is the study of origins of the universe and the study of origins of life on this planet the same discipline in science?

A: No, I would have said not. In fact, evolutionary theory takes, as it were, like _Mrs. Beeton's Cookbook_, it


A: (Continuing) take the organism or the initial organisms given and t hen starts from there.

For example, The Origin of Species is very careful. it never mentions about where life comes from. And I think this has been a tradition of evolutionists. I mean, obviously, evolutionists are going to be interested in the topic, and today certainly textbooks will probably mention it. But it's not part of the evolutionary theory proper.

Q What is your professional assessment of 4(b)(2)?

A: "The sufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds."

Well, it's potentially a scientific statement. I don't thing that anybody has ever believed this.

Q That mutation and natural selection are sufficient?

A: No. Charles Darwin didn't and today's evolutionists would certainly want to put in other causes as well.

Q How does that provision in 4(b)(2) relate to the provision in 4(a)(2)?

A: "The insufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of all living kinds from a single organism."

Well, in fact I think one would. find that most evolutionists would feel more comfortable with 4(a)(2) except I'm not sure they would want to, say it all came


A: (Continuing) from a single organism.

In other words,. we've got sort of a paradoxical situation here where I think the evolutionists would be somewhat happier with part of 4(a) rather than 4(b).

Q Do you understand the meaning of Section 4(b)(3)?

A: "Emergence by mutation and natural selection of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds." Well, I take it this mean this is what actually occurred. I take it, it means it occurred by naturalistic processes since we are comparing it with 4(a)(3), which talks of originally created kinds.

With the proviso that the word "kind" is a bit of a, what shall I say, mushy word. Yes, I think that is something I understand.

Q Again referring to 4(a)(3), what does changes only within fixed limits of originally created kinds of plants and animals mean?

A: Obviously, on the one hand, one is making reference to sort of supernatural causes starting everything. But on the other hand, I see 4(a)(3) as an ad hoc device which creationists have had to think up to get away from some of the obvious indisputable cases of evolution that evolutionists in the last hundred years have come across. I mean, since Darwin, evolutionists have been working hard to find places where they can say, "Look, here is


A: (Continuing) something that actually did evolve from one form to another," and they came up with some examples.

Now, the scientific creationists can't get away from this fact. And so, as I see it, what they've done is they've sort of hurriedly, or not so hurriedly, added ad hoc hypotheses to get around these sorts of problems. For example, and probably the most famous case is of the evolution of moths in England. England, as I'm sure everybody knows, has gotten a lot dirtier in the last hundred years because of the industrial revolution. And a number of species of moths have gotten darker and darker over the years.

Q Excuse me, Doctor Ruse. You are making reference to a picture in what book?

A: It's a Scientific American book called Evolution. It first appeared as an issue of Scientific American, I think, in September of '78.

Q What page are you referring to?

A: I'm looking at page-- Well, they don't put a page number on it. It's two pages after 114. It's opposite an article called "Adaptation" by Richard Lewontin.

MR. NOVIK: Your Honor, I intend to use this reference solely for purposes of explaining the witness' testimony. I believe that's appropriate under the rules.


THE COURT: Yes, sir.

MR. NOVIK: And I have no interest in admitting it into evidence unless Mr. Williams would like to admit it.

MR. NOVIK: (Continuing)

Q Please proceed.

A: Here is a classic case of evolution actually being seen going on. If we look down at the bottom, we see that there are two moths. You have to look rather hard to see one of them.

And this, the model form was the standard original kind of this particular sort of moth. And the main predator is the robins who sort of fly along and eat the moths. And obviously, they see the dark forms very easily, and so they pick them off.

However, over the last hundred years or so because of the industrial revolution, parts of England has gotten a lot dirtier around Birmingham and these sort of places. So consequently, the trees have sort of changed from the bottom form up to looking much more like the top form. And what has happened is that the moths have evolved along with the change in the trees, so that now what happens -- and there is experimental evidence to show this -- robins are much more likely to pick off the original model forms.

Here we have got a beautiful case of evolution in


A: (Continuing) action, natural selection working. Scientists and biologists have studied it time and again. They found that it happens with other species of moths, so on and so forth.

It's evolution that you just can't get away from.

Q How did the creation scientists deal with this question of evolution?

