MR. SIANO: Yes. Plaintiffs call Professor Langdon Gilkey.
a witness called on behalf of the plaintiffs, after having been first duly sworn or affirmed, testified as follows:
BY MR. SIANO:
Q: Will you state your name for the record?
A: Langdon Brown Gilkey.
A: **** ***** ****** ******, Chicago, Illinois.
Q: What is your present occupation and place of employment, please?
A: I am a professor of theology at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.
MR. SIANO: I offer into evidence Plaintiffs' Exhibit Number 90, Doctor Gilkey's resume.
THE COURT: That will be received. (Thereupon, Plaintiffs' Exhibit 90 received in evidence.)
MR. SIANO: (Continuing)
Q: Doctor Gilkey, can you give us some background on your area
of research and scholarship at the University of Chicago?
A: My main responsibility is to teach protestant theology, but I have taught the historical, that is to say, the history of Christian theology. I teach a number of protestant theologians of various sorts, both contemporary and ones who preceded us.
I teach a history of the development of modern theology since the middle of the eighteenth century. I've been particularly interested in the relations of religion and culture, not as a sociologist or historian, but as a theologian; the relations of religion to science, the relations of religion to politics; relations of religion or the Western religions to the ideas of history, and so forth.
I teach courses on those subjects, as well as courses on particular theologians.
MR. SIANO: Your Honor, I would offer Doctor Gilkey as an expert in the field of theology.
THE COURT: Any voir dire?
MR. CAMPBELL: No voir dire.
MR. SIANO: (Continuing)
Q: Doctor Gilkey, did I engage your services in 1981 as an expert?
Q: With respect to what subject matter?
A: With respect to, first of all, the Act 590 and to
A: (Continuing) the relation of that act to the general subject matter of religion, and to the subject matter of Christian theology and particularly the subject matter of the doctrine or idea of creation.
Q: Have you written any books or periodicals on the topic of creation?
A: My thesis and my first book was on the subject of creation, a book called Maker of Heaven and Earth. I have subsequently found myself reinterested in that subject over and over again since creation remains with us, fortunately. So it keeps arising.
In the context of science it has come up repeatedly, needless to say. And I have written some articles on that subject and now find myself involved in it again.
Q: Doctor Gilkey, getting to your area of expertise, would you please describe for us what is religion?
A: Definitions of religion are famous for being difficult to produce. That everybody will agree with. That is partly because of the wide variety of religions and partly because, obviously, there is a certain perspective on defining religion.
I will offer one here that is on the basis of my own study and reflection,
and I propose it as an adequate one. People may disagree with it but I
will be willing to discuss that matter.
A: (Continuing) I will propose that religion involves three different elements or aspects. First of all, in order for anything to be called a religion has these three. Anything that we ordinarily call a religion does illustrate these three. First of all, a view of reality, especially of ultimate reality; a view that emphasizes, first, the basic problem of human existence—for example, death or sin, or rebirth in some religions. Secondly, and perhaps most important, has an answer to that fundamental problem, an answer that is very clearly connected with what is regarded as ultimate reality.
These answers are expressed in a number of ways, depending on the kind of religion we are talking about. They can be expressed in myths or stories at certain levels.
They can be expressed in what are called truths, for example, in Buddhism. They can be expressed in teaching, they can be expressed in doctrines, and, finally, in dogmas.
Q: That is the first element?
A: That is the first element. The second element is that there
is a way of life and then a mode of behavior that is involved. Generally,
it finds its source in what is regarded as ultimate reality, to which every
A: (Continuing) the religion submits themselves, assents, promises to participate in. Obviously, how much they do or how little is a different matter, but that is part of it.
Q: Let me ask you, do creeds form a part of this ethic?
A: Some religions have creeds, some don't, but that's not universal. I suggest that every religion has something like that. They may call it teachings, truths, this, that and the other, and some religions will have definite creeds. That comes more under Number 1, so to speak, with regard to their view of reality.
Q: What is the third element?
A: The third element is the community, a community structured in a quite definite way with differences of authority, differences of responsibility, a community that meets at particular times, and as a part of a way of life comes into some kind of relationship with what is regarded as ultimate reality.
This may be meditative; it may be esthetic; it may be what we call in our tradition worship. It may be prayer; it may be this, that and the other. There are all kinds of ways.
Q: You used the phrase "our tradition", I take it you are speaking of Western religion?
A: I am speaking there of religions of the West and, in
A: (Continuing) particularly, of Christianity, though the word `worship', of course, applies to many other types of religion, but if one said, `What do we do to come into contact with God', we think immediately of worship and prayer.
Q: Is there an additional element to religion when you focus on Western religion?
A: Well, one of the essential elements of Western religions, and I am thinking here particularly of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, if you wish to call that Western, is that they are monotheistic.
The meaning, the functional meaning of monotheism is that everything relative to the religion focuses on God.
Q: Monotheistic is one god?
A: One god, that's right, and focuses on God and one God. That is to say, God is the ultimate reality; God is the source of the ethic; God is that power that legitimates the community.
Q: Could you describe for me in a little more detail how Western religion is related to God and God related to Western religion?
A: Well, as I say, God here in Western religion is regarded as
the source of ultimate reality; that is, God dominates the view of reality
and of ultimate reality as the creator, as the divine source of all that
A: (Continuing) God is the source of the revelation on which the religion is based; God is the source of the law which those within the religion support or wish to follow; God is the source of the salvation that is the answer to the deepest human problem.
And the deepest human problem in our tradition is regarded as separation from God.
Q: Would it be fair to say that in Western religions what has to do with God is religions and all that has to do with religion has to do with God?
A: Yes. All that is religious, the meaning on monotheism, `Thou shalt worship no other God', all that is religious is related to God. Correspondingly, what is related to God is religious.
Now, this includes not only the acts of God in revealing himself or in saying, but also very specifically the acts of God in creating and preserving the universe. For this reason, it is quite appropriate that the first book of our scriptures has within it as its first part a story of the creation of the whole visible universe by God. And the first article of the traditional Christian creed, the Apostles Creed, reads, "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth", stating this point as well.
Q: You described the first book of our scripture. Are
(Continuing) you referring to the Genesis Book in the Old Testament?
A: I am referring to the Genesis Book in the Old Testament. It is the first book of the Christian scripture and it is also the first book, of course, of the Hebrew Scripture, the Torah.
Q: Is it your testimony, sir, that a creative being is necessarily a god in Western tradition?
MR. WILLIAMS: Objection, your Honor. He is leading the witness. He has not said that before. I don't think he has indicated or alluded to that.
MR. SIANO: I will rephrase my question.
MR. SIANO: (Continuing)
Q: Do you, sir, have an opinion, to a reasonable degree of professional certainty, as to whether or not a creative being is necessarily a god?
A: A creator is certainly a god; that is, a being that brings the universe into existence.
Q: Why, sir, is a proposition that relates to God or to creator a religious concept?
A: Well, as I've said, in the Western tradition all that relates
to God has to do with religion and vice versa. Secondly, the idea of a
creator, that is, one who brings the world into existence, fashions it,
creates a system of causes within which we find ourselves, is a
A: (Continuing) being who transcends that system of cause, is not a finite cause, is not merely a part of nature— This has been very deep in the traditions of both Judaism and Christianity—transcends both nature and the human society and human history, and as its founder, in this sense this is a transcendent, a supernatural being, such a being is God.
Q: Would the source of our understanding of creator also relate to this religious character?
A: The idea of a creator, particularly the idea of a creator out of nothing, has its source in the religious traditions of Judaism, subsequently of Christianity, and then subsequently to that of Islam. And the form of the concept has its source there.
In fact, one might say this is where all of our ideas about what God is or who God is comes from this book and subsequently from that to this tradition.
Q: Do Western notions of God differ significantly from anyone else's, any other group's notion of God as the creator?
A: They differ very significantly. of course, it is obvious and
we all know that the word `god', that is to say the words which we would
translate `god' into that English word are not confined to the Jewish,
Christian, Islamic traditions, the People of the Book. But the idea
A: (Continuing) of a creator out of nothing, the idea of a creator at an absolute beginning is a unique conception confined to that tradition.
There are many creators. There are creators in Hindu mythology and religion. There are creators in Chinese and Japanese traditions. There, of course, were creators in the Babylonian tradition, the Greek tradition, and so forth. None of them have quite that character. That is characteristic of our tradition and has its ultimate source in Genesis.
