Deposition of Michael E. Ruse
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
REV. BILL McLEAN, et al., :
THE STATE OF ARKANSAS, et al., :
Deposition of MICHAEL
ESCOTT RUSE, held at the offices of
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Esqs.,
919 Third Avenue, New York, New York,
on the 23rd day of November, 1981, at
9:15 o'clock a.m., pursuant to Notice,
before Walter Holden. C.S.R., and
Thomas W. Murray, C.S.R., Notaries
Public of the State of New York.
JACK D. NOVICK, ESQ.
Assistant Director for Affiliate Program
American Civil Liberties Union
132 West 43rd Street
New York, New York 10036
STEVE CLARK, ESQ.
State of Arkansas
Little Rock, Arkansas
DAVID L. WILLIAMS, ESQ.,
M I C H A E L E S C O T T R U S E,
called as a witness, having been first duly
sworn by the Notary Public, was examined and
testified as follows:
Q. Would you state your name, please?
A. Michael Escott Ruse.
Q. It's Dr. Ruse, I believe?
Q. My name is David Williams and I am with
the Attorney General's office and we are here this
morning for your deposition in the case of McLean
versus the State of Arkansas. I am going to be
asking you questions about your background, about
anticipated testimony and perhaps some other areas
concerning this case. If I ask any questions that
are ambiguous, please let me know and I will try
to rephrase them.
Have you had your deposition taken
Q. Have you testified in court before?
Q. Has Mr. Novik or other attorneys
explained to you what a deposition is and the
purposes of it?
MR. WILLIAMS: Before we get started,
it's my understanding that plaintiffs are not
waiving signature of Dr. Ruse's deposition. The
plaintiffs have been requesting of us that the
deposition be signed within five days. If not
signed within five days it may be used as if it
MR. NOVICK: Have you agreed to that
when we made the request?
MR. WILLIAMS: I think we had some
response that we will try to do it as
expeditiously as possible.
MR. NOVIK: I will try to do it as
expeditiously, as well.
Q. Dr. Ruse, are you married?
Q. Separated. Do you have any children?
A. I do, two.
Q. What are their ages?
A. Nigel 12 and Rebeccas 9, nearly 10.
Q. Where do they attend school?
A. Nigel goes to St. John's School, Eloria.
That is in Ontario, and Rebecca goes to St.
Margaret's school in Eloria.
Q. Are those public or private schools?
A. They are private schools.
Q. Are they affiliated with any particular
Q. That would be?
A. Anglican. I guess you call it
Q. Have they taken any science courses as
A. Yes. At that sort of level.
Q. Are you aware of any of the content of
the science courses they have taken?
Q. Has the subject of origins been
discussed in any of their classes?
Q. Could you tell me what you know about
the discussion within their classes?
A. Nigel came home and told me that
dinosaurs were warm blooded.
MR. NOVIK: I would like to note for
the record that Dr. Ruse is a Canadian citizen
living in Canada, and that consequently the laws
of the Constitution of Canada would govern what
was appropriate to teach in the public schools, in
the schools of Canada, public or private. And
that those laws and Constitution and statutes, et
cetera, have very little bearing on what is
appropriate in the United States.
I think the line of inquiry is somewhat
irrelevant for that reason. But you are welcome
to continue with the understanding of his
citizenship and where he lives.
MR. WILLIAMS: Thank you, I am aware he
is a Canadian citizen.
Q. Would you please continue concerning
what Nigel said?
A. Nigel has been taught evolution, and
they have a science fair once a year. And he gave
his entry last time was insectivorous plants.
Venus fly traps. You may know that Darwin worked
on these. He discussed this and he gave it as an
Q. What of Rebecca?
A. I don't think it's been anything as
Q. Do you know whether THE CREATION
SCIENCE MODEL OF ORIGINS or anything on that order
has been discussed in their classes?
A. To the best of my knowledge, no. That
is to the best of my knowledge.
Q. Do you know whether THE CREATION
SCIENCE MODEL OF ORIGINS is discussed in either
public or private schools in Canada?
A. It is.
Q. In what way and in which schools?
A. Well, you got to draw a distinction --
again, as with you, we have different provinces.
I believe our provinces have a great deal more
autonomy on what they teach than with respect to
you in that we don't yet have a Constitution. Ask
me next week, we might have one.