A: Well, what they do is they try to run around it. They introduce, as I said, ad hoc hypotheses saying, "Oh, well, we're not against all forms of evolution. In fact, we ourselves admit a certain amount of evolution. It's just only evolution within fixed kinds." "In other words, we admit to evolution that evolutionists have found. That's just not enough."

Q In terms of the philosophy of science, what is the significance of the contrast between the unrestrained evolutionary change identified in 4(b)(3) and accepted by most scientists, and the evolutionary changes only within fixed limits of created kinds referred to in 4(a)(3)?

A: Well, I would want to say this means that evolutionary theory is, lays itself open to falsification in a way and testing in a way that so-called creation science doesn't, and that it leads to a certain sort, of fertility.

One expects to see evolution occurring and having


A: (Continuing) occurred so very much more generally. And this, of course, is the sort of thing one expects of a Science.

Q In your reading of the creation science literature, have you found any explanation, scientific explanation from the creation scientists as to why evolution should stop at the limit of a kind?

A: Not really, no.

Q Doctor Ruse, let me direct your attention to Section 4(b)(4) and ask your professional assessment of that section?

A: Well, emergence, I guess one would say, that man and apes-- Emergence of man from a common ancestor with apes. I think that evolutionists would certainly want to agree that man and woman, too, come from common ancestors with gorillas, orangutans.

Of course, nobody has ever wanted to claim that we come from a common ancestors of apes or monkeys which are living today.

Q How does that relate to 4(a)(4)?

A: Well, again, separate ancestry for man and apes, which, again, is something which is very important within the scientific creationist literature, is something which is, what can I say, again shows some sort of special consideration for man and certainly puts in mind that the


A: (Continuing) Creator had some sort of special place for man in mind when he set about doing his job.

Q Doctor Ruse, looking at Sections 4(a)(5) and 4(b)(5), do you understand the use of the words "catastrophism" and "uniformitarianism" as used in the Statute?

A: Not really.

Q What is your understanding, then, of how uniformitarianism is used in the creation science literature?

A: Well, I think they, confuse issues. What they say uniformitarianism is, is causes of the same kind and the same intensity interacting today have been responsible for the gradual development of the earth up to its present form.

Q Is that something that scientists agree on today?

A: Certainly not. Scientists today certainly think that in the earth's past there were all sorts of events which occurred which are not of the kind which occur today.

Q Were they, nonetheless, a junction of the same operation of natural law?

A: Yes. Of course, this is the trouble. What one's got is just sort of conflation, I think, in the scientific creationist literature between two possible senses of uniformitarianism. And if by uniformitarianism, you mean exactly the same laws and the same kinds of causes, like the law of


A: (Continuing) gravity, then I don't think any scientist -- well, I know that no scientist, no geologist is going to deny that.

But then on the other hand, if you want to mean by uniformitarianism, not only the same causes, same laws, but always acting in the same intensity, the same amount of rain, the same amount of frost, then certainly scientists today don't accept this.

Q How do you interpret catastrophism in 4(a)(5)?

A: "Explanation of the earth's geology by catastrophism, including the occurrence of a worldwide flood

Well, my understanding is that what we've got is some sort of special divine intervention at this point bringing about major upheavals of one sort or another.

Q Doctor Ruse, do you find much reference to the words "uniformitarianism" and "catastrophism" in the creation science literature?

A: Oh, yes.

Q What is your professional opinion about the significance of the worldwide flood contention as it relates to creation science?

A: Well, it certainly puts-- I mean, again, this is something which comes up again and again in the creation science literature. And it's obviously to be identified with Noah's flood. I mean, Genesis Flood, for example, is


A: (Continuing) quite explicit on this. By Genesis Flood, I'm referring to one of the creation science books.

Q Who is the author?

A: Whitcomb and Morris. I think it was published in 1961.

Q Doctor Ruse, what is the relationship between a worldwide flood and the subject of origins, which, after all, purport to be the subject of this statute?

A: Well, I don't think there is any relationship. I think it's something which is being tacked on to, as it were, added on to Genesis. I mean, if you're going to talk about worldwide floods, why not talk about the Chicago fire.

Q Finally, Doctor Ruse, do you have any professional observation with respect to Subsection 6 of 4(b)?

A Yes. I'd say that an inception several billion years ago of the earth and somewhat later of life, I think that evolutionists would accept this.

