Yaroslav XXX and Professor Raj Kalaria endorse Watchtower's anti-evolution stance
Yaroslav Dovhanych and Professor Raj Kalaria endorse Watchtower’s anti-evolution stance

Watchtower has a long and ignominious history with its forays into the realm of science.

Charles Taze Russell’s 1914 film The Photo-Drama of Creation advised cinema audiences that Earth was assembled in 49,000 years, that Noah’s Flood was caused by a Saturn-like orbital ring of water collapsing, and that getting rid of bacteria would be a good thing.

Russell’s ugly legacy of pseudo-science was continued by his successor Rutherford, who used the organization’s publications to spread his own brand of quackery.

The January 16, 1924 edition of the Golden Age proclaimed that: “It has never been proven that a single disease is due to germs.” And in his 1928 book Reconciliation, Rutherford denounced human evolution as an “insult to Jehovah,” instructing his followers: “it becomes the duty of the Christian to refuse to consider the man-made evidence offered by so-called scientists.”

Watchtower has continued to embrace this head-in-the-sand, backwards approach to science ever since. And the latest JW Broadcasting episode, hosted by Governing Body helper William Malenfant, indicates an escalation by the organization in its war against evolution, which it recently dismissed as a “doctrine” and a “false teaching.”

“One widespread false teaching that blinds people to the truth about God is the doctrine of evolution.” (Watchtower study edition, Oct 15, 2013, pp. 7-11)

The April 2016 broadcast sees Malenfant introducing a new feature in which scientists who happen to be Jehovah’s Witnesses are interviewed about their views on evolution. First up is Yaroslav Dovhanych, a Russian zoologist, followed by Professor Raj Kalaria, a brain researcher at Newcastle University in England.

Predictably, in their attempts to refute evolution, both Dovhanych and Kalaria demonstrate that their grasp on evolutionary theory is tenuous at best.

DNA: proof of creationism?

“The evolutionary theory, in my opinion, quite reasonably argued that there is no creator,” says Dovhanych, describing his pre-creationist experience. “[It argues] that everything was shaped by a series of random changes and combinations.”

Firstly, we can be grateful that not everyone who believes in God also dismisses evolution. A number of prominent scientists, including Francis Collins (Director of the National Institutes of Health in America), are able to reconcile both.

Secondly, natural selection is far from a random process. When successive generations of an organism are shaped by their surroundings, and an environment selects which attributes are best suited to reproduction and survival, what we have is cause and effect. Evolution is a guided process, even if natural forces rather than a supreme celestial supervisor are doing the guiding.

Dovhanych enjoys a moment of contemplation
Dovhanych enjoys a moment of contemplation

 

“When I studied nature through this lens [of the evolution theory],” Dovhanych continues, “I began to notice things that contradicted the theory of evolution. I found things that couldn’t have been formed by natural selection.”

Conveniently, none of these “things” are cited for our edification. However, Dovhanych at least teases an example that suggests his “contradictions” may not have stood up to much scrutiny.

“As I started to wonder about this, whether there is a creator, I began to discover more facts contradicting the theory of evolution,” he muses. “Can anyone say that some computer programs appeared simply by chance? In contrast, evolutionists would like us to believe that DNA was formed by evolution. To illustrate, say you take some letter blocks, pour them on to the table, and the Encyclopaedia Britannica is formed. There is an even smaller probability that DNA originated by evolution.”

Creationists like Ray Comfort (left) and Ken Ham (right) are renowned for trying to blur the lines between chemical and biological evolution
Creationists like Ray Comfort (left) and Ken Ham (right) are renowned for trying to blur the lines between chemical and biological evolution

Dovhanych thus resorts to the age-old trick, repeatedly used by the likes of Ken Ham and Ray Comfort, of trying to lump biological evolution together with chemical evolution, or abiogenesis. He is hoping that nobody will consider the gaping difference between the two, namely that living organisms are imbued with key components for natural selection, i.e. reproduction and scope for genetic variation.

Chemicals do not normally have the same potential; thus the idea of complex self-replicating chemical structures like DNA arising spontaneously is much harder to comprehend, even if it is not theoretically impossible. Thus, to discredit the proven science of biological evolution, Dovhanych bypasses it altogether by invoking the implausibility of DNA originating through natural forces.

Though abiogenesis is not established science in the same way as biological evolution, its seeming implausibility diminishes the more you consider the observed natural tendencies of certain chemicals to form complex structures when subjected to various repetitive processes, such as rising and falling tides, the warmth and cold of day and night, or frequent geo-thermal eruptions.

Rather than behaving like stationary “letter blocks,” under the right conditions chemical compounds can be drawn to each other in remarkable ways, as the following video explains…

Once you factor in hundreds of millions of years of natural experimentation (scientists think it took the first billion of Earth’s 4.5 billion-year history for the earliest life-forms to develop), and infinite possibilities for experiments to go wrong, you begin to understand why abiogenesis is a worthy area of study. Its investigation certainly makes more sense than throwing in the towel because life must have originated through an originator who is above any questioning over his, her or its origin.

The idea of DNA arising naturally will certainly come to sound even less silly if, as many astro-biologists predict, life is found to be naturally occurring elsewhere in our solar-system. After all, if Earth was seeded with plant and animal life solely for the enjoyment of humans, for whose benefit did God repeat the trick on the dusty plains of Mars, or in the frigid, sub-surface waters of Europa?

The Creationist Professor

Slightly less sophisticated in his efforts to discredit evolution was Professor Raj Kalaria, who stuck to misrepresenting evolution as “random,” and as contradicted by “phenomenal complexity.”

“We were taught about evolution of life, and this was just part of the curriculum,” said Kalaria. “At the time there were no other options, as it were. God did not come in the picture at all, or God creating the heavens and the earth, as it were, never came in the picture.”

One wonders whether Professor Kalaria is equally indignant that he was never given “other options” when germ theory, or the theory of gravity, or the theory of plate tectonics came up in class.

Professor Kalaria busies himself at Newcastle University
Professor Kalaria busies himself at Newcastle University

 

“The brain is an extremely complex organ,” Kalaria continues. “And brain is what we are; what I am, what you are. No brain, no life. It’s as simple as that.”

But for 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, including Kalaria, it isn’t as simple as that. Kalaria supports the belief that human life can continue once a brain dies so long as its owner surrendered all critical thinking skills, and pledged full loyalty to a group of religious leaders based in New York.

Professor Kalaria believes that Christ will rule in heaven with 144,000 former humans who are no longer in need of their brains
Professor Kalaria believes that Christ will rule in heaven with 144,000 former humans who are no longer in need of their brains

In Kalaria’s mind, some people will be able to live as spirit creatures in heaven without brains, and these kingly entities will rule over a future Earth populated solely by Jehovah’s Witnesses, many of whom will be resurrected with new brains to replace the ones they lost at death.

Not very scientific, is it?!

“We started looking at the nerve cells themselves in terms of the volume and the number,” says Kalaria, suggesting certain colleagues at Newcastle University join him in his bold conclusions. To Kalaria, anti-science views probably have more weight when nameless others are said to concur.

“And it’s phenomenal that in that small area of the brain there are some 1.4 billion neurons. So the number of connections that make us, synapses they make, is phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal. And so when you think about the complexity of all that, how is it possible that that is just by random chance? It has to be guided.”

Scientists would agree that it has to be guided, but they would not agree that the “guide” is a supreme entity who is keenly interested in what we do when we are naked, or how tight our pants are, or whether we take part in an immersion ritual. Natural selection, as explained, is a guiding force. And it is more than capable of producing “phenomenal complexity.”

In fact, when one truly grasps natural selection, a feat Professor Kalaria is yet to accomplish, one appreciates why complexity does not negate evolution. Pointing to complexity as evidence of God is otherwise known as “God of the gaps” reasoning, i.e. “I don’t know how this happened, therefore God did it.”

As convenient as this line of reasoning may be, it has an achilles heel – namely a failure to subject the creator himself to similar scrutiny. As Richard Dawkins observes in The Blind Watchmaker:

“If we want to postulate a deity capable of engineering all the organized complexity in the world, either instantaneously or by guiding evolution, that deity must have been vastly complex in the first place. The creationist, whether a naive Bible-thumper or an educated bishop, simply postulates an already existing being of prodigious intelligence and complexity. If we are going to allow ourselves the luxury of postulating organized complexity without offering an explanation, we might as well make a job of it and simply postulate the existence of life as we know it!”

