Deposition of Dr. W. Scott Morrow - Page 2
Q Why the Chicken Noodle Soup Theory?
A All right. It goes something like this: I
happen to like Chicken Noodle Soup. Supposedly there
was a program that was designed to give everybody as
much Chicken Noodle Soup as we wanted, so I went ahead
and decided that Chicken Noodle Soup was good for every-
body. So every day, they brought the wagon by, and
you trotted downstairs with your pail, and had as much
Chicken Noodle Soup as you wanted.
Now, you have people who are faced with the
fact that this was a poor decision on the part of the
government, like myself. Now, what do they do, do they
partake, or do they not.
Let's say the Libertarian Party, he says, go
down and eat the Chicken Noodle Soup and gat all of the
people, you know, to get Chicken Noodle Soup, and there-
by, you'll put sufficient stress on the financial or
monetary support for the program, and this will force
people's attention to the enterprise, and it will event-
ually be voted out.
If, indeed, you have benefits, as our govern-
ment has determined, claim them. That's the best way
to show that type of government benefit program is
absolutely a waste of time. If you don't claim your
benefits, then the people who are in favor of these
things will continue to lead you on.
Q What was the amount of those grants for either
of those summers?
A Well, let's see, they probably -- I would have
to guess at this -- it paid my salary for the summer,
it paid the salary, I think, of two assistants, each
summer. and they probably came up with five hundred or
a thousand dollars worth of equipment, something like
Q And what would the total of that be?
A What would my summer pay be? Well, I don't
remember right off the bat. We might be talking about,
what, two to five thousand dollars, I mean, I forget
what I was making in those days, and I don't remember
what the kids were making. That's a small amount of
money, if you compare it to, let's say, a large univer-
sity. It's not a small amount of money for a small
Q That was the first three summers you were at
Q Since then, have you received any grants?
Q Have you applied for any?
A No. As far as I know, the C.S.I.P. Program
Q Were there grants available?
A Sure. I've applied for grants, and this sort
of thing, but, I mean, they have not been accepted.
Q To whom have you applied?
A Well, we have typically applied as a depart-
ment. Okay. And I believe we applied to the National
Science Foundation probably a couple of times and --
we've also applied to the Research Corporation.
Q What was the nature of the work that you
applied for a grant with the National Science foundation?
A If I remember, as long as -- I remember two
grants which were instrumental grants that we were
requesting the money to buy specific pieces of instru-
mentation that would be used by the whole department.
And then there was a grant that I put together with a
physical chemist, that would be designed to allow us to
implement what we would call a non-traditional teaching
center at Wofford College. And I applied at N.S.F.,
and it might have been the Research Corporation, or
some other type foundation that was interested in that
kind of thing, but they weren't accepted.
Q Have you applied for any grants to do research
in the field of biochemistry?
A In biochemistry?
A The three that I got from the C.S.I.P. Program
Q Other than those three?
A Other than those three, no. I've been working
on a grant for the study of the analitical biochemistry
of certain insect forms, but the thing is, I haven't
had time to put the thing together. It takes quite
awhile to do that, when you have the teaching like we
Q What is the teaching?
A Well, it's a minimum of 21 contact hours, not
counting other duties. And typically what I have done
in the summer is teach.
Q What is Fermi's dictum?
A It's something to the effect that a really
good scientist changes his field of inquiry every ten
A That was meant to be humorous, you realize.
Q Do you think that there's any relationship
between the origin and evolution of living systems and
the conflict between the Western Civilization and the
A Wait a minute. What is that again, any rela-
A I would doubt it. If there is such a relation-
ship, it escapes me at the moment. Scientists can be
interested in things besides your science, you know.
Q I know. I have read Creation Science work
that does draw a conclusion about the relationship --
Q -- between evolution --
A Oh, that's correct. Let me say that I'm --
you recalled to my mind that I have read parallels
that some people have drawn between Marxism, Darwinism,
if you want to call it that, Oparin's work, Fox's work,
and so on. I don't see those parallels, I mean.
Q My experience in reading a lot of these books,
it usually takes about eight pages before they say
Communism is a direct result of evolutionary thinking.
A Well, I call to your attention that the
enterprised people, as well as Marxists have used
Q I agree with you a hundred percent. I'm only
saying, I have seen books that do say --
A Well, it's an intellectual right of these
Q But it's not a right that you share?
A i think it's a lot easier for people to be
an evolutionist, if they are a totalitarian. Okay?
Q Why is that?
A Which is the same thing as a socialist. I
think it's easier, but the thing is, I don't fall on
Q Why is it easier?
A Why is it easier? Well, there's more emphasis
certainly on collective processes and collective changes
with Darwinian evolution than if you have, let's say,
in a Scientific Creation concept, where maybe the em-
phasis is on individual type things happening.
Q What is the collective process that's made
reference to the Darwinism?
A Well, your Darwinism ideals relate to popula-
tion effects and the overall influence on what will
happen to a population, organisms, given enough time,
and let's say, the chance for mutation. So you are
looking at a vast group of living things, as if there
are one entity.