We have both a public -- our public
school system is both secular and religious. In
Ontario we have a Catholic school system which is
state supported, and I believe, but I am not
speaking as an expert now, I think New Foundland
doesn't have any nonsecular schools, nonchurch
Q. Is it correct that the province in turn
has much discretion as to whether they want to
support a parochial school?
Q. Could you please continue?
A. Again, please understand I am not
speaking as an expert now.
Q. I understand.
A. I am just reading what I have read in
the paper and that sort of thing. But I
understand in some provinces in Ontario, in fact
evolution of creation is taught, I even understand
in parts of Alberta not much else is taught. In
fact, evolution is not taught.
I understand in Ontario one can
withdraw from the classroom if you don't like
evolution. You know, as I say, that is about -- I
believe that there are some -- I believe Nova
Scotia doesn't allow creation to be taught. That
is about as far as I can -- I am talking now about
biology classes as opposed say to general
discussion classes. Of course, again I am -- I
only have my own personal experience which has
been at the elementary level, not the high school
levels. I was not a student myself in Ontario.
Q. Have you reviewed any materials which
are used to teach creation science in Canada?
A. I don't know.
Q. Do you have copies of any of it?
A. Again, I have to say I don't know.
Q. You say you don't know. You don't know
whether you reviewed any of it or not?
A. I don't know whether I have reviewed
material which has been used in Canadian schools.
In other words. I have reviewed material. Whether
it's been used in Canadian schools -- I have
reviewed the Bible.
Q. How do they teach creation science, to
the best of your knowledge, in the Canadian
schools, where it is taught?
A. You know, I really don't know. As I
say, I am not an expert on Ontario or other school
systems. I presume that it's presented as at
least an alternative model, if not as -- I don't
know. As I say, I don't live in Alberta, for
example, and I read what I see in the paper. But
I am not, what shall I say, I am not a high school
Q. You have taken no steps the try to find
out how it is taught?
A. Not as yet.
Q. How long has it been taught there, to
A. Again, I, to be honest, it's not
something I know, though I say it, we learn more
about what goes on in America. By America, I mean
the U. S., than we do in Canada today. Much
things are much more polarized -- how shall I put
it, easy to define in America. You have a
Constitution, we don't.
Q. Are you a member of any organized
Q. Have you been in the past a member of
Q. Which faith is that?
Q. Could you give me the dates of the
A. I say from about the age of five -- I
might still be on the books in England.
Q. You no longer consider yourself a
Q. At what point did you consider yourself
to have -- to no longer be a member of the Quaker
A. It's a difficult question to say. To
answer. In the sense that I would no longer have
identified with them say in the early 20's. My
Q. What would you then be, approximately?
A. In my early 20's.
Q. You were born in 1940, sometime in 1960?
A. Yes, in the '60's.
Q. You say you no longer identified with
them. Could you describe why you no longer
identify with them?
A. The simplist thing to say is I came to
Canada in '62 and made just de facto something of
a break with my past life. I don't mean that any
more than a 3,000 mile trip is a past life.
Q. If you could explain further, because
the simple mileage does not explain to me how you
put the break between you and the faith you had
held in the past?
A. When I was a university student I used
to attend meeting. When I was at Bristol. That
was an undergraduate. When I came to Canada, you
see I came first to Hamilton, Ontario. They
didn't have a Quaker Meeting House. Naturally, I
went occasionally when people -- I lived with a
Unitarian and I went occasionally with them. When
I was in Rochester I went once or twice to
meetings. But basically, that's about it. 3,000
miles isn't irrelevant.
Q. What is your personal belief as to the
existence of a God?
A. I would say somewhere between deist and
Q. Could you articulate for me your own
conception of God, your own personal view?
A. I could speak very tentatively now. I
would say that I think that there probably is some
sort of world force.
Q. World force?
A. In some sort of way. As I say,
probably a God is an unmoved move. At least one
who doesn't interfere in his creation or her
Q. What does the Quaker faith say about
the origin of man and of the world and the unverse,
A. Quakers really don't say very much.
Quakers tend not to lay too much on obligatory
Q. Have you ever studied any religious
views of origins?
A. I am not quite sure I follow you now.
Q. The religious views on the origin of
man and of the universe?
A. Scientific creationism.
Q. Which you view to be a religious view?
Q. Other than that?
A. I have read quite deeply in some of the
Q. Do you believe that a religious person
can be a competent scientist?
A. Oh, yes.
Q. Do you know competent scientists who
are also religious people?
