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Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District

Trial transcript: Day 1 (September 26), PM Session, Part 1


THE COURT: All right. We welcome you all back from our lunch break. We're two or three minutes later than we wanted to be, but you'll excuse that, I hope, and we'll proceed. Mr. Walczak, back to you.

MR. WALCZAK: Thank you, Your Honor.



Q. Dr. Miller, I want to now switch gears from the discussion of the textbook Of Pandas and People to Professor Behe. Who is Michael Behe?

A. Michael Behe, I believe, is a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University.

Q. And has he done research on intelligent design?

A. Well, to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure that he's done research on intelligent design. I'm aware of some of his published peer reviewed literature and can say that it concerns a wide variety of topics. I believe nucleotide and nucleic acid biogenesis, and most recently, a study on random replacement of neucleoties in genes; in other words, sort of a moving around of the genetic code and see happens to a gene.

Q. So Dr. Behe has published some peer reviewed articles, but these are not on intelligent design?

A. To my reading, none of them actually are on intelligent design. He's published a fair number, good number of peer reviewed articles in leading peer reviewed scientific journals, no question.

Q. What is it that Professor Behe brings to the concept of intelligent design? Does he bring some idea to the table here?

A. Yes, I think he does. And the idea that he brings to the table, as you put it, is that the classic argument from design, which has been around for hundreds, thousands of years, that biological systems are complex and suggest the existence of a designer can also be phrased in terms of biochemistry.

So I believe Dr. Behe's book, Darwin's Black Box, was subtitled the Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, so what he brings to the discussion basically is the old argument from design written up in the new language of biochemistry.

Q. Let's take that in a couple of steps. First of all, you mentioned Darwin's Black Box. And I direct your attention to Plaintiff's Exhibit 434. Is this the book to which you refer?

A. Yes, sir, it is.

Q. And is this the book that Professor Behe wrote which explains his idea of irreducible complexity?

A. Yes, sir, it is.

Q. Now let me ask you. Is this a peer-reviewed publication?

A. To my understanding, no. Books like this are subject of what you might call a kind of peer review, which is a discussion between you and the editor and perhaps the copy editor, in the same way that my own box, Finding Darwin's God, was subject to those discussions. But by the standards of science, neither my book nor Dr. Behe's book counts as a peer-review publication.

Q. Now you said a moment ago that Dr. Behe's idea isn't actually new. What do you mean by that?

A. Well, the essential argument that some features of living things are too complex to have been generated in any other way other than by attribution to a designer is an idea that, to my poor understanding of ancient philosophy goes back to the Greeks. And in western culture, very often one would go back to a book called Natural Theology that was written by the Reverend William Paley and published, I believe, in 1802.

And Paley's book had what's probably the best pre-Charles Darwin classical formulation of the idea of intelligent design. Paley was quite a naturalist. And he really understood the complexities of living systems, of living organs. He understood how they work with each other, how delicate the interplay is. And he said that this very complexity argued for the presence and the existence of an intelligent designer who drafted all these organisms and created each of them individually.

Q. And did Reverend Paley use certain examples that we might be familiar with?

A. Yes, he did. Paley used a whole variety of examples. And I believe some of them included the nervous system, the muscular system, the digestive system. And he used them in a variety of different types of organisms. So it was a very interesting book to read, and still is a very interesting book to read. The example of Paley's that I think is remembered the best is the example of the eye.

And he pointed out that the eyes that we humans have -- because among the animal kingdom, we have very good eyes. Very few animals that can surpass the human eye. Our eye is a complex multi-part system. And I can't name all the parts not being an anatomist. But we have the cornea, we have the lens, we have the iris, we have the aqueous humor, the vitreous humor. We have the retina in the back of the eye. And for proper vision, all of these parts have to work together as a coordinated whole. And that was part of Paley's example.

Paley said, for example, what good would a lens be without a retina? And what good would a retina be without a lens? And, therefore, all the parts would have to be assembled together. And, therefore, only a designer could do that.

Q. So his conclusion was that, there could not be a natural explanation for this complex system, the eye, therefore, there was a designer?

A. That is correct.

Q. And did Paley identify the designer?

A. To Reverend William Paley, there was absolutely no doubt as to who the designer was. He said it was God.

Q. And so how does Dr. Behe's argument differ from Reverend Paley's?

A. Well, as far as I can tell, it differs in two essential respects. The first respect is that, Dr. Behe, although he praises the arguments of William Paley in several areas of his book, argues that the argument from design, as Paley's argument is known, is made most effectively at the level of the cell, at the level of the molecule.

So he basically has attempted to update Paley's argument, not by looking at large organ systems, but by looking at biochemical machines that exist inside individual living cells. And the second way in which his argument differs from Paley is that, Dr. Behe, after coming to the same conclusion, that there had to be an independent designer, a creative force that created these machines, these pathways, and put them into being, Dr. Behe is unwillingly to name the identity of that designer.

And I believe he suggests that the designer, of course, could be a divine force, but it could be super intelligent space aliens from Mars or perhaps time traveling cell biologists going into the past from the future and causing the structures to be put together.

Q. And have you actually heard Dr. Behe use these examples?

A. Yes, sir, I have. Dr. Behe and I have discussed and debated this issue a number of times, and these are examples that he has used in those discussions.

Q. Now Dr. Behe advances an idea known as irreducible complexity. Can you explain to us what that idea consists of?

A. Sure. The idea of irreducible complexity starts with the observation that living cells contain complex biochemical systems and machines. They are composed of many parts. He then suggests that, that complexity is irreducible. What he means by irreducible complexity is, if we start to take a few parts away to see if we can make a simpler machine, we very quickly discover that we can't, that a machine stops functioning.

Now I've prepared a few demonstratives with quotes from Dr. Behe's work to sort of illustrate this point, if it's all right for the Court to show these.



