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

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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Further reading…

Related video…

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

  • January 19, 2015 at 10:45 am
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    I’d like to play devil’s advocate. As a point of clarity, I am convinced that evolution best describes our ancestry.

    Let’s look at the Singh quote as a simple statement of fact. Singh claims that people who are outside the typical fundamental religious community, people in acedemia, believe in creation over evolution. It matters not whether that statement is factual, it is Singh’s opinion.

    Watchtower believes the same thing, that there are people who are educated that are insightful enough, in their opinion, to reject evolution and accept creation.

    As such, this is not a misquote. Regardless of what the facts of people’s beliefs actually are, Singh and the watchtower agree on the point that there are educated people who believe in creation. The difference is that Singh views it as a problem, while the watchtower views it as a solution.

    The issue is transparency, though. The watchtower should have pointed out that Singh disagrees with creation. The watchtower also should have pointed out that the second source listed subsequently, Professor Gerrard, is a JW. That is very shoddy journalism, using a supporter as a source without identifying that fact.

    The watchtower is very one sided in its approach to topics. Very often it does not even offer a different perspective from the one that it is offering. If it does, it is provided, not through a neutral statement of fact, but through a distorted lens. Hence, they have glossed over the fact that their source disagrees with them. They have omitted the fact that their second source is not independent.

    Biased journalism. Biased results.

  • January 19, 2015 at 11:07 am
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    Misquoting or misunderstanding others happens on daily bases anywhere and this forum is just proved of it.One poster is misunderstand or misquoted by other contributor and than we feel that we have to explain ourself again or clarify.From this perspective as I wrote in my earlier comment I think Awake editor or WTS in general should be more careful and do diligence a side of legal rights is course of wisdom to contact the source & clarify the statement also get additional authorization even in case if its a public domain prior publishing.This approach should become a must “policy” at least for the one reason, to protect yourself about possible back fire.Doesn’t matter if this approach is a standard or not in publish industry nowadays.
    Personally I can’t say if it was deliberate misquote or lack of comprehension on the side of the editor team whatever the case is now its to late now its only a space for fair apology and time to take correction measures to avoid such case in future.
    The other point is debate of this forum about what is scientific or not.I can’t see how that this forum can solve or conclude this issue.The whole history if science didn’t came to unanimous decision to this day and hundreds or thousands of scientist from all over the world take one or other side or are somewhere between as so call agnostics and later they may join either side .Some of them are crossing form one side to other at times.Trends are changing and changes making trends.All of us we can choose and believe what we want or which camp we will join.But the true is that statement like :”All credible scientist believe in evolution” is far fetch from reality.

  • January 19, 2015 at 11:46 am
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    Thank you for posting this article. This has been a topic that has bothered me for a few years now after leaving the WT. They are continuously quote mining to prove their point rather than presenting a logical and coherent argument based on the facts. If the evidence was so evident and overwhelming regarding creation why would they feel the need to resort to deception? I recently did some research on the brochure “The origin of life…” and found some interesting things. On page 24 no source material was cited for the depicting of skull sizes of the fossils shown. I wrote the WT and was supplied the source material. There were two. One was too remote to locate. The other source I was able to locate through an online research database. What was presented as an illustrated teaching method in the brochure was no such thing. The college level book did not primarily teach through illustrations (they were secondary) but was rather a highly academic college level textbook. It was very misleading the way it was presented in the brochure. In the interest of intellectual integrity, If anyone is interested I would be more than happy to send you a copy of my correspondence with WT along with the academic material that the diagram was indirectly quoted from.

  • January 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm
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    When I was an active JW I wondered why belief in God was always contrasted with belief in science? Now that I am out (and learning about how science explains its current understanding through the use of the scientific method) I know why. The more science expands its understanding the more the bible is discredited. A familiar rehashing of WT phrasing I hear/read a lot is something like, “the bible is not a scientific book, but when it touches on matters of science it is remarkably accurate”. Really? Really? You must be joking, right? That is the best a WT apologist can come up with? The information they try to pass off as credible is, quite frankly, intellectually offensive.