A. Yes, I have met people who I would want
to say are competent scientists and religious
people. And of course, I know of --
Q. You are presently a professor at the
University of Guelph?
Q. Have you been there since 1974?
A. No, I have been there since '65.
Q. You have been a professor since '74 but
you began as a lecturer in 1965.
Could you describe your duties as a
A. I teach philosophy and the last three
years, four years, I have also taught history.
Q. You teach philosophy in what areas?
A. I teach philosophy of science,
philosophy of religion, ethics, logic,
introductory philosophy. Most areas other than
some of the technical areas like medieval
Q. Beside your teaching duties, are there
other duties involved in your job?
A. Administrative work.
Q. Do you have any sort of assigned
A. I do research. I don't have assigned
Q. Is your research funded by any grants?
A. Yes. I think in the last page you will
Q. Your students there at the university,
how many of them come from Canada?
A. It's difficult to say. We have quite a
lot of foreign students. We have a big
agriculture school. So we have a lot of Third
World students. Most come from Canada.
Q. Have you found that the Canadian
students who have studied creation science in
school have greater difficulty in studying the
philosophy of science, for example, or any of the
other courses that you have taught?
MR. NOVIK: You have never asked him
whether he knows whether any of his students have
studied creation science in school. The question
assumes information not yet in the record.
MR. WILLIAMS: I will be glad to go
back to do that.
MR. NOVIK: I would appreciate it if
you ask the questions with the requisite basis.
Q. Dr. Ruse, do you know whether any of
your students have studied creation science in
Q. Have any of them ever told you that?
A. I would -- I am sure in 15 years, the
subject has come up. How can I put it? It's not
been a matter of great debate in Canada.
Q. In 15 years, do you have an opinion as
to whether you have had some students who have
studied creation science in some of the Canadian
MR. NOVIK: He already testified that
he does not know whether students have had
creation science. I think that is enough of an
MR. WILLIAMS: I am asking him if he
has an opinion. Not whether he knows personally
from talking with them. But whether he has an
opinion as to whether any of his students who have
come to his class would have studied creation
A. They have studied creation science in
Sunday School. I know a lot of them have done
that. To what extent they have done it in the
public schools, I just don't know.
Q. In your classes in the philosophy of
science has any identifiable group of students had
any problems in understanding the concepts of
philosophy of science?
MR. NOVIK: I am not sure I even
understand the question. What does identifiable
group of students --
MR. WILLIAMS: I am asking him if there
is any one particular group. It might be everyone
who has blond hair perhaps. I don't know.
Q. What groups?
A. The Chinese students that don't speak
Q. As far as you know, you have had no
problems in your philosophy of science course with
any students who might have studied creation of
science being able to understand the philosophy of
MR. NOVIK: I have to object to the
question. He's already testified he doesn't know
whether any students have studied creation of
science and the question is trying to get him to
admit that if such students had studied creation
of science they didn't have any problems in his
course. The question is just confusing, assuming
facts not -- which he said are not so, and
consequently irrelevant and objectionable.
Q. Dr. Ruse, in what province is
University of Guelph?
Q. In Ontario, you have stated earlier
that creation of science is studied in the public
A. I didn't say that. I think I said that
students could withdraw from evolution classes.
Q. What about the parochial schools there?
A. I really don't --
Q. Is creation of science studied there?
A. The Catholic schools?
A. I really don't know. I am not a
Q. How about the Anglican schools there?
A. These would be private schools.
A. Again, I can only speak to the
experience of my children's schools.
Q. Are you concerned about what is being
presented in the Canadian schools as science and
particularly as it relates to evolution and
Q. If you are concerned, why have you made
no effort to determine to what extent creation
science is being taught and how it's being taught?
A. Mainly because -- well, entirely
because I have only just become aware of the fact.
There was a big article in the paper on Saturday.
Q. As one who teaches the philosophy of
science and has been in the country since 1965 --
Q. 1962, up until recently you have made
no effort to determine the manner in which biology,
evolution, and any other theories of origins are
being taught in the Canadian public school system,
and private school system? Is that correct?
A. Sorry, as well as teaching philosophy
of science, I have made no effort -- let me put it
this way: I have been worried about the, what I
have perceived as the bad teaching of science in
Canadian schools. In talking to babysitters and
so forth. That was one of the reasons why I sent
my children to an Anglican school or Anglican
schools. That I guess is the extent of my own
Q. To answer my question, my question is,
if you are concerned, why have you lived there for
so very long without making any effort to find out
what is being taught?
