Deposition of Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe - Page 2
process. Cell division is a violent, electro-mechanical
affair, and the location of the cell program must be such
as to preserve its integrity through..." mitotis?
DR. HOLTZMAN: Mitosis. It's a
misspelling. It's nothing.
MR. KLASFELD: What is the right
DR. HOLTZMAN: Mitosis.
MR. KLASFELD: M-I-T-O-S-I-S.
"(normal cell division) and meiosis (a more complex double
division leading to the production of sex cells.)" Did
you write this section, or did Hoyle write this section?
A. Uh, this particular section, I think -- I'm pretty
sure it's not -- doesn't link -- doesn't click in my head
as being something that came from my pen. It probably --
I could defend any of those reasons, I suppose.
Q. Okay. Could you tell me what a nucleolus is?
A. It is a tiny -- a small -- uh -- a separate mini-
chromosome that's -- that's within the cell, the inner
nucleus of the cell.
Q. And what does it do?
A. It is -- what does it do? Do in the instant -- I
Q. What is it's function?
A. Its function is -- uh -- it could be to contain the
program that directs the activity of a living cell. I --
I don't have any opinions about it apart from the
speculation that it could contain the main program of
the cell that controls its activities.
Q. And you say here, it appears decisively during
the process of cell division?
Q. What do you mean by decisively?
A. Shows up in the electro-micrographs and so on. It's --
Q. And you're saying that it appears during the
process of cell division?
A. Uh-huh. Uh-huh.
Q. Next you say, "Cell division is a violent electro-
mechanical affair." What does that mean, violent electro-
A. Uh, it's a -- I think it's an opinion on how cell
division -- on the mechanism of cell division, that it is
-- uh -- the separation of charges that dates to --
Q. Separation of --
A. Charges, on the nucle -- on the cell that leads
to -- uh -- leads to a breakup of the cell due to -- due
to forces -- due to electromagnetic forces that operates
on a charge separation.
Q. By cell division, you mean that the cells are
actually dividing in two?
Q. What is the source of this electro-mechanical force?
A. The sources are -- just the separation of the
Q. What's the source of the theory?
A. Oh, source of the theory. A conjecture, I guess,
and looking at the various writings and everything.
Q. What writings?
Q. What writings?
A. On the -- on the subject of cell division.
Q. Anyone in particular?
[Testimony continued on next page.]
Q. I gather from reading your book that what you believe
is the earth passed through or nearby some kind of cometary
source of life forms that rain down on the earth and seeded
the earth with life; is that right?
Q. Were these seedings, was it material composed of
DNA or was DNA a part of the materials that seeded the
A. Yeah. The idea is that it's living cells; that all
the -- the full complement of biochemical in the living
cells that seeded the earth, not just one time in the past,
but it continues to do so right through to the present
Q. Do the -- these life forms that come down, do they
incorporate themselves with presently existing life forms?
A. Uh-huh. Wherever they could do it, it does that.
If it does not it just perishes.
Q. Through what kind of mechanism does it incorporate
itself with living life forms?
A. Through the incorporation in the cellular DNA while
the processes of one recognizes as being infective; that
the process that is recognizable as viral diseases and so
on. This is one way in which the incoming viruses could
be -- incoming DNA could be incorporated into the cells.
Q. Do you think that the -- I don't know if you were
present in the courtroom today when there was a discussion
of the possibility of an explanation for the earth's
geology by the force of one major catastrophe.
A. I wasn't there then. Was it in the afternoon or --
Q. I don't remember at what point it might have arisen.
Q. Are you aware of any scientific evidence for the
fact that the earth's geology could be explained by one
single catastrophic event?
Q. Would you think any rational scientist could think
that was true?
A. Not on the evidence that I've been able to look at,
Q. Do you think that humans and apes have a common
A. Yes, I do, with the reservation that I don't believe
that monkeys -- apes could lead to humans without some
additional information that is specific to the design of
Q. I'm not asking if apes led to humans. I'm asking
if at some point in the past they had a common ancestor?
A. Yeah, I believe so.
Q. You believe that's true?
Q. Do you think it is possible that insects have greater
intelligence than people?
A. No, not on -- it depends on how one defines intelligence.
But if one measures the intelligence of -- operation of
capabilities of (Inaudible) assesses human or monkey
intelligence, I would say no.
Q. Do you think it is possible that a large society of
insects could have more intelligence as a group than humans?
A. You mean a social unit of insects or something?
A. Not in a way that one would recognize as intelligence
in the usual -- in the usual definition of intelligence.