Q: Does whether or not this creator is named god, is that relevant to whether it is a religious concept?
A: No. As I say, if one specifies a creator being one who has supernatural power, intelligence, will, and those are both involved in the concept of design; that is, the power to bring it into being and the will and the intelligence to shape it into our world, such a conception is what we mean by god and a large part of what we mean by god. It is not all of what we mean by god in our tradition, but if you say this much you are talking about a deity and, therefore, this conception is that of a deity.
Q: Can you translate the meaning of the phrase "ex nihilo" for me?
A: Yes. The phrase "ex nihilo" appeared in the first centuries—Actually,
as far as I know, at the end of the
A: (Continuing) second century—in the Christian tradition. It came as an interpretation on the meaning or the implication of the Genesis account, of a number of Psalms and some references in the New Testament where the word `creation' was used and where the idea of making was used. This was what it meant. It means that God created the world out of nothing, not out of God, not out of matter, but out of nothing. That is to say, everything was produced by God. That is the fundamental meaning. It means, also, an absolute beginning.
Q: Is it your opinion, sir, that the phrase "creatio ex nihilo" is a religious concept?
A: Yes. In the first place because it refers to God. And I have made that point as clearly as possible that what refers to God, particularly in our tradition, is religious. Propositions of that sort are religious propositions.
Secondly, one might make the argument, and I am prepared to do so, that of all statements about God, that is the most religious. What I mean by that is that by various definitions there are not other actions there; all other actors are brought into existence by this act. There are no other forces at work.
For example, in the concept of the incarnation, there is, let us say,
Mary present already; there is a needy
A: (Continuing) human race, and so forth and so on. God acts, but there are other actors on the scene. The same with the Last Judgment, the same with other doctrines 4 or teachings of the Christian religion.
However, creator, God is the only actor. One is only talking about God at this point. The only agent is the divine. In this sense it is the paradigmatic religious statement.
Q: I show you what has been previously admitted as Plaintiffs' Exhibit 29, Act 590 of 1981. I ask you, sir, have you ever seen that statute before?
Q: In fact, I conveyed the statute to you?
Q: And asked you examine it; is that correct?
Q: I ask you, to a reasonable degree of professional certainty, do you have an opinion as to whether the creation-science model as set forth in Section 4 (a) of Act 590 is a statement of religion?
A: I find it unquestionably a statement of religion.
Q: What is the basis for that opinion?
A: The basis for that is that, with the possible exception of
Number 2, that is to say, the insufficiency of mutation in natural selection,
which is predominantly a
A: (Continuing) negative statement, the other statements, 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6, imply, entail, necessitate a deity as the agent involved in what is being said. The sudden creation of the universe from nothing requires there be a being there who preceives the universe, though the word `preceives' is interesting at this point, who preceives the universe, who is self-sufficient, who is necessary, who is eternal and who has a design, an intelligent design, in mind and the power, above all, to do that.
The conception of species, kinds of plants and animals created at the beginning means that they were not evolved from anything else or created from anything else but created by a precedent creator.
Separate ancestry of man and apes, as has been pointed out, has the same implication.
If the Flood is regarded as the catastrophe referred to, the Flood has a divine origin. That is to say, if the meaning of the word `catastrophe' is forces and causes far beyond any normal, natural causes, then number 5 implies the same.
Now, mind you, that depends on what is meant by the word `catastrophism'.
We could talk about Saint Helens as a catastrophe. That is not what I'm
referring to. Something quite beyond the ordinary causality or the
A: (Continuing) recurring causality of our experience with the universe.
Q: You don't find a definition of catastrophism anywhere in that section, do you?
A: Right, but I suspect from the history of these ideas, that it has the reference that I've implied, though I am not sure.
A: relatively recent inception of the earth certainly requires a divine creator.
Q: Are you aware—Your testimony earlier was that a creative force is necessarily a deity of some kind. Is that a fair statement?
A: I would think that the moment you say "force"—I think I said "being"—I think that when you say "a creative force"—that I am not necessarily maintaining that this involves a deity or is involved in religion, though creative forces have the kind of attractiveness, let us say, that we begin to get religious about. So I don't want to exclude creative forces from religion. For example, in a good number of so-called primitive religions, the creative force of fertility was certainly an object of very intent religious belief and of religious interest.
Q: So you, are saying `a creative being' then?
I would rather put it this way. Not all creative
A: (Continuing) forces can be regarded as religious.
A: good number of them, in fact, have been regarded as religious.
A: creative being, that is, a being who brings things into being, who shapes the universe as we know it, is a religious concept, has appeared in that. And I might say that the reason the study by people, as has been pointed out in this courtroom, in a religious context is that that is where it is. It doesn't appear anywhere else.
It comes up in all kinds of ways in human history. Such kinds of concepts always involve with deities, always involve with what we call religion.
MR. SIANO: Your Honor, I have placed before the witness, but I will not mark as an exhibit unless my adversaries feel it is necessary, the Defendants' Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.
I direct Doctor Gilkey's attention to Proposed Finding Number 35.
Q: I will ask you if you will please read that.
A: "Creation science does propose the existence of a creator to the same degree that evolution science presupposes the existence of no creator." I would dispute that, but that is neither here nor there.
"As used in the context of creation-science as defined by Section 4
of Act 590, the terms or concepts of
A: (Continuing) `creation' and `creator' are not inherently religious terms or concepts. In this sense, the term `creator' means only some entity with power, intelligence and a sense of design."
"Creation science does not require a creator who has a personality, who has the attributes of love, compassion, justice and so on which are ordinarily attributed to a deity. Indeed, the creation-science model does not require that the creator still be in existence."
Q: Doctor Gilkey, I would like to ask you, as a theologian, are you aware of a concept—As a religious premise, are you aware of the concept of a creator-deity who was not also not loving, compassionate and just?
A: There are a number of them, of course. In many—
Q: If I might, sir, in Christianity particularly.
A: Right. Well, I was going to back up just a moment. That is to say, there are a number of polytheistic faiths which have spoken of a creator deity, who may or may not be the deity who saves.
In a monotheistic faith, of course, this is impossible. Actually, it
is interesting to me that this conception of a creator being who is not
the god who saves—I would say the creator being is inevitably a deity—but
a creator being who is not the god who saves has appeared within Christian
history as its first and most dangerous major
A: (Continuing) heresy.
Now, I am hoping that was intended by counsel here, but this was the Marcionic heresy and the Gnostic heresy, which the church with great vehemence reacted against in the first two centuries.
Q: Would you spell the names of them?
A: Yes. Marcion is Capital M-a-r-c-i-o-n. The Gnostic, capital G-n-o-s-t-i-c. Both of them were not very friendly to the Old Testament for various reasons, wished Christianity not be associated with it, presented a picture of malevolent or, at least, not very benevolent, deity who created the world and of another god who came in to save it.
The main thrust of the earliest theology of the church and the source of the so-called Apostles' Creed in a Hundred and Fifty, which is the first example of it that is known, was to combat this and to say that the god we worship is the maker of heaven and earth, and the god who made heaven and earth is the father of the being who saved us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Thus, comes out, "I believe in God, the Father, the maker of heaven and earth and in his son, Jesus Christ, our Lord."
Q: So what you are saying then, Doctor Gilkey, is that as a result
of these two heresies, Marcion and Gnostic heresies, the Christian church
developed what we now know
Q: (Continuing) as the Apostles' Creed?
A: It is pretty clear that there was a teaching summary that was used quite consistently, probably from Eighty, Ninety and so forth, on. This became more and more consistent because there are hints of it in the earliest documents at the turn of the century.
As far as we know, it was formulated into a creed at Rome against Marcions to say, `No, we do not believe in two gods, a creator god is distinct from a saving god. We do believe in one god.' They regarded that, of course, as within the Jewish tradition. They regarded it as the Christian way of speaking of that, and so that became the thrust of that creed. That is the main article of the creed.
Q: Is it, none the less, your view, Doctor Gilkey, that the concept of these two heresies are, none the less, religious concepts?
A: Oh, yes, absolutely.
Q: Directing your, attention to Section 4 (a) of Act 590 again, do you, in fact, there have a model of creation if you extract from that-the concept of the creator?