A. I wasn't aware of the extent to
apparently that this is widespread. In Ontario, I
don't know to what extent creation science or
creationism, religion, in other words, is taught
in biology classes. I live in Ontario, not
Alberta. I am sure if I lived in Alberta my
answer would be different.
Q. Are you aware in 1979 that in Ontario
petitions with several thousand signatures were
presented to the Minister of Education advocating
teaching of creationism as a paralegal scientific
explanation when evolution was taught?
MR. NOVIK: Before you answer. Are you
reading from something, Mr. Williams?
MR. WILLIAMS: I am asking him if he is
aware of it.
MR. NOVIK: Are you reading from
MR. WILLIAMS: I am asking the witness
if he is aware of that fact. Either he is or he
MR. NOVIK: You seem to be reading from
something. If you are reading from something, I
think it appropriate that you make it known on the
record. I am not going to permit the witness to
answer the question until I find out whether in
fact you are reading from something, whether it is
an accurate quote and if so, what you are reading
MR. WILLIAMS: I am asking if he is
aware of it. he can say I am not aware of it or I
am, and the record will speak for itself.
MR. NOVIK: He could. I am not going
to permit him to answer unless you tell me whether
you are reading from something, whether it is an
accurate quote, and I would like to know what you
are reading from. In that regard, I might point
out that in Dr. Ayala's, deposition which I
believe you took, you purported to be reading from
a particular document or paper and, in fact, you
were apparently paraphrasing. The witness was
confused and the record was confused. I would
like to avoid such confusions in this instant. It
seemed to me that you were reading from something
and I am simply asking what it was and if it was
MR. WILLIAMS: I will object to your
characterization of whatever is in Ayala's
deposition. I think we can leave that for
whatever. Let the record speak for itself there,
Second, I am asking him a question. He
can respond to this question in a way which he
feels appropriate. It is not a confusing or
ambiguous question, I don't think at all. Unless
you have some objection to the form of the
question, I would like to move on.
MR. NOVIK: Would I like to move on,
too. Why don't we do that?
Q. Will you answer the question, Dr. Ruse?
MR. NOVIK: I am directing the witness
not to answer that question.
MR. WILLIAMS: On what ground?
MR. NOVIK: On the ground that you
appear to be reading from something. I have the
right to know whether it is an accurate quote and
a right to know what you are reading from.
MR. WILLIAMS: All right. I am not
reading from anything.
Q. Are you aware that in 1979
approximately 6,000 people in Ontario signed a
petition and presented it to the Minister of
Education, which stated that they felt that
creationism should be presented as a scientific
alternative to evolution when evolution is taught?
Q. In your opinion, does the course of
study of science in secondary schools affect the
quality of, first of all, the quality of student
in science that goes into the university school?
MR. NOVIK: Could you read that
MR. NOVICK: Do you understand the
THE WITNESS: No.
Q. Does the science curriculum in
secondary school have an effect for good or ill on
the university student, the student when they come
to the university to study science?
A. I don't know.
Q. Besides your courses in philosophy, the
philosophy of science in particular, have you ever
taught any courses in science?
Q. So if you had a student who, in
secondary school, never studied evolution, say
studied creation science exclusively, and then
went to a university and took a course in
evolution, you don't have an opinion as to whether
that would affect his ability to study evolution?
A. Are you asking me now as a professor or
as an individual?
Q. I am asking you in your professional
A. I can't answer that.
Q. So you have no professional opinion on
A. In the science course?
A. As a science teacher?
Q. No, not personally as a science teacher,
but as someone who teaches the philosophy of
A. It's very difficult for me to answer
this because I am one stage removed.
Q. I take it then your answer is you have
no professional opinion on that question?
MR. NOVIK: He has given his answer.
MR. WILLIAMS: He says its difficult.
I am asking does he or does he not have an opinion.
MR. NOVIK: I don't mind you asking the
question, but I prefer you not give him the answer,
Q. Do you have an opinion?
A. As a philosopher of a student who has
taken creation in a biology class, how they would
perform in a science class?
Q. Yes, in college. If they should study
A. I think I would have to say I do have
an opinion, yes.
Q. You said you had an opinion. Would you
A. I think they would have difficulty.
Q. On what do you base that opinion?
A. My knowledge of creation science, my
knowledge of science and incompatibility of the
two. Not incompatibility, but let me just say the
Q. In your tenure at University of Guelph,
have you taught any other courses besides the ones
you had previously mentioned?