But it could be that in a conflict or confrontation that
might develop, the course of evolution between insects and
higher evolved forms of life, that the collective behavior
of insects and the genomes of insects have a better chance
of beating a higher intelligence, I think, even though the
-- even though the human intelligence is by usual standards
higher than the insect intelligence. I think it is -- I
believe it is highly significant that humans have succeeded
in demolishing even one insect species through chemical
(Inaudible) warfare. All the methods of -- all the surfaces
that have been used by human scientists have failed to do
Q. Is it possible to falsify the basic theory that you
testified to about tonight and will testify about tomorrow?
A. Yes. I think there is an experiment that would be
done to detect life outside. If it turns out to be negative
consistently, then I think the theory is falsifiable (sic.).
Q. What kind of experiment would you suggest?
A. I would say looking directly for life on the surface
of -- in the interiors of comets and cometary particles,
scooping up the material that the earth is picking up, the
cellulite (sic.), and looking for active biology, and the
experiment could be done. There is no reason why it is
not a doable experiment. So that the experiment is
conducted with a negative result, then it would be a direct
falsification. That's the idea.
Q. Do you think that there are any ethical implications
A. Not in a very -- not in -- in a particular type --
particular model of evolution or in evolution in general,
or what? I don't --
A. I think there are -- there are ethical issues to do
with particular models of evolution.
Q. Which ones?
A. Well, I suppose -- let me just stick to the Darwinian
model. I think there are probably ethical issues that have
been discussed by sociologists and so on, from several
places at several times.
Q. Which ones for instance? Not which sociologists,
but which implications?
A. Which implications. I think that the -- the
Darwinian -- the Darwinian evolution theories imply that --
that the stronger social groups necessarily overrun and
dominate the weaker social groups. And wherever this has
happened in the world, like the -- and there is sort of
a moral justification in that simplicity. In sociological
situations there is an overt attempt to dominate the weaker
groups by the larger groups. The implication being -- the
justification being that it happens in biology, and therefore,
it is a reasonable thing to happen in society.
Q. Do you think that the rise of Nazism was in any
way related to evolution?
A. Yes, I do. I think there is -- not to -- it is --
that is my belief. I don't have any substantial proof
of it, but I think that it is more than likely to be
connected to it.
Q. The rise of Nazism is more than likely to be connected
A. With Darwinian evolution.
Q. You make reference in Evolutions In Space to a
possible predecessor of life on this earth, being silicone
chips somewhere else in space.
A. I don't think -- I would like to withdraw that.
Again, that is my colleague, and I think it's conjecturable.
It is the analogy that he makes -- that one could make
with the computer. I don't know how far one could take
with the analogy, but .... The semiconducting properties
of siliceous material is such that it could contain
information and could --
Q. This last chapter, "Convergence to God," Hoyle wrote
A. That's -- entirely, yes. In fact, I don't even --
it is one of the issues that we have had a lot of discussion
and debate about, and I don't necessarily subscribe to
everything that is written there in that chapter.
Q. There is no disclaimer though?
A. There is no disclaimer, no. I don't have any strong
brief for it either. But I think -- I think from the
general claim, the general statements there that are involved
in that chapter, I tend to agree with.
Q. Do you agree that there might be any number of steps
between God and life on this earth?
A. Logically, yes. I think it is possible to envision
a hierarchical structure of intelligence that's above us.
It seems to me to be the study of arrogance, beyond words,
to say that we are the highest level of organizational
intelligence that's possible in the form of a living system.
And I believe that there could be a multitude of steps --
many steps above the human intelligence leading ascentotically
(sic.) to one of those equations and symbolic statements
that have been made.
Q. I wasn't going to call it an equation, but is that
what you would call it, this business with an arrow and then
five question marks, and an arrow and four question marks,
and an arrow and three question marks, and an arrow and
two question marks? The way I sort of understood this was
A. There are big unknowns and we were just putting
together the possible logical connections that might exist
between the sequences of unknown intelligences.
Q. If I gave you a factorial could you reasonably,
quickly compute a power of ten for me?
A. With a calculator I could, yes.
Q. Do you have a calculator?
A. I didn't bring one with me, no.
Q. Are you familiar with Sterling's formula?
Q. Without a calculator could you do a reasonable
A. To a factorial -- to a large number.
Q. If I gave you a factorial could you give me a
reasonable approximation to the power of ten?
A. Yes, a reasonable approximation I could.
Q. What -- how would you imagine this creator working
somehow subject to the laws of chemistry and physics, and
why put that limitation on the creator?