A: As I have indicated, each one, with the exception of 2—
MR. WILLIAMS: Your Honor, I think we have to object to that question.
I think that calls for, at least, a
MR. WILLIAMS: (Continuing) legal if not a scientific conclusion as to whether you have a model of origin in the scientific sense, and this witness is testifying only as a religious expert as to whether there would be a coherent scientific model.
MR. SIANO: I don't think I quite understand the nature of the objection. Let me speak to both sides of what I think I hear.
It is the plaintiffs' argument, your Honor, that the model of origins being proposed as scientific creationism is, in fact, a religious model from Genesis.
We propose to have the witness testify on whether or not this model exists without the deity. And the witness has already testified that a deity is an inherently religious concept. I think he is entitled to testify whether, without the deity, there is a model of any kind.
MR. WILLIAMS: Model of religious origin, perhaps, but he is not competent to testify as to whether it's a scientific model of origins because, as I understand it, he has not been qualified as an expert on science. I think the term is somewhat ambiguous. He is talking about a model of origins. He needs to make clear whether he is talking scientific or religious.
THE COURT: Are you talking about a religious model
THE COURT: (Continuing) of origins?
MR. SIANO: Let me ask a few more questions and see if it clears up the problem.
Q: Doctor Gilkey, Section 4 (a) sets forth what it describes as a creation-science model. In your view, is that a religious model or a scientific model?
A: My view is that, for various reasons which I will be willing to spell out, but as will quickly be pointed out, and which my expertise is slightly less than what I like to talk about, this is not the scientific model at all. I am willing to talk about that.
As I have indicated, I think there is no question but that the model in 4 (a) is a religious model. I have already testified to that effect.
The question as I understand it now is, is there a model there that is not a religious model, and I think that is a legitimate question considering what I have just said. It follows up from that.
And I would like to argue that there is simply no idea there at all
without the figure and the agency of a supernatural being. - In this sense,
there is no explanation. There is a claim that it can be shown that the
universe appeared suddenly. There is the claim that species are fixed and
change only within those fixed limits.
A: (Continuing) There is the claim for the separate ancestry of man and of ape. There is the claim for the explanation of the earth formed by catastrophism, and a relatively recent inception of the earth.
These are all, so to speak, claims. I don't think they are true but that's neither here nor there. They are claims, but they are not a theory.
In order for there to be a theory, in each case, as I've said, there must be an agent. The moment you have the agent, you have deity. If there is no deity, there is no theory. If there is a theory, it is religious.
Q: Doctor Gilkey, have you written on the topic of the difference between religion and science?
A: I have.
Q: Could you describe to me briefly what the nature of those writings have been?
A: I have written several articles on this subject. I have written a book called Religion and the Scientific Future on the interrelations of religion and science.
Q: Could you, therefore, state for me in your professional opinion what the differences between religious theories and scientific theories are?
THE COURT: Wait a second. I am making a couple of notes and I
would like to finish these before we go any further.
Q: Doctor Gilkey, can you state for us, please, in your professional opinion what the differences are between religions theories and scientific theories?
A: Well, let me begin by saying that I think that all theories which purport to explain or seek to explain, and that is he general use of the word `theory' that I presume we are using here—all theories do have certain things in common. They appeal to certain types of experiences and certain kinds of facts. They ask certain types of questions and they appeal to certain authorities or criteria.
Thus, they have a certain structure. That is, they go by the rules of the road. They have in what in some parlances are called canons. That is to say, rules of procedure. I would like to suggest that while both religious theories and scientific theories have this general structure in common, they differ very much with regard to the experiences and facts that they appeal to, to the kinds of questions they ask, the kinds of authorities they appeal to and, therefore, to their own structure.
And I would like to make some comments at the end, the experiences and
facts that science has, so to speak, in its own consensus come to agree
this is what we appeal to are first of all, observations or sensory experiences.
A: (Continuing) They are, therefore, repeatable and shareable. They are in that sense quite public. Anybody who wishes to look at them and has the ability and training so to do can do so. These are objective facts in that sense, and experiences are somewhat the same.
I would say that most religions, and certainly our traditions, when they appeal to those kinds of facts appeal to those facts rather as a whole to the world as a whole, as illustrating order or seemingly to a purpose or goodness, and so forth. So, they can appeal to those kinds of facts. That isn't quite so public, because someone might say, "It's very disorderly to me," and so on. It's not quite so public.
But also religions appeal to what we call inner facts, facts about experience of guilt, facts of being, facts of anxiety, death, and the experience of the release from those anxieties or miseries, or what have you.
These are public in the sense that they are shared by the community but they are not public at all in that sense. They are not objective in that sense.
The kinds of questions that they ask are significantly different, it
seems to me. That is to say, science tends to ask `how' questions. What
kinds of things are there? What kinds of relations do they have? What sort
of processes are there? Can we find any laws within those
A: (Continuing) processes? Can we set up a set of invariable relations if P then Q, if this, then that. This is the kind of question. These are `how' questions, process questions, if you will.
Religion asks, might ask some of these questions, but basically it is asking `why' questions. It is asking questions of meaning. Why is the world here? Why am I here? Who am I? What am I called to do? What is it my task in life to be? Where are we going? How are we to understand the presence of evil? These are quite significantly different kinds of questions.
Correspondingly, science appeals to the authority, and this is decisive, of logical coherence and experimental adequacy. It also appeals through coherence with other established views and to some things that are called fruitlessnesses. There is also a sense of elegance. Now, when you work that out in terms of its cash value, you have, as has been said before, the consensus of the scientific community on these matters. And there almost always is a consensus of the community making such a judgment.
This is an earned authority. It is not granted by some other power.
It is earned by expertise, by training, by excellence at work. Religions
generally appeal to revelation of some sort, not always to the same sort,
A: (Continuing) some manifestation of the divine or some place where the divine is encountered.
For example, in Buddhism, what is called the higher consciousness might be a very important authority. Subsequently to that, of course, are those who mediate that authority, to the interpreters of the Book, to the spokesman for the church, for the community, to those who have an intimate and direct and unique relationship to God. It can take all kinds of forms—To a particular kind of religious experience and so on. Notice these are not in that way public. They are not generally earned. They are given; they are granted.
Q: The authority in Christianity, is there one particular reference or source of authority?
A: Well, of course, this has been the subject of a good deal of friendly debate. That is to say, this was an issue with the Gnostics we were speaking of, whether the apostolic churches—The scriptures were not then canonized, but whether the apostolic churches were the authority or just anybody.
Later it came to be agreed the scriptures, the apostolic scriptures,
and they were given authority because they were believed to be written
by the Apostles, the apostolic scriptures and the apostolic church were
the dual and not separable authorities.
By the time one gets to the Reformation, there is a real argument over this. Are both tradition and authority an ascription authority or solely scriptural, that is, scripture alone, which, of course, was the Lutheran and then the Calvinist position, and has been a basis for Protestantism. So that in each case the authority appealed to is regarded as the place where the divine is in some way manifesting itself or is speaking, and that is the basis of the authority.
Q: Does modern protestant Christianity include the Bible as the scriptural source of authority?
A: I would say it better.
Q: Is that a yes answer?
A: That is a yes answer.
Q: As a religious source of authority, do the concepts inspiration and revelation also form a part of it?
A: Yes, and there is a good deal of debate about what they mean. Revelation is a fairly consistent word throughout the history of Christian, and I think I could say Jewish, thinking.
The meaning of inspiration has varied a good deal. Now, we were talking
about the kinds of questions. I wanted to go on and talk about the kinds
of theories. In science, theories are generally laws; that is to say,
A: (Continuing) universal, necessary, automatic, impersonal, "if P then Q" kinds of statements. One of the most basic rules of scientific inquiry is that no non-natural or historical cause, that is, no supernatural cause, may be appealed to.
Thus one could say, I would rather take the canon as the scientific inquiry. It's not a presupposition; it's a canon; it's a rule of the road.
MR. WILLIAMS: Your Honor, I will have to interject an objection on the grounds that this witness has not been qualified as an expert on science. He is qualified as a theologian. His testimony has gone at some length now, and I thought it was going to be brief. Therefore, I would have to object to this line of testimony and move to strike the previous testimony to the extent he is discussing what is science.
