Testimony of Dr. Stephen Jay Gould - Page 2
Q: (Continuing) point of this is that this transitional sequence for which we have good evidence shows the transformation of the jaw bones in reptiles to become the ear bones in mammals; is that correct?
A: Yes. We have a very nice sequence of intermediate forms. Now again, it's not in perceptible transition through all intermediary degrees, because that's not the way evolution works.
What we do have is a good temporally ordered structural sequence within the intermediate forms.
Q: How does creation science deal with this evidence?
A: For the most part simply by not citing it, as they usually do, or by making miscitations when they do discuss it. For example, again, Duane Gish, in Evolution: The Fossils Say No-
MR. NOVIK: Plaintiffs' Exhibit 78 for identification.
A: —gets around the issue by discussing only a single form, a form called Thrinaxodon. Now, Thrinaxodon is a cynodont; that is, it is a member of the group that gave rise to mammals within the therapsids, but it is, in fact, a primitive cynodont. It is not close within the cynodonts of the ancestry of mammals, and, therefore, it does not have many of these advanced features.
Mr. Gish discusses only Thrinaxodon in his discussion
A: (Continuing) and writes, "Even the so-called advanced mammal-like reptile Thrinaxodon," that's an interesting point. Thrinaxodon is an advanced mammal-like reptile because all the cynodonts represent an advanced group.
But within the cynodonts, it is a primitive member of that group, and therefore, would not be expected to show the more advanced features.
"Even the so-called advanced mammal-like reptile Thrinaxodon, then, had a conventional reptilian ear." We are quite simply not talking about the more advanced cynodonts who have the double articulation.
Q: He does not discuss the example you have just testified about at all?
A: Not in this book published in 1979. It was published long after this information became available.
Q: And the example he does use is, in your opinion, irrelevant on this point?
A: Yes. He discusses only the genus Thrinaxodon, which as I have stated, is a primitive member of the cynodonts.
Q: Professor Gould, is there evidence of transitional sequences in human evolution?
A: Yes. It's rather remarkable that the evidence is as complete as it is, considering how difficult it is for human bones to fossilize.
Q: Why is it so difficult for human bones to fossilize?
A: Primarily for two reasons. First, there weren't very many of us until rather recently. And secondly, creatures that lived in fairly dry terrestrial environments where rocks are more often being eroded than deposited, are not often preserved as fossils.
Q: What does the fossil record indicate with respect to human evolution?
A: A rather well formed sequence of intermediate stages. The oldest fossil human, called Australopithecus afarensis, or often known as "Lucy", is one of the most famous specimens and a remarkable specimen is forty percent complete, so it's not just based on fragments. Lucy is an animal that is very much like Archaeopteryx and contains a mixture of some rather advanced human features with the preservation of some fairly apelike features.
For example, based on the pelvis and leg bones of Australopithecus afarensis, we know that this creature walked as erect as you or I and had a fairly so-called bipedal gait. Indeed, we've even found fossil foot prints that indicate this bipedal gait.
On the other hand, the cranium of Australopithecus afarensis' skull, in many features, is a remarkably apelike cranium and perhaps it is scarcely if at all larger than the ape, with a comparable body size in the
A: (Continuing) dentician. It is a rather nice mixture.
Q: What do you mean by `dentician'?
A: Teeth. Sorry. Or a mixture of apelike and humanlike features. Humans have a general shape of the dentician of a parabola, where apes tend to have a more, look at the molars and the incisors, rather more blocky or what we call quadrate outline. The outline of the palate and the upper jaw of Australopithecus afarensis is quite blocky, as in apes, and yet in many respects the teeth are more human in form, particularly in the reduction of the canine.
So Australopithecus afarensis is a remarkable intermediate form which mixes together apelike and humanlike features, just as we would expect. And then when you go to younger rocks in Africa, you find transitional forms again.
The first representative of our own genus, for example, a form called Homo habilis, is found in rocks less than two million years old and is intermediate in cranial capacity between Lucy and modern humans. It has a cranial capacity of seven hundred to eight hundred cubic centimeters, compared to thirteen or fourteen hundred for modern humans, with approximately on the order of four hundred or a little less for Lucy.
And then in younger rocks, you get the next species, Homo erectus, or more popularly the Java or Peking Man, which is the first form that migrated out of Africa and came to inhabit other continents as well.
And it is again an intermediate between Homo habilis in brain size and modern humans, with cranial capacities on the order of a thousand cubic centimeters. And then finally in a much more recent strata we get the first remains of our own species, Homo sapiens.
Q: How does creation science deal with this evidence of transitional forms?
A: Again, in the literature I've read, in the most part by ignoring it and by citing examples from Henry Morris' Scientific Creationism, again. Henry Morris does two things simply to dismiss that evidence. He argues that Australopithecus is not an intermediate form, out entirely an all-ape, again by citing a single citation from a news report, not from primary literature.
He writes on page 173, this is now a citation from that news report. "Australopithecus limb bone have been rare finds, but Leakey now has a large sample. They portray Australopithecus as long-armed and short-legged. He was probably a knuckle-walker, not an erect walker, as many
A: (Continuing) archaeologist presently believe." Now, gorillas and chimps are knuckle-walkers, and the implication is that the Australopithecus was just an ape. But I don't know where that news report came from. We certainly are quite confident from the pelvis and leg bones that Australopithecus walked erect. There are volumes devoted to that demonstration. That is certainly not decided by a certain news report that seems to indicate otherwise.
