Deposition of Donald E. Chittick - Page 2
to indicate that, et cetera.
Q. Do you believe that it is possible to falsify
or is the existence of a creative force falsifiable?
A. Goedel, in the famous Goedel thorium that
came out in the early '30's -- and I am not sure the
exact date -- went through the proof and I am not smart
enough to know if all that proof is correct.
I tend to personally believe that he is apparently
right, the thrust of which was -- it is not possible to
establish in the absolute sense the truth or falsity
of a model without stepping outside of the system.
Q. What facts or set of facts would lead you to
believe that creation science is inaccurate?
A. Is inaccurate?
Q. Is inaccurate.
A. Is inaccurate.
If the universe were chaotic, that would be pretty
convincing and not repeatable.
That would be pretty convincing evidence to me.
Q. What do you mean by chaotic?
A. If, just to use a mundane down-to-earth example
in physical chemistry, we talk about molecules and
If those -- and the mathematical laws -- if that
was not so, there is no predictability, it went every
which way, one way today and one way tomorrow, that would
be pretty convincing evidence.
MR. CHILDS: A revolution?
THE WITNESS: A revolution, yes.
[Luncheon recess was taken at 11:35]
- - -
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 1981 12:20 O'CLOCK P.M.
- - -
EXAMINATION BY MR. LAHIFF [RESUMED]:
MR. LAHIFF: Q. Have you ever taken any Creation
Science Research Center oath?
A. Creation Science Research Center oath?
Q. Research Center oath?
A. What is that?
Q. I gather by that, then, you have not taken the
A. Creation Science Research Center oath? I don't
know what that is.
Q. Well, have you taken any oath connected with
any Creation Science organization?
A. The Creation Research Society, I believe, has
a statement in their membership asking if the individual
is in agreement with their purposes, which is modeled
after most other organizations, and I don't recall now
what I wrote on that when I became a member.
Q. Do you have a copy of that with you?
A. No, I certainly don't.
Q. Do you intend to use the slides that you
brought with you today during your testimony at the
A. We were just talking about that. There are
some there that would save a lot of words if I could use
like, for example --
MR. LAHIFF: Let's go off the record.
[Discussion off the record]
MR. CHILDS: We have agreed that any diagrams,
pictures, exhibits contained in the visuals, the slides,
will be made available as soon as we can get them availa-
ble to Bob Cearley's office in Omaha.
MR. LAHIFF: All right, that is acceptable.
I would like to have this marked as Plaintiffs'
Exhibit 2 for identification. It is an application form
for the Creation Research Society.
[Plaintiffs' Exhibit 2,, single-
page document, "Application Form
for the Creation Research Society,"
marked for identification]
[Discussion off the record]
MR. LAHIFF: Q. Do you recognize that?
Q. Are you a member of that organization?
Q. Do you subscribe to the principles that are
A. As to my personal life, yes, and this is what
we would call Biblical creation as opposed to scientific
Q. What is the difference between Biblical
creation and scientific creation?
A. Scientific creation makes the assumption that
we talked about earlier. Biblical creation makes the
additional assumptions that are stated here, basically,
that Genesis is an accurate, historical account.
Q. And do you believe that Genesis is an accurate,
A. That is my personal opinion, yes.
Q. Do you believe that the Bible is historically
and scientifically true in all of its original autographs?
A. That is my personal judgment.
Q. Have you ever read the original autographs?
A. No, that is why I have only an opinion about it.
Q. But you are a member of the Creation Research
Society, but you acquired that, you subscribed to those
A. That's correct.
Q. You testified that one of the assumptions of
the creation model is -- I'm sorry, a piece of the
scientific data which is proof of the creation model is
the existence of orderliness?
Q. Does orderliness disprove evolution?
A. It hasn't seemed to disprove it to colleagues
that I have talked with.
Q. But do you believe that orderliness disproves
A. Orderliness is an observed data, and is the
assumption that you try to interpret the data from, and
I would think that it is important for the evolution
model to accommodate that observation within its model.
Q. It is possible for the evolution model to
accommodate the existence of orderliness?
A. I would assume so.
Q. Well, then, how can orderliness be proof of
both the creation model and the evolution?
A. You asked what convinced me, and this is what
convinced me, that the creation model was, in my judgment
-- it seems they would have trouble with that, but I am
not going to put words in their mouths, that is their cup
I don't want to tell them how they have to interpret
the data, just like I don't want them to tell me that.
Q. Could you define evolution for me, please?
A. Evolution is the process of origins, natural
historical origins, of the universe to the present stage
as we see it today.
Q. And what are the processes through which
A. the evolution model assumes only natural
processes, chemically and physically, in a nutshell.
Q. Does the Creation Science model assume the
existence of supernatural processes?
A. That's correct.
Q. And what are these supernatural processes?
A. The creative force.
Q. Is that the only supernatural force that
operates in the creation model?
A. For origins.
Q. For origins and the development of thinks such
A. I will try to answer your question. If it
isn't okay, will you ask another one?
Q. All right.
A. If I heard your question. I'm not sure. I
will tell you what I think I heard, then try to give you
an answer. If it isn't okay, you ask me another
The creation model starts with a creative force that
acted. The creation model doesn't rule out the possibi-
lity that that force could act again.
Q. If that force were to act again, would that
require the suspension of natural laws?
A. Natural processes, if I understand your question
right, is by definition the absence of supernatural, and
in that same sense today, if you look at a piece of rock,
let's say, that might be fish shaped and chipped around
the edges, and you and I were to travel out through the
desert and look at this rock, and I say, "Look at the
chemistry and physics that developed that rock," and you
said, "No, that is an Indian arrowhead," you would look
at that as intelligence being involved with the shape of
that rock; you would not say that it might not be that,
an intelligence could come along later and put a scratch
on that rock and put "Tom" on it, identifying it as yours,
that would not be in violation of anything in chemistry
Q. Does the creation model require the suspension
of natural processes in the intervention of this creative
A. Does it require that? The answer is no.
Q. Has that in fact happened, according to the
A. Since the beginning, since origins.
Q. Since origins, as you understand it?
A. Have supernatural events happened since
Q. Has the creative force suspended natural laws
or natural processes and intervened?
