1 A We do not know in any precise way how life was
2 formed. However, it is a very active field of research.
3 There are a number of studies going on, and we are
4 developing and continuing to develop within science a body
5 of knowledge that is beginning to provide some
6 enlightenment on this issue.
7 Q Now, you have been explaining why the creation
8 science dual model approach to the teaching of origins of
9 life on this planet is unscientific. Is there any other
10 aspect of the creation science treatment of the origins of
11 life on this planet that is similarly unscientific?
12 A Well, I find the use of probabilistic arguments to
13 be somewhat deceptive.
14 Q Would you explain what you mean?
15 A In general in the creation science literature, they
16 start out by assuming, by making statements about the
17 complexity of living systems. These will generally be
18 fairly accurate statements about the complexity of living
20 They then proceed on the basis of probabilistic
21 calculations to ask, what is the probability that such a
22 complex system will come about by random. When you do
23 that, you get a vanishingly small probability, and they
24 then assert that therefore life by natural processes is
1 A (Continuing)
2 But the fact of the matter is, we do not know the
3 processes by which life has come about in detail. To do
4 the probabilistic calculations, we would have to know all
5 the kinetic and mechanistic details by which the processes
6 have come about, and, therefore, we would then be able to
7 do the calculations. We are simply lacking the
8 information to do the calculations now, so to present them
9 on the basis of the random model is somewhat deceptive.
10 Q Is it also in your view unscientific?
11 A Since deception is unscientific, the answer to that
12 is yes.
13 Q Are there any other respects in which the
14 creation science treatments of the origins of life on this
15 planet is unscientific?
16 A Well, they play rather fast and loose with the use
17 of the second law of thermodynamics to indicate that the
18 natural origin of life would not be possible.
19 Q And can you describe for us what about the
20 creation-science treatment of the second law of
21 thermodynamics is unscientific?
22 A They state the second law in terms of the
23 spontaneous movement of systems from an order to a
24 disordered state, and then they argue that since evolution
25 and the origin of life involve states going from a
1 A (Continuing) disordered to more ordered states,
2 that these transitions are inconsistent with the second
3 law of thermodynamics.
4 What they totally leave out in the original statement of
5 these arguments is that the second law of thermodynamics
6 applies only to isolated systems. In the statement that
7 they use as the second law of thermodynamics, it applies
8 to isolated systems where the surface of the earth is, in
9 fact, not an isolated system, but an open system, and
10 therefore, not subject to the constraints that they place
11 on it in the isolated systems statement.
12 Q Doctor Morowitz, perhaps it would help if you
13 explained the second law of thermodynamics a bit.
14 A Although there are a large number of statements of
15 the law, for our purposes we can state the second law as
16 saying that in isolated systems there is a tendency of the
17 system to go to a maximum degree of molecular disorder.
18 Q And what is an isolated system?
19 A An isolated system is one that is cut off from all
20 matter or energy exchange with the rest of the universe.
21 Q Is the earth an isolated system?
22 A The earth is not an isolated system.
23 Q Does the second law of thermodynamics imply that
24 the surface of the earth is becoming disorganized?
25 A That does not follow from the second law of
1 A (Continuing) thermodynamics.
2 Q And that's because the earth is an open system?
3 A The earth is an open system because it has a flow
4 of energy from the sun to the earth, and then there is a
5 subsequent flow of energy from the earth to outer space,
6 and so those two constitute it being an open system.
7 Q Can you give us an example of how the second law
8 would work in an isolated system, a system that is totally
9 closed to influx of energy or matter?
10 A If you had an isolated system and you had within
11 that system a hot object and a cold object, which would be
12 a certain degree or organization, the two of them being at
13 different temperatures, if you put the two of those in
14 contact with each other, heat would flow from the hotter
15 body to the colder body and eventually, within the
16 isolated system, they would come to the same temperature.
17 That would be a more disordered state, because the state
18 would be uniform and homogeneous throughout.
19 Or if I may take a biological example, if we were to
20 take a laboratory mouse and put it in isolation; that is,
21 we were to put it in a closed, sealed container through
22 which there was no flow of matter or energy, then in a
23 short time the mouse would die, the very ordered structure
24 of all the molecules and cellular structures in the mouse
25 would decay, and if we came back in a few hundred or two
1 A (Continuing) thousand years, we would find just a
2 puddle of liquid gases and a few residual crystals. That
3 would be a movement from order to disorder in an isolated
5 Q Now, I believe you testified that creation science
6 misstates the second law of thermodynamics. Is that so?
7 A Yes.
8 Q Can you give an example of the way they do that?
9 A Yes. In Morris' book Scientific Creationism, and
10 if I can look at a copy of that book, I can give you more
11 exact references.
12 MR. NOVIK: Your Honor, the witness is referring to
13 the public school edition of Scientific Creationism, which
14 has previously been identified by plaintiffs as Exhibit 75
15 and admitted into evidence.
16 THE COURT: All right.
17 A If we look at page 23 of this book-I should state
18 at the outset that this book is by Henry M. Morris, who is
19 the director of the Institute for Creation Research. This
20 is a very well accepted book within the creationism
21 community and among the scientific creationists.
22 In this book, Morris, on page 22, states that law of
23 energy decay, the second law of thermodynamics, tells us
24 that energy continually perceives to lower levels of
1 A (Continuing)
2 He continues in that vein in discussing the second law,
3 he picks up again on this discussion on page 38. On page
4 38 he quotes a number of people, a number of rather well
5 known physicists, with such statements as, "In any
6 physical change that takes place by itself, the entropy
7 always increases-
8 Q Excuse me. You're reading at the very bottom of
9 that page, is that right?
10 A The bottom of page 38. And I should point out that
11 entropy is the measure of the molecular disorder of a
12 system. It's a mathematical measure of that disorder.
13 In another quotation he states. "As far as we know, all
14 changes are in the direction of increasing entropy, of
15 increasing disorder, of increasing randomness of running
17 In that entire discussion, the entire original
18 discussion of the second law of thermodynamics as applied
19 to living systems, the limitation of the second law to
20 closed systems is not made, nor is it pointed out that the
21 surface of the earth where life arose is not a closed
22 system, but an open system.
23 Q Does the book ever recognize the distinction
24 between an open and an isolated system?
25 A Yes. On page 40, the statement occurs that the
1 A (Continuing) second law, speaking about ordering,
2 he says, "The second law says this will not happen in any
3 natural process unless external factors enter to make it
4 happen." And by `external factors', I assume there he is
5 recognizing that the system is then open. `External
6 factors' means opening a system to the flow of matter and
8 And under these conditions, Morris admits that
9 organization can take place.
10 Q Does he continue that discussion of open systems?
11 A Yes. He then picks up again somewhat later in the
12 book on open systems, and he does that under a very
13 strange device.