The University closes ranks

I decided to reach out to Newcastle University to find out whether it endorses Professor Kalaria’s stance on evolution, and found myself in a rather frustrating email exchange with the Media Relations Manager at the University’s Faculty of Medical Sciences. After much to-ing and fro-ing, an official statement was finally forthcoming…

Dear Lloyd,

Please see the comment below.

A Newcastle University spokesperson said: “Academic freedom, which is written into Newcastle University’s statutes, allows all academic staff freedom to put forward opinions that do not necessarily represent the University.”

Best wishes,

That, I suppose, is a polite way of saying: “we don’t want to be associated with what this guy is saying.” Even so, I felt the University could be more emphatic given Kalaria’s suggestion that his views are shared. I replied…

Thank you…

Forgive me, but do you have any comment on Professor Kalaria saying “we,” thereby implying the support of his colleagues for his findings?

And does Newcastle University support Professor Kalaria’s anti-evolution views, or not?

The answer?

Dear Lloyd,

We have nothing further to add other than the statement provided.

Best wishes…

Though I can understand the representative’s awkward position as someone who shares a payroll with Professor Kalaria, I do feel saddened that, in this age of political correctness, Newcastle University is not able to be more robust in distancing itself from a piece of propaganda aimed at indoctrinating an entire generation to view science with suspicion.

newcastle_2571059b
Newcastle University has been less than emphatic in distancing itself from Kalaria’s comments

Thanks to his Hindu upbringing, Professor Kalaria may be enjoying the benefits of a decent education that allows him to live comfortably. But the vast majority of Witness children who will be made to absorb his anti-science rhetoric will have no such option.

They will be steered away from higher education, and taught to frown upon the scientific consensus wherever this conflicts with the ideas of Sam, Steve, Mark, Geoff, Dave, Tony and Gerrit.

Raj Kalaria may be entitled to his own opinion, but he also has a moral duty towards the impressionable minds who may be swayed by his credentials.

By using his reputation as a university Professor in this way, even implying the support of his colleagues, Kalaria has made himself an accessory in the exporting of backwards, ignorant, anti-science dogma at the expense of the intellectual development of countless children who will take his words seriously. And Newcastle University is happy to shrug its shoulders and effectively say: “it has nothing to do with us.”

More to come?

Goodness knows what pseudo-scientist double-act will replace Dovhanych and Kalaria as the next would-be demolishers of Darwin’s theory in future videos, but we can be reasonably assured of two things: (1) they will have a fundamental lack of understanding of evolutionary theory, and (2) they will be willing to jettison their credibility in furtherance of Watchtower’s creationist agenda.

We can at least be grateful that if the Watchtower cult were considered an organism, the habitat of the internet age is proving far less conducive to its survival than the age of ignorance from whence it spawned.

 

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Further reading…

Related video…

176 thoughts on “Science-denial to be a regular feature of Watchtower’s monthly JW Broadcasting episodes

  • April 16, 2016 at 7:31 am
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    Thanks for sharing your research and expertise. Your thoughts are much appreciated.

  • April 16, 2016 at 7:46 am
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    Just gonna say it this article is very pro atheism in some of its satire. Given the fact that comments by those that support creation regardless of Watchtower’s view would likely not even be shown here, how is this article not contradictory to the rules of this site itself?

    • April 16, 2016 at 8:12 am
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      This entire site IS almost fully atheistic,and yes,it is contradictional.The author isnt even a scientist,but pretends to.

      • April 16, 2016 at 8:32 am
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        You don’t need to be a scientist to understand evolution, nor do you require a college degree to do research and understand it.

        I felt the description of JW’s view of evolution was accurate. The Society has a long record of misquoting scientists to further their own view on creation.

        Whether you are a creationist or evolutionist, hurling derogatory comments at the author is juvenile at best. It is a missed opportunity to have an open dialogue and exchange of ideas.

        Critical thinking…it’s not for everyone.

        • April 16, 2016 at 6:39 pm
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          Well put. I enjoy reading the different opinions from the authors and the replies from the readers. One of the reasons I left the organizations was so that I could learn how to think on my own and that involves being open minded. Whether I agree with it or not I thoroughly enjoyed the article.

      • April 16, 2016 at 11:02 am
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        Jesus was not a scientist but some scientists like these one believe he created everything!!

    • April 16, 2016 at 8:21 am
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      It isn’t contradictory, because the site owner can do what he pleases with the site.

      Do you have any evidence to refute the position that evolution is a fact and that creationism is easily refuted with logic, reason and facts?

    • April 16, 2016 at 8:23 am
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      Really enjoyed this article Lloyd!

    • April 16, 2016 at 8:38 am
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      This article isn’t pro-atheism. It is written from an admittedly atheist perspective (I cannot help that, being an atheist), but it is first and foremost an article on science and Watchtower’s denial of it. I acknowledge people’s right to believe whatever they like, and even cite an example of a pro-evolution scientist who is also a believer in God. This article is absolutely in harmony with our website’s policy on religious neutrality.

    • April 16, 2016 at 12:14 pm
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      Not pro atheism, pro evidence. That evolution occurs is undeniable. Evolution and god’s existence are unrelated.

    • April 16, 2016 at 4:14 pm
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      I think Lloyd made it clear that you don’t have to pick one of the other, as Francis Collins is both a believer and an “evolutionist.” This may be a contradiction for you, but there are others who don’t share that view.

      I’m not sure how the article is “pro atheism.” It does make a fun of a few points of JW teachings, such as references to tight pants (this is something of an inside joke if you aren’t familiar with JW TV). But I’m not sure how it is “pro atheism.” Unless you’re equating being pro-evolution with being pro-atheism? If so, the two don’t actually go together. They are consistent, but you don’t have to be pro-evolution or even pro-science to be an atheist.

      • April 17, 2016 at 5:46 am
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        @Isaac
        I concur. The belief in God and the acceptance of the scientific feasibility of evolution are not mutually exclusive. To draw such an either-or conclusion has been called a “fools choice.” This reasoning has been long promoted by the Watchtower (along with other fundamentalist groups) and I think it has a tendency to stay with folks even after they escape the cult.

        I, for one, believe in a creator and accept the scientific reasoning supporting evolution. I believe the creator endowed is with the intellectual capacity to discover the “secrets” of the method of his creative works and to deny this process of discovery based on human bias is actually an insult to the creator. The study of evolution has actually helped me to have a greater appreciation for the creator not less.

        WS

        • April 17, 2016 at 5:47 am
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          Should state “endowed us” rather than “endowed is”

  • April 16, 2016 at 8:27 am
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    What’s up with this post exactly? Is it standing in support of evolution or being neutral? Anyway i still appreciate the scientific researches and viewpoints of others.

    • April 16, 2016 at 12:18 pm
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      Sorry, but supporting evolution does not mean you lack neutrality. The weight of evidence for evolution is immense.

      Would you treat Newton’s alchemy and modern chemistry on equal footing, and view those who give equal weight to each as being ”neutral”? Probably not.

      More information on this topic: https://theconversation.com/no-youre-not-entitled-to-your-opinion-9978

    • April 16, 2016 at 4:17 pm
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      I’m not sure how an article discussing the WTS’s treatment of the theory of evolution as lacking religious neutrality. Unless you equate evolution with atheism? Atheism has nothing to do with evolution. They are consistent, just as the theory of gravity or political ideas of secularism are consistent with atheism, but you can be an atheist without being pro-evolution.

  • April 16, 2016 at 8:42 am
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    you sound like you are preaching evolution,something that goes against your own rules of this forum.you also sound angry whenever ppl express a believe in God.av always agreed with everything else you say but here I beg to differ.

    • April 16, 2016 at 9:06 am
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      Preaching evolution? If I am guilty of that, then so is any respectable biology teacher.

    • April 16, 2016 at 9:38 am
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      This isn’t a forum, it’s a blog. And the “rules” apply to the comment section only. Ugh. Why don’t you pray for him to stop being an atheist?

    • April 16, 2016 at 4:19 pm
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      It seems like a lot of people leaving comments associate evolution with atheism? I’m assuming this is what’s happening. The two have nothing to do with one another. You don’t have to be a pro-evolution to be an atheist.

      If this isn’t the source of the confusion, then I’m not sure how the article violates any of the site’s rules on religious neutrality.