A. Why should it --
Q. Actually, I'm asking two question, which I'm not
allowed to do. One of them is --
MR. CLARK: I was just fixing to
ask you to ask them one at a time.
Q. My first question is why put that limit on a creator?
A. On the -- you mean the limits of staying within the
Q. Being within the laws of chemistry and physics.
A. Well, if it is possible to be outside, then I think
it is not part of the inquiry that scientists are supposed
to be engaged in, and it becomes metaphysical.
Q. Excuse me. But then why posit the need for a creator
if you are going to have him working by the laws of chemistry
A. I don't posit the need for a creator. I think --
I think one could logically -- maybe there are circumstances
in which one could logically infer that a certain arrangement
of molecules in the universe as being put together more
probably by deliberate action than by random shuffling.
And so to say that there was a creator that could have put
it together -- I could give you an example -- I mean, if you
are a spaceman who came -- descended into this room, looked
at the faces around this table, talking a strange language,
he might have looked at some of this equipment here and
someone asked the question, "Are these -- are all of these
bits and pieces a natural result of random shuffling or
was it put together by a creator?" And to surmise that
this tape recorder had a human creator is not in any way
outrageous. I can't see any reason why it should be
considered to be improper to make the conclusions if one
looks into the problem and assesses the odds of that tape
recorder being put together, plus all the problems of the
-- all the various (Inaudible -- sounds like consitron)
atoms coming that way be a certain number.
Q. Are you aware of any limits between -- of genetic
change such that there is only change within limited kinds?
A. An empirical law or an empirical --
Q. Any kinds of genetic limitation that would limit
through the course of time a change from bacteria to man.
Are you aware of any scientific genetic law that would limit
A. I don't know what you mean by scientific.
Q. The statute, which is the subject of this lawsuit,
posits something called creation-science, one of the tenets
of which is changes, that plants or animals could only change
within fixed limits of originally created kinds of plants
and animals. Are you aware --
A. Of the -- of a nature law that limits it?
A. I don't know whether there is an empirical -- I
think I -- I think that there are limitations to the
extent to which a bacterium could change. Do you want me to
give you my personal opinion?
Q. Well, let me ask you a different question. Your
theory does not suggest that -- have you read any creation-
science literature at all?
A. I don't know what --
Q. Are you familiar with the expression creation-science?
A. Not in the general accepted -- not in what I think
seems to be the conventionally generally accepted view of
Q. What is your understanding of this lawsuit?
A. What is my understanding of the lawsuit? Do you want
me to tell you what I make of it?
Q. What do you understand is the issue? Why are you
here? Why am I here? Not in the grand sense, but in the
A. The issue seems to be that the State of Arkansas
has passed this act within its Legislature to give an equal
coverage of creation. I know it is creation-science, but
I would like to extract it and put it in a wider -- slightly
wider context. All right? But I would interpret -- I
don't -- I am not concerned about the details, letter of
the law there, but I think the --
Q. Unfortunately, that's where we are at this period
A. -- the spirit of the -- I think I would like to
stick to the spirit of the law that I feel in some ways
sympathetic towards. The attitudes to creation have been
sort of almost a blanket -- almost a complete condemnation
of it by scientists, any creation. And I think it is
perhaps not a reasonable thing to condemn it without having
a proper inquiry as to whether it could be accommodated
within the empirical frame of the science. And some
creation -- some concepts of creation may be well within
the purview of empirical science. And so if one is dealing
with sort of the origins of life or some -- an issue like
that, it is my belief that the -- that there is no evidence
at all for chemical evolution. I think there are great
claims that chemical evolution could do something, but I
could give you a dozen reasons why I think that chemical
evolution wouldn't lead to anything. So in the absence of
such -- in the absence of any nonmechanism for life emerging
from random shuffling through chemical evolution, I think
it is reasonable to explore an alternative possible.
Q. Are you using this as a form for your theory?
A. No, I'm not.
Q. How did you come to testify?
A. Because Mr. Clark invited me to do so, and to ask if
I could point out the aspects of my joint work with Fred
that might in some way relate to the need for creation,
even in a limited sense, and the inadequacies of Darwinian
Q. Was Mr. Clark the first person that you heard from
in this lawsuit?
A. The first person that approached me about coming
here was -- it wasn't you. It was one of your colleagues.
MR. CLARK: Mr. Williams probably.
WITNESS: Mr. Williams or Mr. Tim --
MR. CLARK: Tim Humphries. Tim
Q. But he was the first -- you didn't hear about it
from anybody in the creation-science movement?