14 He starts that discussion by saying, "When pressed,
15 however, for a means of reconciling of the entropy
16 principle with evolution, one of the following answers is
17 usually given," and then he gives a list of five answers,
18 the fifth of which is that the second law of thermo- the
19 second law does not apply to open systems.
20 So he finally admits to the fact that the second law does
21 not require that an open system like the earth go from an
22 ordered to a disordered state, but he does it in a way by
23 sneaking it in as a fifth item on the list of the excuses
24 that evolutionists give when pressed.
25 Q Is the limitation of the second law of
1 Q (Continuing) thermodynamics to isolate its systems
2 an evolutionist excuse?
3 A No. It is fundamental to the structure of
4 thermodynamics of an open system. It is fundamental to an
5 entire body of knowledge, which we will call the study
6 itself organizing systems, which is most relevant to this
7 problem of abiogenesis.
8 Q Doctor Morowitz, you've been referring thus far
9 only to the book Scientific Creationism. In your opinion
10 and based on your reading of creation science literature
11 generally, is that misapplication or misstatement of the
12 second law typical in that creation science literature?
13 A The views that Morris presents are very similar
14 throughout the rest of the literature that I am familiar
16 Q Doctor Morowitz, I believe you testified that in
17 addition to misstating the second law of thermodynamics,
18 creation science literature also misapplies the second law
19 of thermodynamics to conclude that evolution is not
20 possible on earth. Is that accurate?
21 A That is true.
22 Q In what ways do they do that? What arguments do
23 they use?
24 A Well, again, the primary arguments are ignoring the
25 fact that the earth is an open system, and that for open
1 A (Continuing) systems under the flow of energy,
2 rather than being disordered, the systems, in fact, go
3 from less ordered to more ordered states, so that
4 evolution, rather than being contrary to the laws of
5 thermodynamics, is part of the unfolding of the laws of
7 Q Can you give us an example of the ordering effect
8 of energy flow in an open system?
9 A Yes. If we took the case we discussed before,
10 where we had two objects at different temperatures and we
11 placed them in contact and there was a flow of heat in
12 which they went to the same temperature, and we discussed
13 the reasons why that was a disordering phenomenon, if we
14 now take a sample of a substance that's at a uniform
15 temperature and we place it in contact with a radiator and
16 a refrigerator, there will be a flow of energy through
17 that system from the hot source to the cold sink, that
18 will give rise to a temperature gradient within the system
19 which is an ordering of that system
20 Q In the system, in the earth's biosphere system,
21 what is the energy source?
22 A For the surface of the earth, the principal energy
23 source is the electromagnetic energy which flows from the
25 Q What is the energy sink, to use your word?
1 A The energy sink is the cold of outer space. That
2 is to say, energy comes in from the sun, it would by and
3 large convert it to heat energy, that heat energy is
4 reradiated to outer space.
5 Q Is the ordering effect of the flow of energy
6 through the earth's system what caused the formation of
7 life on this planet?
8 A Yes. Although the exact processes are not known,
9 the primary driving force was certainly the flow of energy
10 through the system.
11 Q Do you know how life was formed, precisely?
12 A Again, not in precise detail, although as I pointed
13 out, it is an active area of scientific research, and at
14 the moment one, as an enthusiastic scientist always feels,
15 that we're getting close.
16 Q Does creation science literature take account of
17 the ordering effect of the flow of energy?
18 A No. Other than mentioning it in terms of an excuse
19 when pressed, they then go on to say, although the flow of
20 energy is capable of ordering the system, it does not do.
21 so because such ordering requires, and to use their
22 terminology on page 43 and 44, that "such ordering,"
23 according to the creation literature, "requires a program
24 to direct the growth and a power converter to energize the
1 Q Of those requirements of a program to direct growth
2 and a power converter, are those requirements recognized
3 elements of the second law of thermodynamics?
4 A Those are not part of the second law of
5 thermodynamics. However, I should point out that there is
6 nothing at all supernatural about an energy converter or a
7 program to direct growth.
8 Energy conversion occurs, let's say, in photochemical
9 conversion or electrochemical conversion. It's part of
10 the ordinary physics and chemistry of all systems.
11 Likewise, a program to direct growth can well be
12 encompassed under the laws of nature, the laws of quantum
13 mechanics, the laws of thermodynamics, the periodic table,
14 and the laws of nature, which are, indeed, a program to
15 direct the ordering of the universe.
16 Q Doctor Morowitz, is the scientific literature
17 regarding the ordering effect of the flow of energy well
19 A Yes. It's certainly well known to all
21 Q Is there a considerable amount of such literature?
22 A There are a number of books, scientific books,
23 there are a large number of journal articles on the
24 subject. And it's even found its way into the popular
25 press in the sense that in 1977 Ilya Prigogine was awarded
1 A (Continuing) the Nobel Prize in chemistry, cited in
2 part because of the results of his theory on the ordering
3 effect in biological systems, so that the matters we're
4 talking about are extremely well known.
5 Q Do you know whether there is any indication that
6 the creation-scientists who have written the literature
7 that you have read are familiar with this science
8 literature about the ordering effect of energy flow?
9 A Well, very frequently they quote the authors who
10 have written on the subject of the ordering effect of
11 energy flow, ut they rarely quote them in the exact areas
12 which are stressing that ordering effect.
13 Q Do they quote you?
14 A Yes, they do.
15 Q And you've written about the ordering effect of
16 energy flow, is that right?
17 A Yes, I have.
18 Q Doctor Morowitz, looking back at the book
19 Scientific Creationism, what is your assessment of the
20 rest of the section that you were referring to, through
21 page 46, I believe.
22 A Well it then goes on to what I would consider a
23 good deal of rambling, rather unscientific rambling.
24 Unscientific in the sense that wherever an open question
25 arises, it's referred back to an act of creation, whereas
1 A (Continuing) the scientific approach to an open
2 question would be to go into the laboratory and try to do
3 the experiments or to set up a theory or to do the hard
4 work, the enthusiastic science of going ahead and trying
5 to solve the problem.
6 And in the approach there, the unsolved problems are
7 always referred back to the supernatural, rather than the
8 scientific approach of `how do we go about solving them'.
9 Q Doctor Morowitz, you're a scientist studying the
10 origins of life. How do you approach that subject in
11 terms of your science?
12 A Well, I have certain reasonably detailed hypotheses
13 about now the energy flows in the early pre-biotic system
14 led to the chemical orderings in that system. And what I
15 do is to set up experiments in the laboratory, where we
16 actually introduce those flows into the system and then we
17 conduct various kinds of chemical and physical
18 investigations of the systems that are subject to these
19 energy flows to see now they organize under those flows.