  • April 16, 2016 at 8:52 am
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    Lloyd do you have a scientific background? Somehow I don’t think you do. I am a JW that is by worldly standards highly educated. Went to school while I was JW and so did a lot of my family and friends. We are all attorneys, Nurse practitioners, engineers etc.. I actually know a lot if JWs that have some type of degree. All my children do. So not all JWs are poorly educated or listen to a bunch of tubby wind bags from Brooklyn who are soon to be moving into their new digs.
    What I learned about the theory of evolution back when I was in school (over thirty years ago) looks foolish and outdated today. And what they know today will probably look stupid years from now. My point is that we as humans don’t really know how we got here and probably will never know. I still like to hold on to the hope that God is out there somewhere and that someday he will step in a change things for the better. Although I have my doubts. At this point to me the belief in evolution is just about as tenuous as believing in a higher power.

    • April 16, 2016 at 9:05 am
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      Do you have anything specific in my article you wish you dispute, or is the fact that I am not a scientist your only argument against what I have written? If so, why not apply the same logic to the unnamed, presumably under-qualified writers of the Awake articles who misquote scientists in their efforts to refute science?

      • April 16, 2016 at 9:36 am
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        Not really an argument. Just pointing out the fact that you are just about as qualified as the writers of the Awake magazine.
        And I am very aware of how the writers of the Watchtower and Awake magazine parse writings of other people to obtain the point that they are trying bring out. One that comes to mind is an article on higher education a few years back where they parsed and misquoted articles from other publications to show how useless higher education is. My pet peeve with the tubby tight pants men.

        • April 16, 2016 at 9:46 am
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          Thank you for your honesty. Hopefully you understand that I am just as entitled to write about science as the Awake writers are, and I should be judged on the truthfulness of what I write rather than on my credentials.

        • April 16, 2016 at 9:50 am
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          @ Markie

          If you refute what Cedars has written, bring evidence to the contrary.

    • April 16, 2016 at 11:10 am
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      I think it is easier to believe in evolution than in “god of the Bible”!!

      Richard Dawkins describes it this way:

      “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

      Do you need to be a scientist to understand that? All you need is to open the Bible and get to know that Monster!!

      • April 16, 2016 at 6:18 pm
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        HJDD, well said, which is precisely why the J-Dubs and most other extremist religions are the Monsters that they are, in the image of God! These parasitic organizations are driven by such qualities in their leadership.

    • April 16, 2016 at 4:26 pm
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      It isn’t about Lloyd’s expertise. It’s about his evidence and his arguments. Same for the WTS. You would certainly be well within your rights to check his facts (which is true even if he were an expert) and to post any errors you find. But what is wrong with someone doing the research and writing an article about it?

      To put it another way, how many letters or comments have you left for the WTS with this complaint? The Society has written many articles on subjects that lie far outside the expertise of its writing department. With all due respect, I don’t think you’re being very fair here.

      • April 16, 2016 at 8:36 pm
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        I notice that Lloyd invites all readers of articles on this site to let him know if they notice anything that is incorrect and he will correct it. Does any similar statement appear on JW.Org or any of it’s publications? I think the unspoken statement for JW’s is ‘if you notice anything wrong and don’t shut the f–k up about it, you’re dead’
        I think we can cut him a bit of slack and do our own research if we have any doubts about what he’s written, even though it’s not hard to get his point.

    • April 16, 2016 at 7:03 pm
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      If you ARE a JW…what are you doing on this sight? You evidently are searching for something, and if you are you HAVE to open your mind to ideas other than what the WT teaches.

      • April 18, 2016 at 8:50 am
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        I always think it’s funny when a supposed JW comes on here and defends or disputes. IF you are looking at this site, you are NOT a true JW. You just broke the rules and have committed a disfellowshipping offense.

    • April 18, 2016 at 10:03 pm
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      @ marky,

      You also need to question the 7 men from Brooklyn, when they released the silver sword, they did several things:

      Why, they kept the bible crew writers un-named?

      Why, the total bible pages are 100 pages shorter?

      Why, the new softer tone of language is used, and removed from the original tone of language?

      By why of these critical and extreme changes, does this discredit the authority of the message?

      Why the need of change now, if, the end is so close?

      Please explain, in detail if you can, awaiting your response.

      Peace out,

  • April 16, 2016 at 9:13 am
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    “‘The evolutionary theory, in my opinion, quite reasonably argued that there is no creator,’ says Dovhanych, describing his pre-creationist experience.”

    And, yet, even Darwin himself wasn’t willing to leave the Creator out of the entire equation. He himself wrote the following in his conclusion, as found on pages 428-429 in the sixth (1872) edition of his “On the Origin of Species”:

    “Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual. When I view all beings not as special creations, but as lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled. …

    “These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

    http://darwin-online.org.uk/converted/scans/1872_Origin_F391(online)/1872_Origin_F391_456.jpg

    http://darwin-online.org.uk/converted/scans/1872_Origin_F391(online)/1872_Origin_F391_457.jpg

    • April 16, 2016 at 9:16 am
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      Thank you for demonstrating that accepting evolution does not automatically negate belief in God. I personally struggle to square the circle, but the same cannot be said for everyone, for which I am grateful.

      • April 22, 2016 at 4:03 pm
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        You’re welcome. I, however, can relate to your situation. Been there; done that. :-)

  • April 16, 2016 at 9:16 am
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    Is the article simply preaching evolution for evolution sake or is it addressing the WT’s stance against evolution?

    I understand that this is an anti-JW/anti-Watchtower website with the objective of refuting, debunking, countering, exposing WT teachings/practices/issues. Isn’t evolution a WT issue? Is it that the only WT teachings/practices/issues that should be refuted by this site are the ones that do not pertain to the WT’s stance on evolution? Is it that the site must only deal with all other WT issues except the WT’s teaching on evolution?

    • April 16, 2016 at 9:27 am
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      Thank you dee. I think some people are happy for me to debunk false watchtower teachings only so long as these are not teachings they’re still clinging to. ;)

      • April 16, 2016 at 8:39 pm
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        You got it, Cedars!

    • April 16, 2016 at 11:33 am
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      Greetings to all:

      D2,

      One key word – “False teaching”, was not mention. When you go to court to defend yourself, you must prove your case. Without a shadow of a doubt. The expression ‘the Truth will set you free, not, ‘untrue or false teaching’.

      It’s been said perhaps, our planet earth may have had 3 up to 5 phases (billions of years) of evolution. This makes sense with all the recent discoveries, human, animal & rock formations dated over 100,000+ some billion years ago.

      Teaching evolution?

      Teaching facts!

      Peace out,

    • April 16, 2016 at 4:33 pm
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      “Is the article simply preaching evolution for evolution sake or is it addressing the WT’s stance against evolution?”

      It seems clear to me that is simply addressing the WTS’s stance against evolution. Lloyd would have to go a lot further than this is he wanted to “preach evolution.” It systematically lists the Society’s points and simply refutes them. Many parts of evolution aren’t even mentioned.

      So how is he “preaching evolution?”

  • April 16, 2016 at 9:52 am
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    Can’t say that I am educated enough to come to a thorough understanding of the process involved, however I do know that matter equals power and power equals matter. So, the Big Bang, as it’s called, which scientists agree happened could not in any sensible understanding arrive out of nowhere but I’m willing to be educated.

    • April 16, 2016 at 10:11 am
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      Which is why Gary scientists don’t claim the (horribly named) Big bang arrived out of nowhere.

      • April 16, 2016 at 11:16 am
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        Ahh, do they offer an explanation?

        • April 16, 2016 at 4:40 pm
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          They do offer some, but you’re going to have to do your own research to uncover them. Google is your friend if you’re interested in doing that for yourself. :) If nothing else, you might try looking into references about a book called “A Universe from Nothing.” Much of the book is really about the history of physics, so it may not be worth purchasing it. But you will find many discussions about it online. There are other articles and videos all over the place as well.

          One big issue that seems to throw people that is worth mentioning here is this: The physical laws you are used to simply don’t apply during the creation of the universe. Especially since current thinking suggests that there is another kind of existence – they used to call it an “omniverse” but this term has fallen out of favor – in which the laws you are accustomed to simply don’t work. Cause and effect, time, all of these are qualities of this reality. If you can’t let go of these ideas, you will simply find yourself shaking your head at the current thinking in physics.

  • April 16, 2016 at 10:34 am
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    I agree with the sites creator having the right to express
    his personal beliefs. No one is forced to agree with his
    views, which can not be said of the organisation that this
    site was set up to expose.

    No comments expressed here are neutral, every one is
    weighted one way or the other. Fence sitting is a
    stagnant position, no conclusion or truth can be achieved
    by adopting it.