MR. SIANO: Your Honor, the witness has written on the differences between science and religion, and speaks as a philosopher on this topic. His resume so reflects those topics.
THE COURT: That's what I recall. I think he is qualified to offer his opinion.
MR. WILLIAMS: He is offered only as a theologian, your Honor, by the plaintiffs.
MR. SIANO: I might broaden that offer if that
MR. SIANO: (Continuing) might give Mr. Williams some comfort, your Honor.
THE COURT: Go ahead.
MR. SIANO: (Continuing)
Q: You were taking about theories.
A: Yes. It reflects, as I said, a universal necessary concept of law or separate and variable relations. It does not and cannot, and I think this is also true in the discipline of history and, perhaps, of the law, cannot appeal to a supernatural cause in its explanations. It is verified by a particular shamble, objective, sensory kind of experiment and has its origin in that, or as better put falsified. Non-falsifiable by those. And where religious theories concern God in our tradition they use a quite different kin of language, a symbolic language, about God. They invoke personal causes, intentions, will. God created the world with a design, God created the world in order that it be good, God created the world out of compassion or out of love, and so forth and so on. These are familiar ways of speaking of these kinds of acts.
Above all, perhaps most important, they have to do, religious theories have to do with the relation of God to the finite world and to human beings.
If they specify only relations between persons or only
A: (Continuing) relations between forces of nature, they cease being religious theories.
But when they specify the relationship to God, then they become religious theories and obviously God is very much in the picture.
This is very different from a scientific form of theory. They are testable, if that's the right word, in terms of experience and, perhaps, in terms of a new mode of living. That is to say, being released, being redeemed, having a new kind of courage, a new kind of benevolence, and so forth and so on. That is the kind of fruitfulness that religious ideas have where it's quite different than anything scientific.
Q: Now, are you, sir, aware of the field of religious apologetics?
A: I am.
Q: Could you please state for me what your understanding of the concept of religious apologetics is?
A: Apologetics has been used for a long time to describe certain kinds of religious speaking and religious writing, or writing by religious persons, with a religious purpose.
It refers to an argument by members of a community to those outside
the community, seeking to show the meaningfulness and the validity of the
A: (Continuing) truths, the position of the community. This is a very old tradition. One finds it, of course, in the earliest writings, some of the earliest writings of the Christian church in a group who were, in fact, called the apologists, and quite deliberately sought to speak to the Roman empire and to argue for Christianity on the basis of what Romans could accept.
One finds this in the medieval period. Saint Thomas Aquinas was probably the great example of this in some of his documents. They are not theological documents; they are arguments to the world about the truth of certain elements, particularly the truth of the Creator. Certain elements, one finds them in Jewish documents as well. You find them also in the modern world.
Q: The purpose of apologetics is that one purpose of it—to spread the faith?
A: Yes, yes. I am not sure that `evangelize' is quite the right word. Generally, we use the word `evangelize' with preaching. This is argument. It is certainly to convince people, persuade people, and so forth, of the validity of the faith, that one represents.
Q: Does religious apologetics always speak with a religious framework or does it use language and concepts from other fields?
Well, in seeking to speak to those without the
A: (Continuing) faith it must find some kind of common ground. This may be a common ground in morals; it may be in the customs of a community; it may be in certain forms of philosophy; it may be—And in the scientific age, this may be the best way to do it—It may be science. That is to say, when it seeks the common ground of scientific facts in order to persuade others of the validity of one's own idea.
In that case, one could say the ideas do not arise out of the facts, but they are brought to them to show the ideas made more sense of the facts than any other idea.
Q: Is what you are, saying, Doctor Gilkey, that even though a religious apologist may speak in science, his purpose is religious?
A: At this point, I would say the religious apologist probably tends to disagree with some of the theories of science, seeks to except the facts that science has developed and to show that his or her own idea makes more sense of those facts.
Q: His or her own religious idea?
A: Yes, his or her own religious idea, correct.
Q: Do you have a view, sir, an opinion, sir, to a reasonable degree of professional certainty, as to whether creation-science is engaged in religious apologetics?
I certainly do have such an idea. I look at the
A: (Continuing) logic of it, and it seems to me precisely what I have described. And there is a concept here of a sudden creation at the beginning of separate kinds by a deity. That is an old traditional conception within the Christian community, given here a particular interpretation, I may say, which is presented as making more sense of the various facts or some of the facts that are claimed to be scientific facts.
This is the structure, the logical structure, of apologetics. Now, let me say there is nothing wrong with apologetics. I've done it, and I'm not at all ashamed of that. I don't know how good it was but I have done it. I think the only problem with apologetics is when you seek to dissemble that you are doing apologetics, when you quote an authority, when one has two hats on and hides one of them. This is what's the problem on it.
Q: Now, are you aware, sir, of whether or not —Strike the question.
Is the sectarian nature of the creation-science argument in any way related to this opinion you have of its apologetic nature?
Yes, though let me say, apologetics are not necessarily sectarian.
That is to say, a good number of apologetics take the very general position
that is shared by all members of a particular religious tradition.
A: (Continuing) In that sense one could say the tradition as a whole is sectarian vis-a-vis other traditions, but that is not the usual meaning of the word.
In this case I would say that is definitely the case. The apologetic that is carried on here in the name of creation gives, and insists upon giving, a particular interpretation of that concept of creation. In a sense it is doubly particular, so to speak. It is particular to the Christian tradition as opposed to others, though Jewish persons may agree with it but on the whole they know this is a Christian idea. It is significantly different from ideas in other religions, for example, Hindu ideas, Buddhist ideas and, not least important, American Indian ideas. But also within the Christian tradition it is particularistic, and that is why I am happy to be a witness. It is particularistic in that it identifies the concept of creation with a particular view, sets it over against evolution and says, `This is what creation means.' And it is a very particular view. It's been made evident here, a literal interpretation of creation, of creation in recent time, of fixed species, and so forth and so on.
In your examination of Act 590, Doctor Gilkey, are you aware
of whether or not the Act sets up a dualist
Q: (Continuing) approach to origins?
A: It seems to me it very definitely does. And that is to say, I agree with the testimony that said its kind of neutrality presupposes that there are only two views and these are mutually exclusive.
I think on both counts, that is to say that there are only two views and on the account that they are mutually exclusive, are both factually wrong.
That is to say, there are many other views of origins than these two views. There are other views within the history of religions; there are other views within philosophical speculation, although those don't have a deity, as I've said.
One could list any number of views of origins that are significantly different than either one of these. This is simply wrong.
Secondly, the view that these two are mutually exclusive, it seems to
me, is, in fact, false. There are people who believe in God who also accept
evolution. Now, that possibility depends upon something that I think is
not evident in the document. That is to say, that science is our most reliable
way of publicly knowing. — I certainly believe that. I couldn't come by
airplane and leave by airplane if in some sense I didn't believe that.
A: (Continuing) On the other hand, it is a limited way of knowing, and I am speaking here as a theologian, as well as a philosopher. That is to say, it can't and doesn't wish to and doesn't purport to speak of all things, of all the things that are.
It is difficult for science to get at our inner-personal being, which I firmly believe. It is, as I said, by its own rules, rules out discussions of a deity. In this sense it is not at all saying, as a science, there is no deity. It does not presuppose there is no creator. It presupposes that a scientific statement cannot speak of such a thing. Now, that's a quite different matter. Some may conclude that is no creator. That is a religious or philosophical judgment, not a scientific judgment. The limitation of science is very important in this whole case. One might say science asks questions that can be measured, shared, mutually tested in certain ways, but doesn't ask a number of important questions. Personally, those are the questions that interest me. That is why I am a theologian.
MR. SIANO: One moment, your Honor.
No further questions.
BY MR. CAMPBELL:
Q: Professor Gilkey, can you distinguish between primary causality and secondary causality in discussing origins?
A: Yes. And I must say I am glad you brought that up. This is a distinction that arose during the medieval period and was made particularly prominent by St. Thomas
Aquinas to distinguish between two different types of questions about origins.
Another important issue in this: Not all questions about origins are religious questions; not all questions are about ultimate origins.
One could ask, `What is the origin of —Well, let's see— the city of Chicago'? That is a profane question if there ever was one.
One can ask about the ultimate origins of the universe. That is a quite different kind of question.
Q: Let me ask you this. Scientists cannot talk about first causality, can they?
