MR. NOVIK: May we please have a few minutes? We'll be getting Doctor Gould from the witness room.
THE COURT: We'll take a ten minute recess.
(Thereupon, court was in recess from 10:50 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.)
MR. NOVIK: Plaintiffs' next witness is Doctor Stephen Gould.
called on behalf of the plaintiffs herein, after having seen first duly sworn or affirmed, was examined and testified as follows:,
BY MR. NOVIK:
Q: Professor Gould, what is your current employment?
A: Professor of Geology at Harvard University and curator of invertebrate paleontology and comparative zoology there.
Q: I'd like to show you Plaintiffs' Exhibit Number 96 for identification, which purports to be your curriculum vitae.
A: (Examining same)
Q: Does it accurately reflect your education, training, experience and publications?
A: Yes, it does.
MR. NOVIK: I move that that be received in evidence, your Honor.
THE COURT: That will be received.
MR. NOVIK: (Continuing)
Q: Professor Gould, when and where did your receive your Ph.D.?
A: Columbia University in 1967.
Q: In what field?
A: In paleontology.
Q: What are your areas of expertise?
A: Paleontology, geology, evolutionary theory, and I've also studied the history of evolutionary theory.
Q: Have you published a substantial number of books and articles in these fields?
A: Yes. I've written five books and more than a hundred and fifty articles.
MR. NOVIK: Your Honor, I offer Professor Gould as an expert in the fields of geology, paleontology, evolutionary theory, and the history of evolutionary theory.
THE COURT: Any voir dire?
MR. WILLIAMS: No, your Honor.
MR. NOVIK: (Continuing) Professor Gould, I'm showing you a copy of Act 590. Have you had an opportunity to read that act?
A: Yes, I have.
Q: Have you read Act 590's definition of creation-science as it relates specifically to geology?
A: Yes. As it relates specifically to geology, point number 5 proclaims that the earth's geology should be explained by catastrophism, including the occurrence of a world wide flood.
Q: Have you read the creation science literature relative to geology?
A: I have indeed. Let me say just for the record, though, I'll use the term `creation science' because it's so enjoined by the Act, but in my view there is no such item and creation science is not science. I would prefer to refer to it as creationism.
But yes, I have read the creation science literature, so called.
Q: Is the statutory definition of creation science as it relates to geology consistent with that creation science literature?
A: Yes. The creation science literature attempts to interpret,
in most of that literature, the entire geological column as the product
of Noah's Flood and its
A: (Continuing) consequences, and it is certainly consistent with point number 5 of the Act.
Q: Have you read Act 590's definition of evolution as it relates specifically to geology?
A: Yes. I would say that that primarily is the point that uniformitarianism is-
Q: And the Act defines it as-
A: Oh, yes. An explanation of the earth's geology by catastrophism. Or it says that evolution is the explanation of the earth's geology and evolutionary sequence by uniformitarianism.
Q: What does uniformitarianism mean?
A: As creation science defines it, it refers to the theory that I would call the notion of gradualism, namely, that the phenomena of the earth and geological record were produced by slow, steady, imperceptible change, and the bar scale events were produced by this slow accumulation of imperceptible change.
Q: And it is in that sense that uniformitarianism is used in the Act?
A: In the Act, yes.
Q: Are you familiar with scientific literature in the field of geology?
A: Yes, I have. In fact, I have authored several articles on the
meaning of uniformitarianism.
Q: Is Act 590's definition of evolution in respect to uniformitarianism consistent with the scientific literature?
A: Certainly not. It may be true that Charles Lyell, a great nineteenth century geologist, had a fairly extreme view of gradualism, but that's been entirely abandoned by geologists today.
Geologists have been quite comfortable with the explanations that some events have been the accumulation of small changes, and others as the result of, at least, local catastrophes.
Q: So modern geologists believe in both; is that correct?
Q: Is the Act's definition of evolution in terms of uniformitarianism creation consistent with the creation science literature?
A: Oh, yes. The creation science literature continues to use the term "uniformitarianism" only to refer to the notion of extreme gradualism. For example, they argue that since fossils are generally only formed when sediments accumulate very rapidly, that, therefore, there is evidence for catastrophe, and somehow that confutes uniformitarianism.
In fact, paleontologists do not deny that fossils that
A: (Continuing) are preserved are generally buried by at least locally catastrophic events, storms or rapid accumulations of sediments. And indeed, that's why we believe the fossils record is so imperfect and most fossils never get a chance to be preserved, because the rate of sedimentation is usually slow and most fossils decay before they can be buried.
Q: Is there any sense in which modern geologists do believe in uniformitarianism?
A: Indeed, but in a totally different meaning. The term `uniformitarianism' has two very distinct meanings that are utterly separate. First is the methodological claim that the laws of nature are unvaried, but natural laws can be used to explain the past as well as the present.
That's a methodological claim that we assert in order to do science.
The second meaning which we've been discussing, the substantiative claim of falsifiable, the claim is often false, about actual rates of change. Namely, the rates of change are constant. And that is a diagnostic question for scientists.
Q: Could you give us an example of these two different meanings of uniformitarianism?
A: Yes. For example, take apples falling off of
A: (Continuing) trees. That's the usual one. The first principle, the methodological one that we do accept as part of the definition of science, holds that if apples fall off trees, they do that under the influence of gravity. And we may assume that they do so in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
For example, the great Scottish geologist James Hutton said in the late eighteenth century on this point, that if the stone, for example, which falls today will rise again tomorrow, principles would fail and we would no longer be able to investigate the past in the present. So that's what we mean by the methodological assumption.
The notion of gradualism or constancy of rates would hold, for example, that if two million apples fell off trees in the state of Arkansas this year, then we could assume with the constancy of rates in a million years from now, two millions apples would fall, which of course is absurd. Apples could become extinct between now and then. We've got a contravene in the laws of science.
Q: Does the creation science literature accurately reflect these two different meanings of uniformitarianism?
A: No, it doesn't. It continually confuses the two, arguing that
because we can't refute constancy of rates, in many cases which indeed
we can, that, therefore, somehow the principle of the uniformity of law,
A: (Continuing) constancy of natural law, is also thrown into question. And they are totally separate issues.
Q: Let's return to the Act's definition of creation science as including scientific evidence for a worldwide flood. Are you aware of any scientific evidence which would indicate a worldwide flood?
A: No, I'm not.
Q: Are you familiar with creation science literature concerning a worldwide flood?
A: Yes, I've read a good deal of it.
Q: Is the creation-science theory concerning a worldwide flood a scientific theory?
A: At its core, it surely isn't, because from the literature I've read, it explicitly calls upon miraculous intervention by God; that it is an extension of natural law.
That's what I take it we mean by miracles, for some of these events
in the flood narrative. For example, there just isn't enough water in the
world's oceans to thoroughly cover the continents in a deluge as profound
as that of Noah's, and so they call upon water that is presumed to be in
the earth and Whitcomb and Morris in The Genesis Flood talk about
a giant canopy of water above the firmament. But then have to rely upon
A: (Continuing) intervention to get that water onto the earth. If I may quote from Whitcomb and Morris-
Q: What are you quoting from?
A: Pardon me. It's from The Genesis Flood, by John Whitcomb and Henry Morris. On page 76, the statement, "The simple fact of the matter is that one cannot have any kind of a Genesis flood without acknowledging the presence of supernatural events."
Then the next paragraph, "That God intervened in the supernatural way to gather the animals into the ark and to keep them under control during the year of the flood is explicitly stated in the text of scripture. Furthermore, it is obvious that the opening of the windows of heaven in order to allow the waters which were above the firmament to fall upon the earth, and the breaking up of all the bounties of the great deep, were supernatural acts of God."
THE COURT: What page?
THE WITNESS: Page 76, your Honor.
THE COURT: What exhibit?
MR. NOVIK: Your Honor, I believe that The Genesis Flood has been pre-marked- Actually, that has not been pre-marked.
If the Court would like, we could mark that as Plaintiffs' Exhibit 124-126.
MR. NOVIK: (Continuing)
Q: You testified that at its core the flood theory is
Q: (Continuing) a supernatural, relies on a supernatural process; is that correct?
Q: Are there any predictions based on flood geology that can be tested?
A: Yes, they do make certain testable predictions. They have been tested and falsified long ago.
Q: Could you give an example, please?
A: Yes. The creation science literature assumes that since God created all forms of life in six days of twenty-four hours, that, therefore, all animals lived simultaneously together. One would, therefore, assume, at first thought, that the geological strata or the earth would mix together all the forms of life, and yet that is outstandingly not so.
And the outstanding fact of the fossil record which must be admitted by everybody, creationists and evolutionists alike, of course, is that rather than mixing together all the animals, that the geological record is very well ordered; that is, we have sequence of strata, and different kinds of animals and plants characterize different layers of those strata.
For example, in a rather old strata, we get certain kinds of invertebrate,
such as trilobites that are never found in higher strata.
A: (Continuing) In strata of the middle age we find dinosaurs, but never trilobites. They're gone. Never large mammals. In upper strata we find large mammals but never any dinosaurs. There is a definite sequence that occurs in the same manner throughout the world and that would seem to contradict the expectation that all forms of life lived simultaneously should not so order themselves.
And therefore, creation scientists, in order to get around this dilemma and to invoke another aspect of the Genesis story, call upon Noah's flood and say that all the animals and plants were mixed up together in this gigantic flood and that the ordering in the strata of the earth records the way in which these creatures settled out in the strata after the flood or as the result of the flood.
Q: Have creation scientists advanced any specific arguments or claims for why a worldwide flood would sort out the fossils in this unvarying sequence?
A: Yes. As I read the literature, there are three primary explanations that they invoke. First, what might be called the principle of hydrodynamic sorting. That when the flood was over, those creatures that were denser or more streamlined would fall first to the bottom and should end up in the lower strata.
The second principle you might call the principle of
A: (Continuing) ecological zonation, namely, things living in the bottom of the ocean end up in the lowest strata, where those that lived in mountaintops, for example, would probably end up in the uppermost strata. And the third principle that they use is what I might call differential intelligence of mobility. That smarter animals or animals that can move and avoid the flood waters might end up in higher strata because they would have escaped the rising flood waters longer than others.
Q: Are those three claims or hypotheses consistent with the observable facts?
A: Certainly not.
Q: In your opinion, have they been falsified by the observable facts?
A: Yes, they have.
Q: Could you give an example, please?
A: Yes. If you look at the history of any invertebrate group, for example, our record is very good. We have thousands upon thousands of species in those groups, and each species is confined to strata at a certain point in the geological column.
They are recognizable species that only occur in a small part of the
geological column and in the same order everywhere. And yet we find that
throughout the history of invertebrates, we get species each occurring
A: (Continuing) separate level, but they do not differ in any of those properties.
For example, in the history of clams, clams arose five or six hundred million years ago. Initially almost all clams were shallow burrowers, in that they burrowed into the sediment. Now, it's true that in the history of clams there have been some additions to that repertoire, some clams like the scallops now swim, others are attached to the top, but in fact, a large majority, large number of species of clams still live in the same way.
So there is no difference in the hydrodynamic principles among those clams throughout time; there is no difference in ecological life-style, they are all shallow water burrowers; they are not different in terms of intelligence or mobility, indeed, clams can't even have heads. So they cannot be intelligent creatures.
And yet, as I stated, each species of clam lives in a definite part of the stratigraphic column and only there. There are large-scale extinctions of certain kinds; you never see them again, yet they do not differ in any of the ways that the creation scientists have invoked to explain the order in the strata as the results of the single flood.
Q: Could you give another example, please?
A: Yes. Another good example is in the evolution of
A: (Continuing) single-celled creatures. It is a unicellular calcite (sic?) called foraminifera. Many of the foraminifera are planktonic; that is, they are floating organisms. They all live in the same lake floating at the top or the upper waters of the oceans, they don't differ in hydrodynamic properties. They live in the same ecological zone, and they certainly don't differ in intelligence and mobility. They don't even have a nervous system.
And yet for the last twenty years there has been a worldwide program to collect deep sea cores from all the oceans of the earth. And in those cores, the sequence of planktonic foraminifera species are invariably the same. Each species is recognizable and lives in only a small part of the column; some at the bottom of the column, some at the top of the column. Those at the bottom do not differ from those at the top, either in intelligence, ecological examination, or hydrodynamic properties.
Q: Professor Gould, does the creation science argument based on principles of hydraulics explain why trilobites are always found in the bottom layers of the stratigraphic record?
A: Certainly not. Trilobites are the most prominent invertebrate
animals found in the early strata that contain complex invertebrates, but
they are neither
A: (Continuing) particularly streamlined or very thin. In fact, one group of trilobites that occurred early, even within the history of trilobites, in the earliest rocks we call Cambrian, called the agnostids, which are very delicate, tiny, floating creatures, yet they are abundant not only with the trilobites, but early in the history of trilobites. I don't see how that can be explained that in any creation science philosophy.
Q: Professor Gould, you have been talking up until now about invertebrates. Do these creation science arguments explain the stratigraphic sequence of vertebrates?
A: They do just as badly. The earliest fossil vertebrates are fishes, and one might think that's all right because they were swimming in the sea, and yet in detail it doesn't work out that well.
Indeed, the fishes with the relatively largest brains, namely the sharks, occur rather early in the record. And even more importantly, those fishes that, in fact, today represent more than ninety percent of all fish species, the teleosts, the most advanced fish, do not appear until much later and do not flower until the period that we call Cretaceous, which is sixty to a hundred million years ago. The record of fishes goes back to three or four hundred million years ago.
Why should the teleosts occur only in the upper strata?
A: (Continuing) Moreover, when you look at the history of other vertebrate groups, in both the reptile and the mammals, there are several lineages that have secondarily evolved from terrestrial life to marine life and, therefore, lived in the sea with fishes and you might expect them at the bottom of the column. They're not. In fact, they occur in geological sequences where their terrestrial relatives occur.
For example, during the age of dinosaurs, there were several linages of reptiles that returned to the sea. Ichthyosaurus, pelycosarus and the therapsids, in particular. And they are always found in the middle strata with dinosaurs, never in the lower strata. When you get a history of mammals, you find whales only in the upper strata with other large mammals, never in the lower strata, with the early fishes.
Q: Do geologists and paleontologists have natural law explanations for the universal sequences found in the fossil record?
