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Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District

Trial transcript: Day 15 (October 24), PM Session, Part 1


THE COURT: It appears Mr. Walczak is up. You may commence cross-examination.

MR. WALCZAK: Thank you, Your Honor.



Q. Good afternoon, Professor Fuller.

A. Good afternoon.

Q. What does heuristic mean?

A. Heuristic? Well, it's from the Greek -- it's a method of discovery. It's something that helps you imagine situations so that you can come up with hypotheses in science. It's a term that's widely used in the philosophy of science. It originates with William Whewell, who is another author of one of those Bridgewater treatises that I mentioned earlier.

Q. So it relates to teaching and understanding?

A. That's right, the context of discovery, correct.

Q. And you would agree with me that the Dover four-paragraph statement that's read to the students is not altogether clear?

A. Yes, that's true, it's not altogether clear, yes.

MR. WALCZAK: Your Honor, may I approach?

THE COURT: You may.


Q. I show you what's been marked as Plaintiffs' Exhibit 131. Have you seen this document before?

A. Yes, I have.

Q. And you know this is the four-paragraph statement that's now being read to the students?

A. Yes, I do know that.

Q. You would agree that saying that a theory is not a fact conflates the scientific use of the term "theory" with the colloquial understanding that it is simply an opinion or a hunch?

A. Let me see. Where are you referring to here?

Q. If you would look at the second paragraph under Number 4 there.

A. Okay.

Q. It reads, Because Darwin's theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. A theory is not a fact.

A. Yes.

Q. And so that is somewhat misleading. Is that correct?

A. What do you mean exactly?

Q. Well, evolution is -- first of all, evolution is both a theory and a fact. Correct?

A. Yes, I have said that, yes.

Q. And in science, a theory is never going to turn into a fact. Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. And this suggests to students that a theory could become something more, could become something more like a fact and that would be more reliable?

MR. GILLEN: Objection, Your Honor. Calls for speculation.

MR. WALCZAK: Your Honor, it's supposedly within his expertise.

MR. GILLEN: It's not within his expertise. He hasn't been qualified in education. Even if he was an expert, he can't speculate as to how a student would see it.

THE COURT: Well, he's not been offered as an expert in the education realm, but I think it's a fair inquiry based on the latitude that I gave during his testimony in chief. So I'll overrule the objection. He can answer the question.

THE WITNESS: I actually think it's more ambiguous what's going on there. I mean, you seem to imply that there is this kind of gradation going from theory to fact. I kind of read it a bit more straight. You know, namely, a theory is not a fact, it's something else.


Q. Professor Fuller, do you recall having your deposition taken?

A. Yes, by Mr. Rothschild.

Q. And that was on June 21st, 2005?

A. That's correct.

Q. And you were under oath?

A. Yes.

Q. And you swore to tell the truth?

A. Yes.

Q. And you did tell the truth?

A. I hope so.

MR. WALCZAK: Your Honor, may I approach?

THE COURT: You may.

THE WITNESS: Thank you.


Q. I'd ask you to turn to Page 111, please.

A. Okay.

Q. And on Line 6, Mr. Rothschild asked you, A theory is not going to graduate into a fact; right? And the answer was, Right, exactly, exactly. No, I mean, I do think there is -- that the tone of the statement is a little confusing. I mean, so I'm agreeing with Miller on that point. Did I read that correctly?

A. Let me just see this for a second. But what I'm agreeing with Miller on is, I can understand why he sort of sees it that way. I wasn't necessarily saying that I had some definitive view about what the statement meant, but rather that I was sympathetic to -- you know, I could see where he was coming from in finding this problematic. That's all I was saying. I can, you know, understand him.

Q. Well, let me direct your attention to the first line on Page 111 where it says -- and this is your answer, and certainly you can refer back at the question. But let me just read that portion of your answer. It says, But I was agreeing with the fact that the statement did look, did seem to want to denigrate something by being called a theory as if being a fact would be the really epistemically significant thing. Right? Did I read that correctly?

A. You read it correctly, yes.

Q. And so that's what you testified to in your deposition on June 21st?

A. Well, I did say that, but I don't know. I mean, I didn't necessarily -- I mean, I guess I was just kind of following through Miller's thinking and sort of rethinking his thoughts and thinking it did make sense what he was saying.

But I wasn't making -- I mean, keep in mind this was the first time I had actually seen this Dover statement during the deposition to any great extent, so I was kind of forming opinions as we went along.

Q. So that would be very similar to what the students are experiencing, because they're only seeing the statement for a snapshot?

A. Yeah, but, I mean, the students don't come into it with the kind of baggage Miller and I have.

Q. And you also have expressed a problem in the fourth paragraph. Matt, if you could put 131 back on, please. If you could highlight the fourth paragraph, please. And you said you thought this was kind of a, quote, downbeat ending, because what we should be doing is trying to encourage students that science is fascinating and interesting, not that it has to --

A. Can you direct me to something in the deposition?

Q. Well, I'm asking you a question.

A. Oh, sorry. I thought you were quoting me.

Q. Well, I may be.

A. Well, if you are, can you tell me where it is? Because I'd like to know --

THE COURT: The way it works, Doctor, just so that we're all clear, Mr. Walczak will ask you a question. If he sees the need to access your deposition testimony, then he'll do that following the question, but he's not bound to relate the question to the deposition testimony in the first instance.

So I'll ask Mr. Walczak, since we've cleared up that confusion, why don't you restate your question. And this is not a question that is necessarily grounded -- it may or may not be -- in something that you said at the deposition, and it's not a question that calls for you to access the deposition testimony. So with that, Mr. Walczak, if you would resubmit your question.

MR. WALCZAK: Thank you, Your Honor.


Q. I really am just interested in your testimony today, Professor Fuller. So you think that the ending of this four-paragraph statement is downbeat because what we really should be doing is trying to encourage students that science is fascinating and interesting and not that it has to be taught because of the standards. Is that correct?

A. Yeah. But if this is going to be the only way they can actually end up allowing intelligent design as a possibility, then one lives with it. I wasn't a party to how this statement was drawn up. So there's a sense in which I don't know what the alternative possibilities were of which this was the one that we now see before us.

Q. Well, certainly they could have said something about how science is wonderful and marvelous and you should take great joy in studying this, instead of simply saying, we have to study this because it's in the standards?

A. I guess unless I knew what the options were in terms of what alternative versions of this statement were on the table, I could make a clear judgment on that, because it seems to me at the end of the day what is good about the statement is that it actually does present an alternative that's available. And if this is the only way they could have done it, then, you know, so be it. I'm not a party to the discussion.

Q. And so you would presume that the purpose of reading this four-paragraph statement is to provide information to students about this alternative of intelligent design, and this is a way of promoting open-mindedness about science and exploring different views, I mean, really everything that you talked about in your direct testimony today?

A. Well, that's -- I assume that's what's going on, yes.

Q. But you're also aware, are you not now, that, in fact, under the Dover policy, students are not allowed to ask questions about this statement or about intelligent design and teachers are not allowed to discuss it? Is that your understanding?