  • January 19, 2015 at 12:14 pm
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    “I’m interested in speaking the truth – even if this comes at the cost of offending those like yourself who have been conditioned by cults to reject science.”

    Cedars, I’m not offended, and I don’t reject science. Rejecting a false theory is not rejection of science. But that’s a debate for another time and place.

    When you expose WT’s fallacies and misrepresentations, that’s constructive, and helps people who need help. But when you state that educational orthodoxy is incontrovertible, that’s a distraction.

    Please help people see the WT for what it is. The educational system does not need your help. They’re fully capable of defending themselves.

    • January 19, 2015 at 12:18 pm
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      As with your outrageous rapist analogy, I’m happy to let this latest comment of yours stand on its own merits.

  • January 19, 2015 at 12:28 pm
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    “I explain what the Scientific Method is … in my comment to Linda Cebrain”

    Excelsior, no you didn’t.

    You didn’t mention empirical evidence. It’s essential for establishing any theory.

    wikipedia.org explains the fundamentals of “Scientific method” and “Empirical evidence.”

  • January 19, 2015 at 12:32 pm
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    “As with your outrageous rapist analogy, I’m happy to let this latest comment of yours stand on its own merits.”

    Cedars, that’s the best you’ve got? Your debating skills are not as strong as you imagine.

    Please ban me so I can stop wasting time with you!

    • January 19, 2015 at 12:44 pm
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      I don’t need to debate silliness. It’s just obvious to any reasonable person. And unless you plan to go into full troll mode, I’d much prefer to see you continue to dig a hole for yourself rather than block you.

  • January 19, 2015 at 1:11 pm
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    You really should ban me. I’m no troll. I’m much more insidious than that.

  • January 19, 2015 at 1:41 pm
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    Not in any physical sense. Is that what you thought?

    Relax, I’m law abiding. I’m just warning you that your debating skills are no match for mine.

  • January 19, 2015 at 2:10 pm
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    @Anonymous& Shanti .Both of you ladies are both too intelligent for the Watchtower Organisation line of illogical reasonings that constantly contradict any one who can do research into the history of the organisation . Many of the Elders I have known have the I.Q. Of a MONKEY,… Sorry that’s an insult to monkeys !! I should have said the I.Q. of a Hedehog! The Elders can get very Prickly when asked to reason on GB logic !

  • January 19, 2015 at 2:31 pm
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    I think for you to say that some credible scientists do not believe in evolution is somewhat misleading. In fact, even in a lot of the watchtowers literature they have to be very clear to explain that the scientists they quote from do in fact believe in evolution. If even a small number of credible scientist believe in creation rather than evolution we would hear about it. It seems to follow that in the absence of those scientists, the watch Tower has to use misleading quotes and falsify information to prove their point.

  • January 19, 2015 at 2:41 pm
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    Please guys can we stick to the topic:)

    I got the impression that the article was about whether there has been intellectual dishonesty, bias reporting or deliberate misquoting to influence a persons thinking. Not an argument about what someone believes or doesn’t believe. All of this arguing just makes the jw feel smug if they were to read it.

    My issue with the watchtower on this is that it is controlling millions of undereducated peoples lives by dumbing down a scientists opinion to fit their propaganda model. It’s unethical, manipulative & patronising.

  • January 19, 2015 at 3:14 pm
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    Information terrorist. We adapt we survive. Evolution exists . Agreed.

  • January 19, 2015 at 3:27 pm
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    @found tobelies

    I’ve disagreed with cedars on several points in the past. But you’re not good at debate at all. First of all, even not personally liking cedars that much, you just look foolish. Evolution is a fact. He’s not talking about his beliefs. It’s a proven fact. He’s absolutely right at every point he’s asserted. The watchtower is using an aunt Sally, it’s positioning evolution as a explanation for creation. It’s not. That is two different things.

    And your rape analogy is horribly offensive. How you think anything about rape compares here is beyond me completely. I can’t even believe you’ve said much of what you’ve said.