Morris then goes on to say, "In other words, Australopithecus not only had a brain like an ape, but he also looked like an ape and walked like a ape."
And the second thing that Henry Morris does is to argue that contrary to the claim I just made, that there is a temporally ordered sequence to the intermediate forms. Morris argued that modern humans are found in the oldest rocks that preserve any human remains. And he again cites a news report, but misunderstands it or miscites it. The news report says, "Last year Leakey and his co-workers found three jaw bones, leg bones and more than 400 man-made stone tools. The specimens were attributed to the genus Homo."
Now, the claim is, yes, they were attributed to the genus Homo, but it is not our species. Leakey then goes on to say, "It is not our species. In fact, these belong
A: (Continuing) to the species Homo habilis. The intermediate form of the cranial capacity was seven hundred to eight hundred cubic centimeters, and does not show, as Morris maintains, "that a fully modern human existed in the ancient strata."
Q: Professor Gould, are you familiar with the creation science argument that there are explained gaps between pre-Cambrian and Cambrian life?
A: Yes, indeed. The pre-Cambrian fossil record was pretty much nonexistent until twenty or thirty years ago. Creationists used to like to make a big point of that. They argued, `Look, for most of earth's history until you get rocks that you say are six hundred million years old, there were no fossils at all.'
Starting about 30 years ago, we began to develop a very extensive and impressive fossil record of pre-Cambrian creatures. They are, indeed, only single-celled creatures. And the reason we haven't found them before is because we were looking for larger fossils in different kinds of rocks.
So creation scientists had to acknowledge that, and they then shifted the argument and said that, "All right, these are only single-celled creatures and they are not ancestors to the more complicated forms that arise in the Cambrian, but there are no fossils of multi-cellular
A: (Continuing) animals before the Cambrian strata." But we've known now for about twenty years that that, too, is false. There is one rather well known fauna called the Ediacaran fauna, after a place in Australia where it was first found, but now, in fact, found on almost every continent of the earth.
These fossils are pre-Cambrian. They are not very ancient pre-Cambrian fossils. They occur in rocks pretty much just before the Cambrian. They are caught all over the world invariably in strata below the first appearance of still invertebrate fossils.
And the creation scientists, as far as I can see, for the most part, just simply ignore the existence of the Ediacaran fauna. For example, Duane Gish, again, in Evolution: The Fossils Say No cites, although this book is published in 1979, cites the following quotation by a paleontologist named T. Neville George on page 70, "Granted an evolutionary origin of the main groups of animals, and not an act of special creation, the absence of any record whatsoever of a single member of any of the phyla in the pre-Cambrian rocks remains as inexplicable on orthodox grounds as it was to Darwin."
That was a fair statement that T. Neville George made, but he made it in 1960, so Mr. Gish must surely know of the discovery of the Ediacaran fauna since then. I think
A: (Continuing) he's misleading to the extreme in that he continues to cite this earlier source when, in fact, later discoveries had shown the existence of this pre-Cambrian fauna.
Q: Professor Gould, are there any natural law explanations for the rapid diversification of multicellular life forms at the beginning of the Cambrian era?
A: Yes, indeed. Without in any way trying to maintain the problem has been solved - it has not - we have some promise and possibilities based on natural law that may very well tell a large part of the story.
Q: What explanations are those?
A: For example, I have said there was an extensive record of pre-Cambrian single-celled creatures. But all of these single-celled creatures reproduced asexually, at least until late in the pre-Cambrian, as far as we can tell. And animals that reproduced asexually, according to Darwin's theory, have very little opportunity for extensive evolutionary change.
Under Darwin's theory, natural selection requires a large pool of variability, genetic variability, upon which natural selection operates. And you can't generate that pool of variability in asexual creatures. In asexual creatures, the offspring will be exactly like their
A: (Continuing) parents unless a new mutation occurs, but mutations are rare. And you may have a lot of favorable mutations, but there is no way you can mix them together. One line has one mutation and another clone another mutation.
But it is in sexual reproduction that you can bring together the favorable mutations in several lines. But each sexually produced creature represents a mixture of the different genetic material of two different parents. And that way you can bring together all the favorable mutations and produce that normal pool of variability without which natural selection can't operate.
So it may be that the so-called Cambrian explosion is a consequence of the evolution of sexuality, which allowed for the first time enough variability for Darwinian process to operate.
Q: Are there any other possible natural law explanations?
A: Yes, there are. One explanation that I find intriguing which is complimentary and not contradictory to the argument about sexuality, involves the characteristic mode in which growth proceeds in all systems that have characteristic properties. If I may have—
Q: Would it help you to refer to Plaintiffs' Exhibit 101?
A: Yes, please. I have an illustration here-
Q: I believe the Court has a copy of that exhibit already. What page are you referring to?
A: It's on page 653. And here we are making an analogy of bacterial growth, but it is talking about characteristic growth in systems with the following properties, where into a system with superabundant resources you introduce for the first time a creature capable of self multiplication. So that if, for example, you introduce a single bacterial cell onto a plate of nutrients upon which it can grow, initially you're not going to see, although the rate of cell division doesn't change, nothing much is going to happen if one bacterial cell, then two, then four, then eight, then sixteen, thirty-two. You still can't see it, so the increase appears to be initially quite slow. We call it a lag phase.