A: Yes. The earth is very ancient, and those animals that were
alive at any given time occur in the rocks deposited at that time. They
then become extinct or evolve into something else, and that's why they're
never found in younger rocks deposited on top of those.
Q: Is it possible to determine at least relative dates for the different strata in the stratigraphic record?
A: Yes, indeed, just by noting which fossils invariably occur in strata on top of others, and, therefore, we assume deposited later and, therefore, younger.
Q: In assigning relative dates to the stratigraphic record, is it necessary to rely at all on any theory of evolution or any assumption of evolution?
A: Certainly not. It's merely a question of observation, to see what fossils occur in what sequences. It's the same way throughout the earth; there is no assumptionary process at all involved in that.
Q: Do creation scientists claim that evolutionary theory does play a role in the relative dating of the geologic column?
A: Yes. One of the most persistent claims is that the whole geological column is probably invalid, because it's involved in a circular argument, namely, that since you need to assume evolution in order to establish the sequence of fossils, but then use that sequence to demonstrate evolution, that the whole subject is tautological. If I may give you some examples?
Q: Please do.
A: In Scientific Creationism—
MR. NOVIK: I believe that's Plaintiffs' Exhibit 76 for identification, your Honor.
A: In Scientific Creationism, on pages 95 and 96, we read, as a cardinal principle, number 2, page 95, "The assumption of evolution is the basis upon which fossils are used to date the rocks." And then the tautology argument is made on the next page, 96, "Thus, although the fossil record has been interpreted to teach evolution, the record itself has been based on the assumption of evolution."
I repeat, that is not so, it is merely based on observation of evidence of sequence. Now, I continue the quote, "The message is a mere tautology. The fossils speak of evolution because they have been made to speak of evolution."
"Finally we being to recognize the real message of the fossil is that there is no truly objective time sequence to the fossil record, since the time connections are based on the evolutionary assumption."
And there's another example, Duane Gish, in Evolution: The Fossils Say No.
MR. NOVIK: I believe that's Plaintiffs' Exhibit 78 for identification,
your Honor. And the book, Scientific Creationism, comes in two versions,
a public school edition and a non-public school edition, and those are
MR. NOVIK: (Continuing) Exhibits 76 and 75.
A: Duane Gish writes on page 59, "This arrangement of various types of fossiliferous deposits in a supposed time-sequence is known as the geological column. Its arrangement is based on the assumption of evolution.
Q: Professor Gould, would you please explain how geologists do assign relative dates to different layers of the stratigraphic record?
A: Yes. We use these principles that have names that involve some jargon. They are called the principles of original horizontality; the principle of superposition, and the principle of biotic succession.
Q: What is the principle of original horizontality?
A: The principle of original horizontality states that sedimentary rocks that are deposited over large areas, say that are deposited in oceans or lakes, are laid down initially in relatively horizontal layers.
That doesn't mean that in a small area if you deposited on a hill slope that you might not get some that are somewhat inclined, but at least deposition in large basins would be fundamentally horizontal.
Q: What is the principle of superposition?
A: The principle of superposition states that given that principle
of horizontality, that those strata that lie on top of others will be younger
because they were
A: (Continuing) deposited later, unless subsequent movements of the earth have disturbed the sequence by folding, faulting, and other such processes.
Q: What is folding?
A: I will illustrate. Folding is when rocks originally deposited in horizontal layers are twisted and contorted in such a way that the sequence can be changed. For example, if we had three horizontal layers laid down, originally horizontal, in superposition, if through later earth movement they got folded over, you can see how the top layer here, which is the youngest layer, in a folded sequence would come to lie underneath a layer of rock actually older than it.
Q: What is faulting?
A: Faulting is when rocks break and later move. For example, the
kind of faulting most relevant here is what we call thrust faulting. Suppose
the rocks break. So we have that three ways (Indicating), and that is the
break and that's the fault. Then what we call thrust faulting. One sequence
of rocks that is literally pushed over on top of another, and that would
also create a reverse of the sequence, such as you see here. The oldest
strata here, this so-called thrust block broken and pushed over this older
stratum and would then come to lie upon the younger stratum here, and you
get all of those sequence.
Q: Are geologists able to tell whether folding or faulting or some other geological process has disturbed the initial strata?
A: Yes. And I should say it is not done secularly by finding of fossil sequences, and then assuming that only because of that there must be a fold or a fault. We look for direct evidence, of fold or fault.
There are two main ways of doing that. The first is geological mapping, where you actually trace out the folds and faults in the earth's strata.
In the others you can well imagine what there is. For example, in thrust faulting, a large block or blocks has literally been pushed over. In another, there would be some disturbance of the boundary. That is, this heavy block of rock has literally pushed over the other. But you would get fracturing and folding of rocks from either side of the so-called thrust plane, and we find this.
Q: Could you please give an example of a thrust fault?
A: Probably the most famous thrust fault that is known in the
United States is the so-called Lewis Overthrust in Montana where rather
ancient rocks of pre-Cambrian age, that is current even before we have
the first invertebrates and the fossil record, are thrust over much younger
rocks of Cretaceous age that is coeval with the dinosaurs.
Q: What do creation scientists say about the Lewis Overthrust?
A: They try to argue that it's a good example of why the geological column is wrong, because of the sequence of the mass and the sequence of fossils, and that it isn't really an overthrust because they claim that the sedimentary layers are in fact undisturbed, and that the so-called thrust plane is really just a bedding plane, and that it's a single calm sequence of the process of rocks.
Q: Did they cite any evidence for that claim?
A: Well, they certainly claim to. For example, again, in The Genesis Flood that we referred to previously by Whitcomb and Morris—
MR. NOVIK: That's Plaintiffs' Exhibit 126.
A: —we find the following statement about the Genesis flood. Whitcomb and Morris are here quoting from a reputable source.
Q: This is a statement about the Lewis Overthrust?
A: Yes. A statement about the Lewis Overthrust from an article
by C.P. Ross and Richard Rezak quoted by Whitcomb and Morris. And the quotation
on page 187 reads: "Most visitors, especially those who stay on the roads,
get the impression that the Belt strata are undisturbed" — the Belt strata
is the upper strata of the pre-Cambrian thrust, sorry — "that the Belt
A: (Continuing) undisturbed and lie almost as flat today as they did when deposited in the sea which vanished so many years ago."
And that would seem to indicate that it was just a single sequence. It's rather interesting if you would go back to the Ross and Rezak article and read the very next statement, which Morris and Whitcomb did not cite, you would find the following.
The very next statement, uncited by Whitcomb and Morris, is as follows: "Actually," talking about folded rocks, "they are folded, and in certain places, they are intensely so. From points on and near the trails in the park, it is possible to observe places where the Belt series, as revealed in outcrops on ridges, cliffs, and canyon walls, are folded and crumpled almost as intricately as the soft younger strata in the mountains south of the park and in the Great Plains adjoining the park to the east," the younger strata being the Cretaceous rocks below.
But that's certainly a good example of selective misquotation.
THE COURT: Let me see if I've got both of those references.
MR. NOVIK: The second reference, your Honor, I believe has been
marked as Plaintiffs'—
THE COURT: Before you get to the second one, the first one is—
A: The first one, your Honor, is from The Genesis Flood.
THE COURT: That's Plaintiffs' Exhibit 126?
MR. NOVIK: That's correct, your Honor.
THE COURT: Page what?
MR. NOVIK: Page 187.
A: The continuation, I'm citing from an article by Christopher Weber called Common Creationist Attacks on Geology.
THE COURT: Is that an exhibit?
MR. NOVIK: It's Plaintiffs' Exhibit 127, your Honor.
THE COURT: From what page are you reading?
A: That is on page 21, if I'm not mistaken. 21 and 22. It continues on 22.
Q: Professor Gould, while the Court is making that notation, if I might simply state, if you could slow down your answers a little, the court reporter might be able to—
A: I apologize. My father is a court stenographer, and I should know better.
Q: Professor Gould, you've talked about the first two principles
geologists rely upon to assign relative dates
Q: (Continuing) to this stratigraphic record. What is the third principle?
A: The third principle is biotic succession, which states that fossils occur in the same sequence everywhere in the earth.
For example, if we go to one place and examine a sequence of strata, and we find — Well, they don't have to be organisms — suppose we found bolts, nuts, and screws. Bolts in the oldest rocks, nuts in the rocks, on top of them, and screws in the rocks on top of them. By the principle of biotic succession, we would find that same sequence anywhere on earth.
If we went to another area, for example, we would find bolts at the bottom, rocks in the middle, and screws on top. And we use that to predict.
Suppose we go to another area and we find only one sequence with only nuts in it, we would predict that in rocks below that, if we dug, for example, we would probably find bolts, and then screws would be in rocks found on top of that.
Q: And is that what you find?
A: Yes, indeed.
Q: Everywhere in the—
A: Except when the sequence has been altered by folding or faulting,
and we could determine that on other
A: (Continuing) grounds.
Q: In order to assign relative dates based on the sequence of fossils, is it necessary to assume that the fossils in the higher strata evolved from the fossils in the lower strata?
A: Certainly not. It's merely a question of preserved sequence. You don't have to assume any theory or process at all. It could literally be bolts, nuts, and screws. If they compared the same sequence everywhere, we could use them.
Q: So is the creation science claim that the assumptions of evolutionary theory are essential to the relative dating of the stratigraphic record correct?
A: No. It's a red herring. The stratigraphic record is established by observation and superposition.
Q: When were those relative dates first established?
A: In broad outline, the geological column was fully established before Darwin published The Origin of Species. And I might add, was established by scientists by the most part who did not believe in evolution, didn't even have the hypothesis available.
In fact, some of the scientists who first worked on the geologic problem
didn't even believe that the fossils they had been classifying were organic.
They really did see them as so many nuts, bolts and screws, and yet recognized
A: (Continuing) that you could date rocks thereby.
Q: And is that knowledge of when the relative dates were first assigned widely known?
Q: Do creation scientists refer to that at all?
A: Not that I've seen.
Q: Is there any other evidence in the fossil record which is inconsistent with flood geology?
A: Yes. I think the outstanding fact of the fossil record is the evidence of several periods of mass extinction during the history of life. And by mass extinction, your Honor, I mean that you will find at a certain level in the geological column, a certain strata in rocks of the same age, the simultaneous last occurrence of many forms of life; that you would never find any of them in younger rocks piled on top of them.
The two most outstanding such extinctions are the one that marked the
end of the Permian Period, some two hundred twenty-five million years ago
when fully fifty percent of all families of marine invertebrates became
extinct within a very short space of time. The other major extinction,
not quite as tumultuous, but in effect was more famous, was the one that
occurred at the end of the Cretaceous, some sixty-five million years later.
The dinosaurs became extinct then, as well as
A: (Continuing) several invertebrate groups, including the amniotes. That posed a problem for the creation science literature I've read, because they want to see the entire geological column as the result of this single flood of Noah, and they are expecting a more graded sequence. Due to hydrodynamic sorting or differential intelligence, you wouldn't expect these several episodes of mass extinction.
Q: How do creation scientists explain away the evidence of repeated episodes of mass extinction?
A: In the literature that I've read, in a most remarkable way, considering that this is the outstanding fact of the geological records paleontologists study. Simply by not referring to it.
In Scientific Creationism, by Henry Morris, again, what he does is merely to cite from a newspaper report coming, at least from a science newspaper, a secondary news journal, not even from the primary literature, one single citation in which he misquotes a scientist to the effect that perhaps these extinctions don't take place.
And he then argues, `You see, there weren't any such extinctions anyway,' which I think makes a mockery of hundreds of volumes of scientific literature devoted to the study of mass extinctions and their causes.
Q: Is the flood geology proposed by creation
Q: (Continuing) scientists a new idea?
A: No, it isn't. It was proposed more than a hundred and fifty years ago, tested and falsified. It was, in fact, the subject of intense geological discussion in England in the 1820's. It was assumed by many of the early geologists particularly the Reverend William Buckland, the first professor, the first reader of geology at Oxford University— Now, he didn't try to claim the whole geological column was the result of this single flood, out he did try and argue that all the upper strata were products of a single flood. And indeed, he wrote a book called The Reliqwae Deluviavi, or the relics of the flood, in 1820 to argue that.
That proposition was extensively tested throughout the 1820's and falsified, because scientists, including Buckland, who came to deny his previous assertion, found that all the strata that they assumed were the same age and a product of a single flood, were in many cases superposed, and, therefore, represented many different episodes.
Now, we know today that they, in fact, represent the remains of glacial
ages, not floods, and that there were several ice ages. Indeed, in 1831,
the Reverend Adam Sedgwick, then president of the Geological Society of
London, read in his
A: (Continuing) presidential address, his recantation of the flood theory. And I'd like to read it, because to my mind it's one of the most beautiful statements ever written by a scientist to express the true nature of science as a tentative and correctable set of principles. Adam Sedgwick, in the 1831 address, first of all, writes that the theory is falsified, and says, "There is, I think, one great negative conclusion now incontestably established, namely, that the vast masses diluvial gravel" — That's the name they gave to this strata they were trying to attribute to the flood — "scattered almost over the surface of the earth, do not belong to one violent and transitory period."
Then he makes what is one of my favorite statements in the history of
science. He writes, "Having been myself a believer, and to the best of
my power, a propagator of what I now regard as a philosophic heresy, and
having more than once been quoted for opinions I do not now maintain, I
think it right as one of my last acts before I quit this chair" — that
is the chair of the Geological Society of London — "thus publicly to read
my recantation. We ought, indeed, to have paused before we first adopted
the Diluvian theory" — that was the flood theory — "and referred all our
old superficial gravel to the actions of Mosaic flood. In classing together
A: (Continuing) formations under one name and giving them a simultaneous origin, and in determining their date not, by the organic remains we have discovered, but by those we expected hypothetically hereafter to discover in them, we have given one more example of the passion with which the mind fastens upon general conclusions and of the readiness with which it leaves the consideration of unconnected truths."
Q: Professor Gould, in your professional opinion, has the flood geology theory required by a literal interpretation of Genesis been falsified?
A: Yes, it has, more than a hundred and fifty years ago. Nothing new has occurred since then.
Q: Is it consistent with a scientific method to persist in a theory that has been falsified?
A: Certainly not.
Q: Professor Gould, have you read Act 590's definition of creation science, as it relates specifically to paleontology?
A: Yes. Item 2.
Q: What does Act 590 provide with regards to paleontology?
