Deposition of Dr. Francisco J. Ayala - Day Two - Page 3
A. There is nature and not nature;
there are things about nature that we know and
things about nature that we don't know.
Q. Now, this is -- maybe our problem is
in terms of the use of the term "supernatural."
Now, when we talk about something outside
nature, what is outside nature today may be
inside nature tomorrow, as we understand it --
A. Well, what things for which we don't
have a natural explanation today, we may have
a natural explanation for tomorrow, yes.
Q. You stated the other day that your
definition of evolution was organisms changing
through generations, and the multiplication of
Has there been any direct observation or
demonstration of the formation of a new
species is either the laboratory or in the
Q. Could you give me an example?
A. The production of species known as
Raphanobrassica through hybridization and
chromosome duplication of to use common terms,
cabbage and radish.
Q. You're talking there about a new
species of plant?
Q. Outside the plant world, are you
aware of any direct observation or
demonstration of the formation of a new
Q. Could you give me an example?
A. Evidence of formation of new species?
Q. A direct observation or
A. What do you mean by "direct
observation or demonstration"?
Q. Well, I'm talking about the direct
observation or demonstration of the formation
of a new species in the lab or in the field.
MS. STURM: Could you define the term
MR. WILLIAMS: Q. Where there has been
a new species formed.
A. And we have evidence that the new
evidence was formed?
MR. WILLIAMS: Q. That there's a
distinct new species --
A. Within the -- I mean -- yes, I would
Q. Could you give me an example?
A. I'm not sure about the spelling.
Psilopsa petrolei, I believe, is the spelling
(indicating). This is a species of fly that
lives in oil wells, and only in oil wells.
Q. And what experiments -- or, perhaps
not; maybe it was in the field; maybe there
was no experiment.
Where did this new species arise and how
did it arise?
A. I'm not familiar with the details of
this case as to the question you're asking now.
Q. You said something petrolei. I've
heard also something -- have there been some
studies purported to create new species on
Q. Is that --
A. No, that's not a fruit fly. That's
Q. Who conducted these studies that you
are speaking of now?
A. I'll have to review the literature.
Q. Are there other studies that you can
think of where a new species has been created?
A. Animal species?
A. Yes. So-called fruit flies, because
they are not fruit flies. Drosophila.
Q. That is one of your areas of study,
is it not?
Q. Have you in any of your studies
created a new species?
A. No, but I am trying.
Q. Is one of the people who had created,
Is that a study?
A. I would not consider his studies to
have led to the production of a new species.
He has done something along those lines.
If that is called production of a new
species, I have done it, too.
Q. Could you tell me who has, then?
Which researcher has done this?
A. Some will be -- for example,
Drosophila is a name which is purely
artificially produced in the laboratory by
manipulation of the chromosomes.
Q. Who conducted these experiments?
A. This was done in, I believe, in
Morgan's Laboratory in the '30s. I, again, do
not remember the names, but I could find them
out. Contrary to what may appear to be the
case, this scientifically is a trivial matter.
I will remember very well the names of people
who have done important things. That for us
is not important.
Have Morgan's studies successfully --
A. In his laboratory.
Q. In his laboratory, whoever did it,
have those studies ever been replicated?
A. Oh, yes. In fact, in recent years,
to quote one recent repetition, this has been
done, something very similar -- not exactly
the same thing but -- which makes it all the
Q. Has the change in species been found
to be a stable change? They remain a
A. In these cases, yes.
Q. Have there been other cases where
they kind of reverted back?
A. Off the record.
(Discussion off the record)
A. In other cases, a new species
reversing back, and that, presumably, in the
laboratory or under direct observation?
A. I cannot think of such case.
Q. Okay. Other than what are commonly
called fruit flies, more correctly called --
A. Drosophila. Fruit files will do,
except it doesn't do in California now, as you
know. We don't want them confused with the
Medfly, which is a true fruit fly.
Q. Well, Drosophila sounds so much more
elegant than fruit fly.
A. Yes. Know what Drosophila means?
A. The lover of the dew.
Q. Has there been any other creation of
new species in other animals or --
A. Okay. Let me make sure that we
maintain the boundaries of the question as
being the same as before: naming cases where
direct observations, where one sort of can
identify a new organism, and this having
happened within a very short period of time?
Q. Found a new species.
A. Yes. Do you want to exclude all
plants, also? Because there are many cases of
Q. Right, exclude the plants.
A. All right. And you want to exclude
this other fly, which is not a Drosophila,
A. Okay. Well, I cannot think of it
now. It's possible. I would like to point
out that I would not be surprised if there are
such cases; so if I could find them myself
after longer recollection -- these facts or
knowledge are not quite on my fingertips
because, from my point of view, these
questions are scientifically trivial.