But eventually it starts to increase much more rapidly; you get a million, then two million, then four million, then eight million. Even though the rate of cell division hasn't changed, the appearance of the increase has accelerated enormously. We call that the lag phase. Then eventually it reaches the point where there is as many bacteria as the medium can support and then it tapers off and you have a so-called plateau. And that gives rise
A: (Continuing) to the so called S shape, or the Sigmoid curve, after the initial slow lag phase to the rapid log phase and the later plateau.
Now, when you plot the increase of organic diversity through pre-Cambrian and Cambrian transition, you seem to have a very good fit to that S-shaped curve, which is what you'd expect in any system in which into a regime of superabundant resources you introduce a creature capable of self multiplication for the first time.
So the lag phase is presumably indicated by the slow increase in numbers of organisms at the end of the pre-Cambrian, culminating in the Ediacaran fauna. The log phase represents the rapid acceleration, not acceleration, but rapid increase in numbers of forms that we would expect in such a system gives analogous to the million, two million, four million bacteria and the later plateau. And, therefore, I think ordinary Sigmoidal growth may well represent the Cambrian explosion. In other words, the argument is the Cambrian explosion is, the log phase if one is using Sigmoidal processes.
Q: Does creation science take care of these two alternative natural law explanations?
A: I have not seen them depicted in the creation science literature that I've read.
Q: Professor Gould, does evolutionary theory presuppose
Q: (Continuing) the absence of a creator?
A: Certainly not. Indeed, many of my colleagues are devoutly religious people. Evolution as a science does not talk about the existence of a creator. It is quite consistent with one or without one, so long as the creator works by natural laws.
Q: Professor Gould, do you have a professional opinion concerning creation science in the areas of paleontology and geology?
A: Yes, indeed. I think they proceed by misquotation, by selective quotation, and by invoking supernatural intervention to produce the basic kinds of life, all of which are not only unscientific, but represent skill and rhetoric rather than science.
MR. NOVIK: I have no further questions, your Honor.
THE COURT: The court will be in recess until 1:30.
(Thereupon, Court was in recess
from 12:30 p.m.
until 1:40 p.m.)
MR. CHILDS: Your Honor, I will just state for the record, I appreciate the opportunity to finish reading Doctor Morowitz' deposition which was taken last night, and the opportunity to collect my thoughts for this cross examination.
having been previously sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
BY MR CHILDS:
Q: Doctor Morowitz, has Mr. Novik advised you that Judge Overton wants all witnesses to respond to the questions that are actually asked in this courtroom?
Q: Has Mr. Novik told you that Judge Overton wants you to respond directly to the questions that are actually asked of you?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: When were you first contacted about being a witness in this lawsuit?
A: Sometime within the last few weeks. I believe it was in late October, although— The reason I'm equivocating a bit is I was called as a consultant first, to discuss some aspects of the case as an expert consultant, and then my role as a witness emerged from that. And the exact date of that transition, I'm not clear on.
Q: When were you first contacted to be expert to
Q: (Continuing) advise plaintiffs in this case.
A: Sometime in October.
Q: Okay. I believe last night you told us that you were first contacted one to two months ago?
A: That would be sometime in October, yes.
Q: When were you first advised that you would actually testify in this lawsuit?
A: I believe that was about two weeks ago.
Q: Were you advised that your testimony would be because that Doctor Carl Sagan was unable to testify?
A: I did not discuss that with anyone, no.
Q: Were you told why you would be a witness here?
A: No, I was not told; I was asked to be a witness.
Q: When was the subject matter of your testimony first discussed?
A: At that time.
Q: That was some two weeks ago?
A: Yes. Whenever it was that I agreed to be a witness.
MR. CHILDS: Your Honor., the proposed testimony of Doctor Carl Sagan was the nature of science, why creation science is not science, and the relevancy of astronomy to creation science.
It's my understanding, based on discussing with Mr. Dave Williams of our office, is that Doctor Morowitz would be a substitute for Doctor Sagan. I would move at this time
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing) that all of Doctor Morowitz' testimony which was outside the scope of what we were originally advised by the plaintiffs be struck from the record.
THE COURT: it seems to me like if you took Doctor Morowitz' deposition last night, that a timely motion in that connection would have been before he testified today.
MR. CHILDS: Well, your Honor, I think the Court can consider at this point as only a tender in his testimony for purposes of review.
THE COURT: I will deny that motion.
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing) Doctor Morowitz, would you please tell Judge Overton and the people here in the courtroom what thermodynamics in an equilibrium state means?
A: Thermodynamics is a field of study. It is the study of energy transformations in equilibrium systems. That is the field called classical thermodynamics, which the term `thermodynamics' is usually used, is the study of transformations of state in equilibrium systems.
Q: Last night you told me that you have made some calculations regarding the possibilities or probabilities of life originating from non-life in an equilibrium state, did you not?
A: That is correct.
Q: Would you tell Judge Overton what the odds of life emerging from non-life in an equilibrium state are, according to your calculations?
A: All right. Ten to the minus ten to the tenth.
Q: Could you relate that so that us non-scientists can understand that?
A: All right. That is one over one followed by ten million zeros.
Q: Ten million?
A: Ten billion zeros.
Q: Ten billion?
Q: Now then, as I understand your testimony, the calculations based on an equilibrium state cannot be applied to the surface of the earth?
A: That is correct.
Q: Can you tell me the first time that science-
THE COURT: Excuse me. What was that question? I didn't catch the question. The last question you asked, what was that?
MR. CHILDS: I don't have any idea. We can have the court reporter read it back.
