McLean v. Arkansas Documentation Project
These notes, labeled as "ACLU notes" are from the collection of McLean materials donated to the NCSE by plaintiffs witness William V. Mayer. They document the testimony of State's witness Norman Geisler.
Please note that this is not an official trial document.
has to do with transcendence. Many ways of transcendence--Geisler's research.
Religion doesn't necessarily involve God.
- disclosure power beyond empirical data.
a religion demand belief in a deity?
Religion that centers its commitment in
"man'' "man's progress".
"evolutionary humanism" referred to in humanist document.
says that evolution not inherently religious, only when it is an
is not inherently a religious concept. One can believe that God
exists or believe in God. The latter is "religious." We don't
rule out God from a science class just because it is sometimes
a religious concept.
belief that there is a creator is not inherently religious until
someone turns it into religious worship.
gave rise modern science
view of creator and creation was motivating force
as mother of science widely acknowledged that Christian motivating idea for
early scientists were committed Christians studied world in detached way.
Scarcely any reputable scientist rejected a scientific view because of
source of idea: Geisler gives numerous examples in science - distinguish
between source of the model and its justifiability.
between science and religion:
Science - two definitions narrow and broad.
Broad: Happened in the past – not repeatability
when it is about origins
- natural laws don't apply when
dealing with origins.
Study of Origins - like forensic medicine reconstruct the past.
draws lines between facts; scientific model is a construction--lines that aren't
there otherwise - lines don't exist in nature but by
scientific theories (e.g. lines between stars don't exist in reality)
- Science can deal with it by analogy: suppose that what is true in the present
was present in the past? Apply analogy to beginning, but can't be certain.
many views of ultimate origins by universe?
only two: try intelligent intervention or not by intelligent intervention
e.g. Robert Tastrow (scientist) says this.
do philosophers apart from religion talk about origins: in the term
"God" - no religious connection at all to this term.
from a philosophical perspective: like Aquinas - need first cause.
scientific model of creation implies existence of God like moral law implies and
moral law-giver (by logical prescription & inference)
Why would you believe creator was or wasn't God?
Phil. & theo. - would use the term "God" in the sense that
scientific creation impliesa creator but only that it is God, not belief
Creator referred to as logical inference, necessary postulate.
literalism" compared to "inerrancy".
inerrancy - nothing
mistaken in the Bible: whatever Bible
teaches is true.
Literalism: How do you interpret
people believe in inerrancy but don't take Genesis literally.
God who created universe
Direct created energy new species and kind.
Adam & Eve; naming of animals.
in 144 hours.
Religious story of evocative, not descriptive account of relation to a who.
mvmt. c. 1900 - a response to new religion (atheism, humanism) who
attacked their beliefs.
People who didn't believe in these fundamentals were not welcome in the church.
1920, growth of evolutionary philosophy very strong; thus, after WWI, c. 1918,
Hitler using evolution and natural selection, people reacted against evolution:
more radical fundamentalism became militant.
History of Darwinism and Fundamentalism
to the phil. aspect of evolution which was a proper reaction because
evolution was a religion.
with overreaction to religious evolution, fundamentalists threw out
fundamentalists were willing to accommodate biological evolution, but later
fundamentalists were narrow, militant, bigoted, anti-intellectualism.
reflects earlier fundamentalism rathan later-fundamentalism. "If this
reflects later fundamentalism, they repented"
590 & Genesis:
model's origin? Probably from the book of Genesis but this is not significant
because it is the justifiability that matters - source of a theory
Other examples of
scientific theories denied from Bible - (Hittite civilization, Benzene molecule,
is perfectly legitimate to derive a scientific model from a religious
by T. Siano:
In Geisler's taxonomy of transcendence, which is God in the active sense?
Theistic is one but not the only one. others: pantheistic deistic,
Is theistic God the "God of the Bible"?
Yes, in other religions. Not all theistic concepts of God are the
"God of the Bible"
What is macro evolution?
Not an expert, "large" jumps.
That's right. Now is there any other characteristic of -- of
macro-evolution or anything else other than evolution between various kinds of
Well, as I understand macro-evolution, it is the belief that all living
forms are the result of a process of development from previous animal life. And
that this is ultimately derivable from non-living things. go that you move from
a process from non-living things to l1ving things through the whole phylogenetic
tree up to all the existing families, and genera, and species that we have
Is theistic evol. a macro evol. model?
Macro leaps from original creator - yes but not original creation.
Does "evolution-science" in Act 590, 4 B foreclose existence of
No, not theistic ev. model.
4 (B) - permit one teaching of theistic evol. "ev-sc" as a
theory of macro evol. Eliminates God, theory does not lead to God. See some
things that directly imply the nonexistence of God.
So theistic evolution permits the existence of a god in the context of
what you define as macro-evolution?
Would theistic evolution, in your view, come within this description in
4(b) in this statute?
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, the teaching of the theistic evolutionary model either,
right along with the other models.
Questions re Morris, Gish, and Wysong as "authorities in "creation science"
Geisler disagrees with Preface to scientific case re "recent, supernatural creation of the universe and all its basic components by a transcendent creator" because
has not read Gish, Evolution: The Fossils Say No!, and can only give a
He considers Wysong's book
an "excellent comparison'' of the creation and evolution models, but is not
sure if Wysong is an "authority". Siano reads from p. 88 of Geisler's
deposition, where Geisler called Wysong an "excellent book". Siano
read p. 7 from Wysong re "many drawing connection between evolution and
fascism, Hitler, etc. Geisler agrees that "many have drawn". These
conclusions re p. 10 about religion having great power, Geisler
doesn't know context of passages.
believes, as have Christian until modern times, that "everything the Bible
says is true, is true." Re "strict factual inerrancy," Siano
reads from deposition, p. 118, where Geisler uses the term "strict factual
believes that Satan exists, and that his purpose is to "destroy and distort
the program of God in the world."
takes Geisler through deposition testimony, pp. 133-137, re Satan, demon
possession, and UFOs. Geisler describes his position that the Bible is true, and
the Bible says Satan exists and certain things can happen in the world, and
therefore Geisler looks at the world with a view to seeing these things the
Re UFOs, p. 137 is read: "I believe that they are part of a mass deception attempt, that they are a 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."
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