Q. Could we have the bacterial flagellum power point?

A. So this is, in a way, a summary of Dr. Behe's argument. And one of the things that I think is important to make clear to the Court is that, it is absolutely true that there are many, many structures in the living cell, many biochemical pathways for which we don't have a detailed biochemical -- excuse me, a detailed evolutionary explanation. That is a point that all scientists will concede. Do Doctor --

Q. I'm sorry. Is that true just about evolutionary theory or is that true about any science?

A. That's true about anything. In cell biology, for example, I think most people and the court are aware that when a cell divides, the chromosomes that carry the genetic information of a cell are moved apart and separated into the two daughter cells. We have enormous arguments in the field of cell biology as to what the exact mechanism is by which that force is generated. We can all see it happen. Any high school student can watch the separation of chromosomes under a microscope in a high school laboratory. But we still don't know exactly what the motor or the mechanism is that moves these apart. There are many, many other unsolved problems in biology.

Q. I'm sorry. Please continue.

A. Sure. So it's important to note that Dr. Behe's argument does not say simply, well, there are complex structures within the cell for whom we do not understand the detailed evolutionary origin of, that's absolutely true. But his argument really rises to a different level. What I've shown on this slide is a diagram of the bacterial flagellum.

Now bacteria, of course, are very, very simple cells. They're found everywhere in nature. They're found, for example, in our digestive systems. They're found in the skin. They're found on the surface of the table. Some bacteria have little whip like structures called flagellum. You might almost considers them to be outboard motors. And these things whip around at very high rates of speed, and they propel the bacteria through water, or sometimes they pull the bacteria in sort of a screw like motion through the water.

So it's marvelous machines. They are acid powdered reversible rotary engines. These are marvelous little machines, and they are made of a whole series of protein parts, some of which are shown in this little diagram here. Now if we can animate this slide a little bit. Next point.

Now what I wrote here is that, Dr. Behe has made very clear in what I think is fairly called his biochemical argument from design, that that argument depends upon a much bolder claim than simply saying, scientists have not completely explained how this structure evolved. And that bolder claim is shown in the next animated section of this slide.

And that is that, the evolution of complex biochemical structures cannot even or ever be explained in principle. And, of course, what he means by that is, there is some aspect of this complexity, which means we can say not just, we haven't figured it out yet, but we will never figure it out, and that's where the evidence for design lies.

Now if I may advance to the next slide. I'll try to use Dr. Behe's words to explain why he holds this point of view. The reason that evolution cannot explain, he says, the origin of such structures is because they have a property, which he calls irreducible complexity, or they are irreducibly complex. I thought it best for the Court to read the description of irreducible complexity in Dr. Behe's own words.

So in the lower part of the the slide, I have a quotation from page 39 of his book, Darwin's Black Block. And I will read that to the Court. Quote, By irreducibly complex, I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.

And now, from my point of view, the key part of the argument, and I'll continue to read. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced directly by slight, successive modifications of a pre-cursor system -- and that's how evolution would have to produce it -- because any pre-cursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition non-functional.

So his argument is that, if you have a multi-part system, and all the parts are necessary to function, you can't produce that system five parts at a time, six, seven, and gradually build up the complex system, because there is no function possible until the last part is snapped into place. And that's why evolution cannot produce that system.

Now the next slide is another quote of Dr. Behe's that tries to make this point absolutely explicit as to why you need the system to be working. He points out, another quote, Darwin's Black Box, page 39, quote, Since natural selection can only choose systems that are already working -- and if you remember, his contention is, if you're missing a part, you're not working -- then if a biological system cannot be produced gradually, it would have to arise as an integrated unit, in one fell swoop, for natural selection to have anything to act upon, closed quote.

And Dr. Behe rightly points out that, to imagine such complex systems arising spontaneously in one fell swoop is something that no serious biologist would argue could happen, and I will not argue either. So his point is, as long as irreducible complexity holds, then any system we can identify as irreducibly complex couldn't have been produced by evolution. It's a very, very coherent argument.

Q. Does he identify some organisms that he calls irreducibly complex?

A. Well, counselor, not so much organisms, but he certainly identifies some machines and some structures that he regards as irreducibly complex, one of which, of course, is the bacterial flagellum. And I pointed out, this slide contains a diagram of the flagellum. And to the right is actually sort of what we call a false color, but an electron micrograph showing a bacterium with several flagellum protruding from one end.

So that is one of the principal systems to which he points. Now the next slide, please. And I should also point out, to be a little more responsive than I have been to your question, that Dr. Behe also says, the blood clotting cascade that we talked about earlier as an example of an irreducibly complex system, the eukaryotic cilium, similar system to the flagellum, that's irreducibly complex, the vesicle targeting system that parcels out things in living cells, and also the immune system are all examples of irreducibly complex systems.

Now what I did in this slide was to prepare a graphic to make this point as clear as possible to those of us in court today. And that is to emphasize that complex biochemical machines composed of multiple interacting parts, if they work, they can have a function that's favored by natural selection. The essence of the biochemical argument from irreducible complexity, however, is that the individual parts of that machine have no function of their own.

And because they have no function on their own, they cannot be produced by natural selection and, therefore, the impediment, the reason you can't get to here from there, you can't go from individual parts to the machine, is because the individual parts have no functions of their own.

Now evolutionary biology has grappled with this problem before. And the next slide shows how evolutionary biologists generally explain the evolution of complex machines. And that is, they agree, yes, there are such machines. You need all these parts for a particular function. But where these machines come from is, they come from pre-existing machines which have functions of their own, and that the individual parts of these machines originate in components that have different functions.

So the way in which evolutionary biology picks up Dr. Behe's challenge is to basically say, you're wrong, that the individual parts of these machines cannot have a function that is favored by natural selection. Now that, of course, in this slide, this is not evidence, of course, in the scientific sense. This is merely an argument.

But the reason I like the way that Dr. Behe has put his argument, and I like sort of describing it this way, is because it actually is amenable to a scientific test. Something that most arguments for intelligent design are not. And the next slide.

Q. I'm sorry. This is -- is Dr. Behe's argument for irreducible complexity, is that an argument directly for design?

A. That's a good point. The answer is, no, it's not. It really is an argument that says why such systems are not produceable by evolution. So it's a negative argument against evolution. It is in itself not evidence. Even if the argument were correct, it's not evidence of a designer, it's not argument for design, it simply is an argument that the evolutionary mechanism wouldn't work in this case.

Q. So that's why this argument is testable?

A. That is correct. As I mentioned earlier, one of the problems with intelligent design is that it doesn't make any testable predictions. This actually isn't a testable prediction of design either. This is simply an argument as to why evolution wouldn't work. And that can be subjected to a test.