A. I do know that, yes.

Q. And so you would, in fact, agree with me that this gag on any discussion really defeats this purpose of promoting open-mindedness and discussion?

A. Well, it seems to me that, again, what are the alternatives here? And the gag is not stated in the statement.

Q. But you are aware that there is no discussion allowed?

A. Yes.

Q. And that gag on discussion, knowing that it, in fact, exists, defeats the heuristic purpose of the statement. Wouldn't you agree with that?

A. If you mean defeat like completely obliterates it, no.

Q. Could I ask you to turn to Page 140 of your deposition, please. If you could read quietly, perhaps to yourself, 140 to 142.

A. Okay.

Q. I'm not trying to trick you here, Professor Fuller.

A. I hope not. Where should I start on 140?

Q. Actually, you could start on 141 on Line 20. It says, Superintendent Dr. Richard Nilsen has directed that no teacher will teach intelligent design, creationism, or present his or her or the board's religious beliefs.

Well, let me just help you out. And then the next question is, How is the objective you discussed accomplished if students are simply being told, here's intelligent design, but then they're not allowed to discuss it? And then your answer is, I didn't -- well, I'm endorsing this view -- I'm not responsible for this view. I don't, at least as far as I understand, I don't endorse this. Now, did I read your answer correctly there?

A. Let me see if I understand what I said. What I'm saying is, this is not how I would handle it. That's what I'm saying. But, you know, I'm not there. And if this is the only way this statement -- it's going to make this possibility available, it's going to come about, then one lives with it. But I'm just saying, you know, this is not what I would do, but I'm not part of the Dover School Board.

Q. Okay. Let's go back to Page 140 and Line 17 so we know exactly what --

A. 140, Line -- Page 140, Line 17?

Q. Right.

A. Right, okay.

Q. And this is what you're talking about promoting in Dover. It says, Namely, we're talking about how to take science forward in the future, and it seems to me we sort of betray kind of the open-mindedness that we take to be -- you know, we take science to exemplify as a hallmark of our civilization if we don't -- you know, if we don't present students with the possibility that science is something that's still very open for very fundamental forms of inquiry. And the best way to do that is to show how one might study something like life starting with fundamentally different assumptions from the taken-for-granted view, because otherwise we're stuck with just teaching dogma science. Did I read that correctly?

A. Yes.

Q. And then back on Page 142, Mr. Rothschild asked you, So the Dover policy of simply making students -- of telling students about intelligent design but not -- then not allowing them, allowing the teacher to talk about it doesn't accomplish the objective? And your response was, It defeats the purpose, yes, that's true, yes. Now, did I read your answer correctly?

A. Yes. But defeats does not mean obliterate here. It certainly undercuts the impact that it can have, but it's better than nothing.

Q. You're not a scientist, Professor Fuller?

A. I am not a scientist, that's correct.

Q. You're not an expert in any of the biological sciences?

A. No, I am not.

Q. You're not an expert in any of the natural sciences?

A. No, I am not.

Q. You're not a paleontologist?

A. Certainly not.

Q. You're not an expert in education?

A. No, not, I guess, by the standards you would consider an expert.

Q. Do you consider yourself an expert?

A. I don't know what passes for an expert in education these days.

Q. You don't consider yourself an expert?

A. I don't, I don't, no.

Q. And you don't consider yourself an expert in the subdiscipline of science education, either?

A. Well, we're getting closer, we're getting closer to my expertise. You know, again, I try to be modest and I won't claim expertise.

Q. And you haven't spoken to any of the school people in Dover about how the policy is being implemented?

A. No.

Q. You're not an expert on irreducible complexity?

A. No, no, I'm not.

Q. You're not an expert on Professor Behe's views?

A. I never claim to be an expert, no.

Q. And you're not an expert on William Dembski?

A. Not an expert.

Q. Or on complex specified information?

A. Not an expert.

Q. And you're not familiar with the textbooks that are actually being used?

A. Not familiar.

Q. So you're not familiar with the Miller and Levine biology textbook?

A. No.

Q. And you're not familiar with Of Pandas and People?

A. No.

Q. So you're only an expert on the nature of science?

A. Yes. That's a pretty big thing here, though.

Q. I'm sorry, I don't mean to minimize or denigrate it in any way.

A. You could even split it up into three different disciplines, and I would have three expertises.

Q. Well, we may come back to that. Now, you're a philosopher by training?

A. Yes.

Q. So you approach this issue philosophically?

A. Yes.

Q. And philosophers want to keep a more open mind than scientists on the rules of science?

A. I don't know if I'd exactly put it that way, but let's say -- I certainly warm to that suggestion.

Q. So philosophers don't want to close down alternative assumptions, including an appeal to the supernatural?

A. That's correct. I mean, again, not all philosophers, but I would say that that is kind of the -- you know, would be a majority view if you looked at most philosophers.

Q. But as you said in your expert report, most philosophers have resisted the charms of naturalism?

A. That's true.

Q. And you say this is an allergic response to guild-like arrogance of scientists?

A. Yes.

Q. And you agree with that?

A. Yes, I do. I am aware I did say that, yes.

Q. But do you agree with that proposition today?

A. Yes, yes, I do.

Q. And you think the National Academy of Sciences, as they have defined science, is too dogmatic in its commitment to methodological naturalism?

A. Is the National Academy of Sciences officially committed to methodological naturalism?

Q. I believe it is.

A. Okay. Certainly would be too dogmatic, yes.

Q. And you want to open up the discussion a little bit more than it currently is in the scientific community?

A. That's right.

Q. I believe in your direct testimony you called yourself a philosophical naturalist?

A. Yeah, yeah.

Q. And said that, in fact, you're still committed to philosophical naturalism?

A. That's right.

Q. And then said maybe it's a little bit surprising that that's the case, given that you're here testifying in support of intelligent design?

A. Yes.

Q. But as I understood your definition of philosophical naturalist, it was that everything can be understood in terms of natural science?

A. In the natural world and ultimately in the terms of natural science, yes. Sort of along the lines I was endorsing here with testability and so forth.

Q. And personally, you believe that evolution is a better explanation of biological life than intelligent design?

A. At the moment, yes.

Q. But you're dissatisfied with that explanation?

A. Well, you might say as a philosopher I'm professionally dissatisfied with all explanations that claim to be final. And so there is going to be a special suspicion sort of drawn toward the taken-for-granted theories in any given discipline.

Q. So you're not saying that intelligent design is the correct or the better explanation for biological life?

A. No, I'm not. I'm certainly not. They're not -- they haven't developed it enough to really be in a position to make any kind of definitive judgment of that kind.

Q. So you think it's just worth something that we should be pursuing further?

A. Well, yes, and that there have to be some conditions put in place in order for it to happen. It's not just going to happen spontaneously.

Q. So is it fair to say that you're involved in this case more because you're interested in the philosophical value of intelligent design challenging the current scientific dogma, sort of the loyal opposition, than being committed to the doctrine of intelligent design itself?