THE COURT: No, no. Maybe it wasn't that important.
MR. CHILDS: Let me see if we can start over again.
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing)
Q: Historically, have biologists considered the
Q: (Continuing) equilibrium theory of thermodynamics applicable to the evolution of life?
A: By and large, biologists have not dealt with that subject. Thermodynamics has been the subject of physicists and physical chemists.
Most biologists are not terribly well informed on thermodynamics.
Q: Okay. Let me repeat my question. Historically, where the area of thermodynamics has been applied to the evolution of life, has it not been the calculations that would be derived from the equilibrium state?
A: I don't know of any such specific calculations, so I'm unable to answer your question. I don't recall any such calculations.
Q: Last night in your deposition you mentioned the name Ilya - and I'll have to spell it — P-r-i-g-o-g-i-n-e.
Q: Would you pronounce that for me, please?
Q: Are you familiar with an article that appeared in
Physics Today in November of 1972 entitled Thermodynamics of Evolution, subheading being, "The functional order maintained within living systems seems to defy the second law. Non-equilibrium thermodynamics describes how such
Q: (Continuing) systems come to terms with entropy."
A: I have read that article, yes.
Q: Do you presently recall in this article the quote, "Unfortunately this principle cannot explain the formation of biological structures. The probability that at ordinary temperatures a macro, m-a-c-r-o, scopic number of molecules is assembled to give rise to the highly structures and to the coordinated functions characterizing living organisms is vanishingly small"?
A: Now, what's your question?
Q: My question was, do you recall, do you remember that statement in the article?
A: No, I do not.
Q: Would not that appear to be the application of the calculations from equilibrium state thermodynamics to the evolution of life on the surface of the earth?
A: Well, much of Prigogine's work has dealt with non-equilibrium dynamics. I think if you read on following that quotation, he gets into a little more detail about how the problem is solved. If you go just following that quotation, the next sentence or two.
MR. NOVIK: Perhaps it would help if the witness had a copy of the offer.
THE COURT: It doesn't sound like he needs one to me.
Q: Professor Morowitz, if you need to refer to the article, I only have one copy, I'll be glad it share it with you. Is that okay?
Q: My question is, in the historical perspective of application in the field of thermodynamics to the creation of life from non-life, were not your calculations, your type of calculations based on an equilibrium state applied to the model?
A: The calculations based on an equilibrium state were to show that life could not arise in an equilibrium state. That was the scientific thrust of the argument. And to my knowledge, that is the only case I'm aware of where that kind of calculations has been used. It is to show the necessity of open system thermodynamics to study this kind of phenomenon.
Q: I'll read you another quote. "A number of investigators have believed that the origin required so many chance events of such low probability that we have no way of studying it within the framework of science, even though it involves perfectly normal laws of nature." Do you recall that statement?
A: Yes. I wrote it.
Q: Okay. And I believe that was with — Who was that with?
A: I believe that occurs in an article with Kimbel Smith.
Q: And then another quote in here, "The view that life's origin cannot be predicted from physics because of the dominance of chance factors was elaborated by Jack Monod," M-o-n-o-d, "in his book Chance and Necessity." Do you recall that?
A: Yes. The article then goes on to criticize what's wrong with those points of view and why they were incorrect.
Q: Bear with me, if you will.
My understanding of what happened in the history of the application of thermodynamics to the evolution of life itself, was that the first model that was applied was the one that they were familiar with, which was the equilibrium state.
A: No. Monod did not deal with thermodynamics at all in his work. Monod dealt with mutation rates, not with thermodynamics.
Q: Okay. Are you telling me that I'm wrong in my understanding, that the first model that was applied was the equilibrium state of thermodynamics?
A: Other than the calculation of mine which you cited which was designed to show that life could not arise in an equilibrium system and must take place in an open system,
A: (Continuing) I don't know of other calculations, thermodynamic calculations related to the origin of life.
Q: You're not aware of anybody in the field that applied equilibrium theory to the evolution of life?
A: To the origin of life.
Q: To the origin of life?
A: I don't recall any such calculations.
Q: When did you do your calculations applying equilibrium theory?
Q: And when did you come up with your theory that it's not equilibrium theory that should be applied, but rather it should be non-equilibrium theory?
A: I can't give you a date. Ever since I've been involved in this field, probably since 1951, I believe that required non-equilibrium theory, but I can't give you an exact date.
Q: When did you first postulate your theory in writing that the non-equilibrium state is the correct one to apply to the evolution of life itself?
A: My book was published in 1968.
Q: I believe that's the book that you provided to me last night called Energy Flow in Biology?
A: That is correct.
Q: Are you familiar with the work of a fellow named Miller?
A: Stanley Miller?
Q: I believe so, yes, sir.
A: There are a lot of people named Miller.
Q: Are there any Millers other than Stanley Miller that would be working in your particular area of endeavor?
A: Not that I'm aware of.
Q: Did Mr. Miller, or let's say Doctor Miller, did Doctor Miller come up with anything unusual in the 1950's in his research?
Q: What did he come up with?
A: In Miller's experiments, he took a system of methane, ammonia and water, and in a closed system he provided energy through an electrical, high frequency electrical spark discharge, and he demonstrated the synthesis of amino acids, carbocyclic acids, and other prebiotic intermediates.
Q: Who was the previous historian, excuse me, the previous scientist in history who dealt with that same subject matter on a significant basis?
A: The origin of life?
A: Prior to the Miller experiment, I would say that the leading name in that field was A.I. O'Parin.