A. History of science.
Q. History of science?
Q. Any others?
Q. What were your duties at the graduate
system in the University of Rochester?
A. Assisting in introductory to philosophy
Q. And at McMaster University as a
graduate assistant from '62 to '63?
A. Assisting in introductory classes.
Seminars and marking.
Q. When you speak of assisting, what were
A. Taking an hour of a three hour a week
class, and marking the students' papers.
Sometimes doing some library work for professors.
Q. You state that one of your major
interests is the area of ethical questions in
biology and medicine?
Q. Do you have an opinion as to whether
research in the area of medicine and in the area
of biology should sometimes be limited due to
A. Yes, I think -- I do.
Q. Can you describe your opinion in that
A. I think there are some areas where you
shouldn't allow it.
Q. Could you give me some examples where
you have that opinion, where you feel that way?
A. For example, I would say something akin
to Hitler's racial experiments ought not to be
Q. Anything in any of the issues that we
are facing today that you have an opinion that
should be limited?
A. One example I would -- hear much about
a lot of experiments being carried out on retarded
Q. Is that occurring today?
A. I read cases that this sort of thing
has occurred. Not treating people, a venereal
syphilis case where people weren't treated though
they were aware they got it. These sort of things.
Q. Do you have an opinion on some of the
controversy over the DNA research?
Q. Do you have an opinion as to whether
that should be limited at all?
A. I think in some respects it should be.
Q. How should it be limited?
A. I wouldn't allow research, for example,
expressly designed to create things to hurt people.
I wouldn't allow unlimited research on dangerous
organisms like smallpox virus.
Q. Why not?
A. Well, I wouldn't allow just unlimited
on smallpox virus, anyway, because it's very
dangerous. People die as they did in Birmingham,
Q. That is an example, though, of why you
wouldn't want or why you would limit some of the
research in this area. Could you give me the
overall principles on which you would make the
Q. That research in a given area should be
A. Inasmuch as it is incompatible with my
broadly based ethical beliefs.
Q. From where do you derive your broadly
based ethical beliefs?
A. I think that I would say that I intuit
them as objective realities.
Q. Are the ethics by which you would guide
your live, are they reduced to writing anywhere?
A. Are they?
A. Yes, I think the volume that is coming
up has at least some of what I want to say.
Q. What do you have your own code of
A. I am not quite sure I understand that
Q. We are talking about a code, I don't
mean a formalized written code, necessarily. but
the standards by which you judge your own life and
your own personal existence.
Q. What is that? Could you describe it
A. I would say it's a combination of
utilitarian and the Kentian position. I think
that I would feel strongly that you ought to treat
people as ends and not as means. I mean inasmuch
as one can, one should maximize happiness in the
eudamonistic sense. That means happiness as
opposed to pleasure.
Q. Anything else about your own, what I
term the code of personal conduct? Any other
attributes of it?
A. That is kind of a sweeping question. I
am not quite sure what you want as an answer there
at all. How can I put it? I think that my reply
is pretty broad. I have to apply it in particular
cases. I don't think of it as my personal code.
Q. What is the difference between
philosophy and religion?
MR. NOVIK: If there is a difference
between philosophy and religion.
A. Yes. I think of religion as
essentially something based on, in an important
way, on faith and related to some sort of supreme
being. I don't see philosophy as an area for
faith. Any knowledge of a supreme being or any
thoughts of a supreme being have to come through
reason. That is a bit broad. There are different
kinds of philosophy.
MR. NOVIK: I would like the record to
reflect that we are, in addition to many other
documents produced before the deposition again, we
are making a copy of Dr. Ruse's latest book in
manuscript form available to the government.
As I explained off the record earlier,
we intend soon to submit this document manuscript
to the judge as a proposed exhibit in the up-coming
trial. In connection with that submission to the
judge, we would normally make a copy also
available to the defendants. And would like this
copy made available at this deposition to be
responsive both to their document request and
counsel as a copy in connection with the exhibits
to the court.
(Discussion off the record.)
MR. WILLIAMS: It is my understanding
that the plaintiffs' attorney will receive the
original copy of the deposition and tomorrow will
send it by Federal Express to Dr. Ruse for his
signature with a return airbill or some method of
return by Federal Express as well?