Q. Why is this question scientifically
trivial to you?
A. Because science relies in only
trivial ways on direct observation, all
science. Are you an observer of gravity? Are
you an observer of my heart?
Q. How long have you been attempting to
try to create a new species?
A. Well, my object is not -- my direct
object is not to create a new species, but,
rather, to understand one of the mechanisms by
which new species come about; namely, the
development of sexual isolation. And I'm
interested in understanding the genetic basis
of this mechanism; so I'm trying to produce in
the laboratory as much sexual isolation as I
can, and I would hope eventually complete, so
that I can afterwards do proper genetic
analysis, because I will have control of the
variables. My interest is in the genetic
analysis of the process.
This experiment has been going on, I
would say, roughly eight years.
Q. And in eight years no new species
have been developed or observed by you?
A. In this eight years considerable
advance has taken place in the development of
reproductive isolation, which is what I'm
Q. What is the development of
A. The reproductive isolation simply
says they cannot interbreed and, of course,
this matter which is achieved --
Q. You mean a species cannot interbreed?
A. Well, species do not interbreed.
Organisms of different species do not
Q. Okay. I'm not sure if I follow
completely. Are you talking about two flies
of the same species, but somehow different,
who cannot interbreed?
A. I'm sorry. By now I'm totally
confused about what you are asking.
Q. I apologize for my lack of knowledge.
A. That's all right. It's fair enough.
Maybe we should start a little farther back,
and go -- are you interested in my experiments,
Q. I'm interested to get a general
knowledge of your experiments, yes, I am.
A. Species -- organisms, or groups of
organisms, to be more precise, are considered
different species if they could not interbreed
with each other.
Now, the reasons -- biological mechanisms
that keep them from interbreeding are called
reproductive isolating mechanisms. We call
them RIMs for short.
One of those mechanisms -- and one that
plays an important role in animals -- is
sexual isolation; that is, when individuals of
different sexes attract each other and are
able to mate successfully, they are of the
same group. But not if they are in different
groups. Ant that is sufficient in some cases,
in many cases, to keep species as such. So,
I'm interested in understanding how this
So, I started with populations, groups of
organisms, that I label in some ways, I was
able to identify in some ways -- which are not
relevant, but I'll volunteer if you wish --
and I now started to experiment to see whether
I can gradually find -- see reproductive
isolation developing. That is, the experiment
starts with individuals of these two groups
meeting at random. At the beginning, males of
Group A are as likely to mate with females of
Group A as with females of Group B, and so on
for all the other possible combinations.
The experiment is designed to facilitate
the development of preferential meeting; that
is, that males of Type A will choose on their
own females of type A, and males of Type B
will choose preferentially females of Type B
and not across.
If at the end they -- I mean, if one were
to bring the experiment to a point where the
preference was absolute, then we would have
two species by definition.
So, the experiment, however, is concerned
with understanding the genetic basis of the
process. The process has made substantial
progress in some lineages. It is nowhere near
complete in most lineages. It's fairly
advanced in one of the experiments, you know.
Let me end on that for now.
Q. Now, if I understand in essence what
you're talking about, you have these two
groups which are -- while they are in some
ways perhaps different, they are of the same
A. At the beginning, yes.
Q. And are they distinguishable?
Q. By some physical or observable
characteristic or some genetic characteristic?
A. Let's call it genetic.
Q. But they can, nonetheless interbreed?
A. And can be unambiguously identified.
Q. So, your studies are designed to
determine what would, perhaps, lead them to
the point -- I'm using very lay language,
understand -- to the point where there would
be no interbreedings between the groups?
A. Yes, except that my object is not to
understand what would lead them there, but to
understand the genetic basis of one of the
processes that we know can lead them there,
which is how many genes are evolved and how
they interact. That is what the purpose of my
Q. All right.
Q. Are you familiar with a book
entitled The Complications of Evolution by
A. How do you spell the name?
A. I don't think so. Not, at least, to
my present recollection.
Q. He's with the University of
Southhampton in England. I think it was
published about 1960, if I recall.
Would you state that your definition of
evolution is the same as what is termed the
A. The modern synthesis is very complex.
There are many components in it which try to
account for a great diversity of phenomena, a
great diversity of ways. What I gave to you
was the most bare-bone definition of what the
theory of evolution might state as I thought
was relevant to you at the time.
Q. So the theory of evolution, as it is
properly defined, might be somewhat broader
than the definition that you have utilized in
A. The theory of evolution concerns
many issues which are all comprised in my very
broad definition. Actually, my definition was
very broad. But there are many phenomena and
things involved there. And the modern
synthesis, which is the most generally
accepted version of the modern theory of
evolution, is a series of theories, statements
and principles that purport to account for the
I'm not trying to confuse the issue. I
home I have clarified it.