  • April 16, 2016 at 10:35 am
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    Interestingly, when I was in high school, my Biology teacher who was a Catholic nun, stated that she believed that both creation and evolution are possible as both could have occurred at the same time or creation could have preceded evolution.

  • April 16, 2016 at 10:37 am
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    Some commenters apparently reserve the righ to be both anti-JW and anti-science (for like it or not, evolution IS the seen as the process by which life unfolds by nearly all scientists working in the relevant fields). But for a site that presents general criticisms of Watchtower ideology, this topic must be as relevant as any other.

    Criticism is very much deserved. Sometimes it has been grotesquely obvious that Watchtower writers trying to refute evolution have only the very dimmest understanding of the subject they are trying to argue against. Once they claimed that eyes could never evolve because eye-less organisms wouldn’t realize that they should want to see! Apparently the Watchtower version of evolution is some kind of deliberate self-improvement whereby an organism tries to squeeze out an eye because it somehow had a hunch that ‘sight’ would be possible and desirable.

    Watchtower writers see ‘evolution’ not so much as a scientific theory as an elaborate atheistic attempt to explain away the existence of complex lifeforms without having to admit that the Creator exists. Hence they so often confuse ‘evolution’ with abiogenesis, the ultimate origin of life from non-living chemicals. Obviously there are, and maybe always will be, unanswered questions about the exact origin and shape of the very first, primitive molecular replicators. (It is pretty hard to explore what happened on a MOLECULAR level several BILLION years after the event.) But as pointed out by Cedars, ‘evolution’ proper does not deal with abiogenesis or the ultimate origins of life; that is a seperate field of scientific enquiry.

    In Watchtower literature we have seen funny illustrations of tall buildings hovering in thin air (for instance, page 40 in 1985’s Life – How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation?) This is meant to illustrate how evolution has no proper ‘foundation’ because the question of abiogenesis has not been fully answered. In fact, evolutionary theory proper only deals with how life unfolded and developed once it was somehow here. So if one is somehow a happier person for assuming that the first cell was magically poofed into existence by Jehovah, Odin or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, this would in no way make ‘evolution’ proper collapse.

    Like so many Watchtower writers, Kalaria is apparently content to point to this or that complex feature of biology and then declare that ‘evolution’ could never accomplish this. The underlying idea seems to be that if evolution could produce anything at all, it would only be exceedingly crude and simple systems. Why should that be so? Apparently simply because that is the gut feeling of creationists (including the Witnesses, though they don’t like to be called creationists).

    Kalaria speaks of how computer programs supposedly can’t come into existence on their own. Actually evolutionary algorithms have been employed with considerable success. Striking ‘software robots’ with complex behaviors have been evolved simply by letting the program make random changes in their structure, then selecting the ones that somehow performed best and repeating the process through many generations.

    One example is how ‘walkers’ were evolved simply by letting the program randomly string together cubes representing ‘muscle’, ‘bones’ etc. Some quite hillarious gaits evolved with NO human programmer intervening, just by letting the evolutionary algorithm fumble its way through the realm of possibility by making entirely random changes and then building on anything that worked ever so slightly better:

    • April 17, 2016 at 6:10 am
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      Watchtower’s reasoning that evolution has no foundation because abiogenesis has not been fully understood is poor argumentation (something that is common in Watchtower writings). It could be considered “red herring” argumentation.

      Much of science comes to us in pieces and we learn it a bit at a time. To discount the scientific evidence that does exist for evolution simply because not all the pieces are there is very shortsighted.

      Isaac Newton discovered that Force equals mass times acceleration (F=ma). However, this formula does not hold true when we approach speeds near the speed of light. Scientists have since revised the formula to take into account the velocities in question. But did the fact that Newton lacked the full picture negate his work up to that point in time? Hardly. So similarly, arguing that evolution is somehow negated because we do not at this time have the full picture is foolish and shortsighted.

      WS

  • April 16, 2016 at 11:17 am
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    Good article! I think the WTS needs to quote some strong points from this article as it does for other respected critical thinkers….

    *** w09 10/1 p. 12 Is It Possible to Build Faith in a Creator? ***
    the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche famously proclaimed that God is dead, but he was afraid of the moral vacuum and the possible harm that might result from atheistic thinking. Were such fears justified?
    Author Keith Ward notes that as mankind entered the modern era, barbarism did not decrease but instead “reached heights never previously imaginable.” Nor have experiments with atheism freed mankind from the failings of human nature, such as corruption and intolerance. These facts have led many thinking people, even atheists, to recognize the moral value of belief in God.

    For more from jw.org , consider this link: http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/l/r1/lp-e?q=w09+10%2F1+p.+12

  • April 16, 2016 at 12:22 pm
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    Even if this were true, it has nothing to do with demonstrating that evolutionary predictions do not hold.

  • April 16, 2016 at 12:43 pm
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    I have my own personal belief in God, it doesn’t resemble the Yahweh character. I believe in evolution because it has finally been conclusively proven, our DNA is like a book, a recording of our genetic past. Our DNA proves our evolution conclusively, the argument about evolution is over.

    There’s three kinds of people. People who will never discover the evidence our DNA gives of our evolution, those who will learn later, and people who already know now. The conclusive evidence our DNA provides will not concealed forever, it will come to light, and people will laugh at creationists just as they now mock those who believed in “spontaneous generation” in the 1600’s.

    This cannot be denied, people will know one day and the evolution debt will end.

    What will happen to those who believe in holy books is anyone’s guess. I’m sure some will always believe things, no matter how silly so religion will always exist in some form.

    The JWs make the mistake of confusing the organization with god, they say all the time that to question the slave is questioning god. If they say something it’s from god.

    People who believe holy books deny what god is saying to them if you ask me, they are men worshippers as much as ANY JW, because they place divine inspiration on books written by men.

  • April 16, 2016 at 1:19 pm
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    The Bible and ancient religious manuscripts does not explain exactly or correctly reveal how or what way our Earth was created similarly scientists did not accurately either.

    There is so much evidence in space and in our physical world this must have Creator(God) who set up this all.
    That’s all I can say on this subject.Shabat Shalom.

    • April 16, 2016 at 7:28 pm
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      And who created that creator? After all, an extremely complex being that is powerful enough to create a universe had to come from somewhere. Did you even read the article? Did you even see that “God of the gaps” paragraph? That’s exactly the stance your taking, which was refuted.

    • April 16, 2016 at 9:05 pm
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      Kamil…..just because science doesn’t give us the full answer..yet!..it doesn’t naturally follow that we need to fill in the gaps with whatever takes our fancy. That’s not how it works. Can you imagine a group of scientists huddling around a bible when they encounter a problem. Religion is CONSTANTLY changing it’s views to fall more into line with scientific discoveries as they happen. They HAVE to. If they didn’t, they would simply become far too irrelevant and disappear. The WT has been doing just that all along. Imagine trying to get away with saying “it’s never been proven that germs cause disease” today, or even ” there’s no such thing as rabies”. There’s even a group in America who have squeezed the dinosaurs onto the Ark. DNA evidence is showing us our true origins, whether we like it or not.

  • April 16, 2016 at 5:38 pm
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    Lloyd, this article is amazing. I really appreciate the time and effort you dedicate to your activism. You are waking people up on a daily basis while exposing the watchtower every step of the way.

    Please let me know how I can further support your work.

  • April 16, 2016 at 6:21 pm
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    Now children stop argueing whether or not God exists we will never know. I doubt his/her existence so that but even so it needs to be brought out that the Watchtower has nought to do with any God and Lloyd does it in spades…

    • April 16, 2016 at 10:21 pm
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      Fair enough, Jeff, but you know what? If God appeared before me right now, the first thing I’d do is smack him fair in the chops. Bloody maniac! He could receive intense counselling by dozens of professionals 24/7 for 20yrs and his ego issue would still be at the fore. I’d rather die than spend eternity kissing that butt. If anybody wants to venture that I just don’t know Him…..wrong! The problem is…I do.

      • April 17, 2016 at 12:45 am
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        E.haaah…

  • April 16, 2016 at 6:26 pm
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    Y’no I should really proof read my comments before posting them…

  • April 16, 2016 at 7:25 pm
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    What a brilliant article Lloyd. Great work indeed. I particularly loved the way you clearly demonstrated the vast problem with the university’s response In the conclusion, calling it out for its misguided political correctness…not distancing itself from the professor has wide reaching ramifications which will ultimately not help them, their mission to scientifically educate, or society in general in the longer term. Very incisive and thought provoking article for some I should think!