20 Q Do you then publish your work as it proceeds?
21 A Yes.
22 Q Doctor Morowitz, do you know of any creation
23 science experimentation regarding the origins of life?
24 A I am not aware of any creation science experiments
25 in this area.
1 Q Are you aware of any creation science literature-
2 I'm sorry. Are you aware of any creation science
3 publication of his theory of the origins of life in any
4 reputable scientific journal?
5 A I'm not aware of it in any of the journals that I
7 Q Doctor Morowitz, we have been speaking mostly about
8 the book, Scientific Creationism. What is your opinion
9 about the other creation-science literature you have read,
10 with respect to its attributes as science?
11 A Well, I think it's all very comparable. I think
12 this is a paradigm example, and insofar as this is not
13 science, the rest of the literature also is not science.
14 Q Doctor Morowitz, in your professional opinion, does
15 the creation-science treatment of abiogenesis, the origins
16 of life from non-life, have the attributes of science?
17 A No.
18 Q In your professional opinion, does the creation
19 science treatment of the second law of thermodynamics have
20 the attributes of science?
21 A No.
22 MR. NOVIK: Your Honor, I have no further questions.
23 MR CHILDS: We will reserve our cross examination
24 until after Doctor Gould's direct and cross.
25 THE COURT: All right. Fine.
1 MR NOVIK: May we please have a few minutes?
2 We'll be getting Doctor Gould from the witness room.
3 THE COURT: We'll take a ten minute recess.
4 (Thereupon, court was in
5 recess from 10:50 a.m.
6 to 11:00 a.m.)
8 MR NOVIK: Plaintiffs' next witness is Doctor
9 Stephen Gould.
13 called on behalf of the plaintiffs herein, after having
14 seen first duly sworn or affirmed, was examined and
15 testified as follows:,
17 BY MR. NOVIK:
18 Q Professor Gould, what is your current employment?
19 A Professor of Geology at Harvard University and
20 curator of invertebrate paleontology and comparative
21 zoology there.
22 Q I'd like to show you Plaintiffs' Exhibit Number 96
23 for identification, which purports to be your curriculum
25 A (Examining same)
1 Q Does it accurately reflect your education,
2 training, experience and publications?
3 A Yes, it does.
4 MR NOVIK: I move that that be received in
5 evidence, your Honor.
6 THE COURT: That will be received.
7 MR NOVIK: (Continuing)
8 Q Professor Gould, when and where did your receive
9 your Ph.D.?
10 A Columbia University in 1967.
11 Q In what field?
12 A In paleontology.
13 Q What are your areas of expertise?
14 A Paleontology, geology, evolutionary theory, and
15 I've also studied the history of evolutionary theory.
16 Q Have you published a substantial number of books
17 and articles in these fields?
18 A Yes. I've written five books and more than a
19 hundred and fifty articles.
20 MR NOVIK: Your Honor, I offer Professor Gould as
21 an expert in the fields of geology, paleontology,
22 evolutionary theory, and the history of evolutionary
24 THE COURT: Any voir dire?
25 MR. WILLIAMS: No, your Honor.
1 MR NOVIK: (Continuing)
2 Professor Gould, I'm showing you a copy of Act
3 590. Have you had an opportunity to read that act?
4 A Yes, I have.
5 Q Have you read Act 590's definition of
6 creation-science as it relates specifically to geology?
7 A Yes. As it relates specifically to geology, point
8 number 5 proclaims that the earth's geology should be
9 explained by catastrophism, including the occurrence of a
10 world wide flood.
11 Q Have you read the creation science literature
12 relative to geology?
13 A I have indeed. Let me say just for the record,
14 though, I'll use the term `creation science' because it's
15 so enjoined by the Act, but in my view there is no such
16 item and creation science is not science. I would prefer
17 to refer to it as creationism.
18 But yes, I have read the creation science literature, so
20 Q Is the statutory definition of creation science as
21 it relates to geology consistent with that creation
22 science literature?
23 A Yes. The creation science literature attempts to
24 interpret, in most of that literature, the entire
25 geological column as the product of Noah's Flood and its
1 A (Continuing) consequences, and it is certainly
2 consistent with point number 5 of the Act.
3 Q Have you read Act 590's definition of evolution as
4 it relates specifically to geology?
5 A Yes. I would say that that primarily is the point
6 that uniformitarianism is-
7 Q And the Act defines it as-
8 A Oh, yes. An explanation of the earth's geology by
9 catastrophism. Or it says that evolution is the
10 explanation of the earth's geology and evolutionary
11 sequence by uniformitarianism.
12 Q What does uniformitarianism mean?
13 A As creation science defines it, it refers to the
14 theory that I would call the notion of gradualism, namely,
15 that the phenomena of the earth and geological record were
16 produced by slow, steady, imperceptible change, and the
17 bar scale events were produced by this slow accumulation
18 of imperceptible change.
19 Q And it is in that sense that uniformitarianism is
20 used in the Act?
21 A In the Act, yes.
22 Q Are you familiar with scientific literature in the
23 field of geology?
24 A Yes, I have. In fact, I have authored several
25 articles on the meaning of uniformitarianism.
1 Q Is Act 590's definition of evolution in respect to
2 uniformitarianism consistent with the scientific
4 A Certainly not. It may be true that Charles Lyell,
5 a great nineteenth century geologist, had a fairly extreme
6 view of gradualism, but that's been entirely abandoned by
7 geologists today.
8 Geologists have been quite comfortable with the
9 explanations that some events have been the accumulation
10 of small changes, and others as the result of, at least,
11 local catastrophes.
12 Q So modern geologists believe in both; is that
14 A Yes.
15 Q Is the Act's definition of evolution in terms of
16 uniformitarianism creation consistent with the creation
17 science literature?
18 A Oh, yes. The creation science literature continues
19 to use the term "uniformitarianism" only to refer to the
20 notion of extreme gradualism. For example, they argue
21 that since fossils are generally only formed when
22 sediments accumulate very rapidly, that, therefore, there
23 is evidence for catastrophe, and somehow that confutes
25 In fact, paleontologists do not deny that fossils that
1 A (Continuing) are preserved are generally buried by
2 at least locally catastrophic events, storms or rapid
3 accumulations of sediments. And indeed, that's why we
4 believe the fossils record is so imperfect and most
5 fossils never get a chance to be preserved, because the
6 rate of sedimentation is usually slow and most fossils
7 decay before they can be buried.
8 Q Is there any sense in which modern geologists do
9 believe in uniformitarianism?
10 A Indeed, but in a totally different meaning.
11 The term `uniformitarianism' has two very distinct
12 meanings that are utterly separate. First is the
13 methodological claim that the laws of nature are unvaried,
14 but natural laws can be used to explain the past as well
15 as the present.
