Special thanks to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville for providing a copy of this deposition from their special collections.
REV. BILL McLEAN, ET AL. *
* IN THE UNITED STATES
* DISTRICT COURT, EASTERN
THE STATE OF ARKANSAS, *
ET AL. * DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS,
Defendant * WESTERN DIVISION
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
ORAL DEPOSITION OF DR. NORMAN GEISLER
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
MR. ANTHONY SIANO, Esq., Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher
& Flom, 919 Third Avenue, New York, 10022
For the Plaintiffs
MR. RICK CAMPBELL, Esq., Assistant Attorney General,
Attorney General's Office, Justice Building, Little
Rock, Arkansas 72201
For the Defendants
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
ANSWERS AND DEPOSITION OF DR. NORMAN GEISLER, a witness produced on behalf of the
Plaintiff, taken in the above styled and numbered cause on the 14th of November, 1981 before Elizabeth
S. Spitzer, a C.S.R. and Notary Public in and for Pulaski County, Arkansas at the office of Mr. Cearley,
1014 W. Third, Little Rock, Arkansas at 10:40 a.m. pursuant to the agreement thereinafter set forth.
I N D E X
[Index removed by editor]
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
S T I P U L A T I O N S
IT IS STIPULATED
AND AGREED by and between the parties through their respective counsel that the
deposition of DR. NORMAN GEISLER, may be taken at the time and place for
discovery purposes, and that all formalities with regard to the taking of said
deposition are hereby waived, excluding presentation,
reading, subscription by the witness, notice of filing, filing, etc; objections
as to relevancy, materiality and competency are expressly reserved, except as to
form of question, and may be raised if and when said deposition, or any part
thereof, is so offered at the trial of this case.
DR. NORMAN GEISLER
hereinbefore named, being first duly cautioned and sworn to tell the truth, the
whole truth, and nothing but the truth, testified as follows:
SIANO: The counsel for the State of Arkansas, and I have
had a conversation off the record, in which it has been agreed that this is a
discovery deposition; that all objections except as to form are preserved until
the time of trial; that the Plaintiff will obtain from the reporter the original
deposition transcript, and will convey it to the Attorney General's office, who
will then send it to Dr. Geisler, and it will be returned to the counsel for the
Plaintiffs within five days of receipt, and that we expect the deposition to be
signed by the witness, but we would waive signing in front of this particular
notary. We would also waive the sealing and filing.
CAMPBELL: The only addition I would make to that statement
would be that we will get it back to you all as quickly as possible, not
necessarily within five days, but as quickly — perhaps it could be in less than
five. We'll make every effort to, immediately upon receipt send the deposition
to Dr. Geisler by Federal Express. He will send it back to us after he reads it
and signs it, and we'll turn it over to Mr. Cearley here in Little Rock.
SIANO: I understand what your saying, Mr. Campbell, is
that you'll make an effort to return it in five days.
CAMPBELL: Yes. Yes.
SIANO: It's not so much the possibility of getting it
sooner, but not getting it at all which concerns me.
CAMPBELL: Oh, you'll get it. Certainly.
BY MR. SIANO:
Q. Good morning, Dr. Geisler.
Is that the preferred form of address, is Dr. Geisler?
Norman is fine.
Thank you, sir. Dr. Geisler, have you ever been deposed before?
Not to my knowledge.
Do you understand, sir, that you're giving testimony under oath?
And that this testimony is being taken down by this court reporter here?
And that you will have an opportunity to review the transcript which she
prepares, after it's been
And that you will then be asked to sign the deposition in front of a notary and
to return it to us?
I'd ask that this be marked as Plaintiffs' Geisler Exhibit 1.
(Thereupon Plaintiffs' Geisler Exhibit 1 was marked for the record.)
I have asked the reporter to mark as Geisler Exhibit 1 a two-page document
captioned with the caption of the action and described as Plaintiffs' First Set
of Interrogatories. Dr. Geisler, I would show you Exhibit 1, and ask you, have
you ever seen this document before today?
No. I have not.
Now, in connection with your appearance today as a witness, could you describe
for me with whom you have spoken?
I believe just the two gentlemen from the Attorney General's Office, Tim
Humphries and uh —
CAMPBELL: Rick Campbell.
Rick Campbell. I talked to them on the phone a couple of times.
So your contact with the Attorney General's Office has been limited to telephone
conversations with these two, gentlemen?
And they sent me at least one letter. This is the letter right here, October
28th, 1981, I guess basically asking me if I would participate in this trial.
And could you identify the number of the telephone conversations as a frame of
reference for us today?
Well, where we actually talked — a number of them were conversations where they
didn't get a hold of me, and they conveyed word by my secretary or something
like your plane will be leaving in such and such a time. But I would gather
maybe four roughly, plus or minus two in the last month.
In the last —
Which is the total amount.
So you have — your contact has been limited to the last month or so?
Today being November 14th.
In connection, sir, with your testimony here today, has anyone asked you to
review a statement of the subject matter of your testimony?
Well, I was sent Act 590 — this also says Senate Bill 482, and I read that
carefully a couple of times, and that's all the information I have, and all that
I have looked at.
Have you provided the summary of your testimony to anyone?
No, I have not.
Have you reviewed the substance of the facts or opinions, about which you are
going to testify, with anyone?
Well, first of all I don't know exactly the specific areas in which I'm going to
be called upon to testify. I know the general area of religion and its
relationship to science and creationism. And that I've discussed in a general
way with Rick this morning at — on the way from the airport here. But other than
that, no, I haven't
So your testimony is that the substance of the general area in which you are
about to testify was discussed this morning with Mr. Campbell for the first
Yeah. That's right.
I would like — have you given anyone sir — Dr. Geisler, a summary of the grounds
for every and each opinion you're going to give in this case?.
No. I haven't — I haven't even done that myself yet. In other words, I haven't
gathered all of the material together since this is relatively new to me, and I
am just in the process of thinking it through and gathering the relative
material. So I don't even have it yet, let alone to give it to anyone.
All right. I would like to make a statement for the record, Mr. Campbell. I have
been informed this morning, by my co-counsel, that we have been told that the
counsel for the State of Arkansas have filed an application of some kind with
the Court in connection with Plaintiffs' first set of interrogatories. I would
state for the record that a representative of counsel for the Plaintiffs was in
the office of the Attorney General yesterday, when we have been told this
application was mailed to Mr. Cearley's office.
No copy was
provided to the representative of Plaintiffs' counsel at that time. I have now
determined by inquiry of Dr. Geisler that the first substantive conversation he
appears to have had with connection with his testimony was this morning. The
interrogatories which have been marked in this instance were served 30 days ago
on the counsel for the State of Arkansas. In fact, there, to my understanding,
has been an agreement between counsel for the Plaintiffs and counsel for the
State, that the answers to interrogatories would be accelerated and received by
counsel for the Plaintiffs on Wednesday. There have been no responses whatsoever
received to date, and this (a) disables the Plaintiff from adequately preparing,
in connection with this deposition, and it is in our mind, not a proper course
of action with regard to expert witness testimony. And I put you on notice that
we are seeking appropriate relief from the Court.
CAMPBELL: Mr. Siano, I certainly respect your opinion
concerning that. Yesterday the state did file objections to the first set of
interrogatories. Since those objections were to the fact that the information
sought by the interrogatories had already been provided to you, in that we had
identified the general area of testimony which Dr. Geisler and all other
witnesses for the state would testify to at trial. In addition, we provided his
educational background to you. Also over the past several weeks we have provided
to local counsel for the Plaintiffs all vitae, resumes, a written list of all
our expert witnesses, which we had in our possession. We have tried to fully
cooperate with the Plaintiffs in this matter, and certainly we can take that up
with the Court at sometime in the future.
MR. SIANO: I would obviously not want to clutter the record with the colloquy in this respect. I feel it appropriate to put you on notice with regard to our application at the earliest possible moment. And I have satisfied myself that it is appropriate to seek redress from the Court in this respect, and I merely mean to address that issue before we begin today. I'd like this marked as Geisler Exhibit 2.
(Thereupon Geisler Exhibit 2 was marked for the record.)
BY MR. SIANO:
Q. I have had marked as Plaintiffs' Geisler Exhibit 2, a six-page document with the caption of this action, entitled, Notice of Taking Depositions Upon Oral Examination. Dr. Geisler, I would direct your attention to the 4th, 5th, and 6th pages of this document. I would ask you sir, first, have —
mean schedule A?
Caption Schedule A. Thank you, sir. I would ask you sir, have you ever seen this
document prior to today?
A. No, I
have not. I'm looking at the 4th and 5th pages, 6th page — no, I have not seen
right. Now, in connection with your appearance here, before me today, have you
had occasion to look through your files in order to bring any documents with
A. Yes, I
have. Just briefly, though. I have not had adequate time to call every possible
thing that I was asked for, because I received the information only yesterday.
That is the request to call out of it, so — and I had an engagement last night,
and had to leave at 5:30 this morning, so what I could pick up real
quickly last night and this morning, I have brought with me.
is it that you brought with you?
I have brought — of course, my copy of the Bill, Act 590, the Senate Bill 482.
It was sent to me by the Attorney General's Office. And then I brought with me
the letter, October 28th, that requested — from Tim Humphries, requesting my
participation in the Trial. I brought with me a copy of the Humanist
Manifesto, to which I will be referring in my testimony. I brought with me my
Personalia Sheet, which I've also provided a copy previously to the Attorney
General's office, which gives my background, and writings and so forth. I
brought with me a copy of the Secular Humanist Declaration, of 1981. I brought
with me a paper entitled, Christianity VS. Humanism, which is the — my part of a
dialogue at Rice University with a noted Humanist, Dr. Michael Kolenda, K O L E
N D A. And then I brought with me two unpublished notes from sections of courses
that I teach, with regard to — that touch on the topic of creation and
evolution. And then I brought a bibliography that I sometimes hand out on the
question of evolution, and then I brought out — I brought a one sheet comparison
between humanism and Christianity on ethics. Then I brought with me also, a copy
of three of my books that I could grab off of the shelves. Philosophy of
Religion, which has material that I'll be using in my testimony. A book
entitled, A Popular Survey of the Old Testament, which has some comments
on creation, origins in. And then a book entitled, Christian Apologetics, that I wrote that has some relevant material. And
I have many other books, but none of them were available. I was at the other
office and I do have — I did bring a list — a copy of all of the books that I
have written, and that's attached to my Personalia Sheet..
the second page, I believe, or is that an additional page?
it's on there, except that that page wasn't complete, but the list is complete.
And the list has asterisks on the ones that aren't yet released; they're at
publishers, and all the rest are published and available through bookstores and
libraries. Those I have — the only thing I cannot leave today are my textbooks
that I use to teach my classes out of, but you're welcome to copy the
information from them.
Thank you. And let the record reflect that Mr. Campbell has provided to me
copies of certain of the documents, which Dr. Geisler has referred to. I would —
I would suggest that the remainder of the shorter materials, i.e. other than the
textbooks be copied at a break, unless there is some reason why we haven't been
given certain things.
CAMPBELL: You've been given everything that Dr. Geisler
brought with him. I should say for the record also, Mr. Siano, that I think the
testimony today will show — I don't mean to be testifying for Dr. Geisler, but
all relevant information — all information concerning origins in Dr. Geisler's
presented to you today. His lifetime, obviously, has been spent in studying
philosophy and religion, and that would be his entire library. But everything
having to do with origins has been provided to you as you requested.
sure. You indicated some correspondence with the Attorney General's Office in
was just that one letter.
I see a copy of that?
That's the original right there.
you. Could I have this marked as Geisler Exhibit 3?
(Thereupon Geisler Exhibit 3 was marked for the record.)
Geisler, this is — Geisler Exhibit 3, which you have handed to me, is a letter
on — a one-page letter on a letterhead of the State of Arkansas, Office of the
Attorney General; is that correct?
it's dated October 28th.
And the letter indicates that you and the author of the letter, Mr. Humphries,
had a conversation on the phone, apparently within the week before the date of
right. Now, that would put that conversation somewhere in the period October 21
through October 28; is that correct?
sure that's right.
prior to that conversation, sir, have you had any conversations with anyone
whatsoever, in connection with the matter as to which you are appearing here
right. So the matter of the Action of McLean VS. Arkansas, and the action of the
dispute between evolutionism and creation science in Arkansas, has not been
discussed with you, other than in a context that we've described here, i.e. Mr.
right. Now, do you recall the substance of your telephone conversation with Mr.
think the substance of it was that your name has been recommended as a possible
witness in the forthcoming trial in the State of Arkansas, regarding the
balanced teaching of creation and evolution. And certain questions were asked me
about my expertise in that area, and my interest to — if I had an interest in
testifying. And I provided some general background information that would
indicate that I did have expertise in that area, and indicated my willingness to
did Mr. Humphries indicate to you who had recommended your name to him?
he did. He indicated that my name had been recommended to him by a fellow
teacher at Dallas Theological Seminary, where I teach. His name is Dr. Charles
Now, did you — have you had occasion to discuss with — is it Dr. Ryrie?
Dr. Ryrie, the context of his conversations with Mr. Humphries?
No. In fact, I haven't talked at all to Dr. Ryrie about this since my first
contact to the present time.
So you haven't verified whether, in fact, that was the case or not?
No. I have not verified whether, in fact, that was the case. That's what — Tim
Humphries, I believe, was the one that called me. I've received calls from both
Tim and Rick, and sometimes — I didn't know their names and their voices, so I'm
not sure which one. But either Tim or Rick called me, and that's what one of
them told me when they called me, that Dr. Ryrie had recommended my name.
Was there any other discussion as to what their background information about you
was, said that they had heard X or Y about you?
What questions did they ask you in that conversation? In other words, what did
they say to you, and what did you say to them, about the possibility of your
appearing as a witness, or about the substance of your testimony?
They just asked me — nothing about the substance of my testimony was asked, but
they asked me if I was a — was interested in testifying after they had more or
less, I guess, checked out from Dr. Ryrie — uh — his recommendation and then
just some general qestions from me, whether I would indeed have any expertise in
that area. So I think they were just trying to feel me out and see if I did; I
have any expertise, and then to see if I was interested and they seemed to be
satisfied on the first, and I told them, yes, on the second.
What was the area of expertise?
Religion. The general area of religion as it relates to this topic of evolution
and creation. I'm not a scientist. I'm a philosopher and — by training, and a
student of religion and philosophy, but they touch on this topic and overlap. So
therefore, by interest in philosophy and religion, I'm tangentially interested
in this topic, and touch on it in my teachings and in my writings from time to
time. And so I gathered the interest that they had was to testify to the point
of the relation of religion, and creationism, evolution and so forth.
Is it your testimony, sir, that based upon your teachings of philosophy and
religion, you have some exposure to concepts like evolution and creation and
Yes. Yes, sir.
I take it then, that you speak, when you speak in testimony here, as an expert
in religion, an expert in philosophy?
An expert in philosophy; that's correct. I'm not an expert in science.
Mr. Campbell, I would ask for a stipulation agreeing that Mr. Geisler if he —
Dr. Geisler, if he appears in trial will be appearing solely in the capacity of
a philosopher and theologian and not in any other capacity?
MR. CAMPBELL: Yes. I think that could be stipulated to.
Did they ask you, sir, about your views substantively in connection with
creation or evolution?
No. They did not.
Subsequent to this phone conversation or series or conversations, which I'll
describe as introductory, when was the next time you spoke to anyone from the
Attorney General's Office about this case?
Just this morning, as I indicated earlier, on the way from the airport here.
About how long was that conversation?
Well, we stopped for a cup of coffee at the restaurant, so I'm sure it probably
wasn't over 20 minutes to a half hour.
Between the time you agreed with Mr. Humphries to testify, had you spoken to
anyone outside of the Attorney General's Office in connection with the case?
A. Uh, yes, I have. I've told several of my friends and students that I would be testifying in the case. I have mentioned that there was a trial coming up, and that I would be testifying, and that I was going to Arkansas today for a deposition, and later on, in the first part of December, sometime when they told me later, for the actual trial.
Any discussion of the substance of your testimony?
The discussion of the substance of my testimony? No. No discussion at all on the
substance of my testimony with anyone.
Do you have anybody doing any research for you right now?
No, I do not.
Have you written away for any materials from anyone?
No, I have not.
Have you been shown anything by anybody in connection with your appearance as a
No, I have not.
Could you describe for me, sir, the substance of your communications this
morning with Mr. Campbell?
We just talked generally about the areas of creation, evolution. I had the copy
of the bill before me. I made a comment to the effect that it looked like the
bill was quite detailed. I asked some questions as to why Section 7 was there,
Legislative Finding of Facts. It seemed to me that that was supportive, but as a
nonprofessional in the field of law, I wondered why that was necessary in a bill
to have Section 7. I made some comments on the definition of creation-science
and the sub-points of it. Just general, definitional, clarificational type of
questions, regarding the bill, and the — We had some conversation with regard to
the nature of the procedure — the — what is a deposition? That type of thing.
Since I'd never been deposed before, I wondered what it meant.
Q. Could I have marked as Geisler Exhibit 4, this document?
(Thereupon Geisler Exhibit 4 was marked for the record.)
I mentioned one other thing to him on the way over here and that is that under
membership in my Personalia Sheet, I joined, about a year ago, a scientific
organization called the American Scientific Affiliation. Joined approximately
1980; it may have been the first part of '81. But I just — when I was looking at
it, it wasn't written on there, but I do belong to a scientific — professional
scientific organization, since around 1980, about a year ago.
I have marked as Geisler Exhibit 4 a five-page document taken from Dr. Geisler's
file, captioned Act 590, 1981, a bill, Senate Bill 482.
(Off the Record Discussion.)
BY MR. SIANO:
Q. I'd like that marked as Geisler Exhibit 5.
(Thereupon Geisler Exhibit 5 was marked for the record.)
I have had marked as Geisler Exhibit 5, a five-page document bearing the caption
of this case entitled, Defendants' Second List of Witnesses. And can we agree,
Mr. Campbell, that the date of the service of this document, as indicated on the
last page, is the 20th day of October, 1981?
MR. CAMPBELL: That might be the 26th of October.
MR. SIANO: Might be — that's what I'm trying to determine.
(Off the Record Discussion.)
BY MR. SIANO:
Dr. Geisler, let me direct your attention to this document and particularly the
3rd — 4th page of it, paragraph 16. Now, you see your name there and a
description about what you will testify about, and a little bit about your
background. Is that a fair summary?
That's correct. Uh-huh.
Okay. Did you earlier tell me that the first time you talked about the substance
of my testimony was this morning?
I told you that the first time we had gone in detail about the substance of your
testimony was this morning. This — if by substance of my testimony, you mean
that I would be testifying about religion in a trial on creation evolution, that
was of course from the very first phone conversations.
All right. So the fact of your testimony was described to Mr. Humphries in that
The area of my testimony was described as is correctly stated here in point 16,
that I would be testifying as to what constitutes religion, et cetera and
secular thought, and that I'm a professor of Theology, and I have a Ph.D. in
philosophy from Loyola University.
So this is accurate as a —
This is accurate. This is accurate information.
And there's no statement in there about the substance of your opinions though?
Oh, no. If you mean by — if you meant earlier by substance of my opinions, that
was not discussed at all in those phone conversations, or in any correspondence
between the Attorney General's Office and myself. The only time I gave anything
that would even amount to an opinion would have been this
morning in our conversations.
And there's no statement in there at all about the facts —
— about which you are going to testify?
There's no statement in here about any facts. This is — they will testify as to
what constitutes religion. The area — it seems to me this designates the area
and the content, but not the supporting evidence.
That's what I think too, Doctor.
Is it a fair statement, Dr. Geisler, that if and when you appear at trial, you
will testify about what constitutes religion?
A. That's true.
And would you state for me, sir, what your view is of what religion is, without
reference to any particular religion, at this point?
That's a very difficult question. And it's probably difficult because that's
what I wrote my doctoral dissertation on, and the more you
know about something, the harder it is to make it simple. Probably one of the
simplest definitions is the definition given by Dr. Paul Tilloch (sic.) [probably:
Paul Tillich (1886-1965), Ed.] of Harvard. Religion is an ultimate
commitment; that someone is engaged in religion, or has a religious attitude, or
has made a religious commitment; if he has something that he considers of
ultimate value in life. Another way to put it, which is the way I really put it
in my doctoral dissertation, was that religion involves a devotion to some
transcendent value. That — uh — something that transcends the immediate
experience of the individual, something that is more than, something that is
worth pursuing, worth making a life commitment to. That's the essence of
I take it sir, to be a fair statement, that in different religions there are
different additional components?
The concept of a deity, is that a serious component in the definition of certain
Of certain religions it is, but not all religions. You can — there are religions
that do not believe in any specific kind of deity or religion as so defined by
Paul Tilloch, which I concluded was correct, does not demand the belief in any
kind of deity.
In what are known to laymen as western religions, is a deity an important
In most of them it is, but not all of them.
I take it Judeo-Christian religions have as an important element a deity?
Most branches of Judeo-Christian religions do.
For our purposes, sir, what branches might not, so that I can have a frame of
Oh, a Unitarian, for example. Humanistic religions would be another example of
Would they fall within the broader category of Judeo-Christian religions, the
In terms of historic branches, yes.
From a historical perspective?
Historically they came out of Judeo-Christian background.
I take it that answer means they might not be today as a present tense matter, a
They might not be, and some might be.
All right. The Unitarian Church, for instance?
The Unitarian Church comes out of a Christian — Judeo-Christian heritage, but
today, does not claim as a tenet of its religious commitment, a belief in God.
Leaving aside what we've just described as non-theistic Judeo-Christian Sects,
i.e. Unitarians, and I believe the other one was —
— Humanists. My definition of Judeo-Christian, for the purpose of this
deposition — we'll leave out those religions for the rest of the deposition. And
I'd ask you, in Judeo-Christian religions is there any other core concept that
you can identify?
In Judeo-Christian religions, they — other than the Humanistic, Unitarian types,
there are — is a core concept of a belief in God, some kind of a supreme being
beyond the world, who created the world.
Is there any other element, like a community of worship that might be considered
a core concept?
In most of those religions, with the rare exceptions of isolated individual
manifestation of it, where some individual may have broken off, and it's almost
always — community type belief, that is a community of believers that have
gathered together around their core concept for the purpose of pursuing their
ultimate object of devotion.