  • April 16, 2016 at 9:49 pm
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    One Watchtower finding that always blew my mind was how black skinned humans were so easily explained as being descendants of Cain and having the same ‘mark of Cain’ inherited black skin.

    • April 18, 2016 at 10:13 pm
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      @R,

      So this means your a racist?

      You have been publicly reproved, and marked. In this blog. Lol,

      Peace out,

  • April 16, 2016 at 9:58 pm
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    Thank you for a well researched and rational article Lloyd.Thank god for science.

  • April 16, 2016 at 10:59 pm
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    Something interesting in JW’s Kingdom Halls and homes, Professors and Peasants around the world are taught the same way to finally believe in one manipulative tool: JEHOVAH.

    For sure, the day Professor Kalaria was baptized. he had to answer to two questions about which WTS says:

    “The first baptismal question asks the candidate if he has repented of his former life course and dedicated his life to Jehovah to do his will. This question emphasizes two vital steps that must be taken prior to baptism, namely repentance and dedication” (w06 4/1 p. 22 par. 5; http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/l/r1/lp-e?q=w06+4%2F1+p.+22+par.+5 )

    “The second question asks the candidate, first of all, if he understands that his baptism serves to identify him as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. After undergoing immersion, he becomes an ordained minister who bears Jehovah’s name. This is both a great privilege and a serious responsibility. It also puts the one baptized in line for eternal salvation, provided he remains faithful to Jehovah (w06 4/1 p. 24 par. 11; http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/l/r1/lp-e?q=w06+4%2F1+p.+24+par.+11 )

    Without this background information, you will never understand the purpose those so called scientists are serving. They are imprisoned the say way Peasants over here are imprisoned having answered to the same questions.

    • April 17, 2016 at 10:11 am
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      You are so enlightened, obviously not one of those “peasants”.

  • April 16, 2016 at 11:26 pm
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    Thank You lloyd :)

    It’s allways a great pleasure to read you comments.

    You show where the creationnist failed to explain .. the lack of knowledge about “Evolution Theory”.

    but I would say one thing today WT and JW attack “Darwin Theory”, but “Darwin” is over :) in fact with genetics and molecular genetic we must speak about “Synthetic Evolution Theory”.

    Why WT and GB didn’t speak about this Theory ? Simply because if GB speak about it, they have 2 choice
    – In one hand “genetic” is a Lie and they must assumes that all clue in Scientific area of Police are false then no DNA clue are true.

    – In the other hand , they accept ( I dream :) ) genetic is true, and here , they must accept that evolution is a fact
    through ERV-k by example, or that we are all mutant :)

    Today GB give 2 “””scientifics””” that visibly didn’t know more than child about Evolution Theory. but the worst, is that University didn’t not explain really where these persons are wrong. In a certain point of view, it’s a shame for “freedom of conscious” and for the Science that these university pretend to give to future students.

    Greetings

  • April 17, 2016 at 1:15 am
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    Many Christians believe in special creation. Creationists do not dismiss science or argue against it per se. They interpret the evidence differently. I have personally met half a dozen scientists who are Christians. These are not crackpots but outstanding men in their field who have practically contributed to scientific progress such as Dr Stuart Burgess. They are chemists, biologists and physicists. The “orthodox” scientific establishment can be a bullying tyrant and is a massive multi billion pound behemoth, when one considers the educational institutions, foundations and the media spin offs. Sure, these men do not spout off Watchtower propaganda but they do believe God created the universe and do not believe in macro evolution.

    • April 17, 2016 at 2:37 am
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      Levi, I’ll be frank, you don’t understand evolution. There is no mystical barrier where micro evolution ends and macro evolution begins, preventing successive genetic variations from eventuating in new species. If there is such a barrier, it behooves your creationist heroes like Burgess to prove its existence. By proving that it is impossible for one species to evolve into another, Burgess would be recognized with academic acclaim and a Nobel Prize. He will get neither because he cannot prove his claims, and neither can you. Evolution happens, and it is happening all around us. You may be in denial because of your cherished religious beliefs, but I would thank you to not try using this website to spread your ignorance. It is also hypocritical of you to denounce science as a “massive multi billion pound behemoth” when the very device you are using to make the comment is a product of science. If science is so bad, turn your back on it entirely. Don’t cherry pick the parts of it that work for you, but actively try to denounce the parts that conflict with your religious bias.

      • April 17, 2016 at 7:40 am
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        When did Darwin invent the computer or smartphone?

        Science was invented by creationists.

        Please explain how electricity and technology would work differently if life was created vs evolved.

        • April 17, 2016 at 7:45 am
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          Most early scientists HAD to be religious, because religion came first. Religion is our first and worst attempt at explaining the world around us. That in no way makes science religious. The principles of science and religion are polar opposite. Religion rests on dogma and tradition – science relies on free inquiry. It constantly challenges itself to be proven wrong and relishes in new discoveries that contradict previous understandings. Those who cherry pick science by partaking of its fruits where it benefits them while dismissing (and even evangelizing against) the bits that don’t align with their religious/emotional bias are acting hypocritically.

          • April 17, 2016 at 8:17 am
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            That’s your opinion.

            Technology works the same whether life evolved or was created.

            You stated that evolution has nothing to do with abiogenesis.

            Palentology, a historical science, has nothing, to do with engineering.

            I would argue that engineering or invention is actually rooted in a creative mindset.

          • April 17, 2016 at 8:22 am
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            Evolution is not my opinion. It is proven science whether I accept it or not. The fact that you don’t know this is not my problem.

            My point about technology, which you seem similarly determined to overlook, is that it is dependent on our advances in scientific knowledge, advances that also help us to understand that life evolves.

            And I didn’t say abiogenesis has “nothing to do” with abiogenesis. If I did, I mis-spoke. There is a definite connection between the two, but whereas one is a hypothesis (abiogenesis) the other (evolution) is accepted and observable science. You cannot disprove evolution by attacking abiogenesis, but that doesn’t stop wave after wave of creationists from trying.

        • April 18, 2016 at 10:24 pm
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          @G,

          Amish.

          Study the Amish culture, they are the true survivors in our time.

          They use no modern appliances, however, there meats are kept cool, and meats are cooked well done, no pink.

          They use no modern medicines, but they cure all illnesses, buy use of natural herbs and for the UK, ‘join me for hot tea why don’t ya’.

          Your answer is Amish. The real deal.

          Peace out,

      • April 17, 2016 at 9:09 am
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        I didn’t mean to imply evolution was your opinion.

        Natural selection is testable. However a virus is still a virus.

        My point is science is not one field of study, there are different branches.

        Smartphones have nothing to do with palentology.

        Natural selection does not disprove a creator, but that doesn’t stop atheists from trying.

        • April 17, 2016 at 9:15 am
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          “Natural selection is testable. However a virus is still a virus.”

          I have no idea what that means. If it’s an attempt to separate micro from macro evolution, see what the web has to say about that particular piece of creationist trickery.

          “My point is science is not one field of study, there are different branches.”

          Nobody is disputing that.

          “Smartphones have nothing to do with palentology.”

          I have no idea what that means. And it’s “paleontology.”

          “Natural selection does not disprove a creator, but that doesn’t stop atheists from trying.”

          Nowhere in my article did I say that natural selection disproves a creator. Quite the opposite: I cited an example of a prominent Christian scientist who believes in natural selection and God.

          • April 17, 2016 at 2:46 pm
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            “If science is so bad, turn your back on it entirely. Don’t cherry pick the parts of it that work for you, but actively try to denounce the parts that conflict with your religious bias.”

            With that statement you are attempting to lump all of the sciences together, and then you accuse those that disagree with evolutionary theory as “cherry picking”.

            Paleontology (is that better?) has zero to do with computer technology. Your all or nothing stand is a stretch.

            “I have no idea what that means. If it’s an attempt to separate micro from macro evolution see what the web has to say about that particular piece of creationist trickery.”

            Natural selection is testable. Viruses are used as evidence for evolution. How is it trickery to say that viruses stay viruses after natural selection occurs?

          • April 17, 2016 at 10:50 pm
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            gs, whoever you are, you really are determined to warp your own and other people’s arguments, aren’t you!

            “With that statement you are attempting to lump all of the sciences together, and then you accuse those that disagree with evolutionary theory as ‘cherry picking’.”

            Creationists lump evolution with abiogenesis with the intent of disproving one or both. I am not “lumping” all sciences together with the intent of disproving science. I am saying that it is hypocritical of you and others to cherry pick which parts of science you support, deny, or derive use from based purely on what does or does not agree with your religious/emotional bias.