16 That's a methodological claim that we assert in order to
17 do science.
18 The second meaning which we've been discussing, the
19 substantiative claim of falsifiable, the claim is often
20 false, about actual rates of change. Namely, the rates of
21 change are constant. And that is a diagnostic question for
23 Q Could you give us an example of these two different
24 meanings of uniformitarianism?
25 A Yes. For example, take apples falling off of
1 A (Continuing) trees. That's the usual one. The
2 first principle, the methodological one that we do accept
3 as part of the definition of science, holds that if apples
4 fall off trees, they do that under the influence of
5 gravity. And we may assume that they do so in the past
6 and will continue to do so in the future.
7 For example, the great Scottish geologist James Hutton
8 said in the late eighteenth century on this point, that if
9 the stone, for example, which falls today will rise again
10 tomorrow, principles would fail and we would no longer be
11 able to investigate the past in the present. So that's
12 what we mean by the methodological assumption.
13 The notion of gradualism or constancy of rates would
14 hold, for example, that if two million apples fell off
15 trees in the state of Arkansas this year, then we could
16 assume with the constancy of rates in a million years from
17 now, two millions apples would fall, which of course is
18 absurd. Apples could become extinct between now and
19 then. We've got a contravene in the laws of science.
20 Q Does the creation science literature accurately
21 reflect these two different meanings of uniformitarianism?
22 A No, it doesn't. It continually confuses the two,
23 arguing that because we can't refute constancy of rates,
24 in many cases which indeed we can, that, therefore,
25 somehow the principle of the uniformity of law, or the
1 A (Continuing) constancy of natural law, is also
2 thrown into question. And they are totally separate
4 Q Let's return to the Act's definition of creation
5 science as including scientific evidence for a worldwide
6 flood. Are you aware of any scientific evidence which
7 would indicate a worldwide flood?
8 A No, I'm not.
9 Q Are you familiar with creation science literature
10 concerning a worldwide flood?
11 A Yes, I've read a good deal of it.
12 Q Is the creation-science theory concerning a
13 worldwide flood a scientific theory?
14 A At its core, it surely isn't, because from the
15 literature I've read, it explicitly calls upon miraculous
16 intervention by God; that it is an extension of natural
18 That's what I take it we mean by miracles, for some of
19 these events in the flood narrative. For example, there
20 just isn't enough water in the world's oceans to
21 thoroughly cover the continents in a deluge as profound as
22 that of Noah's, and so they call upon water that is
23 presumed to be in the earth and Whitcomb and Morris in The
24 Genesis Flood talk about a giant canopy of water above the
25 firmament. But then have to rely upon God's miraculous
1 A (Continuing) intervention to get that water onto
2 the earth. If I may quote from Whitcomb and Morris-
3 Q What are you quoting from?
4 A Pardon me. It's from The Genesis Flood, by John
5 Whitcomb and Henry Morris. On page 76, the statement,
6 "The simple fact of the matter is that one cannot have any
7 kind of a Genesis flood without acknowledging the presence
8 of supernatural events."
9 Then the next paragraph, "That God intervened in the
10 supernatural way to gather the animals into the ark and to
11 keep them under control during the year of the flood is
12 explicitly stated in the text of scripture. Furthermore,
13 it is obvious that the opening of the windows of heaven in
14 order to allow the waters which were above the firmament
15 to fall upon the earth, and the breaking up of all the
16 bounties of the great deep, were supernatural acts of God."
17 THE COURT: What page?
18 THE WITNESS: Page 76, your Honor.
19 THE COURT: What exhibit?
20 MR NOVIK: Your Honor, I believe that The Genesis
21 Flood has been pre-marked- Actually, that has not been
23 If the Court would like, we could mark that as
24 Plaintiffs' Exhibit 124-126.
25 MR. NOVIK: (Continuing)
Q You testified that at its core the flood theory is
1 Q (Continuing) a supernatural, relies on a
2 supernatural process; is that correct?
3 A Yes.
4 Q Are there any predictions based on flood geology
5 that can be tested?
6 A Yes, they do make certain testable predictions.
7 They have been tested and falsified long ago.
8 Q Could you give an example, please?
9 A Yes. The creation science literature assumes that
10 since God created all forms of life in six days of
11 twenty-four hours, that, therefore, all animals lived
12 simultaneously together. One would, therefore, assume, at
13 first thought, that the geological strata or the earth
14 would mix together all the forms of life, and yet that is
15 outstandingly not so.
16 And the outstanding fact of the fossil record which must
17 be admitted by everybody, creationists and evolutionists
18 alike, of course, is that rather than mixing together all
19 the animals, that the geological record is very well
20 ordered; that is, we have sequence of strata, and
21 different kinds of animals and plants characterize
22 different layers of those strata.
23 For example, in a rather old strata, we get certain
24 kinds of invertebrate, such as trilobites that are never
25 found in higher strata.
1 A (Continuing)
2 In strata of the middle age we find dinosaurs, but never
3 trilobites. They're gone. Never large mammals. In upper
4 strata we find large mammals but never any dinosaurs.
5 There is a definite sequence that occurs in the same
6 manner throughout the world and that would seem to
7 contradict the expectation that all forms of life lived
8 simultaneously should not so order themselves.
9 And therefore, creation scientists, in order to get
10 around this dilemma and to invoke another aspect of the
11 Genesis story, call upon Noah's flood and say that all the
12 animals and plants were mixed up together in this gigantic
13 flood and that the ordering in the strata of the earth
14 records the way in which these creatures settled out in
15 the strata after the flood or as the result of the flood.
16 Q Have creation scientists advanced any specific
17 arguments or claims for why a worldwide flood would sort
18 out the fossils in this unvarying sequence?
19 A Yes. As I read the literature, there are three
20 primary explanations that they invoke. First, what might
21 be called the principle of hydrodynamic sorting. That
22 when the flood was over, those creatures that were denser
23 or more streamlined would fall first to the bottom and
24 should end up in the lower strata.
25 The second principle you might call the principle of
1 A (Continuing) ecological zonation, namely, things
2 living in the bottom of the ocean end up in the lowest
3 strata, where those that lived in mountaintops, for
4 example, would probably end up in the uppermost strata.
5 And the third principle that they use is what I might
6 call differential intelligence of mobility. That smarter
7 animals or animals that can move and avoid the flood
8 waters might end up in higher strata because they would
9 have escaped the rising flood waters longer than others.
10 Q Are those three claims or hypotheses consistent
11 with the observable facts?
12 A Certainly not.
13 Q In your opinion, have they been falsified by the
14 observable facts?
15 A Yes, they have.
16 Q Could you give an example, please?
17 A Yes. If you look at the history of any
18 invertebrate group, for example, our record is very good.