A. This again is a historical perspective and to
give a complete answer on that, I would have had to have
been at every point in every spot in space and time ever
since the beginning for me to answer that question.
So all I could say is, I don't know.
Q. Well, do you consider --
A. I have no way of answering that.
Q. Do you consider the flood described in Genesis
to be the operation of natural processes, or the inter-
vention of creative forces?
A. As a scientist in a scientific sense, Genesis
mentions the flood, so as a scientist speaking strictly
with the scientific data, I could go along and see if
such an event took place in space and time, and I might
work out models on that, whatever might have happened
Now, my personal opinion would be that the divine
being did something. That is a personal statement.
Q. Do you believe that there is any scientific
evidence for your personal statement?
A. Something that I could put into a textbook?
What do we mean by scientific evidence?
Q. Well, what do you understand the term,
"scientific evidence," to mean?
A. Scientific evidence would be something that I
could put into a test tube, I could go weigh, could go
measure, could look at, could experiment with.
Q. Using that definition, is there anything that
you are aware of that evidences the existence of the
flood described in Genesis?
A. Is there anything that I could go look at,
measure, weigh, that would add evidence to the flood
described in Genesis, yes.
Q. What is that scientific evidence that that
event took place historically?
Well, there is a number of -- I have read quite a
number of readings on that by people who have written on
the topic, some that we have done involve this research
project that I mentioned earlier from the student there
at the college, looking at these terraced lines that we
see in various places as one piece of evidence, ancient
shorelines around the Bonneville Basin, an ancient Lake
LaHonda that occupied much of Nevada and the southern
area here, and the shorelines you see along the coast of
Q. What do you understand by the Genesis flood,
could you describe exactly what happened as you under-
A. In a nutshell?
Q. In a nutshell.
A. Capsulized version?
Well, the Genesis record mentioned that there was an
event which we call the flood, and by looking at evidence
around like what we talked about here, some of the
geochemical processes that form in the minerals, by look-
ing at fossils, by looking at these terraced lines and
so on, it seems like just from the account that is
written there, and it is not unique, there are other
ancient records, there are ancient anthropological
reports, there are many of them, many, many of them, into
the hundreds of similar accounts, but it seems like the
constant series of events were, and this is in very brief
form, very condensed, I realize, the earth before that
had a warm tropical climate all over and was very rich
with lush vegetation, the biomass was very think, there
wasn't the cold at the North Pole and the South Pole and
for whatever reason, I wondered whether or not the
earth's albedo was such that it began to lose more heat
than it was receiving, so that it began to cool.
Well, the earth has a crust, a rock crust, and as
nearly as we can discern, it has got a liquid interior.
Well, if this had cooled, you know, losing heat, it would
coil and shrink, which puts tremendous pressure on rock.
I would picture in my mind like taking an orange
and squeezing it extremely tightly. If you squeeze an
orange extremely tightly, the orange being like the rock
crust, and the liquid in the orange being like the
Q. What is the liquid interior of the earth?
A. Rock. It comes out in the form of lava and
so on when pressure is released on it, and so this would
put tremendous pressure on that, and rocks are hard, but
they can only take so much, and when that disequilibrium
became great enough, it exceeded the elastic limit of the
rocks, as Genesis words it so eloquently, and all the
fountains of the deep broke up, like taking an orange
and punching a hole in it, out she comes, so then the
earth following that event had to establish a new
equilibrium, and that kind of evidence is what I looked
Q. Well, is there any scientific evidence for the
fountains of the deep?
Q. What is the evidence?
A. Worldwide volcanism. You look at a map. If
one looks at a map, geological map of the globe, we have
these dark likes that are drawn in rough outline around
the globe, referred to as the fault zones, of which the
San Andreas Fault happens to be one, off the coast of
California. This is where much of the crustal activity
takes place, and has in the past, still does today.
Q. How is that evidence of the fountains of the
A. Well, the deep, you know, way down in the
earth. If you have a fountain of that material, we would
call it a volcano.
Q. Well, where was the water stored?
A. Where was the water stored?
Q. Where did the water come from?
A. These are speculations, but if we were assuming
that the cooling part, you know -- two conditions are
necessary for precipitation.
One, you have to have supersaturation, but that is
not sufficient. You also have to have nuclei, so as soon
as the nuclei hit, and this is a model now that is con-
sistent with what I read there, I am not saying the
record there says that, then there was precipitation.
Q. Precipitation from where? From within the
A. No, from the atmosphere.
Q. But I'm talking about the fountains of the
A. That's right, and that included water fountains,
and so the ocean basins were lifted up and the water
washed over the continents and the plates buckled and so
on, moved, buckled. The earth's surface was trying to be
smaller now that it had cracked and it wrinkled, as it
were, like a giant wrinkle.
Q. I understand what you are testifying about
that, but I don't think you have answered my question
about the fountains of the deep.
A. The fountains of the deep included subterranean
waters as well as volcanic such as the situation that was
under Mount Scott which is up in Oregon, Crater Lake.
When the lava hit, there was underground water all over,
even today. When lava hit that, then, of course, it
creates steam, and Crater Lake, and the Sahara today,
has got vast amounts of fresh water, one of the biggest
fresh water supplies is under the Sahara Desert. It's a
That whole crustal equilibrium was upset at the
time, and exactly all the fine details of it, I don't
have all those worked out, but it's this kind of
evidence for that kind of event, is what I heard you, or
what I thought you asked me about, and in my particular
case, what got me started thinking about it, if we had
that large amount of biomass, what kind of chemistry
would be involved or what was happening to that biomass
in such a geophysical phenomena which let me to research
in fossil fuels.
Q. What observable phenomenon leads you to believe
in the fountains of the deep?