Q: And prior to that?
A: Prior to that, in a sense, the field didn't really exist.
Q: Why was that?
A: Because people believed through the 1800's that life arose spontaneously all the time; that maggots arose and became meat, and mice old piles of rags and so forth and so on. And as long as people believed that, there was no need to have a theory of the origin of life.
Q: Who put that theory to rest?
A: Louis Pasteur.
Q: And what were Doctor Pasteur's experiments?
A: Basically his final experiments that were most persuasive in this field consisted of flasks of sterile medium to which no organisms were admitted, and these flasks remained sterile for long periods of time.
A: Meaning no growth of living organisms occurred in them.
Q: What work has been done since Stanley Miller's work in the area of generating life in the laboratory?
A: Well, there have been some several thousand experiments on the, of the type done by Miller, follow-up experiments, where various energy sources have been flowed; there has been the flow of various kinds of energy through systems of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and
A: (Continuing) oxygen, and there has been a study of the kinds of molecules that are produced in such energy flow systems. These experiments universally show that the flow of energy through a system orders it in a molecular sense.
Q: Has anybody created life by the flow of energy?
A: Have any of those experiments resulted in the synthesis of a living cell? Is that the question?
Q: Yes, sir.
A: No. Not to my knowledge, anyway.
Q: Would you say that this area has received intensive scientific scrutiny in the scientific community?
Q: Do you have any explanation of why you have not been able to synthesize life in the laboratory?
A: It's an extremely difficult problem.
Q: What is the difficult —
A: I would point out to you that we have put far more money into trying to cure cancer, and that is still an unsolved problem, also. We have put far more time, money, effort and human endeavor into that problem, and that is also an unsolved problem because it is a very difficult problem.
Q: What is the information you need to accomplish that?
A: To accomplish the synthesis of a living cell?
Q: Yes, sir.
A: Two kinds of information. One is the detailed understanding of the chemical structure of the small molecules, micro molecules, organelles and other structures that make up a living cell. And secondly, one has to know the kinetic processes by which those structures came about in prebiotic systems.
Q: In perusing some of the literature that you've written last night, I came up with an article which would seem to indicate that sincerely believe that given enough time and research, that you or scientists like you can ultimately go back to the ultimate combinations of atoms which led to the formation of molecules.
A: That is not a question.
Q: Do you recall an article to that effect?
A: Well, you said "we can go back to that" and then there should be an `and' clause, `and do some things'.
Q: Do you believe that you can go back and ultimately understand how atoms combined to form molecules?
A: That is a branch of chemistry. That is rather well understood.
Q: Well, I'm talking about the first molecules on the surface of the earth. Do you understand my question?
A: No, I don't.
MR. CHILDS: May I approach the witness, your Honor?
THE COURT: Yes.
Q: The article that I have is Biology as a Cosmological Science, reprinted from Main Currents and Modern Thought, volume 28, number 5, May through June, 1972.
Page 50 to, well, the page number I have on this is 615186. The first column is in brackets. I'd like you to read that paragraph, please.
A: "If we are able to obtain the kind of theory of self-order, this kind of theory of self-ordering should challenge us to apply the most profound insights we can muster to link biology to non-equilibrium physical chemistry."
"The job seems very formidable indeed, but the rewards could be very great; the ability to seek out our origins in terms of a law that would promulgate our action. This is truly a new frontier, and one that challenges the maximum intellectual effort of which we are all capable."
Q: Do I understand this paragraph to mean that you believe that you and scientists from the scientific community can explain the origins of man in terms of the laws of atomic interaction?
A: I believe that the origin of life can be explained in terms of the laws of atomic interactions.
Q: Historically, has there seen a conflict between biology and physics as it relates to the three laws of thermodynamics?
A: Yes, there has.
Q: When did that conflict appear?
A: The conflict appeared at the time of the appearance of Darwin's Origin of Species.
Q: Why did that conflict between biology and physics appear?
A: Because at the time of the first formulation — That followed very shortly the formulation of the second law of thermodynamics, and people at that time thought there was a conflict between the disordering influences mandated by the laws of physics and the ordering influences mandated by the laws of evolution.
Q: And in your article you say that this apparent conflict, quote, still rages today among some who have failed to grasp the real nature of the problem." Now, I wonder if you could tell me who those people are?
A: Well, I should point out that it also states in there that the problem was essentially solved in 1886 by Bolzmann, B-o-l-z-m-a-n-n. And it has been a subtle problem, and a number of people have simply not understood the solution and therefore there has been some residual argument.
I would say by 1981 that has been almost entirely cleared up, and I know of no one other than the creation scientists who have any qualms about there being any conflict between life and the laws of thermodynamics.
Q: Do you know of a fellow named Sir Fred Hoyle, or know of Sir Fred Hoyle?
A: I have heard of Fred Hoyle, yes.
Q: What is his particular area of expertise?
A: Professor Hoyle is an astrophysicist.
Q: Does the field of astrophysics include a familiarity with thermodynamics?
A: It might. I mean, there are a number of fields within astrophysics. Some of them would certainly require thermodynamics. All of them would not.
Q: Are you aware that Sir Hoyle has come up with some probabilities which would indicate that the origination of life itself on the planet earth is impossible?
A: I have not read that work by Hoyle.
Q: Are you aware that those are basically conclusions?
A: I have not heard — I have not read that work directly.