Q And how does that relate to 4(a)(6)?

A: Well, a relatively recent inception of the earth and living kinds, again, this is the position which is taken in the scientific Creationist literature.

No actual times are given here. I mean, I take it, it could be anything from five million years ago to about a


A: (Continuing) week last Thursday. But certainly we think it would be interpreted in this way, along with the scientific creationist literature that what we are talking about is six, ten thousand years ago. The sort of Genesis scale that we heard about yesterday.

Q Do you find that theory of a young earth in the creation science literature?

A: Yes.

Q Do you find that theory of a young earth any place other than in the creation science literature?

A: No.

Q Doctor Ruse, does a creation theory necessarily require a young earth?

A: I wouldn't have thought so, no. I would have thought that one could have a relatively old earth and still have some sort of creation theory.

Q Doctor Ruse, you also testified that another similarity between the Statute and the body of creation science literature is the reliance on a two model approach to the teaching of origins?

A: Yes.

Q Would you please describe what you meant by that?

A: Well, what 'I mean by this is that everything is being polarized in the Act. And this polarization is something which is very distinctive of the scientific


A: (Continuing) creationist literature. You've got to be either one or the other.

And as I see matters, truly, and if you look at what evolutionists and other scientists are saying is, they are saying, "Well, no, there could be other options." One doesn't have to say, "Well, it must be one or it must be the other." There are all sorts of possibilities.

Q Doctor Ruse, the Act 590 does not use the words "dual model approach." Where do you see references to this so-called dual model approach that you've identified in the creation science literature?

A: Well, just as a point of order, Mr. Novik, on page one I see "balanced treatment of these two models." So, I mean, I think we are getting very close to a talk of dual is models.

But of course, dual model approach is something which is adopted time and again in scientific creationist literature. I mean, for example, once again referring to Morris' book, the two models are set out quite explicitly side by side, and they look very much like 4(a) and 4(b).

Q Have you encountered this so-called dual model approach to teaching science any place other than the creation science literature?

A: No.


Q Doctor Ruse, as a philosopher of science, what is your professional opinion about the logic of the dual model approach by which disproof of evolution is offered as proof of creation?

A: Well, it seems to me sort of fallacious because what one is saying is you've got two alternatives and they are contradictious.

And as I understand the true situation, what one's got is several options. Not all of them could be true, but at least one's got more than just two options.

Q Can you give an example of a particular discipline of science which the creationists set up as a dual model, but, in fact, you see more than two theories at work?

A: Yes. Well, if you look, for example, at 4(b)(1), "emergency by naturalistic processes of the universe from disordered matter and emergence of life from nonlife," well, if one's going to talk about this, in fact, there are all sorts of hypotheses. I mean, there's several-

Q Excuse me. Are you referring to the "origin of the universe or to the origin of life?

A: I'm sorry. I'm talking specifically about the origin of life here on earth, which certainly seems to be included under 4(b)(l).

And there are all sorts of hypotheses being floated around at the moment. I mean, on the one hand you've got


A: (Continuing) people who believe some sort of, form of, and by Genesis that life is created or life was produced by natural law gradually from inorganic matter here on earth. And there's certainly several hypotheses about how this might have happened.

Then, again, for example, just recently Francis Crick, Nobel prize winner of Watson-Crick fame, has suggested that maybe life here on earth was seeded by intelligent beings from outer space.

Then, again, another idea coming out of England, Sir Fred Hoyle, and a colleague of his, Wickramasinghe, who I think is one of the defendants' witnesses, they suggested that possibly life came here on earth because we were somehow passed through some sort of comet or some comet passed close to us which carried life.

So, what I'm saying is that there are three, four, five hypotheses being floated around at the moment as to how life started here on earth.

And as I see it, this 4(a), 4(b) is sort of locking us into saying that it is just one.

Q Does the two model approach take into account these various theories of how life began?

A: No. I think it sort of, what shall I say, pushes them all together. They are very different.

Q And as a philosopher of science, focusing


Q (Continuing) specifically on this issue of the origins of life, what do you think about, what is your professional opinion about the logic of doing that?

A: I think it's fallacious.

Q Now, we've been using The Origins of Life as an example. Does creation science, as you know it in the literature, apply the same two model approach to every other aspect of the issues raised in its model?