Well, I was getting to your question. The first kind of question
is a typical question about secondary causality. That is to say, out of
what set of finite forces and causes of various sorts did something we
A: (Continuing) see around us arise?
This is a question of secondary causality. It appeals to no ultimate supernatural kinds of causes. It stays within the world of finite or natural historical causes. If one asks, `Where did that whole system come from' one is asking the question not of particular origins but of ultimate origins.
This is a philosophical but primarily a religious question — and I will be willing to say why I think that is; I think I already have —in which one moves beyond the available system of experience to ask about its origin. And that is what Thomas meant by first causality.
Q: Scientists cannot talk about first causality, can they?
A: I, actually—I would like to appeal to the point that was made that I don't want to pretend to say everything scientists do or don't talk about. However, I think in obedience to their own canons, they, so to speak, will not do. If they do they are straying a little bit, a good deal beyond what it is intelligent for a scientist, any scientist to talk about. As Aristotle said, `Nothing can come from nothing'.
Therefore, one always has to presuppose scientifically that is something
before what we are talking about. Science does talk only about secondary
Q: And cannot talk about first causality without getting into theology or philosophy; isn't that correct?
A: I believe that is correct. That is right.
Q: The question of how a finite form of life arises out of secondary causality could be secondary or could be a scientific question, couldn't it?
Q: Secondary causality is what we would ordinarily call, and I believe you referred to, as natural, historical and human causes?
A: (Nodding affirmatively)
Q: In your opinion primary causality would always be divine cause, wouldn't it?
A: Well, I think that is pretty near a tautology. That is to say, when you are talking about something quite beyond the system of causes that are available to us that we would in our own day call natural, then the minute one is talking that kind of thing one is talking about what is generally agreed to be a divine figure, a deity.
Q: And so long as we are talking about secondary causality, we are talking about an area that can be dealt with in science; is that correct?
Correct. Anytime that scientific inquiry leaves the area of
secondary causality and discusses ultimate origins, it has
Q: (Continuing) left the laboratory and is entered into theology and philosophy?
A: I would think so.
Q: Do you think that primary and secondary causality are discussed in the Bible?
A: Oh, no. No, no. Those are words that came—Actually, the word `causality' probably has origins, I think one could say, in Aristotle. It certainly came down into Roman philosophy and was a way that those of a philosophical bent who were Christians who wished to express what creatio ex nihilo meant made the distinction between primary and secondary causality.
Q: Do you think primary and secondary causality can be implied from Genesis and Psalms?
A: Well, I would say that some authorities, for example, St. Thomas Aquinas who certainly outranks me, would say that that is the case. Now, that is obviously a controversial issue. Some people say it is not Biblical; it has no place in Christianity, and so forth. Others would say that's a pretty good shot at expressing what Genesis has in mind.
Q: It could be implied then?
A: Oh, yes, yes.
Q: Do you see the Bible as a guide in your own life?
I certainly do.
Q: Would you use the Bible as a guide to your understanding of the world?
A: Myself understanding, being a theologian, would be yes. That is what I meant by saying you had better have the Bible as a basis.
Now, there are other things, for example, the tradition of one's faith to take into account, but the primary source for a Christian theologian is the Scriptures.
Q: So your opinion of your own religion would also be influenced by the Bible?
A: Yes. Let me qualify that to say that when I teach other religions I seek to present the other religions as much in their own point of view as I can. But I think it is useful to remind your students that you are a white, male, Protestant character and that they had better watch it.
Q: Would your opinions on philosophy likewise be influenced by the Bible?
A: Oh, yes, indeed.
Q: And your opinions on science?
A: Yes. I hope everything is.
Q: Do you think the scientific community is the only body that can tell us what is and what is not in science?
No, no. There are historians of science who are doing a very
good job at the present of reminding
A: (Continuing) scientists of a lot of things they've sought to forget.
Q: Do you recall our discussion concerning whether or not the scientific community could tell us what is and what is not science when I took you deposition on the—
A: Well, let me put it this way. I think —Let me back up a bit if that is permissible —that any discipline or any community has the right to seek to define itself and has a kind of authority in that definition.
So, myself, I would go, first of all, to the scientific community if I were asking what is science. What do they think science is? Now, the qualification to that is, to take an example of my own discipline, religion, I think we've had revealed to us a good deal that we didn't want to study about ourselves by others, by the sociologists, by the psychologists, by the philosophers, and so forth and soon, and in many cases they were right.
So that I think that what a discipline is, for example, anthropology,
chemistry, and so forth, is, first of all, something in which the members
of the discipline and those who have studied it, philosophers and the historians
of the discipline, have sort of first rank. But I wouldn't leave it entirely
up to them because we always tend to look at our own discipline with a
more loving eye than other disciplines look at that discipline.
Q: So, then, the scientific discipline should decide what is and what is not science?
A: They should certainly make up their minds about it. I think if they are unclear about it, then we are in real trouble.
But let me say, when I am asked, what is the relation between religion and science, I would certainly like to talk with as loud a voice as scientists would on that relation.
Q: You mentioned a moment ago that scientists have tried to forget certain things and historians have reminded them of them. What things are you talking about?
A: Well, the relatedness of science to the culture as a whole, the ways in which scientific ideas have developed, and that sort of thing. The, how shall I put it, the cultural relatedness of scientific concepts.
Q: Scientists had kind of gotten off path?
A: No, not the scientists. This isn't really their business. One could say the interpretation of science, and it was similar to the interpretation of my own discipline where most theologians thought that everything that we said came directly from on high. And it took some historians to point out that there was influence, the medieval period, the Renaissance, and so forth and so on.
If the scientists-and this is a hypothetical
Q: (Continuing) question—felt that there was some evidence to support creation or creation-science as it is spelled out in Act 590, do you think he should be free to discuss that in the classroom?
A: What classroom?
Q: In the classroom.
A: Well, I suppose he could only discuss it in the classroom he found himself in, but I have already made clear that I don't think it is merely evidence that makes something scientific.
I am not sure I understand what scientific evidence is. think I understand what a scientific theory is, and my own view is that science is located in its theories and not necessarily in its facts, which are quite public. I would say that creation is not a scientific theory and cannot be taught in that way, so—
Q: I understand your position. What I am asking is, if a scientist felt that there was legitimate scientific evidence to support creation-science as it is defined in Act 590, would you favor his being able to present that in the classroom?
If he or she felt and was prepared to argue that this was a
scientific theory under the rubrics of the general consensus of what a
scientific theory was, then I think they should make that argument.
A: (Continuing) Now, they can make that public, the scientific community, that it is a scientific theory.
Q: And you think that he should be free to discuss that in the classroom?
A: Whether that is a biological theory or not in the classroom of biology, I am not sure. I think that-Well, it seems to me that one of the important things is that a profession be able to determine what is or what is not within its general bounds. The general association of biologists, I would say, would be able to be the final authority as to whether something is a biological theory or not. I think these certainly could be well discussed in comparative world views or some other such course. I don't think there is anything wrong with that at all.
Q: Do you recall in your deposition when I asked you the question. —
MR. SIANO: Your Honor, page and line, please.
MR. CAMPBELL: This is page 57, beginning on line 11.
I asked you this question. This is a hypothetical question.
"If a scientist felt that there was some evidence to support creation science
as it is spelled out in Act 590, do you think that he should be free to
Q: (Continuing) it in the classroom", and your answer, "of course, of course. I don't have any question about that, and the only adjudicating supporters are his or her peers."
MR. SIANO: Your Honor, that is not the complete answer.
MR. CAMPBELL: I was going on, Mr. Siano.
Q: "Now they are not in the classroom, but the principle. I would say the same about a teacher of law. I believe that. I think that is a part of science, that one should be quite open to new interpretations. Now we can discuss whether this is possibly scientific and I am willing to state my opinion on that, though not as a philosopher of science."
"Mr. Siano: And not as a scientist."
And your answer, "Not as a scientist, correct, but let's leave that one out. I agree with that thoroughly, absolutely."
Do you recall that answer?
A: (Nodding affirmatively).
Q: Do you think that science should be more interested in how to think about an idea rather than trying to emphasize that a particular idea is true?