Have you heard that? I'm not asking if you've read the books. Have you heard, do you understand that within
Q: (Continuing) the scientific community?
A: No. I had not heard that before my deposition.
Q: Is Jack Monod a molecular biologist?
A: He was a molecular biologist?
Q: Is he deceased?
A: He's now deceased.
Q: Did he write a book called Chance and Necessity in 1971?
Q: And you've spent a great deal of time putting his thesis about the origin of life to rest, have you not?
A: I have certainly disagreed with his views about the origin of life.
Q: When was your first contact with a Doctor Robert E. Kofahl?
A: I don't remember the date. I had some brief correspondence with him, probably be on the order of ten years ago.
Q: And what was your interest in communicating with Doctor Kofahl?
A: I had, shortly before that, heard of the work of the Creation Research Institute. And since I do some writing in these problems of the origin of life, I wanted to find out what their views were.
Q: For what purpose?
Q: You provided last night two letters, one dated August 10, 1976, to Doctor Kofahl, and a letter asking for his writings which would constitute a contemporary statement of fundamentalism, and a letter of September 2, 1976, thanking him for his letter.
Do you have his letter of August 24, 1976?
A: No. I went through my files in gathering any material for the deposition, and those were the only two letters from that correspondence that I found.
Q: Do you consider the creation explanation or a source of life being creation rather than chemical evolution a threat to your position in the scientific community?
A: No. Because the idea is totally outside the scientific community.
Q: And how do you define the scientific community?
A: Well, I think you're asking for a sociological definition since you are asking if it affected my position in the community. If you want a sociological definition, that should be posed to those persons making a living in the field.
Q: I asked you about your definition of science last night, didn't I?
A: We discussed it briefly.
Q: Do you recall what your definition of science was last night?
A: Well, if you have it, it would be helpful. I don't remember the exact words that I used.
Q: It's on page 56, if you would.
On the bottom of page 56, line 24, I asked you the question, "Should the public schools' science teachers teach what is accepted in the scientific community?" What is your answer on line 1 and line 2 of page 57?
A: That defines what science is. "Science is a social activity."
Q: Science is what is accepted in the scientific community.
A: That is correct.
Q: Which when you reduce it down to its simplest terms means that if the people like you or in the scientific community don't believe in it, then it's not science?
A: Of course, the community has rules by which it operates. This is not a random acceptance or rejection by the community. The community has rules dealing with natural law, testability, explanatory power, and a number of other rules like that which relates to what is accepted and what is not accepted in the scientific community. There was some implication the way you asked that question that this was a capricious sort of choice on the
A: (Continuing) part of a community of scholars. it is not a capricious choice. It's a community of scholars who are very dedicated to a discipline by which information is evaluated.
Q: Isn't that your viewpoint as somebody being on the inside looking out?
A: I don't really know how to answer that question.
Q: Well, it sort of sounds to me like somebody might be a member of a country club looking at all the people who are not a member of the club. They make their own rules and they decide who will be admitted.
A: Again, you're making the assumption that the rules are capricious. The rules are not capricious, because nature is a hard taskmaster.
Q: Who makes the rules?
A: The rules are ultimately, come from natural law. The understanding of those rules is the task of a group of people who are trying to understand that natural law, trying to study that natural law.
Q: Are you trying to say that this is some kind of interpretation of the data that people perceive of what they see around them?
A: Science deals with observations. You go from observation to constructs, which would be what you would call hypothesis, theories, and then you go back through
A: (Continuing) the loop of verification, and back to the observables again. And this is the general procedure by which science operates.
Q: Can you tell me the name of one Ivy League university that has a creation science scientist on that staff?
A: No, I cannot.
Q: Can you tell me one graduate school that you would consider reputable in the United States that has a creation scientist on the staff?
A: No, I cannot.
Q: Can you give me the names of a single journal that you would consider reputable that has a creation-scientist who reviews articles submitted for publication?
A: No, I cannot. On the other hand, I cannot give you the name of a single Ivy League school or major university or major journal in which the flat earth theory was published or reviewed.
Q: What about the theory of phlogiston?
A: I cannot give you the name of a single such institution or journal which would consider it.
Q: What is there about the concept of flat earth which requires that it not be taught?
A: It's wrong.
Q: Would you say that everybody in the scientific
Q: (Continuing) community that you know of agrees that it's wrong, the people that you know and respect?
A: Two hundred years ago this was not true, or four hundred years ago this was not true.
Q: Let me restate my question.
A: It is universally accepted — I will answer your question. It is universally accepted that the flat earth theory is wrong.
Q: Is it your conclusion as to what has been referred to in this trial as creation science is also wrong?
A: It is not science.
Q: No. My question is, is it not also your conclusion that it is wrong in the same sense that the flat earth theory is wrong?
A: Aspects of it which are lumped into that section 4(a) 1 through 6 of the law are certainly wrong.
Q: And the people you know and respect in the scientific community also think that creation science is wrong?
A: That those aspects of it are wrong, yes.
Q: So where is the democratic process that you refer to in the scientific community for creation science views?
Q: For creation science views?
A: Anyone's ideas are open-
Q: Please try to answer my question.
A: I am.
Q: Where is the democratic process in the scientific community that will allow creation science views to be presented?
A: Well, you just gave an example — When I wrote to Doctor Kofahl and asked him for a copy of his papers.
Q: Didn't you get Doctor Kofahl's papers so that you could tear them apart?
A: I got them so I could evaluate them.
Q: To show that they were wrong?