  • January 19, 2015 at 3:31 pm
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    Thank you. I will take a look at it.

  • January 19, 2015 at 3:57 pm
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    @anonymous, about the languages: the many variations in languages are not as unlikely as you might think; they evolve… E.g. take “Afrikaans” which is an offshoot from (older) Dutch. Many of the words sound more or less similar, but still it is somewhat hard to follow for Dutch speaking people (and vice versa) and even harder to write correctly. Significant changes occurred in only a few hundred years; what might happen in a few thousand years?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afrikaans

  • January 19, 2015 at 4:07 pm
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    @ Grace … I also meant to include you in my praise to Anonymous & Shanti in your excellent logic of reasoning but also your politeness & tactfulness in debating your point of view. There is a saying you can win an argument but lose the person! But all three of you win the person!!

  • January 19, 2015 at 6:00 pm
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    Thank you Pickled Brain. I too look forward to yours, anonymous’ & other opinions. We’re all here to help each other through this whatever stage we’re at.

    My hope is that we can all contribute to those that might be going through the early struggles of trying to get their head around why they’re doubting. Knowing that something doesn’t sit right but are too scared to take a step back & look at the big picture. This readership is what helped me. If we can be supportive & respectful to each other then hopefully that helps others see that there is a life outside of the jw.org mind prison & that a person can live a happy balanced life.

    I’m almost through the Steve Hassan Book – Combatting Mind Control which I put off reading for several months until I was ready to take it in. I’m so astounded at how mind controlling this cult is & the parallels that it has with other destructive cults.

  • January 19, 2015 at 6:44 pm
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    Wow, there is so much that needs to be said after reading so many of the comments posted here that I don’t even know where to start.

    First off, I just want to say that the Watchtower organization thoroughly miseducated me concerning the theory of evolution, and I had to go through a complete re-education in order to get the right idea and the proper understanding about what a “scientific” theory actually is and what the theory of evolution actually seeks to explain. Much of what I learned…in fact, all that I ever learned about the theory of evolution came from the WT publication Reasoning from the Scriptures. (pp. 121-126) At the very outset, the Watchtower develops its argument and defense on a false premise, namely, that “organic evolution is the theory that the first living organism developed from lifeless matter.” It then goes on to bring into question the scientific validity of the theory of evolution, suggesting that those who believe evolution to be fact did not strictly adhere to the scientific method to reach this conclusion, taking quotes from scientific publications, three of which that were published in the early 1980s and one that was published in 1957, in an attempt to strengthen their argument and prove their point. They cook up the idea that there is widespread dissent within the scientific community concerning the theory of evolution and use this as a basis for why people should question and doubt the theory. This serves as an extremely effective tool for those who are already leaning toward disbelieving the theory of evolution. I encourage everyone to take a look at the WT publication and the information presented in it for themselves if you have not done so already.

    My awakening process began when I boldly decided to engage in an online debate with educated individuals who knew a lot more than I about the theory of evolution and science in general. I even utilized some of the WT quotes from the Reasoning publication in my defense, and my entire argument was totally destroyed in less than five minutes. I was directed to a website, http://www.talkorigins.org, where I received a proper education as to what the theory of evolution was all about. From that point on, I knew a lot of the information being presented in WT publications about evolution to be incorrect.

    It is amazing how many JW’s combine evolution, abiogenesis, and the big bang theory into one.

    @ anonymous

    Once again, some very excellent points to highlight. That is a superb example you provide at the very beginning demonstrating precisely how a quote can be taken out of context. I especially like your point about how those who are educated or knowledgeable in one area assume they are knowledgeable in other areas as well. Dr. Thomas Sowell addresses this common tendency among intellectuals in his book Intellectuals and Society.

    Thank you very much, Cedars, for all your hard work and always bringing this information to our attention. It is very much appreciated!

  • January 19, 2015 at 7:34 pm
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    @Shanti. Thank you for that nice compliment.
    @Gareth. I am just going on the fact that ancient languages were very complicated and a lot of those languages are even lost which says to me that it is unlikely that the first humans communicated by grunts and groans.