MR. NOVIK: We will use some air
courier service to get it up and back as soon as
MR. WILLIAMS: If you would like
perhaps it would be better since the original is
coming to us if you could just have it after --
well, after you receive it, the original back, and
conform your copy to any changes, you would then
have it back Federal Express to our office in
Little Rock, I would appreciate it.
MR. NOVIK: The original?
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes.
MR. NOVIK: We will do that.
Q. Dr. Ruse, does religion necessarily
require a supreme being?
A. As a belief system, in some sense I
would say yes.
MR. NOVIK: Excuse me. I would like to
point out for the record that Dr. Ruse is a
philosopher, an historian of science and is not
being called here by the plaintiffs for anything
he has to say about religion. Dr. Ruse is not
here as an expert in religion. Anything he has to
say in that regard are his own personal views on
Q. Dr. Ruse, you teach a course in the
philosophy of religion, do you not?
A. I do.
Q. Do you feel you have some knowledge and
expertise in the area of religion?
A. In the area of philosophy of religion.
Q. Are you aware that there are religions,
whether or not there are religions which do not
have a supreme being or a god?
A. A god in the Judao-Christian sense,
Q. For example?
A. Certain Hindu forms, animalistic
Q. Would you consider atheism to be a
A. No, not as much.
Q. How do you define religion?
A. As a belief system or as a sociological
Q. Let's try both.
A. As a belief system, I think that one
has to have some sort of belief in some other
worldly entity or things. Perhaps there is a
distinction between the sacred and the profane
habits and customs associated with it. As a
sociological phenomenon, people gathering together,
perhaps in church or something like that, I think
there are borderline cases which -- is Marxism a
religion? I think you pay your money, you take
your choice. Catholocism is.
Q. In teaching the philosophy of religion,
do you use a text?
Q. Which text is it?
A. The main one is John Hick THE
PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION. I also use a collection
of readings by W. Alston, RELIGIOUS BELIEF AND
PHILOSOPHIC THOUGHT. That's readings. I have
used other books in the past, but those are the
Q. Where did you attend high school or
A. I went to two schools. When I was 11
through 13 I went to what the English call a
grammar school, what I guess you would call a high
school, a state school. In Walsall, that's in
England, called Queen Mary's Grammar School. And
then at the age of 13 in 1953 through 1959 I went
to what we call a public school and you call a
private school, in York, called Bootham School.
Q. You said this is what we call a prep
A. A prep school.
Q. Were these schools supported by public
A. The first was.
Q. Both were in England?
A. Yes. The second one was in York,
England. The first one was.
Q. What science courses did you take?
A. Grammar school, I did physics.
Mathematics. At the public school, we did some
natural history, mathematics, physics, chemistry.
Q. Did you take biology?
A. Only in the early years.
Q. By that what do you mean?
A. I mean 13, 14.
Q. Was biology offered in what I would
want to refer to as your secondary schooling?
A. It was offered. I didn't follow you.
You would take it.
Q. You didn't follow that you could take
it or you had to take it?
A. That you could take it.
Q. You couldn't take it?
A. Not if I did math, physics and
Q. Did you study origins during your
Q. Did you study evolution?
Q. Did you study in school the creation
model for origin?
A. Like I put it, I knew of the Bible.
But I didn't do creation science in science
Q. At Bristol University did you take any
science courses there?
Q. Did you take any biology?
Q. Did you have any study of evolution or
creation science there?
Q. You received a BA in philosophy in
Q. Did you study science courses in your
Q. Or in your Ph.D. program?
A. No. But I did attend some science
biology courses at Guelph when I started as a
lecturer and audit.
Q. The last time you had been formally
enrolled in a course in biology was when you were
13 or 14?
Q. Have you received any training in your
field other than your formal education? I am
talking now apart from any sort of independent
study or just reading on your own.
A. I mentioned auditing at Guelph.
Q. Are you a member of any professional
Q. Which ones?
A. American Association for the Advancement
of Science, American Philosophical Association,
Philosophy of Science Association, Canadian
Society for History and Philosophy of Science, I
think Canadian Philosophical Association.
Q. Have you been an officer of any of
A. I have held elected posts.
Q. But you were not an officer?
A. Well, head of the nomination committee.
Is that an officer?
Q. I would think probably so, as an
The organizations which you have
previously described aren't listed. Have any of
these organizations taken a position on the
creation science? Formal or informal.