How about the concept of dogma, is that a -
Uh, it's — it's a debatable term. Some like it; some don't. If by dogma you
mean, something to which they are ultimately committed, then they all have a
dogma. If by dogma you mean a specific list of X number of teachings then they
vary. With respect to some would say, yes, there's a list of two, some five —
you know, I'm just guessing arbitrary numbers, 12, 50, but there — really the
argument is about how many, not whether. Because in one sense of the word of
dogma, all have an irresolvable sine qua non, that without which not that
they're committed to, and if you stated that in some kind of propositional form,
one could call it a dogma.
All right. Does that definition of dogma, i.e. a sine qua non of membership, if
you will, is that sometimes described by a document?
Yes. In terms of creeds, which is the normal word — uh —
Does the Bible form dogma in any Judeo-Christian Sect?
A. Yes. There are many people who — in Judeo-Christian Sects, who have no statement outside of the Bible. I heard of one recently, that when the Internal Revenue contacted them for their statement, they just sent them a copy of the Bible. So — and there are others who are very hesitant to put anything down on paper, whatsoever, but make the Bible their primary document of reference.
Are there any other core concepts that —
To various Judeo-Christian religions, yes. The more precisely you define it, the
less will be in that group. If the broad circle is religion, everyone who is
ultimately committed to something — then a little narrower circle would be,
everybody who is committed to something, including a supreme being. Then a
little narrower circle, everyone who is committed to something, including a
supreme being, who created the universe, and then you just keep — the circle
gets narrower and narrower as you get to the center. The more specific you make
the beliefs, the narrower the group of people are.
What you have just described to me as — might be described as a denomination, if
you will? Is that another word you might use on that?
Yeah. It's when you get into the inner circles of this, after you've left the
outer circle of religion, committed to something, and the circle of a belief
that there is some supreme being or creator. Then once you get into more
specific beliefs like — uh — should we baptize or should we not? If we baptize,
should we baptize by dunking them under water or sprinkling water on their head?
Then you're getting into denominational differences.
I see. Now, you listed, just at the beginning of that answer, Dr. Geisler,
ultimate commitment and the existence of a supreme being, a creator. Is that
ultimate existence of a supreme being or creator, is that a transcendent
concept? Is that what you would list, in your opinion, as being beyond
Yes. The commitment to a creator and the commitment to an ultimate, which is not
described as the creator, are both beyond denominational limits.
Is that within or without Judeo-Christian religions?
Uh, both. There are Judeo-Christians who are on both sides of this issue.
Let me ask the question again, since I'm a little unclear now.
If you started your description of what is religion, in your opinion, by
describing for me an ultimate commitment, an ultimate value —
Few moments ago in your testimony, you described to me, as a parallel concept to
ultimate commitment and ultimate value, the concept of a supreme being. And I
asked you if the concept of a supreme being or creator was on a par in your
And I said, no.
You said no. All right.
See, it's a smaller circle.
It's a smaller circle.
So therefore there is in fact a definition of religion in your mind, which does
not include a creator?
That's right. It goes beyond that.
All right. Now, I'm clear. Could you, sir, as a statement from your background
as an expert in religion, what your understanding of the term orthodox is?
Well, literally it means straight. Uh, that which holds to the fundamentals or
essentials of that particular religion. It has a number of terms — a number of
ways, that you can define it. You could define it historically by the original
group that held that. You could define it doctrinally, in terms of the
fundamentals or essentials of that group. Or you could define it — uh — what
shall we say, sociologically as a group on the right as opposed to the group on
the left. So it depends on how you slice the pie. If you're looking at it
sociologically they're the ones — they're the conservative. They're the ones on
the right as opposed to those on the left. If you're looking at it historically,
they're the original founders or the closest to the original founders. And if
you look at it doctrinally or theological they're the ones who say, "Here we
stand. Here are the sine qua nons. Here are the essentials, and you deviate from
these, and you're no longer orthodox.
Going back, sir, to a discussion of what is religion, is there anything else
that in your opinion would describe or define a religion in addition to this
fundamental value and this ultimate concern?
Well, there are some other things that you could unpack from that. For example,
there's an implication there that we as individual human beings are not
ultimate, that there's something more than me in the universe. So if I'm making
a commitment to something beyond me that is more than ultimate, that implies
that I am not ultimate, otherwise, I would make that commitment to myself. Uh,
so there is a sense of contingency, a sense of finitude, a sense of I am not the
all; I am not the ultimate — along with this. And then, of course, implied in
it, is that this ultimate is worth making a commitment to. There's a value
judgment being made. It's an axiological commitment, having to do with value.
There's a — this has — this is worthwhile me pursuing. It's not just an ultimate
that's there. For example, one might say that the — uh — a mathematical infinite
is ultimate, but very few, in fact I know of no one, who has made a religious
commitment to a mathematical infinite you know. Prepare to meet thine Einstein
or love = MC2 with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength, is not the tenet of
any religion so far as I know. So it's a — because they see no ultimate value in
that mathematical theorem. But somehow there is some ultimate value perceived in
this moribund. (sic.) It is perceived that I am not of that, and that it is
worth pursuing and giving my life to in some way.
I'd say those are probably the three essential elements, and you can go into
sub-points from those. Some — some would define give my life to an involved
prayer. Others would say, no, just involve some kind of meditation or
recognition or admiration. Then you're getting into more specific differences.
But as I studied all religions, it seemed to me that all of them had at least
those three common denominators, and they would all transcend toward this
ultimate in some direction. They transcend differently. Some would transcend
backward. That is the more (sic.) or the transcendent would be back to the
origin. Some would transcend up, some transcend down, some transcend forward.
And I worked out a typology of transcendents, that there were some seven
different ways to skin the religious cat to transcend, but everybody was
Uh-huh. This — the typology, is that -
Typology, meaning that — uh — I tried to work out a comprehensive way to
indicate how many different kinds of transcendents — if all religions involve a
sense of the transcendent — how many different kinds of ways can people
transcend? And I concluded there were about seven different ways, and that's
spelled out in my Philosophy of Religion book, in the first part, which is
really the distillation or the condensation of my dissertation.
Could you identify those various ways for me here today in as I haven't —
Yes. Four of them I did, right there. Uh, transcending backward like Eliade,
E-L-I-A-D-E, talks about transcending to myths of origin, that looking back to
the ultimate origin in religious roots. Transcending downward to a depth of
being. Paul Tilloch talked about the ground of being, and also Bishop Robinson,
in his book Honest to God, talked about transcending downward. Someone
satirized it by saying, "Well, maybe we shouldn't have steeples on our churches;
we should have cisterns. Everybody look down into the depth, rather than looking
up, but that's just indicating that they failed to recognize that there are
different ways to transcend. You can think of God or your ultimate as down, or
up, or back, or in some modern thoughts, after Hagel (sic.) there's a forward
transcendence, looking forward to the end, that we call eschatological from the
Greek word, eschaton, which means last things. Eltizer (sic.) who was famous in
the death of and movement was a Christian atheist. He believed there was no God
in the traditional sense, but that we should transcend forward. Then there are
those who transcend toward a center — uh — of Chardin in his Teilhard de Chardin.
And so that would be five ways there; up, down, back, forward and center.
Then there were — then there are those who talk about transcending in terms of
the eternal recurrence of the same state of affairs. Negee (sic.) for example,
said that he would will eternal recurrence of the same state of affairs, so even
though he was an atheist in the traditional sense, I think he had a religious
commitment. He — he was committed to willing the eternal recurrence, the eternal
is more than time. Then there are those who just — you might say just kind of
transcend outward rather than just upward. It's just that the transcendent is
out. There are mystics, like Mystar Ekhart (sic.) who talked about God as being
both the center and circumference of reality. And you could think of God by
transcending towards the center where all lines meet in an infinity of
transcendents or where they go on out forever an infinity. So as I saw it, there
are seven different ways to transcend, at least, and all forms of religion can
be put somewhere or other on this typology.
Now, in-connection with your testifying in this case, you had occasion — did you
have occasion, sir, to examine what I have marked as Geisler Exhibit #4?
Uh, Yes. That's the one I gave to you. I read it twice, at least, and looked
over parts of it more than that.
Now, for our purposes, sir, if I refer to this as Act 590, you'll understand
what I'm talking about, won't you?
All right. And did you examine anything else other than the documents you've
brought with you today, including Act 590, and the formulation of your views of
By that, I mean, my whole life and research and everything is part of the
formulation of my views, but not specifically, since in the last — if I — if I
were contacted on October 26th, or whatever that date was, not since then.
All right. What you're saying is, you're drawing on your experience?
Okay. Now, did you formulate any opinion, sir, about Act 590?
Yes , I did.
All right. And are you going to testify at trial about any of these opinions?
Yes, sir. If I'm asked to.
Okay. What opinions are you going to testify about?
A. Well, I — I think it's a good act. I think that it's constitutional. I think that it is a step forward in terms of academic freedom. I think that it is — uh — if I may use the term that's used in the bill, it is a balanced act about balanced treatment on the subjects of creation and evolution. And that it really seems to me to be a kind of model that ought to be emulated elsewhere.
What is the basis — are you going to testify about anything else about the bill;
or just that?
A. Uh, well, I may testify to something else. It doesn't come to my mind now, other than what would be a subdivision of that, unless you ask me about some specific parts of the bill, as to whether I agree, for example, with everything that is said in specific parts. Uh, I think certain things should be taught, for example, creation, evolution, that I don't accept; and there are certain categories under the creation-science part that I think should be taught, in a sense of a student's exposed to that I personally don't hold to. For example, I am not personally committed — these don't have pages. Second page. Oh, Section 4(b) "Evolution-science" I am not personally committed, although it may be true, and I'm open to it, to believe that the earth is young, thousands of years old. I personally believe the earth is billions and billions of years old. I am not personally committed to believe that you can explain all of geology by flood-geology or catastrophism as it's called here. I personally — that's point 5 under 4, 4(b), 5. So — but those are —
Is that — that might be 4(a), 5, might it not?
You're exactly right. It's 4(a), 5. I was looking under the right — in the wrong
section. 4(a), 5. I personally do not believe either 4(a), 5 or 6. It might be
true, but it's a viable model, and there are people with credible scientific
credentials, and I'm open to be convinced by the evidence that those are true,
and I think they ought to be taught. People ought to be exposed to them.
Now, let me — let's go back to the beginning of the act, since there are some
things that you agree with and some things you don't agree with. Now, first of
all I want to ask you, are you going to give any other — any opinion as to
anything else within the area of religion in connection with this act?
Yes. Yes. Anything other than what we've already talked about?
All right. What are you going to testify about?
Well, I'm going to testify about the relation of religion and science. The area
of the relation of religion and science. That seems to me to be an important
issue, because, if indeed teaching a tenet of religion in a scientific way is
teaching religion, then of course, it would be unconstitutional. So I'm going to
testify to the fact that one can teach a tenet of religion in a scientific way
without thereby teaching the religion. So that whole area of the relation of
religion and science, I think is crucial, I'd testify to. The nature of religion
we've already talked about. I'll testify to the nature of Humanism as a
religion. That Humanism, at least certain forms of humanism — uh — is religious,
and has religious beliefs that include areas that overlap with this bill. I'll
testify about the nature of — of specific kinds of religion as they relate to
this, like fundamentalism, et cetera. Let's see. Those are the only ones that
come to mind right now.
Have you talked to Mr. Campbell about any others, anybody else in this
organization about any others?
Just in the 20 minutes we had this morning.
Those four though?
I don't know if we touched on all those four. We may have touched on all of
them, but just — you know, just brief conversations saying that it seems to me
this is an area of interest, and I think that the crucial thing in the trial
will be some statements — like the crucial thing in the trial will be, is re —
is teaching a scientific thing that overlaps with religion a religious thing? I
think I made some comments like — uh — if teaching any tenet of a religion in a
scientific way is automatically religious, then both the teaching of creation
and the teaching of evolution are wrong in schools.
That goes to the second point you raised, and that is that one can teach a tenet
of religion in a scientific way without teaching religion?
So we have — you are going to testify about what is religion. That's Point #1.
And you'll testify about what one can teach tenets of religion without teaching
The relation of religion and science.
That's the relation of religion and science. #3 is that you're going to describe
what Humanism is?
I'm going to testify that certain forms of Humanism are religious, are religions
or are religious, both. And they're related beliefs to this topic, evolution and
creation. And also, to the relation of fundamental religions to this topic, so
called American Fundamentalism and their relation to it.
And that's what I have listed as 4, 4th topic?
Yeah. Those seem to cover what I: can think of right now, unless I am asked
specifically about my views. The data I gave you I do touch on and overlap with
the scientific questions, Though I'm not an expert in science, I will testify to
whatever I believe and teach about this in my own teaching and writings.
You — you said you were going to testify about certain forms of Humanism are
Would you define Humanism as a religious movement, for me?
The document I gave you, the Humanist Manifesto, does that, for example, the
Humanist Manifesto #1, written in 1933, and signed by the people in the back of
it, says, in my copy here, which is from atheist books, 1973, says on page 8,
"To establish such a religion" and such refers to Humanist, obviously there.
It's the Humanist Manifesto. "Is a major necessity of the Present." And then
they go on and talk about the first article, Religious Humanist Regard. And they
talk several times through here about being religious humanists, and it's a
necessity to establish a religion of Humanism. So that's one thing that — uh —
Specifically, could you now sitting here, tell me, based on your scholarship and
matter of opinion, what — how you would describe or define Humanism as a
Just the way they do. I think the best thing to do is to take it from the horses
mouth. Uh, the way they describe themselves as a religion, would be in the same
sense in which I defined religion for you earlier. There is an ultimate
commitment. There is a commitment; to some transcendent value, in this case the
values of Humanism.
So you would then by — in testifying would refer to the Humanist Manifesto?
Uh-huh. And other humanist writings; I gave-you also the Secular Humanist
Declaration, and other writers — writings by the people who signed these. There
are a number of signatures in the back — uh — refer to their writings and their
belief that Humanism is a religion.
What are you going to testify about in connection with the topic of
Uh, try and define it, trying to distinguish different kinds of fundamentalists.
Could you define it for me here?
Uh, yes, I think I could. Fundamentalism, defined historically by its founders,
which is — as I told you before, you define things sociologically, doctrinally,
and historically. If you define fundamentalism by the first two of those three
things I told you, the original people who held it, the doctrines they held,
rather than the sociological way, then fundamentalism means — the people in the
late 1800's and the early 1900's, such as Charles Hodge, (sic.) A. A. Hodge, B.
B. Warfield, who were in engaged in what was known as the fundamentalism
liberalism debate. Most of these people taught at Princeton. And they said in
essence, that certain people have deviated from historic biblical Christianity,
which includes about five basic doctrines, and therefore they do not any longer
deserve to be called orthodox, because they no longer hold these founding
essential doctrines. And those essential doctrines were: the virgin birth of
Christ, that Jesus was virgin born; the deity of Christ, that Jesus was God; the
atonement of Christ, that Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world;
the bodily resurrection, that Jesus bodily rose from the grave; and the
inspiration of the Bible, that the Bible is the word of God. Now, some added a
6th one, but these were the five fundamentals. The 6th one that they added is
that Jesus is going to return to this earth someday, the Second Coming of
Christ. So there are either five or six. So historic fundamentalists were people
who believed five or six basic doctrines, and if anyone denied one or more of
those, they considered them unorthodox, and excommunicated them from their
churches. If the minister denied them, he was — his ministerial license was
taken away in that denomination, et cetera.
So to use a phrase we've described earlier, fundamentalism as a historical
concept is marked by strict doctrinal orthodox?
On these five or six at the most doctrines.
On these five or six?
So these are, in your words, sine qua nons of participation in the —
A. Now, I should add this. Notice I only defined in terms of two of the three ways of defining it. You could define it sociologically in terms of contemporary phenomenon. Now if you define fundamentalism sociologically today, that is, those people today, who call themselves fundamentalists, and/or who are called fundamentalists by others, then we've got a different group.
All right. As a matter of sociological determination, what is — will you be able
to opine as to that?
It's a little harder to specify, but I — it can be done, and I will speak to
that issue. Uh, of what — how do they differ from the historic fundamentalists,
they obviously believe all those things, but they believe some more things to.
So doctrinally they are synonymous with historical and doctrinal —
That's it — that's exactly right.
All right. And at — where — in what manner do they differ, then?
They differ in that they have added some more things that they consider to be,
if not fundamental, on the same level with those historic fundamentalists; very
important, crucial, things that they also feel are defining characteristics of
their movement, and if someone doesn't hold them, they do not wish someone to be
identified with their movement.
What items are those?
A. I think they would — well, they would include a number of things, and they would vary from group to group. They would include things like a more detailed doctrine of the future — uh — eschatology. They would include things like, when Christ is going to come back, before a thousand year reign, after a thousand year reign on the earth. These are called pre-millenarians or post-millenarians, and then there are the au-mills (sic.) who say there isn't going to be any thousand year reign at all. Au-mill, au-millenarian, meaning no millennium, or he's coming back before the millennium, and normally, though not universally, these fundamentalists will be pre-mills, although some of them are also au-mill, but they will make it a part of a defining essential of their group, so to speak.
Then another characteristic will be of — much of — and none of these are
universally true. If I say it of one group of fundamentalists, then I can name
another group that don't hold this, but many will hold as a defining
characteristic of fundamentalism, that you must be separated from all
non-fundamental churches and have no ecclesiastical ties, no religious ties with
anyone who doesn't hold your belief. This is called — in their circles it's
called separation from the world. And the world includes anyone who is apostate,
and apostate means anybody who doesn't believe these doctrines. And therefore,
they will not go to their churches, or have them come to their churches, there
will be no reciprocation between the groups.
Another defining characteristic of much of contemporary fundamentalism is — are
a number of political issues. Now, these are not on the same level as the five
fundamentals, but they're kind of crucial, very important things. They are
anti-abortionists, strong antiabortion is one of the defining characteristics.
Most of them are very strong creationists. They believe in a literal creation in
the book of Genesis, 24 hour day, God created the world in a 144 hours, 10,000
B.C. 4 to 10,000 B.C. There is — that's one of the things that they believe very
strongly, and anyone who doesn't believe that and then sign the dotted line,
isn't accepted as a part of their group.
That's a — that concept of being very strongly creationist, is that also
articulated as being very strongly anti-evolutionist?
Simultaneous. If you're for one side of the coin, you are against the other
Is that from their perspective or is that your opinion?
No. I'm just describing what they believe, right now.
So that is —
You haven't asked me about my opinion yet.
Are there any other — any other aspects — now, you were in this subcategory of
additional elements, talking about political issues?
Uh-huh. They define contemporary fundamentalism sociologically understood, those
who either attribute the name to themselves, or it's attributed to them by
others. Yes, there are — it's hard to know where to end that list — uh — some of
— on political issues they would be generally conservative on most political
issues; the homosexual issue, the ERA. They would be generally conservative.
You'll find people in the churches — and that's not part usually of their
doctrinal statements but the people as a whole in those contemporary
fundamentalist groups are almost always conservative on almost all issues.
Does this conservatism on social and political issues, which is a contemporary
aspect of fundamentalism, does it have any analogue in the historical aspects of
Uh, it has no one-to-one parallel. There are analogues, of course, but there are
exceptions both in the contemporary scene, and more so in the ancient scene. For
example, one characteristic of the contemporary fundamentalist up until about —
uh — let's say roughly two years ago, was almost a political isolationism, until
Jerry Falwell got these fundamentalists aroused, and said, "Hey, let's get in
there and take care of this homosexual issue and abortion and ERA." They were
basically political isolationists. Their personal beliefs might have been
conservative, but they weren't political activists. But the difference in the
last two years is that Jerry Falwell, and Tim LaHaye (sic.) and others have
politically activated them. They've become a potent force in the political
Historically, does the concept of anti-modernism have a place in the description
Oh, yes. Sure. Because if you were — historically that 1880 to 1930 period
there, when this whole debate was going on at Princeton, and the split
ultimately occurred. That was it, because liberalism theologically understood is
synonymous of the term modernism. See, the modernists were those who denied one
or more of the fundamentals. The orthodox or fundamentalists were those who
affirmed all the fundamentals.
So basically what you're saying is, fundamentalists had a core of these five or
six values, and they defined themselves by exclusion of anyone who did not
subscribe to those?
Anybody who didn't hold the truth held error. You know if you're opposed to the
truth, you're for error. Just as it is true of any group, you know. Say for example, there's very little defining characteristic of Unitarianism, but there
is some broad statement to Unitarianism. Well, if you — if you went in the
Unitarian Church and said, "Now, I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to
God. You can't get there any other way. Can I join your church?" They'd exclude
you. They'd be anti-you.
That seems to be very dualist in its approach to religion?
It is. It is basically dualist, because it's built on the fundamental rule of
all reason. That if you're for X, you have to be against non-X. See, the
fundamental law of logic is that if you're for something, you have to be against
its opposite. You can't be both for and against the same thing at the same time
in the same sense.
Do all religious denominations — are they all marked by this dualist?
Yes. Every single one. Because if you're — whatever you're committed to — you
are ultimately committed to, you're opposed to its opposite.
The question then becomes, what the fundamentals are?
That's exactly right. I think another defining characteristic of much of
contemporary fundamentalism outside of the political — uh — that we talked about
and some of the doctrinal things, and its so called separation, is that up until
recently, most modern fundamentalists were kind of anti-academic. They were kind
of — uh — against higher education type of mentality. That has been, you know, a
defining characteristic of the — of a lot of the contemporary sociological
Anti-science, is that another phrase?
Many of them were ant — were anti-scientists, too. Yeah. There is no question
Directing your attention to Geisler Exhibit 4, does this bill reflect the
dualist tension that we've just described about fundamentalism and its views
towards evolution and towards the concept of special creation?
Not at all.
Not at all?
Not at all.
Dr. Geisler, I'd like to ask you a couple of questions about your background as
set forth in the resume, that we've been provided.
Would you like to look at mine?
I have a copy of it. I think I have a copy of it, except for the — the additions
you noted at the beginning of the deposition, but I'll have this one marked so
that we'll know what you're talking about.
Q. Geisler Exhibit 6, please.
(Thereupon Geisler Exhibit 6 was marked for the record.)