    Another thing is that unless there were many creatures or humans that were all made at the same time or maybe at different times, that they must have possessed a language all of their own since there are so many different and distinct languages in the world because children to speak the language they are born into. Otherwise, why would there be so many different languages? It’s not that I believe the Biblical account. If the Bible is correct, maybe the Bible writers came up with that explanation because they couldn’t think of another explanation for all the languages, even way back then.

    An interesting side thought. In a 1955 Watchtower article entitled “Jehovah’s Channel of Communication” on page 305, I found these interesting quotes:

    “Our forefather Adam, a brilliant perfect man who displayed the art of speaking with a wide range of vocabulary, became adequately equipped to serve as God’s first earthly prophet or spokesman. He also learned to record speech in written form. He was to serve as God’s earthly spokesman to all his offspring. By divine revelation through God’s line of communication, Adam was given an outline story of the creation of the heavens and the earth. In this manner Adam with Eve received the procreation mandate to populate the earth. He faithfully published this series of inspired communications in the first Bible document, Genesis 1:1 to 2:4 (NW), apparently written by him. In this document’s colophon or conclusion the title is given as “This is a history of the heavens and the time of their being created in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven.”

    It also went on to say that Adam wrote Genesis 2:5 to 5:2 and also it said in paragraph 19: “He (Satan) knew that prophet Adam was too strongly entrenched in God’s law to be spiritually induced to become a false prophet under Satan’s control. So the Devil used an earthly creature…”

    I thought Moses wrote Genesis and what about Adam being the first prophet and Adam was too strongly entrenched in God’s law????

  • January 19, 2015 at 11:01 pm
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    Keyboard tuffguy. Ijjit.

  • January 20, 2015 at 3:52 am
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    I’m quite new to understanding evolution and I’m interested in more information on the actual evidence. I watched the video above, and if I’m being very critical – it doesn’t provide evidence, just an explanation that things share common linkage.

    Let me state that I left the organization a few years ago, my current theistic beliefs are that I doubt the existence of a god – so I don’t have an agenda in asking this.
    It just seemed to me that someone could point to the similarity in animals and say that it comes from a designer who designed things that work similarly.

    The video seems like a decent POSSIBLE explanation of why life is similar, but it doesn’t really seem like strong evidence to me. I’m asking if there is perhaps a better or more convincing video on youtube (I searched but there were 10000s). If anyone can recommend something so I can understand this complex topic better then I’d be appreciative.

  • January 20, 2015 at 4:58 am
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    @itsnotalan. I don’t know of a more convincing argument or video on Youtube but I have some thoughts that might narrow the topic down for you though.

    Darwin had 2 theories about the origin of life. One was that all life forms evolved from lower life forms and the other theory was of natural selection and survival of the fittest. The survival of the fittest and natural selection is the topic that most scientists study.

    Scientists who believe that life forms evolved from lower life forms, presuppose that all life is interconnected by all having evolved from lower life forms and having similarities in genes from different animals and go into the study with that already preconceived idea and so those studies can be disputed.

    Science can only go by what it sees and so the study of evolution is important to science because it’s a proven fact that life does survive because of natural selection and survival of the fittest. That is why it is an important study and should not be discounted, simply because some scientists can’t prove that life evolved from lower life forms. It is important not to discount evolutionary study because that might help us to live better and longer lives and help more species not to go into extinction in the future.

    Why it is important to people who believe in the Bible is, not to believe in evolution, is because some believers (Watchtower) insist on teaching that evolution only teaches that evolutionists insist on the theory that all life came from lower life forms but what they don’t tell the readers is that, that isn’t what’s under question. The motive of the Watchtower is to discount Science. They want to keep it’s followers ignorant and under the spell of the Watchtower instead. They don’t want it’s followers to expand their thinking about anything. If they expand their thinking, they will realize that the Watchtower is written by a bunch of high school students who don’t know anything about anything and will fall away from the religion and they will lose their income from these now informed people who start to use their heads and question what they have been reading all these years.