Q What's that got to do with Socialism?
A Well, Socialists are typically collectivists
and usually quite totalitarian. If you give me enough
time, I think I can establish that.
Q But you're an evolutionist; and you don't share
any of those views?
A That's absolutely right, because I happen to
be, like I said once before, a Stoic Libertarian.
Q You say in your resume that your goal is to
achieve a proper caliber between teaching and research?
A That's correct.
Q What research are you engaged in now?
A Well, let's see, I've got two active projects,
the first consists of developing analitical methods to
detect certain protozoa. They are called histones, in
lower life forms, where they have not been found before.
Q And the second one?
A And the second one is -- how can I summarize
that. There's a specific bacteria. You want the name
A Okay. It's Agrobacterium tumofascins.
A Now, this bacterium is known to produce plant
cancer, and what we call galls, in plants and trees.
that's a very interesting bacteria.
Now, there is considerable interest in the
research group which I'm a part to use this bacterium as
a testing agent for anti-tumor agents. In other words,
the bacterium can produce tumors in plant tissue, if
you want to know whether a specific chemical compound
can stop tumor activity. We think we have a very nice
little assay that can't take place on a petri dish.
Now, a third project has to do with the
developing, what could be called microbiological processes
to make either interesting or important industrial
chemicals or to use microbiological processes to detoxi-
fy waste that are industriously important.
Q Do you anticipate publishing papers on these?
A Yes. If we get something that can be
sufficiently complete, I'll be glad to publish it.
Everything I do is for publication. It's very difficult
to do it, given the limitations and the time and money
and student help.
Now, you asked me about this proper balance.
See, I happen to think that a teacher should also be an
active scholar. Now, if you are an experimental scien-
tist -- if you are an experimental scientist, you
should be doing research all the time, and getting
students interested in this Science, as well as just
teaching a classroom. Far too often I observe that the
people who are research scientists are not very good
teaching scholars, and many of the best teaching scholars
are not active in research. And I would like to try
to remedy that. That's why I left industry 20 years
ago, to go into the college of teaching. Or it's one
of the reasons why.
Q You list three professional societies which
you are a member?
A Yes. Could you rattle them off for me?
Q American Chemical Society?
Q American Association for the Advancement of
Q South Carolina Academy of Science?
A Yes. I don't belong to the S.C.A.S. anymore.
Q Is there any reason for that?
A No. Quite frankly, I had to delete certain
things from the family budget, which an increasing
family made necessary.
Q Are you a member of any evolutionary socities?
A Not to my knowledge, unless you include the
Q Have you ever held any office in any of these
A Well, let's see, I was -- what was it now --
these are quite insignificant. I mean, do you still want
A There's a Western Carolina American Chemical
Society, and when you are a member of the National
Organization, you are sort of automatically a member,
as I understand, of a subdivision association. I was
asked to be on there, what was it called, you know,
like new members committee, okay, sort of thing.
A And I believe I was on the same or an analo-
gous committee for the South Carolina Academy of
Sciences. I think it's called a membership committee,
or something like that.
Q Were you ever denied membership in any scien-
Q Are you a member of any of the various
Creation Science organizations?
A Other than the Arkansas group, no.
Q Were you on the mailing list for any of
Q Which group are you on the mailing list?
A Let's see, I get something from Paul Elanger's
group, the name of which I forget, and I'm on the mailing
list of the Institute for Creation Research.
Q Is this Mr. Elanger with the Citizens for
Fairness in Education?
A Yes, that's right.
Q How did you come to be on those mailing lists?
A Those poeple put me on them.
Q Without speaking to you about it?
A Yes. I mean, quite a few years ago, for
reasons I don't quite remember why, before any of this
sort of thing became popular, I suddenly found I was
getting acts and facts, and every six months, if you
want to keep getting it, you send a little card back,
and I did that. And it's a purely voluntary thing. It
doesn't cost me any money, and I find the stuff inter-
esting, and they keep sending it to me.
Q Do you have an opinion as to the Civil
Q What do you think about it?
A Well, to be perfectly frank, I do not like the
Q Now, why is that?
A To what extent should I get into this?
Q To whatever extent you think is appropriate.
A I do think they have objective concepts of
Q In what way?
A In what way? Well, some of the things that
they are interested in defending, let's say, I'm
interested in attacking.
Q Which are those things?
A In some of the things I'm interested in having
defended, they attacked.
Q What are examples of those things?
A I did not like their support for the marching
of the Nazies in Skokie.
Q And what else?
A What else? Well, within the Spartanburg area,
one of the field directors had an office right next
to mine. Now, I like the guy very much. We get along
fine. He was an inorganic chemist, and generally
speaking, I did not like the local rule that the local
ACLU was taking with respect to, let's say, discipline
in the Public School System. I felt they were far
Q Were there cases that they were involved in?
A Yes, as far as I know. I have to go back and
be very specific. I find it to be very difficult because
I don't typically retain that kind of thing.