A: It states explicitly that there are changes only within fixed
limits of originally created kinds of plants and animals, and then explicitly
states there must be a
A: (Continuing) separate ancestry for man and apes.
Q: Have you read the creation science literature relevant to paleontology?
A: Yes, I have.
Q: Are Sections 4 (a), subdivisions 3 and 4 of the Act's definition of creation science consistent with that creation science literature?
A: Yes. The main point that that literature makes is how the existence of so-called gaps in the record — and by `gaps' we mean the absence of transitional forms linking ancestors and descendants — but the gaps in the record are evidence for the changes only within fixed limits of created kinds.
Q: Is that a scientific theory?
A: In its formulation, certainly not, because it calls again upon the suspension of natural law and the divine, or the creation by miracle, by fiat, of new forms of life.
Q: How does the creation science literature deal with the fossil evidence in this regard?
A: By selected quotation, by overstating the extended gaps, by not mentioning the transitional forms that do exist in the literature.
Q: Are there natural law explanations for these gaps in the record?
A: Yes, there are. Though there are gaps, and I don't
A: (Continuing) mean to say that every aspect within them has been resolved. But there are two major natural law explanations, the traditional one, and one proposed rather more recently, in part by myself.
The traditional explanation relies upon the extreme imperfection of the geological record, and the other explanation argued that the gaps are, in fact, the result of the way we expect evolution to occur. It's called the theory of punctuated equilibrium.
Q: Let's turn first to the imperfection in the fossil record. Would you please elaborate upon that explanation?
A: Yes. The fossil record is a woefully incomplete version of all the forms of life that existed. Some tiny fraction of one percent of all the creatures that ever lived have any opportunity of being fossilized. In most areas of the world rocks are not being deposited, but rather are being eroded.
Lyell expressed it in a famous metaphor, usually known to historians
as the "metaphor of the book." Lyell argues that the fossil record is like
a book of which very few pages are preserved, and of the pages that are
preserved, very few lines, of the lines that are preserved, few words,
and of the words, few letters.. We can well imagine that in such a book
you would not be able to read a particularly complete story.
Q: Given the infrequency of fossilization, would scientists expect to find a complete record of the evolutionary process?
A: No, you would not.
Q: Would you please briefly explain the theory of punctuated equilibrium?
A: The theory of punctuated equilibrium, which is an attempt to explain gaps as the normal workings of the evolutionary process, begins by making a distinction between two modes of evolution. First, evolution might occur by the wholesale or entire transformation of one's form, one's species into another.
We maintain in the theory of punctuated equilibrium that that is, in fact, not a common mode of evolution, but what normally happens, the usual way for evolutionary change to occur, is by a process called speciation or branching. That it's not the whole transformation of one entire species into another, out a process of branching, whereby one form splits off. In other words, a small group of creatures may become isolated geographically from the parental population, and then, under this small isolated area, undergo a process of accumulation of genetic changes to produce a new species.
The second aspect of the theory of punctuated equilibrium— The first
THE COURT: Did you say equilibrium?
A: Equilibrium. I did leave out a point there. That most species, successful species living in large populations, do not change. In fact, are fairly stable in the fossil record and live for a long time. The average duration of marine invertebrate species was five to ten million years. During that time they may fluctuate mildly in morphology, but most of them — I don't say there aren't exceptions — most of them don't change very much. That's what we would expect for large, successful, well-adapted populations. And that's the equilibrium part. By punctuation, we refer to those events of speciation where descendent species rather rapidly in geological perspectives split off from their ancestors. And that's the second point.
First, that evolutionary changes accumulate, not through the transformation
of entire population, but through events of slipping, branching, or speciation.
Then we have to look at the ordinary time course, how long the event of
speciation takes. And it seems to be that it occurs probably on the average
— there is an enormous variation — in perhaps tens of thousands of years.
Now, tens of thousands of years, admittedly, is very slow by the scale
of our lives. By the scale of our
A: (Continuing) lives, ten thousand years has been deceptively slow. But remember, we're talking about geological time. Ten thousand years, in almost every geological situation, is represented by a single bedding plane, by a single stratum, not by a long sequence of deposits.
And therefore the species forms in ten thousand years, although that's slow by the standards of our life, in fact, in geological representation, you would find all of that represented on a single bedding plane. In other words, you wouldn't see it.
What's more, if it's a small, isolated population that's speciated, then the chance of finding the actual event of speciation is very, very small, indeed. And therefore, it is characteristic of the fossil record that new species appear geologically abruptly. This is to my mind a correct representation of the way in which we believe the evolution occurs.
Q: Professor Gould, would it assist you in your testimony in explaining punctuated equilibrium to refer to a chart?
A: Yes. I have a chart that I presented to you. What we see here, your Honor—
MR. NOVIK: Professor Gould, let me state for the record, I am
handing to you Plaintiffs' Exhibit 101 for
MR. NOVIK: (Continuing) identification.
Q: Does that exhibit contain a chart illustrating punctuated equilibrium?
A: Yes. I have two charts here. The first, your Honor, illustrates the principle of gradual-
Q: What page would that be?
A: That is on page 642. illustrating the slow and steady transformation of a single population. The next page, page 643, illustrates punctuated equilibrium in which we see that in geological perspectives, though remember, we're talking about tens of thousands of years, that in geological perspective, species are originating in periods of time that are not geologically resolvable and are represented by single bedding planes and, therefore, appear in the record abruptly.
I might say at this point, if I may, that there are two rather different senses that would turn gap
into record. The first one refers to an existence of all interceptable intermediate degrees. And to that
extent, those are gaps, and I believe they are gaps because indeed, evolution doesn't work that way,
usually. They are gaps because that is not how evolution occur. There is another sense of gaps in the
record claiming, in other words, there are not transitional forms
A: (Continuing) whatsoever in the fossil record. It's, in fact, patently false.
Indeed, on page 643, if you consult the chart, we do display an evolutionary trend here on the right, and evolutionary trends are very common in the fossil record. Punctuate equilibrium does not propose to deny it. By evolutionary trends, we mean the existence of intermediate forms, structurally intermediate forms between ancestors in the sense that we don't have every single set, and we find transitional forms like that very abundant in the fossil record.
But the theory of punctuated equilibrium says that you shouldn't expect to find all interceptable intermediate degrees. It's not like rolling a ball up an inclined plane, it's rather, a trend is more like climbing a staircase, where each step would be geologically abrupt. In that sense that are many transitional forms in the fossil record.
I might also state that when the geological evidence is unusually good, that we can even see what's happening within one of these punctuations.
Q: Within one of these bedding planes, as you refer to it?
A: What is usually bedding planes, but in very rare geological circumstances, we have finer geological
A: (Continuing) resolution. Those ten thousand years may be represented by a sequence of deposits, and we can see what is actually happening within that interval of tens of thousands of years.
MR. NOVIK: Your Honor, I'd like to move that Plaintiffs' Exhibit 101 for identification be received in evidence.
THE COURT: It will be received.
Q: Professor Gould, you have testified that in some rare instances you can find actual evidence of punctuation; is that correct?
Q: Can you give us an example of such?
A: There is one very good example that is published in Nature magazine by Peter Williamson. It concerns the evolution of several species of fresh water clams and snails in African lakes during the past two million years. At two different times water levels went down and the lakes became isolated.
Now, in lakes you often get much finer grained preservation of strata than usual, so you can actually
see what's happening within one of these punctuations. So the lakes become isolated, and we can see in
the sequence of strata the transformation of ancestors and descendants within a period of time that is on
A: (Continuing) of tens of thousand of years. I have submitted three photographs-
Q: Would it assist you in your testimony to refer to these photographs?
A: Yes, it would.
Q: Let me state for the record, Professor Gould, that these photographs have been previously marked as Plaintiffs' Exhibit 123 for identification.
A: In the first photograph, marked number one, you see, your Honor, on your left is the ancestral form. It's a snail that has a very smooth outline, and on your right is a descendant form that comes from higher strata. You notice that the outline is stepped, more like the Empire State Building, in a way.
The second photograph shows the actual sequence of intermediate forms. Again, on your left is
the ancestor, on your right is the descendant. The three or four snails in the middle are average
representatives from a sequence of strata representing tens of thousands of years. And the third, which is the
most remarkable that we actually have evidence for the mechanism whereby this transition occurred, we
have three rows there. The top row represents a sequence of representative series of snails from the
lowermost strata, in the ancestral form. And you'll note that there's not a great deal of
A: (Continuing) variability. They all look pretty much alike.
On the bottom row are the descendant forms, the ones in the uppermost strata in this sequence, and they all, again, look pretty much alike, but they are different forms. These are the ones that have the stepped like outline.
In the middle row, notice that there is an enormous expansion of the variability. Presumably, under conditions of stress and rapid evolution, there are enormous expansions of variability. There you have a much wider range of variation. There are some snails that look smooth in outline, there are some that look pretty much stepped, and there are all intermediate degrees. Here is what happened, you get a big expansion of variability, and the natural selection or some other process eliminated those of the ancestral form. And from that expanded spectrum and variability, only the ones that had the stepped-like outline were preserved.
And in the sequence, we, therefore, actually see the process of speciation occurring. So it's not true to
say that punctuated equilibrium is just an argument born of despair, because you don't see
transitional forms. When the geological record is unusually good, you do, indeed, see them.
Q: Professor Gould, how does creation science deal with the theory of punctuated equilibrium?
A: From the literature I've read, it's been very badly distorted in two ways. First, it's been claimed that punctuated equilibrium is a theory of truly sudden saltation, that is, jump to a new form of life in a single generation. That is a kind of fantasy.
The theory of punctuated equilibrium doesn't say that. It merely says that the correct geological representation of speciation in tens of thousands of years will be geologically instantaneous origin.
The second distortion is to claim that under punctuated equilibrium we argue that entire evolutionary sequences can be produced in single steps. In the transition from reptile to mammal or from amphibian to reptile might be accomplished under punctuated equilibrium in a single step. That's manifestly false.
The punctuations in punctuated equilibrium are in much smaller scale record the origin of new species. And we certainly believe that in the origin of mammals from reptiles that many, many steps of speciation were necessary.
Again, as I said, it's like climbing a staircase. But believers and those who advocate the theory of
punctuated equilibrium would never claim mammals arose from reptiles
A: (Continuing) in a single step. And yet that is how it's often depicted in the creation science literature. Can I give an example?
Q: Certainly. Let me offer you Plaintiffs' Exhibit 57 pre-marked for identification.
A: The Fossils: Key to the Present, by Bliss, Parker and Gish.
On page 60 we have a representation of punctuated equilibrium which distorts it exactly in that way. The diagram implies that the transition from fish to amphibian and from amphibian to reptile and from reptile to mammal and from mammal to man occur, each one, in a single step. And that, therefore, there are no transitional forms. The theory of punctuated equilibrium does not say there are no transitional forms. When we're talking about large scale evolutionary trends, there are many transitional forms.
MR. NOVIK: Your Honor, at this point, before we go on, I'd like to offer Plaintiffs' Exhibit 123, the photographs, in evidence.
THE COURT: They will be received.
Q: So the charts from creation science literature on which you are relying suggests that punctuated equilibrium would require great leaps from-
A: Yes. Single step transitions, in what we, in fact,
A: (Continuing) believe are evolutionary trends in which ancestor and descendent are connected by many intermediate steps. But again, they are not smooth, gradual transitions, because evolution doesn't work that way. It's more like climbing steps.
Q: And that's not what the theory suggests at all?
Q: Does the fossil record provide evidence for the existence of transitional forms?
A: Yes, it does.
Q: Are there many such examples?
A: Yes, there are.
Q: Could you give us one example?
A: One very prominent one is the remarkable intermediate between reptiles and birds called Archaeopteryx. Archaeopteryx is regarded as an intermediate form because it occurs, first of all, so early in the history of birds. But secondly, and more importantly, is a remarkable mixture of features of reptiles and birds.
Now, I should say that we don't expect evolution to occur by the slow and steady transformation of
all parts of an organism at the same rate; therefore, we find an organism that has some features that
are very birdlike and some that are very reptile-like. That's exactly what we
A: (Continuing) would expect in an intermediate form, and that's what we find in Archaeopteryx. Archaeopteryx has feathers, and those feathers are very much like the feathers of modern birds. Archaeopteryx also has a so-called furcula or wishbone, as in modern birds.
However, in virtually all other features of its anatomy point by point, it has the skeletal structure of a reptile; in fact, very much like that of small running dinosaurs that presumably were their ancestors.
For example, it seems to lack the expanded sternum or breastbone to which the flight muscles of birds are attached. It has a reptilian tail. And detail after detail of the anatomy proves its reptilian form. Most outstandingly, it possesses teeth, and no modern birds possessed teeth. Archaeopteryx and other early birds possess teeth, and the teeth are of reptilian form. I can also say, though this is not the opinion of all paleontologists, but many paleontologists believe that if you study the arrangement of the feathers and the inferred flight musculature of Archaeopteryx, that it, in fact, if it flew at all, and it may not have, was a very poor flier indeed, and would have been intermediate in that sense, as well.
Q: How do creation scientists deal with this evidence
Q: (Continuing) of a transitional form?
A: Again, mostly by ignoring it. And using the specious argument based on definition rather than morphology -
Q: What do you mean by morphology?
A: Morphology is the form of an organism, the form of the bones as we find them in the fossil record.
In that sense, Archaeopteryx had feathers, and since feathers are used to define birds, that, therefore, Archaeopteryx is all bird, thereby neglecting its reptilian features. The question of definition is rather different from a question of the assessment of morphology. For example, Duane Gish, in Evolution: The Fossils Say No
MR. NOVIK: That's Plaintiffs' 78 for identification, your Honor.
A: says on page 90, "The so-called intermediate is no real intermediate at all because, as paleontologists acknowledge, Archaeopteryx was a true bird it had wings, it was completely feathered, it flew. It was not a half-way bird, it was a bird."
And then for the most part just ignoring and not talking about all the reptilian features of
Archaeopteryx, or by using another specious argument to get around the most difficult problem, namely, the
teeth of Archaeopteryx.
A: (Continuing) Gish writes on page 92, "While modern birds do not possess teeth, some ancient birds possessed teeth, while some other did not. Does the possession of teeth denote a reptilian ancestry for birds, or does it simply prove that some ancient bird had teeth while others did not? Some reptiles have teeth while some do not. Some amphibians have teeth, out some do not. In fact, this is true throughout the entire range of the vertebrate subphylum fishes, Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves," that is birds "and Mammalia, inclusive."