    Nobody is trying to teach that life came from nothing but that is what the Watchtower has convinced all the Witnesses to believe about the study of evolution and that is why it is so difficult to talk to them about and the Watchtower refuses to admit they were wrong about it.

    So, I’d narrow your search down to evolution and natural selection and intelligent design.

    People have the narrow way of thinking it’s either black or white. Just because one theory can’t be proved to be a fact, they come to the conclusion, it has to be the other way. That doesn’t make a fact though.

  • January 20, 2015 at 6:34 am
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    I don’t think the argument is about evolution versus creation. It is whether or not an author is being misquoted. Clearly this is a matter of someone’s words being taken out of context and is therefore deception. Rama Singh deserves an apology. Look at the list of scholars whom the WT says support the New World Translation. Check them out and you’ll see what I mean.

  • January 20, 2015 at 7:06 am
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    A closed mind selects only the information that supports its
    theories and rejects the rest so will remain stagnant.

    I’m willing to change my mind when presented with good
    evidence. — if I met a man who claimed to be the son of God,
    and I saw him walk on water, and feed 5000 people with just
    5 loaves and 2 fish, ( nice round number ! ) that would be good
    enough for me. But no way would I take just someone else’s
    word for it.

    It’s much easier for me to believe that people exaggerate, or lie
    to win converts to their cause, or become deluded, than to
    to accept that the fixed laws of the universe can be defied

  • January 20, 2015 at 9:00 am
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    Of all the animals in Noah’s Ark I feel sorry for the 2 little
    Kangaroos . The Ark landing on the over 3 mile high
    Mt, Ararat in Turkey. ( Wow! 3 mile high of water maybe
    more, all over the world, ) Anyhow the little creatures
    managed to descend but then had to travel 12 & a half
    thousand miles to Australia, swimming 3000 miles across
    the Indian Ocean ( as we now call it ), and here it’s
    fortunate Mrs Kangaroo didn’t have a little joey in her
    pouch, at least I hope not,

    However, after this epic journey God rewarded them by
    making Australia their permanent home, and to this day
    they are found nowhere else in the world. ( oh I forgot,
    they can be found in zoos.)

  • January 20, 2015 at 9:45 am
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    Thank you Cedars for a great article. It seems to have generated a lot of good discussions and insight. And the posted comments shows the various stages people are on their personal road of discovery (and recovery).

    I was a devoted JW for many years and it wasn’t until I left that I realized what a poor education I had. It took me years to do as Yoda said “…unlearn what you have learned…” I literally had to systematically take every assumption and belief I had and put it to the test. Through that process I kept this in mind – “…it does not matter what I believe, it only matters what I can prove…” (to paraphrase from the movie “A Few Good Men”). At the time, I was not versed in critical thinking and the scientific method so it was not easy and it has taken a long time. And, I hope I have many years to keep learning.

    For those starting out on this road I would highly recommend doing some reading, research, and thinking on critical thinking strategies, the scientific method, logical fallacies, etc. You will want to have a new set of tools for thinking. At the same time you will also want to feed your brain with ideas/facts about the cosmos, about life, etc. But it is vital that you learn the “process” and tools by which these ideas are arrived at.

    On a side note, one of the first things I did when I left was get a telescope. There are few things more satisfying than doing science yourself. Wait till you see Jupiter through a telescope. ;-)

    If astronomy is not your thing, that is ok. But do try to find something to re-stimulate the natural scientific curiosity in you that may have been squashed over the years. You do not need permission to do science and it is accessible to everyone. It is not the “dark, mysterious box” the “Organization” have made it to be.

  • January 20, 2015 at 9:58 am
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    JWIntellect, very well said. I recommend reading chapter 1 of Genesis to a JW and asking for their interpretation of it. When you finally get around to the WT explanation it becomes apparent how ludicrous it is. With our scientific logic today you need to do scriptural acrobatics to squeeze some coherent logical meaning out of Genesis chapter 1.