Q. Please continue.

A. Thank you. Next slide, please. So what I have done in this slide is to place the graphic summaries of the argument from irreducible complexity that I just made in the upper left-hand corner of the slide, and in the upper right-hand corner, I have basically put the evolutionary explanation using the same graphic convention. And the nature of the test that I or any other scientist would propose is pretty simple.

If you animate the slide, you'll see that Dr. Behe's prediction is that the parts of any irreducibly complex system should have no useful function. Therefore, we ought to be able to take the bacterial flagellum, for example, break its parts down, and discover that none of the parts are good for anything except when we're all assembled in a flagellum.

If evolutionary theory holds, however, and we can animate again, and we'll show that in the right-hand side, evolution makes an extremely straight forward prediction. And that is, when we look at these irreducibly complex structures, we ought to be able to find parts of those systems that actually do have useful functions within them.

So we can do a very straight forward either/or test to distinguish between these two alternatives. So what I'd like to show in the next slide is how such a test can be conducted. This is a -- in the upper right-hand corner of the slide is a graphic representation from a review article showing some of the proteins involved in the construction of the bacterial flagellum.

Now the individual names of the gene products need not concern us. They often begin with FL for flagellum. But as you can see, just as Dr. Behe says, this is a complex multi-part biochemical machine. Now the test that I would propose, we can animate the slide, please, to start with this flagellum. And if Dr. Behe is correct, if we take away even one part, there should be no function.

But I'm going to propose that we take away not one, not two, I'm going to propose we take away 30 parts. And what I'm going to propose to do is, take 30 of these proteins away and see what is left. And the slide that I set up is animated, and what we have done is -- actually, could you go back for the animation and then do it again?

And let's watch the Court do it, and we'll do the animation now. Thank you. And you can see the parts that I have removed are on the outside and the inside, and what are left are 10 proteins that span the inner and outer membrane. These bacteria, many of them are surrounded by two membranes.

These 10 remaining parts are shown in the next diagram, which will come up on the slide. And this is a diagram showing where these 10 parts are. They exist at the very base of the flagellum near one of the cellular membranes.

Now the prediction that is made by Dr. Behe in his book is extremely straight forward, which is, since this was an irreducibly complex machine, and we've taken away most of its parts, what's left behind should be non-functional because, you remember, he wrote, any pre-cursor to an irreducibly complex machine that is missing a part is, by definition, non-functional. This guy is missing 30 parts.

Next slide. Well, it turns out that what is actually left behind when we take those parts away is a little structure with those 10 parts, which is known to microbiologists as the type III secretory system. And I can see, Mr. Walczak, you're saying, why, of course, it's the type III secretory system.

THE COURT: That certainly was on my mind.

THE WITNESS: Exactly. Now I was expecting a question of, how do you know it's not type II or type IV? The type III secretory system is a little molecular syringe that some of the nastiest bacteria in all of nature have. Yrsinia pestis, for example, which is the organism that causes bubonic plague, is a type III secretor. And what it does is, it gets inside our body, crawls up alongside, and uses this syringe to inject poisons into a human cell.

And in the lower left-hand corner of the slide, I have some diagrams showing the operation of a type III secretory system. Now the connection between this and the flagellum is that the type III -- the 10 proteins in the type III system are almost a precise match for the corresponding 10 proteins in the base of the bacterial flagellum.

So it's very clear that a subset of those proteins has an entirely different function, a beneficial function, not for us, but for the bacterium, and a function that can and is favored by natural selection. Can I have the next slide, please? So the summary of this example is really very straight forward.

When we take this complex multi-part system, which is the bacterial flagellum, the prediction made by Dr. Behe from irreducible complexity is when we break the parts apart, we should have no useful functions. Anyone missing a part is, by definition, non-functional. We follow that up. We do break it apart. And lo and behold, we find -- actually, we find a variety of useful functions, one of which I have just pointed out, which is type III secretion.

What that means, in ordinary scientific terms is that, the argument that Dr. Behe is made is falsified, it's wrong, it's time to go back to the drawing board.

Q. And does Dr. Behe focus on just one type of cell? I'm sorry if I'm using the wrong terms here.

A. No, he doesn't. His arguments extend to a wide variety of cells and a wide variety of systems that he identifies as irreducibly complex.

Q. But the reasoning, the analysis that you just went through is -- applies in the same fashion to these other examples, is that correct?

A. Yes, it would. And if I could redirect the Court's recollection to earlier today, one of those systems was, in fact, the blood clotting cascade. And Pandas, and as it turns out, Dr. Behe's book, Darwin's Black Box, makes the same statement, which is that, all of the parts have to be together for blood to clot effectively.

The exact quotation, I think, is, if even one part is missing, the system fails and blood does not clot. And I then showed that when we look for, for example, at the genome sequence of the puffer fish, we find that three of the parts are missing and blood still clots perfectly well.

That is exactly the same kind of argument, which we just examined, and also found wanting in another of Dr. Behe's chosen examples, which is the flagellum.

Q. I asked you, in preparation, to select a third example, and that was the immune system. What is the immune system?

A. Well, it's a very good question, because we all depend for our very lives on a functioning immune system. It's a system of our body that is widely distributed. We have cells from our immune system sort of engaging in patrol, floating throughout the blood stream and the tissues. And it's a system that enables us to identify, defend against, and to repel foreign invaders.

When I was a little boy, for example, it was on vacation, too, which I never really liked very much, I got the chicken pox, and I was very, very sick. And it was during spring vacation, so I had the wonderful experience of being sick during vacation week. But chicken pox is a virus when invades the human body, the immune system recognizes the code proteins on the virus, makes cells that can continue to recognize it, and produces proteins called antibodies that will bind to the surface of the virus.

What that meant is, once I had gone through that miserable week with the chicken pox, I could be confident I would never get it again. I would be permanently immune to the chicken box. This is a very important realization for medicine to have because, of course, most of us in this room have received vaccinations designed to stimulate our immunity from diseases far worse than chicken pox such as, for example, polio and diptheria and whooping cough in an effort to stipulate our immune systems to make sure we never get sick from those diseases.

Q. Have you prepared a presentation on the immune system that will help you to explain this?

A. Yes, sir, I have. And if we could show the first slide, I want to start -- and, Your Honor, I may have to stand up to --

THE COURT: That's fine.