As I understand the scientific method, the
A: (Continuing) concentration is almost entirely on the how to think about an idea. That is to say, as the scientific movement developed, the emphasis became more and more on methods rather than conclusions. Conclusions were regarded as always hypothetical, approximate, to be criticized, to be changed. What remained solid was the methods and, as I've said, the canons that makes a theory legitimate and so on within the scientific world.
So I would say yes, as a method they do concentrate on the how.
Q: And in teaching how to think about an idea, should alternative viewpoints be considered?
A: Within the realm of that idea, yes, certainly. That is to say, I think alternative scientific theories certainly should be created, be discussed. And if this one can make a case—I don't think it can, but if it can make a case that's another thing. Requiring that it be taught is another issue.
Q: Despite the fact that parts of the definition of creation-science as it appears in Section 4 (a) of Act 590, is, in your opinion, consistent with Christian and Jewish traditions—
A: Let's be careful of the Jewish there.
If there were some legitimate scientific evidence
Q: (Continuing) to support a part of that definition, shouldn't it be discussed openly?
A: Certainly, openly. I am not sure it is a scientific concept. I would argue that (a) represents a scientific concept. I don't think it has its place— I understand your response.
Q: What I am saying is, if there was some legitimate scientific evidence to support one of those parts, should not it be discussed openly?
A: My point has been that, say, evidence, scientific or otherwise, a common experience, supports an idea, notion, that's not science. That's, I suppose one could say, only philosophy. This makes sense of this. This makes it intelligent. That is not the scientific method. So that the conception, scientific facts proving or making probable or simply an idea, is not an example of scientific methods.
Now, `openly' I don't know just what that means. I think this is a concept that certainly should be openly discussed. Whether it should appear as a part of a scientific discipline is quite another matter to me.
Q: That would be for the scientists to determine?
A: Correct. The scientific community to determine.
And if a member of a scientific community felt that there was
legitimate evidence to support a part of
Q: (Continuing) creation-science as it is defined in Act 590, he should be free to discuss that?
A: Yes, I think that the responsibility of any scientist is to be a part of that community, listening to its general views and consensus; of course, quite free to disagree with it, and there should be the ability to present something as a scientific theory.
Q: Would you say that creation is essentially a part of — I believe you were the one who used the words Jewish and Christian traditions; is that correct?
A: Right. I am glad you said that because my correction of you was only to be uneasy to be stating something that Jews believe that I have no business stating they believe. That it came out of the Jewish scriptures, there was little question. That is probably the meaning of what I meant, but I don't wish to state what the beliefs of the various synagogues of our country are or should be.
Q: Is creation a part of Greek religion?
Ideas of creation are there. They are significantly different
ideas about creation. They usually picture one god, for example, Zeus,
as arising out of other gods. In fact, he was regarded as one of the children
of a former god and winning a victory over other gods and, perhaps, establishing
order, and so forth and so
A: (Continuing) on. This is not the conception of absolute beginning.
Q: So the concept of creation as it is known in the western religious circles would be different than that concept of creation in Greek religion?
A: Very significantly, and this is the thrust of a good number of the early arguments of the church, as I indicated.
Q: Likewise, would Western religious views of creation differ from the Buddhist religion?
A: Oh, very definitely.
Q: And, likewise, would the Western view of creation differ from Babylonian religion?
A: Yes. Not as much as with Buddhist.
Q: So if creation-science were taught to a Greek, a Buddhist or a Babylonian student, that student would not view it as inherently religious, would he?
A: Oh, he would. They would view it as a Christian view. That is very specifically what they would view it as.
Q: They would not view it as religious in their own—
Oh, they wouldn't view it as Buddhism, certainly. They would
view it as simply wrong. They would have no question about that. In fact,
if you go to Japan, and China and talk with Buddhists, you will find this
A: (Continuing) of the points they really will tackle you on. "This is an absurd idea", they would say. There is no question of its Christian character when it appears within another context. They would regard it as religious but not as true. And mind you, not everything religious is true.
Q: They would only view it as religion if we were talking about ultimate origins, wouldn't they?
A: No. I haven't said that everything religious has to do with ultimate origin, but then everything having to do with ultimate origin is religious, which is a quite different statement.
Q: If there are empirical scientific evidences which support a science or a theory of science, it would not matter if it were religious apologetics or not, would it?
A: Well, that is a pretty hypothetical case because I can't, at the moment, think of a genuinely scientific theory which remaining a scientific theory becomes a part of religious apologetics.
Q: But if there were?
A: Well, give me an example.
Q: I am just asking you a hypothetical.
A: Well, I don't understand. I've got a blank in my mind. You cannot help me out?
You cannot answer that question?
A: I cannot conceive of a case in which a theory in science that remains a theory in science—Now, there are many which might be regarded as excluding certain religious theories, but I can't conceive of a case which would become, remaining a theory in science, an aspect of religious apologetics.
Q: If there were scientific evidence to the view that the earth was less than four billion years old, that scientific evidence would not be religious apologetics, would it?
A: No. It would lead the scientists to ask, how are we going to understand this. Now, they might pop up with the idea of an absolute beginning. Then they are not submitting a scientific explanation.
I am not saying there aren't explanations. I think none of us know what possible kinds of explanations. I would say that would be an interesting event which would call for a total reworking of all scientific theories that I know anything about and the production of other scientific theories giving it in terms precisely of secondary causality.
Q: Can there be such a thing as atheistic apologetics?
A: Yes. Of course, Bertrand Russell was a very good example of that.
I believe you mentioned that scientists ask `how'
Q: (Continuing) questions; is that correct?
Q: And scientist are interested in observable processes?
A: Yes, they are. Yes, we all are, but they use those as testing devices in quite particular ways. That doesn't mean they are confined to observable processes.
Q: You stated that religion asks `why' questions?
A: Among other questions.
Q: And you opined, I believe, that the definition of creation-science as it appears in Section 4 (a) of Act 590 was inherently religious; isn't that correct?
A: I would like a little heavier word than `opine'.
Q: Well, is it your opinion—That's got more letters.
A: Okay, I'll settle for that. I would assert that. That would be a better way of putting it.
Q: In looking at the definition of creation-science as it appears in Section 4 (a), there are six parts of that definition. I would like for you to review that with me, and tell me where the `why' question is in the definition of creation-science as it appears in Section 4 (a). In other words, where is the `why' question in "sudden creation of universe, energy and life from nothing"?
Well, as I say, there are other questions in religion than
Q: I understand, but you did say that religion asks `why' questions primarily?
A: Yes, but that is not the only kind of question. `Where did it all come from' is also a religious question, as I have stated, I think, as clearly as I could. Where did it all come from, and that is number one.
Q: Where are the `why' questions, though, in the definition of creation-science as it is defined in Section 4(a) of Act 590?
A: Well, there are all kinds of answers to `why' questions in number 1, inclusively in number 1, and that's why—
Q: I didn't ask where the answer are. I asked where the question was.
In other words, aren't you assuming in making your assertion that the definition of creation-science in Section 4 (a) is religious? Aren't you assuming that your definition of creation-science is actually answering `why' questions?
A: I said it was answering them, so I don't find the question in any religious doctrine.
Q: You do not find a question asked in the definition of creation-science?
I haven't claimed that in a statement of a creed you find the
question to which the creed is the answer.
A: (Continuing) What you find in statements of religious belief are answers. Now, I said you can get at the meaning of those answers by asking kinds of questions.
Therefore, I said that, number one, states an answer.
Q: I understand, but we talked about the `why' questions that religion asks. Can you testify that there are no `why' questions -
A: I can testify there aren't any questions at all there, and I would say in any statement of a creed there aren't questions; there are answers. And I tried to make that quite clear.
Theology is not, thank the good Lord, confined to questions.
Q: Is it your opinion that science cannot answer the `why' questions?
It depends on what you mean by `why'. There has been general
agreement since—and I think I am right—the seventeenth century, at least
since the impact of Galileo and the reinterpretation of that by Descartes,
an agreement that purpose kinds of causes, causes that appeal to purpose—What
Aristotle called final causes—Why is this going on—were not relevant to
scientific inquiry. And I take it that this has been generally agreed.
If you mean why did this happen—If you mean by that question
A: (Continuing) `what forces brought it about' and one could use that, in ordinary speech, then, of course, `why are we having rain today', well, the answer is because of a cold pressure front and so forth and so on. That kind of `why' question, but the kind of `why' question that is quite different, `why did it happen to rain on my wedding', is not the kind of question the weatherman will be able to answer.