A. To the best of my knowledge, the
philosophy ones haven't. To the best of my
knowledge, the American Association for the
Advancement of Science is opposed to the teaching
of the creation science in schools, in biology
Q. On what do you base that?
A. Base what?
Q. That conclusion, your knowledge they
are opposed to it.
A. Obviously, my conclusion is based on
what I have been asked to do as a member of the
organizations or more particularly not asked to do.
And what I have read.
Q. What have you been asked to do on
behalf of the AAAS?
A. I personally have not been asked to do
Q. You said --
A. I said to the best of my knowledge. I
read SCIENCE, the weekly magazine. I am aware
that great concern has been expresses in the pages
of this magazine.
Q. What professional publications do you
A. Philosophy of SCIENCE, SCIENCE, GENERAL
HISTORY OF BIOLOGY. I have a subscription to
NATURE, which I have not yet received.
Q. Are you on the mailing list of any
organization which supports the teaching of
creation science in public schools?
A. No. I was sent one thing independently.
What is a mailing list?
Q. What was that, that you received?
A. It was something by a man called
Wildesmith. HE WHO THINKS HAS TO BELIEVE.
Q. That was the name of the publication?
Q. Have you ever taught any theories of
origins in the classroom?
A. As a scientist, no. I certainly talked
about them as an historian of science, and as a
Q. Have you discussed the CREATION MODEL
A. As an historian, yes.
Q. Have you discussed THE CREATION SCIENCE
MODEL OF ORIGINS as it relates to present day
controversy of creation science versus evolution?
A. I have certainly talked about the works
about people like Morris and Gish.
Q. In the classroom?
Q. Have you done any writings on that
Q. Which of your writings?
A. The primary one is the one in front of
MR. NOVIK: The witness is identifying
the manuscript made available earlier.
Q. Darwinism Defended, A GUIDE TO THE
A. Yes. I think there is a mention of
scientific creationism in my book IS SCIENCE
SECTIONIST? And one or two of my recent
publications make tangential reference to it.
Q. In your manuscript, is there one
chapter which deals with creation science?
A. Two chapters.
Q. Which two chapters are those?
A. Final two.
Q. Would that be chapter 15 and 16?
A. Right. Part 6. It is called part 6.
It's chapters 15 and 16 in the manuscript form.
In fact, one of the earlier chapters was taken out
for -- for the to be published version. I think
it will come out of 14 and 15 in the published
Q. Part 6 of chapters 14 and 15.
A. I am sorry.
Q. This is the first mention that I see.
A. Yes. The version you have got it's
chapters 14 and 15, part 6. In the version which
will be published, those are virtually untouched.
It's 13 and 14, because one of the earlier
chapters is taken out.
Q. The content will be substantially the
A. I have a little bit more on laws and
the super natural. A couple of paragraphs.
Q. When were you first contacted about
testifying as a witness in this case?
A. About two months ago.
Q. Who contacted you?
A. One of the attorneys at Skadden Arps.
Q. Have you read Act 590 of the State of
Q. When did you first read it?
A. A month ago, A bit more, perhaps.
That is not quite true. That is the first time I
read it as a document. I have read reports of it
in NATURE earlier in the year.
Q. Have you provided to the plaintiffs'
attorneys any writings other than the ones you
have given me previously concerning your testimony
in this case?
MR. NOVIK: Let me say that in response
to requests by plaintiffs' attorneys, Dr. Ruse has
provided us with certain information in written
form. We have not made that available claiming
work product privilege with respect to those
Q. Dr. Ruse, the other writings which you
have provided to the plaintiffs, were those in the
forms of reports or writings? What were those?
MR. NOVIK: You can answer.
Q. Could you be more specific and tell me
what form they were? What form they took.
A. I have written digests of some of the
material I have written before. Lawyers like to
have things condensed.
Q. Have you prepared any report or summary
of your anticipated testimony or the areas that
you might cover in your testimony?
A. It's difficult to say that because I am
not sure what anticipation means quite in this
context. What can I say? I am here because I
write that sort of thing. That's anticipated
Q. I understand that there certainly are
things in here which may be gone into in your
testimony. Have you written any other documents
covering what you anticipate testifying about in
this case, which you have given to them?
A. I think the answer would probably be
Q. I would like to see those documents,
MR. NOVIK: I already said we are
withholding them from you and claiming the work
MR. WILLIAMS: To the extent that the
witness as an expert witness has prepared
documents on which he intends to rely, to
summarize his testimony or a report, I don't think
those are covered by work product. Indeed, if
covered by work product, then it means he is
working for the attorneys and there is a question
as to whether he is in fact unbiased.