A. Well, I don't know. I want to see where intelligent design goes, frankly. I mean, you know, again, it's hard to make a judgment. But I do think that when you get to a situation in science where one theory is very dominant and so taken for granted that people don't even feel they have to, you know, defend it anymore, then that's kind of bad news epistemologically, just generally speaking. And it's that, in itself, that's worthwhile to support some kind of opposition candidate, in a sense. But what that opposition candidate does, you have to give it some time to develop, and then you can make further judgments whether it was a good bet or not.

Q. So intelligent design here is the loyal opposition to evolution?

A. Well, but it's a very specific kind, it seems to me. I mean, it's not just, you know, the negation of evolution.

Q. Now, intelligent design is committed to introducing supernatural causation into the current science paradigm. Is that correct?

A. That's not exclusively what it does, but it's certainly open to that.

MR. WALCZAK: May I approach, Your Honor?

THE COURT: You may.


Q. I've given you a copy of your rebuttal expert report in this case.

A. Yes.

Q. If you could turn to Page 18 of your report, please.

A. Yes.

Q. And if you could look about halfway down that paragraph, there's a sentence that starts, Third. And I'm going to read it. It says, Third, ID's rejection of naturalism and commitment to supernaturalism does not make it unscientific. Did I read that correctly?

A. Yes.

Q. And that's your view?

A. What do you mean that's my view?

Q. This is from your expert --

A. Yes, I understand. But, what, is this like my total view about what ID is committed to? No, it's not my total view. But I do believe that ID is open to supernaturalism. But it's not exclusively supernatural, it's just with respect to this dichotomy.

Q. But it has a commitment to supernaturalism and to introducing it into the scientific community?

A. I mean, a commitment doesn't necessarily mean it's trying to impose it, but rather that it's something that it is open to and, in fact, is distinctive about it.

Q. Could you turn to Page 10 of your report. And the first sentence -- actually second full sentence in that first paragraph, On the one hand, it is true that ID wishes to pursue research that might eventuate in design-based explanations of the natural world that fall afoul of the naturalistic presuppositions of contemporary biological science. Did I read that correctly?

A. Yes.

Q. So if it's not naturalistic, what else could it be?

A. Yes, but the thing here is, what supernaturalistic boils down to -- I mean, supernaturalistic just means not explainable in the naturalistic terms. Right? It means involving some kind of intelligence or mind that's not reducible to ordinary natural categories. Okay?

So that's the sense in which I'm using supernaturalistic. I'm not saying, you know, they're committed to ghosts or something. See, I'm not sure what exactly -- but that's how I -- I understand supernaturalistic in this fairly broad sense.

Q. As not natural?

A. Well, as not naturalistic, given what we take to be naturalistic now in science. Because in the past, things that we now consider to be naturalistic in science were not regarded as such. Right? So that's the basic point I'm trying to make here.

Q. But we're clear on what natural is?

A. Excuse me?

Q. We're clear on what natural is of this world?

A. Yeah, in terms of -- well, of this world, nature as it is understood within the context of natural science.

Q. And here you're talking about broadening that definition beyond natural causation and to supernatural causation?

A. Yes. And what I'm talking about there, yes, is going beyond the taken-for-granted categories. I mean, this has happened in the history of science and does periodically, where things that people regard as occult forces and things that cannot be observed and are not detectable by ordinary experimental means, people postulate them, use them as the basis for research, and eventually you do come up with something that can then be assimilated within naturalistic science.

Q. And the intelligent design proponents don't give much detail about who the supernatural actor, the designer is. Is that correct?

A. No.

Q. They don't give much detail?

A. No.

Q. In fact, they don't give any detail?

A. Well, right. I mean, in terms -- no, I guess not.

Q. Okay. So the goal is -- let me see if we can agree on it -- is to have such a supernatural designer considered as a possible scientific explanation. Is that comfortable with you?

A. Can you say that again?

Q. The goal is to have a supernatural designer considered as a possible scientific explanation?

A. Well, it's intelligent designer, and I think the idea here is that intelligence is something that cannot be reduced to naturalistic causes. Right? So there is a sense in which the idea of intelligence itself is taken to be somewhat supernatural here.

Q. To allow for this extra-natural or supernatural causation, we have to change the ground rules of science as they are currently understood by the scientific community. Is that correct?

A. Well, actually, I don't think they have to change the ground rules of science. Pennock thinks they do.

Q. You don't think that you're --

A. I think the ground rules of science are indifferent on this metaphysical question of naturalism versus supernaturalism. This is why I think it's kind of a red herring in a way to talk about this in relation to science.

Q. If you would turn to Page 115 of your deposition. Now --

A. Wait a second.

Q. Well, let me just point out to you that this is part of a multi-page answer that you gave in response to a question on 113 --

A. Okay.

Q. -- about what you meant about the fundamental differences in orientation between evolution and intelligent design. And I want you to focus on the very end of your answer on Page 115 starting on Line 8.

A. And so you -- go ahead. Sorry. I was just trying to guess your question.

Q. Well, let me read your answer here. And so that -- you're talking about giving different orientations as to what science is about. You're talking about intelligent design.

And then you say, So that would obviously involve changing the ground rules of science because there is a sense in which you would change the scope of what you're talking about, because if what you're really concerned about is the nature of intelligent design, as such, with life being one example of that as opposed to being interested in the nature of life regardless of whether it's intelligent design or not, right, you're going to have to have different ways of pursuing the inquiry. Did I read that correctly?

A. Yes, you did. Do you want me to explain?

Q. No. And then the next question was, Okay, so you -- you agree that intelligent design aspires to change the ground rules of science? And your answer was, Yeah, I think that's fair to say. I think -- I think -- they certainly -- yes. Did I read that correctly?

A. Yes, you read it correctly.

Q. You would agree that methodological naturalism has worked well for science?

A. Yes.

Q. And you would agree that it's largely responsible for most of the scientific progress we've seen?

A. No.

Q. If you could turn to Page 175 of your deposition. I'm going to read your answer there starting on Line 23. You say, I'm not doubting that methodological naturalism has worked for science and that it's largely responsible for lots of science that we've got, maybe even most of that we've got. Did I read that correctly?

A. Yes. I said maybe.

Q. So intelligent design aspires to change this ground rule of science, this methodological naturalism?

A. Methodological naturalism is not a ground rule of science.

Q. A commitment to natural causation is a ground rule of science?

A. Well, actually, the ground rule of science is testability. Okay? I mean, so -- and that is metaphysically neutral.

Q. And how do you test the supernatural?

A. Well, that's an age-old question, but there have been paranormal experiments. And even when one was thinking about gravity as a potentially occult force, right, that was the big challenge of the experimental imagination, to figure out how can we measure something that seems to be kind of, you know, invisible, you know, kind of impalpable.

So this is, in fact -- this is, in fact, one of the prompts to develop very subtle kinds of experiments and get at things in indirect ways. So the idea that something is supernatural doesn't preclude it from any kind of experimental testing. It just makes it kind of tricky, and it often takes a long time to do it.