A: That was not the conclusion prior to evaluating them. I wouldn't have needed to have gotten them if I had made the conclusion before evaluating them.
Q: Do you know a Doctor John W. Patterson?
A: I don't know him. I have corresponded with him.
Q: He sent you a draft, a proposed draft, of an article to be submitted to the Creation Research Society. Do you know why he sent it to you?
A: I believe he had covered some thermodynamics in the article, and he asked me for my opinion on them.
Q: He says in the second paragraph, "I am alerting you to this because I know you have either been directly involved with the creationists in the past or, at least, I have a reason to believe you have a direct interest in
Q: (Continuing) this." Was he correct in his assertion that you have a direct interest in creation science being shown to be incorrect?
A: It has not been a very major interest of mine.
Q: Is it a direct interest of yours, as Doctor Patterson describes it?
A: Could you define what "direct interest" means?
Q: As opposed to an indirect interest?
A: I don't want to be facetious, but it seems to me major and minor interests are much more descriptive. It is a very minor interest.
Q: I have here a note, a copy of a note that you sent to a gentleman at the law firm Skadden and Arps, where you say in the third paragraph, "This is a case of great importance and I stand willing to help in any way." Does that indicate a minor interest in your life regarding creation science?
A: It indicates a major interest with respect to this case.
Q: Is your theory that— Let me start over. Do you know how life formed on the surface of the earth?
A: I have a theory of how life formed on the surface of the earth.
Q: Have you been able to take that theory and create life in the laboratory?
Q: Let me repeat my question. Do you know how life evolved on the surface of the earth?
THE COURT He just answered that.
MR. CHILDS: I think he said he had a theory.
THE COURT I think that is the answer. I think he has a theory. He doesn't know for a fact.
MR. CHILDS: I think there has been a blurring in the distinction between a theory and a fact in this lawsuit, and that is the point I am attempting to make, your Honor.
THE COURT I don't know how it's blurred, but it doesn't seem to me like that answer blurred it.
MR. CHILDS: I will move on, your Honor.
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing)
Q: Is it your position— Let me start over again. Have you attempted to apply the theory of thermodynamics to post-life evolution?
Q: In your opinion, is the case to be made for post-life evolution less clear thermodynamically?
Q: As I understand your concept of earth and sun, is that thermodynamically in relation to the sun and earth relation is in a state of unbalanced equilibrium?
A: That's a fair statement.
Q: And that when we use the phrase "an open system", that can be translated into a non-equilibrium state?
A: An open system is necessarily a non-equilibrium state. A non-equilibrium system is not necessarily open.
Q: And it's your position that the relationship of the earth and the sun, is that it is a non-equilibrium state?
A: The surface of the earth is in a non-equilibrium state, yes.
Q: What is your position as to whether or not the solar system, the planets around our sun, is an equilibrium or non-equilibrium state?
A: The solar system is in a non-equilibrium state.
Q: And what about the universe?
A: That is a question in astrophysics that goes beyond my area of expertise. That has to do with whether the universe is closed or open.
Q: Are there legitimate reputable scientist who believe the universe is a closed system?
A: That goes beyond my area of expertise.
Q: I am not asking you to testify within your area of expertise. I am asking you if you know of your own personal knowledge whether there are reputable scientists in the field who postulate that the universe is a closed system.
A: I am not really equipped to evaluate astro- physicists with respect to their competence.
Q: Is there controversy in that field in that area?
A: I believe there are astrophysicists who hold the view that the universe is open, and there are astro- physicists who hold the view that it is a closed universe, yes.
Q: Of the astrophysicists who hold the view the universe is the closed system, do you know whether or not they are creation scientists?
A: I do not.
Q: As I understood your direct testimony, there would be a transmittal of either energy or matter between the earth and the sun?
A: That is correct.
Q: Can you tell me what matter is transmitted between the earth and the sun?
A: There is some small flux of particulate matter from the sun. It's really quite negligible compared to the flow of energy in sunlight.
Q: Is it possible to calculate the amount of energy that the earth receives from the sun?
A: Yes. One can do a quite accurate calculation of that.
Q: Is it possible to accurately figure the amount of
Q: (Continuing) radiation that the earth gives off?
A: With somewhat less accuracy, but it can be calculated.
Q: With what degree of accuracy can, what you referred to last night as infrared radiation, be calculated?
A: Again, that would be generally an area that comes from the field of atmospheric physics, which I am also not an expert in, but my guess is that the flux of energy from the earth can be calculated to within a couple of percents.
Q: I believe in your direct testimony you said that the concept of creation was not in scientific literature. Did I hear your testimony correctly?
A: I believe it was that the phrase "creation science" does not occur in the scientific literature.
Q: Could it possibly have been that sudden creation is not in the scientific literature?
A: That certainly is possible.
Q: In your article, "Biology of Cosmological Science", there is a paragraph that talks about creation. I'd like you to read that paragraph yourself and tell me in what sense you were using it?
A: I believe the sense you have in mind is that this view has two rather profound consequences. First, that the universe has an origin, or as some would rather term it, a creation, meaning that the universe has an origin as
A: (Continuing) scientists would state it or a creation as others, namely, theologians, would state it.
Q: You weren't referring to scientists?
A: No. That is not an article from scientific literature. That is an article of a broader philosophical nature.
Q: It is the only one I could understand, Doctor Morowitz.
MR. CHILDS: Your Honor, could I have a few minutes?
THE COURT Yes. We will take ten minutes.