            “Paleontology (is that better?) has zero to do with computer technology. Your all or nothing stand is a stretch.”

            Computer technology has not developed independent of scientific progress, but as a result of it. Paleontology also relies to a large extent on applying the scientific method to expand our understanding of the world around us.

            “Natural selection is testable. Viruses are used as evidence for evolution. How is it trickery to say that viruses stay viruses after natural selection occurs?”

            It is extremely disingenuous of creationist apologists like yourself to accept that things like viruses can evolve, but that there is some mystical boundary preventing small incremental changes from eventuating in new species altogether given sufficient time. This “trickery” is routinely debunked by scientists. You would do well to research the fact that micro and macro evolution are one and the same rather than foisting your lack of knowledge on us.

            With all that said, I’ve grown tired of untangling your attempts to use this website as a vehicle for your ignorance, so I’m temporarily suspending you from commenting. If you ever feel like NOT spewing anti-science propaganda, please email us and we will see about reversing the block.

  • April 17, 2016 at 2:41 am
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    The God’s Organization is attacking the world once again:

    (Genesis 11:5-7) . . .Then Jehovah went down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men had built. 6 Jehovah then said: “Look! They are one people with one language, and this is what they have started to do. Now there is nothing that they may have in mind to do that will be impossible for them. 7 Come! Let us go down there and confuse their language in order that they may not understand one another’s language.”

  • April 17, 2016 at 3:09 am
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    cappytan says;this is not a forum bt a blog and the rules apply to comment section.and to pray for the blogger to stop being atheist.well,i have always visited this blog on th premise that it seeks to debunk what the wt purports to teach as bible truth while its not.jws are ppl who have hav been misled by th gb about what th bible teaches as truth.i understood th blog to giv x-jws a voice where th gb denied them.it is on tht basis I visit this blog ie expose wt lies and reveal bible truths,and that’s what led me to disassociate frm the bogus org.if you have found it necessary to expose the bible itself as a fraud,then start addressing the whole xtian faith bt don’t hinge it on wt.agreed,th blog is for you to write what you want and we only make comments based on what you say you stand for.other than that I appreciate th work yu do n this blog was instrumental in my leaving th ‘truth’.

    • April 17, 2016 at 4:07 am
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      @rahab, “addressing the whole xtian faith” is Jehovah’s Witnesses job. We can’t fight in the same battle field…

      *** w92 11/15 p. 7 The Cross—Symbol of Christianity? ***
      The Bible shows that Jesus was not executed on a conventional cross at all but, rather, on a simple stake, or stau·rosʹ. This Greek word, appearing at Matthew 27:40, basically means a simple upright beam or pole, such as those used in building foundations. Hence, the cross never represented true Christianity.

    • April 17, 2016 at 11:13 am
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      This blog exposes the falsehoods in JW beliefs. Now, how is it Lloyd’s fault that one of the JW beliefs he exposes as false (creationism) is also one that you still hold? Shouldn’t ALL JW beliefs be subjected to the same scrutiny?

  • April 17, 2016 at 3:10 am
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    dear loyd
    i have always loved and respected your posts. but at this point you are pushing persons to adopting atheism. something you preach against on this site

    • April 17, 2016 at 3:11 am
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      Are you able to explain why I am pushing people to atheism while giving an example of a respected Christian scientist who also embraces the reality of evolution?

  • April 17, 2016 at 5:07 am
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    Regarding the mechanics of the Evolution, there are several varying points of view. I tried looking into this as much as I could find time for, and I’m still going on. I also asked around, from people who have a deeper understanding. Natural selection seems to be only ONE possible way to explain what we have today as complexity. I think there are so many other influences, like dominance of an alelle, random drift, mutation rate, epigenetics, molecular evolution are all different mechanisms and it seems a lot depends on the size of the populations and other changes that may occur in time. I’m not sure if everything we see is the result of the natural selection only.

    There are a lot of comments I came across about abiogenesis too. Some people say, to have a single protein you have a precise order of 1000+ amino acids (unless I got it wrong). If you have 20 amino acids, a precise order of 1000 would make a phenomenal chance. Of course, you’ll hear such comments from ID defenders, but it’s true that the simplest living thing is extremely complex.

    At this point, I think the whole question about Evolution and Abiogenesis are still an open subjects and more surprises are to come.

    People often talk about a Boeing 747 being assembled in a junkyard. To me, more I delve into the science more it looks like that it’s not a Boeing 747 that is assembled, but a house of cards, which don’t fall apart … And it’s not the real mystery to me – the real mystery is the junkyard itself.

    • April 17, 2016 at 6:11 am
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      Scientists are still exploring the exact mechanics of how evolution works, but the fact that evolution is real is beyond doubt, and certainly not an “open subject.” Pointing to disagreement between biologists on the mechanics of evolution as an argument against it is like pointing to disagreement between physicists on the mechanics of gravity as an argument against gravity. Abiogenesis, as I explain in the article, is something different.

      • April 17, 2016 at 8:01 am
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        Cedars,

        Arguing mechanics of gravity doesn’t disprove gravity.

        Arguing evolution (the mechanics) or creation (the mechanics) does not disprove, life. We all agree life exists.

        As to physicists.

        They believe that roughly 95% of the universe is made up of dark matter and dark energy. Names are attached to these substances, but physicists do not know what these things are, but they believe they exist.

        They also believe the whole universe came into existence in less than a nanosecond.

        Physicists also believe in a multiverse, which cannot be tested, to explain why our universe supports life.

        • April 17, 2016 at 8:06 am
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          Wow, you really are in an evangelical fervor when it comes to pushing your ignorance on us, aren’t you?

          Actually the multiverse is just one theory being explored by physicists. It is by no means proven science in the same way as evolution.

          And what I said about gravity is apt. Gravity is the force by which objects with a greater mass attract objects with a smaller mass. The precise mechanisms by which this works at a sub-atomic level are still being explored and investigated, but the theory of gravity is not questioned. By the same token, the precise mechanisms of natural selection are still being investigated, but that does not mean that there are any doubts over evolution. It might be helpful if you go and do some research on what “theory” means in a scientific context, and spare us from having to untangle any more of your misconceptions and false arguments.

          • April 17, 2016 at 9:31 am
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            I thought proofs only exist in mathematics and logic.

            I was under the impression that evolution had evidence.

            What’s interesting is science only allows for natural explanations for, everything.

            Supernatural explanations are never allowed.

          • April 17, 2016 at 9:35 am
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            “I thought proofs only exist in mathematics and logic.”

            Based on what you’ve already written, forgive me if I struggle to credit you as any authority on logic.

            “I was under the impression that evolution had evidence.”

            Then you were under the correct impression.

            “Supernatural explanations are never allowed.”

            Correct.

          • April 18, 2016 at 5:55 pm
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            This line of discussion reminds me of this cartoon:
            http://star.psy.ohio-state.edu/coglab/Pictures/miracle.gif

            A case in point is that no one alive today, or for that matter for many centuries, has ever seen an honest to goodness miracle occur. But we have seen natural phenomena occur. So yes, science does look for a natural cause, which can be tested based on the facts available. If we open up scientific research to miracles that cannot be tested, then no accurate conclusions can be made. All we have is wild speculation and conjecture.

            WS

      • April 17, 2016 at 12:01 pm
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        I think any scientific subject that doesn’t have all aspects fully clarified is an open subject.

        • April 17, 2016 at 12:25 pm
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          Certain aspects of the precise mechanisms of how evolution works are indeed an open subject, but the fact that living things evolve is not. If you don’t believe me, Google it.

  • April 17, 2016 at 6:24 am
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    I always found it interesting that the Watchtower is so hell-bent against evolution, yet they argue that only a handful of species were on Noah’s Ark and somehow developed into the plethora of species that we find on earth today. For this to occur in a short 4,000 year period gives the theory of punctuated equilibrium a real run for its money.

    WS

    • April 18, 2016 at 6:39 pm
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      Greetings to all:

      @WS, @RG, @b a b y,

      Interesting comments. My question would be, if only the Bible were true? Then All the accounts, time-lines, could be proven as factual, however, it can not.

      You mention the man Noah, how many animals did he take into the ark? The answer – only a few, say 1,000 we all agree?

      Today, 4,000 years later we have, get ready for this figure:
      Believe it or not, there are about 950,000 species of insects. No one knows for sure how many species of animals exist on Earth. In fact, some 10,000 species of animals are discovered each year, with over one and a half million species already described. Reference from Wikipedia.