Q. Well, how would you design a test to test for the intelligent designer, the affirmative test?

A. Well, I take it that -- and this refers to what I meant of the sense in which I meant changing the ground rules of science. I think this business of design -- a design detector, you know, the kind of -- the sort of filter argument that Dembski gives, because at the moment the design detector is used primarily as kind of a device for detecting fraud and things like that in artifacts, whereas, in fact, what I was thinking about when I said the remark about changing the ground rules of science was to actually say this kind of design detector thing could be expanded as a tool in science more generally. And that's the kind of thing that I had in mind. I didn't mean changing the ground rules of science in the sense of replacing our normal modes of testability with entirely new modes of testability.

Q. Well, but if you allowed intelligent design into science, you would lead to a different conception of science. Is that --

A. I think what is true is that the sciences would be reconfigured so that the notion of design would be taken as kind of a literal unifying concept, where design in the sense of organisms and in the sense of artifacts and in the sense of computers or whatever would be treated as design all in the same sense, which is not how they tend to be treated now. Biology is sort of studied as one subject and the study of artifacts and technology is something else.

Q. But it would change the conception of science?

A. Well, it would change the way -- yes, it would probably blur the distinction, for example, between life and nonlife more substantially. There would be a lot of implications, I think. But it wouldn't change testability. It wouldn't change the fundamental kind of methodological principles of science which are indifferent to the naturalism, supernatural distinction.

Q. And is it fair to say that you think the National Academy of Science's definition of a scientific theory is too static and too restrictive?

A. And this is -- remind me again. I'm sure I've commented on it, but can you remind me what that definition is?

Q. Yes. The definition is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.

A. Yes, I believe I objected to "well-substantiated" in that definition.

Q. And your counter-definition is a little bit different, and it would be an explanatory conception --

A. Can you direct me to a page? You just want to tell me? Okay.

Q. An explanatory conception of a range of phenomena and also that could serve as a basis for a research program, for an empirical research program.

A. Yes. That sounds good, yeah.

Q. So you would remove "well-substantiated" to allow not-so-well established theories like intelligent design?

A. Well, otherwise, I don't see how any new theory would ever get a foothold in this definition. No theory is born well-substantiated.

Q. Now, you've spent a fair bit of your time on this particular point about how difficult it is under the current -- I think you would say overly dogmatic naturalistic paradigm of science for new theories to break in.

A. May I correct you? I think that's a mischaracterization. I don't think that naturalism is, itself, the kind of -- the sort of stultifying atmosphere. I think it has actually more to do with sort of sociological, political, and economic factors when it gets right down to it.

Q. But as I understood your testimony -- and, please, you know, correct me if I'm mischaracterizing, because I certainly don't intend to do that. I mean, as I understood it, you're saying that scientists are not really open to different ways of thinking such as presented by intelligent design?

A. In fact, yes. In fact, as -- this is, in a way, engrained in their training, and it's something that is very well remarked upon in our literature. It's called normal science. It's the whole idea of thinking within a paradigm. That's, in fact, how you make advances in very narrow, specialized technical fields. So, in a sense, it has a heuristic value itself, this kind of narrowness, that makes people unopen, but it isn't everything.

Q. Right. But I also recall you saying that scientists are not the person -- not the people to best define science because they're within that paradigm and can't think outside of it?

A. Well, that is certainly -- yeah, that's certainly true.

Q. And your point is that what you need are philosophers of science and sociologists of science and scientific epistemologists to really be able to define what science is properly?

A. Yes. And it's happened. It's happened in legal cases like this, for example. The definitions are taken from philosophers. And it's very common practice, yes.

Q. And you also said that the scientific association, I think you called them -- you said the elites at the National Academy of Science make it difficult for new theories to be accepted?

A. Well, I don't know if that particular organization is to be targeted in some conspiratorial fashion, but I think that the way science is organized generally, if you go across the professional associations, the ways in which, you know, peer review operates and journals, you look at the way in which education takes place within science and how one gets in and how one gets jobs in it, if you put that all together, that does make it very difficult for new ideas to catch on.

Q. So, in some sense, you would say there's a prejudice between the scientists, the scientific associations, the peer review, against new scientific theories being accepted?

A. A prejudice in -- yes. I mean, I don't know how cognitive I want to interpret that word "prejudice." Again, I don't know if there's, like, vendettas against particular viewpoints. But I do think that the overall -- you might say structural effect of all these things is, yes, to bias one toward a kind of conformist position on a taken-for-granted, established science.

Q. So it's difficult but it's not impossible for new theories to be accepted?

A. Of course not. But it's getting harder.

Q. And I think, as you testified earlier today, scientists are willing to accept hypotheses from anywhere so long as they bear fruit experimentally. Do you recall saying that?

A. Yes. And that's -- you know, that's, yes, pretty obvious.

Q. So, in fact, I mean, the 20th Century and the late 20th Century give us many examples of theories that have been accepted within the scientific community. So, I mean, you testified to Dobzhansky's --

A. Dobzhansky, yes.

Q. Right. His view of really -- I mean, that was the Darwinian revolution that we're talking about here?

A. Yes. But what he did -- yes, but this was done by writing a book that brought together different biologists to see themselves as traveling under a common rubric. I mean, it wasn't something that required a large research grant or something. By today's standards, it was still very much little science that he was doing that had this big effect.

Q. But that's perfectly well accepted in science today?

A. Yes, but he was doing this in 1937. The world has changed.

Q. Well, how about, have you heard of the theory of plate tectonics?

A. Sure. That was ignored for a long time.

Q. Absolutely. It was ignored for, what, 40 or 50 years before it was finally accepted by the scientific establishment in the 1960s?

A. Well, that's right. And all along, though, there were people -- there was a current of people still pursuing it. So even though it was never any dominant position, there was kind of a -- it wasn't so discontinuous, it was just that the people who were pursuing it were largely on the margins. And then eventually, you know, they came to the surface as new evidence and so forth came in. That's certainly true.

Q. Right. So there was a hypothesis, there were people who were advancing this, it was not accepted, not accepted, and eventually it did become accepted as a theory within the scientific community?

A. Yes, because they did have a critical mass of workers in that area who were able to pursue it, even though they weren't being taken all that seriously for a long time. It wasn't that, you know, you had three guys doing it and then when they stopped pushing it, it disappeared. There was always kind of an undercurrent rumbling with regard to this theory until then people caught on to it when they saw new evidence arise.

Q. And you know about the theory of transposons?

A. I can't say I do, I'm afraid.

Q. Have you ever heard of jumping or removable genes?

A. Yeah, I have. Obviously I'm not an expert in biology, but I have heard of them.

Q. And are you familiar that that's a theory that was first proposed in the 1950s and has now largely been accepted by the scientific community as of the 1980s?

A. Right, but I bet there have been people working on this for a while in between.

Q. Right.

A. Well, that helps.

Q. Right. So they spent 30 years, and finally they convinced the scientific community that this was a valid theory that should be accepted?

A. And these people had academic posts who were pursuing this. Right? So there was an institutional substructure that was supporting this minority research. And that's a very important part of the story. Right? Because if there is no institutional substructure, right, if there are no, you know, people studying this and following it even though they know most people don't believe it, it's never going to have a chance to reach that point.