That, to me, is a specious argument. It's just a vaguely important question. Yes, it's true, some reptiles have teeth and some don't. But the important thing about the fossil record of birds is that the only birds that have teeth occur early in the history of birds, and those teeth are reptilian in form. Thus, you have to deal with not just the issue of some do and some don't, and that is not discussed.
Q: Professor Gould, you have just talked about a transitional form, Archaeopteryx. Could you give an example of an entire transitional sequence in the fossil record?
A: Yes. A very good example is that provided by our own group, the mammals.
Q: Would it assist you in your testimony to refer to an exhibit?
A: Yes. I have a series of skulls illustrating the most important aspect of this transition.
Now, in terms of features that would be
Q: Let me state for the record, Professor Gould, I have just handed you Plaintiffs' Exhibit 125 for identification.
A: Yes. In terms of the evidence preserved in the morphology of bones which we find in the fossil record, the outstanding aspect of the transition from reptiles to mammals occurs in the evolution of the jaw.
The reptilian jaw, lower jaw, is composed of several bones, and the mammalian lower jaw is composed of a single bone called the dentary.
We can trace the evolution of those lineages which gave rise to mammals a progressive reduction in
these posterior or back bones of the jaw, until finally the two bones that form the articulation or the
contact between the upper and lower jaw of reptiles becomes smaller and smaller and eventually becomes two
or the three middle ear bones, the malleus and incus, or hammer and anvil, of mammals. And you can see
a progressive reduction in the charts I've supplied. The first animal, Dimetrodon, is a member
A: (Continuing) of a group called the pelycosaur, which are the ancestors of the so-called therapsids or the first mammal like reptiles.
And then within the therapsids you can trace the sequence of the progressive reduction of these post dentary bones until and this is a remarkable thing in advanced members of the group that eventually gave rise to mammals, a group called the cynodonts. In advanced members of the cynodonts, we actually have a double articulation, that is, a double jaw joint. It is one formed by the old quadrate and articulate bones, which are the reptilian articulation bones, the ones that become the malleus and incus, the hammer and the anvil, later. And then the secondary articulation formed by the squamosal bone, which is the upper jaw bone of mammals that makes contact with the lower. And at least in these advanced cynodonts, it seems by a bone called the surangular, which is one of the posterior post-dentary bones, and then in a form called Probainognathus, which is perhaps the most advanced of the cynodonts, you get, in the squamosal bone, the actual formation of what is called the glenoid fossa, or the actual hole that receives the articulation from the lower jaw.
And in Probainognathus, it's not clear. Some paleontologists think that the dentary was actually
A: (Continuing) already established, the contact. In any event the surangular seems to be in contact. And then in the first mammal, which is called Morganucodon, the dentary extends back, excludes the surangular and you have the complete mammalian articulation formed between the dentary of the lower jaw and the squamosal of the upper jaw.
Now, Morganucodon, it appears the old quadrate articulate contact is still present, the bones that go into the middle ear, although some paleontologists think that, in fact, that contact may have already been broken, and you may have this truly intermediate stage in which the quadrate and articular are no longer forming an articulation, but are not yet detached and become ear bones.
I might also state that if you look at the ontogeny of the growth of individual mammals and their embryology, that you see that sequence, that the malleus and incus, the hammer and anvil, begin as bones of the jaws. And in fact, in marsupials, when marsupials are first born, it is a very, very undeveloped state that the jaw articulation is formed still as in reptiles, and later these bones actually enter the middle ear.
Q: Now, Professor Gould, you've used a lot of technical terms here. If I understand you correctly, the
Q: (Continuing) point of this is that this transitional sequence for which we have good evidence shows the transformation of the jaw bones in reptiles to become the ear bones in mammals; is that correct?
A: Yes. We have a very nice sequence of intermediate forms. Now again, it's not in perceptible transition through all intermediary degrees, because that's not the way evolution works.
What we do have is a good temporally ordered structural sequence within the intermediate forms.
Q: How does creation science deal with this evidence?
A: For the most part simply by not citing it, as they usually do, or by making miscitations when they do discuss it. For example, again, Duane Gish, in Evolution: The Fossils Say No-
MR. NOVIK: Plaintiffs' Exhibit 78 for identification.
A: gets around the issue by discussing only a single form, a form called Thrinaxodon. Now, Thrinaxodon is a cynodont; that is, it is a member of the group that gave rise to mammals within the therapsids, but it is, in fact, a primitive cynodont. It is not close within the cynodonts of the ancestry of mammals, and, therefore, it does not have many of these advanced features.
Mr. Gish discusses only Thrinaxodon in his discussion
A: (Continuing) and writes, "Even the so-called advanced mammal-like reptile Thrinaxodon," that's an interesting point. Thrinaxodon is an advanced mammal-like reptile because all the cynodonts represent an advanced group.
But within the cynodonts, it is a primitive member of that group, and therefore, would not be expected to show the more advanced features.
"Even the so-called advanced mammal-like reptile Thrinaxodon, then, had a conventional reptilian ear." We are quite simply not talking about the more advanced cynodonts who have the double articulation.
Q: He does not discuss the example you have just testified about at all?
A: Not in this book published in 1979. It was published long after this information became available.
Q: And the example he does use is, in your opinion, irrelevant on this point?
A: Yes. He discusses only the genus Thrinaxodon, which as I have stated, is a primitive member of the cynodonts.
Q: Professor Gould, is there evidence of transitional sequences in human evolution?
A: Yes. It's rather remarkable that the evidence is as complete as it is, considering how difficult it is for human bones to fossilize.
Q: Why is it so difficult for human bones to fossilize?
A: Primarily for two reasons. First, there weren't very many of us until rather recently. And secondly, creatures that lived in fairly dry terrestrial environments where rocks are more often being eroded than deposited, are not often preserved as fossils.
Q: What does the fossil record indicate with respect to human evolution?
A: A rather well formed sequence of intermediate stages. The oldest fossil human, called Australopithecus afarensis, or often known as "Lucy", is one of the most famous specimens and a remarkable specimen is forty percent complete, so it's not just based on fragments. Lucy is an animal that is very much like Archaeopteryx and contains a mixture of some rather advanced human features with the preservation of some fairly apelike features.
For example, based on the pelvis and leg bones of Australopithecus afarensis, we know that this creature walked as erect as you or I and had a fairly so-called bipedal gait. Indeed, we've even found fossil foot prints that indicate this bipedal gait.
On the other hand, the cranium of Australopithecus afarensis' skull, in many features, is a
remarkably apelike cranium and perhaps it is scarcely if at all larger than the ape, with a comparable body size
A: (Continuing) dentician. It is a rather nice mixture.
Q: What do you mean by `dentician'?
A: Teeth. Sorry. Or a mixture of apelike and humanlike features. Humans have a general shape of the dentician of a parabola, where apes tend to have a more, look at the molars and the incisors, rather more blocky or what we call quadrate outline. The outline of the palate and the upper jaw of Australopithecus afarensis is quite blocky, as in apes, and yet in many respects the teeth are more human in form, particularly in the reduction of the canine.
So Australopithecus afarensis is a remarkable intermediate form which mixes together apelike and humanlike features, just as we would expect. And then when you go to younger rocks in Africa, you find transitional forms again.
The first representative of our own genus, for example, a form called Homo habilis, is found in rocks
less than two million years old and is intermediate in cranial capacity between Lucy and modern humans.
It has a cranial capacity of seven hundred to eight hundred cubic centimeters, compared to thirteen
or fourteen hundred for modern humans, with approximately on the order of four hundred or a little less
And then in younger rocks, you get the next species, Homo erectus, or more popularly the Java or Peking Man, which is the first form that migrated out of Africa and came to inhabit other continents as well.
And it is again an intermediate between Homo habilis in brain size and modern humans, with cranial capacities on the order of a thousand cubic centimeters. And then finally in a much more recent strata we get the first remains of our own species, Homo sapiens.
Q: How does creation science deal with this evidence of transitional forms?
A: Again, in the literature I've read, in the most part by ignoring it and by citing examples from Henry Morris' Scientific Creationism, again. Henry Morris does two things simply to dismiss that evidence. He argues that Australopithecus is not an intermediate form, out entirely an all-ape, again by citing a single citation from a news report, not from primary literature.
He writes on page 173, this is now a citation from that news report. "Australopithecus limb bone
have been rare finds, but Leakey now has a large sample. They portray Australopithecus as long-armed
and short-legged. He was probably a knuckle-walker, not an erect walker, as many
A: (Continuing) archaeologist presently believe." Now, gorillas and chimps are knuckle-walkers, and the implication is that the Australopithecus was just an ape. But I don't know where that news report came from. We certainly are quite confident from the pelvis and leg bones that Australopithecus walked erect. There are volumes devoted to that demonstration. That is certainly not decided by a certain news report that seems to indicate otherwise.
Morris then goes on to say, "In other words, Australopithecus not only had a brain like an ape, but he also looked like an ape and walked like a ape."
And the second thing that Henry Morris does is to argue that contrary to the claim I just made, that there is a temporally ordered sequence to the intermediate forms. Morris argued that modern humans are found in the oldest rocks that preserve any human remains. And he again cites a news report, but misunderstands it or miscites it. The news report says, "Last year Leakey and his co-workers found three jaw bones, leg bones and more than 400 man-made stone tools. The specimens were attributed to the genus Homo."
Now, the claim is, yes, they were attributed to the genus Homo, but it is not our species. Leakey
then goes on to say, "It is not our species. In fact, these belong
A: (Continuing) to the species Homo habilis. The intermediate form of the cranial capacity was seven hundred to eight hundred cubic centimeters, and does not show, as Morris maintains, "that a fully modern human existed in the ancient strata."
Q: Professor Gould, are you familiar with the creation science argument that there are explained gaps between pre-Cambrian and Cambrian life?
A: Yes, indeed. The pre-Cambrian fossil record was pretty much nonexistent until twenty or thirty years ago. Creationists used to like to make a big point of that. They argued, `Look, for most of earth's history until you get rocks that you say are six hundred million years old, there were no fossils at all.'
Starting about 30 years ago, we began to develop a very extensive and impressive fossil record of pre-Cambrian creatures. They are, indeed, only single-celled creatures. And the reason we haven't found them before is because we were looking for larger fossils in different kinds of rocks.
So creation scientists had to acknowledge that, and they then shifted the argument and said that,
"All right, these are only single-celled creatures and they are not ancestors to the more complicated
forms that arise in the Cambrian, but there are no fossils of multi-cellular
A: (Continuing) animals before the Cambrian strata." But we've known now for about twenty years that that, too, is false. There is one rather well known fauna called the Ediacaran fauna, after a place in Australia where it was first found, but now, in fact, found on almost every continent of the earth.
These fossils are pre-Cambrian. They are not very ancient pre-Cambrian fossils. They occur in rocks pretty much just before the Cambrian. They are caught all over the world invariably in strata below the first appearance of still invertebrate fossils.
And the creation scientists, as far as I can see, for the most part, just simply ignore the existence of the Ediacaran fauna. For example, Duane Gish, again, in Evolution: The Fossils Say No cites, although this book is published in 1979, cites the following quotation by a paleontologist named T. Neville George on page 70, "Granted an evolutionary origin of the main groups of animals, and not an act of special creation, the absence of any record whatsoever of a single member of any of the phyla in the pre-Cambrian rocks remains as inexplicable on orthodox grounds as it was to Darwin."
That was a fair statement that T. Neville George made, but he made it in 1960, so Mr. Gish must
surely know of the discovery of the Ediacaran fauna since then. I think
A: (Continuing) he's misleading to the extreme in that he continues to cite this earlier source when, in fact, later discoveries had shown the existence of this pre-Cambrian fauna.
Q: Professor Gould, are there any natural law explanations for the rapid diversification of multicellular life forms at the beginning of the Cambrian era?
A: Yes, indeed. Without in any way trying to maintain the problem has been solved - it has not - we have some promise and possibilities based on natural law that may very well tell a large part of the story.
Q: What explanations are those?
A: For example, I have said there was an extensive record of pre-Cambrian single-celled creatures. But all of these single-celled creatures reproduced asexually, at least until late in the pre-Cambrian, as far as we can tell. And animals that reproduced asexually, according to Darwin's theory, have very little opportunity for extensive evolutionary change.
Under Darwin's theory, natural selection requires a large pool of variability, genetic variability,
upon which natural selection operates. And you can't generate that pool of variability in asexual creatures.
In asexual creatures, the offspring will be exactly like their
A: (Continuing) parents unless a new mutation occurs, but mutations are rare. And you may have a lot of favorable mutations, but there is no way you can mix them together. One line has one mutation and another clone another mutation.
But it is in sexual reproduction that you can bring together the favorable mutations in several lines. But each sexually produced creature represents a mixture of the different genetic material of two different parents. And that way you can bring together all the favorable mutations and produce that normal pool of variability without which natural selection can't operate.
So it may be that the so-called Cambrian explosion is a consequence of the evolution of sexuality, which allowed for the first time enough variability for Darwinian process to operate.
Q: Are there any other possible natural law explanations?
A: Yes, there are. One explanation that I find intriguing which is complimentary and not contradictory to the argument about sexuality, involves the characteristic mode in which growth proceeds in all systems that have characteristic properties. If I may have
Q: Would it help you to refer to Plaintiffs' Exhibit 101?
A: Yes, please. I have an illustration here-
Q: I believe the Court has a copy of that exhibit already. What page are you referring to?
A: It's on page 653. And here we are making an analogy of bacterial growth, but it is talking about characteristic growth in systems with the following properties, where into a system with superabundant resources you introduce for the first time a creature capable of self multiplication. So that if, for example, you introduce a single bacterial cell onto a plate of nutrients upon which it can grow, initially you're not going to see, although the rate of cell division doesn't change, nothing much is going to happen if one bacterial cell, then two, then four, then eight, then sixteen, thirty-two. You still can't see it, so the increase appears to be initially quite slow. We call it a lag phase.
But eventually it starts to increase much more rapidly; you get a million, then two million, then
four million, then eight million. Even though the rate of cell division hasn't changed, the appearance of
the increase has accelerated enormously. We call that the lag phase. Then eventually it reaches the
point where there is as many bacteria as the medium can support and then it tapers off and you have a
so-called plateau. And that gives rise
A: (Continuing) to the so called S shape, or the Sigmoid curve, after the initial slow lag phase to the rapid log phase and the later plateau.