But one had to do with whether or not the
principle of the school was able to dictate the dress
of the students and the length of hair, and I'm sure
it had to do, also, with discipline and spanking, and
things like that.
Now, I don't consider myself a medieval
torturer expert, but I do think much more solid dis-
cipline was certainly needed in the Spartanburg School
System, at the time that my peer next door was working
for the reverse.
Q And Epicurean Stoic?
A I don't know what an Epicurean Stoic is.
I'm a Stoic.
Q I'm sorry. A Stoic Libertarian?
A In order to try to clarify what I believe in,
I used those terms, stoic libertarian.
Q Does a stoic libertarian believe it's impor-
tant to have short hair?
Q Or dress in a certain manner?
A Not necessarily.
Q But you think that the government should
A I think --
Q -- short hair and dress codes?
A Certainly not.
Q So what is your disagreement with this?
A The disagreement is this, if you have a
Public School System, and if you have people that are
put in charge of that Public School System, and among
other things, they are supposed to maintain a good
atmosphere for learning, you must have a certain amount
of learning discipline. Now, this includes things
like laying down dress and conduct codes. And as far
as I'm concerned, the ACLU was interested in having no
dress, no conduct codes worth talking about.
Now, from a national standpoint, I regret
to say, that the various things that I think the ACLU
have gotten involved in are --
Q What are those things?
A Preservation of our security and our freedom.
Q How has the ACLU interfered with the preser-
vation of our security and freedom?
A I think it would make it very difficult to
make any law to be sensibly enforced.
Q Are you thinking of any specific examples?
A Well, just recently I read in the newspaper
of the bond which was reduced from twenty million dollars
to five hundred thousand dollars for a specific dope
smuggler. He probably jumped bail. Now, if what I've
read in the paper is correct, and if the ACLU typically
is in favor of reducing such bonds, I don't consider
that in the best interest of the United States of
Q Are you familiar that the ACLU plead no role
in that drug smuggler's case?
A According to the newspaper, the ACLU was
responsible in getting the bond reduced, and not just
in that case, but generally.
Q Are you aware of any involvements of the
ACLU that are --
A Again, from what I read and remember, and
a preferial fashion, the ACLU seems to be in favor of
rather lenient sentences for -- for people accused or
convicted of crimes, where I think the sentences should
be much more severe. I also think that the ACLU is
overly interested in defending people whose apparent
purpose is to frankly undermind this country.
Q Who would that be, please?
Q Who would that be, for instance?
A Roughly people like Algil Hess.
Q Who else?
A Rosenberg, all the way down.
Q Who else?
A Well, it would take me a little while to sit
down and recite a whole list. Wouldn't that be, at
least, a good example of what I'm talking about?
Q I guess. I guess I was looking for more
A Well, what's wrong with those guys?
Q Well, nothing is wrong.
A Why not go back to some of the classical
situations. I mean, if the ACLU, and if the ACLU makes
it possible for it to be difficult to prosecute Algil
Hess, that bothers me.
Q But he was prosecuted and convicted --
A Of a rather minor crime, right.
Q And the Rosenbergs were prosecuted and con-
A And eventually put to death, yes. And typi-
cally, I think you have people in the ACLU today who
would like to erect the whole Rosenberg thing and make
them into martyrs and heroes and quite frankly, they
Q Are you aware of any activity on behalf --
A Not specifically. Right now, it is a question
of reading over the years what people either who were
in the ACLU had to say about it or what the organization
had to say about it in a formal way.
Q What have you -- I mean -- who do you link with
the ACLU with the defense of the Rosenbergs?
A Well, again, we are talking -- you are asking
me to be specific, and these are the kinds of things
where you don't remember things specifically. You
remember a fact in the past, and you remember the con-
clusion, but you don't remember the specificity thereof.
I also find the ACLU also, most insufficiently
in its activities, let's say, in defending the right
to work laws. I had a long discussion with my friend
next door, whose no longer there, but my friend next
door, who felt that the right to work laws, of course,
were not a proper, what, realm for the SCLU activity.
Q What are you referring to, the rights to
A The right of a person to join a union and not
to join a union, and not to be coerced one way or the
other. And I would be amazed if you could find me any
ACLU members who are not opposed to the not to work
Q How long have you been opposed to that?
A Well, I didn't start out being opposed to
them. I was a radical socialist until I was 30 years
old. And when I found out a little bit of what was
going on, I changed my mind.
Q Are you a member of any church, Dr. Morrow?
Q Do you read the Bible with any regularity?
Q When was the first time you had any contact
with the Arkansas Attorney General's office in this
A The last time?
Q The first time.
A The first time. Well, I don't remember
the date. I guess it may have been about a month or
so ago. Somebody called me up from the office --
let's see. What was the guy's name. I'll have to look
at my briefcase to dig it out.
Q Tim Humphries?
A It was a guy before Tim.
Q Rick Campbell.
A I think it was Rick Campbell.
Q And what did he say to you when you called?