Now, it says on your — on your resume, Dr. Geisler, that you went to William-Tyndale College from 1950 to '55?
Where is that school, sir?
It's — at that time it was in Detroit. Now it's west of Detroit, in Farmington,
And at that time, sir, when you attended that school, what did you study there?
I studied what would broadly be called religion, specifically courses on the
Bible, Bible backgrounds, related courses in the — how to interpret the Bible,
some courses in science, some courses in philosophy, English, history. It was a
kind of a liberal arts education from a private religious school point of view.
Was it — that institution accredited by any organization at that time?
At that time that institution was accredited by the State of Michigan, but not
by the North-central Accrediting Association.
So it had a state license?
It had a state license.
And it then says academically, you went to the University of Detroit for a year?
The resume doesn't indicate what you studied that year.
I studied philosophy. I had a lot of religious studies; and I needed to broaden
out, and so I studied — majored in philosophy.
And then you — was that a transfer to Wheaton College?
Then I transferred to Wheaton College and finished my degree in philosophy. I
majored in philosophy.
You got your Bachelors there?
You then returned to TyndaleCollege in 1964, is that correct?
And I'm not familiar with what those initials are, Th.B?
Bachelor of Theology Degree.
So you obtained another degree —
My first degree. I only had diplomas, because they didn't have any right to give
degrees back in '50, '55. They only had the right to give diplomas, from the
state, and then, in the intervening time they gained the right to give a
Bachelor of Theology Degree, so I took the remaining courses needed and picked
up the degree.
I see. And you then went to the University of Detroit Graduate School —
Wayne State. It should be Wayne State Graduate School in 1964?
And you were there for how long?
I think I took courses there part-time for two years, studying again,
philosophy. I was working toward, at that time, toward a doctorate in — well,
actually I was still on the Master's level in philosophy.
And you were part-time at the University — I mean at Wayne State?
And you were — were you part-time at William-TyndaleCollege then?
I was teaching full-time, at that time, at William-Tyndale, and then I was
studying part-time at Wayne State.
Is Tyndalerelated to Detroit Bible College?
Okay. That discrepancy is, at that time it was called Detroit Bible College. It
has subsequently changed its name to William-TyndaleCollege. So that is one and
the same institution. The name was changed about a year or so ago.
So when — when your resume reflects Detroit Bible College in the professional
experience sections, that's' really the same institution?
That's one and the same, with a new name.
All right. And do you know when Detroit Bible College, now William-TyndaleCollege became accredited by anybody other than the State of Michigan?
It is not yet accredited by the North Central. It is accredited by two
organizations, one is the State of Michigan and the other is the Accrediting
Association of Bible Colleges, which is a recognized, a nationally recognized,
also recognized by the Regional Accrediting Associations like North Central, in
that area for accrediting that kind of school, a religious school. So it's
accredited by those two groups, Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges, and
the State of Michigan But not by the North Central.
In fact, you are an officer of the Alumni Association of the Detroit Bible
I see further down the resume.
You then went to the University of Detroit Graduate School after Wayne State.
You worked on your M.A. there for a year, is that about right?
In the reverse order. I went from William-Tyndaleto the University of Detroit
and then to Wayne State.
Then to Wayne State. You obtained your Masters in Philosophy from —
I never obtained a Masters of Philosophy, because I bypassed it and went right
to the doctorate. I had finished all the work except one course at the
University of Detroit, at which time I transferred to Loyola, bypassed getting
it and went into the doctoral work.
And you obtained your Doctoral Degree in Philosophy in 1970; is that right?
Uh-huh. That's correct.
(Off the Record Discussion.)
Dr. Geisler, you — in the area of professional experience you had part-time
positions, first at Wheaton and then at Detroit Bible; is that right?
That's — I never taught part-time at Wheaton first. I taught later part-time at
Wheaton, actually only one course, but my first teaching position was back at
William-Tyndale, which is the new name for Detroit Bible, and I taught part-time
there beginning in 1959.
That's uh 1959-1962?
And what did you teach?
I taught some religious courses and some philosophical courses, because I was
doing the work in philosophy at that time. So I taught some of these. I taught
logic, for example, a philosophy course called Logic, and I taught a course in
Introduction of Philosophy, and then some religious courses.
At the time you went to William-Tyndale, which is then Detroit Bible College,
how many students were there at that school?
It had both a day, and an evening school, and the evening school, as I recall at
that time, had probably about 4 or 500, and the day school had probably
somewhere around 300. I'm sure the sum-total wasn't more than 7 or 800.
When you were teaching there, in 1959, and 1962, how many — what was the student
I would say about the same.
How big was the faculty?
Boy, I don't know. I really don't know. I could guess that the faculty was
about, let me see, I'm trying to picture a faculty meeting with everybody
sitting in there, 20, 25, people.
How many of them full-time and how many of them part-time, if you recall?
Almost all of them were full-time. A few were part-time.
This is the period '59 to '62.
Uh-huh. Yeah. They were — they were already accredited by those two
organizations which pretty well took care of that type of thing, you know, if
you had too many part-time teachers, they said, "Hey, you got too many
part-time; get more full-time." So they wouldn't have been accredited if they
had had too many
All right. You then took a full-time position at Detroit Bible in '62?
And you worked there through 1966?
And was the school about the same size?
And what — you taught the Bible and apologetics?
And philosophy. Philosophy. You then had occasion to move, I see, in 1967, to
What was the occasion for that transfer?
Twofold. Advancement in teaching opportunity and then desire to finish the
doctorate; which I hadn't yet finished at Loyola University.
Where is Trinity College?
Trinity College is about 35 miles, mostly north of Chicago, near Deerfield,
And you taught there in a full-time manner for two years?
No. I stand corrected. How long did-you teach there?
Well, all total, at that time, the two institutions the college and the seminary
were one when I came there. And I taught at the college and seminary together
for 13 years. Now the first, roughly six or seven years I taught only at the
college, a few years in the middle I taught both, and then the last five or six
years taught only at the seminary, so I was kind of at a transition in the
All right. And was this the bulk of your — what I'll call gainful employment, if
you'll pardon that expression?
Yeah. Yeah. That was my full-time job, other than a little moonlighting by
lecturing on the weekends or elsewhere, that's how I made my living.
This Trinity College, I then take it, is really the same institution of Trinity
Evangelical Divinity School?
At the beginning they were under one administration, but they were two separate
schools, and then they later they divided the administrations too. And when I
came there they were just seeking their Regional Accreditation, and about a year
after I got there, they received North Central Accreditation. And the seminary
also was accredited, and I taught there for the remainder of the 13 years.
So you came there — at the time you started there the school was unaccredited by
North Central and then ancient processing —
Right. They had candidate status, as it's called, because it was a young school,
just a few years old, and they had candidate status.
Does Tyndalehave candidate status with North Central, do you know?
No. North Central has never accredited a religious school, a Bible college of
any kind. They've always turned them down on the grounds that they're religious
schools, or — well there are two grounds. One has been eliminated and the other
one still remains. The first one was that there is an accrediting association
for Bible colleges, called the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges, go to
them and get your accreditation. We recognized them for transfer of credit
purposes. The other grounds was we don't want to accredit any school that has a
religious major in it, and you still have a religious major, even though you
teach your education and everything, therefore, we are not going to accredit
you. That is not true, incidentally, of the other regional accrediting
associations in the United States. North Central is more strict on that than the
At the time you were teaching at Trinity College, and then Trinity Evangelic
Divinity, what was the student population? How large a school was it?
Oh, I would say at the college it was roughly in the 7, 800 range, and at the
seminary — uh — it at that time was going through tremendous growth. It was
going from the 6 to 800 range at that time. It now has a thousand. It's one of
the largest seminaries in the United States.
Are the ordinations in any particular denomination?
My ord — first ordination was undenominational. It was a just a community
church, nondenominational. And, the second ordination was by the Evangelical
Free Church of America, which is a denomination. And they happen to be the
denomination that sponsors Trinity College, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity
And I take it then, that the ordinations in Trinity Evangelical are in this same
That's right. That's right.
Okay. How long is the course of study for somebody at Trinity Evangelical?
It's the same as all seminaries in the country are for a Master of Divinity
program, three years.
So this — this divinity school gives a three year Master's program?
A. All divinity schools give a three year Master's program,
What is that?
We sometimes wonder too. Seriously, systematic theology is teaching the basic
doctrines and truths of the Christian religion in a systematic rational way,
trying to put together all the facts both inside and outside of the Bible in a
systematic coherent way, so that one can see the whole picture.
How many students are in Dallas Theological Seminary?
We have a thousand students. We are the 4th largest seminary in the world.
And the faculty, how many people on the faculty?
There are 60 some members — uh — recently — I couldn't remember if it was 64 or
something. I heard it recently, but —
Into what denominations do your students place their ordinations?
Almost all — the school is a nondenominational school. Trinity was a
denominational school to which many other denominations came, but Dallas is a nondenominational school, and roughly the breakdown would be something like
this. About a third of the students — or a little more than a third go into
nondenominational type churches. A little less than a third go into Baptistic
type churches, that would either be Baptist in name or doctrine or both. And the
other third from Heinz variety. I have all kinds: Presbyterians, Methodists,
what have you.
The Baptistic Churches, do they generally tend to be aligned with Southern
Baptists, or independent Baptists?
Uh, both. Both. Although you must remember that you can go to — if you're a
Southern Baptist you can go to a Southern Baptist Seminary free, so if you come
to Dallas Seminary, and you're a Southern Baptist, you came because either you
were rich, or you thought it was much better than the Southern Baptist Seminary
So you had sort of something special they wanted?
Let me ask you, Dr. Geisler, about the books that are recited here, can you tell
me a little about — uh — the General Introduction to the Bible, put out
by Moody Press —
— in 1968. Tell me —
Yes. That was the first book that I wrote, actually coauthored with a friend of
mine, Hyme Nix, (sic.) and we were teaching that course, at that time, at
Detroit Bible College, now William-Tyndale College, and there was a very poor
textbook, and we decided to write a better textbook, so that's a textbook
written to teach a specific course that's taught in most Bible colleges around
the country, to give the full history and background of the Bible, from its
origins to the present. So we go into the earliest manuscripts and to ancient
history, medieval history, the earliest manuscripts, trace it right down to the
modern translations. It's kind of a history and nature of the Bible.
What languages do you speak, sir?
Well, speak or read?
Well, why don't we start with speak?
I read English, a little bit of Hebrew, a little bit of Greek, a little more of
Greek. I've had three years of Greek, one year of Hebrew, and enough of the
German and French to pass the doctoral exams to read the stuff in scholarly
journals in German and French.
Where is Moody Press located?
It's located in Chicago.
Q. The next book there is Ethics: Alternatives and Issues, could you tell me a little bit about that book?
Uh, that book is a textbook written on college level to teach a course in
ethics. And the first half of the book discusses the various alternative
positions that are taken in ethics by everyone. In other words, I make a
typology of ethical systems there. You can believe that there are no absolutes.
You can believe there is one absolute. You can believe there are many absolutes.
You can believe that they never conflict, that they sometimes do conflict. I
come up with six different kinds of ethical views, expound the proponent,
whether it's Sartre (sic.) or Nietzsche or whoever. It's not particularly
Christian, or religious, and then after explaining these six different views,
then I explain my own view and apply it to issues in the last half of the book —
is now from my ethical perspective, what do I think of war, what do I think of
abortion, birth control, euthanasia, issues like that.
Would you describe or summarize the ethical position you take in that book?
Yes. I defend the view that there are ethical absolutes. That some things are
binding on all men at all times in all places.
Zondervan Publishing, whereabouts are they?
Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Are they affiliated with any creation-science organization?
No. Not to my knowledge.
The next book is the Christian Ethic of Love.
Could you describe that — the topic of that book for me?
Uh, that's the way to get two books out of one. Uh, it's a spin-off from the
original book on a more popular level for laymen.
Do you take the position in that book as well?
Same title — same position. Uh-huh. I take the position that love is a universal
absolute, and that all men should love at all times and all places, under all
Uh, the next book is the Philosophy of Religion.
Would you describe the topic of that book for me?
Uh, that book is really a redoing of my dissertation. Instead of publishing the
dissertation in its exact form which wasn't as publishable, I just redid it and
that book is the results of my research in what is religion and some tangential
topics, like how — what is religious language? And what — how does reason and
philosophy relate to religion? Can you be reasonable about your religion? Can
you prove the existence of God, or not prove the existence of God? If God exists
what about evil in the world? So basically it's God and evil, God and language,
God and religious experience, and God and reason. Four sections.
Do you take a position or can you summarize briefly?
I take the position that, yes, we can talk about God, religious language is
meaningful. Yes, it is reasonable to believe in the existence of God. There are evidences — philosophical evidences that bear on it. Yes, evil does exist, but
it is not incompatible with the existence of God. Uh, and yes, there is such a
as religion and it can be defined, and it's defined in the way I defined it
The next book is From God to Us, again by Moody Press.
That's a spin-off, a more popular writing of General Introduction to the
Bible on a lay level again, rather than the more scholarly textbook type.
That's a spin-off of Philosophy of Religion?
General Introduction to the Bible.
Oh, from General Introduction to the Bible.
All right. The —
Now, when I say spin-off, that doesn't mean there's nothing new in those books.
There are some new things that we added as we went along, but it's basically the
same area, and similar conclusions.
The next book is Christ: The Key to Interpreting the Bible, by Moody
Can you tell me a little bit about that topic of that book?
Uh-huh. The topic of that book is really hermeneutics or how do we interpret?
And it suggests that the way to understand the Bible from a Christian perspective, is to look at it as it relates to the person, nature, ministry of
Jesus Christ. Look at the Old Testament as looking forward to Christ, look at
New Testament as looking on Christ. Christ is the unifying theme of the Bible.
And is that the position you take, that Christ is the unifying theme of the
The next book is Christian Apologetics. Where is Baker Book House?
Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Are they affiliated with any organization that you know?
Not to my knowledge.
Could you describe the topic of Christian Apologetics?
Apologetics means defense, comes from the Greek word apologea (sic.) It's the
same thing a lawyer would do in the courtroom, defend. And if somebody made some
complaint against, he would defend, and uh, these examine all of the major
objections leveled against Christianity that I am aware of, and defends
Christianity against these objections.
Could you describe the position you take in that book?
That Christianity is true, and the objections fail.
And the next book is A Popular Study of the Old Testament. Could you
describe the subject matter of that book?
A Popular Survey of the Old Testament is the title, and that is —
Excuse me. I don't mean to interrupt. It says here study. Is it supposed to be
Well, then, there must be a mistake.
You caught a mistake. I read ideas and you read words. Let's see, where is it
It's on the resume. It says a popular study.
Yep. That's a mistake. That should be A Popular Survey of the Old Testament.
That's the problem. You can't proofread your own material. A Popular Survey
of the Old Testament. That's the book I brought with me today, and that is a
— it goes book by book through the Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi, and
it gives a basic outline and background of each of the books, discussing who
wrote the book, when was it written, to whom did he write, what is the content
of the book, what was his purpose, or why did he write? So it's a guide to
studying the old Testament.- It gives some archaeological historical background
material. Touches on — in the Book of Genesis it touches on the topic of
creation and who wrote Genesis? Is Genesis literally true? Et cetera.
Do you take a position with regard to who wrote Genesis in this book?
Yes, I do.
And what is that position?
Moses wrote Genesis.
Do you take a position as to when Moses wrote Genesis?
Yes, I do.
What is that position?
Roughly around 1,500 B.C., 1,450's.
Do you take a position as to why Genesis was written?
Yes. At the end of each of the books I give, usually three whys. I divide it
into the theological purpose, and the Christological purpose, and the historical
purpose, and I suggest that Moses had — the book can be understood in terms of
Do you take a position as to whether Genesis is a historical book?
Yes, I do.
What position do you take?
I take the position that it's historical.
Do you take a position as to whether it's inerrant?
Yes, I do.
What does the word inerrant mean to you?
It means without error.
Do you take a position as to factual inerrancy?
Yes, I do.
What position do you take?
I take the position that the Bible is factually inerrant.
That includes Genesis?
That includes Genesis. Yes.
The next book you have here is The Roots of Evil, by Zondervan?
Could you tell me what the topic of that book is?
Technically speaking, the topic is called theodicy, T-H-E-O-D-I-C-Y, and
theodicy is the philosophical category that deals with the books on the problem
of evil. And the topic of that book is to discuss the problem of evil, as it
relates to various religious positions, and particularly the Christian position.
If God, why evil?
Do you take a position in that book as to that topic?
Yes, I do.
What is that position?
My position is that evil is not incompatible with the existence of God, and that
we do know some possible and/or plausible reasons for the existence of evil in
Do you articulate those?
What — could you articulate them for me?
Would you please?
A. Uh-huh. The purpose for permitting evil, we divide into several categories. The metaphysical problem people, the physical problem people, and the moral problem people. The metaphysical problem people is if God is the author of everything and evil is something, then it would seem like God is the author of evil. My response to that is, that the minor premise of the syllogism is wrong, namely that evil is not a thing. I hold that evil is not a thing or a substance, the same view that Augustine (sic.) held, and that evil is just a lack or a privation in things, that evil is like a hole in the garment, that, there is a good garment there, and evil is a privation in it, but that evil doesn't exist in and of itself. It only exists in other things.
And then on the moral problem of evil, the question is why did God create a
world where there were free creatures who would commit evil? And the answer I
give to that is, that freedom is the cause of evil, man's free choice. And that
it's good to be free. That we don't carry signs back to bondage away with
freedom. Even Humanists believe that freedom is good. And if freedom is good,
freedom makes evil possible. And then with respect to why God permits evil to
continue, I say that he would have to destroy freedom, in order to destroy evil.
That he could destroy all evil, but he would have to destroy all freedom too,
and that would be destroying the good of freedom, and it's not good to destroy
the good of freedom.
Dr. Geisler, you have a book here called The Inerrancy.
Could you describe for me what the topic of that book is?
It's exactly what we said before. It's on the factual inerrancy of the Bible. I
edited that book and wrote one chapter in it, and the book is a compilation of
scholars defending the inerrancy of the Bible.
I take it you subscribe, then, to the positions taken in there?
I subscribe to the general position taken by the council that sponsored it,
which is called the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, out of Oakland,
California. In fact, I'm a member of that council, and they have a 19 point
statement, which was the result of a conference of 300 scholars from the United
States and various places in the world, about three years ago in Chicago, and
that 19 point statement defines exactly what we mean by inerrancy.
Could you — not to test your memory beyond the realm of reason, but could you
identify for me as many of those points as you recall?
Well, I'll simplify the matter. I'll identify the points that relate directly to
this. We believe that the Bible is inerrant, that it is without error in
everything that it teaches on every topic that it teaches anything on, including
science and creation, in the Book of Genesis.
That's a fairly clear position.
That — you described that as you believe the Bible is inerrant. The basis for
those 19 points — could you describe the basis for those 19 points for me?
If you mean the justification for my belief, the justification for my belief is
spelled out in detail in my Apologetics book, and the heart of the argument goes
like this. It is reasonable to believe in God on the following grounds, which
I'd be glad to go into. If God exists, miracles are possible. We examine history
to see if there are any miraculous confirmations of any truth claims. Jesus
Christ made certain truth claims to be the Son of God, and there was miraculous
confirmation of those truth claims, therefore Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Jesus taught that the Bible was the inerrant word of God, with respect to the
Old Testament that existed, and he promised the same for the new, therefore it
is true that Jes — that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. That's the
essence of the argument.
The concept of faith is extent there in which points of that?
The concept of faith is not extent in any point thereof. It's all based on
historical or philosophical argumentation.
Is there a concept of revelation present in any there?
Revelation is the conclusion of the argument, not any premise in the argument.
You have a book here called Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian
Can you describe for me the topic about that book?
A. That is a textbook for colleges on philosophy with an honest subtitle. Most textbooks on philosophy could be called an introduction of philosophy, a Humanist perspective, but don't put it in their subtitle. We just honestly wanted the readers to know that we were two Christians that were writing the same field, both having expertise in Philosophy on the same topics. It could be used as a textbook, but reminding them that our point of view was a Christian point of view.
And I take it you've just described to me a position you take in the book, too?
The position we take is that you can be a philosopher and be a Christian. And
that a philosopher — a Christian philosopher can adequately engage and handle
honestly and openly all the philosophical problems that any other contemporary
And the last book that I have noted on this list in the resume, is Options on
Contemporary Christian Ethics.
Options in Contemporary Christian Ethics, is really an updating of the
first half of Ethics: Alternatives and Issues. It has additional
chanters. About a third of the book, or 2/5's is new. And the rest is an
updating and sharpening of the arguments and additional arguments for and
against the various positions.
What — when you say updating, what position do you take in this book?
That there are ethical absolutes, same position. No major change in my ethical
position on that topic. I've had minor changes on some minor topics.
Looking at Geisler Exhibit 6, and the books you've given us asterisks on, you
have a book called How History Views the Bible: Decide for Yourself. That
book is in manuscript form?
That is in galley proof form ready to come out imminently.
The — what is the topic of that book?
It is a compilation — a systematic compilation of quotations from the early
centuries up to the present on major theologians' views with regard to the
Do you take a position in that book?
That's merely narrative?
I don't take a position, you know, to be perfectly honest. When you put a book
together on any topic and put headings on and organize it, you are indirectly taking a position. But there is no overt position taken. Obviously I can't
abstract myself from my own convictions, but I try — but the book is really
quotations and my headings. And the heading is there and then the quotation and
the source from the quotation, so if somebody looks up the quote and says it doesn't agree with the heading they can look it up for themselves. But it's an
attempt to be a purely objective summary of what almost every major father from
the early fathers of the church right on through the middle age up to modern
time have said with regard to the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible..
So it's basically directed towards Biblical inerrancy?
It's directed toward a topic a little broader, inspiration and inerrancy,
whereas inerrancy is a specific kind of view of inspiration. Inspiration is a
broader topic than inerrancy. Many people believe in inspiration that don't
believe in inerrancy.
All right. What is your definition of inspiration?
The word inspiration comes from the Greek word, Theopnustas, (sic.) which means
"God breathed." And it comes from II Timothy, Chapter 3, verse 16, in the New
Testament, which says, that all scripture is breathed out by God, that God was
the one who is the ultimate source of giving these truths, and that the authors
of scripture ultimately got their truths from God.
You agree with that?