19 We have thousands upon thousands of species in those
20 groups, and each species is confined to strata at a
21 certain point in the geological column.
22 They are recognizable species that only occur in a small
23 part of the geological column and in the same order
24 everywhere. And yet we find that throughout the history
25 of invertebrates, we get species each occurring at a
1 A (Continuing) separate level, but they do not
2 differ in any of those properties.
3 For example, in the history of clams, clams arose five
4 or six hundred million years ago. Initially almost all
5 clams were shallow burrowers, in that they burrowed into
6 the sediment. Now, it's true that in the history of clams
7 there have been some additions to that repertoire, some
8 clams like the scallops now swim, others are attached to
9 the top, but in fact, a large majority, large number of
10 species of clams still live in the same way.
11 So there is no difference in the hydrodynamic principles
12 among those clams throughout time; there is no difference
13 in ecological life-style, they are all shallow water
14 burrowers; they are not different in terms of intelligence
15 or mobility, indeed, clams can't even have heads. So they
16 cannot be intelligent creatures.
17 And yet, as I stated, each species of clam lives in a
18 definite part of the stratigraphic column and only there.
19 There are large-scale extinctions of certain kinds; you
20 never see them again, yet they do not differ in any of
21 the ways that the creation scientists have invoked to
22 explain the order in the strata as the results of the
23 single flood.
24 Q Could you give another example, please?
25 A Yes. Another good example is in the evolution of
1 A (Continuing) single-celled creatures. It is a
2 unicellular calcite (sic?) called foraminifera. Many of the
3 foraminifera are planktonic; that is, they are floating
4 organisms. They all live in the same lake floating at the
5 top or the upper waters of the oceans, they don't differ
6 in hydrodynamic properties. They live in the same
7 ecological zone, and they certainly don't differ in
8 intelligence and mobility. They don't even have a nervous
10 And yet for the last twenty years there has been a
11 worldwide program to collect deep sea cores from all the
12 oceans of the earth. And in those cores, the sequence of
13 planktonic foraminifera species are invariably the same.
14 Each species is recognizable and lives in only a small
15 part of the column; some at the bottom of the column, some
16 at the top of the column. Those at the bottom do not
17 differ from those at the top, either in intelligence,
18 ecological examination, or hydrodynamic properties.
19 Q Professor Gould, does the creation science argument
20 based on principles of hydraulics explain why trilobites
21 are always found in the bottom layers of the stratigraphic
23 A Certainly not. Trilobites are the most prominent
24 invertebrate animals found in the early strata that
25 contain complex invertebrates, but they are neither
1 A (Continuing) particularly streamlined or very
2 thin. In fact, one group of trilobites that occurred
3 early, even within the history of trilobites, in the
4 earliest rocks we call Cambrian, called the agnostids,
5 which are very delicate, tiny, floating creatures, yet
6 they are abundant not only with the trilobites, but early
7 in the history of trilobites. I don't see how that can be
8 explained that in any creation science philosophy.
9 Q Professor Gould, you have been talking up until now
10 about invertebrates. Do these creation science arguments
11 explain the stratigraphic sequence of vertebrates?
12 A They do just as badly. The earliest fossil
13 vertebrates are fishes, and one might think that's all
14 right because they were swimming in the sea, and yet in
15 detail it doesn't work out that well.
16 Indeed, the fishes with the relatively largest brains,
17 namely the sharks, occur rather early in the record. And
18 even more importantly, those fishes that, in fact, today
19 represent more than ninety percent of all fish species,
20 the teleosts, the most advanced fish, do not appear until
21 much later and do not flower until the period that we call
22 Cretaceous, which is sixty to a hundred million years
23 ago. The record of fishes goes back to three or four
24 hundred million years ago.
25 Why should the teleosts occur only in the upper strata?
1 A (Continuing)
2 Moreover, when you look at the history of other
3 vertebrate groups, in both the reptile and the mammals,
4 there are several lineages that have secondarily evolved
5 from terrestrial life to marine life and, therefore, lived
6 in the sea with fishes and you might expect them at the
7 bottom of the column. They're not. In fact, they occur
8 in geological sequences where their terrestrial relatives
10 For example, during the age of dinosaurs, there were
11 several linages of reptiles that returned to the sea.
12 Ichthyosaurus, pelycosarus and the therapsids, in
13 particular. And they are always found in the middle
14 strata with dinosaurs, never in the lower strata.
15 When you get a history of mammals, you find whales only
16 in the upper strata with other large mammals, never in the
17 lower strata, with the early fishes.
18 Q Do geologists and paleontologists have natural law
19 explanations for the universal sequences found in the
20 fossil record?
21 A Yes. The earth is very ancient, and those animals
22 that were alive at any given time occur in the rocks
23 deposited at that time. They then become extinct or
24 evolve into something else, and that's why they're never
25 found in younger rocks deposited on top of those.
1 Q Is it possible to determine at least relative dates
2 for the different strata in the stratigraphic record?
3 A Yes, indeed, just by noting which fossils
4 invariably occur in strata on top of others, and,
5 therefore, we assume deposited later and, therefore,
7 Q In assigning relative dates to the stratigraphic
8 record, is it necessary to rely at all on any theory of
9 evolution or any assumption of evolution?
10 A Certainly not. It's merely a question of
11 observation, to see what fossils occur in what sequences.
12 It's the same way throughout the earth; there is no
13 assumptionary process at all involved in that.
14 Q Do creation scientists claim that evolutionary
15 theory does play a role in the relative dating of the
16 geologic column?
17 A Yes. One of the most persistent claims is that the
18 whole geological column is probably invalid, because it's
19 involved in a circular argument, namely, that since you
20 need to assume evolution in order to establish the
21 sequence of fossils, but then use that sequence to
22 demonstrate evolution, that the whole subject is
24 If I may give you some examples?
25 Q Please do.
1 A In Scientific Creationism—
2 MR. NOVIK: I believe that's Plaintiffs' Exhibit 76
3 for identification, your Honor.
4 A In Scientific Creationism, on pages 95 and 96, we
5 read, as a cardinal principle, number 2, page 95, "The
6 assumption of evolution is the basis upon which fossils
7 are used to date the rocks." And then the tautology
8 argument is made on the next page, 96, "Thus, although the
9 fossil record has been interpreted to teach evolution, the
10 record itself has been based on the assumption of
12 I repeat, that is not so, it is merely based on
13 observation of evidence of sequence.
14 Now, I continue the quote, "The message is a mere
15 tautology. The fossils speak of evolution because they
16 have been made to speak of evolution."
17 "Finally we being to recognize the real message of the
18 fossil is that there is no truly objective time sequence
19 to the fossil record, since the time connections are based
20 on the evolutionary assumption."