A I don't remember exactly, but it was
something -- I guess it was something to the effect
about me appearing in the case as a witness, and I
guess he asked me what I thought about it.
Q Did he say how he got your name?
A I don't remember, I really don't. I would
guess he had been given it by Wendel Byrd, I think,
who called me up earlier. That's just a guess, though.
Q Did Mr. Byrd ask you to be a witness in
the case or if you would be a witness in the case?
A I don't know if he asked me. I may have
volunteered before he asked me.
Q Has Mr. Byrd been in contact with you
A I don't believe so.
Q Well, when you got in touch -- when Mr.
Byrd got in touch with you in relation to this case,
is this the first time you had spoken with him?
A I believe so.
Q Is it the only time that you have spoken
A Well, I may have spoken to him more than
once, but I doubt if I have spoken to him more than
Q Did he visit with you in Spartanburg?
Q Who drafted the intervenous document
that we were looking at before?
A You mean this thing? (Indicating).
Q No, no. I mean this (indicating).
A Frankly, I don't remember. It may have
Q But did you basically speak with him
over the phone and relate this --
A I know I spoke with Byrd at length over
the telephone. Now, it could be that as a result of
that consequence, he put this together. That would
seem to fit. I don't think it was Humphries, though,
and I don't think it was Campbell.
Q Have you ever testified in any court
A Any court proceedings?
A I testified in the suit once.
Q What was that suit in relation to?
A Well, on February 23rd, 1963, a very
precociousness boy, age 15, burned down an apartment
house that I was living in, and about three weeks
prior to that time, the superintendent of the building
found the same boy setting a similar fire. He stopped
the boy, admonished him not to do it again, and didn't
tell anybody else.
Three weeks later, the boy pulled off a
coup de grace; whole place went up like a Roman candle
at 6:00 o'clock in the morning with me on the top floor.
Damn near killed me and a lot of other people; produced
a lot of material damage; almost wiped out my Master's
This bothered me a great deal and also
bothered the other people who lived there; so we
sued the apartment manager -- or I should say, you
know, the owner for restitution of damages, since we
maintained the manager was, of course, incompetent.
Among other things, we lost the suit.
And there was a trial, and I had to appear at the
trial and, I guess, what, testify.
You know why we lost the suit?
A One witness who overheard the boy
confessing had a heart attack and died before the
trial. The heart attack had been brought on by the
stress of the fire. The manager, who freely admitted
his negligence to the commissioner -- the fire
commissioner of the City of Philadelphia vanished
and was not available for the trial. The judge did
not allow the fire commissioner to testify for
reasons I found most perplexing.
Q Hearsay, I suppose.
A No. He interviewed the kid. He inter-
viewed the kid on the day of the fire and got a sworn
testimony from him. Now, the boy refused to testify
on grounds of the -- what was it, the Fifth Amendment.
A And so the judge threw it out. That
bothered me a great deal; made me rather less liberal
in such things.
Q Have you testified in any other kind of
quasi judicial proceedings?
A Not that I can remember.
Q Before a Legislature.
A Oh, oh. Well, I testified before the
South Carolina General Assembly Education Committee
with respect to the South Carolina Creation Law --
South Carolina Creation Evolution Law.
Q When was that?
A Let's see. It was either one or two years
ago in the spring.
Q Did you prepare a written speech for that?
Q Do you know if there's a transcript of
A If there exists one, I don't know of it.
I typically do not like to write things down. I
prefer to speak.
Q Was the testimony that you gave before the
South Carolina Legislature, do you anticipate it will
be similar to the testimony that you would give in
A I'd like to think I had more time. I
think they gave me ten minutes; and essentially what
I said was that I found no difficulty -- I foresaw
no difficulty teaching biology, shall we say --
modern biology, if I had to work under the South
Carolina law. I also pointed out that the principle
of falsification applied equally to evolution and
I also said something to the effect that
in my experience, very few high school biology
teachers really knew enough about evolution to teach
it intelligently. They didn't like that. They were
all out there in the audience and treated me as some
kind of pariah.
Q Any other kind of testimony similar to
A I don't think so --
Q Before any school boards or --
A No. I've told a few people I'd be glad
to talk if they wanted me to, but they haven't asked
Q Have you ever given speeches on Creation
Science and evolution?
A I, shall we say, sort of lectured in an
ad hoc way around school on the controversy and on
what could be called what we should be doing in
teaching science, and I remember once I had a
luncheon talk before the Spartanburg Ministerial
But none of these were prepared -- you
know, I prepared what I was going to say, but I didn't
have any written down. I learned years ago that I
simply didn't follow a written text anyway.
Q Have you ever been charged or convicted
of any crime?
A Not that I know of.
Q Have you discussed the specifics of your
testimony with anyone from the Arkansas Attorney
A Oh, a little bit with Mr. Childs here
before we came in here.
Q What did you discuss?
A What did we discuss? Oh, I would say,
in a general way, the kinds of things I might be
asked. But I think he rather spent much more time
asking me about myself, the kind of things I found
Q What about your testimony did you discuss?
A Very, very general things.