So what I might be describing as divine revelation, you describe as
Divine revelation is related to inspiration in the following way. Revelation is
the actual conveying of divine truth. Inspiration is the way it was conveyed.
So revelation is the what and inspiration is the how?
The book you have recited here, Miracles in a Modern Mind, what is the
topic of that book?
That was a working title at that time, and it's exact title is going to be
Miracles and Modern Thought. And the manuscript is finished and it's in the
process of being edited by Zondervan now, and the topic of the book is an
examination of the objections against miracles from the time of Spinoza (sic.)
to the present. And I take every major philosopher to my knowledge from the time
of Spinoza to the present, examine his arguments against miracles, and find them
all to be inadequate. So it could be thought of as a defense of super —
a rational defense of supernaturalism.
In what stage is this book?
The stage — as I said, the manuscript is completed, and the editor has it and
he's editing it.
The book you have here, World Views: They Make a World of Difference.
That is just in the process of being written. We have a tentative commitment by
a publisher, and we have a couple chapters written, and the whole book outlined.
What is the general thrust of the book?
A. The general thrust of that view is to enable someone to understand the various perspectives from which people speak. Pantheistic perspective, a theistic perspective, a deistic perspective, an atheistic perspective, and the point of the book — there are really two points. One point is that the same statement made from a different world view perspective has a different meaning. For example, when Jesus said, "I am God." From a theistic perspective that would prove the deity of Christ, because God is the transcendent being beyond the world, and no man can be identical to God, unless he is indeed God.
But from a pantheistic perspective the statement I am God, means something
entirely different. We're all gods; we're all part of God; God is all, and all
is God. So what we want to show is that you have to know somebody's world view
perspective to really understand what they're saying.
Does your analysis of world views focus on the concept of a deity?
Uh, Yes. All world views have something to do with a deity, either affirming or
denying one kind or another. See, it will be again, a typology of world views.
And we'll try to give an exhaustive typology of all of the possible ways you can
relate to the question of the existence of God. God doesn't exist at all,
atheism. God exists and he's out there, but he doesn't involve himself here,
deism. God exists out there, but he also involves himself here, theism. God is
all, and all is God, pantheism. And then a view less popularly known,
panentheism, E-N, in the middle. That all is in God. God is in the world, but
there's more to God than the world. And polytheism there are many gods. And then
we'll take — have a chapter explaining each of these views and helping the
reader to understand the differences.
Take a position on a world view of atheism, non — denying the existence of God —
— is that described in there too?
That will — there will be a chapter on atheism. Right.
You then have a book called Humanism: A Christian Evaluation.
That one is already written. The manuscript form is into the editor, and it's
being edited right now.
Did — what is the general topic of this?
It's divided in two halves. The first half is a survey of various kinds of
Humanism. We survey what we call Egocentric Humanism of Ian Rand, (sic.)
Pragmatic Humanism with John Dewey, (sic.) Behavioral Humanism, of V. F.
Skinner, (sic.) Evolutionary Humanism of a Huxley variety, Existential Humanism
of John Paul Sartre, (sic.) what we call Coalitional Humanism such as the
manifestoes, people who get together and say, "Hey let's pool our resources and
make a statement for our purposes." And Cultural Humanism of Coralis LaMant,
(sic.) type. I may have forgotten one, but that's just mainly exposition with a
few evaluatory comments at the end of the chapters. And the last half of the
book is my critique of what I call Coalitional Humanism, or Secular Humanism
from a Christian point of view.
What — could you give me the sum or substance of that evaluation?
That it is a religion, but it is religiously inadequate; that it is
scientifically inadequate; that it is culturally inadequate, and that it is
So in laymen's terms, that's a religion, but it's not very good religion.
That's right. It's not — it's not a rationally justi — it's not rationally,
scientifically justifiable, nor is it spiritually and socially helpful.
You're scientific analysis of Humanism is drawn from what source?
Let me cross one word out I just said. I don't mean not helpful, because we have
a whole chapter there pointing out that it does have many helpful things to say.
That Humanism has many positive contributions, but that it is insufficient — is
a better word — as a total system. Pardon me, I missed your question.
Could you read my question back?
(Thereupon the reporter read back the immediate previous question.)
Scientific analysis of Humanism is drawn from taking basic principles of
Humanism with regard to its commitment to scientific issues like creation. And
incidentally, the main thrust of my argument on that, is the material I gave
you, that one chapter entitled — let's see, what is it entitled here? I don't
have it in front of me. You have it. Well, here it is. Christianity vs.
Humanism, this exhibit that you might want to give a title to, now, is the
essence of my argument, and what I do is I take basic principles, such as the
second law of thermodynamics, basic principles articulated by scientists like
Michael Polanyi, who was not a
creationist, and take these basic fundamental principles and apply them to the
Humanistic and the creationist conclusions, and see that the first is
inadequate, and the second is adequate.
Do you examine any other scientific element, other than creation?
Uh, any other scientific element of Humanism?
In one of — in the chapter on Cultural Humanism, we go into great detail by way
of a recent book entitled, The Arrogance of Humanism, in showing that
Humanism is scientifically arrogant.
Again, Doctor, I'll restate my question. When I asked you what — what scientific
issues you addressed, do you address any other scientific issues other than
Oh, yeah. Sure. Because they — the scientific issues about control of the —
genetic control, scientific issues that relate to the — the use of science by Humanists as its — as its Messiah. The messianic use of science by Humanists,
and that covers a whole broad gamut of things, you know, like cloning — and we
do that also in the Ethics book too, you know, cloning, genetic control, and I —
my general conclusion, then, in agreement with the Arrogance of Humanism book,
is that science is — is not capable of doing what the Humanist wants it to do.
What is your understanding of what the Humanist wants science to do?
They want it to save the world, in a broad general way. The means of salvation
according to a Humanist, for the human race are: (a) Humanist values, which
means we've got to propagate them and teach them the education and humanist
values. (2) the scientific method which can help us solve our problems. So there
are mainly two sources of salvation by Humanists for mankind. Proper use of
Humanist values, and scientific process, combined with — some of them will add
combined with common sense, which is also part of science too.
So when you're telling me that you addressed the inadequacy of Humanist values
on scientific issues, what you're addressing is a scientific method?
Uh, no. No. They're — They are conclusions built on faulty scientific reasoning.
In other words, I'm saying they are not scientific in their conclusions.
What — what is the scientific method that you just referred to?
It's the method of proper inference of conclusion from substantial evidence.
Can you define in a generalized way, what the faulty conclusions are?
Well, evolution, for example. Macroevolution is understood by modern Humanists
as a faulty conclusion from the scientific evidence.
And you draw this conclusion from the perspective of a philosopher?
Yeah. Uh-huh. I have to — I have to accept the available scientific principles
from the scientific community. In other words, they tell me the second law of
thermodynamics is a fundamental scientific principle, and I say, "Well, if it
is, let's see what that leads to, and I philosophize about that, and I say,
"Well, it looks to me like that leads to God and creation."
And you do this — does this inspiration that we referred to earlier impact on
It has no part in the argument whatsoever.
Besides the second law of thermodynamics, are there any other scientific
principles you analyze?
Uh-huh. I analyze the result of the paleontological record, the geological
column, the result of the fossil — the fossil record.
What exactly — what exactly in the fossil record does — do you examine, or have
I have examined — I've studied geology on the college level and also am an
amateur rock collector. I've examined the Gaps, the fixity of kinds that are
there, and read books by both evolutionists and nonevolutionists on that.
Now, we have your college theology course?
Your rock collecting — you said you examined the Gaps?
What exactly did you look at or see?
A. I looked at the evolutionary text books such as Dunbar's textbook on geology, which he showed where the fossils were, which ones were found and which strata, where the Gaps are in these?
You looked at — all right. Now, that's Dunbar's book. What else have you looked
at in connection with the paleontological record?
I've looked at some of the creationists' material.
Well, the writings of Morris and Gish, (sic.) from the Creation Research
Society. I've looked at — I've also examined personally, and read the book on
the dinosaur footprints. The book on the dinosaurs that came out by Whitcomb (sic.) John Whitcomb, Jr., and that was a study of the Glen Rose, Texas Dinosaur
footprints by human footprints. I have made a trip to Glen Rose to examine these
myself. I have viewed the film that was produced on that particular —
Is that Paluxy River?
This gentleman Morris that you — is that Henry Morris?
Yeah. Henry Morris.
Is he in your mind an authority on creation?
He's one of the authorities on scientific-creationism, yeah.
He's recognized in your mind as an authority?
Well, he's — he has a Doctorate in Science, and he has done a lot of research on
this and written books, and studied and lectured and debated on it, so I'd call
him an authority, yeah.
You'd recognize him as an authority?
Yeah. I would recognize him — I don't agree with all of his views, but I would
recognize him as an authority in his point of view as a matter of fact I
disagree with a couple of his views, the same ones that I pointed out earlier in
the bill, on the Section 4a, 5 and 6.
I'm just trying to get if you recognize him as an authority on
Yes. Yes. Yes, I do recognize him as an authority and so — Gish also.
You recognize Gish as an authority?
How about a gentleman by the name of Gary Parker, do you recognize him.
I don't know Gary Parker.
Okay. Have you had occasion to examine a book called Scientific-Creationism?
Uh-huh. I think that's — I think that's a very credible book from their point of
All right. Have you had occasion to examine any other books in the area of
Yes. Uh, one of the things I brought, and I think I gave you, is a bibliography
on evolution. It's called Select Bibliography on Evolution. And there are a
number of books on here that I have examined. A good one on this topic is by
Wilder-Smith, the second one from the last, called Man's Origin, Man's
Destiny. Another excellent one is by Wysong, W-Y-S-O-N-G, entitled, The
Creation-Evolution Controversy, Inquiry Press, 1978 I've also looked at a
number of other books on this list, but they are two that I would recommend as
credible books from that point of view.
Now, would you mark this, please, as Geisler Exhibit 7, and this as Geisler
Exhibit 8, so we'll know what we're talking about.
(Thereupon Geisler Exhibits 7 and 8 were marked for the record.)
Dr. Geisler, have you had occasion to examine the books on this list, I mean all
No. I have not read all of all of those books. I have read some of most of them,
and all of some of them.
Where did this list come from?
That list was compiled by me through the research that I did, plus research that
students of mine did on topics where they wrote maybe a thesis or term papers
under me, and if they would quote a book, and it had a good idea, I'd look up
the book and say, "Hey, there's a good one and scan it or read parts of it or
all of it, and add it to the list.
So you generated this list?
That particular list is my compilation, that's right.
When did you make this list?
Well, that list was made up some time ago: For example, you'll notice that
Morris' and Gish's book are not on that list yet, and that you'll notice in the
bottom the books are typed in different type. Those were just put on, so that
list, if you will forgive the expression from a creationist, evolved gradually
over just five to eight years, probably.
If we say this list, we're referring to Geisler Exhibit 7, a one-page document,
captioned, Select Bibliography of Evolution. So we have Henry Morris' book and
Duane — What exact did we say about Henry Morris? What book was his?
And Mr. Gish, what book of his?
Well, there's a little one and a big one by similar titles. I think — if I'm not
mistaken, they are both called Scientific-Creationism. There is a little
one called that, and there's the thicker one, but they may have slightly
different titles. I don't know, because I don't have it written down in front of
Do you have all those books?
I don't possess all of them, no. I possess maybe about— I would say possess, in
my personal library, which is a selection, not a collection. I only buy books
that I think I'm going to use over and over again. Otherwise, I borrow them from
the library. I probably have a dozen books on creation-evolution.
But you think all of these books are — are —
Something that somebody who is interested in that topic ought to look at. And
the — and the ones that I've read, present a credible case for their point of
All right. I'd like you to — if you could, just go down this list, and tell me
on each one which books you've read, which books you have, which books you've
just written down, based on the quotes that somebody has given to you?
Okay. The first one, Anderson, Fossils in Focus, I've read the whole
book. That's — is that all you want me to tell?
Biology is cert —
Now, if there is a book on there that you think is an authority, would you tell
me about that? Would you just say that for me so I'll know which books you
consider to be authoritative?
Uh, authoritative meaning what? What do you mean by authoritative?
Well, meaning do you recognize them as an authority in the area of
creation-science or evolution?
Well, under my definition of authority?
Yeah. Well, you give me your definition of authority.
A. Okay. What I understand as an authority is someone who, has some scientific credentials, that is who has studied science and has done research into the scientific data that relates to this topic.
And I recognize the first one Anderson, Fossils in Focus, as having scientific credentials and credibility.
The second one, Biology: A Search for Order in Complexity, I have not
read the whole book. I have looked at that, scanned it. It's a textbook intended
for colleges. I have not read the whole book, so can't comment on the specific
contents of it.
Clark — Robert E. Clark, The Universe: Plan or Accident? I have read that
whole book. That speaks only to the point of the creation of the universe, not
the creation of life itself, and he argues — and think that on that point, he
has credibility, because that's largely a philosophical point.
The next one, Prehistory and Earth Models, by Coak, C-O-A-K, I have not
read. That one was recommended by a student who had some interesting quotes from
The next one by — on Evolution: Possible or Impossible? Grand Rapids. I
read and do not consider to be a scientific authority on it.
The next one, Arthur Custance, Evolution or Creation, Zondervan. I
consider to be a good book I've read, and consider it to be a credible
The next one, William Dankenbring, First Genesis: A New Case for Creation,
I have not read.
The next one, Donald England, A Christian View of Origins, Baker Book
House, I have not read.
The next one, George F. Howe, H-O-W-E, "Creationist Botany Today: A Progress
Report." I have read, as well as some other things that he wrote. He's a
The next one, James Jauncey, Science Returns to God. I have read the
whole book, and it's credible. He's got about six scientific degrees.
The next one, Martin Kaplan, Mathematical Challenges to NeoDarwinian
Interpretation of Evil, I have not read. I have just read parts of,
The next one, The Creation Explanation, I have not read.
The next one, Walter Lammerts, Scientific Studies in Special Creation, I
have read parts of, and consider that to be a good book.
The next one, Walter Lammerts, Why Not Creation? I have also read parts
of, and consider it to be a good book.
Henry Morris, Evolution and the Modern Christian, Grand Rapids; read;
Symposium on Creation, Henry Morris, read; that's a good book.
Donald Patten, Symposium on Creation I've read. That's a good book.
Bernard Ramm, Christian View of Science and Scripture. I've read that
whole book. That's a good, book.
Francis Schaeffer, Genesis in Time and Space. I read that, and that is not a credible book from a scientific standpoint, because he is not a scientist. That's written from a theological standpoint.
Wilder-Smith, Man's Origin, Man's Destiny, is a credible book from a
And Wysong is an excellent book from a scientific standpoint, because it's a
two-model approach. He doesn't come to any conclusion. He just presents both
sides of it. What if — and it's, think, an excellent book.
Two models of what?
Creation model, evolution model.
The creation-science model?
No. He — uh — the book presents both models. He'll present an evolution-science
model, and go through what it holds and what it would believe and what we can
expect. And then go through a creation-science model, what it holds, what you
would expect if it's true, and just examines the evidence and comes to no
conclusion about either one?
Are you aware of any other models for creation?
Are you aware of any scientific support for any other models?
Well, the scientific support bears on all of the models, so it's a matter that
the models — how defined your knowledge gets. For example, if you say creation,
you've got to ask what kind of creator, pantheistic creator, theistic creator,
panentheistic creator, all those world views. Almost all of those I have a view
of creation. So when you're teaching scientific creation, you are not thereby
teaching any of those world views, you are just teaching that some of these
creators — uh - somehow, somewhere — my theory is built on the evidence — must
have created this. So sure, there are a lot of other models. A progressive
creation model, as Barnard Ramm, in his book on this list, Christian View of
Science and Scripture is not an old theory; progressive creation over
millions of years type models, from the theistic evolution models. Uh, Teilhard
de Chardin, and many other people hold a theistic evolutionary model. In fact, I
personally belong to a scientific organization in which many of the people are
That's the American Scientific Affiliation?
Why don't we take a break for lunch.
Before the break, Dr. Geisler, we had gone through Geisler Exhibit 7, and you
had identified for me the various people and books you considered authoritative
in the area of the subject of creationism VS. Evolution, and is there anyone
else besides Mr. Marsh (sic), Mr. Gish and Mr. Whitcomb (sic), which you
recognize as an authority in the area of the scientific aspects of creation?
Well, actually Whitcomb is not an authority on the scientific aspect of
creation. Whitcomb is a Biblical scholar. He is an authority on the Bible and
Genesis, and these areas — that is the Whitcomb that wrote the book with Morris,
The Genesis Flood. He is the theologian of the team. Yes, there are other
people that are authorities on this topic — from a creationist's point of view,
Yes, from any standpoint.
Oh, from any standpoint, okay, good night. There are all kinds of authorities —
From which you are aware, sir —
A. Oh, sure, sure. I am aware of a fellow by the name of Doolittle, who is an authority. In fact, he and Gish had a debate recently on creation/evolution. Carl Sagan, who is a famous proponent. Huxley, — as a matter of fact I have read Huxley's book, Evolution In Action — an authority. There are no end to the. — there is no end to the list of scientific, to authorities on the evolution areas, because most scientists are evolutionists.
Now in the area of creationism, creation science, can you identify any other
experts on the scientific aspects?
Than the ones that mentioned there?
Uh, I would only have less acquaintance with them, if they are not books that
are mentioned there or names that we have already mentioned. There is a fellow
at the University of Michigan, that teaches the, at the University of Michigan,
the creation-science model, uh, double model system. I know his name, read his
thing on origin of life. I can't bring up his name right now.
Is that John Moore?
Yeah, John Moore, that's right, that's his name. John Moore is an expert on it,
and there are other people associated with the Creation Research Society in
California at Heritage College, that are strong creationists. Uh, some of them
I've heard interviewed on TV programs, so forth, that make a credible case.
Are you a member of the Creation Research Society?
No, no I'm not.
We were talking earlier on the basis for your views of the scientific processes,
and that you missed errors therein. You told me about your analysis of the
second law of thermodynamics, and your examination of the paleontological
record. What other basis, what other information did you base your views?
I was just beginning to tell you about Michael Polanyi,
who is not a creationist. But, see what a philosopher does, is take a principle
from a scientist. He says, well here is a scientific principle, believed widely
by scientists, and then he reasons from it and argues. Now, which case is more
plausible in the
light of this principle? Michael Polanyi lays down some principles in his
book, Tacit Dimension, that I think argues strongly for a creationist's
point of view. One of the principles is that lower forms, uh, never produced
That's just a matter of logic?
Well, uh, the principle, he says, is by — not to accept his scientific
authority, and that even more credible to me because he is not a creationist, as
a non-creationist scientific authority, uh, and he gives the illustration that
an alphabet never produces, uh, a dictionary, and a dictionary never produces a
Shakespeare sonnet, or whatever, something like that. It always takes
intelligent intervention to make an alphabet into a dictionary and to make a
dictionary into a sonnet. And if that is so, it seems to me that, that, uh, is a
good argument for a creationist's point of view.
That's a logical argument?
It's a logical argument. Except I'm a philosopher. I'm a philosopher; I'm just
making a philosophical conclusion from that scientific premise. You know, you
feed me the scientific premise, and I'll reason about it. I can't justify,
falsify or verify the truth of the scientific premise because am not a
Different philosophers might view the scientific premise as different?
They — they would have a different model — that's right.
Other than the creationist's model?
Now we had, now, the second law of thermodynamics and the paleontological
record, and this gentleman's, Polanyi's analyses, which
you've examined. What else have you examined?
I might save you some time, because that is in one of the notes that gave you
there. Uh, and in the series of notes that gave you from my anthropology course,
where I said, "I allude to creation", on pages six and seven of that — page six,
starting with 'c'. It says, "Reasons for Rejecting Evolution", in the middle of
page six, point 'c'. And then I give one Biblical reason, because this is really
a course in the Bible, and then give one of those verses, uh, supportive from
the Bible. And then, number 2, on the next page, seven, "Philosophical and
Scientific Reasons Against Evolution", and then I list 'a' through 'g', "Nothing
can produce something" that's a philosophical premise — "Non-Living can not
produce the living", that I accept from Michael Polanyi
— "the non-personal can not produce the living or the personal", "everything
produces after its kind". I am told from scientists that everything produces
after its kind.
Can we stop there? What scientists have told you that?
All scientists. I don't — I have never read a scientist who ever said that a
monkey gave birth to a pig. You know, they all say that everything produces
after its kind.
You, you are talking here about births? Is that what you are talking about?
I am talking about generation. Yea. Generations — uh, one, parents, the
children, uh, always resemble the parents.
That's the only basis for that? That's not —
That's scientific — well you know, you have trillions and trillions of examples
that every time that anyone has ever been born, from any animal, anywhere — uh,
outside of rare mutants that die or are infertile — they always produce after
their kind. If that is so, then I think the reasonable assumption from that is
that evolution did not occur, macroevolution, but creation occurred. (Is that
macro?) Macroevolution, uh huh. And then all basic forms of life began suddenly
and abundantly. That, I take from evolutionary textbooks like Dunbar and others,
that say paleontological record And then —
Wait. Dunbar is the reference that you give for this inclusion here, that this
is a scientific reason against evolution?
Uh huh. Uh huh.
All basic forms of life began, suddenly and abundantly.
Yea. The basic phyla (sic) in Dunbar's chart, in the front of the book — all the
basic phyla (sic) begin in the same time period. And when new life forms begin,
they begin with no known ancestral remnants in the fossil record. There are
great gaps in the fossil record between the kinds, not just small gaps. In fact,
the chain is missing — all we have is a few links. It's not quite missing links,
it's missing chains. That's a fact. Now one of the theories that can explain
that is creation. And then the second law of thermodynamics. So there are my
three, six, seven basic philosophical of scientific reasons that I would give.
None of which are, as you can see — the other categories — Biblical, number one
— these are all scientific or philosophical origins.
In your view, these are all scientific reasons?
That's right. That's correct. They are all premises borrowed from philosophers
and scientists that are widely held to be true.
We did touch on the fact that you have a year of Hebrew, is that what it was?
And, three years of Greek?
And enough French and German to pass the examination?
No other foreign languages?
Have you had occasion, sir, to examine any of the original autographs of the
There aren't any original autographs of the Bible in existence.