A. Evidence of past geological happenings like
volcanos, and events like Krakatoa and Mount Scott.
Q. Does the evidence allow you to choose between
the alternative models, creation science and evolution?
A. I believe that it does.
Evolution, as I have heard, the evolution model
tends, as nearly as I have been able to discern it,
tends to deny that there was such a geophysical phenomena
on a global scale as I have described it.
Q. Is faith an element of the creation science
model, religious faith?
A. No, this is entirely geophysical, simply a
model based on observed data, and trying to account for
the data that we observe.
Q. Why do you believe that the evolution model is
trapped in a specific time frame?
A. In part of the deposition there, I left with
you a paper by George Wald, who happens to be an evolu-
tionist, but I enjoy reading his writings because he is
a very excellent scientist; he is a very good writer, a
very clear writer, although we don't agree on our models,
and in this article that he wrote, he wrote on the origin
of life. It was very well written, I thought.
He explains why, considering the impossibility of
natural processes, development of life by natural
processes. He uses the term, he says, "Time is the
escape hatch," and he uses -- I can't recall his exact
phrase -- "Time itself performs the miracles," and I
have asked my colleagues about that as I have these
They have been friendly debates, most of them. I
don't enjoy hassles. They all agree that if they didn't
have the time, they tell me that if they didn't have the
time, that that's an inherent part of this model. If
they didn't have it, that their model wouldn't be valid.
Q. Isn't it true that their understanding of long
periods of time comes from observations of data rather
than an assumption of the model itself?
A. Not according to Wald.
Q. Is that the only evolutionist that you are
aware of who describes the necessity for vast periods of
time as an assumption of the evolution model?
A. Some don't call it an assumption.
- - -
A. Some don't call it an assumption.
Ernst Mayer, for example, in his article which
you have in the deposition, the nature of the Darwin
evolution embraced the ideas that were involved there,
and he lists on the last page of the article, the last
page, I forget, six major ideas that had to be replaced
or brought in for the evolution model to begin, and No. 1
was the age of the earth.
Q. But, didn't that come from an observation of
physical data rather than an assumption?
A. Not as I have been able to discern it.
No one was there to observe those observations.
Q. Why does Wald, as you say, postulate the
necessity for long periods of time?
A. Well, in reading through the article, you can
read it, but basically he says when one considers the
impossibility of chance or natural process of generating
life from a nonliving, to use his phrase, it is impossible
on the basis of human experience, and then I was very
curious when he made that statement, but he said this,
I believe it anyway.
When a man says something is impossible, but he
believes it anyway, he had better dig himself out, so I
was very curious to see how he was going to do that,
and on Page 12 of the article, I think it is, he said
that time is how they got around it, and I have wondered
about that, and I don't want to put words into his mouth,
but it seems to me what they are saying is that it took
a lot of changes to go from nonlife to life, and each
change takes a little bit of time, so if you add up all
these changes, you would come up with vast amounts of
That is what it seems like to me.
Q. Isn't that an observation rather than an as-
A. They have not observed changes, they have not
been there to record the time, so it is an assumption
of their model.
They were not there to watch the slow, gradual
Q. Do you have any evidence that physical chemistry
needs an understanding of the age of the earth?
A. Physical chemistry happens to be, as I
mentioned, a rather central science and one of the areas
that it deals with is isotope ratios and geochemical
processes associated with those as we observed them in
the earth, and one of the areas that could convince me
that the vast amounts of time were not there was the
study in this area.
Q. What evidence convinced you?
A. There were many pieces of evidence, some of
which are listed in my paper that you have there in the
deposition, creation model and age of the earth, but in
summary the decay processes have elements heavier than
lead which decay down to give lead, leave decay products,
and by a study of these decay products such as, for
example, helium, helium just simply was not present in
the amounts that would support those vast amounts of
time, and in that same connection, the isotope ratios
observed, those you can go measure, displace that data.
The evolution assumption was that isotope ratios
are a time index, a fact.
Isotope ratios conclusion, time index.
That is only an assumption a scientist might make.
Isotope ratios could be a geophysical process in-
dicator. Fact, isotope ratios. Conclusion, geophysical
process. You tell me the ratio, and I will tell you the
heat and pressure and rate of cooling, and so, yes,
physical chemistry is involved with that.
Q. Isn't the rate of decay from one isotope to
A. There are two things that are important.
One, the rate of decay must be known, and it must
have been constant forever past as long as we are willing
to use the clock.
Too, that rate must have been constant and known.
No. 2, one needs to know also the initial conditions
and the present conditions so that one can calculate
at that rate, now long it takes to go from the initial
conditions to the present conditions, so there are two
requirements. A good clock, one, is the rate, and the
second is your calibration, or in this case initial con-
MR. CHILDS: Tom, shall we take a short break?
MR. LAHIFF: Why not.
Perhaps we should take a short break.
[Short recess taken]
MR. LAHIFF: Q. Isn't that the process by which
scientists date the age of the earth, the process that
you have just described?
A. Scientists look at the data, and use an assump-
tion to interpret the data.
The evolution model assumes that isotope ratios are
a time index, and looks at the data, and interprets
That is not necessarily the only assumption
scientists could use.
Isotope ratios might also be interpreted as in-
dicators of geophysical processes. Granted, some of
them involves time dependent processes.
Q. Do you believe that scientists refuse to con-
sider geological processes?
A. No, I don't think so.
Q. Could you explain for me the difference between
organic geochemistry and physical chemistry?
A. Organic geochemistry?
Q. Are you aware of the existence of a discipline
known as organic geochemistry?
A. No, I am not.
MR. LAHIFF: I would like to have this marked.
Off the record.
[Discussion off the record]
[Plaintiffs' Exhibit 3, copy,
twenty-page document, "Re-
possess the Land," August 12-15,
1979, marked for iden.]