- - -
Q What were the general things that you
A Let me see. I remember something to the
effect that an important aspect, I guess, of your
challenge to the law rests upon academic freedom.
And I guess also that we may have spent a little time
talking about what creationism means or is involved
and how it posed evolution.
He didn't put words in my mouth or
something like that, it's very difficult.
Q Are there specific areas that you anti-
cipate testifying about?
A I would expect three. I think I told him
there were three.
Q What are they?
A I would like to testify or would feel
comfortable testifying -- this is not in order of
increasing or decreasing importance or anything like
First to a certain extent as a scientist
on what I would think would be the scientific aspects
of the dispute, if there is any.
Secondly, I would like to testify as a
teacher; and thirdly, as a private citizen, parent.
Q What would be your testimony as a private
citizen or parent?
A I see absolutely no inconsistency with the
First Amendment. I think singularly, unmoved by
judicial decisions, to the contrary. And I also
believe there's a concept of fairness and fair play
that's a part of what I call the American Concept.
And I think you guys are against it.
Q Does the Arkansas Citizens for Balanced
Education in Origins believe that the Flat Earth
Theory should be taught in school --
A I thought --
Q -- the Phlogiston Theory.
A I doubt it.
Q Why not?
A There is rather poor evidence for those
Q Is there good evidence for Creation of
A I think it is better than the two things
that you mentioned. We can certainly disprove the
Flat Earth Theory by flat out experiments. Phlogiston
was discarded quite a bit ago.
Q So was Creation of Science.
A Only in the minds of certain people. I
would call to your attention that vitalism was also
was also discarded a hundred years ago and it keeps
popping its little head up.
Q I guess that gets me back to where I
started. What's the scientific evidence that supports
A The science that supports Creation Science
would be those pieces of evidence that would appear
to explain things better than Evoluation Science.
Q What would that be?
A Preeminently the statistical difficulty
with having those reactions occur, as I see it. That
to me is enough; that to me -- there is enough
difficulty with the statistics to allow or to insist
upon the inclusion of an alternative model in a
compulsory government-run school system.
Q An alternative model, is that the earth
10,000 years ago, an alternative model that there is
a massive world-wide flood that lay down the geologic
column in one year?
A Well, if they wanted to present the
evidence for it, it would be very interesting.
Q I guess what I don't understand is --
A It becomes to what you are trying to foster
in a school classroom.
Q That's exactly the point.
A Now, we get down to basics, as far as I
am concerned. You guys essentially are putting
yourselves in the position of the State of Tennessee
about the middle of the 1920's. You want to close
out other ways of reasoning through the evidence.
And rather interestingly, what could be
called our side is in the position that scopes that
in a very broad general way of understanding. You
fellows want a close forum for your own pet model.
And if I may continue, you want to do it
at public expense, yes. Government schools are run
by taxpayers' money. You won't make it voluntarily.
It's like a lot of other things that I think again
that the ACLU wants.
You don't like voluntaryism when it
touches on the things that are really important.
You fail to see relationships where they are absent.
And also difficulties where they are absent.
(Thereupon, an off-the-record discussion
MR. CHILDS: Just because David is
representing ACLU does not mean that he
necessarily agrees with all of the contents
that they stand for.
He is an advocate. Don't direct anything
personally to David.
THE WITNESS: I don't mean it personally,
I just happen to get that way.
MR. KLASFELD: No offense taken and
I am sure not intended.
THE WITNESS: When I get in debates
with people, the same thing happens with
me. Let's just say that I feel very strongly
about these things and I am not accustomed
to discussing totally dispassionately.
MR. KLASFELD: Fair enough, neither
Q (By Mr. Klasfeld) I guess my problem is
from a frankly just a sort of intellectual scientific
point of view is if there is -- as a scientist, you
are unsatisfied about the possibility of the Creation
of Life from nonlife during the two billion years
Why not just say that's a problem with
the evolution model? Why contrast it --
A For several reasons.
Q Let me finish. Why contrast it or allow
it to be contrasted in school with other models which
you testified earlier which you know of no scientific
evidence to support five of the six criteria for the
A Well, there are several reasons that are
involved here, reasons of my opinion. One has to do
with what you should be doing in a classroom, okay?
Now, what you should be doing as a teacher
is fostering, understanding, and learning and
facilitating on the part of the students that develop-
ment of what could be called an inquiring mind. You
should be developing what could be called healthy
intellectualism. I don't believe you do that when
you only have one explanation for any phenomenon.
Now, we go back to Phlogiston. Quite
frankly, if you take the trouble to present to the
students the arguments for the Phlogiston Theory,
Lavoisier argues to the contrary. You foster on
the part of the students an understanding of what
the scientific method involves.
Now, I don't think you would be opposed
to presenting Phlogiston in that light, and I don't
see any reason to be opposed to having scientific
I could name several other things where
typically if you have a multiple-working hypothetical
approach, better learning, better teaching, and
better education can be one of the consequences.
Q My question really is: Why not contrast
Oparin and Fox's thinking with directed panspermiogenesis?