Now, when you plot the increase of organic diversity through pre-Cambrian and Cambrian transition, you seem to have a very good fit to that S-shaped curve, which is what you'd expect in any system in which into a regime of superabundant resources you introduce a creature capable of self multiplication for the first time.
So the lag phase is presumably indicated by the slow increase in numbers of organisms at the end of the pre-Cambrian, culminating in the Ediacaran fauna. The log phase represents the rapid acceleration, not acceleration, but rapid increase in numbers of forms that we would expect in such a system gives analogous to the million, two million, four million bacteria and the later plateau. And, therefore, I think ordinary Sigmoidal growth may well represent the Cambrian explosion. In other words, the argument is the Cambrian explosion is, the log phase if one is using Sigmoidal processes.
Q: Does creation science take care of these two alternative natural law explanations?
A: I have not seen them depicted in the creation science literature that I've read.
Q: Professor Gould, does evolutionary theory presuppose
Q: (Continuing) the absence of a creator?
A: Certainly not. Indeed, many of my colleagues are devoutly religious people. Evolution as a science does not talk about the existence of a creator. It is quite consistent with one or without one, so long as the creator works by natural laws.
Q: Professor Gould, do you have a professional opinion concerning creation science in the areas of paleontology and geology?
A: Yes, indeed. I think they proceed by misquotation, by selective quotation, and by invoking supernatural intervention to produce the basic kinds of life, all of which are not only unscientific, but represent skill and rhetoric rather than science.
MR. NOVIK: I have no further questions, your Honor.
THE COURT: The court will be in recess until 1:30.
(Thereupon, Court was in recess
from 12:30 p.m.
until 1:40 p.m.)
MR. CHILDS: Your Honor, I will just state for the record, I appreciate the opportunity to finish
reading Doctor Morowitz' deposition which was taken last night, and the opportunity to collect my thoughts
for this cross examination.
having been previously sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
BY MR CHILDS:
Q: Doctor Morowitz, has Mr. Novik advised you that Judge Overton wants all witnesses to respond to the questions that are actually asked in this courtroom?
Q: Has Mr. Novik told you that Judge Overton wants you to respond directly to the questions that are actually asked of you?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: When were you first contacted about being a witness in this lawsuit?
A: Sometime within the last few weeks. I believe it was in late October, although The reason I'm equivocating a bit is I was called as a consultant first, to discuss some aspects of the case as an expert consultant, and then my role as a witness emerged from that. And the exact date of that transition, I'm not clear on.
Q: When were you first contacted to be expert to
Q: (Continuing) advise plaintiffs in this case.
A: Sometime in October.
Q: Okay. I believe last night you told us that you were first contacted one to two months ago?
A: That would be sometime in October, yes.
Q: When were you first advised that you would actually testify in this lawsuit?
A: I believe that was about two weeks ago.
Q: Were you advised that your testimony would be because that Doctor Carl Sagan was unable to testify?
A: I did not discuss that with anyone, no.
Q: Were you told why you would be a witness here?
A: No, I was not told; I was asked to be a witness.
Q: When was the subject matter of your testimony first discussed?
A: At that time.
Q: That was some two weeks ago?
A: Yes. Whenever it was that I agreed to be a witness.
MR. CHILDS: Your Honor., the proposed testimony of Doctor Carl Sagan was the nature of science, why creation science is not science, and the relevancy of astronomy to creation science.
It's my understanding, based on discussing with Mr. Dave Williams of our office, is that Doctor
Morowitz would be a substitute for Doctor Sagan. I would move at this time
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing) that all of Doctor Morowitz' testimony which was outside the scope of what we were originally advised by the plaintiffs be struck from the record.
THE COURT: it seems to me like if you took Doctor Morowitz' deposition last night, that a timely motion in that connection would have been before he testified today.
MR. CHILDS: Well, your Honor, I think the Court can consider at this point as only a tender in his testimony for purposes of review.
THE COURT: I will deny that motion.
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing) Doctor Morowitz, would you please tell Judge Overton and the people here in the courtroom what thermodynamics in an equilibrium state means?
A: Thermodynamics is a field of study. It is the study of energy transformations in equilibrium systems. That is the field called classical thermodynamics, which the term `thermodynamics' is usually used, is the study of transformations of state in equilibrium systems.
Q: Last night you told me that you have made some calculations regarding the possibilities or probabilities of life originating from non-life in an equilibrium state, did you not?
A: That is correct.
Q: Would you tell Judge Overton what the odds of life emerging from non-life in an equilibrium state are, according to your calculations?
A: All right. Ten to the minus ten to the tenth.
Q: Could you relate that so that us non-scientists can understand that?
A: All right. That is one over one followed by ten million zeros.
Q: Ten million?
A: Ten billion zeros.
Q: Ten billion?
Q: Now then, as I understand your testimony, the calculations based on an equilibrium state cannot be applied to the surface of the earth?
A: That is correct.
Q: Can you tell me the first time that science-
THE COURT: Excuse me. What was that question? I didn't catch the question. The last question you asked, what was that?
MR. CHILDS: I don't have any idea. We can have the court reporter read it back.
THE COURT: No, no. Maybe it wasn't that important.
MR. CHILDS: Let me see if we can start over again.
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing)
Q: Historically, have biologists considered the
Q: (Continuing) equilibrium theory of thermodynamics applicable to the evolution of life?
A: By and large, biologists have not dealt with that subject. Thermodynamics has been the subject of physicists and physical chemists.
Most biologists are not terribly well informed on thermodynamics.
Q: Okay. Let me repeat my question. Historically, where the area of thermodynamics has been applied to the evolution of life, has it not been the calculations that would be derived from the equilibrium state?
A: I don't know of any such specific calculations, so I'm unable to answer your question. I don't recall any such calculations.
Q: Last night in your deposition you mentioned the name Ilya - and I'll have to spell it P-r-i-g-o-g-i-n-e.
Q: Would you pronounce that for me, please?
Q: Are you familiar with an article that appeared in
Physics Today in November of 1972 entitled
Thermodynamics of Evolution, subheading being,
"The functional order maintained within living systems seems to defy the second law. Non-equilibrium
thermodynamics describes how such
Q: (Continuing) systems come to terms with entropy."
A: I have read that article, yes.
Q: Do you presently recall in this article the quote, "Unfortunately this principle cannot explain the formation of biological structures. The probability that at ordinary temperatures a macro, m-a-c-r-o, scopic number of molecules is assembled to give rise to the highly structures and to the coordinated functions characterizing living organisms is vanishingly small"?
A: Now, what's your question?
Q: My question was, do you recall, do you remember that statement in the article?
A: No, I do not.
Q: Would not that appear to be the application of the calculations from equilibrium state thermodynamics to the evolution of life on the surface of the earth?
A: Well, much of Prigogine's work has dealt with non-equilibrium dynamics. I think if you read on following that quotation, he gets into a little more detail about how the problem is solved. If you go just following that quotation, the next sentence or two.
MR. NOVIK: Perhaps it would help if the witness had a copy of the offer.
THE COURT: It doesn't sound like he needs one to me.
Q: Professor Morowitz, if you need to refer to the article, I only have one copy, I'll be glad it share it with you. Is that okay?
Q: My question is, in the historical perspective of application in the field of thermodynamics to the creation of life from non-life, were not your calculations, your type of calculations based on an equilibrium state applied to the model?
A: The calculations based on an equilibrium state were to show that life could not arise in an equilibrium state. That was the scientific thrust of the argument. And to my knowledge, that is the only case I'm aware of where that kind of calculations has been used. It is to show the necessity of open system thermodynamics to study this kind of phenomenon.
Q: I'll read you another quote. "A number of investigators have believed that the origin required so many chance events of such low probability that we have no way of studying it within the framework of science, even though it involves perfectly normal laws of nature." Do you recall that statement?
A: Yes. I wrote it.
Q: Okay. And I believe that was with Who was that with?
A: I believe that occurs in an article with Kimbel Smith.
Q: And then another quote in here, "The view that life's origin cannot be predicted from physics because of the dominance of chance factors was elaborated by Jack Monod," M-o-n-o-d, "in his book Chance and Necessity." Do you recall that?
A: Yes. The article then goes on to criticize what's wrong with those points of view and why they were incorrect.
Q: Bear with me, if you will.
My understanding of what happened in the history of the application of thermodynamics to the evolution of life itself, was that the first model that was applied was the one that they were familiar with, which was the equilibrium state.
A: No. Monod did not deal with thermodynamics at all in his work. Monod dealt with mutation rates, not with thermodynamics.
Q: Okay. Are you telling me that I'm wrong in my understanding, that the first model that was applied was the equilibrium state of thermodynamics?
A: Other than the calculation of mine which you cited which was designed to show that life could not
arise in an equilibrium system and must take place in an open system,
A: (Continuing) I don't know of other calculations, thermodynamic calculations related to the origin of life.
Q: You're not aware of anybody in the field that applied equilibrium theory to the evolution of life?
A: To the origin of life.
Q: To the origin of life?
A: I don't recall any such calculations.
Q: When did you do your calculations applying equilibrium theory?
Q: And when did you come up with your theory that it's not equilibrium theory that should be applied, but rather it should be non-equilibrium theory?
A: I can't give you a date. Ever since I've been involved in this field, probably since 1951, I believe that required non-equilibrium theory, but I can't give you an exact date.
Q: When did you first postulate your theory in writing that the non-equilibrium state is the correct one to apply to the evolution of life itself?
A: My book was published in 1968.
Q: I believe that's the book that you provided to me last night called Energy Flow in Biology?
A: That is correct.
Q: Are you familiar with the work of a fellow named Miller?
A: Stanley Miller?
Q: I believe so, yes, sir.
A: There are a lot of people named Miller.
Q: Are there any Millers other than Stanley Miller that would be working in your particular area of endeavor?
A: Not that I'm aware of.
Q: Did Mr. Miller, or let's say Doctor Miller, did Doctor Miller come up with anything unusual in the 1950's in his research?
Q: What did he come up with?
A: In Miller's experiments, he took a system of methane, ammonia and water, and in a closed system he provided energy through an electrical, high frequency electrical spark discharge, and he demonstrated the synthesis of amino acids, carbocyclic acids, and other prebiotic intermediates.
Q: Who was the previous historian, excuse me, the previous scientist in history who dealt with that same subject matter on a significant basis?
A: The origin of life?
A: Prior to the Miller experiment, I would say that the leading name in that field was A.I. O'Parin.
Q: And prior to that?
A: Prior to that, in a sense, the field didn't really exist.
Q: Why was that?
A: Because people believed through the 1800's that life arose spontaneously all the time; that maggots arose and became meat, and mice old piles of rags and so forth and so on. And as long as people believed that, there was no need to have a theory of the origin of life.
Q: Who put that theory to rest?
A: Louis Pasteur.
Q: And what were Doctor Pasteur's experiments?
A: Basically his final experiments that were most persuasive in this field consisted of flasks of sterile medium to which no organisms were admitted, and these flasks remained sterile for long periods of time.
A: Meaning no growth of living organisms occurred in them.
Q: What work has been done since Stanley Miller's work in the area of generating life in the laboratory?
A: Well, there have been some several thousand experiments on the, of the type done by Miller,
follow-up experiments, where various energy sources have been flowed; there has been the flow of various kinds
of energy through systems of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and
A: (Continuing) oxygen, and there has been a study of the kinds of molecules that are produced in such energy flow systems. These experiments universally show that the flow of energy through a system orders it in a molecular sense.
Q: Has anybody created life by the flow of energy?
A: Have any of those experiments resulted in the synthesis of a living cell? Is that the question?
Q: Yes, sir.
A: No. Not to my knowledge, anyway.
Q: Would you say that this area has received intensive scientific scrutiny in the scientific community?
Q: Do you have any explanation of why you have not been able to synthesize life in the laboratory?
A: It's an extremely difficult problem.
Q: What is the difficult
A: I would point out to you that we have put far more money into trying to cure cancer, and that is still an unsolved problem, also. We have put far more time, money, effort and human endeavor into that problem, and that is also an unsolved problem because it is a very difficult problem.
Q: What is the information you need to accomplish that?
A: To accomplish the synthesis of a living cell?
Q: Yes, sir.
A: Two kinds of information. One is the detailed understanding of the chemical structure of the small molecules, micro molecules, organelles and other structures that make up a living cell. And secondly, one has to know the kinetic processes by which those structures came about in prebiotic systems.
Q: In perusing some of the literature that you've written last night, I came up with an article which would seem to indicate that sincerely believe that given enough time and research, that you or scientists like you can ultimately go back to the ultimate combinations of atoms which led to the formation of molecules.
A: That is not a question.
Q: Do you recall an article to that effect?
A: Well, you said "we can go back to that" and then there should be an `and' clause, `and do some things'.
Q: Do you believe that you can go back and ultimately understand how atoms combined to form molecules?
A: That is a branch of chemistry. That is rather well understood.
Q: Well, I'm talking about the first molecules on the surface of the earth. Do you understand my question?
A: No, I don't.
MR. CHILDS: May I approach the witness, your Honor?
THE COURT: Yes.
Q: The article that I have is Biology as a Cosmological Science, reprinted from Main Currents and Modern Thought, volume 28, number 5, May through June, 1972.
Page 50 to, well, the page number I have on this is 615186. The first column is in brackets. I'd like you to read that paragraph, please.
A: "If we are able to obtain the kind of theory of self-order, this kind of theory of self-ordering should challenge us to apply the most profound insights we can muster to link biology to non-equilibrium physical chemistry."
"The job seems very formidable indeed, but the rewards could be very great; the ability to seek out our origins in terms of a law that would promulgate our action. This is truly a new frontier, and one that challenges the maximum intellectual effort of which we are all capable."
Q: Do I understand this paragraph to mean that you believe that you and scientists from the scientific community can explain the origins of man in terms of the laws of atomic interaction?
A: I believe that the origin of life can be explained in terms of the laws of atomic interactions.
Q: Historically, has there seen a conflict between biology and physics as it relates to the three laws of thermodynamics?
A: Yes, there has.
Q: When did that conflict appear?
A: The conflict appeared at the time of the appearance of Darwin's Origin of Species.
Q: Why did that conflict between biology and physics appear?