      Another question, where did they come from.? god stop creation over 6,000 years ago.
      We know the answer – Evolution.

      JWSurvey is not teaching Evolution, only the facts.

      If god stop creation over 6,000 years ago and deleted his fancy creation known as animals. And the man known as Noah gathered just a few hundred animals, where in hell did all these thousand and thousands new species discovered each year come from?

      It’s true or its not!

      Peace out,

      • April 18, 2016 at 8:09 pm
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        Good points Minion. Another area to consider is how did we get species that are only found on certain islands and continents? I mean, platypuses and kangaroos are only naturally found in Austrailia, but they would have had to have been on the Ark, right? How did it occur that they only live in Australia? Did they swim there from Mount Arat in the Middle East?

        Another area is the different breeds of dogs. According to JW dogma (no pun intended), all these different breeds are descended apparently from one pair on the Ark. Now, today there are dozens of breeds and sub-breeds. Some can no longer mate. A Great Dane and a Chihuahua cannot physically breed. How many more generations until they cannot genetically breed? At that point are they a new species? Is that evolution occurring before our very eyes?

        WS

  • April 17, 2016 at 8:09 am
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    Interesting comments back and for here. Both religion and science live in the same world but in many cases take a different approach to understanding the world around us.

    The religious view of Jehovah’s Witnesses in regards to origin-of questions is absolute and authoritarian. Jehovah God created Adam and Eve in 4026 BCE and flooded the entire earth in 2370 BCE drowning all air-breathing life, save for those inside the Ark. This truth is revealed in Genesis and is beyond any questioning, because it is God’s word. Any speculation here will be minor, such as how much did Noah know of lives of Adam and Eve.

    Thus believing Witnesses will speak of “truth” and “lies.” They’ll generally be impressed by arguments from authority. A “scientist” who agrees with the Witness view is comforting not so much in what they say, but because their label gives them authority. Views contrary to the Witness narrative are attacked on this basis. The believing Witness challenges the scientific minded critic to produce “truth” as they know it. Alas that is not possible, because that is not how science works.

    Science seeks to understand a holistic, logical and consistent view of the world. But is never able to produce a final epiphany of absolute truth. Gaps in knowledge will forever exist and all knowledge gained will forever be tentative. Is Evolution a fact? No. It is much more than that, actually! A “fact” is just a data point, like say the cranial capacity Neanderthals (1500-1800 cm^3 as per Wikipedia). A scientific “theory” is much more, it brings together a group of related facts to explain some aspect of nature and from this make predictions. In the case of Evolution it is a theory that seeks to explain the origin of species. It postulates a common ancestor and points to closely related species such as a Horse and Donkey that can even still mate to produce a Mule.

    Scientific theories are constrained to the body of facts they deal with. The theory of evolution for example is silent on how stars or planets are formed. And, as has been pointed out many times, it is silent on origin of life and of course makes no predictions on the existence of God. Once a theory has been created science seeks to kill it. Reading Darwin’s Origin of Species you’ll soon see that is exactly what he did, in as many different ways as he could think of he set out to find reasons why his theory couldn’t work. Often doing meticulous experiments and data gathering to see what could be found.

    The way to kill a theory is to find a body of facts within the domain of theory that can’t be explained. Or create and run an experiment that produces an outcome the theory predicted should not happen. It is for reasons like this we now accept Einstein’s theory of gravity as a deeper understanding of nature than Newton’s.

    Merely pointing to gaps or lack of complete evidence is not a valid approach. All scientific theories have gaps and is in fact the areas that are researched. Asking the theory to explain things beyond its domain then noting the silence is not valid either. To say “Lucy” (Australopithecus afarenis) tells us nothing about human evolution because we cannot know if she produced offspring is nonsense! The theory of evolution has never made such claims — either that it can tell us which individual fossils produced offspring or that such an event would be crucial to the theory.

    As mentioned believable scientific theories are holistic, logical and consistent. In contrast you’ll notice in regards to criticism of theory of evolution produced by the Witnesses it is merely enough to raise objections. Those objections need not be consistent. Thus, you’ll notice folks, including the Witnesses, quoting the microbiologist Michael Behe, without mentioning that he accepts Darwinian evolution. He merely postulates irreducible complexity means initial forms of biological systems must have been intelligently designed. That humans and apes share a common ancestor — he believes.

    If one is searching for absolute truth a certainty about purpose, history and moral right and wrong — the scientific approach may initially frustrate you. A religious faith is much more capable of producing a comfortable narrative about how it all happened and what it all means.

    But for some of us, who are now atheists, we have found an ability to be comfortable with the fog. We appreciate the wonder and beauty of the natural world even while knowing their is still much to be learned. Yet for some of us, we still long to connect to the religious experience. This is true in my case, but for others, I can see why they are happy to leave Jehovah’s Witnesses and live a completely secular life.

    Cheers,
    -Randy

    • April 17, 2016 at 8:22 am
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      Great observations Randy, thank you!

    • April 17, 2016 at 4:13 pm
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      Nice comment. It is completely logical, and your last sentence says it all. That’s exactly how I feel.

    • April 18, 2016 at 12:57 pm
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      Randy. One thing for sure there is PLENTY of Fog in Jehovah’s witnesses even if you are a full fledged JW.

  • April 17, 2016 at 11:14 am
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    Both the theory of evolution and belief in creation use inductive arguments rather than deductive. Both interpretations of how life appeared, adapted, survived and/or mutated fall into 2 logical fallacies;
    1, A ‘false dichotomy’, there could be a 3rd explanation.
    2, A ‘Texas sharp shooter’. both camps paint a bulls eye around their observations and shout ‘I’m right’
    However watchtower has been found dishonest in quoting scientists on many occasions. Great essay Lloyd as always.

  • April 17, 2016 at 11:54 am
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    I am a reluctant atheist, I would love to believe in a benevolent
    God who has a personal interest in my welfare. Someone to
    turn to in times of distress and who has planned for me a happy
    future beyond this life.

    Alas, reason based on observable facts rule this out.- Millions
    born dead or malformed, people destroyed by tsunamis,
    earthquakes. Why would such a God listen to my prayers when
    people in the holocaust cried out for his help, but were still herded
    into the gas chambers. No deliverance from the fiery furnace there.

    I’m not great on science, but one thing that is indisputable is
    Natural Selection, therefore, rather than a Divinity it seems it is the
    Environment that shapes our ends.

  • April 17, 2016 at 12:24 pm
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    WTS is desperately fighting sciences as it is going to collapse as science evolves. A company built on selling sins and fear of death has no choice: Fighting science is a must for its survival….

    *** w02 6/1 p. 9 Who Is to Blame—You or Your Genes? ***
    SCIENTISTS are hard at work to try to find genetic causes for alcoholism, homosexuality, promiscuity, violence, other aberrant behavior, and even for death itself. Would it not be a relief to find that we are not responsible for our actions but are merely victims of biology? It is human nature to blame someone or something else for our errors.
    If the genes are to blame, scientists hold out the possibility of changing them, eliminating undesirable traits through genetic engineering. The recent success in mapping the entire human genome has given such aspirations new impetus.
    This scenario, however, is based on the premise that our genetic endowment is, indeed, the villain responsible for all our sins and errors. Have the scientific detectives found enough evidence to make a case against our genes? Obviously, the answer will profoundly affect how we see ourselves and our future. Before examining the evidence, though, a look at mankind’s origin will prove enlightening.

    • April 17, 2016 at 4:10 pm
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      It was a typical canned public relations response. However, the university should look into it further if it has any academic integrity.

  • April 17, 2016 at 10:34 pm
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    Is Yaroslav Dovhanych a Russian zoologist? Is he a pure Russian? I am sorry to hear that as WTS wrote…

    *** w64 2/15 p. 104 par. 1 Of Which God Are You a Witness? ***
    ANY God that is a real God ought to show proof that he is a God. He ought to have at least two or three witnesses that he is a God, or even the only God that there is. The atheist today recoils at the very suggestion that there is a god and proudly exclaims: “I am the witness of no god!” An Associated Press dispatch dated Seattle, May 6 of last year, reported: “Major Gherman S. Titov, the Soviet astronaut, proclaimed his disbelief in God today. He said he saw ‘no God or angels’ during his seventeen orbits of the earth. ‘Up to our first orbital flight by Yuri Gagarin no God helped build our rocket,’ he said. ‘The rocket was made by our people. I don’t believe in God. I believe in man, his strength, his possibilities and his reason.’ Major Titov expounded on his materialistic faith after he and his wife had spent nearly two hours touring the United States science exhibit at the Seattle World’s Fair.”—N.Y. Times, May 7, 1962.