Q. Well, to a non-scientist, when I
read your definition it is certainly of much
greater brevity and apparently much more
simple than what I have read or have
considered in the past to be a definition of
evolution. Perhaps it is deceiving in its
simplicity, because you say it's broad.
How would the modern synthesis differ
from your definition of evolution?
A. It does not differ.
Q. By "differ" I don't mean -- is it
not broader and involve more?
MS. STURM: Again, I think that the
question as you phrased it before was, you
know, the same. And it's my understanding
that Dr. Ayala has responded that it's in fact
the opposite, that his theory is the broadest
statement, and that the synthesis explains in
much more detail the various phenomena and
I'm unclear at this point about what
further question you're asking.
THE WITNESS: We may be running into
problems also about what we understand by
"broad" and such terms here.
MR. WILLIAMS: Q. When you talk about
an organism changing through generations as
part of your definition of evolution, would
the idea that, as I understand it, man --
using that term broadly -- homo sapiens have
been getting taller and taller through
subsequent mutations; is that an example of an
organism changing through generations?
A. If they are due to genetic changes,
Q. Well, is that through genetic
changes, as you understand it?
A. Some of the changes in height are.
For example the ones -- the difference between
Australopithecus and modern man, there is no
question that it is.
Now, if you are talking about modern man --
and I was not sure which you were talking
about -- then it is not so clear. Most of
those changes are due to changes of diet, from
all that we know.
Q. All right. Your definition said
"organisms changing through generations."
A. Through their generations through
Q. And your definition does not include
a change caused by genetic changes as opposed
to being caused by diet, for example, does it?
MS. STURM: I'm unclear about the
question. Could you be more specific or
clarify your terms?
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, I'm taking his
If I am misquoting you, please tell me,
but I believe you have a very succinct
statement of evolution as organisms changing
Q. Now, your definition does not
ascribe any particular cause for the change,
A. No. But, you see, they change
through generations. It has to be genetic.
An environmental change, which has no genetic
basis, will not be passed from one generation
to another one.
This one you spoke about, height, if you
are talking about genetic change as another
way of saying it is transmittable from one
generation to another, then yes.
Q. If you look at the fact that modern
man, as you term it, has gotten taller through
the years, and that it is attributable, at
least in part, to diet, are you saying that if
the progress or the change in diet was removed,
that man would again get shorter?
A. Depending what the change of diet
would be. The Japanese, the average height of
Japanese at the time of World War II was
several inches lower than the average height
of Japanese today, say forty years younger.
That is almost certainly due to change of diet.
If in the next generation of Japanese
they would be fed the same diet, and if there
were environmental conditions similar to those
under which the people who were adults in the
1940s grew, I believe that they are likely to
become shorter again.
That, incidentally, is a general
phenomenon in more than human populations,
that, in very recent years, of becoming taller
in just a generation or two. And I think that
can be largely attributed to a change in diet.
You have only to try to walk through one
of the old castles in Spain or France and you
have to be ducking all the time; you can't fit.
Q. My problem or concern is your
definition of evolution, because you have
stated without qualification that it is a
change in organisms through generations. And
that change may be caused by diet, but yet
under your definition it would be evolution?
A. I hope you appreciate the fact that
that was as simple a definition as possible to
avoid confusing you, which I could have very
well done if I wanted.
The implications of that change, e.g. a
change that persists through the generations
or is cumulative or continues, although
directions can change, but the change
continues through the generations. Change
which is due to diet only, in the context
which scientists will talk of these terms,
will not be passed from generation to
generation unless, of course, you keep
changing the diets every generation; something
Q. Well, if you were going to define
evolution, not necessarily in the most simple
terms but the fairest and and most precise
terms, would you have a different definition?
A. Yes. If I may get the book called
One definition -- which is by no means
complete because, like any reality which is
very complex, it is in fact effectively
impossible to define in just one or few
sentences -- but one definition which is
fairly satisfactory is in this book Evolution,
page eight, last paragraph.
"Organic evolution is a series of partial
or complete and irreversible transformations
of the genetic composition of populations
based principally upon altered interactions
with their environments. It consists chiefly
of adaptive radiations into new environments,
adjustments to environmental changes that take
place in a particular habitat, and the origin
of new ways for exploiting existing habitats.
These adaptive changes occasionally give rise
to greater complexity of developmental pattern
of physiological reactions and of interactions
between populations and their environment."
Q. Is that your definition? Did you
draft that or did you adopt that?
A. Professor Stebbins'.
Q. Did you bring with you a copy of
your book Evolving?