A: Because at the time of the first formulation That followed very shortly the formulation of the second law of thermodynamics, and people at that time thought there was a conflict between the disordering influences mandated by the laws of physics and the ordering influences mandated by the laws of evolution.
Q: And in your article you say that this apparent conflict, quote, still rages today among some who have failed to grasp the real nature of the problem." Now, I wonder if you could tell me who those people are?
A: Well, I should point out that it also states in there that the problem was essentially solved in 1886
by Bolzmann, B-o-l-z-m-a-n-n. And it has been a subtle problem, and a number of people have simply
not understood the solution and therefore there has been some residual argument.
I would say by 1981 that has been almost entirely cleared up, and I know of no one other than the creation scientists who have any qualms about there being any conflict between life and the laws of thermodynamics.
Q: Do you know of a fellow named Sir Fred Hoyle, or know of Sir Fred Hoyle?
A: I have heard of Fred Hoyle, yes.
Q: What is his particular area of expertise?
A: Professor Hoyle is an astrophysicist.
Q: Does the field of astrophysics include a familiarity with thermodynamics?
A: It might. I mean, there are a number of fields within astrophysics. Some of them would certainly require thermodynamics. All of them would not.
Q: Are you aware that Sir Hoyle has come up with some probabilities which would indicate that the origination of life itself on the planet earth is impossible?
A: I have not read that work by Hoyle.
Q: Are you aware that those are basically conclusions?
A: I have not heard I have not read that work directly.
Have you heard that? I'm not asking if you've read the books. Have you heard, do you understand
Q: (Continuing) the scientific community?
A: No. I had not heard that before my deposition.
Q: Is Jack Monod a molecular biologist?
A: He was a molecular biologist?
Q: Is he deceased?
A: He's now deceased.
Q: Did he write a book called Chance and Necessity in 1971?
Q: And you've spent a great deal of time putting his thesis about the origin of life to rest, have you not?
A: I have certainly disagreed with his views about the origin of life.
Q: When was your first contact with a Doctor Robert E. Kofahl?
A: I don't remember the date. I had some brief correspondence with him, probably be on the order of ten years ago.
Q: And what was your interest in communicating with Doctor Kofahl?
A: I had, shortly before that, heard of the work of the Creation Research Institute. And since I do some writing in these problems of the origin of life, I wanted to find out what their views were.
Q: For what purpose?
Q: You provided last night two letters, one dated August 10, 1976, to Doctor Kofahl, and a letter asking for his writings which would constitute a contemporary statement of fundamentalism, and a letter of September 2, 1976, thanking him for his letter.
Do you have his letter of August 24, 1976?
A: No. I went through my files in gathering any material for the deposition, and those were the only two letters from that correspondence that I found.
Q: Do you consider the creation explanation or a source of life being creation rather than chemical evolution a threat to your position in the scientific community?
A: No. Because the idea is totally outside the scientific community.
Q: And how do you define the scientific community?
A: Well, I think you're asking for a sociological definition since you are asking if it affected my position in the community. If you want a sociological definition, that should be posed to those persons making a living in the field.
Q: I asked you about your definition of science last night, didn't I?
A: We discussed it briefly.
Q: Do you recall what your definition of science was last night?
A: Well, if you have it, it would be helpful. I don't remember the exact words that I used.
Q: It's on page 56, if you would.
On the bottom of page 56, line 24, I asked you the question, "Should the public schools' science teachers teach what is accepted in the scientific community?" What is your answer on line 1 and line 2 of page 57?
A: That defines what science is. "Science is a social activity."
Q: Science is what is accepted in the scientific community.
A: That is correct.
Q: Which when you reduce it down to its simplest terms means that if the people like you or in the scientific community don't believe in it, then it's not science?
A: Of course, the community has rules by which it operates. This is not a random acceptance or
rejection by the community. The community has rules dealing with natural law, testability, explanatory power,
and a number of other rules like that which relates to what is accepted and what is not accepted in
the scientific community. There was some implication the way you asked that question that this was
a capricious sort of choice on the
A: (Continuing) part of a community of scholars. it is not a capricious choice. It's a community of scholars who are very dedicated to a discipline by which information is evaluated.
Q: Isn't that your viewpoint as somebody being on the inside looking out?
A: I don't really know how to answer that question.
Q: Well, it sort of sounds to me like somebody might be a member of a country club looking at all the people who are not a member of the club. They make their own rules and they decide who will be admitted.
A: Again, you're making the assumption that the rules are capricious. The rules are not capricious, because nature is a hard taskmaster.
Q: Who makes the rules?
A: The rules are ultimately, come from natural law. The understanding of those rules is the task of a group of people who are trying to understand that natural law, trying to study that natural law.
Q: Are you trying to say that this is some kind of interpretation of the data that people perceive of what they see around them?
A: Science deals with observations. You go from observation to constructs, which would be what
you would call hypothesis, theories, and then you go back through
A: (Continuing) the loop of verification, and back to the observables again. And this is the general procedure by which science operates.
Q: Can you tell me the name of one Ivy League university that has a creation science scientist on that staff?
A: No, I cannot.
Q: Can you tell me one graduate school that you would consider reputable in the United States that has a creation scientist on the staff?
A: No, I cannot.
Q: Can you give me the names of a single journal that you would consider reputable that has a creation-scientist who reviews articles submitted for publication?
A: No, I cannot. On the other hand, I cannot give you the name of a single Ivy League school or major university or major journal in which the flat earth theory was published or reviewed.
Q: What about the theory of phlogiston?
A: I cannot give you the name of a single such institution or journal which would consider it.
Q: What is there about the concept of flat earth which requires that it not be taught?
A: It's wrong.
Q: Would you say that everybody in the scientific
Q: (Continuing) community that you know of agrees that it's wrong, the people that you know and respect?
A: Two hundred years ago this was not true, or four hundred years ago this was not true.
Q: Let me restate my question.
A: It is universally accepted I will answer your question. It is universally accepted that the flat earth theory is wrong.
Q: Is it your conclusion as to what has been referred to in this trial as creation science is also wrong?
A: It is not science.
Q: No. My question is, is it not also your conclusion that it is wrong in the same sense that the flat earth theory is wrong?
A: Aspects of it which are lumped into that section 4(a) 1 through 6 of the law are certainly wrong.
Q: And the people you know and respect in the scientific community also think that creation science is wrong?
A: That those aspects of it are wrong, yes.
Q: So where is the democratic process that you refer to in the scientific community for creation science views?
Q: For creation science views?
A: Anyone's ideas are open-
Q: Please try to answer my question.
A: I am.
Q: Where is the democratic process in the scientific community that will allow creation science views to be presented?
A: Well, you just gave an example When I wrote to Doctor Kofahl and asked him for a copy of his papers.
Q: Didn't you get Doctor Kofahl's papers so that you could tear them apart?
A: I got them so I could evaluate them.
Q: To show that they were wrong?
A: That was not the conclusion prior to evaluating them. I wouldn't have needed to have gotten them if I had made the conclusion before evaluating them.
Q: Do you know a Doctor John W. Patterson?
A: I don't know him. I have corresponded with him.
Q: He sent you a draft, a proposed draft, of an article to be submitted to the Creation Research Society. Do you know why he sent it to you?
A: I believe he had covered some thermodynamics in the article, and he asked me for my opinion on them.
Q: He says in the second paragraph, "I am alerting you to this because I know you have either been directly involved with the creationists in the past or, at least, I have a reason to believe you have a direct interest in
Q: (Continuing) this." Was he correct in his assertion that you have a direct interest in creation science being shown to be incorrect?
A: It has not been a very major interest of mine.
Q: Is it a direct interest of yours, as Doctor Patterson describes it?
A: Could you define what "direct interest" means?
Q: As opposed to an indirect interest?
A: I don't want to be facetious, but it seems to me major and minor interests are much more descriptive. It is a very minor interest.
Q: I have here a note, a copy of a note that you sent to a gentleman at the law firm Skadden and Arps, where you say in the third paragraph, "This is a case of great importance and I stand willing to help in any way." Does that indicate a minor interest in your life regarding creation science?
A: It indicates a major interest with respect to this case.
Q: Is your theory that— Let me start over. Do you know how life formed on the surface of the earth?
A: I have a theory of how life formed on the surface of the earth.
Q: Have you been able to take that theory and create life in the
Q: Let me repeat my question. Do you know how life evolved on the surface of the earth?
THE COURT He just answered that.
MR. CHILDS: I think he said he had a theory.
THE COURT I think that is the answer. I think he has a theory. He doesn't know for a fact.
MR. CHILDS: I think there has been a blurring in the distinction between a theory and a fact in this lawsuit, and that is the point I am attempting to make, your Honor.
THE COURT I don't know how it's blurred, but it doesn't seem to me like that answer blurred it.
MR. CHILDS: I will move on, your Honor.
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing)
Q: Is it your position— Let me start over again. Have you attempted to apply the theory of thermodynamics to post-life evolution?
Q: In your opinion, is the case to be made for post-life evolution less clear thermodynamically?
Q: As I understand your concept of earth and sun, is that thermodynamically
in relation to the sun and earth relation is in a state of unbalanced equilibrium?
A: That's a fair statement.
Q: And that when we use the phrase "an open system", that can be translated into a non-equilibrium state?
A: An open system is necessarily a non-equilibrium state. A non-equilibrium system is not necessarily open.
Q: And it's your position that the relationship of the earth and the sun, is that it is a non-equilibrium state?
A: The surface of the earth is in a non-equilibrium state, yes.
Q: What is your position as to whether or not the solar system, the planets around our sun, is an equilibrium or non-equilibrium state?
A: The solar system is in a non-equilibrium state.
Q: And what about the universe?
A: That is a question in astrophysics that goes beyond my area of expertise. That has to do with whether the universe is closed or open.
Q: Are there legitimate reputable scientist who believe the universe is a closed system?
A: That goes beyond my area of expertise.
Q: I am not asking you to testify within your area of expertise.
I am asking you if you know of your own personal knowledge whether there
are reputable scientists in the field who postulate that the universe is
a closed system.
A: I am not really equipped to evaluate astro- physicists with respect to their competence.
Q: Is there controversy in that field in that area?
A: I believe there are astrophysicists who hold the view that the universe is open, and there are astro- physicists who hold the view that it is a closed universe, yes.
Q: Of the astrophysicists who hold the view the universe is the closed system, do you know whether or not they are creation scientists?
A: I do not.
Q: As I understood your direct testimony, there would be a transmittal of either energy or matter between the earth and the sun?
A: That is correct.
Q: Can you tell me what matter is transmitted between the earth and the sun?
A: There is some small flux of particulate matter from the sun. It's really quite negligible compared to the flow of energy in sunlight.
Q: Is it possible to calculate the amount of energy that the earth receives from the sun?
A: Yes. One can do a quite accurate calculation of that.
Q: Is it possible to accurately figure the amount of
Q: (Continuing) radiation that the earth gives off?
A: With somewhat less accuracy, but it can be calculated.
Q: With what degree of accuracy can, what you referred to last night as infrared radiation, be calculated?
A: Again, that would be generally an area that comes from the field of atmospheric physics, which I am also not an expert in, but my guess is that the flux of energy from the earth can be calculated to within a couple of percents.
Q: I believe in your direct testimony you said that the concept of creation was not in scientific literature. Did I hear your testimony correctly?
A: I believe it was that the phrase "creation science" does not occur in the scientific literature.
Q: Could it possibly have been that sudden creation is not in the scientific literature?
A: That certainly is possible.
Q: In your article, "Biology of Cosmological Science", there is a paragraph that talks about creation. I'd like you to read that paragraph yourself and tell me in what sense you were using it?
A: I believe the sense you have in mind is that this view has
two rather profound consequences. First, that the universe has an origin,
or as some would rather term it, a creation, meaning that the universe
has an origin as
A: (Continuing) scientists would state it or a creation as others, namely, theologians, would state it.
Q: You weren't referring to scientists?
A: No. That is not an article from scientific literature. That is an article of a broader philosophical nature.
Q: It is the only one I could understand, Doctor Morowitz.
MR. CHILDS: Your Honor, could I have a few minutes?
THE COURT Yes. We will take ten minutes.
(Thereupon, Court was in
recess from 2:30 p.m.
until 2:40 p.m.)
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing)
Q: Doctor Morowitz, I want to return to the statements last night about what public school teachers teach. That's on page 56, if you want to refer back to that. My question was, "Should the public school science teachers teach what is accepted in the scientific community?"
What is your feeling about that?
A: I believe that that constitutes their subject matter.
Q: Do you think that high school or public school science teachers
should teach what is accepted in the
Q: (Continuing) scientific community?
A: I think the subject matter of science is defined by what is accepted in the scientific community, yes.
Q: I'm going to pass a book to you called The World of Biology, published, copyrighted in 1974 by McGraw-Hill—
MR. CHILDS: May I approach the witness, your Honor?
THE COURT Yes, sir. By the way, you all needn't ask my permission to do that.
MR. CHILDS: Thank you, your Honor.
Q: Would you please read that yourself?
A: "Education, you know, means broadening, advancing, and if you limit a teacher to only one side of anything, the whole country will eventually have one thought, be one individual. I believe in teaching every aspect of every problem or theory."
Q: Does the line directly above that quote indicate the source of that quote?
A: Yes, it does.
Q: Who is the source of that quote?
A: John Thomas Scopes.
Q: Who is John Thomas Scopes?
A: Of the famous Scopes monkey trial.
Q: Would you please read that one more time into the record?
A: "Education, you know, means broadening, advancing,
Page is missing.
A: It means there is a difference of opinion about matters within the scientific community.
Q: And the mere fact that somebody had articles refused for publication would not indicate on its face or by itself that they were an incompetent scientist?
A: That's true.
Q: One thing that I thought I heard during your direct testimony was that the evolution of life itself is not properly considered within the area of evolution?
A: Within the area of the theory of evolution.
Q: Okay. Do you find it personally offensive that chemical evolution would be treated in the same context as biological evolution?
A: I don't find it offensive, I just don't feel that they are of necessity lumped together because of different methods by which we studied them.
Q: And that was in reference to Act 590, was it not?
Q: Did I understand your testimony correctly, that you thought it inappropriate that chemical evolution, or what would commonly be called chemical evolution, be included within the definition of evolution science in Act 590?
A: I said that was not the usual usage.
Q: Is it not customary in textbooks in the public schools for
the origins of life to be considered in the
Q: (Continuing) same textbooks as biological evolution?