What texts of the Bible have you examined in the course of your studies?
A. Hebrew and Greek texts. Kittles' (sic) Hebrew Old Testament is the standard old Testament. And uh, the New Testament. The American Bible Society has one. Uh, uh, there is also, uh, Nessles' (sic) Greek New Testament text. There are other ones available, but those are the main two New Testament texts and the main Old Testament texts accepted by almost everybody, with various additions of it.
Have you had occasion to examine this Kittle (sic) text?
On what occasion?
Oh — like — I refer to it often. It's right behind me in my chair.
Are you aware, sir, of any debate within the philosophical, theological
community with regard to the translation of the Hebrew text?
what is your understanding of that?
Oh. It's a broad question. Where do you want me to jump in? There are those who
translate quite literally, word for word, or those who translate it paraphrastically, idea for idea. There are translations all the way in between.
It's kind of a continuum from how literal can we get to how ideological or
can we get. And translations vary from one end of the spectrum to the other.
Q. Have you had occasion to attempt a translation of Genesis?
A. Uh, as a matter of
fact, yes. I've worked on Genesis, particularly the first part of Genesis, the
And, have you in fact done a translation of that?
I don't have any published translations of that. No.
Uh-huh. Whose translation do you rely on?
I rely on a number of them. There are many translations. For the purposes of
this topic, I would say almost any major committee translation of the Bible is adequate, for all practical purposes. The individuals — when one man translates
it, it's always a question of, you know, that one man's opinion. But when
you get a committee, I think it is safer, so I have in my office — well first of
all there were over three hundred English translations of the Bible. I do not
own all of them, but I have studied the history of all of them, and I know the
titles of them — not by heart, but I can give you a list of it. And, of those, I
have maybe twenty, thirty of them. And the ones that I rely on, are the Revised
Standard Version, the New American Standard Bible. I think that those are good,
modern translations. Or the new international version of the Old Testament, or
for that matter, the Hebrew translation of the Old Testament, The Torah, which
was put out by the — I forget what Jewish society it was that put it out, but I
used that a lot. They are all roughly the same. They are roughly identical on
Would you mark this next exhibit, Geisler exhibit 8? Have you a copy, doctor?
In the right order?
Yea. The one that begins, "Anthropology"?
MR. CAMPBELL: For the record, I think that it is going
to be Plaintiff 's Exhibit 9, isn't it, "Christianity vs. Humanism"?
Q. Yea. You're right. That's incorrect— eight to nine.
(Thereupon Geisler Exhibit 9 was marked for the record.)
You have it as a seven page document. I seem to have a great many more pages of
Oh no. I see you have several other documents — you have several other documents
that are really separate documents stapled on to that one.
Oh. Wait a minute, the seven page document, captioned "Anthropology", and with
your name at the top.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven — that's right. The seven page document,
entitled "Anthropology", and my name at the top, is document 9.
I ask you to look at that, sir, and could you tell me how this document came
It evolved gradually over many years — by my studies, and was finally put
together in present form, I think with a very minor changes about two years ago
when I started to teach the Anthropology Course at Dallas Theological Seminary,
and needed to put some notes together for the students.
Do you teach an anthropology course at your seminary?
Is that a physical or a cultural anthropology course?
It is theological anthropology.
You teach theological anthropology. Could you define that for me, please? I am
not familiar with that course.
Yes. It is — well, of course, I am a systematic theologian and systematic
theology means to systematically put together all of the data in the Bible,
related to what we know about man outside of the Bible, into a comprehensive
whole. So what we do is use a Biblical base what does the Bible teach about man,
and what does everything that science outside of the Bible teach about man, and
try and put these together in a meaningful, comprehensive whole. So this is
where religion and science overlaps — systematic theology is, by it's very
nature, dealing in both fields.
When you say that you use a Biblical base, what does that mean?
It means that since I believe the Bible is the word of God, a revelation from
God, that — and I have rational justification for believing that — such as I
present in my 'apologetics' book — that I accept the Bible as an interpretive
clue, a model or framework by which I can understand reala — reality. I test
that hypothesis by the reality that I encounter.
To what end?
To the end of understanding the truth.
What do you understand the truth to be?
As a result — you ask me what is the end of my project? I understand man to be
created by God, in the image and likeness of God. Therefore it would have
freedom of dignity. That he has been placed by God with infinite value,
therefore it's absolutely wrong to hate man, to racism, hatred, or murder, rape,
cruelty, justice, because man is made in the image and likeness of God and he
That sounds to me like the treatment of ultimate concerns that we started
earlier in the definition of the religion.
That's correct. That's exactly right.
So your analysis therefore is pursuant to a religious purpose.
I, uh, definitely have a religious purpose, and I also have, at the same time, a
scientific purpose, following Socrates' statement that the unexamined life is
not worth living, and I would add that the unexamined religion is not worth
So you're telling me, now under oath, that what you're doing is pursuing science
in this analysis?
That's right. Pursuing science. I am pursuing truth, no matter whether it is
discoverable by science, by revelation, by experience, or however you discover
it. Truth is what we are concerned with.
You start with your belief, as you describe it, your belief that the Bible is
revelation of the word of God.
A. I start with my justified belief, built on rational arguments, that the Bible is the word of-God. Yes.
Do you, sir, as to the consequences or the result of a failure to accept what
you just described as a justified belief in the inerrancy of the Bible?
Yes I do. The consequences or results of failing to accept this justified belief
in inerrancy are that the Bible is not the word of God. Therefore, one would
have to decide for himself, on his own subjective basis, what is and what is not
true in the Bible. So, one of the consequences is forevermore we would not be
sure of any word from God. That revelation is forevermore rendered uncertain
because if the Bible is not the word of God in it's entirety, then part is and
part is not. If part is and part is not, then I am left forevermore to my own
subjective choices as to what part is and what part is not. So I think the
consequences of not accepting that are to leave man wholly uncertain as to what
God has spoken to mankind.
Are there any other consequences?
Well, all of the consequences that accrue to that would come. That he has no
basis for the belief in absolutes. I did not say that he could not believe in
absolutes. I said he had no basis for it, because once you have lost your
absolute groundwork for your belief in absolutes, then you no longer have an
groundwork for the absolutes.
What are the other consequences that flow from what you just described?
In what areas? I could mention psychologically, I think that people are going to
fall apart — just as Sartre, and Camus, and the whole Existential movement show.
I think that if we have no theistic groundwork for our ethics, that ultimately
man is left spiritually, psychologically and socially adrift.
Now, what you just said was that if the Bible is not literally inerrant, there
is no theistic foundation?
What I'm saying is that if the Bible is not literally inerrant, that means there
is no God who has spoken — if there is no God who has spoken as the basis for
those values, then all of these results follow. Uh, for example, Nietzche said,
"God is dead and when God dies, all values die with him". I agree with Nietzche,
the famous atheist.
I want to go back again, Dr. Geisler, and start over again. I asked you what —
you told me that if the Bible was not literally inerrant in all respects, then
there would be no basis for —
There would be no sure word from God — part of it is and part of it isn't, and I
would have to decide which is and which isn't. If there is no sure word from
God, then we have no absolute basis to know what to do in all of these areas. I
mean how do I know that I am not supposed to kill all the Jews, for example.
Well, well, I appreciate your example. What I am asking you is there a basis for
believing in God if the Bible went on inerrant?
Yes. Yes. I have in my books, in several places, offered philosophical proofs of
the existence of God.
Apart from the — inerrancy of the Bible?
Apart from the Bible. Yes, yes. They have nothing to do with that whatsoever.
So, what you are suggesting is that there is no basis for knowing what is right
and wrong unless the Bible is there?
No. All I am suggesting is if there is no God, who has revealed himself in a
sure word, there is no basis for us knowing what is right or what is wrong.
I don't understand that concept of knowing, as you just used it.
Well, I could exist, and never open my mouth and speak. You would have no basis
for knowing what I believe, even though you have good evidence that I exist. You
can see me. So if God has not opened his mouth and spoken, we don't know what
God, the absolute — if there is a God, then he is absolute. He is
the ultimate authority in the universe. And if he hasn't spoken, then we — you
know, if there is a God — but it isn't doing us any good with regard to
direction for our life. So unless there is a God, and he has spoken, and we can
clearly delineate what he has spoken, we won't know what to do. Maybe killing
the Jews is the thing to do.
And clear delineation, in your mind, translates into strict factual analysis?
That's one of the aspects of it, because if the Bible cannot be trusted in
everything, it cannot be trusted in anything for the following reason. If my
wife claims to be God, and then I find her making one mistake, what do I know
for sure? I know for sure she is not God. Because God cannot make one mistake.
So if the Bible claims to be the word of God, and makes one mistake, I know for
sure it cannot be the word of God. Because God can't make one mistake.
That's a view not shared generally though.
That's a view shared by millions of people around the world. In fact, that view
is shared probably from the largest movement of Christianity in America — is the
evangelical movement in which that view is shared almost universally in that
I take it from your answer that you mean all non-evangelical churches don't
share your view?
That's most non-evangelical churches don't, but many non-evangelicals do share
it. Orthodox Jews share it. Into various degrees, a certain non-evangelical
group — they are normally called cults, like Jehovah Witnesses share it. Yes, so
there are many non-evangelicals, who believe that too.
Uh, you said Orthodox Jews share your view of the inerrancy of the Bible.
Reformed Jews do not.
That is correct.
And, there are also other Christians' denominations, which do not share it.
They do not, yes.
Could you identify a few of those for me?
Sure. Movements rather than denominations would be New Orthodox.
Why don't we start with Roman Catholicism?
Roman Catholicism is divided on this. Historically, Roman Catholicism believed
in inerrancy. And —
Today, does — is it an aspect of the Roman Catholicism to believe in the strict
factual inerrancy of the Bible?
Since Vatican II there are many Roman Catholics who do not.
Perhaps, I did not make myself clear, Dr. Geisler. Is it the view of your
understanding of the view of Roman Catholic Church as opposed to individual
Catholics, that the Bible is strictly factually inerrant?
Yes. To the degree that the Roman Catholic Church has spoken on this, down
through the years. It has always spoken in favor of factual inerrancy of
Today, that is the position of the Roman Catholic Church?
Today, the Roman Catholic Church has not made any official pronouncements on
And as the basis of your conclusion that the Roman Catholic Church —
So, I am going by all the Epistle —
If I might finish my question, Dr. Geisler. Only because it is clearer for the
record. It is your position today, as a theologian, that based
upon your scholarship, and as an expert being tendered by this State. That it is
the official position of the Roman Catholic Church that the Bible is
scripturally — strictly factually inerrant.
It is the official position of the Roman Catholic Church whenever they have
officially pronounced on this topic they have pronounced in favor of the factual
inerrancy, or a view that is commensurate with it, and have never said any view
That is your view as an expert.
That is correct.
Now let us take Methodists. How many different denominations of Methodists are
there in the United States, in your view as an expert?
I have never counted the number of Methodists in the United States, but there
is, of course, the United Methodist Church which is the main historic body from
which most other Methodist groups have broken off. There are the Free
Methodists. There are the Wesleyan Methodists. There are three main ones that I
am aware of.
Are you aware of any Methodist denominations which do not adhere to this strict
factual inerrancy of the Bible?
Yes sir. The United Methodists do not.
I see. And are you aware of any others?
Any other Methodist denominations — possibly the, I am not sure of this
statement but I would not be surprised that the Methodist-Episcopal does not
adhere to the inerrancy of. Then there is the African-Methodist church, and I
doubt seriously whether they adhere to the strict inerrancy of Scripture. On the
other hand, the Wesleyan and the Free Methodist generally do. So the four groups
that I am aware of right there, two do and two do not.
How about Presbyterians? How many denominations of Presbyterians are you aware
of that embrace strict factual inerrancy?
Well, there are a number of them that embrace it. Of course, those associated
with Covenant Seminary in St. Louis do. Those associated with Jackson's Seminary
in Mississippi do. I am more familiar in terms of seminaries, because that is in
what I deal with — and the denominations — there are various denominations that
feed into these. The United Presbyterian do not. The United Presbyterian is the
main body of those who do not. There are smaller groups like the ARP that is
fighting this battle right now, back and forth. So it's kind of undecided there.
So, some are undecided, some are decided against and some are decided for.
Without, without belaboring you or the record any further, Dr. Geisler. It is
pretty clear in your own mind that your analysis of the strict factual inerrancy
of the Bible be the only basis for concluding the existence of the God, is not a
view that is ubiquitous. And that is encompassing all religions.
Yea. For the record, I didn't say what you just said.
I recognize that. But I am suggesting to you that you do not have to ascribe to
strict factual inerrancy of the Bible.
You can believe in God without subscribing to inerrancy. Yes.
Are you suggesting that there is no basis for believing in God?
No. I said that you can prove that philosophically apart from the Bible.
Uh-huh. Are you concluding, doctor, that there is no basis for believing that
God has spoken in the Bible, unless the Bible is strictly factually inerrant?
I am saying something very close to that. I am saying that we cannot be sure of
the revelation of God in the Bible, unless the Bible is inerrant.
But you would agree with me that that is a view not shared by those churches —
which even you have named.
Which I named. That is correct.
And so to that extent, the view of strict factual inerrancy, at least in some
respects, is a sectarian view.
Uh, it is not a sectarian view. It is a view probably held by the masses of
Christians, probably the majority of Christians, in the United States.
So there is a minority that do not hold that?
That is correct. If you are adding up numbers, for example, the largest
denomination in the United States, Protestant denomination, is the Southern
Baptist. And at their recent convention, they just reaffirmed their statement of
faith that says the Bible is true without any add-mixture of error.
the Northern Baptists do not subscribe to that same position.
That is correct. But they are a very small group.
But they are also a group?
That's right. There are small groups that don't, but the largest groups of
seminaries and evangelical Christians, and Christians, period, of any variety, I
would say do.
What is your definition of sectarian?
Well, I think that it is an ambiguous term that you can define in many different
But, you were quite clear in answer to my question that strict factual inerrancy
was not sectarian.
That's right. Because strict factual inerrancy is the historic, fundamental,
orthodox position, and I would define sectarian as that which is broken away
from the orthodox position.
Q. And it
is on that basis that you conclude that which you have just described now is a
strict fundamental position, i.e., the factual inerrancy of the Bible.
i.e., the five historic fundamentals. Yes. Not contemporary sociological
fundamentalism, but historic theological fundamentalism.
And, it is because your position is that the fundamentalists were there first,
if I might use a colloquial expression. That they're not sectarian.
No, that is not correct.
All right. Why don't you address it for me. I suggest to you that sectarian
means having a view not shared by others. Not shared by all others. And if you
would like to explain it for me a little differently, I would be willing to
Yea. If that is what sectarian means then everyone is sectarian. Because
everyone has a view of some kind or another, and their repertory not shared by
others or all others.
What is your view of the word, sectarian, in the context of religion, now?
Those who have broken away from the orthodox position.
I see. And then that is the basis for your conclusion, that those who believe in
the strict factual inerrancy of the Bible are not sectarian.
That is right. They are the orthodox.
And is there any other — is there any other definition of the word, sectarian,
in your view?
I am sure there is. Uh, I usually use the word, cultic or cult, if the view
takes some major Bible teaching and denies it. For example, the Jehovah
Witnesses, I would take to be a cult because orthodox teaching is that Christ is
God. And they deny that Christ is God. So I normally use the word, cult, for
those groups that deny one or more of the fundamentals. The word, sectarian, is
a little broader than the word, cult, because the word, cult, connotes some
other idiosyncratic characteristic that is not necessarily connected with the
denial of some fundamental. Like the snake charming cult, or the Moonie cult.
I take it then that I would correctly describe you as a fundamentalist?
In the historic, theological sense, I believe in the five fundamentals. That is
And you subscribe to them, as you testified to them earlier today?
That is correct.
In a sociological sense, do you consider yourself a fundamentalist?
No, I'm not.
Q. So, therefore, you might not ascribe to some of the political views that —
A. That’s right. I do not to some of them.
(Thereupon Geisler Exhibit 10 was marked for the record.)
Q. Will you mark this for me? Dr. Geisler, I ask you to look at the book, Geisler Exhibit 10, The Bible Has The Answer. And I ask you, have you ever seen that book before?
A. Umm. No. —
Q. You are aware that the author is Henry Morris?
A. I just see that now on the cover. He is one of the two authors.
Q. Indeed. Uh, I direct your attention, sir, to page eighty, wherein, Mr. Morris is discussing evolution. Page eighty, paragraph number three.
Q. I ask you. That paragraph reads, “the evolutionary philosophy is the intellectual basis of all anti-Christian and anti-God systems that have plagued mankind for centuries. It served Hitler as the rationale for Nazism and Marx as the supposed scientific basis for communism. It is the basis of the various modern methods of psychology and sociology that treat man merely as a higher animal, and which have led to the misnamed “new morality”, and ethical relativism. It’s whole effect on the world and mankind has been harmful and degrading. Jesus said, “a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit”, Matthew VII, XVIII. The evil fruit of the evolutionary philosophy is evidence enough of its ultimate origin in Satan’s age-long rebellion against his creator.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement?
A. I disagree.
Q. In what respects, sir.
A. Uh, he overstates the case. The first line he uses the word, all. That’s surely false. It’s not the basis for all anti-Christian, anti-God systems. There — there are bi-Pantheistic and Existential, and theistic, and all other kinds of cases. And then I disagree with his — uh — conclusion, later on where he says, let’s see, the word, whole, is the one that stuck out — words. Its whole effect. That’s surely false. It’s whole effect isn’t — it has some good effects, too.
Q. Anything else that you disagree?
MR. CAMPBELL: At this point, I will object. If you would like to go through and read one sentence at a time, I think it might be more useful. It’s a very broad statement to have an individual look at it and make one general analysis of it.
MR. SIANO: Well —
MR. CAMPBELL: I think the question might be ambiguous. That’s all I am saying —
A. Yea. I can see another sense already, if you want me to make one more comment on a specific line?
Q. Go ahead.
A. “It served Hitler as the rationale.” I don’t — I don’t think that was the total rationale. It may have been part of the philosophical presuppositions behind Hitler, but certainly he had — there were other things there. I think that it is just way overstated.
Q. I direct your attention, sir, to page ninety. And particularly the paragraph which reads — first paragraph on the page — “evolution is thus not only anti-biblical and anti-Christian, but is utterly unscientific and impossible, as well. But it has serve effectively as the pseudo-scientific basis of atheism, agnosticism, socialism, fascism, and numerous other false and dangerous philosophies over the past century. For anyone who respects the Bible as the word of God, there is certainly no reason to reject the historical accuracy of the account of Adam, confirmed as it was by Christ, himself, in favor of the self-serving speculations of evolutionary philosophers.” Do you agree with that?
A. Not entirely, no.
Q. In what respects do you agree with it?
A. Well, he says evolution is thus not only anti-biblical and anti-Christian, but is utterly unscientific and impossible. That is surely overstated. I think it is scientifically improbable, but I surely wouldn’t say that it was scientifically impossible.
Q. You make that statement, sir, by your own admission — not being a scientist.
A. Oh yea. Just being a philosopher, looking at facts. I don’t see any — see, a philosopher says, that the impossible is the contradictory. It has to be contradictory to the impossible. Square circles are impossible. The kind of evidence that bears on the question of origins is not that kind of evidence, that reduces it to the impossible, either way. You can’t absolutely prove evolution and you can’t absolutely disprove it. So it is probable — when you are talking in science, you are talking in probable evidence. You are not talking in absolute certainties.
Q. Now then, you are speaking as a philosopher?
A. I am speaking as a philosopher. But don’t forget that evolution is a philosophy.
Q. Evolution, in your mind, is a philosophy?
A. Evolution in the minds of all credible evolutionists is a philosophy. Very few people, including even in the Humanist Manifesto, and credible modern scientists will claim that evolution is an absolute proven fact. Almost all evolutionists are humble enough. And if they are scientists, and acting as scientists, to acknowledge as a theory.
Q. Morris is a scientist.
A. Mr. Morris, uh, is a scientist. That’s right.
Q. Mr. Morris seems to have a rather absolutist view of, uh, — evolution.
A. I think he overstates his case.
Q. But he has stated it that way.
A. I think he overstates it.
Q. And you have identified him earlier as an authority in area of scientific creation.
A. That is correct. He is an authority in the sense that he is aware of the scientific facts, and that he has drawn generally valid scientific conclusions. Here, he is making sweeping, philosophical, sociological statements. He is speaking out of his field. And scientists who speak out of their field, like any other person, generally get themselves on the end of the limb and watch somebody saw them off.
Q. And Mr. Morris, as you described him earlier, you said had a doctorate in some scientific field to your understanding.
A. Yes. I think he is a hydrologist. And in his field, and as it bears on the subject of evolution, he has made credible conclusions. I think. But when he is speaking out of his field, I think he overstates it.
Q. What is the bearing of hydrology on evolution and creation-science?
A. It is a legitimate physical science. It has to do with understanding of the world’s surface, catastrophism, which also bears directly on the question of evolution, and whether the uniformitarianism is right or catastrophism. And I think it directly bears.
Q. What you’re saying is Mr. Morris is entitled to his views on science, just as you are entitled to your views on philosophy.
A. That’s right.
Q. And he is not entitled to state some of these philosophical positions.
A. He is entitled to state them. Everybody can — you know there is freedom of speech, but I think when he did, he overstated it. And he is out of his field. Because he is making sweeping, sociological, ethical and philosophical statements.
Q. Just as you might be a little less comfortable with some of the scientific statements.
A. Just as the same thing that evolutionists do. You know, they make sweeping, philosophical, sociological statements just like Morris does here. I could give you the same kind of quotes out of evolutionists that sounds like they are speaking ex-cathedra with final authority. And what they are saying is totally false.
Q. Dr. Geisler, I am not arguing with you about what other people say. I am merely asking you if, as to you. You are not a scientist, and therefore, what you just described as to —
A. In analyzing his philosophical conclusions, based on what I do know about the various — it seems to me he overstated it.
Q. But, you are not a scientist, and therefore, your scientific views aren’t — are — might well be considered in the same light as you are considering Dr. Morris’ philosophical views.
A. It is totally dependent on the premises that the scientists gave me. But once the scientist feeds a philosopher a premise. He says this is scientifically accepted or established. Then I am just as much an authority as anyone else, as to what kind of conclusions can be legitimately drawn. And, in fact, more so because philosophers are trained in the art of drawing valid conclusions from premises.