21 And there's another example, Duane Gish, in Evolution:
22 The Fossils Say No.
23 MR. NOVIK: I believe that's Plaintiffs' Exhibit 78
24 for identification, your Honor. And the book, Scientific
25 Creationism, comes in two versions, a public school
edition and a non-public school edition, and
1 MR. NOVIK: (Continuing) Exhibits 76 and 75.
2 A Duane Gish writes on page 59, "This arrangement of
3 various types of fossiliferous deposits in a supposed
4 time-sequence is known as the geological column. Its
5 arrangement is based on the assumption of evolution.
6 Q Professor Gould, would you please explain how
7 geologists do assign relative dates to different layers of
8 the stratigraphic record?
9 A Yes. We use these principles that have names that
10 involve some jargon. They are called the principles of
11 original horizontality; the principle of superposition,
12 and the principle of biotic succession.
13 Q What is the principle of original horizontality?
14 A The principle of original horizontality states that
15 sedimentary rocks that are deposited over large areas, say
16 that are deposited in oceans or lakes, are laid down
17 initially in relatively horizontal layers.
18 That doesn't mean that in a small area if you deposited
19 on a hill slope that you might not get some that are
20 somewhat inclined, but at least deposition in large basins
21 would be fundamentally horizontal.
22 Q What is the principle of superposition?
23 A The principle of superposition states that given
24 that principle of horizontality, that those strata that
25 lie on top of others will be younger because they were
1 A (Continuing) deposited later, unless subsequent
2 movements of the earth have disturbed the sequence by
3 folding, faulting, and other such processes.
4 Q What is folding?
5 A I will illustrate. Folding is when rocks
6 originally deposited in horizontal layers are twisted and
7 contorted in such a way that the sequence can be changed.
8 For example, if we had three horizontal layers laid
9 down, originally horizontal, in superposition, if through
10 later earth movement they got folded over, you can see how
11 the top layer here, which is the youngest layer, in a
12 folded sequence would come to lie underneath a layer of
13 rock actually older than it.
14 Q What is faulting?
15 A Faulting is when rocks break and later move. For
16 example, the kind of faulting most relevant here is what
17 we call thrust faulting. Suppose the rocks break. So we
18 have that three ways (Indicating), and that is the break
19 and that's the fault. Then what we call thrust faulting.
20 One sequence of rocks that is literally pushed over on top
27 of another, and that would also create a reverse of the
22 sequence, such as you see here. The oldest strata here,
23 this so-called thrust block broken and pushed over this
24 older stratum and would then come to lie upon the younger
25 stratum here, and you get all of those sequence.
1 Q Are geologists able to tell whether folding or
2 faulting or some other geological process has disturbed
3 the initial strata?
A Yes. And I should say it is not done secularly by
5 finding of fossil sequences, and then assuming that only
6 because of that there must be a fold or a fault. We look
7 for direct evidence, of fold or fault.
8 There are two main ways of doing that. The first is
9 geological mapping, where you actually trace out the folds
10 and faults in the earth's strata.
11 In the others you can well imagine what there is. For
12 example, in thrust faulting, a large block or blocks has
13 literally been pushed over. In another, there would be
14 some disturbance of the boundary. That is, this heavy
15 block of rock has literally pushed over the other. But
16 you would get fracturing and folding of rocks from either
17 side of the so-called thrust plane, and we find this.
18 Q Could you please give an example of a thrust fault?
19 A Probably the most famous thrust fault that is known
20 in the United States is the so-called Lewis Overthrust in
21 Montana where rather ancient rocks of pre-Cambrian age,
22 that is current even before we have the first
23 invertebrates and the fossil record, are thrust over much
24 younger rocks of Cretaceous age that is coeval with the
1 Q What do creation scientists say about the Lewis
3 A They try to argue that it's a good example of why
4 the geological column is wrong, because of the sequence of
5 the mass and the sequence of fossils, and that it isn't
6 really an overthrust because they claim that the
7 sedimentary layers are in fact undisturbed, and that the
8 so-called thrust plane is really just a bedding plane, and
9 that it's a single calm sequence of the process of rocks.
10 Q Did they cite any evidence for that claim?
11 A Well, they certainly claim to. For example, again,
12 in the Genesis Flood that we referred to previously by
13 Whitcomb and Morris—
14 MR. NOVIK: That's Plaintiffs' Exhibit 126.
15 A —we find the following statement about the Genesis
16 flood. Whitcomb and Morris are here quoting from a
17 reputable source.
18 Q This is a statement about the Lewis Overthrust?
19 A Yes. A statement about the Lewis Overthrust from
20 an article by C.P. Ross and Richard Rezak quoted by
21 Whitcomb and Morris. And the quotation on page 187
22 reads: "Most visitors, especially those who stay on the
23 roads, get the impression that the Belt strata are
24 undisturbed" — the Belt strata is the upper strata of the
25 pre-Cambrian thrust, sorry — "that the Belt strata are
1 A (Continuing) undisturbed and lie almost as flat
2 today as they did when deposited in the sea which vanished
3 so many years ago."
4 And that would seem to indicate that it was just a
5 single sequence. It's rather interesting if you would go
6 back to the Ross and Rezak article and read the very next
7 statement, which Morris and Whitcomb did not cite, you
8 would find the following.
9 The very next statement, uncited by Whitcomb and Morris,
10 is as follows: "Actually," talking about folded rocks,
11 "they are folded, and in certain places, they are
12 intensely so. From points on and near the trails in the
13 park, it is possible to observe places where the Belt
14 series, as revealed in outcrops on ridges, cliffs, and
15 canyon walls, are folded and crumpled almost as
16 intricately as the soft younger strata in the mountains
17 south of the park and in the Great Plains adjoining the
18 park to the east," the younger strata being the Cretaceous
19 rocks below.
20 But that's certainly a good example of selective
22 THE COURT: Let me see if I've got both of those
24 MR. NOVIK: The second reference, your Honor, I
25 believe has been marked as Plaintiffs'—
1 THE COURT: Before you get to the second one, the
2 first one is—
3 A The first one, your Honor, is from The Genesis
5 THE COURT: That's Plaintiffs' Exhibit 126?
6 MR. NOVIK: That's correct, your Honor.
7 THE COURT: Page what?
8 MR. NOVIK: Page 187.
9 A The continuation, I'm citing from an article by
10 Christopher Weber called Common Creationist Attacks on
12 THE COURT: Is that an exhibit?
13 MR. NOVIK: It's Plaintiffs' Exhibit 127, your
15 THE COURT: From what page are you reading?
16 A That is on page 21, if I'm not mistaken. 21 and
17 22. It continues on 22.