MR. LAHIFF: Q. What I have just had marked as
Plaintiffs' Exhibit 3 is a portion of the fifteenth
anniversary convention, Bible Science Association, "Re-
possess the Land, Essays and Technical Papers," and it
contains an article by Dr. Donald Chittick, Ph.D.,
entitled, "Creation Model on Fuel Resources."
From your personal knowledge, do you know if coal
formation includes organic geochemistry, or the processes
of organic geochemistry, or organic geochemistry as a
term that is used as opposed to a discipline you mentioned
A. Organic geochemistry would be geochemistry
involving organic processes such as coal formation and
I am interested in those processes.
Q. Do you know any authority in the field of
A. I am not personally acquainted with any.
Q. Could you name them, could you identify
experts in the field of organic geochemistry?
A. Individuals who have done considerable study
in that area would include Melvin Cook.
Q. Anyone else?
A. I have read writings of individuals in that area,
but I don't recall their names at the moment.
Q. Have you had any training in organic geo-
A. Physical chemistry prepared me to study reac-
tions of chemistry in any setting.
Q. But, have you had training, specific training
in organic geochemistry?
A. I took no formal course work in that area.
Q. Are you aware of any of the key textbooks or
treatises on organic chemistry?
A. One of the books that interested me was Pre-
History and Earth Model by Melvin Cook.
Q. Could you identify Melvin Cook for me, please?
A. He is the physical chemist whose specialty is
geochemistry, and particularly the application of explo-
sives for mining and so on.
In fact, he has won the Nobel award for that area.
I think he is president of Irco, I-r-c-o Chemicals,
I am not sure of the spelling of that, and he is a pro-
fessor, or was at one of the Utah schools.
Q. I would like to discuss your article, "Crea-
tion Model and Fuel Resources."
Could you describe for me the process by which coal
A. In a nutshell, there are several types of coal,
and several types of processes involved.
One of the principle ones, it seems to me that the
evolution model formation of fossils fuels did not seem
to agree with the chemistry of that situation as I looked
at it, so this paper was an attempt to investigate, or
give some fresh thought, or fresh look at that process,
coal and oil are fossils from a number of organic sources,
but one of the principal sources was lignocellulose, plant
When plant material, or when green plant material
were to be buried suddenly, then it would heat up, like
green hay does when they put it into a barn, and at a
temperature of around 220, 230 degrees, in that neighbor-
hood, it begins to lose water, dehydrates as we call it,
a dehydration reaction.
That reaction is exothermal. It gives out heat, so
once it has reached this initiation temperature, losing
water, it generates more heat which makes it lose more
water, regenerate more heat, and it becomes a self-ampli-
fying process so that the temperature eventually reaches
in the neighborhood of between 400 and 450 C in that
region, and one of two processes can happen at that point.
- - -
If the water dehydration is allowed to escape in
greater or lesser degree, then the carbon is left behind,
and one forms coal of various grades and range.
On the other hand, if the water dehydration is not
allowed to escape because of the imperiousness of the
geological formation, and because of the chemistry of
the environment, alkaline or whatever, then one can form
hydrocarbons for oil.
Q. Are you aware of any scientists who subscribe
to this view as to the formation of coal?
A. I am aware of some scientists who do. I don't
know that I could recall for you their names.
There is a group in Germany who have done work in
that; in fact, they may have printed a paper at that
symposium, I'm not sure.
I have seen the German paper on it. I have read it
with some interest. I don't recall now the reference,
and Melvin Cook in his book, "Prehistory and Earth
Models," discusses the topic, and there may be others.
The Pittsburgh Energy Research Center in the early
'79s did some work on that line, and that work was later
transferred to the Bureau of Mines in Albany, Oregon,
down south of my home there a few miles in the Bureau
of Mines at that time, and later transferred to the
Department of Energy -- no, I can't think of the name
now -- and then it was contracted out to Botel and other
subcontractors, so the process of turning biomass into
fuels has been studied.
Q. Well, my question was not about biomass itself,
but could you describe the process of coal formation,
what would happen, what do you start with?
A. You start with plant matter.
Q. What happens to the plant matter?
A. It undergoes a pyrolysis dehydration reaction
with water loss.
Q. Does it require the presence of water?
A. No. Cellulose is a carbohydrate. For example,
starch or cellulose C5H, 1005, taken in time, if one
were to look at that chemically in principle and write a
chemical reaction, to do this would give you five
carbons and five water and this process is very easily
done. When you spill sugar, for example, in a baking pie
onto a hot element into the oven, the water leaves the
Q. Is there any operation of fungi or bacteria on
the plant matter and coal formation?
A. Most of the fungi and bacteria tend to oxidize
it instead of form it, and to use the energy as in
metabolism by oxidation of coal.
If coal is taken out of the mine and set aside, it
downgrades itself in some cases quite rapidly.
Q. But in the formation of coal itself, it is
your testimony that there is no bacterial of fungi
A. In the bulk of the coal formations, as we
observe them, they appear to be formed by mechanisms such
as I have described. I would not say that it is not
possible for bacteria to do that.
Q. In your article you identify a product that you
have developed that looks like coal. This is a quote "looks
like coal, smells like coal, and burns like various
grades of coal obtained in the natural process."
A. That's right.
If one simply heats it in a closed system and allows
pyrolysis to occur, one obtains, and that is a quote
from the Pittsburgh Energy Research Center where they
call it and they put it in quotes, "artifical coal."
Q. Well, the quote that I read is a quote from
your article which is not a quote from something else.
A. That was my comment about the material.
Q. Well, what is the chemical formula of the
product that you have developed in the laboratory?
A. My goal in the laboratory was not to make coal
or crude oil, because they had to subsequently be
processed and I thought wouldn't it be better if we could
improve on that, to go directly where we want to go,
and the original research was converting carbohydrate
material into synthesis gas, which is a 50-50 mixture of
carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which is what comes out of
the stoichiometry of celullose, but in the natural
process, because we want to make synthesis gas within
what to make methanol within, which is a specific liquid
fuel, and therefore economically more attractive, more
useful, but in the process of pyrolysis, both if you do
it in the laboratory and if it happened that way in the
ground, you get a whole spectrum of tars, as we say, and
coke as it is referred to left behind afterwards and my
research was directed toward avoiding that step, avoiding
the tar formation, going directly to the synthesis gas,
which could be used as a fuel or could be used to
synthesize methyl or could be used in the Fisch-trops
process to make hydrocarbons.