Q. That is your view from that statement that you just made?
A. And that is the view of philosophers in general.
Q. Dr. Geisler, let me address your attention to page 107 in Geisler Exhibit 10. And, uh, direct your attention to the last two sentences — last sentence of that paragraph which comes above question six. And the sentence reads, “the decision to accept or reject any part of the Biblical record, (confirmed as fully and histor — fully historical and factual, even in the stories of Creation and the blood by Christ and his apostles in the New Testament), is therefore not a scientific decision at all, but a spiritual decision.” Do you agree with Dr. Morris’ statement — Mr. Morris’ statement?
A. The decision to accept or reject any part of the Biblical record, confirmed as fully historical and factual, even in stories of Creation and the blood by Christ and his apostles in the New Testament is therefore not a scientific decision at all, but a spiritual decision. No. I don’t agree with that.
Q. Dr. Morris is a scientist, though.
A. Yea. But see he is speaking about the double aspect of it. I think there are two aspects of that. There is a scientific aspect —
Q. Doctor. Dr. Geisler. I did not ask you a question, and I am sure your counsel or the counsel of the State will ask you alot of questions about that —
MR. CAMPBELL: Certainly, Dr. Geisler is entitled to answer questions — I believe — that
MR. SIANO: If there was a question, Mr. Campbell — He was —
MR. CAMPBELL: He is responding to your first question as to whether or not — you —
MR. SIANO: No. I asked you — no, we finished that. I asked him —
MR. CAMPBELL: He was still expounding on that particular answer —
MR. SIANO: No — I think that the record will indicate —
MR. CAMPBELL: I think that the record will indicate that he is answering — your question —
MR. SIANO: Let’s have the record read. Let’s have the record read —
MR. CAMPBELL: No. There is no sense in that. Just ask the question again and let him answer it —
MR. SIANO: Uh. Is Mr. Morris a scientist?
MR. SIANO: Thank you. That was my question, Mr. Campbell, as you well were aware. I will take the book back now. Thank you.
BY MR. SIANO:
Q. Are you aware of an individual by the name of Kelly Seagraves?
A. No. The name I’ve seen around, but I don’t recall — I have never met him and I don’t, uh, uh, nothing specific that he said. I — Seagraves. I don’t have it on the bibliography. I don’t recall anything, uh
Q. Dr. Geisler, what if, what if anything might be the basis for this difference of views with regard to the inerrancy in the Bible?
A. Philosophical presuppositions.
Q. What does that mean?
A. It means that they have different philosophical frameworks from which they are approaching the Bible.
Q. All right. Let’s talk about the they, first of all. Do others — generally, other than fundamentalists?
A. Well, inerrantists and non-inerrantists, you know. An inerrantist approaches the Bible with this set of presuppositions. I am not saying that they are only presuppositions. I think they can be argued about rationally justified. But, one that God exists. Two that miracles are possible. So, he approaches it from a theistic, supernaturalist perspective. Three, that the Bible, like any other book or person in the world, is innocent until proven guilty. That you approach the Bible the same way you approach the person in the courtroom. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Now, if you approach the Bible with those three presuppositions, I think — and if you look at the evidence, I think it comes out inerrant. If, on the other hand, you approach the Bible with the presupposition that God doesn’t exist, then you have already ruled out of court immediately the possibility of it being the word of God. Because if God doesn’t exist, he obviously can’t speak. The Bible can’t be his book. Or secondly, if you approach the Bible with the presupposition that miracles aren’t possible, or don’t happen, either one, and then you read about miracles in the Bible, then immediately you are going to think it’s incredible. So, I think it’s the anti-supernatural and/or anti-theistic presupposition, and the wrong presupposition with regard to the claims of something. If I see a sign that says exit, I presume that’s telling me’ the truth until proven otherwise. Now, if I walk through and find myself in the women’s john, I am going to say, You know, that something is wrong here and I am not going to trust that sign the next time I see it. And I think that’s, what makes the non-inerrantists different as conclusions from the inerrantists because he has three different presuppositions. Two or three of those are either anti-supernatural and guilty until proven innocent, or also anti-theistic.
Q. So what you’re suggesting is there is no way to ascribe to those presuppositions, you have just described, and not be a Biblical literalist.
A. There is no logical way, in the light of the evidence, is what I would add. There is always the illogical way to do everything, but if you follow the proper logical conclusions in the light of the evidence, and use those principles, you ought to, and all rational man ought to come out with the conclusion of the Biblical inerrancy. That’s what I would say.
Q. These presuppositions, as you just described — are these part of that inspiration you talked about earlier?
A. Of course. Inspiration presupposes at least the first two and if not the third one. The Bible cannot be an inspired word of God unless there is a God, unless he can act supernaturally, and if you don’t trust the documents as telling you the truth until proven otherwise, you are not likely to come to the conclusion that’s inspired.
Q. So you are telling me that inspiration is part of acting through this vehicle of revelation?
A. Inspiration means God supernaturally conveying that truth. And that — the first two presuppositions are there, and supernatural.
Q. But you have to believe in those.
A. You have to believe in those before you are going to believe in inspiration. Obviously, the Bible is not the word of God, if there is no God who can speak.
Q. In this quote I read to you — from one of the quotes that I read to you from Mr. Morris in connection with evolutionary philosophy, he uses the term, Satan. As an expert, do you have a view of the meaning of that word?
A. Uh-huh, I do. I believe that the word, Satan, described in the Bible, and as held by orthodox Christians down through the years, refers to an intelligent, personal supra-human being, who rebelled against God, and with him a whole host of other beings called angels, who are now called demons.
Q. Do you believe that Satan exists?
A. Yes. Yes.
Q. What is the basis for that?
A. The basis for that belief is that the Bible is the word of God, and the Bible teaches it. And my basis or belief in the Bible as the word of God, I have already indicated earlier.
Q. That’s true.
A. And I might add that it is confirmed by experience, as well.
Q. What experiences have confirmed it to you, sir, as an expert, the existence of Satan?
A. Uh, dealing with demon possessed people, exorcisms, the study of the UFO phenomena, the study of the occult.
Q. Could I have that answer read back?
(Thereupon the Reporter-read back the immediate previous answer).
Q. What study have you made of the occult, sir?
A. Uh, I have, uh, read books on the occult, and then also an encounter with people who have had occult experiences. And uh —
Q. Has this been done in a systematic way?
A. Uh, well so far as all of my work is systematic — done in a systematic way. I have, uh, looked at the phenomena, looked at the theories, looked at the evidence pro and con, come to conclusions based on the facts that I have, available — the hypothesis —
Q. How much have you — how much have you — time, would you say in the last twenty years, has been spent studying the occult?
A. I would say less than 1/10th.
Q. Less than ten percent of your time?
Q. And what sort —and how many books have you read on the occult?
A. Uh, probably a couple dozen books that either are on it or related to it. Uh —
Q. How many people have you interviewed?
A. Oh, I would say probably, if you count as interviewed all those people who have shared with me in experiences and counseling, and discussing about it — probably fifty to one hundred.
MR. CAMPBELL: For the record, I object to these questions on the occult, as to their relevance.
MR. SIANO: Your objection is noted.
BY MR. SIANO:
Q. Now about — you discussed UFO’s — I take it those are initials?
A. UFO’s? Yea.
Q. What do those initials stand for?
A. Unidentified flying objects.
MR. CAMPBELL: I make my similar objection to UFO’s.
Q. What is the basis for your — have you studied UFO’s in a systematic way?
A. I have read books on UFO’s, seen films on UFO’s. And analyzed various theories that have been presented on the basis of the evidence.
Q. Did — interviewed people?
A. Not systematically. No, I have not systematically interviewed anybody. I have talked to people, who have had experiences and who have related what they had. But I have depended mainly on the evidence, as provided; by the — Dr. Heinich (sic) from Northwestern University who has done systematic —
Q. How do you spell that?
A. H-Y-N-E-K, I think.
Q. Have you read his book or talked to him?
A. I have just read his material, I haven’t talked to him.
Q. What is your experience with demon possessed people?
MR. CAMPBELL: I make my same objection to the relevance on this point.
WITNESS: My personal experience with demon possessed people is limited to probably about a half a dozen or so cases of people, that in my opinion, on the basis of the evidence I had, probably were influenced by demons.
Q. And do you have any professional opinion, as to the existence of demons?
A. Yea. Yea. I believe that demons exist.
Q. Do you have any professional opinion, as to the existence of UFO’s
A. Yes. I believe that UFO’s exist.
Q. And how are they connected with Satan?
A. I believe that they are part of a mass deception attempt, that they are means by which Satan deceives because he is a deceiver and he is trying to deceive people. He did it from the beginning in the Garden of Eden, and he has been doing it now through the years. And this is one of the ways that he is deceiving people.
Q. Your description of demons, I take it, are those other angels that fell with Satan. And they exist now?
Q. And your experience with the occult — how did that relate to your view of the existence of Satan?
A. I think occult phenomena, such as the moving of physical objects through the air, and so forth, such as is manifest, for example, in the Empire Strikes Back. The Luke Skywalker, the ability to move physical objects. I think that this is a demonic power that you get by occult practices. It has been done in time immemorial. It is condemned in the Bible. And it is still manifest in the world today.
Q. Have you ever had any conversations with Dr. Edward Boudrenu?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Dr. Geisler, you have here, given to me copies of some pages, numbered 33, 34, 35 and 36. Are they — these four pages - are they supposed to be one document?
A. Yes. This forms an appendix in my Apologetic Anthropology notes, that we gave you — the first part before. And this is an appendix that deals with various views on the days of Genesis, as they relate to science.
Q. So, if I stapled them together, that would be okay wouldn’t it?
A. Yes. Yes, it would.
Q. Could we have your copy of these marked as — I guess it is number 11 now? And, ten was Mr. Morris’ Bible.
(Thereupon Geisler Exhibit 11 was marked for the record.)
Q. And what you have — you have those pages too? In addition to me —
A. No. Ten I don’t have.
Q. No, eleven. Eleven. Do you have the originals of eleven, is what I am trying to say.
A. No, Somebody else.
Q. No —
A. There — The paper clip —
Q. Right here? Oh this is the original of eleven? Oh, I see, I see what you mean.
MR. CAMPBELL: You mean these notes for you to deliver —
WITNESS: I am going to have to have a copy — you are going to have to make a copy.
MR. SIANO: Yea. We will make a copy of the one — I tell you what we will do. Why don’t — why don’t — can we get another copy of this? And I will have this — and I’ll have this one — we’ll make a copy — we’ll treat the exhibit — make one more copy so we can mark it.
BY MR. SIANO:
Q. Dr. Geisler, I have put in front of you a four page document — page numbers 33, 34, 35 and 36. Now, I ask you to tell me what this document is?
A. This is a part of my notes in a course called, Anthropology — a systematic theology course called Anthropology that I teach at Dallas Seminary.
Q. Now, what else do we have in that file of documents, there?
A. Secular Humanist Declaration and a chart that I use when making a contrast between Humanistic ethic and Christian ethic.
Q. Could we have those two documents marked as twelve and thirteen?
A. Okay, let’s see. Here they are right here.
(Thereupon Geisler Exhibit 12 and 13 were marked for the record.)
Q. I’ll show you what has been — I marked as a one page document with a pencil notes, Humanism at the top. And the multi-page document — actually five pages — captioned the Secular Humanist Declaration. Could you just identify those for me?
A. Yes. The first one, with a pencil note Humanism on top, is really a Xerox copy of an overhead projection that I use when I come to the section on Humanistic Ethics in my Ethics course. And I show a contrast between the Humanistic Ethic and the Christian Ethic on various — aspects. And the other one, Secular Humanist Declaration is the most recent declaration by Humanists in a new Humanistic journal, called Free Inquiry, that came out in 1981 — the winter of 1980-81, which has their declaration somewhat similar to a succession of Humanist Manifesto I & II. More or less a Humanist creed.
Q. Humanism. Is that also referred to, on occasion, as secular humanism?
A. By people, who speak imprecisely. It is. Yes.
Q. Why is that, in your view, imprecise?
A. Because they are religious humanisms and nonreligious humanisms. There are Christian humanisms and non-Christian humanisms. There are all kinds of humanisms, and I think it is imprecise to lump — to call secular humanism, humanism.
Q. Yea. In Geisler Exhibit 12, you have Humanist Ethic. What sort of Humanism are you speaking about, there?
A. I am talking about secular Humanism.
Q. Oh. So, this Humanism, in your document, could be called secular Humanism.
A. Yes, that’s right. See, that is just a chart, with just words on it. So you have to — the dichotomy of words demands that you have to fill in the blanks. So I’m really talking there about secular Humanism.
Q. Now, your testimony today. Has that been about Humanism or secular Humanism?
A. Well on various points, we have talked about both. So you would have to go over them one by one.
Q. Okay. The — Act 590, which we’ve marked here. What number is that down as -
MR. CAMPBELL: Uh, Four.
BY MR. SIANO:
Q. Geisler Exhibit 4. Is there reflected anywhere in this document, a description of any tenets that you conclude are consistent with secular Humanism?
A. Well they describe evolution-science, which is one of the tenets of secular Humanism, yes.
Q. Now that description is contained in Section IV-B?
Q. Now is that — do you agree with that definition of evolution-science?
A. It’s — I would say generally that a valid definition — you could say more, it could say less. For that space there, I would say that it is a pretty good definition of evolution-science.
Q. Have you ever heard the phrase, evolution-science, ever used other than the context of this Statute?
A. Yea, sure. Evolution-science is a common description. After all, you can look at evolution in many ways scientifically, sociologically, psychologically, theologically. So, evolution-science, I think, is meant to zero in on the scientific aspects. For example, Spencer was a philosophical evolutionist in the 1800’s. So, evolution-science, I think, is a pretty common —
Q. Perhaps, I did not make myself clear, Dr. Geisler. I realize that we have been doing this for a few hours. The phrase, evolution-science, is used in quotes in IV-B. Now, I ask you, other than in the concept of this Act, have you ever seen that phrase, evolution-science, used anyplace?
A. No. I don’t recall specifically whether I have or not. In other words, I cannot recall specifically having seen it anywhere. I may have, but I cannot recall specifically having seen that. In that exact form — “evolution- science”.
Q. You’ve seen the word, evolution, used?
A. And the word, science.
Q. And the word, science, used.
A. And scientific evolution, and so forth.
Q. As opposed to these other concepts of evolution that you have articulated.
A. Yes, Uh-huh.
Q. Uh. Do you use the word, psychological evolution? What is that?
A. Well, some evolutionists believe that after the physical evolution occurs, there actually is going to be further psychological evolution in man. That his psyche is going to evolve. Some study evolution in a sociological way. The evolution of cultures. Some study it in a broad philosophical way like Spencer did. So, I’m used to using — seeing it used in an adjectival sense — scientific evolution — or psychologic or sociological or physical.
Q. Okay. I think I understand. Now, are you prepared, if you testify in trial in this case, to state anything with regard to evolution and Humanism?
A. Yes. Uh-hum.
Q. What would you be prepared to testify?
A. Well, I would be prepared to testify that most secular Humanists, and indeed, most Humanists in the Western world, believe in macroevolution. And that it is — that macroevolution is a central tenet of secular Humanism.
Q. What is your definition of the phrase, macroevolution?
A. By macroevolution, I mean evolution between various kinds of animal life. Evolution on the total scale from micro to man. You know, from the reptile through the crocodiles up to the Gentiles, as someone humorously put it. The — the total evolution.
Q. I don’t understand the phrase, kinds. Could you describe to me what your understanding of that word is?
A. Sure, kind means a meaningful generic unit. A taxonomical unit of biological understanding that has certain kinds — certain characteristics of — inherent characteristics of life pattern. And —
Q. You using that phrase in a scientific way?
A. Uh, if scientific isn’t pressed too much. I am using it in a scientific way. If scientific is pressed, you will find that scientists, themselves, disagree with the question. For example, scientists generally use the term, species —
Q. In fact —
A. Instead of kind.
Q. In fact, in the phylogenetic organization, the word, kind, doesn’t exist.
A. That’s right.
Q. So you are not using that word as a —
A. An equivalent of any given thing in the phylogenetic tree.
Q. So you are basically — I — if you will pardon the expression, coined a word, which you are using to describe —
A. The same as the scientists coined the words that they used to describe — this phylogenetic tree —
Q. Right. But agreed. And what I am suggesting is that we have defined macroevolution, and have used the term kinds. And I’m — you have your own meaning for what that word is.
Q. You — as you testified earlier, you are a philosopher —
A. Not a scientist —
Q. That’s right. Now is there any other characteristic of — of macroevolution or anything else other than evolution between various kinds of animal life?
A. Well, as I understand macroevolution, it is the belief that all living forms are the result of a process of development from previous animal life. And that this ultimately derivable from nonliving things. So that you move from a process from nonliving things to living things through the whole phylogenetic tree up to all the existing families, and genera and species that we have today.
Q. Now, this understanding — is this your definition of macroevolution?
A. No. I’m not alone in that. That’s commonly accepted — definition of macroevolution.
Q. I understand Dr. Geisler. Other people may share your views. You’re here testifying and I am trying to understand your views of what this term means.
Q. Now, your view is that macroevolution, as you use the term, to be an essential tenet of secular Humanism, is defined by evolution between various kinds of animal life or all living forms developing upward on a phylogenetic scale, and ultimately living things developing from nonliving things.
A. Almost correct. I did not use the word upward. And many evolutionists don’t use that term anymore. And I used the word species — that all living species, as understood by scientists, today, evolve from lower kinds or forms of species. And that these ultimately arose out of nonliving matter.
Q. And that is your description.
A. That’s my description of macroevolution.
Q. And —
A. And of course, you — one should add without any divine intervention for the production of these new kinds, when they did arise. That all present species or kinds developed from lower kinds. And that out of nonliving, came without any divine intervention for the production of these kinds.
Q. Now is that the presence or absence of divine intervention — is that part of your description of macroevolution?
A. My — my description of macroevolution would include that as — with the possible exception of some theistic evolutionists agree that the first living kind was directly created. And that everything else evolved with the possible exception of the other end that God may have intervened once the body of the ape had developed into a hominoid form and created a soul in it. So that theistic evolutionists is a partial exception to my definition - that he does have intervention of God at two points, at the beginning and at the very end of the process, but the middle of the scale is the middle of macroevolution. That everything else developed — from — one from the other without any intervention of God in between —
Q. Let’s go back Dr. Geisler because I’m a little confused now. We started out by — by my asking you whether you would opine about evolution — opine about evolution at the trial. And you testified that you would state that macroevolution was a central tenet of secular Humanism.
Q. Then I asked you to describe what your understanding of that phrase was. Macroevolution.
A. That’s right.
Q. Now, I would like you to again state for me what your understanding of that phrase, macroevolution, is. You, your testimony. Not what other people think.
A. Yes. Yea, what I will testify to that secular Humanists believe that all living species evolve from lower forms of animal life, which arose out of nonliving matter, without the intervention of any divine intervention at any point to produce these new kinds of species, forms. Now that is secular Humanists, remember. I am answering a question about what secular Humanists would say. Now, there are some — evolutionists who are not secular Humanists, who don’t believe that. Theistic evolutionists.
Q. I’m, again, you are going to opine about evolution at trial —
Q. And you are going to talk about secular Humanists? And you are going to tell — you are going to testify what you just said? And one element of that appeared to me, as to secular Humanism, without divine intervention.
A. That’s right.
Q. Now, that’s an affirmative element, I guess I would call that answer. Its a key part of it.
Q. Now, that’s — which part of that description is the part of it that makes it secular Humanism. Is it evolution?
A. That’s it. Both.
A. There are two parts of it that are a part of the secular Humanism. Part one is that the lower forms gave rise to the higher forms. And the other is that they gave rise without divine intervention. There are really two essential elements to the secular Humanist contention. Vis-a-vis, the creationist’s contention. Creationists’ contend both that the lower forms did not give rise. There is no genetic connection between the lower forms and the higher forms by way of production. And that divine intervention is the key to the future.
Q. Doctor, could we talk about evolution without reference to creation-science. And I don’t mean to — to challenge your testimony, other than to answer the question. Can you describe evolution other than in reference to creation and special creation?
A. If you are talking about the evolution of animal species and their origin, no. Because, see, once the question of origin is raised, then the question of creation or evolution comes in. Either it did or did not result from divine intervention. If, it did not arise, then that yields to an evolu — evolutionary model. If it did, it fits with a creation model.
Q. But, you, yourself, just testified that there are theistic evolutionists who believe in that.
A. That’s right. But, that’s because they say there is intervention at the very beginning, and at the end of the process. But they agree with the secular Humanists in the whole middle of the process. Darwin, himself, believed that God created the first one or few simple forms of life. So Darwin, himself, was a theistic evolutionist.
Q. So, then it is possible for some people to talk about evolution with God, and other people talk about evolution without God. And some people can not be able to talk about evolution.
A. Now, I don’t know what you mean by the third one. But the first two are correct.
Q. So, when you describe secular Humanism. You’re describing evolution of living things, highest forms —
A. Arising out of lower —
Q. Arising out of lower —
A. Without —
Q. Without divine intervention.
A. That’s it.
Q. And I asked if both of those elements are essential to secular Humanism.
A. I would say yes.
Q. Ah. Now, the first part of that, lower forms to higher forms, that, standing alone, is that secular Humanism?
A. That lower forms preceded higher forms? On the paleontological record?
Q. No. No, I didn’t — I didn’t bring paleontological record anywhere into this, Dr. Geisler. I asked you in the description of evolution, you said that there were two concepts.
A. That’s right.
Q. One of them was evolution of living — lower living species, developing into higher living species.
A. Uh-huh. Right.
Q. And the second one was without divine intervention.
A. That’s right.
Q. And the first concept, that’s not secular Humanism, standing alone.
A. No. I would say that standing alone, even of itself, you have a radical difference between two views because a creationist would not hold that lower forms give rise to higher forms. And a secular Humanist does hold — so, sure, even in and of itself, standing alone, that would be a secular Humanist tenet.
Q. So, anyone who believes that higher forms or evolution of higher forms of the species evolving from lower forms is, by definition, a secular Humanist?