Q: Is there such a thing as religious humanists?
A: Yes, there certainly is. At least, there is a group that calls themselves humanists that has written a couple of manifestoes in my lifetime, I think, and a group called the Ethical Culture Society and perhaps some other groups that are exclusively humanist and that also are happy to claim the word `religious' connected with them, and I suppose the great founder of positivism, Auguste Comte, sought to found a humanistic or positivistic religion in the nineteenth century.
Q: Once evolution begins to examine ultimate origins, it is not within science, is it?
A: I would say so.
Q: Are you saying it is not or it is?
It is not within science. Yes, I am agreeing with a portion
of your question, it has moved out of science into a wider arena.
Q: Into the area of theology and philosophy?
A: Right, correct.
Q: As one who has studied religions, are there any religions which have taken evolution from its original scientific state and adopted it as part of their belief system?
A: They have taken evolution—Yes, I would say so, and I would say some of the forms in the nineteenth and twentieth century of what you would call, although they may or may not have liked that word, religious humanism, have taken that form.
Perhaps the great formulator of this was Herbert Spencer, though he wouldn't have, wanted to be called religious, and he said he was an agnostic. Nevertheless, here was a picture of the whole of the universe, and so forth and so on, and there have been a number of evolutionists, Julian Huxley, that was appealed to here and who is a good example of that. A good number of them have taken that position.
This is perfectly possible for this idea. There is a number of ideas to leave its particular residence, so to speak, within a particular discipline, subject to its canons and to expand out to doing the job of a religious idea.
In some sense, is evolution atheistic?
A: No. That is to say, I would say any scientific method—This is not a presupposition; this is a canon. It does not talk about God.
In the same way history is atheistic. That is to say, a historical account of he Second World War won't talk about the judgment of God.
I suppose law is atheistic in exactly that sense. An account of a murder which explained the murder by an act by God, by God rubbing this fellow out, let's say, is not an admissible theory.
In this sense, these are what we mean by secular disciplines. That is to say, they do not bring in a divine cause as an explanatory factor in what they are trying to explain.
This does not mean, and I think the example of the history of law made perfectly clear, this sort of factor is not there. This is not a presupposition. It is a rule of the road, a rule of that kind of talking.
Q: Is evolution consistent with Buddhism?
A: Now, there I will have to speculate on that. I don't put myself
forward as an expert on Buddhism. I would say no, not consistent with historic
Buddhism in the sense that historic Buddhism has held to the set of ideas
that are also true of historic Hinduism, namely, that time goes in a circle.
A: (Continuing) Now, that is a significantly different idea than nineteenth century and twentieth century evolution where time is lineated and there is no set cyclical. Within those concepts, one cay say that both Hindu and Buddhist conceptions state of the world as coming to be in the cycle and then going out of existence again, and then coming in.
This is not evolution. That is not at all the same idea. Now, the main problem with Buddhism is they are convinced of the unreality of things rather than the reality of things. Now, if you want to discuss that, we can do it but I think that would try the patience of everybody in the room.
Q: You mentioned that evolution is not consistent with historical Buddhism, but would it be with contemporary Buddhist beliefs?
A: As somebody said, almost anything is possible. People in the history of religion have put the two most seemingly antithetical ideas together to create theory that one beforehand could have believe they were going to do it. I would say this would take an awful lot of work on the part of some enthusiastic Buddhist to put the two together, but it could be done.
Is evolution consistent with Taoism?
A: My answer would be substantially the same. That is to say, Taoism and Buddhism and Hinduism are forms of— Well, I am risky here—Pantheism, Monism, where each have a cyclical view of time, insofar as they have any view, and probably you have very much the same situation there.
Q: If evolution is expanded into a world view, will we get into metaphysics?
A: It depends on how it's done. That is to say, a metaphysical idea is partly determined not by what it talks about but the way it does about constructing itself. And those within the philosophical community who still think metaphysics interesting and possible, and they are not everybody, would probably be very much interested in the grounds, the warrants, the reasons why an idea was advanced as being.
So, it isn't so much the content of the idea as its method or I should say both of them.
Insofar as you mean by metaphysics a view of a whole and a recent view of a whole, I would say say. Yes, that is exactly what, for example, the great philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead is. One could say it is an expansion of some evolutionary idea into a total view of the universe.
Q: And once evolution is discussed in terms of metaphysics, it is no longer science, is it?
A: It has a cousin once removed relation to science.
A: (Continuing) Let's put it that way. It is certainly not at that point dependent upon science.
Q: Is scientific inquiry generally set within a framework of presupposition?
A: Again, I am glad you asked that question because I think it is good to try to clarify that point. I'd say there are two different kinds of presuppositions we are talking about here.
One of them is that set of presuppositions, and it would be rather hard quickly to state them accurately so that there's no disagreement, that having characteristic of Western culture, arising out of the Jewish and the Greek-Roman background.
Now, these are genuine presuppositions of the scientific method, it seems to me, and that is quite rightly used. There was a very well known book by E. Burt, The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Empirical Science, which I think stated the point very well.
The puzzle would be the reality of the empirical world. The reality,
therefore, — The cognitive value of sense experience. The fact that the
world involves, we don't know what kind, but some sort of order. These
are presuppositions of the scientific method. There are other things that
I call canons or rules of the road that are really quite different.
A: (Continuing) They themselves, perhaps, have presuppositions, but they are not quite presuppositions.
Q: Is falsification a presupposition?
A: No, that's an aspect of method, I would say. That is what is meant by testing. That is not a presupposition; this is a canon. Every idea that is scientific must be tested, and what we mean by that is, it is not falsified. Or, at least, that's Popper's theory of that.
Q: Do you recall your deposition when I asked you questions concerning presuppositions, beginning on page 135 of your deposition, I asked this question: "Assuming a scientific inquiry is based on some, within a framework, of presupposition, could a theory ever be truly falsified?"
Mr. Siano interjected, "And that's a hypothetical question", which I responded, "Do you understand what I am asking?"
Mr. Siano again interjected his comments, "you started out assuming, and that is what I asked, if it is a hypothetical question. Is it a hypothetical question?" I responded, "Yes, it can be a hypothetical question. Actually, it is a philosophical question."
Mr. Siano: "It may be a philosophy of science question."
The Witness: "It is totonegy. It is just utterly totogeny."
THE WITNESS: Tautology.
MR. CAMPBELL: It is misspelled in the deposition.
THE WITNESS: I know. I think that one went right over the reporter's head and bounced around.
Q: (Continuing) This is your answer: "Falsification itself has presuppositions, which is your answer. Without presuppositions that lie in the back of scientific methods, there is no meaning to the word `falsification'. You have to agree to having a mode of falsifying what kind of data are relevant, what kinds of experience gets us in touch with those data, what type of methods are relevant. What have to agree on that."
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Siano, this answer goes on for two and a half pages. Would you like me to—
MR. SIANO: Your Honor, since the only appropriate use of this deposition is to impeach Mr. Gilkey, I would suggest that Mr. Campbell now continue to read the answer if he intends to impeach my witness.
MR. CAMPBELL: I am certainly not trying to impeach the witness, your Honor. I am just trying to refresh his memory with regard to this area of falsification.
MR. SIANO: Your Honor, I haven't heard anything —
THE COURT: I think you can ask him the question.
MR. CAMPBELL: (Continuing)
Q: Do you remember making that statement?
THE COURT: Well, let him answer —I mean, whatever point you are making, why don't you just ask the question without referring to the deposition?
THE WITNESS: I remember making that statement. I am under the impression that I have just repeated it, but I may be wrong.
Q: So falsification does have some presuppositions?
A: Oh, yes, yes, and I have tried to make clear that those general presuppositions that I spoke of first, lie back not only of, let's say, the conclusions of science but the method of science. That is to say that sensory experience places into touch with what we wish to find out about. This is not a universally held view. In many cultures sensory experience is regarded as the pathway to illusion.
Now, that presupposition is there if you and I are going to agree that
a sensory observable experiment will falsify an idea. We have got to agree
on that point. That is what I meant by the terms of falsification or in
the other side verification. They have got to be agreed on, and I think
has been becoming increasingly clear to the scientific community since
the rise of the empirical sense as to meaning what we mean, that some kind
A: (Continuing) shareable experiment will test this thing. You say and I say.