Q. So you have not produced a product that looks
like coal or smells like coal or burns like coal?
A. As side reactions when I was learning how to do
the tar-free gas, I have made those products.
Q. What is the chemical formula of those side
A. Those side products are oxygenate with a broad
range of molecular weights consisting of pyrol ligneous
acids, creosotes, hydrocarbons and aldehydes and we go on
Q. What are the ratios of the carbon compounds in
each one of those?
A. How many of them would be creosotes, how many
of them would be naphthylamines, so on, we found that
that varied with conditions, under certain conditions of
our catalytic study; or when large amounts of iron were
present we could end almost with very large amounts of
If we use certain other conditions, we would get
phenols, so these we could vary if you just simply
We didn't analyze the produce because that was not
what we wanted other than to note its physical proper-
Q. Do you know what the petrographic structure of
any of these products were?
A. We did not analyze them.
Q. What their thermal properties are?
A. Yes. We knew the Btu's per pound. We knew
their chemical content and so on.
Q. What are their Btu's per pound?
A. They were of the order of thirteen to 14,000
Btu's per pound.
Q. Did these by-products resemble coal?
Q. Which grades of coal did they resemble?
A. Soft coal.
Q. What do you mean by soft coal?
A. Bituminous coal.
Q. Do you know what the chemical formula of
bituminous coal is?
A. There isn't a chemical formula for bituminous
coal. It is a mixture of a number of things with
varying amounts of carbon.
Q. Could you describe the ratio of the carbons?
A. Coal varies all over and no, I couldn't give
you a number.
Q. Do you know the petrographic structure of
A. As mentioned in my article?
Q. It is mentioned in your article?
A. I mentioned there are different types of coal
that are found, head coal and so forth.
Q. What is the petrographic structure of bituminous
A. If by structure you mean what are the molecular
sizes and shapes and distributions, I just don't know.
Q. Do you know what the thermal products of
bituminous coal are?
A. I know that they had a heat of combustion, I
know what temperatures you have to heat it to thermally
degrade it, drive off the volatiles and end with coke.
MR. LAHIFF: Could we take a recess for a few
MR. CHILDS: Sure.
- - -
MR. LAHIFF: Q. This is not the first time that
fuel has been synthesized, has it?
A. "This" being?
Q. The product that you have created is not the
first time that fuel has been synthesized?
Q. Do you believe that you have synthesized a
fuel identical to fossil fuels?
A. Knowing the wide variety of fossil fuels and
their formulations, they are just -- from the same mine,
two loads may not be the same.
I would just say I don't know.
Q. Can you identify a fossil fuel most like the
product that you have developed?
A. Let me emphasize that our whole research was
avoiding the formation of tar and coal-like substances.
Our research was directed toward avoiding that be-
cause we wanted to end up with a specific product. So
we did not make very much of that stuff, hopefully none,
and it was only when our -- in our initial stages that
we did some of that.
Q. What then is the basis for your conclusions
in this article about the formation of coal?
A. The formation of coal must have been formed
in a short enough time that the heat could not leak away
because if there had been a slow gradual process in never
would have reached the heat necessary to give that de-
Q. Is that factor from the research that you have
A. That was done from a study of thinking about
the chemistry that must have been involved in the tran-
sition of plants material into fossil fuels and our re-
search, that was an offshoot of our research and think-
ing. And our research came directly out of the thinking
of that process and could we improve it, using, say,
catalysts in our case, to do it.
Q. What is the chemical process that leads to the
formation of fossil fuels?
A. There are two.
One is -- both involve a dehydration action and
MR. LAHIFF: I am sorry, could you read his answer.
THE WITNESS: And one, if the water escapes or,
two, if it doesn't.
MR. LAHIFF: Q. Well --
A. Excuse me.
Q. I am sorry, did you want to elaborate on your
A. I emphasize that that is the model that I
I was not there when the fossil fuels were formed.
I proposed this model because it is consistent with
what I see from the data.
Q. What observations have you made that led to the
formulation of this model?
A. Studies of pyrolysis processes with biomass.
Q. What is the basis for your assertion in the
article that pressure may affect the type of coal formed?
A. Pressure affects the thermodynamic equations
involved, their function of temperature, pressure, volume,
chemical composition standards, p. chem. variables and
pressure being a variable of the function involved affects
the product distribution, the molecular weight, so on.
Q. Are there any scientists who adhere to your
understanding or your belief that pressure may effect
the type of coal formed?
A. Oh, yes, of course.
In fact, the Albany group, under the Bureau of Mines,
uses about three thousand pounds per square inch pressure
mainly to keep water in the liquid state.
Q. What is the product that comes from the process
that the Albany group performs?
A. It is a mixture of organic liquids which then
are subsequently refined to various -- like a traditional
Q. But it is not coal?
A. They are designed to make oil, liquid fuel.
That's what their research goal is.
The Pittsburgh energy group is the one that men-
tioned the coal, the Pittsburgh energy research center
which is a U.S. Government document.
The chemistry of coal is very complex.
MR. CHILDS: Would you mind telling us what that
book is that you are looking at?
MR. LAHIFF: Not at all.
The book is entitled Organic Geochemistry by G.
Eglinton and M.T.J. Murphy.
Are you aware of the existence of this book entitled
Q. Have you ever read any scientific treatise on
A. I have not read a book with that title that I
am aware of.
The topic, of course, is one that we have have been
discussing and I have read in that area.