Q. And you've heard of prions or prions?

A. Yeah, I've heard of them.

Q. And those are -- I guess advances the cause of mad cow disease, they're replicating proteins?

A. Yes. They're very famous in my country, Britain.

Q. I'm sorry to hear that. My sympathies.

A. We invented them.

Q. We have great steaks here in Harrisburg.

A. Oh, I've been having one every night, let me tell you.

Q. And, again, that was a theory that was advanced and eventually accepted by the scientific community in the 1990s?

A. Of course, yes.

Q. And one last example, the theory that ulcers are actually caused by bacteria?

A. Yeah, yeah. Sure, yes, I am familiar with that.

Q. Because for a long time people thought that, in fact, ulcers were caused by stress, which led to stomach acid, which led to the ulcers. And now, in fact, this year's 2005 Nobel prize in medicine went to the people who advanced that theory.

A. Yes.

Q. So there are scientific theories that can sort of crack the scientific establishment and become accepted?

A. Sure, but these people have -- you know, they have institutional settings where they can continue the research. Right? And I'm sure -- I mean, with the plate tectonics there was some hostility, but with some of these others, I wonder if there was really, you know, any kind of ideological hostility to the pursuing of this alternative research. Because in this sense, it isn't quite the same as intelligent design, which I take it to be the point of the examples.

Q. Well, I mean, the point is that you can get accepted in the scientific community. It takes time, it takes work, it takes research, and it takes effort to convince your colleague in the scientific community, but it can be done?

A. Yes. And it takes institutional presence, and it takes the ability to be able to have students who follow up on leads that you make, and those students have to be able to get jobs and so forth. There are all those things, too. They're part of the sociology.

This is why the history and philosophy and sociology of science need to be considered together. You can't just separate out, as it were, the philosophical status of these theories and see how they change over time. You have to look at the institutional structures.

Q. But intelligent design hasn't convinced the scientific community yet, has it?

A. Well, there's a chicken and egg question here. Right? I mean, you have to put the institutional -- you have to enable these people to actually have enough exposure, right, so that they can get people interested in the idea. And so people who, let's say, don't start off with, you know, whatever baggage they happen to have get interested in it and develop it in new directions and take the idea forward so it's not just seen as a kind of cultish thing. And that's very important, and that doesn't happen spontaneously.

Q. Right. It takes lots of hard work, but --

A. And it takes institutional opportunities.

Q. Right. But the work is done in the scientific community, isn't it?

A. Well, yeah.

Q. I mean, it's not done in the public schools of this country?

A. Well, if we're talking about getting people interested in this kind of idea -- see, intelligent design has certain disadvantages that these other theories don't have, and that's the kind of ideological resistance to it because it's seen as, you know, overly religious and all the rest of it. And so there is a kind of -- in that sense, there is a kind of prejudice that makes it more difficult for a theory like that to get some kind of leverage.

Q. Now, that's your speculation?

A. Yes, indeed. I mean, that's why I don't think the analogies work quite the way you're saying.

Q. But we know that the National Academy of Sciences has specifically said that intelligent design should not be taught in public school science classes?

A. I know. I've read that statement, yes.

Q. And the American Association for the Advancement of Science, you're familiar with that organization?

A. Well, of course.

Q. And that is the largest organization of scientists?

A. I know.

Q. And they have taken a similar position that says intelligent design is not science and doesn't belong in a science classroom?

A. I know.

Q. Right?

A. I know. Okay.

Q. So intelligent design has not convinced the science community, and you're here saying, well, you know, we've got to sort of fertilize the field and make sure that it can be taught to students so that they're more open-minded to this?

A. Well, it seems to me that you're not going to -- it's not going to happen otherwise. And --

Q. You know, I'm not aware of transposons or plate tectonics being forced on students before it was accepted by the scientific community.

A. Yes, but those are much more specialized kinds of entities and theories and so forth that exist, roughly speaking, within established disciplines. Here we're talking about a sort of scientific movement, as it were, that part of what it wants to do is to reconfigure the face of science. Right?

And, in a sense, the neo-Darwinian synthesis covers a lot of ground. It's a very sort of big, broad picture. And, in a sense, intelligent design is offering a kind of competitor at that level. So it's a different ball game from what you've been describing.

Q. And what you're saying is that it's got no chance in the scientific community, the only chance it has is for a federal judge to order that it be taught in the schools?

A. Look, I'm --

MR. GILLEN: Objection to the characterization of his testimony, Your Honor.

THE WITNESS: Well, I am going to disagree with it. Sorry.

THE COURT: The best thing you can do when Mr. Gillen objects is not answer the question.

THE WITNESS: Sorry, sorry.

THE COURT: That doesn't help him. So we'll let that pass and we'll move on.

MR. GILLEN: I'll withdraw the objection.

THE COURT: I guess so. Mr. Walczak can proceed. That's known as the too-helpful witness.


THE COURT: But who you're helping depends on your answer. Mr. Walczak, you may proceed.


Q. You talked earlier in your direct examination about a revolution in science not being a big deal. Right? Or not as -- I'm sorry, not as big a deal as, say, a social or political revolution.

A. Yes.

Q. And you mentioned Lavoisier and Newton and Mendel and Dobzhansky. And these were all sort of scientific revolutions that you pointed to?

A. Yes.

Q. And what you're telling this Court is that we need that kind of revolution because the dominant paradigm is not letting intelligent design in?

MR. GILLEN: Objection to the characterization of his testimony. I don't believe he said any such thing.

THE COURT: Well, the question is couched in terms of you're telling us, and he can deny that. I don't know that that's an accurate characterization of his testimony, but the way the question is phrased, it's a fair question on cross, so the objection is overruled. You may answer that.

THE WITNESS: I deny that. Let me see how to put it.


Q. What was the point of talking about revolutions?

A. Well, the thing here is that you need to have revolutions when, in fact, the science is dominated by one paradigm. Right? That's the presupposition of a revolution, that the only way in which you're going to actually get any kind of alternative viewpoint is by displacing the dominant one, because you're not imagining science to be a naturally pluralistic field.

You don't need a revolution if you had a kind of pluralistic playing field of science where you have lots of different theories of roughly equal stature. But, rather, in this case, with the neo-Darwinian synthesis, you have one very dominant theory that monopolizes all the resources.

In the normal course of things, you would just have to wait for that theory to kill itself before another one is going to come about.

Q. And so you are saying that, in fact, there is a very dominant theory today, neo-Darwinian synthesis, and in order to crack that, in order to allow intelligent design in, you need this revolution?

A. Well, that's not quite -- I mean, I think that if intelligent design proves its merit, that will, in fact, happen. But I'm not actually saying -- I'm not calling for a revolution at the moment.

What I am saying is, I would like to see some opposition thinking to force students to think, well, look, is this the only way of looking at the nature of life? Maybe there's an alternative way of looking at it. And not only that, it's a way that can fit in with other things, such as other things that are designed.

I mean, thinking about biology as if it were like technology, which is part of the implication of the sort of thing Dembski is doing, is kind of interesting, and it does put a different slant on what the nature of life is and actually has some precedent in the history of science with regard to issues of mechanism and so forth, and this is where Newton and all that comes in.

