Watchtower AGAIN misquotes scientist to argue against evolution – and this time, it’s personal!
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Biologist Rama Singh has written an open letter to the editor of the Awake magazine complaining about the way he was misquoted

Biologist Rama Singh has written an open letter to the editor of the Awake magazine complaining about the way he was misquoted

It has long been known that, when it comes to their efforts to discredit evolution, Watchtower writers are more than willing to utilize the dark arts of misquoting to get their point across.

In June last year I published an article about how the Creation book had been found to gravely misquote Paleontologist Niles Eldredge (among others) on the subject.

Watchtower took a magazine article where Eldredge talked about disagreement between evolutionists NOT meaning that evolution itself is untrue, and edited it to make it sound like he was conceding the exact opposite point. (For a full essay debunking the Creation book, click here.)

Now it seems Watchtower’s writers are at it again, this time in an anti-science issue of the Awake! magazine entitled “How Did Life Begin?

Arguing against a false proposition

The Awake! magazine wrongly assumes that evolution tries to explain how life first started

The Awake! magazine wrongly assumes that evolution tries to explain how life first started

The first thing worth noticing about this magazine is the way it mis-characterizes evolution as being an attempted answer to the question of how life first started.

This is a common “straw man” argument used by proponents of creationism to attack evolution by asserting that it tries to explain how life first originated, when this is simply not the case.

Evolution is the means by which living things change and develop over millions of years by natural processes that can be studied and understood (see video below).

Abiogenesis, on the other hand, describes the process of life arising from non-living matter, and it is a different field of study entirely. There is still a great deal of doubt and uncertainty surrounding abiogenesis, but evolution ceased to be debated among credible scientists long ago.

But Watchtower wants you to think that scientists ARE still debating whether or not life evolves, which is where biologist Ram Singh enters the picture.

Manufacturing controversy where there is none

The January Awake! magazine begins with the statement: “SOME might assume that a scientifically-minded person would pick ‘evolution’ and that a religious person would pick ‘creation.’ But not always.”

It then quotes Singh as saying: “The opposition to evolution goes beyond religious fundamentalism and includes a great many people from educated sections of the population.”

It is thus strongly insinuated that Singh, as a “scientifically-minded person,” is opposed to evolution. But, following subsequent investigation, it has since come to light that this could not be further from the truth.

Singh was approached by Misha Anouk (author of the German-language book “Goodbye, Jehova!” and editor of JWalumni.org) in an attempt to clarify matters.

A strong rebuttal

After being straightforwardly asked whether he agrees or disagrees with evolution and/or endorses the way he was quoted in the Awake! magazine, Singh had this to say:

“JW has indeed misquoted me and I do not agree with their article and its anti-evolution stand.”

So strongly were Singh’s feelings on the matter that he went on to pen a 500-word open letter to the editor of the Awake! magazine demanding that his quote be retracted and an apology printed. The scathing letter, which is reproduced in full on JWalumni.org, accuses the Awake! editor of “intellectual dishonesty” by “taking half a sentence out of context from my article on evolution.”

Witnesses offering the magazine in Hawaii

Witnesses offering the magazine in Hawaii

 

Out of context

Indeed, Singh’s original article from which the Awake! writers quoted bemoans and attempts to explain ignorance surrounding evolution. It certainly doesn’t portray evolution in a negative light or try to refute it.

Here is the paragraph from which the quote was taken (full paper available here):

The opposition to evolution goes beyond religious fundamentalism and includes a great many people from educated sections of the population, including biologists, nonbiologists, and the lay public. This essay will focus on the lack of belief in evolution in this latter group; opposition from religious fundamentalism has been covered in many places (Kitcher 1982; Futuyma 1983; Montagu 1984; Young 1985; Gould 1999; Dawkins 2006; Coyne 2009). There are several reasons why facts of evolution are not easily comprehensible by the general masses.

I think I can safely predict that Awake! will not be publishing a retraction or issuing an apology to Mr Singh, as much as this is owed him.

Awake’s deliberate attempt at deception, like so many other instances of its kind in Watchtower literature, will be concealed from the average Witness, whose only hope of uncovering it will lie in thorough, objective research on the internet, from which Witnesses are repeatedly dissuaded by their spiritual overlords.

