The latest Awake! magazine ends up endorsing the views of the very people it sets out to criticize
The latest Awake! magazine ends up endorsing the views of the very people it sets out to criticize

Regular visitors to this website will be aware that I welcome readers of all religious or non-religious backgrounds and persuasions.

Though I am personally agnostic/deist (open to the existence of a creator of the universe but doubtful that he, or it, takes an interest in human affairs), my aim is to avoid offending any individual, especially on the issue of whether they believe in God or not.

I welcome open, honest and dialectic discussion from all quarters in pursuit of truth.

That said, I unashamedly embrace the theory of evolution as, not just theory, but proven fact. The evidence is, from where I stand, all around us if we will only look at it.

Those brave enough to peer beyond Watchtower’s bubble of influence (and ignorance) will note that evolution has long ceased to be questioned by serious scholars and academics, who have moved on to more productive discussion as to whether there IS a God who employed evolution as a creative tool or not.

With this in mind, you will understand the dismay with which I received the new March 2014 Awake!, which bears the title “The Untold Story of Creation.” As you can imagine, there is nothing “untold” about Watchtower’s story of creation. They have merely repackaged it, divested themselves of words they disapprove of, and spun it as something unique and revolutionary – a rare epiphany to which they are the sole trustees.

Before getting down to business with their article, the Awake! writers engage in some light target practice against their favorite bad guys – Christendom.

“…Christendom’s leaders, including so-called creationists and fundamentalists, have spun the Bible account of creation into numerous tales that deviate from what the Bible really says. These interpretations fly in the face of scientific fact.” (March 2014 Awake!, page 4)

The reader is thus left with the impression that (1) Jehovah’s Witnesses are not “creationists,” and that (2) they adhere to “scientific fact.”

Watchtower is so desperate to distance itself from the likes of Ken Ham (pictured) that it strays into misrepresenting itself
Watchtower is so desperate to distance itself from the likes of Ken Ham (pictured) that it strays into misrepresenting itself

As I have already explained on this website, Jehovah’s Witnesses are unquestionably creationists, whatever Watchtower may say to the contrary. Creationism is (according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary) “the belief that God created all things out of nothing as described in the Bible and that therefore the theory of evolution is incorrect.”

Watchtower would struggle to argue that this is NOT what they believe, and yet they firmly repudiate the “creationist” tag for no other reason than that they don’t like the stigma associated with it. They shudder at the thought of sharing the same cramped pigeon-hole as the likes of Ken Ham and the Creation Museum, so they denounce creationism entirely – even though not all creationists believe in literal 24-hour creative days, or the Earth being only six thousand years old.

And so we find the following words on page 5 of the same article…

“What about the widespread creationist belief that God created the universe in six literal 24-hour days? This concept, widely rejected by scientists, is based on a gross misunderstanding of the Bible account.”

Watchtower overlooks the fact that there is considerable latitude for positing varying “stories” of how creation took place within the creationist sphere, provided these are broadly united in their condemnation of evolution.

By thus pedantically dancing around and repudiating the creationist label, Watchtower engages in ‘word snobbery’ as I suggest in the above YouTube video. Even if the shoe fits, Watchtower refuses to wear it if it isn’t trendy enough and makes them look silly.

Though claiming they honor “scientific fact” and denouncing those whose views are “widely rejected by scientists,” Watchtower is quite happy to trample all over the conclusions of the scientific community when it suits them. Take for example the following, also on page 5…

“In the Bible account, each of the six creative days could have lasted for thousands of years.”

Watchtower grossly undervalues the age of our planet
Watchtower grossly undervalues the age of our planet

To most Witnesses, this will seem a reasonable statement on the face of it. But as with most Watchtower pronouncements, the devil is in the detail. When you consider that the Earth is known to be 4.5 billion years old, Watchtower’s “thousands of years” quote falls woefully short.

Simply put, six creative days which “could” have spanned only “thousands of years” would not come close to covering the colossal age of our planet. It would be like saying: “the ninety-year-old man is six ‘days’ old, with each ‘day’ lasting a few hours.”

“Thousands of years” just doesn’t cut it, and the lambasting of other offshoots of Christendom as unscientific becomes remarkably hypocritical.

But the most reprehensible part of this magazine is its utter misrepresentation of evolution, and attempts to smear it as foolish and silly. Take, for example, page 5 which says…

“Supposedly, at some point a bacteria-like, self-replicating organism arose, gradually branching out into all the species that exist today. This would imply that ultimately the mind-bogglingly complex human actually evolved from bacteria.”

Of course when you take the utmost extremes in the journey of life from microbial form all the way through to intelligent homo-sapiens, you make evolution appear insane. But just because something is unlikely doesn’t make it impossible – and it becomes far less impossible once you factor in billions of years and almost limitless possibilities for subtle mutations and incremental adaptations forged by environmental influences.

But that wasn’t what really made my blood boil.

It was this…

“The kinds of animals and plants created by God have obviously undergone changes and have produced variations within the kinds. In many cases, the resulting life-forms are remarkably different from one another. The Bible account of creation does not conflict with the scientific observation that variations occur within a kind.”

Again, most Witnesses will nod in agreement and find this a reasonable position to assume – a sort of “halfway house” between fundamentalist nutbags and non-believers.

But wait – did Watchtower not just acknowledge that animals and plants “obviously” undergo changes? Is this not what the scientific community calls “evolution?”

You would think so, but you must then remember that only as recently as the October 15, 2013 Watchtower (pp.7-11) was the following assertion made…

“One widespread false teaching that blinds people to the truth about God is the doctrine of evolution.”