So it's not like some weirdo theory that I've just picked out of a hat. It's one where you could do a nice historical backstory to.

Q. I want to switch gears and talk a little bit about intelligent design itself. Now, you said that intelligent design is a relatively young science?

A. In this current phase, right. It has a long historical backstory, very little of which it's actually appropriated up to this point. In its current form, it's pretty new.

Q. So it doesn't have its views, its conical views worked out very well on all aspects of the theory?

A. I think that's fair to say.

Q. So, for instance, on the position of the age of the earth, it's open-minded?

A. I believe so.

Q. And we have to wait until the science develops a bit more to see where it's going to come out?

A. I think that's right.

Q. And so there really aren't a lot of, as you've put it, conical views about fundamental principles?

A. No, that's right.

Q. And --

A. But there are some that are being developed, that are quite clearly being developed, like the complex specified information, explanatory filter thing of Dembski. I think he's the one that, you know, one would look for in terms of developing so-called foundations, you might say, for this science. So it is going on, and there is some discernible shape to it.

Q. We'll come back to Dembski. But you've earlier used the term "normal science." And that would refer to the neo-Darwinian synthesis?

A. That's right. It's the way science is done normally under the dominant paradigm.

Q. And you've said that ID, in fact, is in a fringe area?

A. Yes. It's not normal science. I mean, you can't have normal science until you have a paradigm that's been sufficiently flushed out that you can sort of talk about normal forms of research. At the moment, ID is basically laying out foundations and then trying to come out with some exemplary phenomena.

Q. Let's talk about those foundations for intelligent design. I think -- would you agree that ID consists primarily of the views of Michael Behe and William Dembski?

A. That's certainly the two I associate it with.

Q. Those are the biggies?

A. I would say so.

Q. And you would agree that both are at relatively early stages of development?

A. Yes.

Q. Let's start with Dembski. Now, you say that he has suggested an explanatory filter based on math and statistics?

A. Yes.

Q. And he's trying to provide a probabilistic space for intelligent design?

A. That's right.

Q. So he's trying to move ID out of a metaphysical space and into a mathematical one?

A. That's correct.

Q. But as far as you know, he has not applied this filter to explain any biological life?

A. No. He has done it primarily to study fraud in artifacts and things like that.

Q. So he hasn't actually applied this to biological life?

A. No. He's primarily a guy who develops theoretical foundations. Okay? He's not a biologist, he's a mathematician by training.

Q. And you would agree that people have suggested counter-examples to his hypothesis and that he's failed to address those?

A. Well, he has tried to address them. I mean, it's a very -- it's a very kind of tough game he's playing, because the idea is to come up with a notion of design that cannot be reduced to either necessity or chance. And so the counter-examples are along the lines of saying, well, you know, this could be seen as chance or this could be seen as necessity, where is that middle space that you're going for.

But that's kind of to be expected, it seems to me, given that if he is able to come up with this, this would be quite a radical departure from, let's say, the way we think about evolution, which is a combination of necessity and chance.

Q. If we can -- if he can come up with this. But as you say, his failure to address some of the counter-examples to this very difficult hypothesis that he's making, I mean, in your estimation right now is really damning?

A. Well, no, he's been trying. I mean, it's just he doesn't satisfy all of his critics.

Q. But the fact that he has failed to address some of the counter-examples is damning to his theory?

A. I mean, he's trying. He doesn't do it to everyone's satisfaction. But he is -- I have seen responses to his work -- his responses to his critics' work, and he is trying.

I mean, there aren't a lot of -- see, if there were more people working in this area, you know, there would be kind of support and there might be some way of developing this a little faster and on more different fronts, but he's pretty much doing it himself.

Q. If I could direct your attention to Page 65 of your deposition.

A. Yes.

Q. I'm going to start reading -- do you have it there?

A. Yes.

Q. I'm going to start reading with the question on Line 2. Quote, But what is your understanding of these counter-examples? Is it that they have -- that critics have taken these counter-examples and used some probabilistic method to determine what happened to them, or have they been raised as examples that Dr. Dembski needs to apply his method to to show that it works at all? And your answer is, Yes, the latter. I mean, but is this damning? Yes, I mean, I agree with you.

A. No, no, I'm not referring to that it's damning. I mean that the latter -- I'm not saying that the fact that they have raised counter-examples to -- suggests his method doesn't work at all. I am agreeing that that's the nature of the counter-example. I am not agreeing to it being damning.

Q. But you're saying that Dembski needs to apply his method, and he hasn't done that to the counter -- he hasn't applied his method to the counter-examples, and that's damning?

A. Let me just read this. Can you restate the question now? I've sort of -- restate the question, please, now that I've understood what I've said.

Q. That Dembski's failure to address these counter-examples is damning to his theory, at least for right now.

A. Well, actually, I tend to interpret the word "damming" as pretty final. But, you know, damning for right now sounds to me like a contradiction in terms.

When I say, yes, I agree with you, what I'm agreeing to is that you gave two alternatives in your question, and I'm agreeing to the latter of those alternatives. I'm not agreeing to your subsequent statement of it being damning. That's what I'm doing there.

Q. But that's what you said in the deposition?

A. That's the order of the words, but, you know, in the course of speech, right, it's -- you know, it may not actually be as it seems.

Q. So what's printed on the page may be different than what we're reading?

A. No, that's not what I'm saying. But, look, the way I answered the question, right, I gave, you know, whatever, three or four short remarks. But, I mean, clearly -- because, look, the word "damning" is very final, and I don't believe it's damning.

Q. All right. Well, let's look at your next -- let's look at your next answer and the question that was posed to you right after that. Isn't the challenge to Dr. Dembski right now that your method is useless? And your answer was -- and I'm going to read this and please follow along -- The fact that you bring up counter-examples doesn't mean that it doesn't explain anything. Right? I mean, in fact, the way the general verdict on somebody like Dembski is that, you know, it sort of leads -- it's kind of -- it doesn't quite fit the full range of things that we normally consider design. It tends to include certain things that we don't want to call design, and it tends to exclude other things that we do want to call design. So in that sense, the mathematical parameters aren't being set quite right, and that might indicate some fundamental flaw in the way he's conceptualizing the problem. Okay? That's what the state of play is with him.

A. Yes, I would think that that's kind of what the received opinion is at the moment on his work.

Q. So there may be some fundamental flaw with his hypothesis?

A. Yes, but this is a very common response to someone who is making a very fundamental challenge working so early in this area. So this doesn't -- in a sense, it doesn't phase me.

Q. But you would agree with me then that Dembski has not yet succeeded in showing that life is intelligently designed?

A. Oh, no, he hasn't shown that.

Q. And you're not aware of anyone else using his hypothesis or his mathematical filter to show that life was intelligently designed?

A. Well, there has been some synergy between him and Behe in recent times, but I don't think there's been any systematic application.

Q. So you're not aware of anybody else successfully applying his hypothesis to prove design?

A. No, no. I mean, his stuff tends to be applied on artifacts and whether or not there's fraud or, you know, what the design features are, things of that kind.