A Why just have two models, why not have
Q But if your concern is simply limited to
the notion of whether or not two billion years is
sufficient time for life to have developed from nonlife
on the planet, why is it necessary to get involved
with a theory in which you don't believe in any of the
aspects of it?
A Well, there are other things that are
separate from the technical aspects of the question.
And these include the sensitivities of the people in
the country who help support the public school system.
I mentioned a while ago that we have a concept called
"fairness in this country." And one way that you allow
fairness to occur is to allow parents or allow
taxpayers who are a minority group to have their views
You don't just have a simple presentation
of one explanation for a whole series of things which
apparently are factual in a classroom.
Q Based on the scientific evidence, isn't it
insane to think that the world was created 10,000
A I think insanity requires only one kind
of thing to be presented to developing intellects.
Q Maybe insane was too strong a word.
But isn't it the epitome of nonscience to think that
the world was formed 10,000 years ago and to teach
that to schools?
A The epitome of nonscience is a closed-
mind presentation of any topic. Now, if there is a
body of opinion that asserts that the world is 10,000
years old, I think there is plenty to be gained in a
course in science to handle the evidence for that.
What do the evolutionists have to be
afraid of? Are they afraid, for example, that the
evidence is so strong that some people may think the
earth is only 10,000 years old? What's the fear?
Q Do you think there is any evidence that
the earth is 10,000 years old?
A Personally, I don't know of any. But
that doesn't mean to say that I don't think people
ought to be allowed to present it.
And the other thing is that people have
to get the kind of education that they think their
kids ought to have. The education that kids get in
a classroom should not be picked by the teacher up
Q How would you decide what is taught and
what isn't taught in a classroom?
A Ultimately, the people who vote in a
state or school district. We have what could be
called a democracy. You present your ideas and
express your strength or influence through all sorts
of indirect mechanisms like school boards, okay?
A If you are going to have a public school
system, then you have to decide what's going to be
taught. The only way you can decide that in a fair
way is let the people decide.
Q We should vote?
A Not just the practitioners.
Q We should vote as to what gets taught in
A You should vote for people who represent
your views. You can't vote on every nit-picking
thing obviously. But the people who make up the
backbone of the country should be able to pick who
they want to represent their views, the view shouldn't
come down the other way.
Q If Arkansas and South Carolina voted to
teach that we were at war with England and Germany
was on our side in World War II, that should be
taught in history class?
A If the people of Arkansas are paying for
the education, ultimately they are the ones who should
be able to decide what's taught.
Q If they wanted --
A If they want nonsense taught, they should
be allowed to teach nonsense.
Q That would be okay with you as an educator?
A I wouldn't be happy with that specific
teaching, but we would be much better off having
the people of the state teach nonsense since they
are paying for it than a totalitarian way of learning
things that they are also having to pay for.
In other words, I am a believer in
freedom, young man, not the idea of teachers doing
anything they like.
Q I understand and appreciate that.
A I find the alternative argument is most
reprehensible; that indeed -- I can't ask any questions.
Q You can ask me questions.
A How will you decide what's taught in a
Q How would I decide?
Q That isn't the question that i was
A That's the one that I asked.
Q Some questions are appropriate for me to
answer and some aren't. That I view as one that's
A Okay. There is a very simple way out of
this whole problem: You don't teach either.
Q You don't teach either?
A Right, isn't that rather obvious? Is it
critical to the safety or sensible progress of this
country that we always treat all controversial things
in public education?
Q No, of course not.
A Well, I point out to you that the
typical pieces of legislation are in favor that
we don't require the teaching of Creation Science;
we require it as a balance.
Q But as far as you are concerned, whoever
the Arkansas taxpayers want taught in schools is
what should be taught in schools?
A You have oversimplified it. It has to
do with the public school system and, let's say, the
court as a last resort should again do what the
people want taught.
Q Regardless of the factual merit of what
they want taught?
A Yes, because they are paying for it.
What is a fact to one group of people is not a fact
to some other group of people.
Q Is there some specific incident that
changed you from a radical Socialist to the
philosophy that you hold today?
A Several things happened over a period of
about, roughly, ten years.
Q What were they?
A In the first place, I made the acquaintance
of a man who was one of the ten best chess players
in the world, Paul Schmidt.
Dr. Schmidt was a chemist in a laboratory
where I was an assistant. And as you probably suspect,
I like to talk about things. When I was the lowest
guy on the tandem pole in this lab, I bothered all of
the chemists with the ideas of Lenin and Marx and
By and large, they ignored me and treated
me with, let's say, a great deal of amenities. I
was the best guy they had that ever cleaned the
One day Schmidt came over to me and said,
"Bill, have lunch with me and read a little book that
I will give you." I proceeded to do it. Over
approximately one year, Schmidt and I had lunch
a few times each week and discussed the book.
Being essentially young and stupid, his
ideas didn't really sink in until I was a bit older.