A: Yes, I think it does. Yes. For example, I was thinking of some aptitude towards geology. Either you've got to be a uniformitarian, whatever that means, or you've got to be a catastrophist.

And I think that geologist today would certainly want to sort out a lot of different options here.

Q Doctor Ruse, having examined the creationist literature at great length, do you have a professional opinion about whether creation science measures up to the standards and characteristics of science that you have previously identified in your testimony here today?

A: Yes, I do.

Q What is that opinion?

A: I don't think it does.

Q Does creation science rely on natural law which you identified as the first characteristic of science?

A: It does not. It evokes miracles.


Q Would you explain that a bit?

A: Well, by reading the creation science and having thought about specific examples, if you want me to, is that creation scientists quite openly and frequently talk of supernatural interventions or processes lying outside natural law.

Again, this goes back to something which was being talked about yesterday. Nobody is saying that religion is false. The point is it's not science.

Q Are there any examples in the creation science literature that you've read that creation science does not rely on natural law?

A: Yes, there are.

Q Do you know of any such examples?

A: Yes. I can give you some examples.

Q Could you give us one?

A: Yes. For example, Doctor Gish's book, Evolution: The Fossils Say No, states this quite explicitly.

MR. NOVIK: Your Honor, this book identified by the witness as being produced by the plaintiffs as plaintiffs, exhibit 78 for identification, certain portions of that book have been extracted and introduced for identification. I believe Doctor Ruse is going to refer to a page that has been already produced.

THE COURT: All right, sir.


A: Mr. Novik, before I begin, perhaps I might note that since this book was discussed yesterday that this edition we are dealing with here states quite explicitly on the front page that it's the public school edition, and there are no disclaimers on the inside cover. Okay. I'm turning now to page 40 of Evolution: The Fossils Say No by Doctor Duane Gish. And this was published in 1978, or at least this edition. I think it came out earlier.

And I quote: "By creation, we mean the bringing into being by a supernatural Creator -- That's a capital C, by the way -- of the basic kinds of plants and animals by the process of sudden, or fiat, creation.

"We do not know how the Creator created, what processes He used, for," and this is all now in italics, "He used processes which are not now operating anywhere in the natural universe," end italics. "This is why we refer to creation as special creation. We cannot discover by scientific investigations anything about the creative processes used by the Creator."

I don't think you can get much more blatant than that.

Q As a philosopher of science, what do you make of that statement?

A: Well, it's certainly not science.

Q Doctor Ruse, with respect to the second


Q (Continuing) characteristic of science that you mentioned earlier, the matter of explanation, do you think that creation science is explanatory?

A: No, I don't because I think that as soon as anything comes up, they evoke all sorts of ad hoc hypotheses, which are naturally explanatory.

To give you an example which has a nice historical connotation, there is a widespread phenomenon in the organic world known as homology. That's to say, the sort of structural similarities that you find, say, for example, between the bones of animals of different species. The bones of the human arm, for example, are very similar to the bones of the horse, the foreleg of the horse, the wing of the bat, the flipper of the porpoise and all these sorts of things.

Now, these are real problems for creationists because they are used for different functions and yet, why should you have these similarities.

What creationists say, and incidentally, this is something that people used to say before Darwinism, "Oh, well, if you don't find any homologies, then God was just working His purpose out. If you do find homologies, then, well, God would have a special plan in mind."

I mean, in other words, it doesn't matter what comes up, you know, we've got an explanation. And something which


A: (Continuing) can explain anything is certainly no true scientific explanation at all.

Q But isn't the creation science theory explanatory in some sense? For example, the eye has to be admitted to be a remarkable organ. Creation science would say it was made by the Creator. Isn't that an explanation?

A: Well, it's an explanation, but it's not a scientific explanation because you are evoking a creator, you are not doing it through natural law. And basically, you are not saying, for example, why one eye is one way, another eye is another way or particular features of the eye, per se.

Q Doctor Ruse, do you think that creation science is testable?

A:Not really genuinely testable, I wouldn't say.

Q Could you explain that?

A: Again, this goes back to some of the points we've been making. Every time one comes up with any kind of evidence, the creation scientists, as I see it, sort of wriggle around it.

One comes up with the case, for example, of the moth saying, "Oh, no, this is not something which counts against us." One comes up with fossil record, "Oh, no, this is not something which counts against us." Everything and nothing--

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