Q. What authors have you read in that area?
A. I don't recall all the authors.
Q. Do you recall some of the authors?
A. Melvin Cook is one.
Q. Do you recall any others?
A. I don't recall any.
I read so many resources in looking at the topic,
trying to go through the literature and I don't recall
Q. Well, can you identify for me any organic
geochemists whose work you have read?
A. Organic geochemists, no, I cannot.
Q. What was the product that eventually resulted
from the process that the Pittsburgh energy group was
A. They were studying a number of processes.
They only mentioned that coal was, in passing,
they mentioned that that was one of the things that they
Their goal was the pilot study that led to the Albany
one to make liquid materials.
Q. Do you know if in fact they produced coal?
A. They did not produce a natural product which is
the definition of coal.
Coal is a natural product that occurs in the earth.
They, of course, did not do this in natural conditions
and the material that they had resembled coal.
Q. How did it resemble coal?
A. In its physical properties.
Q. What physical properties were those?
A. The way it burned, the way it looked.
Q. Do you know if the chemicals formula of the
product that they produced is identical to any grade of
A. No, I do not.
Q. Do you know the chemical formula of the product
that the Pittsburgh group produced?
A. No, I do not.
Q. Are you aware of the petrographic structure of
the product that the Pittsburgh energy group produced?
Q. Could you describe to me the chemical formula
of the product that you produced?
A. Our product is a mixture of carbon monoxide
and hydrogen gases intermixed with various forms of hydro-
carbons and hydrogen gas.
Q. Is it a gas or solid?
A. We are making gas intermixed with various por-
tions of hydrocarbons.
Q. Is there any natural product equivalent in
chemical composition to the product which you have
A. We have aimed at producing synthesis gas which
then can be converted into, and has been converted into
various pure substances such as methane, which is a
natural, which is the principal component of the natural
gas ethane -- methane, ethane, propane and lower molecular
weight hydrocarbons and methanol and lower molecular
Q. Have you synthesized a product that is chemical-
ly equivalent in composition to any fossil fuel?
A. One of the fossil fuels, methane -- natural
gas contains a mixture -- methane has a form of CH4.
The methane that we produce is identical.
It has a formula CH4.
Q. Do you consider methane to be a fossil fuel?
A. Methane is a fossil fuel.
Q. Do you consider methane to be a fossil fuel?
A. It is one of the mixtures of the fossil fuels.
In fossil fuels, you have all the way from almost
pure methane all the way up to anthracite coal with
various mixtures of proportions of carbon. Fossil fuel
is not a pure substance.
Q. What are the fossil fuels to your understanding?
A. Natural hydrocabons and coal.
Q. What are the natural hydrocarbons?
A. Methane on up the alkane series, alkene, al-
kyne series, hydrocarbons and mixtures thereof.
Methane -- for example, coal is a fossil fuel.
Methane is associated with coal seams.
Q. Can you describe for me the role of the Genesis
flood in the formation of coal.
A. Coal is buried in massive amounts, and I noticed
that some of the coal seams like up at Centralia,
Washington, not too far from where we live, are massive
and if they had been formed slowly, one would expect to
find in those seams alternate layers, like in alternate
wet and dry seasons, alternate layers of clay. I don't
notice that. Some of the seams there are very, very
thick seams which require a burial of a large amount of
The geological catastrophy associated with the
Genesis flood and the large amount of biomass that was
present prior seemed like a fruitful avenue for investi-
gation to me as a model to look at.
Q. Is there any organic process in the formation
A. Organic process in the formation of coal.
It is a chemical process.
Q. Is there any operation of bacteria or fungi
on the plant matter?
A. There may be.
Q. Well, do you know if in fact there is in the
formation of coal?
A. I was not -- no, I did not know.
I was not there when coal was formed.
All I can do at this present day is look at coal,
make a model to make some assumptions by which it may
have been formed.
I was not there.
Q. Are you aware of whether or not coal is present-
ly being formed today?
A. Cook, in his book, mentions a number of
interesting situations at the present time.
Q. And what are those interesting situations?
A. Coalification of lignocellulose material.
Q. In what areas of the world?
A. I think one was in Germany.
I don't recall the others.
Q. Do you know the process by which that material
is becoming coal?
A. It was associated with the chemical processes
such as I have outlined for you.
Q. Do you know if these are peat bogs?
A. They were not peat bogs as I recall.
It has been a while since I studied that.
Q. Could you describe for me the link you draw
between the synthesis of methanol and the age of the
A. The link seemed to me in the rate at which
the process was carried out.
If, in fact, the model is correct that this was
primarily a dehydration reaction with the exothermic
nature of the dehydration reaction that seemed to be a
fruitful model, that meant that if that process took
place, it had to happen before that heat could be frittered
away or it would never reach the spontaneous rise to around
430, 450 degrees C.
Q. What does the short rate of the process that
you have just described have to do with the age of the
A. Well, the traditional, as I had read the litera-
ture and I don't recall now all the books and I didn't
read that one and so on, but in talking with my colleagues
who were associated -- and with my geological friends
and books that I read about formation of fossil fuels,
it was suggested that that was a slow gradual process
by bacterial action or whatever, peat bogs, going into
coal, maybe. And the chemistry of that, with a slow
gradual process would be all right with the evolutionary
If, however, the creation model scientists that I
talked with were correct in their shorter time scale,
that meant that there had to be a faster chemistry in-
volved. And I got to thinking what kind of chemistry
would be involved. And the model that came to mind, then,
would be this, which is in line with the chemistry of
behavior of pyrolysis reaction, would be this process that
we have discussed.
Q. How does a pyrolysis reaction compare to the
natural formation of coal?
A. I am suggesting that that may have been the
mechanism by which coal was formed.
Q. Do you have any scientific evidence to support
A. The scientific evidence is that one can take
cellulose material and study the pyrolysis reaction and
obtain products which are similar in composition and
physical characteristics to the products that we observe
in fossil fuels.
We have studied the avoidance of tar formation,
particularly in our reaction.