Q. What -- where did you get your notion of -- sort of
the classic -- what the classic model is for chemical
evolution and what specifically do you disagree with?
A. Well, I think the sources are numerous. I don't
know whether I could recall them in detail. I am sure
most of the symposiums, you know, on cosmochemistry by
some people. I could not (Inaudible - Witness mumbling)
COURT REPORTER: Please don't
WITNESS: I think it is getting
rather late and I think maybe we should reconvene if there
is a need to have another.
MR. CLARK: Do you have many more
MR. KLASFELD: Not too many more,
I don't think.
MR. CLARK: Ten or fifteen minutes,
MR. KLASFELD: What time is it now?
MR. CLARK: A quarter 'til 10:00.
WITNESS: The mumbling referred
to a name. You asked me resources and I thought of one
person that I read about, was Noda, N-O-D-A, was one
author that put together -- he wasn't an author, but he is
an editor of a symposium.
BY MR. KLASFELD:
Q. Are you familiar with the experiments of Stanley
A. Oh, yes, I am very familiar with him.
Q. What is, in your mind, the failure of those experiments?
A. Those experiments don't tell you anything except
that an inorganic -- a mixture of inorganic acids could be
put together using -- injecting nonthermodynamic sources of
energy, ultraviolet light and sparks of electric discharge.
If you put these through a mixture of inorganic acids,
suitably a chosen mixture, then you could get substances
that are similar to the biochemical monomers, sugars, and
amino acids, and nucleotides and so on. That's the extent
to which those experiments go.
Q. What do you mean when you say similar to -- you said
that it was similar to these various chemicals. Why similar?
A. Because you get some amino acids that are nonbiological
and you get amino acids that are biological. You get sugars
that are biological and that are nonbiological. So it
includes the set. What you get in trace quantities includes
the set that -- includes the set of molecules that are
considered to be the bows (sic.) for the monomers.
Q. Isn't this straying pretty far from your area of
A. What is?
Q. Your judgements about the biochemistry.
A. I don't really understand that question.
Q. Well, you are an astronomer and a mathematician.
A. Yes. Does that clear --
MR. CLARK: You asked him and he responded
to your question.
Q. Do you believe that insects moved through the
universe on comets and meteorites or other bodies?
A. It's a possibility that we could discuss, but I
don't think that one could make a decisive statement on
that one way or another.
Q. But you thought it was a sufficiently worthwhile
A. To discuss.
Q. -- that you put it in the book?
A. Yeah. Uh-huh.
Q. Would you look at section 4a here, where it says,
Definitions in Creation-science, do you see that? See
that, 4a, 1 through 6. Would you read that for me and
tell me if you agree with any of those points?
A. There's one I think I don't -- sudden creation of
the universe and its life from nothing. The life I would
cross out for the time being, but I suppose sudden creation
of the universe, energy, is the standard Big Bang cosmology.
I can't complain about that. I don't agree with it either
as a theory. I wouldn't buy one particularly. I think --
I think it's a big -- I was just being facetious. It
could include aspects of Big Bang cosmology.
Q. Well I prefer for you not to be facetious. Do you
agree with 4a, 1?
A. As a -- as a possible -- no, I don't agree with
4a, 1, no.
Q. What about 4a, 2?
A. Yes. I do agree with that. I think it's my
believe that is true.
Q. Which is 4a, 2.
A. Sudden creation -- no it's not. It's insufficiency
of the --
Q. Okay. What about 3?
A. Not only -- now I think that -- no. Not in the
way it's stated there.
Q. Okay. What about 4?
Q. What about 5?
Q. What about 6?
Q. Okay. Does the creator you make reference to have
A. I can't draw anything on the board, no. I can't
depict it in the way that -- I don't know. It's a concept
that may have validity, logical place in the logical
argument, but I don't -- uh -- until one -- in the present
state of our knowledge I think the answer is no.
Q. In the book Diseases From Space, you make reference
to the human nose; do you recall that?
A. Yes. Yeah.
Q. What is the significance for you of the shape of
the human nose?