(Thereupon, Court was in
recess from 2:30 p.m.
until 2:40 p.m.)
MR. CHILDS: (Continuing)
Q: Doctor Morowitz, I want to return to the statements last night about what public school teachers teach. That's on page 56, if you want to refer back to that. My question was, "Should the public school science teachers teach what is accepted in the scientific community?"
What is your feeling about that?
A: I believe that that constitutes their subject matter.
Q: Do you think that high school or public school science teachers should teach what is accepted in the
Q: (Continuing) scientific community?
A: I think the subject matter of science is defined by what is accepted in the scientific community, yes.
Q: I'm going to pass a book to you called The World of Biology, published, copyrighted in 1974 by McGraw-Hill—
MR. CHILDS: May I approach the witness, your Honor?
THE COURT Yes, sir. By the way, you all needn't ask my permission to do that.
MR. CHILDS: Thank you, your Honor.
Q: Would you please read that yourself?
A: "Education, you know, means broadening, advancing, and if you limit a teacher to only one side of anything, the whole country will eventually have one thought, be one individual. I believe in teaching every aspect of every problem or theory."
Q: Does the line directly above that quote indicate the source of that quote?
A: Yes, it does.
Q: Who is the source of that quote?
A: John Thomas Scopes.
Q: Who is John Thomas Scopes?
A: Of the famous Scopes monkey trial.
Q: Would you please read that one more time into the record?
A: "Education, you know, means broadening, advancing,
Page is missing.
A: It means there is a difference of opinion about matters within the scientific community.
Q: And the mere fact that somebody had articles refused for publication would not indicate on its face or by itself that they were an incompetent scientist?
A: That's true.
Q: One thing that I thought I heard during your direct testimony was that the evolution of life itself is not properly considered within the area of evolution?
A: Within the area of the theory of evolution.
Q: Okay. Do you find it personally offensive that chemical evolution would be treated in the same context as biological evolution?
A: I don't find it offensive, I just don't feel that they are of necessity lumped together because of different methods by which we studied them.
Q: And that was in reference to Act 590, was it not?
Q: Did I understand your testimony correctly, that you thought it inappropriate that chemical evolution, or what would commonly be called chemical evolution, be included within the definition of evolution science in Act 590?
A: I said that was not the usual usage.
Q: Is it not customary in textbooks in the public schools for the origins of life to be considered in the
Q: (Continuing) same textbooks as biological evolution?
Q: And did I also understand during your direct testimony that a criticism that you have of Act 590 is that it does not teach all origins of life?
A: No. I was criticizing the dual model point of view which arises in the creation science literature. And Act 590 seems to follow through that dual model point of view, indicating that there are only two models.
Q: Did I understand you to say that Act 590 in some way prohibits the teaching of an additional theory in the public schools?
A: I said it presents a two-model, a dual model point of view.
Q: Okay. In your reading of Act 590, did you see any indication in itself which said this theory of panspermia couldn't be called?
A: No, I did not say that.
Q: Would you very briefly tell Judge Overton what the panspermia theory is?
A: That is the theory that life on earth was transported here from some other distant planet, galaxy, or some other astral object.
Q: Is that view held by reputable scientists within
Q: (Continuing) what you consider to be the academic community, the scientific community?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Who is someone that we might have already heard about that holds that view?
A: The most recent advocate of that book, I would gather, from having read a review of a recent book of his, is Frances Crick.
Q: What about Sir Fred Hoyle?
A: Again, I have not personally read Hoyle's work on this, but I am told he accepts the point of view that the earth passed through some rather prebiotic or biogenetic material in space and was seeded from that source.
Q: Is Sir Fred Hoyle a reputable scientist?
A: He's a well known astrophysicist.
Q: Well, is he reputable?
A: That, again, you're going to be asking me to evaluate people in astrophysics. I'm in no position to do that.
Q: Well, before when you were telling about the scientific community, I thought you were talking about a broad mainstream of science.
A: Yes. But the evaluations of people in astrophysics is done by people in astrophysics.
Q: Well, is he published in reputable journals?
Q: Are his articles subject to peer review?
Q: Do his publications meet the criteria that are ordinarily assigned to those who you would consider reputable?
A: Yes. I'm not in any way trying to attack Fred Hoyle. I'm simply stating that evaluating people in astrophysics in not my field.
MR. CHILDS: I have nothing further, your Honor.
THE COURT Any redirect?
MR. NOVIK: No redirect.
THE COURT May Doctor Morowitz be excused?
MR. CHILDS: Yes, your Honor.
THE COURT You may be excused. Thank you, sir.
having been previously sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
BY MR. WILLIAMS:
Q: Would you agree that a theory is a structure of an idea that explains and interprets the facts?
A: Yes, I think that's a statement from my article in Discover magazine.
Q: So that would be your own personal definition of a theory?
Q:. Are you a member of the Society for the Study of Evolution?
A: Yes, I am.
Q: How long have you been a member of that organization?
A: I think since I was in graduate school. I'm not sure. Probably about 1965.
Q: Are you a member of the Education Committee of that organization?
A: Yes, I am.
Q: And that was appointed by Doctor Ayala, or you were requested to serve by him?
A: Yes, I was requested to serve, and I'm not sure of the chairman.
Q: The chairman that Doctor Ayala appointed; is that correct?
A: Yes. Doctor Ayala sent the letter.
Q: And one of the charges of that committee, in essence, is to try to meet creation science and oppose it; is it not?