Q: And did I also understand during your direct testimony that a criticism that you have of Act 590 is that it does not teach all origins of life?
A: No. I was criticizing the dual model point of view which arises in the creation science literature. And Act 590 seems to follow through that dual model point of view, indicating that there are only two models.
Q: Did I understand you to say that Act 590 in some way prohibits the teaching of an additional theory in the public schools?
A: I said it presents a two-model, a dual model point of view.
Q: Okay. In your reading of Act 590, did you see any indication in itself which said this theory of panspermia couldn't be called?
A: No, I did not say that.
Q: Would you very briefly tell Judge Overton what the panspermia theory is?
A: That is the theory that life on earth was transported here from some other distant planet, galaxy, or some other astral object.
Q: Is that view held by reputable scientists within
Q: (Continuing) what you consider to be the academic community, the scientific community?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Who is someone that we might have already heard about that holds that view?
A: The most recent advocate of that book, I would gather, from having read a review of a recent book of his, is Frances Crick.
Q: What about Sir Fred Hoyle?
A: Again, I have not personally read Hoyle's work on this, but I am told he accepts the point of view that the earth passed through some rather prebiotic or biogenetic material in space and was seeded from that source.
Q: Is Sir Fred Hoyle a reputable scientist?
A: He's a well known astrophysicist.
Q: Well, is he reputable?
A: That, again, you're going to be asking me to evaluate people in astrophysics. I'm in no position to do that.
Q: Well, before when you were telling about the scientific community, I thought you were talking about a broad mainstream of science.
A: Yes. But the evaluations of people in astrophysics is done by people in astrophysics.
Q: Well, is he published in reputable journals?
Q: Are his articles subject to peer review?
Q: Do his publications meet the criteria that are ordinarily assigned to those who you would consider reputable?
A: Yes. I'm not in any way trying to attack Fred Hoyle. I'm simply stating that evaluating people in astrophysics in not my field.
MR. CHILDS: I have nothing further, your Honor.
THE COURT Any redirect?
MR. NOVIK: No redirect.
THE COURT May Doctor Morowitz be excused?
MR. CHILDS: Yes, your Honor.
THE COURT You may be excused. Thank you, sir.
having been previously sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
BY MR. WILLIAMS:
Q: Would you agree that a theory is a structure of an idea that
explains and interprets the facts?
A: Yes, I think that's a statement from my article in Discover magazine.
Q: So that would be your own personal definition of a theory?
Q:. Are you a member of the Society for the Study of Evolution?
A: Yes, I am.
Q: How long have you been a member of that organization?
A: I think since I was in graduate school. I'm not sure. Probably about 1965.
Q: Are you a member of the Education Committee of that organization?
A: Yes, I am.
Q: And that was appointed by Doctor Ayala, or you were requested to serve by him?
A: Yes, I was requested to serve, and I'm not sure of the chairman.
Q: The chairman that Doctor Ayala appointed; is that correct?
A: Yes. Doctor Ayala sent the letter.
Q: And one of the charges of that committee, in essence, is to
try to meet creation science and oppose it; is it not?
Q: Have you also been active in other efforts, or at least involved in other efforts to oppose the teaching of creation science?
A: Mostly in my personal writings and studies, though there was a brief committee, a committee of brief life set up by the American Society of Naturalists, which is another organization of professional evolutionists., I was president pro tem through the death of the president and, therefore, it fell my lot to appoint that committee.
Q: And you are motivated to oppose creation science in your professional concern as a scientist, is that correct, Doctor Gould?
Q: Do you have any political motivation in opposition creation science?
A: As Aristotle said, man is a political animal. I think everything one does is partly in the context of one's larger views.
Q: Are you aware that one of plaintiffs' other witnesses, Doctor Ruse, has termed you a Marxist biologist whose theory does not qualify as, quote, science, close quote?
A: I've heard rumors to the effect about the first statement.
I don't know if the second one is juxtaposed
A: (Continuing) or not. It doesn't sound like something Michael would say, but then I wasn't here when he said it.
Q: have you ever written an article for Science for the People about creationism?
Q: And what is Science for the People?
A: Science for the People is a magazine published in Boston by scientists concerned with social issues, with views to the left of center.
Q: Their political views are to the left of center?
Q: Did you not say in that article that creationism is part of a program of the evangelical right in America, and this movement considered peripheral a decade ago has become central in Reaganland?
A: Yes, I think that's correct. A somewhat abbreviated assessment of what's happening in this nation today.
Q: And did you not also state in this article and at least one other that the Arkansas law requires equal time for creation science in science classrooms?
A: We discussed that in the deposition, Mr. Williams, and I think
I agreed at that time that the law says balanced treatment and that perhaps
I was incorrect in
A: (Continuing) calling it equal time. Although I don't really know what balanced treatment means. But perhaps I did misstate that. And I think I also added I have been wrong many times before.
Q: And you relate creation science, do you not, to be a link with anti-ERA, anti-abortion, and militant anti-Communism?
A: Yes, I think that it's programmed for various evangelical groups that are part of the creation science movement who support it. There are aspects of their political program that include those.
I don't, by any means, think that's the entire story, nor is it in any sense the only reasons for my opposition to creation science. Indeed, the primary motivation in my opposition, which by far predates ever hearing the name of Jerry Falwell and others, is the lack of scientific nature for it with respect to my profession, which is evolutionary biologist.
Q: Could you identify— Well, let me have this marked, if I might, as Defendants' Exhibit Two. Can you identify the article I'm showing you?
A: This is the one.
Q: Which one is that?
A: The one from Science for the People.
MR. WILLIAMS: Your Honor, we'd like to have this
MR. WILLIAMS: (Continuing) submitted as Defendants' Exhibit Two.
THE COURT It will be received.
Q: You have called or termed evolution to be a fact, have you not?
A: I have. It is also a theory.
Q: But in your writing at the conclusion, that evolution is a fact, the evidence that you rely on is largely inference; is it not?
A: I said in the Discovery article in which I made that claim that there were three primary ways whereby scientists are confident that evolution is a fact. Two of them were direct, and only one indirect. I do think the indirect category has the most persuasive evidence. First, the direct evidence is that small scale evolution as we've observed for over a hundred years. Secondly, the direct evidence, that fossils, when, despite the imperfections of the record, we have transitional forms. And third, the very large class of indirect evidence which encompasses such subjects as biogeography, vestigal organs, homologies, embryologies, et cetera.
Q: And in talking about the evolution that we have observed, as
you termed it, evolution in action, in the last one hundred years, how
much evolution have we observed in the last one hundred years?
A: About as much as one could reasonably hope to observe in such a short space of time.
Q: And in your deposition did you not tell me that was literally nothing?
A: I certainly didn't. Literally nothing? I don't quite understand the context. I mean, it doesn't produce new orders of animals. But you wouldn't expect that. It's not nothing; it's the amount of steady change. Do we have a corrected copy of the deposition?
Q: I have never received a correct copy.
A: Given my breakneck speed of talking, to which the court reporter has so correctly objected, many things in the original deposition do not come across correctly.
MR. ENNIS: Your Honor, the only copy of Doctor Gould's deposition that I have in my possession is a copy of it that has not yet been corrected by the witness. I believe that the only copy that was corrected by the witness was delivered directly to the Attorney General's office.
MR. WILLIAMS: We have yet to receive it, your Honor. It was to be delivered, but we have yet to receive it, unfortunately.
THE COURT Let's move on.
MR. WILLIAMS: (Continuing)
Q: On page 106 of your deposition I asked you this
Q: (Continuing) question: "How much do you think we've been able to observe about evolution?" And you gave this answer, "As much as we can really be expected to in the time scale of a hundred years, which is nothing, since the publication of The Origin of the Species.
A: I'm sorry. I mean, which is very little time. That's clearly an incorrect statement. Indeed, what you're quoting is, of course, inconsistent with the first statement. It's unlikely that that's what I really meant. I said, as much as we can expect to observe. If I said, "which is nothing", I meant that a hundred years is so little time it doesn't amount to very much. It's remarkable we've observed as much as we have. But that would be corrected in the corrected copy when you get it. I'm sorry.
Q: In terms of the evidence, the physical evidence we have observed, you do mention in this article The Peppered Moths, which has been referred to before in this courtroom. Now I want to see if I understand how you view this. Did these moths change color?
A: Evolution changes gene frequencies within populations. What
happened in the case of the peppered moths is that before industrial soot
blackened the trees around Manchester, that the moths which exist in two
different forms, depending on which state of the gene they
A: (Continuing) have, basically peppered and black, with very few black ones, almost all the moths in the population were peppered, when industrial soot blackened the trees in England, there was very strong selection for the first time against peppered moths, which had been virtually invisible against the lighter trees. And there was then for the first time an advantage to the black moths, as we call them, black moths, a few of them. And within fifty years the population consisted almost entirely of black moths, and that's natural selection.
Q: But did the peppered moths reproduce into black moths?
A: No. What happened was what the theory of natural selection predicts would happen, namely, that from a spectrum of variability, which included the peppered moths and black moths, the gene frequencies changed, indeed, the gene from black moths — the gene that produces black colors, excuse me, increased markedly and frequently within the population until virtually all moths were black.
Q: And in 1850, we had two types of moths, black and peppered?
A: Yes. Very, very deep black. Almost all-
Q: And today we have two types of moths, black and peppered?
A: Almost all black. That's what evolution is, natural selection of change of gene frequency.
Q: Were there any new species generated through this process?
A: Not in the case of the peppered moths. There are species that have been generated in other ways.
Q: I think you stated earlier that your second and third reasons, besides evolution in action, in which your primary example was the peppered moths—
A: No, I had other examples, the evolution of the D.D.T. resistance, which is the incorporation of new mutation in various forms and the production of new species of plants due to conflict.
Q: All right.
A: But yes, I mentioned the peppered moths as a prominent—
Q: But your second and third reasons do rely on inference, do they not?
A: The second reason I regard as reasonably direct, mainly temporal
sequences of fossils. I guess insofar as we don't have a time machine that
would take us back two hundred million years, it's not direct visual observation.
But to me we are often seeing pretty largely the evolutionary sequences
that develop. I think the second category is somewhere in between the direct,
A: (Continuing) observation and the more inferential character. But the third, I might say, the inference is as good a method in science as direct observation. It's not very often that, in fact, we reject conclusions merely through direct vision or sight.
Nobody has ever seen an atom or an electron or gravity, for that matter.
Q: But inference is a process of essentially logic, is it not, of looking at what we have now and trying to—
A: And drawing out what conclusions we can from it after inference is as inescapable as visual observations.
Q: Is there any subjectivity in arriving at an inference?
A: We do see subjectivity, and lack of certainty is, indeed, never certainty in science. I think it's notorious how often even eye witness testimony can be fallible. There just is no certainty in science. I don't think that well documented inferences necessarily is any way secure in certain forms of eye—
THE COURT Excuse me. Do you mind speaking into the microphone. Some of us are having a problem—
A: Yes. Sorry.
Q: You've been offered as an expert also, Doctor Gould, on the
history of evolutionary theory or evolutionary thought, I think.
Q: As an expert on that area, would you want to be aware of any challenges to evolutionary theory?
Q: Have you read and studied, for example, a book an individual named Kirka called The Implications of Evolution?
A: Since you called it to my attention, I have indeed read it. I've got it right here.
Q: Does Kirka develop a general theory of evolution?
A: He developed something he calls a general theory of evolution. He is not an anti-evolutionist.
Q: He is not an anti-evolutionist?
Q: Could I perhaps borrow that for a moment?
Q: Kirka says there are seven basic assumptions in the theory of evolution, does he not?
A: Yes. That may be six or seven. I remember that list.
Q: Does he find any of those assumptions to be beyond question?
A: The book is primarily a critique of the notion that all-
Q: I'm sorry. I-
A: You'll have to show me the list. I gave you the one copy I had.
Q: I'll be glad to show you the book. I asked you did he find any proof for any of those assumptions?
A: Let me review the list of assumptions. What page are you on? Do you remember where they were?
Q: I think they're throughout the book.
A: I see the assumptions. Shall I read them?
A: The assumptions all have to do with a particular path of history, along with nonliving things that gave rise to living material. Two, spontaneous generation occurred only once. Three, the viruses, bacteria, plants and animals are all interrelated. Four, the protozoa gave rise to metazoa, from single cell to multi-cell creatures. Fifth, that various invertebrate following are interrelated. Sixth, that invertebrates gave rise to vertebrates. And seventh, that invertebrate fish gave rise to amphibian, amphibian to reptiles, and reptiles to birds and mammals.
So you see, the set of statements is about the actual path for the history
of life. His book calls into question particularly the second one. His
main argument appears that is quite consistent with the evidence as we
have it, that life might have originated more than one
A: (Continuing) time on earth. But it's not a critique of whether or not evolution is the mechanism whereby changes in the history of life have occurred. It is disputing the particular pathways. At one point he argues, for example, that it may be true that the metazoa, that is the multi-cellular animals, arose not from protozoa, single-celled animals, but perhaps from single-celled creatures that we call plants, which by the way is an outmoded system of classification.
Q: Would you say that Kirka is not an anti-evolutionist, in your opinion?
A: He is not an anti-evolutionist. He says in the last page that he accepts, he calls it a special theory of evolution, namely the mechanics of the process of change is evolutionary.
He is disputing, and I don't agree with him in all cases, he is disputing our assurance in knowing the actual pathways of change.
Q: Does he also talk about that there are certain misconceptions and half truths in evolutionary theory?
A: Oh, there are, yes. We feel like it is important for scientists to analyze them and be critical.
Q: Would you recognize this book as being something of, to the
degree that it talks about it, an authority or authoritative work on evolution?
A: It was written in 1960, and I would say much of it is now outdated. I think even in the context of 1960 it's not a book that I regard as particularly strong of the book that were made different assessments of. I would certainly include it within the traditions of science.
Q: Doctor Gould, if you would, I would like for you to, in the conclusion, read, beginning, "Most students..."
A: Sure. The whole thing?
A: That's a lot. "Most students become acquainted with many of the current concepts of biology while still at school, and at an age when most people are, on the whole, uncritical. Then, when they come to study the subject in more detail, they have in their minds several half-truths and misconceptions which tend to prevent them from coming to a fresh appraisal of the situation." I might say I don't agree with that. I think we teach a lot of pap, and having taught is one of the reasons why my associates and I developed punctuated equilibrium as an alternative to the gradualism that I can have no justification is a universal incident.