A. Yes. The answer to your question is
no. I think it was brought yesterday by
Q. Have you ever testified before, Dr.
Ayala, in any case?
A. In any case?
Q. What case?
A. Oh, testified? No. I had a
Q. When was the deposition given? In
A. There was a young lady who got in a
relatively minor accident in my house. There
was a legal suit, which I believe never went
Q. Does the scientific method of
inquiry reject all claims to final truth?
MS. STURM: Could you clarify that
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, I think I prefer not
to, since it comes from the plaintiff's
THE WITNESS: "Final truth" is truth
which is absolutely established and forever,
and if we are talking about empirical issues,
yes. The scientific method doesn't say there
is no truth.
MR. WILLIAMS: If I've asked you some of
these questions before, I'll have to ask you
to forgive me.
Q. How is the evolutionist's model
A. Models are not observable. Theories
are not observable.
Q. A model or theory is not observable?
Q. So the theory of evolution is not
A. As a theory, the statements are not
Q. For example, the definition you read
to me, the definition of evolution, that
theory is not, in and of itself, observable?
A. Those statements are only observable --
you read them in the book in a trivial sense
which, I presume, we are not talking about.
Q. I don't mean observable in the sense
of in that book.
A. Now remember, this is a definition.
That's not a theory; that is a definition of
The theory of evolution is stated in that
book from page 1 to page 570 or whatever. And
not all of it is there.
You observe phenomena. You don't observe
Q. Well, is there an evolution model of
origins? What is the difference between a
model and a theory, if any?
A. I'm sorry; a model, yes, is a form
perhaps less precise if you're speaking of a
Q. So it's not correct if I sometimes
may unconsciously shift to the use of the word
A. No; it's fair.
Q. So in terms of the evolution model
of origins --
MS. STURM: It's not clear that Dr.
Ayala has been speaking about the evolution
model of origins. He's made it clear in his
testimony that may indeed not be his view of
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, you understand, Dr.
Ayala -- perhaps you don't.
Q. Is it your understanding that
Act 590 deals with the theory of origins?
Q. And that one of the models of
origins in Act 590 is the evolution model of
MS. STURM: Origins of what?
MR. WILLIAMS: Of man, life, the universe.
THE WITNESS: Yes, we are talking about
MR. WILLIAMS: Right; we're talking about
Q. Now, is the evolution model or
theory, if you will, of origins observable?
A. I believe I have answered that. A
theory, a model is not observable. You
observe phenomena that relate to the theory.
Q. Is the evolution theory of origins
A. Yes. Let me qualify. I think this
is very important.
Let us assume, at least for the moment,
that we are talking about the origin of living
organisms so we avoid too many qualifications.
Q. Let me be more precise. Is the
evolution model of origins as it relates to
the original of life, the universe, the earth
and man testable?
A. I am afraid that to the best of my
knowledge there is no such single theory which
allows for such disparate phenomena. I think
there are different theories dealing with
those different things.
Q. Well, is there not some form of a
coherent, more or less, theory starting
perhaps with what's called the "big bang" and
then leading up to the origin of the earth,
and from that the so-called "primordial soup,"
leading up to the first life, leading up
eventually to man and other life?
A. A consistent single theory
accounting for all of those things? I would
say not, to the best of my knowledge.
Q. Not a single theory but several
theories, all under the general umbrella or
the general framework of an evolutionary
A. Yes, I presume. I mean, some people
do that, but I don't like it.
Q. But there are evolutionists who talk
A. You are begging the question by
saying there are evolutionists.
Q. Okay; I appreciate that.
Are there scientists who discuss that?
A. all those aspects, as it were, in a
single spread? Most rarely; let us put that
Q. Carl Sagan, would he be one of those
people who do that?
A. Carl Sagan concerns himself
primarily with the evolution of the universe,
questions of astronomy. From time to time he
makes excursions outside his expertise and
talks about biological evolution and other
things. That's the main subject. There are
different fields of science, really.
Q. Dr. Ayala, considering this sort of
general theory of evolution which takes into
account the origins not only of man but also
of the universe and the earth and life --
MS. STURM: Objection. I'll continue
to make the objection that that is a theory
that is only contained in the model in your
question, and Dr. Ayala does not adhere to it,
nor has he treated it in his testimony as a
MR. WILLIAMS: Q. Dr. Ayala, you did
state earlier what I refer to as the "general
theory," which subsumes the origin of all of
those different things, is discussed by some
scientists and is --
A. Some scientists discuss all these
various problems. I don't think they discuss
them as a single theory.
Q. But they all fit under the evolution
model or theory, do they?
A. I think when -- let me rephrase it
and say that they will discuss it while
discussing evolutionary problems. Okay? That
avoids the question as to how many theories
Q. Can I refer to this, for shorthand
and to expedite matters, as just the general
theory of evolution?