But thanks to Singh speaking out on this matter, at least Awake! is acquiring the reputation for shoddy journalism, deceit and duplicity among the general, internet-savvy public that it richly deserves.

 

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106 Responses to Watchtower AGAIN misquotes scientist to argue against evolution – and this time, it’s personal!

  1. anonymous says:

    and to add to my last comment: I have listened to a lot of Youtube videos where scientists are calling “proof” of evolution by pointing to all these fossils that are supposed to be evolved from a different and lower life form but all a religionist has to do for an argument is to come back with is to say: “of course God would have created all the animal and plant life before he put man on the earth”. That argument to me, doesn’t disprove the Bible account and it makes their argument seem weak.

    Scientists admit that 99% of all the species on earth has gone extinct. All you have to do is look at the platypus. Nobody can explain the platypus.

  2. Maria says:

    It really something that they changed many things in their magazines/ books and even the bible to suit their own agenda. .. and Some JW are still in denial, the cover ups on GB Homosexuals and child molesters at Bethel/ KH
    ..joining the UN and ppl still belief that they ARE THE ANOINTED…smh, I’m sorry but if they were and are doing this things that would be big time Red flags to me, I had my doubts about them before, now for sure I know they are part of Babylon. .. smh and for those that let all theset things go, you all are guilty as they are… cause you are blind sheep as they say… just my opinion and that my fellow humans is so sad that you believe, just as some out in the world believe in our government. .. Ppl everywhere need to start opening your eyes, and the ones that have kids what kind of example you setting your kids in to believe in ppl that are the top GB that they hide all this and you lead them to believe they are anointed and cheat, lie, and commit fornications with same sex and children, especially the children part, it makes me sick how dare you put children under that kind of belief..double standards. .. “GB teaching do as I( Jehovah) say, not what we do ( hide)smh.sorry so long had to get this off my chest…thank u for your time.

    • Eze Chidi says:

      Its so pathetic that some people can’t make research before posting comments. JWs do not follow any man is group of people. Each JW is very intelligent and makes an informed decision. No child is forced to become a JW by his parents, each child ultimately hv to choose whom to worship. The GB are humans and never claim to be perfect, the strive just like every other JW to follow bible principles. Every religion on earth hv cases of misconduct and child abuse, it is not peculiar to JWs. the only different is that JW removes anyone who commits child abuse without repentance from their mist. this too is a Bible principle. The above article claiming that the author was misquoted is so misleading. in my opinion, the author agrees that there is large group if scientists who do not accept evolution. that’s what the awake was trying to say. Finally, JWs do not change any Bible or misquote any article

      • John Redwood says:

        Dear Eze Chidi

        I once believed as you did, and I never wanted to admit to myself that Jehovah’s Witnesses practiced quote mining, or that they covered up child abuse by virtue of their two-witness rule, or that they had any affiliation with the UN organization, or a hundred other subjects which we have covered here on JW Survey. In the end, you absolutely follow a group of people – from the Governing Body to your local overseers, and these men are all acting in harmony with what they are told rather than acting in accordance with their own consciences. It took me 46 years to wake up and recognize the truth. The good news is that I am awake, and as an organization, JW Survey does not disfellowship you for belonging to any particular religion or system of beliefs – rather we free you from the bondage to the JW organization which has misrepresented science since the inception of the Bible Students movement in the late 1800s.

        Only by studying facts, history and the reality of science will you ever wake up and recognize that this is simply another cult environment which is toxic and dangerous.

        As to the misquotations – you have not done your homework. The misquotes of scientists such as Dr Singh are so embarrassing for the JW organization that they are completely unable to defend themselves against these discoveries. In many cases they have simply deleted the publications involved to avoid further embarrassment. Among many examples are the “Creation Book” and the “Trinity” brochure. Any educated person who reads such materials knows immediately that the quotes and claims made were so outrageous that Watchtower faced extreme criticism so severe that the books were deleted from their own catalog.

        Watchtower has its back against the wall wheni t comes to science, and its beliefs are so incredible that they will soon be forced to further change their doctrine or risk further exposure as one of the most ignorant organizations in the face of the Earth. Even the Pew research studies for the United States clearly pointed out how woefully uneducated the average JW is, and the few who are educated are like the big fish in a small pond – they enjoy the attention, and they have compartmentalized their lives to the point where the absurd seems normal, despite some of these people having university degrees.