To continue with Kirka, "In addition, with the uniform pattern of education,
most students tend to have the same sort of educational background, and
so in conversation and discussion they accept common fallacies and agree
A: (Continuing) matters based on these fallacies. It would seem good principle to encourage the study of scientific heresies. There is always the danger-" I might say I agree with that, too.
"There is always the danger that a reader might be seduced by one of these heresies, but the danger is neither as great nor as serious as the danger of having scientists brought up in a tight mental straight jacket, or taking them so quickly through a subject that they have no time to analyze and digest the material and study it. "Careful perusal of the heresies will also indicate the facts in favor of the currently accepted doctrines, and if the evidence against a theory is overwhelming and that there is no other satisfactory theory to take its place, we should just have to say that we do not yet know the answer."
My interpretation of that paragraph is—
Q: You have now finished reading that part now, have you not?
A: I have.
Q: I don't want to cut you off.
A: That's fine. I'm sorry. You only asked me to read it, not give you an exegesis.
Q: Do you think it would good, then— I think you said you agree
with that portion where it said to
Q: (Continuing) encourage the study of scientific heresy? It would be a good idea?
A: Yes. But note the phrase "scientific heresies".
Q: Yes. Well, would it heresy to propose, perhaps, a new idea of what is science?
A: A new idea of what is science? It's almost a definitional matter, isn't it? It isn't an argument about substance, it's an argument about words and their meanings. No, I wouldn't call that part of an heretical framework.
Q: Isn't what Kirka is saying there, as you understand it, that if you have these scientific heresies to be studied, even though they may be terribly minority opinions, that through this clash of ideas, opposing ideas, that the students can better understand the predominate scientific thought, and when they do work themselves, they can come to it with a fresh appraisal and a fresh outlook?
A: Yes, and I agree with that. Remember the scientific heresy he is teaching in this book is the notion that life may have arisen from non-life on earth more than once. It's a scientific heresy. I repeat, not one that is outside science.
Q: There is nothing which insulates scientists from being dogmatic
and elitist, is there?
A: Nothing— I didn't understand the question.
Q: Are scientists not at times dogmatic and elitist?
A: Scientists are human beings. Some people are dogmatic and elitist. And it is my regret that sometimes scientists are, too, some individuals. I think that among folks I've known, scientists as a group are generally more free from those attitudes than some people, but they are human beings.
Q: Have you not also described science or scientists as perhaps to appear, at least, as, quote, the new priesthood, close quote?
A: You'd have to read me the quotation. There is that tendency sometimes. As in the television ads where a scientist comes on in a white coat and says, `drink this brand of orange juice because it's better for you.'
Q: I think you earlier stated that as far as you know, there is no new evidence and no new idea for creation science in the past one hundred years; is that true?
A: I think I said since William Jennings Bryan and the Scopes trial I have seen no new arguments from the creationists.
Q: The metaphor that I think you used earlier this morning on
the fossil record, that it's like a book where you have only certain pages,
and of the pages you have, you have only certain words, and of the words
Q: (Continuing) you have only certain letters-
Q: If you had a book like that, do you think you could read it coherently if it were as sparse as that in its outline?
A: It depends on what criteria and inference I had before me for filling in bits and pieces.
Q: But if you have that criteria, you have to fill in, do you not, in order to make sense, to make a coherent whole out of the book?
A: There are different ways that scientists fill in. What I was referring to in the metaphor of the book is the geological record in any one spot.
Now, suppose you had a thousand copies of the Iliad and each one only had a few letters, but it was a different few letters in each copy. You could, by gathering together the thousand copies, piece together a more coherent version that you might even be able to read completely. You might not still have every letter. That's pretty much what you do in geology. In any one spot the record is as poor, as Lyell describes it, but by bringing together the evidence from many spots, you can get a much more complete story.
Q: Were you not describing this book to be the entire fossil record?
A: I meant to describe it as the record of only one place.
Q: I'm sorry. I didn't hear you.
A: I meant to describe it as the record of only one person. Realize, please, that many fossils are geographically very limited in their extent, and so, therefore, there is a limited number of places. The record of any particular fossil is likely to be that way. But the entire larger scale record of the history of life would be pieced together much better.
Q: Do you consider the use of the word `creator' to be an inherently religious word or religious concept?
A: It's a word that has so many different vernacular meanings that it's not inherently so. Indeed Darwin uses it himself once or twice, in a metaphorical sense, not to mean supernatural disruption of natural law. Einstein used it in metaphorical senses.
Q: You wrote a part of a biology textbook, did you not?
A: Yes, I did. It's called A View of Life.
Q: A View of Life?
Q: What part did you write?
A: I wrote the concluding chapters, five or six of them, on evolutionary theory and its implications.
Q: Do you— First of all let me ask you, do you
Q: (Continuing) consider the origins of life to be part of the theory of evolution?
A: It's not part of the theory of evolution as studied by—
Q: Is it part of evolutionary biology?
A: It's part of biology. It happened to come into chapters that I wrote, and I think you'll see four pages I wrote on the subject of the history and the treatment of that subject in recent biology textbooks.
Q: But in treating evolutionary biology, you treated the origin of the first life, did you not?
A: I would say those chapters are about evolutionary biology and about the whole field we call whole animal biology. There are other subjects treated in those chapters, particularly in the last chapter on the ecology, that are not themselves part of evolutionary biology.
Q: And in this book, you state at page 689, "Two broad and fascinating questions arise from this scenario for the origin of life. First, given a primordial soup was a complex joining together of organic molecules to form life an inevitable result or a lucky accident."
Q: Do you consider those two parts of that question to be scientific
theories or to be testable of scientific theories?
A: Yes. Those are two alternate views that have been proposed. Again, I disclaim— That is a very short section or a few pages on something I don't know a lot about. I'm sure Mr. Morris will come back and give much more—
Q: Did you write this?
A: Oh, yes. Because I'm aware that any textbook writer, of course, is compelled in treating an entire field to deal, at least, summarily with subjects that are not directly within the realm of their expertise. And in so doing, you summarize what the prevailing opinions in the scientific community are. And those, if I understand the literature, are the two major views. One, that the origin of life was virtually chemically inevitable, and one that each step in the sequence is fairly chancy, but given the immense age of the earth, it was bound to happen.
Q: You further asked the question, "Is life on our planet the product of a single origin?"
A: Yes. That's Kirka's question.
Q: Is that testable?
A: Yes. By inference. It's going to be very difficult to get a—
Q: By inference?
A: Most of science's testables are by inference.
A: (Continuing) There is no way we can go back and look, but what you do is you study the detail of nature biochemical similarities in all forms of life. And from our knowledge of chemistry, which mine is so meager I wouldn't dare to go further, you make assessments of the probability that such great similarities could arise independently more than once. But it is, again, not—
Q: But using those similarities, are they not subject to more than one interpretation, Doctor Gould?
A: I gave both interpretations in the book.
So it's an either/or question?
A: I guess so, as a matter of definition, either it arose once or it arose more than once, or didn't arise at all.
Q: And there's no way we can really accurately know how if it arose once or more than once, is there?
A: Well, I really don't know. You'd have to ask my chemical friends. There may be ways of obtaining pretty fair certainty based on biochemical similarities, but I really don't know that subject. That's why, as I said, I've listed both possibilities.
Q: This textbook was written for what level?
A: Introductory college.
Q: You further state that as to some of the questions of the ordering of life, quote, "Biologists have been—"
THE COURT Would you tell me what page?
MR. WILLIAMS: Certainly. Page 710.
Q: "That biologists have been proceeding in this manner for more than a century, making inferences about organic programs by peering through a glass darkly at their translated products. More work with the same methods may never yield satisfactory answers. After all, a century of concentrated effort has failed to find them."
A: I don't know the content of that quotation.
MR. ENNIS: Excuse me. I haven't found that on page 170.
MR. WILLIAMS: (Indicating) Let me show you.
MR. ENNIS: Your Honor, do you mind if I present the entire book to the witness?
THE COURT No.
A: Could I read the sentences that come after that?
Q: First of all, those are your words I previously read, are they not?
A: Yes. But on 711 is the continuation.
Q: If you'd like to see it, I'd be glad for you to.
A: Yes. What I said, the question here is not the origin of life,
but the interrelationships of the various phyla of animals, of organisms
A: (Continuing) It's been a persistent problem in biology for two hundred years, that although many schemes have been proposed, there is no satisfactory resolution. I argue in the chapter that we have been unable to resolve them because the evidence of morphology is inadequate; there just isn't enough of it. And then I go on to say, with the possibility of doing sequencing with DNA, we may be able to get firm answers.
As I said, every century has been— See, more work with the same methods may never yield satisfactory answers. After all, centuries of concentrated efforts have failed to find them. And then I point out there are now new methods that will, I hope, resolve them.
It's a hard problem, about the origin of life.
Q: Did you write the summary of these chapters that you wrote, as well?
A: The ones called "Coding?" Yes.
Q: Now, where it says "Summary" at the end of the chapter, after the "Coding".
A: What page are you on?
Q: We can take any chapter, but we can look at 711.
Q: The first sentence of the summary states, quote, Life arose
naturally from chemical constituents of the
Q: (Continuing) earth's original atmosphere and ocean, close quote.
And you earlier stated that after a century of work on the subject you were discussing in this chapter, there are no satisfactory answers.
Q: But yet you have given an answer, have you not?
A: No. The century of work is on a different question, the interrelationships of the phyla of animals, how are mollusks related to arthropods and et cetera.
Q: On what do you base your conclusion that you know enough to state here that life arose naturally?
A: It's the best judgment in the scientific community. In summary statements on the last page, you need to summarize the work of an entire chapter. The discussion is much more abbreviated than the actual commentary itself within the chapter.
Q: But you didn't state that most scientists think, you said, "Life arose naturally," without qualification, isn't that correct?
A: That's what it says. That is the best judgment of the scientific community. It is subject to alteration, as is every statement in science. Undoubtedly, subsequent editions of this textbook will change much that is in it.
Q: In discussing Act 590 this morning, did you testify
Q: (Continuing) to the effect that you didn't think there was any such thing as a dual model or two model approach to origin; that that was something that creation scientists have thought up?
A: I stated that— It depends on what you mean by `dual model.' I don't think there is any dual model within science, but it includes belief that some divine power sustains the laws of nature to do things to the universe, to create things out of nothing. That is not science.
So yes, within science there could be no dual model like that.
Q: Are you aware of any possibility of how things originated other than by natural processes or by some sort of creator intervening?
A: By `things', do you mean the ultimate origin of the universe, or—
Q: How life—
A: Well, it either arose through natural law or through the suspension of it. Science deals with natural law.
Q: So you would not want any sort of dual or two model approach mentioned in a science classroom? You think that is some sort of false dichotomy, as I understand it?
A: Science questions deal with science. Science is
A: (Continuing) about natural law explanations of phenomenon and could be falsified and would be tentative.
Q: I understand you think it could be falsified, but you wouldn't want a dual model approach, as I understand your testimony, on Act 590, is that correct?
A: Not in which one of the models is outside the definitions of science and not subject to tests or revision.
Q: And do you not state, 572 of that text, where you introduce part E, quote, Biologists have described more than a million species of living organisms, and at least this many still await discovery. Why are there so many kinds of organisms, and why are they so varied yet evidently organized into groups of similar forms. These ancient questions have two potential resolutions. Either all species were created as we find them and the relationships among them reflect the creator's opinion about how the world should have been organized, or all species have descended naturally, from a common ancestor, and true relationships among them reflect patterns of genealogical proximity of an evolutionary tree, close quote.
A: Yes. Despite the historical introduction, which is a two page
introduction to the five parts of the textbook, are historical commentaries,
if you read the other four,
A: (Continuing) you'll see that is so. And what I'm stating is merely the fact of what in history has been the two explanations.
Q: But you don't say that these ancient questions had two essential resolutions, you said they have.
A: That's true, isn't it? I mean, it is true that there are two possibilities. One of them has been falsified, perhaps. And as in any thing, you can use that linguistic mode of statement. I can state the earth is either round or flat. I guess there are other possibilities there.
Q: Was that a metaphor for reference to the creator there?
A: Where is the creator?
Q: In that quote.
A: Creator of all things? No, no. That is a statement of what, in true history of biology — as I repeat, all five of these introductions are two page historical introductions to the subject matters - that is a statement of what in history have been two patterns. I didn't go on right in the beginning of the chapter on the next page, that's what I said before, to say why we're convinced that true correct explanations that we say, that evolution is a fact.
Q: You further go on, on page 576, do you not, and
Q: (Continuing) talk about adaptation, you mention the fact that pro-creationist adaptation reflects the wisdom of God and the harmony of his world. Exquisite adaptation is the closest thing to perfection that organisms display and perfection need not need a history. It's an adaptation as the best design that we can imagine that might have been created as we find it.
A: You are making, again, a historical comment. Within true context of the chapter you can see that the entire chapter is built on why that is not an adequate explanation for life. But as a historian would attempt to write textbooks, it has a heavy historical flavor, but tempered throughout the various chapters of this book you will find various comments about what people have believed in the past. But if you read the chapter, particularly that statement about evolution and facts, those are to see that the entire context of the chapter is to point out why we do not accept that explanation.
Q: So the question as you understand it, is not that these questions had two resolutions, or they still have one to two resolutions; is that correct?
A: That's a statement of logic. And they have two that one can
think of, and one of those is excluded by science. That's what the chapter
is about. You can't deny historically that before 1859 the notion that
A: (Continuing) forms of life were created as we find them was the usual opinion. That's merely a historical fact; there have been two. It's also a historical fact or we wouldn't be in this room, and many people in this country still believe that.
But sociological fact and science are different phenomenon.
Q: Perhaps whether those are historical facts is what this trial is about, Doctor Gould.
MR. WILLIAMS: I have no further questions.
THE COURT Any redirect?
MR. ENNIS: We have no further questions.
THE COURT You may be excused.
called on behalf of the plaintiffs herein, after having been first duly sworn or affirmed, was examined and testified as follows:
BY MR. CEARLEY:
Q: Will you state your name and occupation, please, for the record?
A: I am Dennis R. Glasgow, and I am Supervisor of Science in Little Rock schools.
Continue to Dennis Glasgow's testimony
Return to McLean v. Arkansas Documentation Project Home