  • January 20, 2015 at 10:17 am
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    Thank you Cedars for bringing this article to my attention. I fully understand that the topic of abiogenesis is debated among professionals and that is why I believe there must be a higher power guiding evolution in some way.

    Be that as it may, I still believe evolution is an undisputed fact in the scientific community and in the general public. For Awake to make such silly claims in dangerous and I will be speaking to my son about it, and make sure that he trusts what he learns in science lessons and school.

    Kate xx

  • January 20, 2015 at 11:09 am
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    @Ted. I love the example of the kangaroo!!!

  • January 20, 2015 at 6:12 pm
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    @ StrongHaiku

    Your statements are so very true. I wish I knew more about logical fallacies and critical thinking strategies when I was back in high school, when I first began studying the Bible with the JW’s.

    @ Tim Smith

    Thank you for reading my comment and the compliment.

  • January 21, 2015 at 2:50 am
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    The saying has been accredited to L. Ron Hubbard “If you want to make a million dollars, start a religion.”

    People have wondered about how we got here for thousands of years. The Bible’s explanation, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” is a very simplistic explanation and is meant to end the discussion. Why worry about it? God made us and so stop worrying about it. For thousands of years, that has been a satisfactory explanation. There’s a God and he made it and all the rest of the universe. For some though, that explanation was not satisfying, probably because they didn’t believe in the Bible.

    There are many reasons not to believe in the Bible. It’s the rest of the Bible that makes for doubt about it being from this “perfect” God that people have invented in their own imaginations of what a “perfect” God would be like and so for that reason, they discount the rest of the Bible, even including the account of Jesus.

    The account about Jesus sounds good, like love and forgiveness. But it also points to wars and death and destruction. People who believe in Jesus, like the parts about love and forgiveness and people who reject the Bible look to the violence he also taught as proof that the Bible isn’t from the “perfect” god that they have invented in their own minds that should be loving and not the unloving god that is seen in the Hebrew Scriptures and also partly seen in Jesus’ teachings, so they discount the whole thing as bogus.

    This is where evolution comes in.

    One of those who questioned the simplistic explanation of where life began, was Charles Darwin. He dared to question what was mainstream thinking that God created the heavens and earth.

    He studied animals extensively before writing his thesis. He didn’t just come up with his explanation like it was science fiction. Much of what he theorized hasn’t proven to be true but a lot of it did. He dared to go against mainstream thinking of the time and he was vilified by the preachers for doing so.

    People today who talk about evolution are vilified by the clergy for doing so too. Preachers want to keep their followers under their control and they need these followers to make money off of them. If their followers question the legitimacy of the Bible, they will lose faith in the God of the Bible and stop going to their churches and the churches will have to find other ways to make money.

    People have always feared death. Churches use that fear to keep their followers under their control. First, they need to make people believe in God and the Bible comes in very handy for promulgating that belief, especially with it’s opening words “In the beginning, God made the heavens and earth”.

    After a religion has made the followers believe in God, that church has the power to instill fear of God and death to their advantage. The church can control their followers (victims) by using whatever is said in that Bible to make those followers think that they are the only ones doing God’s will. The Bible has enough words in it, that anybody can pick and chose whatever scriptures they want to their ends to control their followers ( victims).

    If it isn’t in the Bible, some churches will resort to writing their own Bibles and try and pass it off as “inspired”. They will take words and translate it whatever way it needs to, to make it’s followers believe in that religion, thinking it is the only true religion that is going by “What The Bible Really Says”, when in reality, nobody has any way of proving the truth of any Bible translation since nobody was alive to see it being transcribed from God to man in the first place and none of the oldest manuscripts even exist today to prove anything one way or the other, anyway.

    The churches have their followers believing that their Bible and only their Bible is from this perfect God that people have invented in their minds over time. That is why people can read the Hebrew Scriptures and excuse in their minds how cruel and unjust the God of the Hebrew Scriptures is but in reality that God is barbarous. They justify that God’s inhumane acts as humane and just because as the Watchtower and other religions try to make people believe, he owns the earth and everything in it and so has the right to do with it as he wants, even killing women and children, if they get in his way at Armageddon and if people got in the way of the Hebrews in ancient times, because he supposedly chose Israel as his chosen people back then.