Q. So let’s go back again. That’s why I’m —
A. Because theistic Humanists don’t believe that.
Q. Ah, the —
A. Ah, they’re not secular Humanists.
Q. So, that in order to find somebody who is a secular Humanist, you have got to find somebody who believes in evolution up to the phylogenetic ladder, if I might use a layman’s phrase because I’m certainly not a scientist —
A. Uh-huh —
Q. And also without divine intervention?
A. I would say what both of those are part of it. But one of them or the other would still be a defining characteristic. It’s — It’s —
Q. Standing alone?
A. Standing alone, it is still a defining characteristic.
Q. So standing alone —
A. Without divine intervention —
Q. No. No. No. Let’s pick the other one because I understand that part of it.
Q. Evolution of living creatures, higher forms from lower forms, standing alone, defines a secular Humanist.
A. No, It is one of the tenets of secular Humanism.
Q. So, it happens to be something that secular Humanists believe?
A. And is an essential tenet of what they believe. That’s right.
Q. It happens to be something they believe?
A. And creation happens to believe that something that Christians believe.
Q. Are you telling me there are no Christians who believe in evolution?
A. No. I’m saying that there are — that most orthodox Christians do not believe in total evolution.
Q. So there are some orthodox Christians, who do?
A. Who believe in some varieties of evolution.
Q. So there are some orthodox Christians who believe in evolution of higher forms from lower forms?
A. That’s correct. They are called theistic evolutionists.
Q. So there is evolution consistent with Christianity?
A. With the belief of some orthodox Christians. That is some orthodox Christians think it is consistent with their beliefs.
Q. That’s like —
A. Now whether it is consistent or not, we could debate. I’d be glad to talk about that, but —
Q. I’m sure you would —
A. They surely believe that. H. H. Strong, for example. James Orr, for example. Believe that — they were orthodox Christians and they believed in theistic evolution.
Q. You think that’s wrong though?
A. I think that’s wrong.
Q. So you think there are only two things then, special creation with secular Humanism?
A. No. I think there are five views on creation, as I outlined in the notes that you have there. But I happen to believe that four of them are wrong, and one is right.
Q. But. The four that are wrong all involve evolution?
A. The four that are wrong. All involve macroevolution.
Q. All involve evolution of higher kinds from lower kinds?
A. That’s right.
Q. And the one that you think is right, does not?
A. I think that two or five — two could possibly be right but — of those — and both of those do not involve any macroevolution.
Q. And so the two that — so that the two that could possibly be right don’t involve any macroevolution?
A. That’s right.
Q. And the three that are wrong involve evolution?
A. That’s right.
Q. And the two that are right involve special creation?
A. That’s right.
Q. And the three that are wrong don’t?
A. That’s right.
Q. So it comes down to whether or not God created things.
A. It comes down to whether or not there is any scientific evidence for the higher forms evolving out of the lower forms.
Q. Doctor, we have just been talking for about thirty minutes. And we haven’t — I haven’t talked to you about the science of this. You are not a scientist and I’m not a scientist, is that right?
A. Well, we have been talking about scientific aspects of this, and neither of us are scientists.
Q. I haven’t talked about science.
A. Oh, yes we have.
Q. No. I haven’t used the word, science, once. I’ve tried to talk about your definition of — macroevolution —
A. I think that the record will show that you used the word, science, several times.
Q. Well. Let’s go back again now, since I’m a little confused again. You said that you would testify that macroevolution is the essential tenet of secular Humanism. Secular Humanism, in your view — secular Humanism in your view is a religious movement, isn’t it?
A. I think that’s correct. There are many secular Humanists who even claim to be religious.
Q. Dr. Geisler, you are going to be tendered by the State as a — an expert on religion. What is religion? I’m asking you for your opinion about whether secular Humanism, is a religion.
Q. And as an expert, you are going to say that macroevolution is the central tenet of secular Humanism?
A. No. I’m going to say the a-central tenet.
Q. It is the a-central tenet of secular Humanism?
A. That’s correct.
Q. Now, what other central tenets of secular Humanism, are there?
A. All of those listed in the Humanist Manifestos, which have already — we’ve already entered into the record. Or have we entered that into the record, yet? Humanist Manifesto.
Q. I’ve think we have marked that. So, you’re telling me that what’s ever there is —
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Siano, just please don’t argue with the Witness quite so much.
MR. SIANO: Well, Mr. Campbell. I object to your characterization. But, if you feel I am objecting with you, Dr. Geisler, you feel free to tell me, and I’ll stop doing what I’m doing, okay?
BY MR. SIANO:
Q. All right. Just so Mr. Campbell’s confused. We can continue with —
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Siano. Listen, we don’t have to get like this. All you have to do is ask your questions without raising your voice, and merely permit Dr. Geisler to answer them.
MR. SIANO: And I continue to object to your characterizations you have —
MR. CAMPBELL: Well, I’m objecting to your arguing with the Witness.
MR. SIANO: Good. And your objection is noted.
BY MR. SIANO:
Q. Now, whatever is in the Humanist Manifesto is coterminous with your understanding of what’s secular Humanism.
A. Not whatever, because even in the Humanist Manifesto they state that not every single thing there is held by every single secular Humanist. But, that if you take the common denominators of Manifestos I & II. And even Secular Humanists’ declaration that we gave you. If you take the common denominators of all of those, and narrow down to four or five basic fundamentals of Humanism. That evolution will always be one of those.
Q. What are the other three or four?
A. Well. I used that number just off the cuff. A naturalistic approach to the world. A non-theistic approach. That’s not the same as atheistic. Just non-theistic. Either there is no God or there is no need to invoke God into the picture. There are two. Three. Evolutionary origin of man and life. Four. Centro-Humanistic values such as freedom, tolerance, so forth. There are four that I find common and there may be more, but there are four central ones.
Q. Now. You defined then macroevolution as one of these central tenets.
A. Yeah. That’s right.
Q. I also get for the record. That definition is one.
A. The same as we said before, on the record. Macroevolution is the belief that all living species evolve from lower forms of animal life, and that that in turn arose out of nonliving matter. Without divine intervention.
Q. And then I asked you if it’s the evolution part of it or the without divine intervention part of it —
A. And I said both.
Q. — and you said both. And then I said to leave out the divine intervention part of it and you said that continues to define secular humanism.
A. And so does the other one.
Q. So does the other one?
Q. But standing alone, the evolution part of it, higher kinds, a layman’s word by our own acknowledgment here —
Q. — from lower kinds, our own nonscientific word also.
Q. That one standing alone would be sufficient?
A. That’s right.
Q. And then we stated that there were some orthodox Christians who think they believe in it.
A. There are some orthodox Christians who think that they believe macroevolution as we defined it with the exception that they believe in divine intervention at the very beginning and at the end of the process. But the whole middle that once you have the first form or forms, then they all evolve into the other ones and you don’t need God to divinely intervene until perhaps maybe to create the soul of man at the very end.
Q. That’s Theistic evolution?
A. That’s Theistic evolution.
Q. Do you think that’s right or wrong?
A. I think that’s wrong.
Q. All right. And your basis for that is what?
A. As I indicated in the notes that we already entered into the record, I think that it’s Biblically false, scientifically improbable and philosophically implausible.
Q. So what we’re left with is special creation being right.
A. There are five views. I think three of them are definitely wrong and one of the other two is correct.
Q. That means four are right and one’s wrong.
A. well, ultimately that’s right since they are mutually exclusive, one of the two Creationist views is right and one is wrong.
Q. And you think that Theistic evolution is wrong?
A. Is wrong.
Q. And you think Special creation, which you have here listed on Exhibit 9 I believe that’s supposed to be Fiat creation.
A. Fiat creation, yeah.
Q. Here I think it’s creation.
A. Creation is the word.
Q. And whether we pronounce it “Fe-aut” or “Fi-aut” (sic.) it’s still creation.
A. Right. Or progressive creation. One of those two I believe is true and the other three I believe are false.
Q. Which one of four and five do you think is right?
A. I believe in Progressive creation. That’s why I rejected article section 4A.6.
Q. On Exhibit 9, Sub B, is there an explanation of — what is that an explanation of?
A. Let’s see. What is Exhibit 9 and I will tell you what that is. I don’t have a number on it.
Q. It is the Anthropology document of several pages.
A. 9 what?
Q. Exhibit 9, Roman numeral I, capital letter B.
A. Biblical account of creation. That’s the account in Genesis. This is a theology course where we’re taking what does the Bible say about it and then what does science say and how do we harmonize.
Q. These statements that are here in this anthropology, would you call this Theistic anthropology?
A. Systematic theology.
Q. The top of the page says “Anthropology.”
A. Uh-huh. That’s the — that’s one of the subdivisions of systematic theology. Systematic theology is divided into the study of God, that’s called theology proper; study of man, which is called anthropology and so forth.
Q. So in the anthropology part of this course you have various Biblical — various references to the Biblical account of creation?
Q. And that goes on for three —
Q. — four, five. About five and a half pages?
A. That’s right.
Q. And all of the references there in this anthropology course are to the Bible in that section.
A. That’s correct.
Q. And there are no — in that section there are no scientific statements whatsoever?
A. That’s correct. This is a theology course.
Q. And then we have Subdivision C, Reasons for rejecting evolution.
Q. And you have Biblical reasons.
Q. Then you have philosophical and scientific reasons there.
A. Right. Let’s just remember that this is about, oh, I would say one day’s lecture of a total course. So it’s just that it overlaps there so we treat it. Then I had them read a book on evolution for outside of class reading.
Q. What book do you have them read?
A. I have them read Wilder Smith’s book on your bibliography Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny. And then I also allude to and encourage them to purchase Wysong’s book, also in the Bibliography there. Creation Evolution Controversy’ so they get a balanced picture of both sides.
Then we explain all five views. In the first page we go through all of those views.
Q. Now, does anything in Exhibit 9 or Exhibit 11 form the basis for the opinion that you just stated to me about secular humanism as it relates to Act 590?
A. Only what is on page 7 under point 2, philosophical and scientific reasons.
Q. You don’t have any citations under any of those do you Doctor?
A. No. This is just a course outline and I lecture from it. Then some of that is in the books they’re reading, the two texts. So this is just to kind of organize it for them.
Q. So if you’re going to testify to this at trial, this will be the basis for what you’re saying?
A. Those seven arguments there are the scientific philosophical basis that I would have; yeah.
Q. All right. Why don’t you tell me what the citations for 2.a. “Nothing cannot produce something.”
A. I use the most-ardent skeptics that ever lived, David Hume for example.
Q. All right. Anything in Mr. Hume’s work?
A. Yes. He just generally, but falsely, thought to believe that that principle is false. And somebody wrote Hume and asked Mr. Hume if he believe in the principle of causality (sic.) because he appeared to deny it. And he wrote back a letter to John Stewart and said he never ever denied the principle of causality or that things could arise without a cause.
So I feel if you can use somebody on the other side of the fence — now David Hume was hardly a born again Bible plumping Christian. He’s known as the most famous skeptic in modern times. And yet he never denied that principle. It’s a fundamental principle.
Q. Did he embrace the principle?
Q. In that letter you just described?
Q. All right. Now 2.b., what authority are you going to cite for that?
A. 2.b., 2.c., and 2.d. really all go together. Michael Polanyi, the one we cited earlier. The reason he gives that lower forms don’t produce higher forms, alphabets don’t produce dictionaries, dictionaries don’t produce Shakespearian sonnets.
Then gaps in the fossil record, Dunbar would be the authority. Second Law of Thermodynamics, just, you know, any scientific source. That’s just widely accepted scientific law. The amount of available energy in the universe is decreasing or things are tending toward disorder.
Q. Is that the Second Law of Thermodynamics?
A. That’s right.
Q. That’s your understanding of the Second Law —
A. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is stated many ways. But two of the ways of putting it is the amount of available energy decreasing or things are tending toward disorder. This is a basic scientific premise, and to the degree that it is, I will argue that creation is a more reasonable conclusion than evolution.
Q. Any other basis other than these, Doctor?
A. Not that wouldn’t be a subdivision of them.
Q. Nothing worth writing down?
A. No, otherwise I would have included them in my notes.
Q. All right. Doctor, how would you go about proving or annulling the existence of God without the Bible?
A. I’ve gone into this in detail in two chapters. One in “Philosophy of Religion” and one in “Christian Apologetics” two books noted earlier. In brief, if you begin with some accepted fact of reality such as something exists, there is a world. Something that’s accepted by all scientists. For example, they wouldn’t be doing scientific research on something that wasn’t there. So you begin with the existence of a world, of a changing world which, of course, evolutionary scientists accept the changes occurring. And you argue that every event has a cause, principle of causality even accepted by Hume. Every event has a cause and the world is the sum total of all events, then the sum total of all events must have a cause.
Another way to put it is something exists, nothing cannot produce something, therefore something must necessarily and eternally exist. If nothing ever existed, nothing ever would exist since nothing can’t give rise to something. Then only something must give rise to something. Therefore, there must be the eternal necessary being who was the cause for the world that exists.
Or thirdly, either the universe has a beginning or it doesn’t have a beginning. If it has a beginning, it must have been created because nothing can’t produce something. Therefore there must be a creator beyond the universe.
Second Law of Thermodynamics shows that the universe had a beginning because it’s running down. Whatever is running down can’t be eternal, therefore there must be a beginner of the universe. That’s the three short summaries of the —
Q. What’s the basis for you can’t have nothing create something?
A. Take, as the song put it in the “Sound of Music,” nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could. The basis for that is it takes something to make something.
Q. What’s the basis for your statement?
A. The basis for my statement is that that is a — it is contradictory to affirm that nothing can produce something because “can produce” implies that you have something. So that you’re saying that nothing can produce, and can produce implies something so you’re saying nothing and something simultaneously, which is contradictory.
Q. So the limits of your logic and reasoning indicate to you that that condition exists.
A. Well, I would say that the principles of reasoning are common to all men, philosophers use them. We’re just using the valid principles of human reasoning as known by all rational men to draw the conclusions.
Q. So that’s an absolutist rule you just stated?
A. All philosophy is predicated on the truth of the principle of noncontradiction; and that nobody can even think or deny the principle of noncontradiction without using the principle of noncontradiction. Therefore, anything contradictory is false, it is contradictory to affirm nothing can produce something. Therefore, it’s false to affirm nothing can produce something.
Q. That’s just a logical argument?
A. I hope so. That’s what we’re trying to do is give logical arguments.
Q. What other topics are you going to acclaim about if you appear at trial, Doctor, other than what we’ve talked about today?
A. We’ve already covered this question before and I’ve already answered it. I have nothing new to add.
Q. So you’re going to testify — in section 4.a of Exhibit 4, subdivision 1, “Sudden creation of the universe, energy, and life from nothing.” That’s creation ex-nihilo (sic.) isn’t it?
A. That’s correct.
Q. Now that would seem to run afoul of that little lesson in logic you just gave.
A. That’s incorrect.
Q. Why is that?
A. Because the lesson in logic I just gave said nothing cannot produce something. This is saying that someone produced something from nothing. That’s an entirely different thing. This is saying God; with nothing in his hands, produced something. So that’s someone producing something whereas the secular humanist would have to believe that nothing produced something.
Q. So you’re suggesting to me when you read subdivision 2 here, you say that God created the universe, energy and life based on your position as a philosopher and theologian.
A. That’s correct. Sudden creation, the word creation is here in point 2 right under it.
Q. And point number 1, is that reflected in Genesis?
A. I think that the book of Genesis also teaches sudden creation.
Q. So the answer to my question is yes, then?
A. No. The answer to your question is that a similar statement is also taught in the book of Genesis, but not that the book of Genesis is teaching this statement.
Q. Subdivision 4.a. (2) “The insufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of all living kinds from a single organism.” Now we’ve already agreed “kinds” isn’t a scientific word. Isn’t that right?
A. Well, you and I have for the sake of our discussion. But I think the-word “kind” can be endowed with scientific meaning. Even though it is not commonly accepted scientific term and doesn’t appear in under , phylogenetic (sic.) tree, I think it is a meaningful scientific term and can be given a definable meaning.
Q. That’s your opinion?
A. That’s my opinion.
Q. Now does subdivision 2 indicate to you the existence of a God?
A. I think the whole creationist science model implies the existence of God. I think that’s what it’s all about. I would find it absurd to talk about creationism with no God. After all, creation implies a creator.
Q. Doctor, earlier you indicated to me you took issue with two of the elements of 4.a. If you would just give me the numbers of those.
A. 5 and 6.
Q. What is it about 5 that you disagree with?
A. They’re really both linked together and there are two theories that my opinion, which is open to change. I mean if you met me a year from now, I may have changed my opinion to agree with 5 and 6 if the evidence leans that direction. But right now, the evidence as I know; it, I tend to disagree with 5 and 6 on two grounds. One is I think the evidence supports an old Earth. I think the evidence supports that the Earth is at least ten billion years old. Both of those seem to imply a young Earth, thousands of years old.
The second thing I disagree with is catastrophism, as understood by geologists, is a total geological system. It’s not just that some catastrophes occur here and there, which even uniformitarians (sic.), who are the opposite of catastrophists, admit. But that you can explain the whole of the geological column by a one year catastrophe called the Flood in the Days of Noah. And I tend to reject that theory.
Q. You don’t reject the occurrence of a worldwide flood?
A. No. I just reflect that catastrophism is the explanation for it
Q. For the flood?
Q. Do you have an explanation for what I believe the Bible describes as “Noah’s flood.”
Q. Can we refer to it as Noah’s flood?
A. Yeah. Sure.
Q. Do you have an explanation for Noah’s flood?
A. I don’t have any scientific proof of how it occurred. My own opinion is that it probably is to be a reinterpreted glacial theory. That is that the last glacier that scientists date ten or fifteen thousand years B.C. is probably the scientific equivalent of Noah’s flood.
Q. Can you refer me to any scientific treatise or book that relates that?
A. There are scientists who hold that and who teach it. There are also the book — a book that teaches it. It’s been a long time since I read these flood books. I can’t remember a specific name of a book, but I do remember a teacher who held that at the college I attended years ago. Let’s see. What was his name? A teacher of science who taught at Wheaton College. One was Boardman. He held the other view. The other one’s name eludes me now who held that view. Also I believe a Dr. Lerd Harris who is a scientist and theologian who taught at Covenant Seminary. I think he held a form of that view. There are about — last time I counted there were about, oh, one, two, three, four different explanations. Scientific explanations. The flood, Velikovosky’s (sic.) World in Collision. A guy by the name of Patton wrote a book on the flood. And then there is this glacier theory and then there is Morris and Whitcomb who wrote the book “The Genesis Flood.”
They may be right. They have had some interesting, fascinating scientific arguments that need to be heard. So, I wouldn’t object to — at all to their being heard.
Q. What — I would like you to take a look at 4(b). Is 4(b), Sub.(1) consistent with Biblical inerrancy?
Q. Is 4(b), Sub.(2) consistent with Biblical inerrancy?
A. I do not believe so.
Q. Is 4(b), Sub.(3) consistent with Biblical inerrancy?
A. I do not believe so.
Q. Is 4(b), Sub.(4) consistent with Biblical inerrancy?
A. I do not think so.
Q. Is 4(b), Sub-(5) consistent with Biblical inerrancy?
A. Yes, it is.
Q. So therefore, what you are saying is: The earth’s geology and its evolutionary sequence was not impacted by catastrophism?
A. I am saying that that is not inconsistent; that that could possibly be true and you could still hold a Biblical inerrancy.
A. Yeah, you could behold a Biblical inerrancy and believe that — and be a uniformitarian in your geological views. You just have to explain flood in a different way and explain creation in a different way.
Q. What way would you explain the flood?
A. Glacial Theory - local flood.
Q. Does the Bible state that the flood was Glacial Theory?
Q. What does the Bible say?
A. It doesn’t speak to that particular issue. All it says is what it says. There were eight people that went in an ark, and two of each kind of animal, seven of the clean kind, and that the whole world was destroyed. All the animals outside of the ark and all living things outside of the ark were destroyed.
Q. Doesn’t it say something about rain?
A. Well, yeah, it was destroyed by water. The flood of the earth and covered the tops of the mountains.
Q. But does it say it was rain?
A. Yeah. Well, it says it was water: It says it came, from heavens above and from the earth beneath, both.
Q. So it was rain plus something else?
Q. Does the strict factual view of the Bible, in particular the Old Testament, give rise to any particular age of the earth?
A. Not in my opinion.
Q. Not in your opinion?
Q. Is that a view shared by all fundamentalists?
A. No. Many fundamentalists think that there are no gaps in the genealogical record, nor are there any gaps between the days and the days are 144 hours. So once you start with Genesis 1:1 you can add up the genealogical record . Genesis 5 and Genesis 10 and you have an unbroken, non-gap record. And you can add it up and it comes out around 4,000 years B.C. Others believe there are small gaps in the records that maybe comes out to 10,000 BC., but you can’t stretch it indefinitely. And there are others of us that believe that there are possibly large gaps in there and it could be billions of years.
Q. Do you have any basis for your belief that there are I take it that your belief is that there are gaps?
Q. Do you have any basis for that?
A. Yes. I think there are both Biblical and scientific bases for believing there is gaps.
Q. Why don’t you give me the Biblical basis.
A. Matthew Chapter 1 Verse 8 says that Joram begat Uzziahs or Ozziahs, depending on which translation you are following. If you will compare that to First Chronicles Chapter 3 you will notice that there are three generations left out; that is that that very record that is being quoted he is summarizing and leaving out three generations. If you have one demonstrable gap where three generations are left off by extrapolation that could exist in other such genealogical tables.
Q. But you demonstrated that gap to your own mind by looking at one Biblical reference to another Biblical reference.
A. That’s half of my reason for believing that.
Q. Fine. But that’s the only one you found by examination of the Bible or —
A. No, There are others.
Q. Why don’t you tell me about those.
A. Well, Luke 3 mentions Cainan in the genealogical table. It should be recorded in Genesis 5 and 10, but Cainan is not mentioned there. So there is apparently a name left out of the Genesis 5 or 10 record. So, I have scientific reasons. It seems to me there are credible reasons for believing earth is old.