Q. What are the products that are formed in these
A. In pyrolysis reactions?
A. I don't know that they have been totally
Q. Well, could you identify for me a few of them,
A. Hydrocarbons, aldehydes, higher molecular
weight aldehydes and what is generally classed as char.
Q. Any others?
A. No, it is just potpouri.
Q. What fossil fuels are these products like?
A. The gases that come off are -- in certain
pyrolysis reactions, such as some being studied by Mudge
and his colleagues at Battell, are similar to synthetic
Q. What fossil fuels are aldehydes similar to,
A. Some of our liquid petroleum fossil fuels.
Q. What is the chemical composition of an aldehyde?
A. It is an oxygenate compound, compounded in
Q. And what else?
A. Carbon and hydrogen.
Q. Could you describe for me precisely the chemical
formula of an aldehyde?
A. Well, there is a whole series of those.
They have a carbon and a -- double bonded to an
oxygen and some other material tacked on down the line.
Q. What other materials are tacked on?
A. Hydrocarbon chain.
Q. What is a hydrocarbon chain?
A. It is a compound made of carbon atoms linking
to carbon atoms linking to carbon atoms which we loosely
refer to as a chain with a varying amount of hydrogen
also attached to the carbons.
Q. Could you describe for me the chemical formula
for liquid petroleum?
A. Liquid petroleum comes in varying ways all the
way from pure enough to fill your car up to very black
viscose asphalty-type liquid. So it has mixtures of
varying substances in it: sulphur compounds, nitrogen
compounds, heterocyclic compounds, hydrocarbons, oxygenates
and so on.
Q. What fossil fuel is char equivalent to?
A. Char varies all the way from graphitic amor-
phous carbon to real shiny, almost bituminous material
like -- well, like gilsonite almost, the mineral gilsonite.
So the char varies -- the char that we produce varies
in properties almost the complete range from being liquid
to almost being solid.
Some is very dull in appearance.
Some is hard and compact and shiny, brittle.
Q. You have described that you have geological
friends who work on the age of the earth.
Could you identify those for me?
A. Friends who work on the age of the earth?
- - -
Q. You said you have consulted with friends --
A. Oh, I meant that I had consulted with my
Well, for example, I talked with my friends at
Oregon State when I was there. I talked with University
of Puget Sound scientists, and when we would go to ACS
Q. Who are the colleagues at Oregon State?
A. That we had discussions with?
A. Oh, let's see, that was during my graduate
Q. Well, have you had any discussions recently
with any of your colleagues dealing with the age of
Q. Could you identify those colleagues for me?
When we went to Holland we discussed on the way
back some of those points that we covered there. I have
discussed it with my colleagues at George Fox College. I
have been invited to speak on dating the earth.
Q. Well, could you give me some names, please?
A. Dr. Scott Chambers.
Q. With what institution?
A. He is with the George Fox College.
Dr. Hector Munn, also at George Fox College.
Harold Slusher and I rode together on the airplane
back from Holland and we talked about it.
Q. What is Dr. Chambers' specialty?
A. Physical chemistry.
Q. What is Dr. Munn's specialty?
A. It is chemistry. I am not sure if it is
biochemistry or organic chemistry.
Q. And what is Dr. Slusher's specialty?
A. I'm really not sure. I think it is physics.
Primarily he teaches physics and astronomy.
Q. Do any of these men have any background in
A. Dr. Munn has studied geology.
Q. Where has he studied geology?
A. Oregon State.
Q. Do you happen to know who the specialists are
on the age of the earth?
A. Specialists are people who work in the field
regularly. Henry Paul is one of those that I consulted.
Q. And with what institution is he associated?
A. I am not sure. When I started to study the
area, I read his book, "Ages of Rocks, Planets and Stars,"
and subsequent papers that he has written.
Q. You don't know what institution he is associ-
A. No, I don't.
Q. Do you know his specialty?
Q. Any others?
A. Patrick Hurley.
Q. With what institution is he associated?
A. I'm again not sure.
Q. Any others?
A. Tilton and Steiger.
Q. Those are two individuals?
Q. And with what institution are they?
A. I don't know.
Q. Has Patrick Hurley ever written any scientific
work on geochronology?
Q. What is the title of his work?
A. He has a number. One that I read was, "How Old
Is the Earth?"
Q. What about Tilton and Steiger, have they pub-
lished any works?
Q. What titles?
A. I believe you have some in your deposition.
Q. Could you tell us the names?
A. I don't recall the titles.
MR. CHILDS: You are talking about the documents
that were copied?
THE WITNESS: Yes.
[Discussion off the record]
MR. LAHIFF: Q. Do you know if any of these
gentlemen have published in any scientific journals?
A. Yes, they have.
Q. Have you read any of their publications?
Q. In which scientific journals have they been
A. Many. Science Magazine, Nature, so on.
Q. Do these people that you have described agree
with your beliefs?
A. As far as I can tell. I haven't asked them
personally, but as far as I can tell, they do not.
There is no indication that they do not accept the old
MR. LAHIFF: I am sorry, could you read my question
and his answer.
THE WITNESS: I interpreted your question to be about
the age of the earth. They do accept the old earth model.
They do not agree with the model, but I accept.
MR. LAHIFF: Q. If they do not agree with the model
that you have accepted, how do you use their work in
support of your model?
A. The data -- I don't think they are misquoting
the data -- but they make assumptions to interpret that
Q. What assumptions do they make?
A. Their primary assumption is that isotope ratios
are a time index.
Q. Do you recognize the name, Dr. Dalrymple?
Q. Could you identify him for me, please.
A. He is at one of the California schools. He is
a geochronologist, a specialist.
Q. Do you recognize the name, Dr. Curtis?
Q. Dr. Garniss Curtis?
A. No, I don't recognize that name.
Q. Why aren't isotope ratios valid?
A. It has been shown in the literature that
physical processes affect the ratios.
Q. Which literature?
A. Scientific literature.
Q. Which scientific literature?
A. I have some in the deposition there [indicat-
ing]. There are a number of examples, both for nonradio-
active systems as well as radioactive systems.