A. To me personally?
Q. Well, in terms of the book. You say the evaluation
of the human nose, on page 99, would also permit one to
conclude that transmission from individual to individual
has never been a dominant factor in the spread of disease,
for transition would have happened in the forest just as
much as on open ground. What is there about the nose --
A. (inaudible, witness mumbling) The shape of the
nose was first brought into that argument because we felt
that a direct inhalation of material that is in the form
of an aerosol dripping on the -- descending onto the
surface of the planet would be taken up more effectively
more readily by a nose without a protective -- without an
apparent canopy, like -- sort of like a human nose. And
the need for -- for -- for the canopy like structure, might
have been an evolutionary property that permitted the
primitive man or the primitive ape to get out of the
relatively secluded, protective environment of the rain
forest, a lot of leaves and foliage that would have been
an asset in the sense of not getting -- not taking --
inhaling too much of the -- the aerosol, in the sense that --
Q. You mean we're better off with our nostrils facing
down than facing up?
A. I would -- I would say so, yes.
Q. Do you believe that the transmission from
individual to individual is not the dominant factor in
the spread of disease?
A. Uh, it depends on which disease that one is talking
about. I think in the case of influenza -- is what I've
looked at in great detail -- I think the -- that the
statistics point decisively to a negative answer, yes. I
believe that it is not the dominant factor for --
Q. What is the dominant factor?
A. The dominant factor is -- is an aerosol or some
material that is turned around in the rain and the weather.
Q. Have you ever recorded the arrival of any of these
seedings on the earth?
A. I don't understand the question. Ever recorded it
what -- in what way?
Q. Any kind of -- do you have any scientific evidence
that the -- these seedings have ever taken place?
A. The nature of evidence that was discussed in
Diseases From Space is --
Q. No. I'm talking about evolution from space, sir.
Do you have any evidence that these seedings have in fact
A. Seedings of diseases or bugs or life or --
Q. The seedings of any kind of form -- life forms
that would have given rise to life on the planet?
A. I haven't -- I haven't discovered evidence for
myself, but I think there is evidence in the fossil record
that the origins of life, the very abrupt beginnings of
life, the first cretaceous explosion of living -- the
several explosions of -- the so called -- I forgot what
they call it these days. The punctuated equilibrium
that describes, not a mechanism in my mind, but to my
way of thinking. But it's just the phenomenon. It's the
phenomenon that's describing these words, punctuated
equilibrium. There are -- there are several discreet --
Q. Do I understand your theory of sort of the regular
seedings to be things that gave a boost to evolution to
speed it up at certain points?
A. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Yes.
Q. And in what manner did the life form that seeded
the planet interact with the life forms that were here
A. Well, the fragments of DNA which carried the
information from new species came in the form of viruses
That were taken up by the set of living creatures and living
organisms that were on the earth, evolved at any given
time. And whenever the particular virus carrying the
information was incorporated in the genome, then it was
let to the possibility of leading to -- of progressing
forward and producing them.
Q. I promise this will be the last question. Are you
aware of the enzymes amylasetrypsin and chymotrypsin?
Are you aware of their functions?
A. No, not of the --
A. Not the functions of the individual enzymes, no.
But these are details. I don't -- I don't know. Is there
Q. But do they function in the digestive system, as
far as you are aware of?
A. No. I don't have the facts in my head. I've been
very concerned --
Q. Fair enough.
A. -- with the systematics of the operation, not the
Q. Thank you.
(Thereupon the above styled
deposition was concluded at 10:10 p.m.)
I, __________________________, the witness, hereby
certify that I have thoroughly read the transcript of my
deposition taken on ______ day of ______________, 1981, and
have made any necessary changes or corrections to make the
transcript a true and accurate accounting of my testimony given
on that day.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
STATE OF ARKANSAS )
COUNTY OF ____________)
I, __________________________, a Notary Public in and
for __________________ County, Arkansas do hereby certify that
the above deposition was read, corrected and signed in my
GIVEN UNDER MY HAND AND SEAL OF OFFICE on this the
________ day of ___________________, 1981.
My commission expires ___________________________________
on __________________ Notary Public
C E R T I F I C A T E
STATE OF ARKANSAS)
COUNTY OF PULASKI)
RE: PROFESSOR NANIN CHANDRA WICKRAMASINGHE
I, LAURA D. BUSHMAN of LAURA BUSHMAN COURT
REPORTING SERVICE, a Notary Public in and for Pulaski
County, Arkansas do hereby certify that the facts stated
by me in the caption on the foregoing deposition are true;
and that the foregoing deposition was transcribed by
me or under my supervision from my machine shorthand
notes taken at the time and place set out hereto, the
witness being first duly cautioned and sworn to tell the
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
GIVEN UNDER MY HAND AND SEAL OF OFFICE on this the
16th day of December, 1981.
Laura D. Bushman, Notary Public
in and for Pulaski County, AR
My commission expires 1-10-84