18 Q Professor Gould, while the Court is making that
19 notation, if I might simply state, if you could slow down
20 your answers a little, the court reporter might be able
22 A I apologize. My father is a court stenographer,
23 and I should know better.
24 Q Professor Gould, you've talked about the first two
25 principles geologists rely upon to assign relative dates
1 Q (Continuing) to this stratigraphic record. What
2 is the third principle?
3 A The third principle is biotic succession, which
4 states that fossils occur in the same sequence everywhere
5 in the earth.
6 For example, if we go to one place and examine a
7 sequence of strata, and we find — Well, they don't have
8 to be organisms — suppose we found bolts, nuts, and
9 screws. Bolts in the oldest rocks, nuts in the rocks, on
10 top of them, and screws in the rocks on top of them. By
11 the principle of biotic succession, we would find that
12 same sequence anywhere on earth.
13 If we went to another area, for example, we would find
14 bolts at the bottom, rocks in the middle, and screws on
15 top. And we use that to predict.
16 Suppose we go to another area and we find only one
17 sequence with only nuts in it, we would predict that in
18 rocks below that, if we dug, for example, we would
19 probably find bolts, and then screws would be in rocks
20 found on top of that.
21 Q And is that what you find?
22 A Yes, indeed.
23 Q Everywhere in the—
24 A Except when the sequence has been altered by
25 folding or faulting, and we could determine that on other
1 A (Continuing) grounds.
2 Q In order to assign relative dates based on the
3 sequence of fossils, is it necessary to assume that the
4 fossils in the higher strata evolved from the fossils in
5 the lower strata?
6 A Certainly not. It's merely a question of preserved
7 sequence. You don't have to assume any theory or process
8 at all. It could literally be bolts, nuts, and screws.
9 If they compared the same sequence everywhere, we could
10 use them.
11 Q So is the creation science claim that the
12 assumptions of evolutionary theory are essential to the
13 relative dating of the stratigraphic record correct?
14 A No. It's a red herring. The stratigraphic record
15 is established by observation and superposition.
16 Q When were those relative dates first established?
17 A In broad outline, the geological column was fully
18 established before Darwin published The Origin of
19 Species. And I might add, was established by scientists
20 by the most part who did not believe in evolution, didn't
21 even have the hypothesis available.
22 In fact, some of the scientists who first worked on the
23 geologic problem didn't even believe that the fossils they
24 had been classifying were organic. They really did see
25 them as so many nuts, bolts and screws, and yet recognized
1 A (Continuing) that you could date rocks thereby.
2 Q And is that knowledge of when the relative dates
3 were first assigned widely known?
4 A Indeed.
5 Q Do creation scientists refer to that at all?
6 A Not that I've seen.
7 Q Is there any other evidence in the fossil record
8 which is inconsistent with flood geology?
9 A Yes. I think the outstanding fact of the fossil
10 record is the evidence of several periods of mass
11 extinction during the history of life. And by mass
12 extinction, your Honor, I mean that you will find at a
13 certain level in the geological column, a certain strata
14 in rocks of the same age, the simultaneous last occurrence
15 of many forms of life; that you would never find any of
16 them in younger rocks piled on top of them.
17 The two most outstanding such extinctions are the one
18 that marked the end of the Permian Period, some two
19 hundred twenty-five million years ago when fully fifty
20 percent of all families of marine invertebrates became
21 extinct within a very short space of time.
22 The other major extinction, not quite as tumultuous, but
23 in effect was more famous, was the one that occurred at
24 the end of the Cretaceous, some sixty-five million years
25 later. The dinosaurs became extinct then, as well as
1 A (Continuing) several invertebrate groups,
2 including the amniotes. That posed a problem for the
3 creation science literature I've read, because they want
4 to see the entire geological column as the result of this
5 single flood of Noah, and they are expecting a more graded
6 sequence. Due to hydrodynamic sorting or differential
7 intelligence, you wouldn't expect these several episodes
8 of mass extinction.
9 Q How do creation scientists explain away the
10 evidence of repeated episodes of mass extinction?
11 A In the literature that I've read, in a most
12 remarkable way, considering that this is the outstanding
13 fact of the geological records paleontologists study.
14 Simply by not referring to it.
15 In Scientific Creationism, by Henry Morris, again, what
16 he does is merely to cite from a newspaper report coming,
17 at least from a science newspaper, a secondary news
18 journal, not even from the primary literature, one single
19 citation in which he misquotes a scientist to the effect
20 that perhaps these extinctions don't take place.
21 And he then argues, `You see, there weren't any such
22 extinctions anyway,' which I think makes a mockery of
23 hundreds of volumes of scientific literature devoted to
24 the study of mass extinctions and their causes.
25 Q Is the flood geology proposed by creation
1 Q (Continuing) scientists a new idea?
2 A No, it isn't. It was proposed more than a hundred
3 and fifty years ago, tested and falsified. It was, in
4 fact, the subject of intense geological discussion in
5 England in the 1820's. It was assumed by many of the
6 early geologists particularly the Reverend William
7 Buckland, the first professor, the first reader of geology
8 at Oxford University— Now, he didn't try to claim the
9 whole geological column was the result of this single
10 flood, out he did try and argue that all the upper strata
11 were products of a single flood. And indeed, he wrote a
12 book called The Reliqwae Deluviavi, or the relics of the
13 flood, in 1820 to argue that.
14 That proposition was extensively tested throughout the
15 1820's and falsified, because scientists, including
16 Buckland, who came to deny his previous assertion, found
17 that all the strata that they assumed were the same age
18 and a product of a single flood, were in many cases
19 superposed, and, therefore, represented many different
21 Now, we know today that they, in fact, represent the
22 remains of glacial ages, not floods, and that there were
23 several ice ages.
24 Indeed, in 1831, the Reverend Adam Sedgwick, then
25 president of the Geological Society of London, read in his
1 A (Continuing) presidential address, his recantation
2 of the flood theory. And I'd like to read it, because to
3 my mind it's one of the most beautiful statements ever
4 written by a scientist to express the true nature of
5 science as a tentative and correctable set of principles.
6 Adam Sedgwick, in the 1831 address, first of all, writes
7 that the theory is falsified, and says, "There is, I
8 think, one great negative conclusion now incontestably
9 established, namely, that the vast masses diluvial gravel"
10 — That's the name they gave to this strata they were
11 trying to attribute to the flood — "scattered almost over
12 the surface of the earth, do not belong to one violent and
13 transitory period."