You are entitled to ask whatever
questions you want and take whatever steps you
think appropriate. I have no intention of arguing
with you about it on the record. It seems a
little cumbersome and just wastes time. I prefer
to get through with the deposition.
Q. Dr. Ruse, these documents which you
have provided to the attorneys concerning your
opinions and possible testimony in this area,
could you describe for me what is contained in
MR. NOVIK: To the extent that you are
asking him for the substance of what is in the
documents, I object on the same grounds. If you
have any questions in the nature of attempting to
ascertain what they are, which I think you have
already asked, there are other questions that
would go to what the privilege is probably asserted,
you can properly request that information. For
the same reason I am not turning them over I can't
very well allow the witness to disclose to you the
MR. WILLIAMS: I am not asking at this
point what the exact contents are. I am asking
more in the nature of format.
MR. NOVIK: You can certainly answer as
to format. I instruct the witness not to discuss
the substantive content of what he has written.
A. Ten page papers. Three ten page typed
Q. Three ten page typed papers?
Q. What you did use as sources for these
A. At this point, primarily my published
or to be published writings.
Q. Do you recall the writings which you
relied upon, specifically?
A. Well, yes, the writings that I have
done on the history and philosophy of biology
recently. On Darwin, Darwinism, scientific
Q. I want a specific list. Of each of the
writings you relied upon.
A. I certainly relied upon my book, my
manuscript, DARWINISM DEFENDED. I have relied on
my published work, the DARWINIAN REVOLUTION,
Science Read in Tooth and Claw.
Q. DARWINISM REVOLUTION, what portions
there did you rely upon?
A. All of it.
Q. What was the other book you mentioned?
A. DARWINISM DEFENDED. I also relied on
my book THE PHILOSOPHY OF BIOLOGY.
Q. Any particular portions that you relied
A. All of it. I didn't discuss taxonomy.
Q. Dr. Ruse, I have some problem in
understanding how you relied upon all of it in
three ten-page papers.
MR. NOVIK: Do you have a question?
MR. WILLIAMS: I am leading up to a
Q. Can you describe to me how you were
able to in a ten-page paper -- describe for me how
you were able to rely upon the whole thing in just
a mere ten-page paper.
A. I think I would say simply that I draw
on the general philosophy using this in a general
sense, and historical facts that I put into these
various works, and condensed it down into succinct
Q. You mentioned something also about Read
Tooth and Claw?
A. It's the subtitle of my book the
Q. What other books did you rely on
besides these three?
A. My general knowledge drawn on basic
works in the history and philosophy of science.
Q. Any other of your own writings that you
relied upon in particular?
A. Not as such, but I wrote them without
spending my time pouring over my works. So if
somebody said to me well, you have used this line
in some other work, they could be right.
Q. I would like to show you a copy of Act
MR. WILLIAMS: Do you want to have a
copy made an exhibit? I don't think it's
MR. NOVIK: I think it's all right that
we not make it an exhibit.
Q. Looking at Act 590, section 1, does the
statement or phrase, "balanced treatment," what
does that mean to you?
MR. NOVIK: Dr. Ruse is not speaking as
a legal expert.
MR. WILLIAMS: Certainly. I am not
asking for any legal judgments. That goes without
saying. But it's been said.
A. I think I would prefer to answer that
question in the, without mentioning this
particular thing. If somebody else were to give a
balanced treatment between what shall I say, two
opposing philosophical positions, I would expect
you to draw on the major works, to talk about the
major works, perhaps at a certain level of
sophistication. The secondary sources, to expound
both in class, appropriate feedback. An
examination to cover both of these, or whatever
the appropriate thing is. And again, I speak as a
philosopher. Also to not penalize somebody for
drawing one set of conditions, as long as they
were done within fair context rather than another.
Q. I didn't understand that last statement.
A. What I am saying is, is the following:
If one were arguing say a philosophical position,
if one, free will versus determinism. As long as
the student was able to support his position,
either way, that is what you are evaluated on.
Q. Do you in trying to teach the different
philosophies try to give them balance, some sort
of balance treatment yourself?
A. yes, in the sense that I try to be fair.
That doesn't mean I have time to or attempt to
teach every philosophical claim which has ever
been made. I select the standard and basic
positions. Of course -- all right.
Q. When you are teaching some of the
different philosophies, do you -- are there
certain philosophies which are considered