Q. Things made by humans?

A. Yes, that's the prime -- I mean, it's very good on that front.

Q. Right. And, of course, we know who made it if it's made by humans. Is that a tautology, I think I just --

A. Well, we often don't know which ones unless we do the work.

Q. Let's turn to Dr. Behe's theory of irreducible complexity. And I believe you've termed it -- you're saying he's trying to come up with an alternative science?

A. Yes.

Q. And you agree that he has not gotten his studies peer reviewed?

A. Well, he did get -- I mean, I've recently seen a thing that he got on proteins that has appeared in Protein Science that is sort of presented --

Q. Is that with Professor Snoke?

A. I believe so.

Q. And that doesn't mention intelligent design?

A. No, it mentions evolution and natural selection as a test of it.

Q. And it doesn't mention irreducible complexity?

A. No, no. I mean, no, that's true, it does not. There may be reasons for that, but --

Q. Well, and one of the reasons -- let me ask if you agree with me that one of the reasons it's not in peer review, because from the standpoint of the way in which normal science is conducted, Behe's work is not very useful?

A. Well, it's not towing the right line, that's for sure.

Q. So, I mean, even under your kind of expanded definition of science where it does not have to be well established, Behe must really launch his own research program?

A. Well, I think, in fact, that is what he's trying to do.

Q. He hasn't done that yet?

A. Well, it all depends what you mean. I think he is trying -- I mean, in a sense, making some common cause with Dembski is helpful here and, in fact, is to be expected that there will be this kind of -- you know, Behe can't do everything himself either. Right? I mean, he's a biochemist, and he has certain kinds of specialties, and he really needs to be in contact with people in other areas who are sympathetic to this in order for it to really take off. But he's certainly doing the best he can.

And I really think this is, again, another one of these institutional problems, that you can't just expect one person to come up with a whole research program fully blown from his head. I mean, typically this involves having students -- you know, I mean, starting journals, getting the work published and circulated and all the rest of it, and you do need a critical mass of people for that.

Q. And so you would agree that right now Professor Behe and irreducible complexity have neither robust peer review nor a robust research program?

A. Well, I mean, he has as robust a research program as he possibly can under the circumstances, it seems to me. And the same would go for Dembski. They're doing the best they can with the minimal resources that they have.

And with regard to peer review, you know, I think that one has to, you know, look at that very cautiously. Yes, strictly speaking, there isn't that much peer-reviewed stuff by him, but, you know, again, there -- there are institutional issues here, it seems to me.

Q. And you're not aware of the research that Professor Behe is actually doing on intelligent design?

A. I'm not a specialist in his work, so I don't have, like, up-to-date information about him.

Q. And you haven't read his testimony from the trial last week, have you?

A. Well, actually, I did read some parts of it.

Q. So you don't -- do you recall what he said about his research program on intelligent design?

A. I only recall the kinds of questions -- he was asked to explain, you know, the irreducibility of the cell and all this kind of stuff. I don't recall. But then I didn't commit the transcript to testimony -- excuse me, to memory.

Q. But as you sit here, you're not aware of what research Professor Behe is doing?

A. Yes, but I'm not an expert on the man.

Q. Let's go over the logic of irreducible complexity and Dr. Behe's argument here. And it starts out as intelligent design is a better explanation than evolution. Is that right?

A. It starts with that?

Q. Isn't that kind of the --

A. What do you mean it starts?

Q. Well, is it a better explanation than natural selection? I mean, isn't that sort of the premise, intelligent design is a better explanation of biological life?

A. That's what he's aiming to show. That's what he's aiming to show, if that's what you mean.

Q. That it better explains biological life than random mutation and natural selection?

A. Yes, he believes that.

Q. And he says that random mutation and natural selection are not an adequate explanation for biological life?

A. That's correct.

Q. And then, therefore, intelligent design is better?

A. Well, I don't know. Does he exactly say that?

Q. Well, I think that's what you said.

A. Well, I mean -- did I say that?

Q. Why don't you turn to Page 168 of your deposition. If you'll look at Line 21.

A. Yes.

Q. The question, Therefore, intelligent design is the best explanation? Answer: Yes, that's roughly what's going on.

A. Yes, I see. So the idea being that I'm saying -- he's saying it's -- you know, if it's not natural selection, it's therefore intelligent design. Okay. But Miller does the same thing in reverse when he tests Behe's experiment.

I mean, there's a sense in which this kind of debate tends to have this character where one side says, well, look, if you show that the thing is not irreducibly complex, therefore it's natural selection, and so he plays the game the other way around. So there's a sense in which he's -- he's hardly alone in being guilty in this sin of having dichotomous thinking.

Q. Well, let's talk about that sort of first part of Behe's argument, the irreducible complexity. And there, in fact, have been challenges made to his assertion that there are cells or organisms that are irreducibly complex. Correct?

A. Correct.

Q. And, for instance, Professor Behe, in his 1996 book Darwin's Black Box, threw out some potential examples, the blood clotting cascade, the immune system?

A. The bacterial flagellum.

Q. Right. Who could forget the bacterial flagellum. And lac operons, too.

A. Oh, of course, yes, yes, yes.

Q. And, in fact, as happened last week, Professor Behe was confronted with -- I think it was 58 peer-reviewed journals and a number of textbooks that talked about various evolutionary pathways for the immune system. So the scientists have actually come up with possible natural explanations where Professor Behe said there were none because it's irreducibly complex.

A. Um-hum.

Q. Is that correct?

A. I'm perfectly willing to believe this.

Q. So I want to focus on the second part of Dr. Behe's argument. Okay? Irreducible complexity, I want to make sure we understand this, is that science cannot fully or evolution cannot fully explain --

A. Natural selection is really his target.

Q. Okay. So natural selection -- well, that may be his target, but that's not exactly what evolution says. Evolution, if you'll agree with me, evolution doesn't say that natural selection alone is the mechanism of change?

A. No, but that's the thing that he's targeting in his examples.

Q. Right. But you would agree with me that natural selection is not the only change agent?

A. No, but I thought you were talking about what he's trying to do.

Q. I am. But as I understand it, his irreducible complexity argument is that, in fact, some things are so complex that there couldn't be a natural explanation for them or a natural pathway.

A. No, what he's saying is that you could never reach -- you could never reach the state of the cell being in its sort of integrated whole just through processes of natural selection, you know, to random mutation and so forth. It would take too long to get to that state and that the earth isn't old enough, as it were, to allow natural selection to work for the cell to get into that state. That's what his argument is.

Q. So he's saying, I can't imagine how this could have happened naturally in science?

A. No, that's not the same thing. He's actually making a -- you know, a quite specific statement, you know, where he's calculating how long would it take through natural selection for this particular cell to develop as it is, and he's saying it's too long.

Q. Right.

A. It takes too long. And that's a strike against natural selection given how long we take the earth to have been around.

Q. But what he's saying is that natural selection can't explain this. That's the first part of his argument?

A. Well, that's right. And he means it in this very specific way that I have just described, namely, it would take too long if you took natural selection seriously.