    The Watchtower needs to keep it’s people believing in the God of the Bible and that includes the simplistic explanation of how life began with, “In the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth” if they want to keep making money off of them. That ends the discussion for them and they don’t need any further study.

  • January 21, 2015 at 5:43 am
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    StrongHaiku,

    A fellow amateur astronomer, good for you!

    Jupiter is magnificent even with the naked eye. Even a simple pair of binoculars allows a glimpse of the four largest satellites!

    I would also encourage everyone to look up! There are some excellent star charts available for tablets that will identify what you are looking at, and give details about it.

    I hope that everyone has the opportunity to gaze up in wonder.

    Peace be with you,

    Excelsior!

  • January 21, 2015 at 5:48 am
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    @Shanti. When I was a freshman in high school in 1960, we all had to take I.Q. tests and I scored 66 and it said the only job that I would be fit for was to be a mannequin. So, thank you again for what you said.

  • January 21, 2015 at 5:56 am
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    anonymous,

    The classic IQ test has been found to be a poor test of “intelligence”.

    You are an intelligent person, and your comments prove this.

    I really appreciate your comments, and I am sure that other posters do too.

    Peace be with you,

    Excelsior!

  • January 21, 2015 at 6:28 am
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    @Excelsior. Thank you too for saying that. All my life, I felt condemned because of that one test in making me think I was stupid.

  • January 21, 2015 at 8:44 am
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    Good article demonstrating WT’s pervasive dishonesty in their literature. Truly, how can anyone trust someone who has been demonstrated to twist the truth on a regular basis, and then demand total loyalty.
    On the secondary topic here of evolution, I find the discussion interesting. Myself, I have a 4 year technical degree and must regularly use the scientific method to figure out solutions to problems in my line of work. At one job I had a few years ago, I had access to scientific journals that contained peer reviewed articles which often times presented data about biological systems, and contained conclusions about how the data demonstrated evolutionary theory in practice. The only problem to me was that it often times looked as if the data contradicted the explanations for why it supported evolutionary theory. One notable example is the long term evolution experiment conducted by Michigan State University, the on-going results of which can be found here online if you do a search for it.
    In simple terms, E. coli was cultured to ascertain whether it would evolve the ability to consume a food source that was remarkably close to what it already could consume. Well, it did, after 20,000 generations! 20,000!! The obvious problem this creates for evolutionary theory is that it demonstrates that such changes take place at such a slow rate as to preclude them from conferring a survival advantage based on rapid change to an environment. We often times hear of invasive species that end up where they don’t belong, and the results can be catastrophic to other species in that area. If the challenged organisms had to rely on evolutionary change to confront the new problem, they would be long extinct by the time 20,000 generations had passed and any mutations had time to take effect.
    In addition, if you read articles about fossils that are found and classified as previously unknown extinct species, you begin to realize that the current model of evolution does a really bad job of predicting what types of fossils we should find, and how old they should be. Often times significant discoveries result in significant changes to the evolutionary tree. Good models predict results, they don’t require an overhaul of the model every time new data is discovered. The evolutionary model requires major overhauls on a regular basis with the discovery of more data. That says the model is currently horribly broken. Many times such a model would be discarded in favor of one that better suits the data. Much of the scientific community has vested interest in promoting evolutionary orthodoxy, thus this will most likely not happen any time soon.
    I’m not saying that the model that a creator is responsible for everything is the only other model, but it does indeed provide testable hypothesis. For example, if things are created, one would assume everything has a purpose, and would not stop trying to figure that purpose until they understood it. That would have directly affected the study of DNA. For a long time, scientists did not understand large parts of DNA, and considered it to be “junk DNA” that was the leftover of the evolutionary process. However, they now realize that there is no junk DNA. In that case, had they tried to figure out the purpose of what they did not understand instead of writing it off to evolutionary leftovers, scientific knowledge would be ahead of where it is now with regards to our understanding of DNA.
    On thing most scientists don’t like to admit with regards to the model of evolution is that they actually do have a god inherent in their model. Their unnamed god is time. Basically the theory is that given enough time these changes could occur. Time becomes their super natural casual event that is part of enabling change to occur.
    Myself, I am not an expert, but I am quite familiar with how science works, and how to use it. In my study of the subject I have not been satisfied that the data conclusively demonstrates evolution causes species to change and become more complex. Demonstrating changes within the genetic scope of an organism, or micro evolution, is easily verifiable with solid data. However, demonstrating an organism changing into another organism is not verifiable currently, and is not supported by the data that I have seen.
    However, when one reads many sections in the Bible, particularly the old testament, the idea that such an individual as God as he is there described being the creator of everything becomes equally questionable.
    My sole point is that the data for evolution being fact is far less convincing than many may be aware, or willing to admit. My current belief is that evolution is more of a religion than a science, complete with high priests like Dawkins who rabidly defend their current orthodoxy, and insult and disparage any who dare to disagree.
    For science to function as it must, one constantly needs to be open to their hypothesis being disproved through new data. My concern is that this is notably absent in the evolutionary science community, and I believe it may actually harm the advancement of science until a more moderate and realistic approach is taken. Rabid defense of a pet theory lacking convincing data is not scientific. As for myself, I neither fully believe evolution or creation at this point. I’m not sure what to think.