    It is sad things have changed…

  • April 18, 2016 at 8:11 am
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    Science and Religion have been at each others throats for centuries. Many scientists have been crucified and put to death by religious leaders for telling the truth about certain scientific explorations. Remember the Pope centuries ago believed the earth to be flat. Only until scientists figured that the earth was round.

  • April 18, 2016 at 8:24 am
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    You make us laugh (cesar and his band). Sometimes you say you are with God and against JW, but here you prove that you are in fact, against God, that you do not believe in him as creator. you insult God by saying that he did not create but that the heavens and the earth arrived by evolution, not by Creation.
    Why are you using the bible if you don’t beleve in him?
    you are fighting agains God.

    • April 18, 2016 at 8:57 am
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      Baby, aren’t you disfellowshipped yet? I mean, really, you read and comment on an apostate site. Don’t spout off your religiousness here – just the fact that you are here shows what a hypocrite you are.

    • April 18, 2016 at 7:20 pm
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      @ B a b y,

      Explain and prove all facets in detail and I will gladly return to the Kingdom Hall.

      My question would be, if only the Bible were true? Then All the accounts, time-lines, could be proven as factual, however, it can not.

      how many animals did Noah take into the ark? The answer – only a few, say 1,000 we agree?

      Today, 4,000 years later we have, get ready for this figure:

      Believe it or not, there are about 950,000 species of insects. No one knows for sure how many species of animals exist on Earth. In fact, some 10,000 species of animals are discovered each year, with over one and a half million species already described. Reference from Wikipedia.

      Another question, where did they come from.? god stop creation over 6,000 years ago. According to the bed side story book – the bible.
      We know the answer – Evolution.

      JWSurvey is not teaching Evolution, only the facts.

      If god stop creation over 6,000 years ago and deleted his fancy creation known as animals. And the man known as Noah gathered just a few hundred animals, where in hell did all these thousand and thousands new species discovered each year come from?

      It’s true or its not!

      Peace out

  • April 18, 2016 at 8:44 am
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    As I read the comments I am learning something important about myself. My mind is still indoctrinated. I realize I have an emotional negative reaction towards some topics. I have an emotional reaction regarding abortion, evolution and blood transfusions. Personally I feel abortion is murder but I won’t force my view on anyone else. I was against blood transfusions until my husband needed them. He has an ulcer and he had lost so much blood that when they pulled his lower eye lid down there was no redness only white. He filled out paper work explaining the risks of blood transfusions. The blood was screened for diseases. The paper work explained he would feel week for a month while white cells died and were replaced by his own cells. Even though he felt weak he was up walking around. He felt full of life and he no longer felt like gravity was pulling him into the ground. It was a good experience. I’m happy about it. Now I’m having an emotional reaction towards evolution. My mind is feeling insulted. I think that is amazing and creepy. I am learning my life long indoctrination stops my mind. Causes me to mentally walk away from what I want to reject without thought. That’s from indoctrination. That’s interesting. So I don’t care about evolution. I don’t even want to hear the facts about it. At least I realize what I’m doing. It makes me laugh at myself. That’s what indoctrination does. It closes minds. Interesting.

    • April 18, 2016 at 9:30 am
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      Thank you for this fascinating comment Kathryn. It’s rare you find someone with the honesty to admit that they are being closed-minded on something. I agree it’s understandable after what many of us have been through.

  • April 18, 2016 at 9:25 am
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    I liked the closing comments of the article, that the Watchtower Society may not survive in an ‘Information Age’, but thrived in an ‘Ignorance Age’. This is evolution taking place in and of itself! It’s not that hard to understand that species and organizations will ‘evolve’ with the external pressures of their surroundings or cease to exist. Looks like Watchtower will need to ‘evolve’ quite a bit more to survive the pressure with the onslaught of information that this and many other sights are bringing to bear on it.

    As I have said before, the reason the Watchtower organization hates higher education is because education and information is its worst enemy. Yep. We’re seeing an evolution take place right in front of us. They keep people inside ignorant, afraid, isolated, and mentally beaten more and more to fend off the ‘attack’ from the surrounding world itself. Ignorance and isolation cannot continue in this day of high information exchange. They demonstrate this with their latest ‘defense mutation’ JW.org. The Watchtower has a date with extinction if it doesn’t fundamentally change and soon. The Watchtower may have to downsize drastically into something like the Scientology cult to isolate itself, because the Watchtower leadership can’t keep up their crazy ruse much longer.

    Well, that’s my ‘evolved’ thought after almost three years removed from a very evil and controlling organization.

    • April 18, 2016 at 4:46 pm
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      Searcher;

      I agree with you absolutely. With all the multi-million dollar lawsuits staring them in the face the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Inc. will move all of their monies and properties over to JW.org.

      This will be done to confound any other law suits remaining as they will not be able to attach the assets of the defunct WBTS as it will certainly “evolve” into JW.org.

      However, this seven-headed, lumbering, dumb, dinosaur will continue to face extinction if, after its metamorphosis into JW.org, continues with its same ignorant stances on pedophilia (two witness rule), higher education, and flawed end time chronology.

      As always a very informative article Lloyd which causes all of us to exercise the greatest muscle of all, our brain.

  • April 18, 2016 at 9:58 am
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    I know that ” proof positive is not always proof” – we dont have to look for proof of either evolution or creation . What is interesting on the astronomical level is that we have for the fist time proof of the existence of other planets around other stars , it challenges the idea that Earth is the only place where life exists — it basically shoots human notions of theology in the foot – that the biblical god was only limited to earth. My other rational is if god a god exists he could have put other life on other planets — yet Mars and Venus are lifeless worlds , so the more life in other planets would double for an existing creator. But we have to subtract how many lifeless worlds like the fermi paradox are their , as such may point to the rarity of life , proof a biological evolution.

    • April 18, 2016 at 11:02 am
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      Fermi’s Paradox states that if extraterrestrial civilizations are common in our galaxy, then we should have been visited, colonized, or at least heard from them by now.
      Your answer to Fermi’s paradox is that the rarity of life in the rest of the universe points to proof of biological evolution.

      There are other interesting answers to Fermi’s paradox: The author of the article at
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/01/lucky_us_turnin093011.html

      makes the point that one answer to Fermi’s paradox is that we are alone because whoever created the universe decided that the Earth should be the only habitable planet with all the proper protection and environmental benefits it needed to become the home of humankind and so there is a supernatural reason we are here.

      Even if this may be the case, it still doesn’t rule out the possibility of biological evolution as you have stated.

      • April 18, 2016 at 11:23 am
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        As someone else stated:

        The odds of everything being right for life here on earth are indeed astronomical but so is winning the lottery. The English lottery is 45,000,000 to 1. But someone does eventually win it.

        There are billions of star systems with planets in the universe, and while most of them don’t have the right combination,
        it looks like we have won the jackpot.

      • April 18, 2016 at 11:52 am
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        If there are beings capable of interstellar travel, then it may be that they are evolved enough on a moral level that they have some sort of prime directive not to interfere with the development of life on a planet as primitive (by their standards) as ours. I realize I am straying into the realm of Star Trek here.

        WS

        • April 18, 2016 at 12:16 pm
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          WS – unless their desire is “To Serve Man”……Twighlight Zone realm. :)

          • April 18, 2016 at 7:10 pm
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            @MS, @WS

            Or how about, the movie “soylent green” with the leading actor the man known as “Moses”. The movie filmed on location at Warwick, NY.

            Peace out,

        • April 18, 2016 at 12:23 pm
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          It seems there are many possible answers to Fermi’s Paradox……..how courteous, obliging, thoughtful and noble of those extraterrestrials not to interfere with us………hopefully we won’t get any unwelcome visitors from an older more advanced civilisation, whose sun is on its last leg, and who have their eyes on our blue, green, lush planet as their next home.

          • April 18, 2016 at 12:58 pm
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            The chances of other civilisations being out there are huge but unfortunately they will be bound by the same laws of physics as we are. Time and distance is the problem.

          • April 19, 2016 at 6:52 am
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            Outandabout;

            You are correct. The laws of physics work far across our universe. The other civilizations may be hampered by the fact that they don’t have a ‘warp drive’ to carry them faster than the speed of light. That is the limit, making contact even rarer.

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