THE WITNESS: Thanks. I thought I would start by pointing out an essential protein of the immune system. You can't work without it. That essential protein is sometimes -- it is called by researchers an immunoglobulin, but it is more commonly called an antibody. These are the essential molecules of the immune system.

In the upper left-hand corner of the slide, there is a molecular diagram for what an antibody actually looks like. It basically is a little Y shaped molecule with two binding sites. And you'll notice in the slide, those binding sites are labeled foreign particle binding sites. I hope I have antibodies circulating in my bloodstream against chicken pox. So if I get chicken pox virus in my body, that foreign particle binding site on my chicken pox antibody will bind to the surface of the virus. Another one will bind to the other site.

And gradually, the virus will be cross linked into a mesh world, which my immune system recognizes, eliminates from the circulation, and destroys. And that's why, hopefully, I'm not going to get chicken pox again. Now in the lower right-hand is a more diagrammatic view of this molecule. It's made up of four parts.

These are each polypeptides, and they're diagrammed. And you'll notice that part of these -- each of the polypeptides is colored blue, and another part is colored red. The red says, variable region. Now I know some of my own vaccination history, so I've been vaccinated against polio, diptheria, measles, and a number of other diseases.

The antibodies in my body against polio differ from the antibodies I have against diptheria in the variable regions. They have a different shape because the viruses or the bacteria have different molecules on the surface.

The genius, if you will, of the immune system, is that it can produce an antibody that will attach to, stick to, identify, and destroy just about anything. So one of the most important things in our immune system is the ability, basically, to produce antibodies against any conceivable molecule that might get inside our body. Can I have the next slide?

Now about 20 years ago, a scientist working at MIT named Susumu Tonegawa -- I know I'm going to have to spell that for the court reporter -- determined exactly how antibodies had the ability to produce such diversity. And that is, it turns out to be a system in the genes of cells in the immune system known as a VDJ recombination system.

And this system is not at all unlike a dealer shuffling a deck of cards, and that at a certain point in development, parts of DNA, in a variety of genes, are literally shuffled. They're tossed from one side to another, and they are rearranged to form a final gene. Now some elements of this shuffling are random just like you hope the dealer, when you go to Las Vegas, is shuffling those card randomly so you don't know what you're going to get.

But it's in that random shuffling that our immune system develops the ability to produce an antibody to just about anything. That shuffling is at the heart of why the immune system works. If anything goes wrong with this process, the individual in which it goes wrong loses the ability to make diverse antibodies, they get very sick, and they're in big trouble when they start to see foreign organisms.

Now the next slide. Where did this system come from? That's the question that people interested in evolution always try to answer. About 10 years ago, a number of scientists, including Nobel Prize winner David Baltimore, speculated that this process, which is called VDJ recombination, might actually have evolved from a system known as transposition, a system in which genes jump around.

What I have placed on the slide in addition to this diagram and the reference to the Baltimore group's paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is a quotation from this paper illustrating his hypothesis. They, and he means the gene shuffling system, could have been part of retrotransposons and had a DNA rearrangement function this their previous life. It's possible that the ancestors of these genes, they're called RAG genes, may have been horizontally transferred into a metazoan multi-cellular animal lineage at a recent point in evolution.

So he argued, he suggests there might be an evolutionary way to explain where this system came from. It's a very interesting suggestion. And as I wrote in the slide, perhaps the three part system arose from a type of mobile genetic element known as a transposon. It's a hypothesis, but the important point, and the reason it's useful is that, it is a testable hypothesis.

Can I have the next slide, please? Now Dr. Behe was aware when he wrote Darwin's Black Box of the speculations of the Baltimore lab.


Q. I'm sorry, what year was Black Box written?

A. That was written in 1996.

Q. And the Baltimore article was?

A. 1994.

Q. So Dr. Behe addressed that. And he regarded this as mere speculation. And he also basically told researchers, don't bother. And the reason you shouldn't bother is actually given in the bottom of the slide. On page 130 of Darwin's Black Box, he wrote, and I quote, In the absence of the machine -- that's the gene shuffling machine -- the parts never get cut and joined.

In the absence of the signals for where to cut, it's like expecting the machine that's randomly cutting paper to make a paper doll. And, of course, in an absence of the message for the antibody itself, the other components would be useless, closed quote. So he basically argues, because this is a multi-part system and all parts had to be together for it to work ahead of time, you're not going make any progress.

A few pages later, he's even more explicit about that. On page 139, he wrote, quote, As scientists, we yearn to understand how this magnificent mechanism came to be, but the complexity of the system dooms all Darwinian explanations to frustration. Sisyphus himself would pity us. I hope you're up on your classical mythology.

Q. That's what Dr. Behe wrote in his book in 1996?

A. That is correct, sir. He basically told scientists, don't bother to try to investigate the evolution of this because it's irreducibly complex, it's multi-part, you cannot solve it with evolution.

Q. So what's happened since then?

A. What's happened since then is, I think, very interesting. Can I have the next slide? This is the quote from Dr. Behe. The complexity of the system dooms all Darwinian explanations to frustration. If you animate the slide, please.

In 1996, the same year that Darwin's Black Box came out, very strong biochemical similarities were found between this shuffling process, the VDJ recombination, and the way in which retroviruses shuffle their DNA, very suggestive.

Q. Now when you say, found, where was this found?

A. The -- well, the report is in the journal Science. This particular case, I believe, was found in a prokaryotic system because retroviruses can go into all sorts of systems. But the important point is, these investigators noticed there were biochemical similarities between the way the genes are shuffled in the immune system and the way that retroviruses go into other cells.

Q. This is a publication that has been peer reviewed?

A. That is correct. This is the journal Science, one of the best scientific publications in the United States. And, obviously, this was peer reviewed research.

Q. Please continue.

A. Happy to. Two years later in the journal Nature, which I have plugged repeatedly as a great publication, it turns out that the cutting and transposing enzymes that are normally used for these transposable genetic elements can be replaced by the RAG enzymes, which do the cutting and pasting in the immune system. So that's suggested a further biochemical similarity between these two systems published in 1998 in the journal Nature. Also, of course, peer reviewed. Can I have the next element, please?