14 Then he makes what is one of my favorite statements in
15 the history of science. He writes, "Having been myself a
16 believer, and to the best of my power, a propagator of
17 what I now regard as a philosophic heresy, and having more
18 than once been quoted for opinions I do not now maintain,
19 I think it right as one of my last acts before I quit this
20 chair" — that is the chair of the Geological Society of
21 London — "thus publicly to read my recantation. We
22 ought, indeed, to have paused before we first adopted the
23 Diluvian theory" — that was the flood theory — "and
24 referred all our old superficial gravel to the actions of
25 Mosaic flood. In classing together distant unknown
1 A (Continuing) formations under one name and giving
2 them a simultaneous origin, and in determining their date
3 not, by the organic remains we have discovered, but by
4 those we expected hypothetically hereafter to discover in
5 them, we have given one more example of the passion with
6 which the mind fastens upon general conclusions and of the
7 readiness with which it leaves the consideration of
8 unconnected truths."
9 Q Professor Gould, in your professional opinion, has
10 the flood geology theory required by a literal
11 interpretation of Genesis been falsified?
12 A Yes, it has, more than a hundred and fifty years
13 ago. Nothing new has occurred since then.
14 Q Is it consistent with a scientific method to
15 persist in a theory that has been falsified?
16 A Certainly not.
17 Q Professor Gould, have you read Act 590's definition
18 of creation science, as it relates specifically to
20 A Yes. Item 2.
21 Q What does Act 590 provide with regards to
23 A It states explicitly that there are changes only
24 within fixed limits of originally created kinds of plants
25 and animals, and then explicitly states there must be a
1 A (Continuing) separate ancestry for man and apes.
2 Q Have you read the creation science literature
3 relevant to paleontology?
4 A Yes, I have.
5 Q Are Sections 4 (a), subdivisions 3 and 4 of the
6 Act's definition of creation science consistent with that
7 creation science literature?
8 A Yes. The main point that that literature makes is
9 how the existence of so-called gaps in the record — and
10 by `gaps' we mean the absence of transitional forms
11 linking ancestors and descendants — but the gaps in the
12 record are evidence for the changes only within fixed
13 limits of created kinds.
14 Q Is that a scientific theory?
15 A In its formulation, certainly not, because it calls
16 again upon the suspension of natural law and the divine,
17 or the creation by miracle, by fiat, of new forms of life.
18 Q How does the creation science literature deal with
19 the fossil evidence in this regard?
20 A By selected quotation, by overstating the extended
21 gaps, by not mentioning the transitional forms that do
22 exist in the literature.
23 Q Are there natural law explanations for these gaps
24 in the record?
25 A Yes, there are. Though there are gaps, and I don't
1 A (Continuing) mean to say that every aspect within
2 them has been resolved. But there are two major natural
3 law explanations, the traditional one, and one proposed
4 rather more recently, in part by myself.
5 The traditional explanation relies upon the extreme
6 imperfection of the geological record, and the other
7 explanation argued that the gaps are, in fact, the result
8 of the way we expect evolution to occur. It's called the
9 theory of punctuated equilibrium.
10 Q Let's turn first to the imperfection in the fossil
11 record. Would you please elaborate upon that explanation?
12 A Yes. The fossil record is a woefully incomplete
13 version of all the forms of life that existed. Some tiny
14 fraction of one percent of all the creatures that ever
15 lived have any opportunity of being fossilized. In most
16 areas of the world rocks are not being deposited, but
17 rather are being eroded.
18 Lyell expressed it in a famous metaphor, usually known
19 to historians as the "metaphor of the book." Lyell argues
20 that the fossil record is like a book of which very few
21 pages are preserved, and of the pages that are preserved,
22 very few lines, of the lines that are preserved, few
23 words, and of the words, few letters.. We can well imagine
24 that in such a book you would not be able to read a
25 particularly complete story.
1 Q Given the infrequency of fossilization, would
2 scientists expect to find a complete record of the
3 evolutionary process?
4 A No, you would not.
5 Q Would you please briefly explain the theory of
6 punctuated equilibrium?
7 A The theory of punctuated equilibrium, which is an
8 attempt to explain gaps as the normal workings of the
9 evolutionary process, begins by making a distinction
10 between two modes of evolution. First, evolution might
11 occur by the wholesale or entire transformation of one's
12 form, one's species into another.
13 We maintain in the theory of punctuated equilibrium that
14 that is, in fact, not a common mode of evolution, but what
15 normally happens, the usual way for evolutionary change to
16 occur, is by a process called speciation or branching.
17 That it's not the whole transformation of one entire
18 species into another, out a process of branching, whereby
19 one form splits off. In other words, a small group of
20 creatures may become isolated geographically from the
21 parental population, and then, under this small isolated
22 area, undergo a process of accumulation of genetic
23 changes to produce a new species.
24 The second aspect of the theory of punctuated
25 equilibrium— The first one is—
1 THE COURT: Did you say equilibrium?
2 A Equilibrium. I did leave out a point there.
3 That most species, successful species living in large
4 populations, do not change. In fact, are fairly stable in
5 the fossil record and live for a long time. The average
6 duration of marine invertebrate species was five to ten
7 million years. During that time they may fluctuate mildly
8 in morphology, but most of them — I don't say there
9 aren't exceptions — most of them don't change very much.
10 That's what we would expect for large, successful,
11 well-adapted populations. And that's the equilibrium part.
12 By punctuation, we refer to those events of speciation
13 where descendent species rather rapidly in geological
14 perspectives split off from their ancestors. And that's
15 the second point.
16 First, that evolutionary changes accumulate, not
17 through the transformation of entire population, but
18 through events of slipping, branching, or speciation.
19 Then we have to look at the ordinary time course, how
20 long the event of speciation takes. And it seems to be
21 that it occurs probably on the average — there is an
22 enormous variation — in perhaps tens of thousands of years.
24 Now, tens of thousands of years, admittedly, is very
25 slow by the scale of our lives. By the scale of our
1 A (Continuing) lives, ten thousand years has been
2 deceptively slow. But remember, we're talking about
3 geological time. Ten thousand years, in almost every
4 geological situation, is represented by a single bedding
5 plane, by a single stratum, not by a long sequence of
7 And therefore the species forms in ten thousand years,
8 although that's slow by the standards of our life, in
9 fact, in geological representation, you would find all of
10 that represented on a single bedding plane. In other
11 words, you wouldn't see it.
12 What's more, if it's a small, isolated population that's
13 speciated, then the chance of finding the actual event of
14 speciation is very, very small, indeed. And therefore, it
15 is characteristic of the fossil record that new species
16 appear geologically abruptly. This is to my mind a
17 correct representation of the way in which we believe the
18 evolution occurs.
19 Q Professor Gould, would it assist you in your
20 testimony in explaining punctuated equilibrium to refer to
21 a chart?
22 A Yes. I have a chart that I presented to you. What
23 we see here, your Honor—
24 MR. NOVIK: Professor Gould, let me state for the
25 record, I am handing to you Plaintiffs' Exhibit 101 for