  • January 21, 2015 at 10:30 am
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    @E3. I was never interested in the science of evolution before until the topic came up here on cedar’s web site and so I have been trying to catch up on what scientists have to say by watching Youtube videos about it and their arguments so I know what exactly they say is “proof” of evolution.

    What I think (from my perspective as a novice in the area of this science) the mistake these gurus make is assuming that everybody is supposed to understand what they are talking about and most people don’t but the scientists don’t make it real easy to understand either.

    A lot of those scientists assume and call it a fact that all forms of life today came from one-celled amoebas and MAYBE some electricity came from the sky and started a chain reaction etc. and to me, that does take a lot of faith to call that a fact and that it resulted in what we have on earth today that people of faith call creation by God.

    Another thing too (when you listen to evolutionists) when they are “proving” evolution, is that they talk so fast that a normal person can’t possibly keep up with what they are saying but if you listen to what they say, they will say over and over again, maybe.

    Nobody can prove we came from lower life forms even though scientists call it a fact. But they can prove survival of the fittest and that is a valid part of the study they call evolution. That study is very helpful to help us live longer and better lives and I think these gurus should specify exactly what part of evolution they are calling a fact and what part is supposition. I think they would get more understanding from the general public if they did that.

    I was watching a youtube video called “Why Evolution is True and Why Many People Still don’t Believe It (Jerry Coyne, 2012) and he made some interesting points towards the end that I thought was useful to the conversation.

    He was saying that belief in God puts up a wall for the belief in evolution by those who believe in God having created everything and that that belief in God, happens long before anybody has learned about evolution so it’s an uphill climb to convince Bible believers in evolution.

    He quoted a Time Magazine poll taken in 2006 in the United States, where it showed that, when faced with the choice of believing a fact about evolution that contravenes the Bible that 64% of Americans would not believe the fact in favor of their faith. So, the only way for people to accept evolution is to get rid of their faith in the Bible. Their faith in the Bible is what makes people feel “special” and so evolution wouldn’t make people feel “special”.

    At the end of the speech, he pointed out that studies have been shown that in countries such as the U.S. where most people claim to belong to a church, that the quality of life is lower than in countries where people don’t belong to a religion such as Norway where few people claim to belong to a religion and he said the reason is that when it comes to poor people, they are more likely to belong to a religion because that is the only comfort they get in life.

  • January 21, 2015 at 10:33 am
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    Like Dembski says, if you can’t model it, you don’t have a science, you don’t have a theory.

    Perhaps few people know the meaning of “materialism” outside WT’s use of the word, but I expect Man from the lions pit can appreciate this:

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