In 2000, the RAG enzymes were shown to cause transposition in mammalian cells. What this meant was, not only can they shuffle the immune system pieces of DNA, they can shuffle other pieces of DNA as well. So little by little, we're beginning to understand that elements of the Baltimore hypothesis are being born out by published research in peer review journals.

Q. What is Blood? Is that also a peer reviewed publication?

A. Blood is also a peer reviewed journal. This is an original research paper subjected to the usual process of review. Can I have the next slide, please? Once again, the quote that we've been talking about, if you could advance it, in 2003, the VDJ recombinase was shown to cause transposition -- in other words, shuffle DNA around -- not just in mammalian cells, but in human cells as well.

The next animation, please, will show the transposases were discovered in nature not associated with the immune system that are a perfect mimic for the way the immune system gene shuffling machine works in human cells. And this was in the journal Nature.

And finally, the last part of this puzzle was put together in the last year, and that is the actual transposic from which these enzymes and insertion sequences evolved were identified by a paper printed in the Public Library of Science, which is a brand new, but very highly regarded peer review journal, and this is Kapitonov & Jurka in 2005.

It's worth noting how these researchers described their own work. And the next slide will show a facsimile of the paper, and also has a quotation from the abstract. Now this is absolutely filled with technically latent language, but it shows how thoroughly researchers have explored this particular -- this particular hypothesis.

And what I will do is, I will read, and I'm going to skip parts of this, but I'm going to read, starting at the quotation marks, and I will skip over some of the technical terminology. Quote, The significant similarity between the transib transpases and RAG core, the common structure of these transpases and others, as well as the similar size of these basically catalyzed by these enzymes directly support the 25-year-old hypothesis of a transposon related origin of the VDJ machinery.

And the researchers then point out, there have been other hypotheses that have been considered. Previously, the RAG transposon hypothesis was open to challenge by alternative models of convergent evolution. Because there were no known transpases similar to the gene shuffling ones, the RAG ones found, it could be argued that our gene shuffling enzymes, the RAG1 independently developed some transposon-like properties rather than deriving them from a transposable element encoded transpases. These arguments can now be put to rest.

And they're very straight forward about saying, we have solved the puzzle of where this system came from. It came from evolution. And it came from a transposable element system. Can I have the next slide, please? Okay.

So the summary of what we have just gone through, and this is a tree analysis of these transposons and humans and mammals are right down where it says, mammals, is that the summary is that between 1996 and 2005, each element of the transposon hypothesis has been confirmed and, furthermore, when the enzymes that do this gene shuffling are actually put to an analysis to see how closely related they are to see if they themselves match the evolutionary predicted tree, they match that tree perfectly. So we've got it.

Q. So what do you tell your mother about what all this means for Dr. Behe's theory?


THE WITNESS: I was about to say, my mother and Your Honor, but Your Honor, not being a retired nurse like my mother, my mother is deeply interested in immunity. And I often remind her that the reason I got chicken pox in the first place is because she wanted me to have immunity to it, so she marched me down the street to play with Denny Marsh who had chicken pox at the time to make sure that I would get sick. And she forgot to realize that 10 days later, which is the incubation period, was going to be spring break for me, spring vacation for me.

Your Honor, I've never forgiven my mother for that to this day. So we'll have to take that up. So the important point basically is that, we have, in our immune system, as an essential part of our survival, the ability to shuffle genetic information so as to make it possible for our immune cells to make an antibody to just about anything.

That shuffling ability was proposed 10 years ago to have evolved from sequences known as transposable genetic elements. In 10 years of research, every step of that hypothesis has been confirmed. And we, therefore, do know, as the result of investigation using evolutionary theory, where that came from and how this gene shuffling ability arose. It also means -- could we advance to the next slide, please? Actually, I'm sorry, I forgot that. I'm finished with the slides. It also means that the prediction that Dr. Behe quite confidently made on the basis of intelligent design theory, that this system would not be amenable to Darwinian investigation, that there would be no evolutionary explanation for it, turned out to be wrong, and I am happy to say that fortunately research scientists did not listen to him.

If they had listened to him, they might not have done this research, and we might not have had this fundamental breakthrough in how the immune system works.


Q. Did Dr. Behe, in fact, rely on this argument, that the immune system could never be explained by natural selection to argue that, in fact, there must be an intelligent designer?

A. Yes, sir, he did. And this is actually one of several arguments that he raises in Darwin's Black Box to say that, if you cannot, in principle, explain the origin of a complex system by evolutionary means, that is by invoking the negative, that is evidence for an intelligent designer. This is another essential example in his list of irreducibly complex systems.

Q. Let me direct your attention now to Plaintiff's Exhibit 665. And not to be redundant, but, in fact, is there now even more research on the immune system that has come out even this past week?

A. Well, yes, it has. And as I was getting ready to pack up and come to Harrisburg for this trial, I happened to glance over the Internet at the latest issue of the journal Nature, which has actually not yet appeared in print. I'm still waiting for my copy in the mail. But fortunately, you can on look at things on the Internet several days ahead of time.

The VDJ recombination system is not the only important part of the immune system. There is another important part known as the compliment system. And in this case, compliment does not mean, say something nice about somebody. Compliment in this case is a system that compliments or completes part of what's known as the immune response.

And it consists of a series of proteins that target and destroy. And they destroy, in a molecular sense in a most vicious way possible, foreign invaders, especially bacteria and foreign cells. One of the key elements of this is a compliment component now as C.. this article reported, and this is from Jansen et al. It's from a combined Dutch and Scandinavian group. And again, it's in the latest issue of Nature.

They, for the first time, worked out the detailed structure of compliment C.. and the structure of compliment C. Immediately told them how this compound must -- how this protein must have evolved. It was made up of a series of modular units of exactly the sort that one would expect to arise by gene duplication, and the molecule had unmistakable sites in which pieces of another gene became recombined with it to produce the complete molecule. Hence, they title this work structures of compliment component C. Provide insights into the function and evolution of immunity.

So the entire idea of evolutionary theory is providing a fruitful avenue of investigation into every aspect of the immune system, not just the gene shuffling that I've talked about, but into this other area known as compliment.