Q: Does the history of science reveal that in actual practice science is based upon creative leaps of imaginative vision?
A: I would certainly say so, though as I said to you in the deposition, that takes a certain knowledge of the biography of great scientists that I don't pretend to have within my—Well, I hesitate to say educated guess, but my somewhat educated guess is, of course.
Q: Weren't these creative leaps of imaginative vision, from an historical standpoint, considered unscientific and illogical at the time that they were being taken?
A: Correct in many cases; not in all, many.
Q: Were the men and women who have taken creative leaps of imaginative vision in science, to your knowledge, generally considered to be in the mainstream of the scientific community in their times?
A: When they took the leap, to use your phrasing, I would say no. Shortly after they landed, yes.
Q: Professor Gilkey, isn't the phrase, "creative leap of imaginative vision" actually your phrase?
A: I don't know whether I ought to claim it or not. I don't remember.
Do you recall writing an article on the "Religious
Q: (Continuing) Convention of Scientific Inquiry", which appeared in Volume 50, Number 2, of the Journal of Religion, July, 1970? Do you recall whether or not you used the phrase, "creative leaps of imaginative vision" in that article?
A: Yes. I am just wondering whether I thought it up myself or picked it up somewhere else. I am not sure about that. It's a rather catchy phrase, so I suspect I got it from somebody else.
Q: Was Copernicus within the mainstream of the scientific thinking of his day?
A: That's a very touchy question. There was certainly— He didn't arise like the universe, ex nihilo. Let's make that clear. There were things that lay back, in my view. I am no expert on this. There are many people who are. I think that there were many ideas, many possibilities, Aristotelian, Platonic, Ptolemaic, and so forth that lay back of those. He certainly rearranged things in a new way and this was, with some qualification, a quite new set of ideas. It certainly appeared in his time as a new set of ideas. It was not completely new under the sun, however.
Q: Likewise, was Galileo in the mainstream of scientific thinking in his day?
A: By that time, much more, though the mainstream is a
A: (Continuing) very small river at that point. We mustn't think of it in terms of the present. That is, the number of scientists who were coming in that tradition is really minimal. We now think of science as a very large part of the intellectual community. That was not so then. So, within that Galileo certainly builds on foundations it seems to me more than Copernicus did. Newton much more than Galileo.
Q: Would it be fair to say that Copernicus, Galileo and Newton all were somewhat outside the contemporary scientific community at their time?
A: Well, I hate to bring up an old word, but one is almost saying with figures like that, a chronological statement. That is to say, each one of those is producing a really quite new synthesis of what was known and, of course, giving new elements to it.
This is why they are so important. This is why we know their names. This is why Newton was such a transcendent figure really in the seventeenth and especially, perhaps, the eighteenth century.
So that creative leap, imagination, everything, are completely appropriate.
This doesn't mean, as I say, they arrived de novo. Newton built
on Galileo; Galileo built on names that preceded him, including some Roman
philosophers, and so forth and so on, and lots of things
A: (Continuing) that had been going on. But I will be quite happy to talk about the creative leaps of imagination. Now, the issue of testing is a little different than a leaping, let's say.
MR. CAMPBELL: I understand. I have no further questions. Thank you, sir.
BY MR. SIANO:
Q: Doctor Gilkey, what is your understanding of the meaning of the word `secular'?
MR. WILLIAMS: Objection, your Honor. That's not in the scope of direct.
THE COURT: That's overruled.
MR. SIANO: It's not outside the scope of cross. Let me rephrase the question.
Q: Because a concept is secular, is it necessarily atheistic?
A: Not at all, not at all. The separation of church and state
legally specifies what one might call the secular world. It is a world
of the law, a world of government, a world of our vocations that are not
grounded in, established by authoritatively ruled by in any way religious
doctrines or religious authority. Now, that world is a world of American
experience generally since the founding of the Constitution and by no
A: (Continuing) means is it irreligious. So, that, now, I've testified and I've got to emphasize the fact that inherently science has a secular character. It cannot be appealed to a supernatural cause.
In this sense it is a secular endeavor. Now, that doesn't mean it is atheistic, and that is why empirically there are scientists who are believers in God and there are scientists who are not believers in God. I suspect, though this is speculating, that those believing or not believing is based on other grounds than their science. In this sense if evolution is a secular theory, and I believe it is, this doesn't mean at all and historically it has not meant, that it was an atheistic theory. In fact, two of the closest friends of Darwin argue with him at this point, Asa Gray and Wallace did. And there have been a number of theistic evolutionists.
MR. SIANO: No further questions, your Honor.
THE COURT: May this witness be excused?
MR. SIANO: Yes, your Honor.
MR. CAMPBELL: Yes, your Honor.
THE COURT: We will reconvene at 9:00 a.m.
tomorrow. Court will be in recess.
(Thereupon, Court was in recess at
VOLUME II INDEX
Witness: On Behalf of the Plaintiffs:
MICHAEL E. RUSE
Direct Examination by Mr. Novik Page 244
Cross Examination by Mr. Williams Page 301
Redirect Examination by Mr. Novik Page 369
Recross Examination by Mr. Williams Page 376
Direct Examination by Mr. Kaplan Page 379
Cross Examination by Mr. Williams: Page 405
GARY B. DALRYMPLE
Direct Examination by Mr. Ennis Page 406
VOLUME II - EXHIBIT INDEX
EXHIBIT OFFERED RECEIVED
Plaintiffs' No. 94 245 245
Plaintiffs' No. 98 407 407
Plaintiffs' No. 86 442 442
(December 8, 1981)
THE COURT: Mr. Williams, I have gone over the Motion in Limine and the brief. Do you have anything else you'd like to say in connection with that?
MR. WILLIAMS: Your Honor, I think the Motion is largely self-explanatory. I would just reiterate that the legislature has not seen fit to try to define what a scientific theory is. Therefore, it does not fall to this Court to have to find that either. And on this ground we think that the evidence on that point should be properly excluded.
THE COURT: Perhaps you are right about that, that I won't be called upon to decide whether or not this is science, but as I understand the thrust of the plaintiffs' case, they first undertake to try to prove the
Act is, or the definitions in the Act, what is set out in Section 4(a), is not science but religion. And I can't very well tell them they can't put on evidence of that. I don't know whether they can actually sustained that position or not.
MR. WILLIAMS: The point that I wanted to make in the Motion in
Limine is that what the Act says, that the scientific evidence for both
creation-science and evolution-science are to be taught, it never tries
MR. WILLIAMS: (Continuing) elevate or state that either is a scientific theory, as such. So that really is the only purview of the issue in this case, and it really is irrelevant.
THE COURT: Okay. Well, I will deny the Motion in Limine.
MR. WILLIAMS: Your Honor, one other preliminary matter that I would like to bring up now. Yesterday— This may already be in the record, but to make sure that it is, I want to move into the record those portions of Mrs. Nelkin's deposition that I quoted to her yesterday to the degree that they were inconsistent with her earlier testimony.
This is pursuant to Rule 33 of the Rules of Civil Procedure and Rule 801 of the Rules of Evidence.
THE COURT: Okay, sir. Do you— I don't quite understand. Did you read the parts that you wanted to yesterday?
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes. The parts which I read into the record.
THE COURT: Well, they will be in the record anyway.
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, I want to make sure they are going in as evidence and simply not for the purpose of impeachment.
Counsel for plaintiffs yesterday made an assertion at
MR. WILLIAMS: (Continuing) one time that some of the quotes being read from the deposition could only go to impeach the witness.
THE COURT: I think he was complaining about the method of using the deposition and not whether or not it— Once it's in the record, it's in there.
MR. WILLIAMS: I just wanted to make sure. Thank you, your Honor.
THE COURT: Mr. Cearley, are you ready to call your next?
MR. CEARLEY: Yes, sir. Michael Ruse will be the first witness, your Honor, and Mr. Jack Novik will handle the direct examination of the witness.
MICHAEL E. RUSE,
called on behalf of the plaintiffs herein, after having been first duly sworn or affirmed, was examined and testified as follows:
BY MR. NOVIK:
Q: Would you state your full name for the record?
A Michael Escott Ruse.
Q: Have you been sworn?
A: I have.
Q: What is your address? Where do you live?
Continue to Michael Ruse's testimony
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