A. I find it very difficult to accept
that. If you would say -- let me think for a
Why don't you call it the "problem of
origins," with the understanding that we are
talking about the origin of universe, life and
organisms. The "problems of origins"; I think
you were using that language before.
Q. Well, the only problem I have in
using that term is that the "problem of
origins" is treated in Acts V:90 under two
seemingly distinct theories; one is Evolution
Science and one is Creation Science.
So can I call it just the "evolution
approach to origins," if you will?
A. Good. Okay.
Q. Is the evolution approach to origins
A. Yes. However, I feel obliged to
qualify that the status of falsifiability is
very different for different components of
Q. All right. But you think it is
Q. How is it falsifiable?
A. By making predictions that can be
subject to empirical tests and by observing
whether the predictions are indeed the case or
Q. The neutrality of protein evolution;
is it falsifiable?
Q. Has it been falsified?
A. With respect to some parts of it, I
think so. I've been trying my best.
Q. Is it correct that scientific
hypotheses are subject to empirical testing?
A. Yes. If they are not, they are not
Q. And if a hypothesis is subject to
empirical testing, is it a scientific
A. If it is well formed and meets all
Q. I notice in your article on
"Biological Evolution: Natural Selection or
Random Walk" you make reference to the fact
that Mendel's paper on his experiments with
peas in the garden in a monastery was first
published in an obscure journal.
A. That's correct.
Q. Can we assume from that that merely
because publications occur in obscure journals
does not necessarily make them any less
A. I completely agree. I think they
should be judged on their merits.
Q. You state also in this article that
"The probability that highly organized systems
like living beings and their parts may arise
by chance is effectively nil."
Q. Could you explain to me what you
mean by that?
A. I'm sorry; I mean what it says. It
probably is helpful if I just make the
MS. STURM: What page are you on?
MR. WILLIAMS: On page 693.
THE WITNESS: I know the statement. I
just want to facilitate things by not
introducing additional terms and confusing
things more. "The probability" -- okay.
I presume there's no problem
understanding that highly organized systems
like living beings -- a fly, a human, even a
bacterium -- under their parts -- by "their
parts" I refer to their having a single organ
like an eye or a hand -- may arise by chance;
that is, by pure random combination of the
component atoms and molecules, is effectively
zero. I think it's clear enough.
MR. WILLIAMS: Q. Would you disagree
with that statement if I changed one word and
said "would" evolve by chance is effectively
nil; or would you still agree?
A. I would still agree. Evolution by
chance is still effectively nil, yes.
Q. And in your own mind what is it that
involves the chance element?
A. I'm sorry; will you rephrase that
Q. You state that the probability that
highly organized living systems may arise by
chance is effectively nil.
Q. So if it wasn't by chance, then
there most have been some other mechanism?
Q. To use rough language, "guiding
force"; whatever you want to call it?
MS. STURM: Well --
MR. WILLIAMS: I understand. I'm not
trying to attach any legal significance to it.
MS. STURM: Well, I think there's a
distinction between "mechanism" and "guiding
Is your question whether there is some
mechanism besides chance which accounts for
MR. WILLIAMS: That is my question. i
just want to make certain he understands what
I'm talking about.
THE WITNESS: Yes. Obviously, by what I
say and by what you can read anywhere else in
my writings or those by any evolutionists,
indeed, by chance evolution would be
impossible. You have other processes, of
which natural selection is one, which is
definitely not a chance process.
MR. WILLIAMS: Q. What about the
application of your statement to the first
life, whenever the first life was formed? Is
it applicable there?
A. Well, I --
MS. STURM: I would like to state for
the record that we did deal with this issue at
the first part of the deposition. I think
it's been covered pretty fully.
THE WITNESS: Yes. I still can answer?
Do you object?
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, I don't recall
discussing this specific statement as it
relates to that.
THE WITNESS: Is it all right?
MS. STURM: Go ahead and answer.
THE WITNESS: Yes. It would seem to, if
you're talking about going from pure, say,
atoms to something which would properly be
called "living," that those steps will occur
only by pure chance, I think the probability
will be effectively nil.
Let me clarify. Once again, by something
that I could call "living" I'm talking now
about something that is a cell, maybe as small
as a bacterium, but a whole cell. But going
from the atoms to cells or bacteria or any
other simple form of life by pure chance, I
would consider that still nil. It would be
much more probable than a higher organism, but
would still be nil.
MR. WILLIAMS: Q. Do you have an
opinion as to whether there was some other
mechanism other than chance in the origin of
the first life?