Q. So Sisyphus isn't that envious?

A. I don't think so.

Q. I'm listening to the arguments that you have described Dr. Behe is making, that these components are irreducibly complex, and that science cannot explain them. And in some cases, he's been shown wrong. But is that essentially the argument, that scientists currently can't explain some aspects of evolution?

A. In essence, that is the argument. It is what a philosopher might call the argument from ignorance, which is to say that, because we don't understand something, we assume we never will, and therefore we can invoke a cause outside of nature, a supernatural creator or supernatural designer.

Q. And is this not a completely negative argument? I mean, it sounds like this is an attack on evolution?

A. This is in every respect a completely negative argument. And if one combs the pages Of Pandas and People or, for that matter, if one looks at Dr. Behe's book or if one looks at the writings of other people who consider themselves to be intelligent design advocates, all that one finds is example after example, argument after argument, as to why evolution couldn't produce this, didn't make that, and doesn't provide an explanation for the following.

I have yet to see any explanation, advanced by any adherent of design that basically says, we have found positive evidence for design. The evidence is always negative, and it basically says, if evolution is incorrect, the answer must be design. Never considers an alternative idea.

Q. Now let me just stop you. Just because science today cannot explain something, does that mean it can never be explained?

A. Of course not. And if it did, no one would do scientific research. What attracts scientists to research is the lure of the unknown. There is nothing more dreadful than to wake up one morning and think that all the fundamental problems in your field has been solved. On the day that I think all fundamental problems in cell biology have been resolved, I will retired to Sussex and keep bees, as Sherlock Holmes once said.

You want unsolved problems. You're attracted to them. I'll just give you a very simple example. Proteins are built by hooking together strings of amino acid, almost like beads on a string. The machine that does that building is called a ribosome. We have worked for years to understand the detailed molecular structure of the ribosome.

As a result of work that's been published in the last couple years, we know the internal structure of the ribosome down to the atomic level. We can now look inside it, and we can see the molecular details of how these two amino acids are brought into very close proximity.

But do you know what? There's still an unsolved problem. We still don't understand the chemistry that forges the link between those two beads on a chain. There was a very popular hypothesis that was put forward by Peter Moore at Yale University. But in the last year, a number of experimenters, including Al Dahlberg at my own university, has shown that Moore's ideas are wrong.

So what scientists everywhere realize is, there's a great prize to be won. That's very exciting. To find the mechanism by which these are joined together. What no one is doing is to say, we'll never solve it, we're going to attribute the formation of the bond between amino acids to an unseen outside force operating beyond nature and, therefore, any chemical explanation is doomed to failure.

That's something we never say in science, because if we did, it would be a research stopper. It would tell us, give up, go home, we'll never figure it out.

Q. What is Dr. Behe's argument? What evidence does Dr. Behe, and -- well, strike that. Dr. Behe's argument is consistent with the arguments made in Pandas, I believe you testified before?

A. Yes, sir, that's exactly what I testified. The term irreducible complexity, which is a feature of Dr. Behe's book, does not appear in Pandas. But the core idea behind irreducible complexity, which is in these complex systems, all parts must be assembled in order to have function, that is at the heart and soul of the arguments which are in Pandas.

Q. Now what I've heard are these negative arguments about evolution. What is the evidence in Pandas? Let's start with Pandas. What is the affirmative evidence for a designer?

A. I'm not aware that there is any affirmative evidence for a designer anywhere in that book.

Q. And what about in Dr. Behe's work?

A. As far as I can tell, there is no affirmative evidence for a designer in Dr. Behe's book either. Both books rely entirely on negative inferences by saying that, if evolution has problems, if evolution is wrong, if evolution cannot provide complete explanations, then we can go ahead and say it's a designer.

Q. So how do they make that argument? I mean, even if there's no evidence? What's the rationale? What's the reasoning for getting to that designer?

A. Well, with all due respect, I believe I've already answered that question, which is, I don't find there is any reasoning in that area at all. It's the sort of logical fallacy in which you might say, well, I have theory A, and I have theory B. And I can prove theory B by showing theory A is wrong. And in science, you say, excuse me, just a minute.

Besides theory B, there's an infinite number of other possible theories. So you don't, quote, prove one by showing that another one is wrong. If you show another one is wrong, you've shown that it's wrong. All other alternative theories are now equal contenders. So the logic of picking out intelligent design, which is inherently untestable, and saying that any evidence against evolution is evidence for intelligent design employs a logical fallacy that I think most scientists reject.

Q. So the argument is that, if science can't explain it, that default is, a designer?

A. That is the argument, as I understand it, and as it is expressed in both of these books.

Q. Has the scientific community taken a position similar to yours about intelligent design not being science?

A. Well, the scientific community, of course, is large and diverse, and I'm sure there are a few people who are enamored of intelligent design. As I mentioned earlier, the largest scientific organization in the United States, the one organization that probably can fairly be said to speak on behalf of the scientific community in this country is the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS. I know they have indeed taken a position on this issue.

Q. Could I direct your attention to exhibit -- Plaintiff's Exhibit 198? Do you recognize this?

A. Yes, sir, I do. This is a board resolution by the governing board of AAAS on intelligent design theory.

Q. If we can highlight the passages. And Dr. Miller, could you read the highlighted text?

A. I'd be glad to. Quote, Whereas ID, intelligent design, proponents claim that contemporary evolutionary theory is incapable of explaining the origin of diversity of living organisms, whereas to date, the ID movement has failed to offer credible scientific evidence to support their claim that ID undermines the current scientifically accepted theory of evolution, wheres as the ID movement has not proposed a scientific means of testing its claim, therefore, be it resolved that the lack of scientific warrant for so-called intelligent design theory makes it improper to include it as a part of science education, closed quote.

Q. That is the official position of AAAS?

A. That is correct, sir.

Q. That is the largest association of scientists in North America?

A. That is absolutely correct. And this is the organization that really speaks on behalf of the scientific community in our country.

Q. Now has the National Academy of Science taken a position on intelligent design?

A. Yes, sir, I believe it has.

Q. Could I ask you to take a look at Plaintiff's Exhibit 192? This is the publication we viewed earlier today?

A. Yes, sir, it is.

Q. Could you turn to page 25, please? And could we highlight the third paragraph on that page, please? And this is from the conclusion of this publication, Dr. Miller?