The little book was Frederick Hyek's The Road to
Then I also made the acquaintance later
on when I was 29 years old of a fellow who was much
younger than me who was my lab assistant. He had
no real complete college education. His name was
Harold. Harold and I liked to talk about politics
and political theories and economic theories. No
one else in the lab liked to do this.
So Harold and I had lunch every day for
a long period of time. I found much to my discomforture
Harold was a better analyzer of human behavior in the
marketplace than I was. Now, let's see, were there
other people in between? Somewhere along the line,
I picked up Ayn Rand's Fountainhead. Let's see.
Those are the things that remained in my
mind. Harold, Dr. Schmidt, and Ayn Rand.
Q Did this conversion take place around
the same time that you changed your name?
A No, totally unrelated.
Q I asked at the same time, not whether or
not it was related.
A No, I essentially changed my opinions
when I was approximately 29 to 30 years of age. And
the name change occurred later.
Q What's the first contact that you had
with the Creation Science movement?
A The first contact?
A I guess the first time they ever sent me
a copy of Acts and Facts.
Q How did you come by that?
A Frankly, I don't remember. I am not trying
to be evasive, but all kinds of stuff is sent to me
all the time. I have no idea how I get on many of
these mailing lists.
Q How long was that?
A I am sure it was several years ago, I
guess. But I really have no idea how I got the
first copy of it; I really don't know.
Q When was the first time you initiated
any kind of contact?
A Let's see. It probably was this letter
to Major Rhodes which I told you I can't find. And
I wish someone would find a copy so I can have a copy.
MR. CHILDS: I am sure they will
A (Continuing) Okay. It seems to me that
my friend, the botanist downstairs, may have had
something that he circulated -- and I know I have
got it in my briefcase -- a whole series of statements
one, two, three, four, five, and, I think, the appended
letter had something to say like if you agree or
disagree with any of these things, please contact
Major Rhodes, the President of the South Carolina
Biological Teachers Association.
So I sat down and typed out a letter to
Major Rhodes telling him where I stood. I also
challenged him to debate it. I never heard from the
guy, of course. That's how I got started with Rhodes.
I don't remember how Wanger first heard
of me, but it would be conceivable that somehow or
another I had gotten on the mailing list of the
Creation Research Society or whatever you call it;
that they may have automatically sent Al Wanger all
of the names of the people in South Carolina. And
maybe he contacted me that way, I just can't remember.
Q Are there any other criteria that you have
that you view as indicia of science?
A As what?
Q As indicia of science.
A I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with the
word you used. Indicative of?
Q That's another form of the word.
A By and large, I think something is
scientific and direct proportional to how well you can
Q So testability?
A I think that's the ultimate thing, the
Q You had made reference before to falsifi-
A That has to do with testability. If you
can by tests show something is incompatible with the
facts, then that satisfies the falsifibility criteria.
Q Is evolution testable?
A Some processes of it are, yes.
Q Which processes?
A Mutation and, I think, certain aspects of
Q Which other processes of evolution aren't
A I think the other sort of thing is
observational. In other words, You said essentially --
Q Another criteria.
A Well, observation is not as good as
control testing obviously. I mean, the essence of
doing a scientific experiment is to be able to
manipulate viabilities and see what their relative
I don't think you can do this observation-
ally with evolution, not in the past.
You dig down and take out a core of what's
down there and try to make sense of what you are
looking at. And you try to fit that into what we
know about such processes --
Q But you don't think that's testable?
A What I said previously was that I don't
believe we have a way of testing how life began on
the planet, okay? Once you got a cell, I can accept
the idea that the cell could have evolved and given
us, let's say, advanced life forms that characterizes
the earth right now.
But I don't see any way that we can test
or prove how that first cell got here. I think it is
Q Okay. But after the appearance of life
on the planet -- however that occurred -- is the
rest of evolution testable?
A The processes are testable. We can show
that mutation occurs. We can presumably make
calculations to approximate the rate of mutation
in terms of solar radiation, for example.
And then we try to fit that into what
would be needed to create the rather large genetic
changes that are needed and going from, let's say,
a bacterium to a simple bucarriotic cell and up to
We can test those processes in a very
limited way. I find those results very encouraging.
And I think they are a very useful and excellent model
to account for that Darwinian-type of evolution.
Now, the earlier part is where the problem is.
Q Is the three billion years or so from the
first appearance of life on the earth to the present
sufficient in your mind to have accomplished evolution
from the basic forms to life as we know it on earth
A Probably, although I see some stumbling
blocks. I find it very difficult to see how the human
brain could have evolved all right. That's a very
complex structure and I find that very difficult to
understand. Anatomical variety and physiological
complexity, separate from the brain, I have intuitive
sense that this is not too difficult.
Q Do you have a theory about how the brain
got to its present capabilities?
A No. You have to rely on the ideas of
Q Is Creation Science testable?
A I would say it is testable; it is non-
testable to the same extent that evolution is in
during that early period.
Q In the early period?