        I really feel sympathy for you, as I was once an indoctrinated Witness, and I humbly submit that I was wrong. I hope you come to the correct conclusion as well

        Sincerely

        JR

    • Eze Chidi says:

      ***JWs do not follow any man or group of people*****

  3. anonymous says:

    @Cedars, I am wondering why one of the comments I made yesterday is being flagged? Thanks

  4. anonymous says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ2LehsA1dk&x-yt-ts=1421914688&x-yt-cl=84503534&feature=player_detailpage

    I don’t know how to put a youtube video up here but if you copy and paste this url on your address bar, this is a really good comment by Christopher Hitchens.

  5. JBob says:

    The revelation point for this piece is highlighting that JW’s remain in a jihad mode, meaning that the final judgement depends on the results, which means will be honored and glorified if the result is to conquer and hold new recruits steadfast to the Faith and Truth. This Consequentialist view could be summarized by Machiavelli’s “The Prince” (Chapter 18) “For that reason, let a prince have the credit of conquering and holding his state, the means will always be considered honest, and he will be praised by everybody because the vulgar are always taken by what a thing seems to be and by what comes of it; and in the world there are only the vulgar, for the few find a place there only when the many have no ground to rest on.” (Broadview Press, 2012)

    In this mode, the elitist self-opinion of the Watchtower comes to the fore. Smug, arrogant, and unabashed pride in the collective effort. The collective can surround itself with a wagon train of lawyers while the lone academic author throws arrows until their quiver is exhausted or suffers death from exhaustion of time and finances.

    Is it fair? Is it justice? Doesn’t matter, because as the cliche states, “all is fair in love and war (jihad)”.

    The Broadview Anthology of Social and Political Thought: Essential Readings (edited by by Andrew Bailey and Samantha Brennan), p. 117, Broadview Press; annotated edition edition (February 17, 2012).

  6. JBob says:

    http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?command=download&id=660

    This link only proves that some scientists keep a healthy skepticism and open-mindedness regarding the theory of evolution and research into the development of scientific method in defining the origins of life. Only 50 years ago, the science community had to abandon the “steady state” theory in favor of the ‘big bang’ which has now become the “yo-yo” (or cyclical) cosmos theory. What can be an easy fallacy is to accept theories as fact, just as religious individuals substitute biblical myths as fact, when there are issues and gaps to be researched to refine the understanding of the origins of life. For example, when the theory of evolving origins of the cosmos is viewed as holistic, there are issues integrating how the timeline for geographic events (mantle crust movement) affected the fossil and life record. What we have discovered versus what was consumed and destroyed by geographic and extra-terrestial forces–a meteoric crater smashing footprints and fossils. A local flood washing away bone graveyards, or humanoids construction efforts destroying evidence.

    The point, scientists may object to evolution theory as an orthodoxy but doesn’t imply acceptance of the mythical origins, because for them it is not a binary issue but more of an open-ended question.

    At the same time, most Watchtower readers/believers do view this question as binary–God created, period. Any other belief is heresy and a rejection of the Divine. Yet, if the question is left open-ended, Watchtower reader could find themselves believing in Divine prime mover putting the origin of life into motion (a deist mode) then letting the rules of the closed system govern the results. Obviously, that sort of open-minded viewpoint has no availability in the belief system currently held.

  7. Man from the lions pit says:

    @JBob
    I like your last to two posts here so small addition to this mostly abandon topic from my side is:

  8. Peeping Tom says:

    @Man from the lions pit

    If you like information theory, here is a great talk by Dembski:

  9. Man from the lions pit says:

    @Peeing Tom
    thanks I will definitely take a look !

  10. patricia a. mcginly says:

    Tony Morris’ talk aka “tight pants” was the last straw for me. Thank you T.M. As your outlandish words helped , along with other craziness of the WBTS, to make me fully realize that I MUST remove myself from this hateful & terribly damaging group! Yes, thank you Tony Morris, your words set me free!!!

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  13. Amyah says:

    Hello Cedars… seems that the JWAlumni site is down and can’t find the letter wrote by dr. Singh… you know where I can read it?

    Thank you… and thank you for your awesome work