A. Yes, sir, I believe it is.

Q. Could you please read for the record the highlighted text?

A. Quote, Creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science. These claims subordinate observed data to statements based on the authority, revelation, or religious belief. Documentation offered in support of these claims is typically limited to the special publications of their advocates.

These publications do not offer hypotheses subject to change in light of new data, new interpretations, or demonstration of error. This contrasts with science where any hypothesis or theory always remains subject to the possibility of rejection or modification in the light of new knowledge, close quote.

Q. Are you aware of any scientific organizations that have taken a position that intelligent design is science?

A. I am not aware of any scientific organization that has taken a position that intelligent design is science, not one.

Q. Why do you believe that intelligent design, as described in Pandas and by Professor Behe, is a form of, I think as you put, special creationism?

A. I believe that as a proper analysis for the following reason. Each of the systems described by Dr. Behe had their origination, their first appearance at some time in the natural history of this planet. Each of the organisms described in Pandas and People and said to appear suddenly, fully formed in the fossil record had their origin at a particular time in the past. To say that such organisms are designed or such pathways are designed is only to tell part of the story.

Because, for example, if the blood clotting cascade had only been designed, our blood wouldn't clot. That pathway had -- that design had to be executed. It had to be created. It had to be put into physical form. And by any definition, that is an act of creative energy and power.

What that means, for example, the bacterial flagellum perhaps originated a billion years ago. It means the first organism containing that flagellum had to be created. The blood clotting cascade came into existence, we think, about 450 million years ago. The genes, the co-factors, the pathways had to be created. Advocates of intelligent design point to the first appearance of many major animal groups in what is known as the Cambrian period of geologic history.

If one says that those organisms were designed, they also had to be created. So that the natural history of this planet, according to intelligent design advocates, is marked by instance after instance after instance of specific and special creation. Saying that something is designed, as I mentioned, is only part of the story. We won't know about the design unless somebody created it and put it into execution, and that is what makes intelligent design inherently a theory of special creation.

Q. Now does intelligent design differ from creation science or scientific creationism what you are debating in the early 1980's?

A. In the early 1980's, the scientific creationist movement proposed a number of essential tenants or doctorates. One of them was that, the earth is about 6 to 10,000 years old. Another one is that, all of the geological column of this planet was formed in a single world wide flood, so that geologists are wrong when they talk about ages in the past; in fact, everything was laid down in about 40 days and 40 nights, that humans and apes have separate ancestory, that biochemical and biological systems show evidence of design, and that the mechanism of evolution does not work.

These are all elements, as I understand them, of the creation science or the creationist or scientific creationism movement. Now the difference between this movement and intelligent design ironically is that intelligent design has withdrawn the testable scientific predictions made by scientific creationists.

The statement that the earth is only 6000 years old is a testable scientific statement. They've withdrawn that. The statement that all of the geological formations of this planet were laid down in a 40 day, 40 night flood, that's actually a testable statement. They've withdrawn from that.

The only thing that they have left is an untestable assertion, and that assertion is that the living things on this planet are too complex to have been explained by evolution and, therefore, they must be the work of a supernatural designer creator working outside of the laws of nature unidentifiable and not subject to detection, analysis, or identification.

So, as I said, ironically, intelligent design is somewhat less scientific in terms of the prediction it makes than scientific creationism, but it shares that core belief, and that is that design can be attributed to a supernatural designer or creator.

Q. I want to switch gears now and bring us back from the classroom, so to speak, to the classroom at Dover, Pennsylvania. I'd like to direct your attention to Plaintiff's Exhibit 124. Again, this is the four paragraph statement that was read to the students in January of 2005.

You indicated earlier that you did not -- you believed that this statement did not promote students' understanding of evolution in particular or science and biology generally. I'm wondering if you could comment a little bit more specifically about your views on this four paragraph statement. And perhaps we want to take it paragraph at a time?

A. Yeah, I was going to -- thank you very much. I was simply going to ask for the whole statement to be put up there. I'd be happy to discuss this statement with you in a number of ways. We could parcel it word by word and line by line, if you had the patience to do that.

But I think it's probably better to take it first a paragraph at a time and basically see what it says. Well, that first paragraph basically says, kids, we have to teach evolution whether we want to or not because the State of Pennsylvania requires us to.

The second paragraph says, oh, by the way, we don't really believe this stuff, it's a theory not a fact. There are gaps. There's no evidence. We're very skeptical of this.

The third paragraph said, by the way, there's another alternative really good idea called intelligent design, and we're going to provide you with curricular material and the book Pandas and People so you can explore it. And I say that because I note that, there's no statement in here that intelligent design is theory not a fact, that it has gaps which cannot be explained. Those are only pointed out for evolution.

The third paragraph says, basically we think this is a pretty good theory, and we're giving it our endorsement. The fourth one basically reminds students basically, go home, discuss this with your families, and reminds them again, oh, by the way, we have to test you on this stuff whether we want to or not because the State of Pennsylvania requires us to.

Now when I read this, and I try to think of how a student will react to this, what it basically tells students who have studied theory after theory and subject after subject and hypothesis after hypothesis in earth science, in physical science, in chemistry and biology, it says, oh, by the way, of all the stuff you studied, we want to warn you about just one of those things. And that one thing is evolution. We have to teach evolution whether we like it or not. We think it's pretty shaky.

There is this other theory called intelligent design which we think is on a very sound footing. Go home, talk it over with mom and dad, and, oh, yeah, remember, we have to test you on evolution.

Q. Dr. Miller, I'd like to focus your attention back onto the second paragraph. And this makes various assertions about evolution generally. And maybe we could go through that sentence by sentence.

A. Okay. I'd be glad to do that. The first sentence reads, quote, Because Darwin's theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered, closed quote. Well, it certainly is true that the theory of evolution is a theory. That's almost redundant. That's obvious from the terminology.

It continues to be tested. All scientific theories are continued to be tested. So to pick out evolution and say, by the way, it's a theory, and we're going to keep testing it, implies to students that really this is the only theory that we have to continue to keep testing. Other theories, they're fine. They're on sound footing. But this one, we have to keep working on.

