ACLU Notes on the testimony of W. Scot Morrow
These (ACLU) notes are from the collection of McLean materials donated to the NCSE by plaintiffs witness William V. Mayer. They document the testimony of State's witness W. Scot Morrow.
Please note that this is not an official trial document.
His teaching role at Wofford undergraduate research program
Exhibit 80 - resume; abstracts
Religious beliefs - an agnostic
"Religion" - ultimate concern; strong ingredient of rightness and wrongness.
He considers himself an evolutionist
Science - an effort to determine the nature of nature; data-explanation-testability of evidence. "intersubjective testability"--experiment can be falsified.
Evolution cannot be falsified, neither can creation-science: difficult to construct an experiment.
Main reason why evolution is held to is because lots of scientists want to believe it.
Qualities of scientist: open mind (objective, open-minded); curiosity; concern for use of information; serve public; confidence that other scientists are dependable in their work.
Hoyle's dictum: important thing is what's been said, not who's saying it.
Reception of new ideas: science not open to them, unless they draw upon current theory. Conservative -v- radical strains in science: conservatism rejects new theories. People who shake cherished concepts have difficulty getting published - new or radical ideas that don't conveniently fit into current science do get a hostile reception: papers rejected by science journal, e.g. Robert Gentry, no cogent scientific evidence available for alternative explanation of his work.
Creation scientists on the cutting-edge of science. (e.g. of radical theories now accepted -- continental drift)
e.g. of scientists who make discoveries outside of their fields, molecular biologists.
Data - accumulation of facts; collection of evidence; information
that is not just one-time event.
Interpretation - evaluation of data.
Difference - scientists more interested in interpretation of data
What data do creation-scientists look at? Same things as other scientists-real dispute is over what they mean. Creationists look at more information than evolutionists.
Section 2: not supposed to act in persuasive manner re religion – no religious material; healthy degree of restraint if one has philosophical/intellectual preference; e.g. "balanced treatment" – teacher dealing with information he or she doesn't like.
C-s model and ev. model should be taught - because both are just as scientific or nonscientific as a teacher makes them.
Teaching approach-"method of inquiry"- emphasize fostering student to think about evidence. (Use of BSCS material)
Creation science material: Did Man Get Here by Creation or Evolution? - Fundamentalist and nonfundamentalist students liked this two-model approach. - Students don't like one-answer approach.
Two-model approach should be taught because
(1) Good science neither is capable of rigorous testing
(2) Method of inquiry
(3) Method of multiple working hypotheses foster healthy ability to learn appraisal
(4) Offends his dignity and honor to have someone (Mayer) tell him what to teach - only 1 model "utmost intellectual arrogancy"
Sociobiology - origins of human behavior and culture - dual model approach - would get to "cutting edge" of discipline. Evidence supporting different I.Q. levels of races - others dispute it. Neither is adequate interpretation of data.
Dogmatism of noble gases - kept scientific work from being done.
Thinks creation science is more exciting and has more potential than evolution model.
What evidence support c-s?
Same evidence used by evolutionists - different interpretations - can't produce life, but evolutionists can't produce life.
Thinks plaintiffs' experts are wrong that creation-scientists' interpretations are not science, i.e. experts don't like conclusions they draw -- close-minded re creationists
Robert Gentry's work is best evidence of early origin of first life.
Kinetic possibilities - negligible
Hoyle & Wick's book, Evolution From Space difficulty of accounting for first life - their model like scientific creationism - "sudden appearance"; same kind of family tree - ev. model but a lot of scientific creationism flavor.
Exhibit 79 The book could be used to teach c-s: clearly scientific, credible.
p. 135 – disc. of Ockam's razor -
If there are 2 theories, simpler one is preferable: be suspicious of theory if more and more hypotheses are needed to support it - ev. = Ptolemaic, Hoyle = Copernican.
CROSS EXAM: (Cearley)
- No graduate degree in education definition - "creation-science" focuses on sudden set of mechanisms of life' appearance - does he know definition in Act 590?
Where does he know the term "c-s"
Authorities in c-s: Gish, Gentry, Morris has not read complete book by any of them.
- Read a lot of ICR materials
Act 590 - definition 4(A)
Q. Does he know sc. evidence for this?
A. Big Bang; fossil record (sudden emergence) "from nothing" - physicists use of "Big Bang" Theory. Big Bang is consistent with 4(a). Big Bang - has to do with beginning of the universe, not beginning of life.
4(a)2 - evidence?
What constitutes the body of c-s?
Vast numbers of inconsistencies of evolution; -statistical improbability of life arising
Pansmeriogenesis - his intellectual preference
Would 4(a)2 support other models - perhaps, but there are only 2 models.
Creation model - postulate mechanisms not accessible to science
Recourse to supernatural creator? - not necessarily "supernatural creator" beyond science; can't measure it.
4(a)3: "fixed limits ... created kinds"
Evidence: insufficiency of mutational rates.
p. 15, - answer was "no"
- Has since given the matter more thought prior to now, his acquaintance with scientific evidence for creation was much less.
4(a)4 - separate ancestry for man & apes:
absence of sufficient numbers of transitional forms
depo., p. 16 - "none sufficient to persuade him to change his mind"
4(a)5 - now he knows; didn't at time of deposition
Gentry has best evidence
4(a)6 - Gentry; prior to last week, no, he didn't know of evidence
Scientific community: bias against s.c.; has no direct experience with rejection of papers; knows of people who have told him they've had problem. e.g. Gehtry'. ways to destroy information (1) ignore (2) refuse to publish
Judge questions Morrow - what is basis for Morrow's opinion says Morrow has not shown any basis for his opinions.
CROSS (con't) Has had no experience writing textbooks; thinks flat earth theory would be interesting to teach.
Has never taught in public schools; has taught creation-science as part of a two-model approach in environmental science class. Has never taught a full course in creation-science.
Sc. ev. for "relatively recent inception of earth"=one billion years of less.
Ev. From Space, p. 75 - "The earth itself is about 4.5 billion years old"
Is c-s a coherent/cohesive body of science to be presented to students?
It can be
Didn't know of Gentry's writings before he got to Little Rock
Q. Would he be bothered by not answering religious questions about creation science?
A. He's always bothered when he can't answer students question
Q. cs literature w/o religious/Bib. references?
A. Impact 11: - short reference would not make it religious.
ICR material scientific paper, not religious
depo. p. 147: any c-s material with no religious references.
A. Not that I can think of.
Q. Without reference to a creator?
A. Doesn't know. Thinks he could teach c.s. without religious content; Thinks he could teach supernatural creator without teaching religion - stress mechanisms and events not explicable by physical chemistry.
depo., P. 134 - teaching supernatural creator was a religious concept - now: it is not religious instruction would tell student he can't explain many things.