A. I am not an expert on such things,
but indeed there are some. In the later
stages of that process, natural selection
itself comes into being. In the earliest
stages other processes which involve poly-
molecularization -- interactions between small
molecules which are very directed. They are
not chance, but very directionistic.
And there are others. I could go on in
detail, but interactions which are not chance
interactions must have intervened, probably
from the beginning -- except perhaps at the
very, very, very beginning, and certainly as
the process went on more and more, so --
Q. Do you have an opinion personally as
to what caused the first life to come into
A. Yes. I mean natural processes. I
think there are a variety of theories as to
the details, and on which I have not very
strong preference, although I have mild
Does that answer the question? I've lost
track of both the question and my answer.
(Discussion off the record)
MR. WILLIAMS: I don't think I asked
particularly with reference to the statement
that he made.
MS. STURM: Well, it's the same.
You're referring to a particular article, but
you're not asking a different question.
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, the statement in the
article obviously has a specific reference to
that line of inquiry. That did not arise the
other day because I didn't have the article.
MS. STURM: The substance of the
article is identical. I don't want to waste
time arguing about this. If you do intend to
pursue this line of inquiry much further, I
will go get the deposition. We have it. I
can show you this was an area that has already
been delved into, at least to the degree of
depth that you're questioning now about the
issue of origins of first life.
MR. WILLIAMS: Q. Do you feel you're an
expert on the origin of first life?
A. No. Everything is relative, I hope
you understand. I know more about the origin
of life than most people.
Q. I'm sure that's true.
You wrote an article entitled "Biology as
an Autonomous Science" in 1968, I believe --
that's the publication date, at least -- in
which you discussed -- I hope I can say this
correctly -- teleology.
In this article -- and you have a copy in
front of you, if you want to refer to it -- I
notice that you discuss the concept of
teleology as having been somewhat discredited
in the past because it has been associated
with some sort of creator; is that correct?
A. Something more general.
Philosophically, the notion that in order to
have teleology, the end that is reached by the
process that is said to be teleological has to
be the agent itself of the process does not
require a creator at all. You see, it's a
general problem, although these matters can be
discussed also in the context of the creator.
Does that help?
Q. I think your statement is that the
main reason for this discredit of teleology is
that the notion of teleology as corresponding
with the belief that future events have active
agents in their own realization.
But then you go on to say that "The
nature of diversity of organisms are then
explained teleologically in such view as the
goals or ends in view intended from the
beginning by the creator are implicit in the
nature of the first organisms."
So as I read this article, I take it that
you perceive that in discussing the notion of
teleology, that some people would ascribe to
it connotations which are somewhat unscientific;
is that fair?
A. Yes. That is fair, yes.
Q. But when properly viewed, would you
not say that the concept of teleology is
A. Well, I'm sorry; the concept of
teleology is not scientific at all. It is
philosophical. Now it can be discussed in the
context of unscientific approaches to
empirical problems, but can also be discussed
in the concept of proper science. The concept
itself is not scientific; it's really a
Q. But it can be discussed properly in
A. No. I think philosophers can use
this kind of concept, or scientists talking as
philosophers, as I am doing here, can take
proper scientific notions and use them in
discussing teleology. Teleology itself does
not belong in the realm of science, is not a
scientific notion. It is a philosophical
I realize these distinctions may be too
foreign to you, but they are not trivial.
They are important. I mean from my point of
Q. But the fact that you would write
such an article as "Biology as an Autonomous
Science" and discuss in such detail teleology
indicates that in some manner that teleology
is appropriate for discussion of science.
MR. STURM: Is that a question?
MR. WILLIAMS: Q. Doesn't it
A. Depends on what you mean. I could
say -- I mean, to avoid having to repeat
questions, I think it is a concept which
should be of interest to scientists and in
fact to many people.
I would point out two things. This is
not a scientific journal, and in fact this
discussion -- in spite of the name "American
Scientist," this is a journal that really is
very broad. It's not a technical journal,
perhaps would be a more appropriate thing.
This paper, the title itself, "Biology as
an Autonomous Science," it is not a paper
dealing with a scientific issue but with a
epistemiological issue, a philosophical
So whether sometimes it's scientific or
not is really not a scientific issue, but a
philosophical issue. So the paper is a
philosophical paper, although it uses
scientific concepts -- and I hope they are of
interest to scientists -- but their concepts,
by and large, are not appropriate to be
discussed as science. They are not science,
which is not saying they are not true or wrong.
Q. There are two statements in here
that I was particularly interested in as I was
reading. You say on page 213, again for your
reference, that "Biological evolution can now,
however, be explained without recourse to a
creator or a planning agent external to the
And then you discuss that at some length.