A In the early period. Now, in the later
period, my reasoning would be something like this:
If the creation scientists say there was a world-wide
flood 10,000 years ago, then it is incumbent upon
them to show us the evidence for it. Then when we see
the evidences, then we deal with the evidences. It
is not incumbent upon me to show nonevidences, although
it wouldn't work.
Q Have they shown you any evidences?
A No. The creation scientists have not
been particularly interested in converting me to being
a creation scientist.
Q To the extent that you have done reading
on it, have you seen any evidence that supports the
notion of a world-wide flood in the last 10,000 years?
A No, not that I found persuasive. Typically,
as I said previously, Creation Science is based more
upon identifying and maybe interrelating what looked
like inconsistencies in evolutionary theory.
The fact that the creationists don't,
to my way of thinking, have a coherent model, that
does not make their approach intellectually unacceptable.
Q How would you distinguish between the
creationists' model and sort of a model that would
hypothesize that a Creator made the world yesterday
and implanted within us the memories that there
existed a time before that? How would you distinguish
those two models?
A I'm unaware that any creationists
proposed that the world was made yesterday.
Q I am proposing my own model.
A I would certainly say fine, let's see
your evidence for it.
Q I have no evidence for it.
A Then I can't very well do much with it.
I can't prove the lack of availability of your evidence
if you can't show me the evidence.
Q What's the evidence for --
A In a dialogue like this, it is incumbent
or it's the responsibility of the person that makes
the assertion to offer the first evidence.
Q What is the evidence that the creationists
have asserted which suggests that the world was made
a million years ago?
A What is the evidence of that?
A Well, among other things, the creation
scientists do not believe or do not accept the dating
methods as far as I know. And I would say they like
to believe -- they point out insufficiencies in,
let's say, the operating physics that make possible
Q Do you have any of your own personal
doubt of the efficacy of carbon dating?
A No, I don't. But the thing is I am not
a specialist in radio carbon dating. Generally
speaking, in science, what we have is a lot of
faith in science. We typically called it confidence
in other people and what they do. Okay.
Now, if I read, for example, the work of
Willard Libbey on radio carbon dating, I am left with
two alternatives: Either Willard Libbey knows what
he is talking about or he doesn't. I prefer to believe
that Willard Libbey knows what he is talking about.
Q Whose writings do you believe on the
problems created by the gaps in the --
A Try that again.
Q You testified earlier --
A That there are gaps --
Q In the fossil record that are not
satisfactorily explained by evolution science.
A I would be happy if there are more
Q My question is: Which writings that
question the gaps in the fossil record lead you to
believe that the creation scientists have a better
solution to those gaps?
A I don't believe they have a better solution
to those gaps. We are again on the Darwinian side
of things. I don't think they have a better solution,
but that does not mean to say that again in a classroom
that those views should not be expressed.
Q I guess we spent a few hours talking.
A Let me try this one on you. Let's say
we are talking about what caused the Great Depression.
Now, as far as I know, nobody knows what caused the
Great Depression. But the only way to try to find out
what caused the Great Depression is to show in model
explanations and try to test them, that's the thing.
Q We have been talking for a few hours.
We will talk for a few more hours.
THE WITNESS: Can we take a break?
MR. KLASFELD: Sure.
(Thereupon, a short break was held.)
- - -
Q Let me not take up where I ended off.
I'll get back to it, but not just now. I do, however,
want to get back to what we spoke about just at the
beginning, which is your belief that there wasn't
enough time in the two billion years or so before
life appeared on the planet for life to have been
created from nonlife.
Just what are the calculations that you do
to lead you to believe that that was unlikely, if not
A Well, one would have to estimate how
long, let's say, a piece of DAN would be needed for
self replications. This would be one approach, now,
just one approach. Then you would have to estimate
what the probable concentrations were.
Q Concentrations of what?
A Of the molecular building blocks of the
DNA. You'd have to estimate these concentrations on
the primitive earth. Then you would have to estimate
how frequently these molecules would collide or come
into contact. You'd have to estimate how frequently
they would form, what we call dynode nucleotides.
Like, you have a mononucleotide here and a mononuc-
leotide here; two come together; it they attach
properly, you get a dynode nucleotide. You'd have
to make the calculations that would indicate how
successful these calculations would be toward building
a long chain.
Now, I don't think that I could make those
calculations from a kinetic standpoint. It would
take a kineticist to do it. But intuitively, I strongly
feel that there's not enough time for that to occur.
Now, that would just be a piece of DNA.
Q What leads you to this intuitive belief?
A It's a sense of statistical probability.
Let's see. How can I explain it? I don't know any
way that we can show that mononucleotides will build
up a long chain by simple molecular contact in the
absence of a catalyst, and then the catalyst would
not be available unless it had the form.
Q What catalyst are you referring to?
A Well, today, we have enzymes; so we would
be talking about whether an enzyme were available to
foster the formation of a nucleotide polymer.
Q What about -- what do you find unsatisfactory
about Stanley Miller's experiments?
A I don't find anything unsatisfactory about
what I know of Stanley Miller's experiments. Are you
talking about the famous Urey-Miller experiment?