Q. So it's a negative argument against natural selection?

A. It's not merely a negative argument, it's actually a potential test of it. In a sense, his argument is designed as a test of natural selection because, look, even if you can give potential evolutionary explanations, you still have to explain the time frame in which it happened, and that hasn't been done yet by the evolutionists.

Q. So what he's saying is that evolutionists haven't fully explained these theories?

A. Oh, yes. And I think even the evolutionists would agree with that.

Q. Absolutely. I don't think anybody is disputing that. But I want to focus on the second part of his argument, which is the one actually for design.

A. Right.

Q. Okay? So, you know, even assuming that and even accepting that evolution and science cannot detail all evolutionary pathways, design still doesn't follow logically from that, does it?

A. You're absolutely right, and there is this dichotomous thinking that just penetrates both sides of this debate, and that includes Miller.

Q. So in order for the irreducible complexity to be logically valid, one would have to assume that Behe has eliminated all rival hypotheses, not just one?

A. Of course, of course.

Q. And here, just because science hasn't provided a naturalistic explanation today doesn't mean that there aren't any naturalistic explanations?

A. Of course, that's all true. I mean --

Q. Right. And it doesn't mean that science isn't going to find some natural explanation tomorrow just because we don't know it today?

A. Of course. Who could disagree.

Q. So you agree that the absence of naturalistic explanations is not a proper test to show the supernatural in biology?

A. No, in fact, there's a sense in which this whole debate is very wrong headed. I mean, in a sense, both should just be allowed to develop their research programs rather than to score premature knock-out punches in simple-minded fashion. And that goes for both sides again.

Q. And speaking of both, let's bring Mr. Dembski back into this.

A. The other "both." Okay. Not Miller.

Q. So both Michael Behe and Professor Dembski have the same logical problem with their argument. Correct?

A. Well, will you tell me what the problem is before I consent to it?

Q. Sure. The affirmative argument for design is simply a conclusory proposition that doesn't follow from their criticisms of evolution.

A. It is true that design is not entailed by criticisms in evolution, that is true. That's certainly true.

Q. So the leap to design is a conclusory proposition?

A. But, look, there is more to it than that. Right? I mean, it's not just that they -- they're not just presenting negative evidence, they're sort of showing what it is about the cell that appears to be designed, et cetera, et cetera, that provides a kind of prima facie positive story, as well. Okay?

I mean, but it is true that these guys define their position very much in opposition to the evolutionists. And I do -- yes, there's a sense in which it would be better if there was a little space between these two so they could develop their programs independently.

Q. But still, coming back, I mean, the assertion for design is really just a conclusory proposition?

A. No, there is more to it than the conclusions that are drawn on the basis of negative evidence about evolution.

Q. All right. Would you turn to Page 185 of your deposition.

A. Yes.

Q. I'm sorry, I had the wrong page here. Page 170, beginning on Line 5 -- well, let's see, you say, Dembski has a similar problem. And the question is, So both of them have this problem? And then you say, Yes, and then we elucidate. The question is, Okay, but then even granted your point, which I do, I'm still troubled by the idea that even if you would eliminate all the, for example, natural hypotheses that have been asserted, one could make a positive case for action by an intelligent designer, and I'm trying to understand how that follows, which I think is a conclusory proposition.

A. Yes.

Q. And your answer is, Yes. I mean, yes, it doesn't follow, you're absolutely right.

A. Well, I haven't disagreed with that, have I?

Q. Have I read that correctly?

MR. GILLEN: Objection, Your Honor. I think if he's going to read the answer, he's got to read the whole answer, not just the beginning.

THE COURT: Well, he has the opportunity to read the answer and answer it in context and answer in the context of his entire answer, so you feel free to answer the question as it relates to your entire answer or any other answers that you gave. That's understood.

MR. GILLEN: Thank you, Your Honor.

THE COURT: And we had a question on the floor. Is that right?

MR. WALCZAK: I believe he agreed. He said he didn't disagree with the proposition.

THE COURT: Then you may proceed.


Q. And based on this argument, there's never going to be a decisive moment where intelligent design wins by default simply because it shows that natural explanations have not yet been shown. Is that correct?

A. But that's not the whole sum of what the program is about.

Q. But simply showing that natural explanations are inadequate is never going to prove intelligent design?

A. Not by itself, no, but that's true of any research program. You don't establish your own position by just negating another.

Q. And since you can never eliminate all the possible natural alternatives, some people have objected to the idea of inference to the best explanation as being a method in science. Do you agree with that?

A. That's certainly true.

Q. And you're not aware of any intelligent design people having produced an affirmative test for supernatural causation?

A. No, I don't believe so, not them.

Q. And you're not aware of intelligent design being empirically tested?

A. Well, it is a bit early in the research program for them to actually come up with their own original tests. I mean, as I said earlier this morning, you have to wait some time for the research program to get elaborated so you actually see what would be some interesting test cases where intelligent design is really saying something interestingly different from some natural selection-based explanation, for example.

Q. But they haven't done that yet?

A. Well, it's very early in the day, right, for these guys.

Q. And can you ever disprove a designer?

A. Well, actually, that is kind of the point of having a design detector. Right? And this is where Dembski comes in, right, because Dembski is trying to put some kind of specific mathematical parameters on what would count as design. Okay? And so there is an attempt to actually nail down that concept in some way that you could then tell whether something was designed or not.

Q. And how do you disprove that there is a designer?

A. Well, I mean, there's a sense in which designer -- a design isn't necessarily a commitment to some sort of absolute God. I mean, you know, if what you're thinking about is how do you disprove God, well, yes. But that's not really what the issue is here. It's basically saying whether design is present or not.

And then the issue is having some kind of criteria that you can apply unequivocally to be able to make that distinction. That's the goal of the project, right, at the end of the day. And so the issue is nailing down a sufficiently clear notion of design.

Q. But if you never hypothesize about the identity or the attributes of the designer, how could you ever possibly disprove that?

A. It's not at all clear to me -- I mean, it depends what attributes, exactly, you're talking about. Right? I mean --

Q. The intelligent design proponents refuse to hypothesize about any attributes, do they?

A. It depends what -- the design of what are we talking about here. Because we're talking about design of cells, right, there's going to be one kind of design-based explanation. If you've got design of artifacts, it's going to be another kind of design-based explanation.

Q. Well, we're talking about biological life here.

A. Right, okay.

Q. So there are different designers?

A. I'm not sure that's quite the way to put it. What you want to show is that this is design as opposed to having been the product of chance and necessity, that is kind of what the project is about, and coming up with a clear criteria where you can make the difference between a chance and necessity explanation and a design-based explanation. And that's kind of the conceptual issue that people like Dembski are struggling with at the moment so that, in fact, you could say that this is design or not design, because they don't believe everything is designed.

MR. WALCZAK: Your Honor, this might be a good time for a break.

THE COURT: All right. Why don't we take our afternoon break now. We'll break for 20 minutes, and we'll return at about 3:20 to have our last session of the day. We'll be in recess.

(Recess taken.)


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