Q. Well, can you identify specifically a couple of
A. Well, two immediately which come to mind are
the oxygen ratios are indicators of paleoclimatology,
because we measure the oxygen isotope ratio 16/18, for
example, which gives us a handle on the paleoclimatology
temperature of ancient water.
Another case that comes to mind is the potassium
argon ratios in the Kilauea lavas in Hawaii.
Q. Could you describe the titles of any of these
A. I forget the exact title. I would have to
look them up.
MR. CHILDS: Are they in the documents that have
THE WITNESS: Yes, they are in the documents that
have been copied.
MR. LAHIFF: Q. Could you identify any of the
A. I forget which author is which document at the
MR. CHILDS: If you want to take the time, he can
go through them. I just wanted the record to reflect
they were there. If you want him to look for them, he
can look for them now.
MR. LAHIFF: Let's take a break for a few minutes.
THE WITNESS: What was the question now?
MR. CHILDS: Let's just identify these for the
Why don't you identify these two articles?
Are these the two?
THE WITNESS: Yes. Thank you. I would appreciate
MR. LAHIFF: Dr. Chittick has identified two
articles, one entitled "Deep-Ocean Basalts: Inert Gas
Content and Uncertainties in Age Dating," and it was
written by C. S. Noble and J. J. Haughton and it appeared
in Science, the October 11, 1968 issue.
THE WITNESS: I thought there were three authors on
MR. LAHIFF: No, just two.
[Discussion off the record]
[Photocopy of document entitled
"Deep-Ocean Basalts: Inert Gas
Content and Uncertainties in Age
Dating" marked Plaintiffs'
Exhibit No. 5 for identification]
MR. LAHIFF: Q. The second article is entitled
"Argon-40: Excess in Submarine Pillow Basalts from
Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii," and that was authored by G.
Brent Dalrymple and James G. Moore and appeared in
Volume 161 of Science Magazine, September 13, 1968.
Q. Have you ever studied fossil fuels in the
A. We have experimented with various grade of
coal, including lignite, in our gassification process.
To that extent I have studied them.
Q. What kind of studies have you performed?
A. We have studied the sulphur content and the
feasibility of gassification to synthesis gas.
Q. Have you ever analyzed petroleum or any fossil
fuels as they appear in nature?
A. I have not.
Q. Have you ever done any petrographic work with
coal or any other fossil fuel?
A. I have not.
Q. Have you ever analyzed the fuel that you have
produced to see how well it corresponds to any natural
A. We have only checked the gas composition by
gas chromatograph of the affluent stream from our gas
fires. It does not match any natural products, to my
Q. Is it possible to produce an anthracite coal
through your process?
A. Anthracite coal is a natural mineral.
Q. Is it possible, then, to produce a product
chemically identical to anthracite coal?
A. It is possible to produce a product that has
the same carbon, hydrogen -- roughly the same, now,
depending on how many decimal places we wish to go out --
approximately the same, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and
mineral content as an anthracite coal.
Q. Do you know if human beings produce methane
gas as a by-product of living?
A. They claim that the human gut under certain
conditions can synthesize methane gas.
There was one proposal several years to the
NSF by one of the students in the State of Washington, I
believe, to put a canopy over a large area and collect
the burps of cows.
Q. Do I understand your testimony properly, that
it is the speed of the reaction that you have performed
in the laboratory that leads you to believe that the
earth is 10,000 years old or less?
A. What I intended to say was, that in thinking
about the age of the earth and in thinking about the
chemistry that would be involved, in my mind what would
be the chemical reactions involved in changing biomass
to materials similar to what we find in fossil fuels,
that thinking let me to try experiments to see if I
could in fact change biomass into a material that was
specific, so that we could use it in synthesis of needed
hydrocarbons or whatever product desired.
Q. Have you ever read "The Origin of Species"?
A. By Charles Darwin?
Q. By Darwin.
A. Excerpts of it, only.
[Discussion off the record]
MR. LAHIFF: Q. Is there any discussion in either
of these two exhibits, Plaintiffs' 4 and 5, that support
your position on the age of the earth.
A. The discussion that was carried on in those
articles was that the isotope ratios obtained from these
lavas do not reflect accurately the time scale that these
authors would attach normally to those lavas. The lavas
in question had an age, historical age, of less than, as
I recall, it has been a while since I read them, but less
than of the order of 200 years, historical year, and the
test was to see whether the -- what were the potassium/
Argon-40 ratios in those rocks. And if you would use
Those ratios as a date, then one would get varying dates
on the same rock, depending on where the sample was
taken. And the conclusion was that the ratio seems to
reflect a physical process -- chemical process -- the
rate of cooling affects the ratio, the pressure under
which the rock was cooled was the conclusion that was
Q. But do individual examples of contamination
necessarily disprove the validity of the process?
A. They seem to cast question on the assumption
that isotope ratios are a time index only. They may well
be in some cases. But if that assumption is correct,
then -- if that assumption is incorrect, then the conclu-
sions that are drawn from the data are not likely to be
So this suggests to me, what would happen if we --
Suppose we examine the same data from a different set of
assumptions. Suppose we take isotope ratios as being an
indicator of geophysical processes and examine the data.
What kind of conclusions would it lead to? What kind of
problems would it avoid to a time index assessment?
What problems this model might resolve. It resolves
some of the problems; then it seems like it would be a
Q. Do you believe that in the laboratory you have
copied the natural processes by which fossil fuels have
A. To what degree does our laboratory work -- I
am rephrasing your question -- to what degree does our
laboratory work duplicate what I believe to place
naturally in the formation of fossil fuels?
A. The thinking about fossil fuels got me started
in thinking about the laboratory processes and, as I
mentioned, these chars and tars that we formed were not
our -- were not in the main line of our research. I
don't know what degree they would be identical to what
happened in the past.
Q. Why can't you make any statement about that?
- - -