Q. I wanted the Biblical reasons first.
A. Those are the two Biblical reasons.
Q. Are there any others?
A. Well, there are some others — other comparisons, but those are the most important two right there.
Q. would you describe Section 4(a) as being a model for origins?
A. 4(a), a model for origins. I am not sure what you mean. Give me — like a scientific model?
Q. Well, just sort of one story of creation.
A. Well, 4(a) and — I understand 4(a) and 4(b) as being two models for origins. One is a creation model and one is an evolution model. And I understand the word model to be a theory that purports to have scientific evidence and subject to verification and falsification.
Q. Are you aware of any other model for origins which have scientific evidence in support of it which is subject to verification, falsification?
A. Well, there are other models and they have scientific aspects to them, but generally speaking, they are subsumable under these two unless you ask the question, “What kind of god is being supposed,” and then, of course, there are all kinds of answers. As I see this, this has nothing to say about our distinguishing one kind of god from another, say for example a Pantheistic God or a Pantheistic God from a Theistic God. I see this as leaving that question open. So apart from that question about what kind of god, may be the god who created us that this doesn’t speak to, these are the major two models because they are mutually opposites, either it was by divine intervention or it was not by divine intervention.
Q. So you are suggesting that evolution-science, as it is defined here, forecloses the existence of God?
A. Well, it does not foreclose it entirely, but it implies it. And apart from the theistic evolution model, you know, we’re back to our old question about the two aspects now. It doesn’t foreclose theistic evolution, but it certainly — theistic evolution is a macroevolution model. Once the first life is created between that and the creation of man’s soul it is macroevolution in the middle.
Q. So theistic evolution permits the existence of a god in the context of what you define as macroevolution?
Q. Would theistic evolution, in your view, come within this description in 4(b) in this statute?
Q. It would?
A. Uh-huh, because — let me look at it again. I don’t see anything in there with respect — I don’t see anything in there with respect to the existence of God directly implied or directly negated. I would have to look at it more closely. Let me look at it. The only thing that would be problematic is .4, the emergence of man. It all depends on how you define man. If you define man there just in a biological sense — if you define man in a theological sense as having a soul and that was created then that would be subsequent. Other than that, I don’t see anything in there that rules out a theistic model, which is part of the good feature. See, it includes both. It includes — it doesn’t eliminate the teaching of the theistic evolutionary model either, right along with the other models.
Q. That’s in 4(b)?
Q. 4(a) assumes the existence of a creator, you testified?
A. Yeah, that’s right.
Q. And you define creator as God?
A. As some supreme being who has creative power.
Q. Doctor, you are a theologian and a philosopher. Using that phrase, what do you mean? You mean a deity?
Q. Dr. Geisler, I am going to show you Exhibit Number 14, a book I have marked which is Evolution And The Fossils Say No, Duane T. Gish, Ph.D.
(Thereupon Geisler Exhibit 14 was marked for the record.)
Q. Have you ever seen that book before, sir?
A. Yes, I have seen this.
Q. Is that the same Duane Gish you testified earlier today was an authority in the area of creationism?
A. That’s the same Duane Gish.
Q. All right. I ask you, sir,— directing your attention to page 28, and then the book reads, “It is apparent that acceptance of creation requires an important element of faith.” Do you agree with that statement?
A. If you mean — if he means by that the Biblical account of creation, yes.
Q. So you don’t know from reading that whether he is speaking as a philosopher or a scientist?
A. I haven’t read this entire book. I have seen it but I have not read it and I know — I say know — I know of Dr. Gish. I am not even sure I ever met him. But I am just questioning and I would have to read the context. I see him quoting verses just before and verses after it, so, I assume he is talking of Biblical context; and surely that’s so because not every detail of the account in Genesis has been proven by modern times. So there is an element of faith. If you accept the Biblical account you are accepting some of it on faith.
Q. Now, I would direct your attention, Dr. Geisler, to the second page of the Preface of that book. You will note — it seems to indicate that Mr. Morris — that gentleman that we’ve also had your testimony is an authority in scientific-creationism —
Q. — and seems to have written that. Mr. Morris seems to indicate here and I quote, “This book has gone through several printings of its first edition and has already been eminently successful in its mission of convincing men of the truth of creationism. In this new enlarged edition it is still more convincing and will no doubt have a greater acceptance than ever before. Anyone who reads this book and who still — who then still rejects creationism in favor of evolutionism must at least acknowledge that he believes in evolution in spite of the massive witness of the fossil record against it.” That seems to indicate that Mr. Morris and Mr. Gish are speaking as scientists?
A. Uh-huh, I would say. I would say that Mr. Morris is speaking as a scientist here. And even if — I can think of a sense in which Mr. Gish may be speaking as a scientist, because all scientific theories involve an element of faith. Even those who believe in evolution there is an element of faith, because there are aspects about it that they have not proven, for example, that there are missing links which have never been found. That’s an element of faith. We don’t have any evidence for them. We haven’t found them.
Q. You don’t have any evidence one way or the other?
A. Well, if you don’t have the evidence for it and you believe it, it’s an element you believe by faith.
Q. Believe what?
A. That they were there. If you believe that there are missing links there and you have never found any of those missing links then you believe it by faith.
Q. We are talking again about the paleontologic record?
A. That’s the record we are talking about.
Q. And what do you base your conclusion saying that there are no what you describe as missing links in the paleontological record?
A. I base that conclusion on the fact that a hypothesis must be verifiable or falsifiable or does not deserve to be called scientific. One of the things that you must do is a hypothesis must propose ways that it can be tested. And for over 100 years now the hypothesis of evolution was proposed a way that it could be tested, namely, finding missing links. It has come up negative — empty-handed.
Q. What I am asking, Dr. Geisler, is the basis for that last statement, i.e., there are no “missing links” as you use the term.
A. That’s the basis for it right there. The basis for it is that after 100 years of searching for confirmation of a hypothesis, which predicted by its very nature as a hypothesis, and predictions are to be testable, that there would be missing links. There have been none, therefore, the hypothesis has been falsified.
Q. What, sir, is the basis for your statement that there have been no “missing links”?
A. Evolutionists themselves admit that the fossil record shows, — and they have not discovered, after 100 years the so-called missing links.
Q. What evolutionists are you referring to in that statement and what statements by them are you —
A. Well, for — just for example, a very recent example, the program Nova (sic.) that was on television last week, in which Dr. Gish participated with evolutionists. And the conclusion of the program, the most recent “scientific” conclusion is that the fossil record has not brought out any missing links, and that there were several evolutionists who appeared on the program, and who admitted that. And they said, “But we’ve gotten a different explanation.” Darwin was apparently wrong, and now we have a different explanation. So in effect, Darwinian evolution, as hypothesized, has been dis-confirmed.
Q. That’s the basis for your statement?
A. That’s one of the bases. The other is, by looking at the evidence, as reflected in books like this, The Fossils in Focus, the book that I did read, that I mentioned before in the bibliography, relates the evidence in there, and anyone is welcome to take a look at it, to look at the evidence.
Q. So your basic —
A. Let me finish that answer. My basis is the study I’ve done in geology, based on evolutionary textbooks, such as Dunbar, the statements made by evolutionists, who believe in evolution that nevertheless admit that there is no evidence in the fossil record for the missing links. And the recent conclusion by evolutionists, as reflected in the Nova program that that is a dead end street, and there probably are none, and we should come up with a different theory.
Q. Dr. Geisler, you testified earlier that you’re an amateur rock hunter.
A. That’s exactly right.
Q. That you went down the Paluxy River and looked at the footprint; and that you’ve read some books, some of which you’ve been able to identify and some of which you can’t. But you’ve also told me you’re not a scientist.
A. That’s right.
Q. And you also told me you can’t remember the names of the statements that you’ve read from evolutionists, other than this gentleman by the name of Dunbar, whose book you’ve cited to me several times.
A. No. That’s wrong.
Q. All right. Why don’t you tell me some of the statements that you just relied on, in the answer you just gave me.
A. I told you where they can be found. They’re in the book, Fossils in Focus, which I have read, and they’re all documented there with the chapter, verse, and book.
Q. All right. So it’s Fossils in Focus and Mr. Dunbar’s book, and the television program?
A. And many other sources too. In all of the books — there are many other books on here. For example, Wilder Smith has sections in there. Wysong had a section in his book that is written on — uh — several other books on this list that I mentioned here, too.
Q. You don’t seem — how about — how about —
A. I haven’t read Duane Gish’s book — uh —
Q. But you accept that he’s an authority?
A. Yes. I accept he’s an authority. I’ve heard him debate; I’ve seen his academic credentials; I have — uh — you know, looked at other material he has presented, and he is not only an accepted authority in creationist circles, but he is a reputable science, (sic.) and has — had a good reputable scientific career before he became active in this movement.
Q. And he says, on page 28, of the book I have put in front of you that, “An acceptance of creation requires an important element of faith.”
Q. So you don’t differ with that statement?
A. I don’t. I —
Q. I would like to direct your attention to page 27 of that book. And on page 27, Mr. Gish says, “In this revelation found in the first two chapters of Genesis of the Bible, the account of creation is recorded in a grand but concise fashion.” Do you agree with that statement?
Q. Does that statement indicate to you, Dr. Geisler, that Mr. Gish is talking about six days’ special creation?
A. Not in and of itself, no.
Q. No. All right. Dr. Geisler, you were describing the theory of the age of the earth, and your concept of Biblical literalism as being consistent with an earth of great age, and that you indicated there might have been spaces in the Bible story?
Q. Are those spaces attributable to the days being different lengths?
A. Uh, my answer to this is given in the notes that we — now — that we entitled number something. Let’s find the number. That we entitled #11, and on the #11, Problems in Anthropology, page 33. I list 12 views of the days of Genesis for my class.
A. Of these 12 views, only one is directly incompatible with the orthodox Christianity. Of the other 11 views, which are therefore, compatible with our view, there are relative merits assessed. This is good; this is bad; this is weak; this is strong. And then I make a conclusion to it, and my conclusion to it is on the last page, and it says — page 36 2a, “Only one view is categorically opposed to evangelical theology, the ‘religious only’ view.” That makes no factual statements here at all. (b) “No single view should be used as a test of evangelicalness.” I don’t think that any of these other 11 views, one should say is the only view an evangelical could hold. 3, “Crucial problem is the age of the earth.” If we could decide how old the earth is, we could narrow down the views considerably. But that’s an open scientific question. The Bible doesn’t speak to it. It’s debatable scientifically, so it must be left open. (D) “Exegetical arguments for the ’24 hour days’ seem stronger, but are not absolute.” For example, the 7th day is not a 24 hour day in Genesis. Because it says God rested on the 7th day, and he’s still resting, so it’s definitely longer than 24 hours. (e) “Granting long time periods, millions or billions of years, does not help evolution.” And Wilder Smith in his book, that’s the book, Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny, points out that the longer time we have, the more random things should be without Divine Intervention. Now, which view is accepted, whichever view is accepted, we should be careful to preserve the historicity of Genesis 1-2, and the historical-grammatical interpretation of Scripture.’ So that’s my conclusion.
Q. Now, I’m going to ask my question again. Do you, as an expert have an opinion as to whether the days were longer, or whether there were ages between the days?
A. Yes. My opinion is that the days were longer than 144 hours, that is six direct 24 hour days. I do not — it is my opinion that the creation of the earth did not occur in 144 hours.
Q. So those six days of creation did occur?
Q. But they were longer than 24 hour days?
A. Or there were gaps between them. Or they were days of revelation, not days of creation. See there are several 24 hour day views. You could hold that there are 24 hour days in which God revealed, say to Adam, or to Moses, what he did. But what he did took millions of years, but he just sat down and explained day by day in a sequence, so that he would have a pattern. So they could be days of revelation not days of creation. Or they could be days of creation but have gaps between them. He created in this 24 hour period, and long ages rolled by, and then he created again, and long ages rolled by. Or they could be longer periods of time. A day is with the Lord a thousand years, a thousand years is a day. Can we be absolutely sure that they must be 24 hour days from a Biblical point of view, my opinion is no.
Q. So, I’m asking you, Dr. Geisler, your opinion, as a philosopher and theologian of what the Bible means when it refers to the story of creation in Genesis. What is your opinion? You have been very kind to me in giving me all of these alternatives. I would like you to tell me what you believe.
A. With respect to days themselves, or the rest of the story.
Q. Let’s start with the days.
A. Okay. With respect to the days, my opinion, lightly held with no tinge of dogmatism, open to falsification tomorrow, if I got some good evidence tomorrow to the contrary, is that the days of Genesis are probably, a literary framework. That they are something like slides to a motion picture. If you had a half hour motion picture of your family picnic, and you wanted to encapsulate six major things you did, you could get six slides: One at the beach, one eating the lunch, one playing the ball game, that would really be a good summary framed in of the whole 30 minute picnic. So I take them to be an ancient literary device, saying something like chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3 of God’s dealings, a literary framework of the great creative events of the past for the purpose of outlying organization, memory, teaching man what God did.
Q. So the days weren’t 24 hours long?
A. That’s my opinion.
Q. Well, you state you are a philosopher and a theologian, and I asked for your expert opinion, and although you said it was lightly held, is it in fact your opinion.
A. It’s my opinion at the present.
Q. And was it your opinion before we started today?
Q. All right. Do you have an opinion, sir, as to whether there are gaps anywhere in the account of origins. Now, you’ve given me a couple of them.
Q. Now, your opinion remains that there are also gaps?
Q. All right. So we now have days which are not 24 hours long, and we have gaps —
A. That’s my opinion. That’s my opinion.
Q. — in the history. Now, this opinion, is it based upon your analysis of the Bible and your philosophy training or is it based upon your view of the scientific record and the work of others?
Q. Both. So you feel those are consistent?
A. Well. Well, after all, science — scientific evidence in the minds of most scientists is for a long earth.
So far, in a way, most scientists agree that scientific, evidence supports billions of years, so if you accept that as a fact, and you accept that there are gaps in the Bible, then some such reconciliation would be feasible.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Siano, just approaching that time, Dr. Geisler needs to board his plane.
MR. SIANO: I’m sure. Dr. Geisler, again, I show you Mr. Gish’s book, Evolution of Fossils, Say No, and I direct your attention now to pages 59 and 60. And I will read you a paragraph there again, and ask you. Some creat — the paragraph reads, “Some creationists accommodate the Uniformitarian concept of historical geology, by assuming that the creation days of Genesis were not literal 24 hour days, but were creative periods of time. It is assumed that God allowed varying periods of time to intervene between successive creations, and that animals and plants were created in sequence required by the geological column. This concept has severe Scriptural problems as well as scientific difficulties.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement, sir?
A. Well, it all depends how much weight you put on severe. I think the word severe is too strong. But in general I agree with it, and I would — the only change I would make is that this concept has Scriptural problems as well as scientific difficulties. I agree with that. Because there are scientific arguments for a young earth too. And severe is too strong a word, because there are Scriptural problems, so that there’s no doubt. For example, one Scripture problem is that in Exodus Chapter 20 it says, “In six days God made the Heaven and the earth. He rested on the seventh. So you work six days, you rest on the seventh.” Now that looks very much like it’s comparing 24 hour days and —
Q. But it seems here, that Mr. Gish is also speaking as a scientist though, doesn’t it?
A. No. I think you’re wrong in your assumptions in all of Your questions about Mr. Gish. I think that you’re wrong, because Mr. Gish is also a Christian. He speaks about Genesis as a Christian. He speaks about scientific creationist as a scientist.
Q. Now I asked you earlier in the deposition, Dr. Geisler, if — who the authorities in scientific-creationism were. You indicated to me Mr. Gish was one of them.
A. That’s right.
Q. I certainly don’t mean to argue with you, but this book talks about evolution and a refutation of evolution by a gentleman that you described as being an authority on scientific-creationism. And he uses the phrase scientific difficulties. And I’m asking you, do you agree with his analysis or not?
A. Well, On that phrase — I said I agreed with that phrase. There are scientific difficulties, because there are a lot of scientific arguments for a young earth.
Q. All right. And the second part of your analysis as given to me before was that in addition to days of greater than 24 hours duration, there were also gaps between the days or in various parts of the origin account. And I would like to read you another paragraph from Dr. Gish’s book, and ask you if you agree or disagree with that. The gap theory — “The gap theory: According to his theory, Genesis 1.1 describes an initial creation spanning geological ages. A great time span then intervened between Genesis 1.1 and Genesis 1.2. The geological column is believed to have formed during this initial period of creation and subsequent time spans. Genesis 1.2, is then translated to read, ‘And the world became without form and void.’ Thus God is said to have destroyed his original creation for some reason, perhaps at the fall of Lucifer or Satan. A second creation in six literal 24 hour days has been described in succeeding verses. It is believed the Gap Theory is accepted by many conservative Christians, and is an attempt to accommodate both the geological column, with its vast time span, and the six 24 hour day creation described in Genesis. This theory has scriptural problems as well as serious scientific difficulties.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement?
A. Well, it has difficulties. Again, the word severe, I think, is too severe. But I — my answer to that is given on Exhibit 11, page 33, under Gap Theory. And I analyze the Gap Theory there, and say, its merit is that it recognizes vast times, fits them between Genesis 1:1 and 2. But its weakness is, it’s a poor exegesis of Genesis 1:2. And in geology the chaos is not there at the beginning. It’s — there is no evidence in the geological column for it, in other words. So I have scientific and Biblical objections to the Gap Theory myself. But the Gap Theory should not be confused with the statement that there are gaps. The Gap Theory is a technical theory that applies only to a gap between the first two verses, not between the days. And that Gap Theory, I think is wrong, geologically and Biblically.
Q. So what you’re saying is Mr. Gish is right here, but you have a different theory?
A. That’s right.
Q. Dr. Geisler, I direct your attention to page 64 of Mr. Gish’s book, and I direct your attention to the quote at the top of the page. “It is this author’s belief that a sound Biblical exegesis requires the acceptance of the catastrophist — recent creation interpretation of earth history.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement?
A. I disagree. I mean, I agree that it’s this author’s belief, but I disagree with it —
Q. You think Mr. Gish is wrong?
A. — with the belief. Yeah. I think he’s wrong.
Q. We haven’t marked that yet, have we?
A. We didn’t mark that the next one?
Q. Would you mark that the next one please?
(Thereupon Geisler Exhibit 15 was marked for the record.)
Q. Dr. Geisler, I show you what has been marked as Geisler Exhibit 15, and I ask you, have you ever seen that book before?
A. Oh, this is the one I was referring to before, that there appears to be two editions of, a shorter version and a longer version. I, — unless the book has grown since I saw it, I’ve read the shorter version; not this version.
Q. Have you seen the public school edition?
A. I’m — I’m not sure. If I saw the cover, if you have one, I might recognize it. But there is a smaller version of this that I did read by Morris, but I don’t think I have seen this more amplified version, unless it just happens to be a fatter edition.
Q. Well, he’s got some other books, but I think that’s that — that’s the book. That doesn’t seem right to you? Where’s your bibliography?
A. It’s not on my bibliography. Those are — I remember I mentioned two books that I’ve read since I compiled that bibliography. But I am sure there is a smaller version of this.
Q. Is this what you’re —
A. Oh, that’s — that’s right. I knew the titles were similar, but — yeah. That’s the one I read. The Scientific Case for Creation, and not — I have not read this one, Scientific-Creationism.
Q. Let me see if I can get a couple questions out of that before we — before you have to disappear.
A. You gave it to me on page 224 and 225, for some reason?
A. Yes, but you haven’t seen the book before. Why don’t — why don’t I ask you —
A. That’s all right. I haven’t seen that one before either I believe.
Q. The book I have in front of you, Dr. Geisler, you haven’t seen that book before have you?
A. I’ve seen it but not read it all.
Q. Not read it. That’s by that gentleman Morris?
Q. You identified to me as being one of the authorities in the area of scientific-creationism?
Q. And I direct your attention to page 225 of that book, and I ask you, if you agree or disagree with the following statement which appears thereon? “In view of all the above considerations, it seems quite impossible to accept a day age theory, regardless of the number of eminent scientists and theologians who have advocated it. The writer of Genesis 1 clearly intended to describe a creation accomplished in six literal days. He could not possibly have expressed such a meaning any more clearly and emphatically than in the words and sentences which are actually used.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement?
A. I disagree. Notice the chapter is entitled Creations According to Scripture, though. He’s not giving a scientific opinion there, he’s giving his Biblical interpretation.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Siano, we’ve got to —
MR. SIANO: All right. I will state for the record that this examination is not over, and that I have indicated off the record, to Mr. Campbell, that I object to the witness leaving, and that I expect him to be reproduced at a mutually convenient time when we can continue.
MR. CAMPBELL: I will state for the record, that when this deposition was set up, we were — we did inform Mr. Cearley, the local counsel for the Plaintiffs in this case, that Dr. Geisler would be available from 10:30 until approximately 4:15. It’s 4:20 now, and you’ve had an adequate amount of time, in our opinion to examine him on his testimony. These last several set of questions have been on science, where Dr. Geisler is being offered as an expert on religion.
MR. SIANO: I’ll state for the record, in response, Mr. Campbell, only so you’ll know the basis upon which I disagree with you. And the first is that as you well know, I spent the first hour determining in fact, that the State in this case has made utterly no attempt in the last 30 days to comply with the expert witness interrogatories, which were served on the State. That took a substantial amount of time. Furthermore, the failure of the state to comply with our expert witness interrogatories has made this into a much more laborious and much more time consuming. And finally, the last few questions in Dr. Gish’s own words, have related to matters of Scripture and science, all of which relate to questions of credibility, and I do not think that my — my inquiry should be limited in the manner you suggest.
MR. CAMPBELL: Finally for purpose, of the record, the first set of interrogatories, I told you we had objected to. Simultaneously we asked for an extension of time to complete those. We gave you all the information, which we had, concerning the testimony of Dr. Geisler, in the trial, which we hoped to have him testify to at that time, and we believe that you have elicited from him the substance of his testimony, and the assumptions that he is going to make and rely upon in his testimony at trial.
MR. SIANO: Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, indicate we’re entitled to the substance and facts of the opinions, to which the expert is expected to testify. Those have in no way been provided, other than the mere few documents, which have been thrust upon me this morning in the beginning of the deposition, or any time prior to what you describe as your application. And I guess this is the kind of thing that’s going to be resolved some other time in some other place.
MR. CAMPBELL: I guess it will.
(Thereupon the above styled deposition was concluded at 4:20 p.m.)
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Dr. Norman Geisler's deposition courtesy of the University of Arkansas