And then further down the page you say that
teleology of nature could not be explained, at
least in principal, as the result of natural
laws manifested in natural processes without
recourse to an external creator or to
spiritual or non-material forces. At that
point biology came into maturity as science."
A. I'm amazed myself how well it reads.
Q. What strikes me about that, Dr.
Ayala, is the notion that teleology -- I want
to see if I understand this correctly -- that
teleology apparently at one time, even during
the philosophy of science, had connotations of
a creator; is that correct?
A. The teleology of organisms was
explained by the fact that the creator had
created living things, yes.
Q. And now, from what I understand,
you're saying in this paper that you believe
that teleological principles or the teleology
of nature can be explained without reference
to a creator; is that correct?
A. Yes, yes.
Q. So if you today talk about teleology,
if someone thinks about a creator, that's a
problem of semantics, isn't it?
A. I'm sorry; will you repeat that
Q. That if today you are talking with
someone about teleology and the person you're
talking with -- and you're talking about it in
this sense that the other person may be
thinking about it in reference to those
connotations of a creator, it's a problem of
A. No. If I understand you correctly,
I would not agree with that.
I think in the context of organisms some
people may say that the reason why organisms
are teleological -- why, say, the hand is made
for grasping, which is something teleological --
is due to the fact that God made it that way.
You see? The theological explanation of a
On the other hand, you can provide a
natural explanation of this teleology through
evolutionary process. I don't think the
difference is semantic. It's philosophical;
Q. Oh, I agree with you. What you're
saying is you can have a theological teleology
and a nontheological teleology; correct?
A. Yes, and still other kinds?
MR. WILLIAMS: Q. Dr. Ayala, just back
briefly to my reference to a problem with
semantics, my question there is simply, if you
are discussing with someone teleology in the
non-theological sense, if that person does not
know that, and he or she is resorting to other
notions, they may think you're talking about a
MS. STURM: I think you're asking the
witness to hypothesize about something.
Q. I'm just saying -- its not a
MS. STURM: But what someone using a
term might think if they didn't understand
what the concept meant.
MR. WILLIAMS: I don't think it's a
hypothesis when he has written an article in
which he, at some great length, has to
distinguish between the two.
MS. STURM: Except you're assuming the
witness will know what someone is thinking
when he confuses the concepts.
Could you clarify the question to
something that would be within the witness's
MR. WILLIAMS: Q. Well, let me ask you
from your personal experience, Dr. Ayala.
Have you discussed this concept of teleology
in the non-theological sense before, and have
you, in trying to do so, met with some
difficulty of trying to explain that you
really were discussing something of a perhaps
somewhat new and non-theological teleology?
A. Yes, it's correct. Often scientists
in particular, as I state there, assume that
teleology has certain implications; so when I
use the term, they attribute to the concept
Now, those are good grounds on which one
might have been wise -- and I probably would
have done it, if I could be writing this paper
now with what I know -- to have changed the
term. I don't want to change the term,
because I thought the original meaning of the
term is the one I was giving in this paper;
but through history it had changed and had
been narrowed, and I wanted to broaden it and
pay due respect to the Greeks, for example,
Greek philosophers and Greek theologists. And
I therefore retain the term.
However, there has been a considerable
source of confusion for some people who
immediately say, "But, obviously your Catholic
upbringing is coming out," or something like
I hope you appreciate the last comment
was made in jest.
Q. I understand.
As a result of this article, you have
encountered, if not resistance, some
A. As a result of the discussion of the
concept with people who have not read the
article or other articles where I have
explained it clearly, yes.
I don't want to go over this again, but I
just note, since I have the first time to look
at one of your books, "Evolving," you talk in
there, as a matter of fact, about Kuhn's
notion of paradigm. You discuss that and how
"scientists usually seek to extend the
paradigmatic explanations into new areas to
explain new data and to resolve observations
that do not seem, at least at first, to jibe
with the accepted paradigm."
A. That's written by my co-author to
explain something, which is said in very
different words, but I think with examples in
this paper, too, now that I think about it.
If you start the bottom paragraph of the
first page of this article and read that whole
paragraph -- not necessarily now -- you will
realize that the paragraph is making that
point, that one takes a paradigm and tries to
extend it to explain additional notions as one
goes along, and -- additional facts, I should
say, as one goes along -- and that's what
proves that the paradigm is fertile, that
helps you to understand more phenomena.
MR. WILLIAMS: Q. Dr. Ayala, I've got
some articles here I would like to show you.
Unless you have some objection, I don't
really care to make them exhibits, because I
just want to ask him where he got these and
just what he considers them to be.