Q. I'm sorry. From your textbook, evolution is not the only theory that is presented for 9th grade biology?

A. Of course not. And we talk about cell theory and the germ theory of disease. We even talk about the pressure flow hypothesis of phloem transfer. I've never seen a statement in the textbook saying, keep your eye on that special pressure flow hypothesis in phloem transfer.

This is the only theory people seem to be concerned about. The Dover statement, first of all, basically begins in this paragraph by calling special attention to just one part of the curriculum, and that is evolution.

Now the second sentence, the theory is not a fact. As far as that reads, that's actually a true statement. No scientific theory is a fact. That's not because we're sure of facts and we're not certain about theories. It's because theory is a higher level of scientific understanding than fact. Theories explain facts.

And if this statement said, no scientific theory is a fact, but rather, theories are based on facts and supported by facts, and theories explain facts, it would be fine. But by saying, the theory is not a fact, it essentially invites students to say, you know what, other theories might be factual, this one isn't. And that implication is incorrect.

The next sentence reads, gaps in the theory exist for which there is no evidence. I continue -- I have to tell you, I have read that statement hundreds of times, and I don't understand what it means by gaps in the theory. There certainly are elements in the natural history of our planet for which evidence is missing. There are pieces of our natural history that we don't know, just like there are pieces of our political, military, and human history that we don't know.

I can only trace one part of my family back to about 1850. I don't know what happened before that. That doesn't mean I couldn't possibly be here because I don't have any ancestors before 1850. It means, I don't have the whole story. Well, that's true about evolution as well. There are parts of our recent past that are gaps, that are missing, that we don't have the story.

But to say that's a gap in the theory strikes me as very very strange. There are missing pieces of evidence but not gaps in the theory. And then the last sentence, a theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations. Do you know what? That's fine.

And if evolutionary theory had been introduced in this paragraph by saying, evolutionary theory is a well-tested explanation for the origin of life that unifies -- for the origin of species that unifies a broad range of observations, I'd be saying, terrific, that's a very useful thing to tell students.

Q. As an author of a textbook, biology textbook for high school students, does this promote sound scienc education?

A. No, I certainly don't think it does. I think it, in fact, undermines sound scientific education in a number of ways. First of all, it misleads students into the relationship between theory and fact. Secondly, it undermines the scientific status of evolution in a way that it does to no other scientific theory as if to pretend to students, we are certain of everything we're going to teach in biology this year except for evolution.

And that certainly gives students a false understanding of evolution. And I think, as an experimental cell biologist, it gives them a false certainty of the rest of science, which is equally damaging. And then finally, to say that there are gaps for which there are no evidence, once again, is targeting evolution for a very specific purpose, and that is to create doubt and confusion in the minds of students about the scientific status of evolution and evolutionary theory.

Q. I believe you were here for the opening statements this morning?

A. Yes, sir, I was.

Q. The School District argues, you know, it takes a minute to read this statement. I haven't timed it. It takes about a minute to read this statement. What's the big deal? What's the harm in reading this to Dover School District students?

A. That's a very interesting point. And if they raised the issue, what is the harm in reading it, one might well turn around and say, well then why read it in the first place, if it makes so little difference, if it is of so little consequence? Then why have you insisted on doing this and why are you in court today?

The only thing I can infer from turning that question around is that the Dover School Board must think this is enormously important to compose this, to instruct administrators to read it, to be willing to fight all the way to the court. They must think that this performs a very important function.

Now turning it around back to my side of the table, do I think this is important? You bet I think this is important for a couple of reasons. One of which, first of all, as I mentioned earlier, it falsely undermines the scientific status of evolutionary theory and gives students a false understanding of what theory actually means. Now that's damaging enough.

The second thing is, it is really the first attempt or the first movement to try to drive a wedge between students and the practice of science, because what this really tells students is, you know what, you can't trust the scientific process. You can't trust scientists. They're pushing this theory. And there are gaps in the theory. It's on shaky evidence. You really can't believe them. You should be enormously skeptical.

What that tells students basically is, science is not to be relied upon and certainly not the kind of profession that you might like to go into. And thirdly, that third paragraph that we haven't talked about very much right now points out that intelligent design, which has implicit endorsement in this statement, because we don't hear that it's just a theory, we don't hear that it's being tested, it sounds like it's a pretty good explanation. It's available. It's good stuff. And students will understand immediately, as anybody does who reads Pandas, that the argument is made on virtually every page of Pandas for the existence of a supernatural creator designer.

And by holding this up as an alternative to evolution, students will get the message in a flash. And the message is, over here, kids. You got your God consistent theory, your theistic theory, your Bible friendly theory, and over on the other side, you got your atheist theory, which is evolution. It produces a false duality. And it tells students basically, and this statement tells them, I think, quite explicitly, choose God on the side of intelligent design or choose atheism on the side of science.

What it does is to provide religious conflict into every science classroom in Dover High School. And I think that kind of religious conflict is very dangerous. I say that as a person of faith who was blessed with two daughters, who raised both of my daughters in the church, and had they been given an education in which they were explicitly or implicitly forced to choose between God and science, I would have been furious, because I want my children to keep their religious faith.

I also want my students to love, understand, respect, and appreciate science. And I'm very proud of the fact that one of my daughters has actually gone on to become a scientist. So by promoting this, I think, this is a tremendously dangerous statement in terms of its educational effect, in terms of its religious effect, and in terms of impeding the educational process in the classrooms in Dover.

THE COURT: I was going to break about 3:00, Mr. Walczak. Is that good for you. If you want to move onto another line of questioning, this might be a good time to do it.

MR. ROTHSCHILD: I'm done, Your Honor. I would just move the exhibits into evidence.

THE COURT: Is there an objection, first of all, to any of the exhibits?

MR. MUISE: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: We'll get those in the record when we come back from the break. I think we have a list. Why don't you compare notes with Liz and make sure that we've got a comprehensive roster of the exhibits. We'll take at least a 20 minute break or so. So my friends in the jury box who look like they could use a little caffeine, this will give you ample time to patronize the local establishments and get some caffeine and come back. That not a knock on you, Doctor.

THE WITNESS: I knew I should have shown more slides, Your Honor.

THE COURT: No, it's perfectly all right. We'll see you back here shortly. We'll be in recess.

(Whereupon, a recess was taken at 2:55 p.m. and proceedings reconvened at 3:24 p.m.)


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