A. (Reviews documents)
Q. Have you read this article before?
A. I don't think so. I have some idea
that I have seen it, but --
Q. Do you plan to rely upon it in your
A. It would be nice to have time to
read it. I don't know what the implication of
you question that I am --
Q. Well, let me tell you that this is
one of the documents which was given to me
from the lawyers for the plaintiff as having
been a document in your possession, and it was
one of the first documents they gave me. So I
assume, since it was one of the first
documents that you gave me, that you have seen
it and you have copied it from somewhere --
A. It was in my file, yes. The request,
as you may recall, was very -- I presume you
know very well -- was very broadly stated. It
does not state I should provide documents that
I have read or plan to read.
I have seen it, and I have not read it in
Q. For the record, that is "Genesis
Kinds and Hybridization, Has Man Ever Crossed
With Any Animal," by Frank L. March.
Q. I'd like to show you "Genetics and
Creation Studies," by William J. Ouweneel.
A. (Reviews document)
Q. Have you --
A. I have read it. Certainly not word
for word of this article, but I read through
it at some time in the past, yes.
Q. Do you recall now what your opinion
of that article was?
A. I would have to refresh my memory.
I read too many papers.
Q. If you would like. Perhaps if you
read the abstract, maybe that would refresh
Yes, I remember more or less what the
article was about and what the point was,
which is a fascinating one, because, if I
recall, he uses a lot of my data and papers
and such, I believe is the case.
I think if you go through it or look at
the list of reference, I think you -- unless
my recollection is mistaken -- he cites a lot
of my papers, and most of the data cited there
come from my papers.
Q. Do you recall now as to whether you
had an opinion about this article?
A. Yes. That, you know, he goes
through some notions of population genetics
that he understands almost - well, certainly
much better than most of the literature of the
other kind -- then concludes, because there is
a lot of genetic variation, that shows the
creator is around, because he has put it there
to provide for the future evolution of a
That's all fine and good, but it's not,
in my view -- that does not prove more that it
is due to the action of the creator than it
will prove that this cup is upright here, and
the creator is around because otherwise it
would be upside down.
I mean, it's lack of logic at the end.
A. Not tautological, but non sequitur.
You know, it's really -- I don't see, frankly,
in what way the fact that there is a lot of
genetic variation shows that there must be a
creator that has provided the -- in fact, you
formulated -- in some way, you could say it's
I mean, he presumes what he's attempting
Q. Do you recall the article that you
wrote or was published in March of '70,
"Tautological Explanations in Evolutionary
A. Yes, very well.
Q. Is that somewhat similar to your
other article that you wrote, "The Philosophy" --
A. the half of that article is about
half -- very similar to half of this. The
other half is -- half of it is not there and
half of that is not here.
Q. Do you know whether you would plan
to rely upon this in your testimony in this
A. If questions have been asked about
tautology, and in what way I could explain,
you know, that organisms appear to be made,
you know, to serve some purpose; for such
questions I would rely on my ideas which would
be expressed there as well, yes.
Q. Does this article relate to the
question of Creation Science at all to you?
A. It could be made to relate, yes.
Q. In what way?
A. In the sense that some of the things
that -- I'm sorry, I have to talk about
creationists. I think Creation Science is
what you ask, because Creation Science tries
to leave the creator out, making things even
more -- I mean, quite un-understandable, from
my point of view -- but creationists sometimes
argue that one of the reasons why we need a
creator is the obvious tautology of organisms,
the obvious fact that the eye is made to see,
which, of course, is something which I agree.
And if that is taken to be as evidence that
there is a creator, I could rely upon concepts
that are discussed in that paper to show that
that is not necessarily so, which... period.
Q. I show you this document, which is
entitled "Creation Evolution," issue 5, Summer
Q. Have you read that? Do you recall
A. I have gone through what is here,
and, you know, not read every word, but --
Q. I notice on that paper that the
first article on -- I think the definition of
"kinds" has been circled at least on the cover.
Have you paid particular attention to that?
A. No. That was not circled by me.
Q. And this is a book, or part of a
book, entitled "The Troubled Waters of
Evolution" by Henry M. Morris?
A. (Reviews document)
Q. Have you read that --
A. Again, I have, you know, gone
through it and read parts of it.
Q. Did you put that together, those
A. I don't believe so.
Q. Do you own a copy of that book?
A. I don't own it, I have seen it and I
have -- and I do have access to it. But I
don't own a copy.
Q. I notice they've quoted you some in
that book, it appears.
A. Yes. There is a quotation --
actually, it's I from that paper that you
referred to before -- well, from both of them --
"The Theological Explanations and Biology" --
I'm sorry; they quote from three different
papers of mine.
Q. What is your opinion of this work?
A. As I remember -- I would prefer to
refresh my memory -- as I remember, very poor.
Q. I hope in no part due to their
sources, since --
A. No, of course not. Because, you see,