The only way to marry the Awake! acknowledgment with the Watchtower denunciation is to say that YES animals and plants change, but only within a species (or “kind”) and thus we are not allowed to use the word “evolution” to describe these changes because it has been declared a “false teaching.”

The above obviously makes no sense at all. It is nothing more than playing word games and losing badly.

If you admit that living things change on whatever level, and adapt to their circumstances, then you simply must admit that evolution is fact. Instead, Watchtower shirks the term either because it doesn’t like the connotations, or (more likely) because it wants to stick with what it has been saying for decades and avoid backpedaling.

But it gets worse.

Creationist minister Ray Comfort finds his beliefs simultaneously criticized and endorsed in this magazine
Creationist minister Ray Comfort finds his beliefs simultaneously criticized and endorsed in this magazine

Take another look at the following assertion: “The Bible account of creation does not conflict with the scientific observation that variations occur within a kind.”

You would think that, if the above wording is a widely accepted “scientific observation,” there would be no shortage of instances where the phrase “variations occur within a kind” is employed. So, what does a quick Google search of this phrase reveal?

I tried this yesterday and found six search results for this phrase. One result was the Awake! article itself, so immediately we were down to five results for the whole internet. Of the remaining five, three originated from the written work of one man… Ray Comfort.

Specifically, Ray wrote a 50-page foreword to his abridged version of Darwin’s Origin of the Species, criticizing evolution, in which he said the following (bold is mine)…

“Small scale variations occur within a kind, though nothing new actually comes into being (“evolves”) in microevolution.”

If you are unfamiliar with who Ray Comfort is, please look him up. He is a well-known Christian evangelist and proponent of, you guessed it… creationism.

By way of a character reference, I would urge you read his Wikipedia page and learn of how he deleted four chapters from HIS version of Darwin’s great work – chapters that offered the “strongest evidence” for evolution. The man is therefore both a religious fundamentalist and an obvious charlatan, and yet this is precisely the sort of person Watchtower simultaneously condemns and agrees with in its war against a common enemy… evolution.

If this is not clear hypocrisy, ignorance and duplicity, what is?

By this point in my article, many Witnesses and readers who have been taught by Watchtower to repudiate evolution will be feeling distinctly uneasy with my defense of it. I know only too well how you will be feeling, because I was the same until very recently. In fact, one of the public talks I used to give as an elder (circa 2008) was a half-hour rebuttal of evolution using Watchtower’s flawed reasoning (I still have the recording).

All I would say to such ones is to please look at the evidence, and at least furnish yourself with some grasp of what evolution purports to be rather than Watchtower’s demeaning caricature of it.

I know a little on the subject, enough to grasp the basics, but I still consider myself a layperson. For a decent outline of what evolution is, I would strongly recommend you listen to the following words of the late Christopher Hitchens, a hero of mine, who died within a year of speaking in this debate.

I know this article will not meet with universal approval from my readers, but I cannot apologise for defending scientifically established fact. Whether you are a believer or not, I’m afraid evolution is here to stay. Those like Watchtower who insist on denouncing it and/or replacing it with their own half-baked unsupported pseudo-science will only become more isolated and discredited as human knowledge continues its relentless advance.

What really bruises me in all of this is the thought of all the Witness children who will pick up and read this magazine, perhaps as part of their “family worship.” If Watchtower succeeds in duping thinking adults into swallowing its backwards lies and quackery, at least some blame can be apportioned to those who readily allow themselves to be swept along without doing objective research.

The same cannot be said of young, impressionable minds that can be only too easily stultified and hindered by the preachments of a cult that has nothing more than self-perpetuation as its sole preoccupation.

 

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Further reading…

196 thoughts on “Why Watchtower has no place criticizing other Christian faiths as unscientific

  • December 28, 2013 at 5:33 am
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    And, as I’ve mentioned before, taking a pot at creationists is like taking a pot at Christendom. JWs are both creationists and a religion (as well as a church and a fundamentalist sect).

    They somehow feel the need to pretend they are separate from all the things they condemn, which includes, of course, the world, of which they form, alas, an integral part.

    JWs, please remember yours is a fundamentalist, creationist sect of Christendom, and a rotten little exploitative church. In an open society you are, of course, free, to condemn Christendom, Creationists, Fundamentalists, the Churches and the World. Please remember, however, that you are but an obnoxious feature and/or example of all the above.

  • December 28, 2013 at 7:56 am
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    “The doctrine of evolution.” Loaded language. Science doesn’t have doctrines nor is it a religion. Science is based on evidence, it’s constantly seeking evidence so as to find what is true. Whether we believe in the established fact of evolution or not the evidence won’t change.

  • December 28, 2013 at 8:02 am
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    In my country, these guys are registered under the name “Religious Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses”!! In their STATUTES, Article 2 is about their Mission. They say Organization’s activities include “Helping morally and mentally men, women, and children through missionary activity, distribution and use of the Bible and Bible-based literature to explain and teach the Bible and related scientific, historical, social, and literature facts;”
    Does the magazine match the mission.

    Their “sister proof” Bible should read “Caesar’s things to Caesar, but Science’s things to Science”!
    By the way, how long did it take for Jehovah to create these she-bears? (2 Kings 2:24) . . .Finally he turned behind him and saw them and called down evil upon them in the name of Jehovah. Then two she-bears came out from the woods and went tearing to pieces forty-two children of their number. . .

  • December 28, 2013 at 8:39 am
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    Very interesting article, Cedars.
    I always thought that Jdubs are not creationist. :-)
    I also thought that they are not fundamentalist also. Both proved to be true. Merriam-Webster definition — it was enough for me. Their semantic differentiation is only their. No serious scholar cannot agree with them.

    Although it’s extremely difficult to reshape our views, we as former Jdubs must rebuild it anew. So many lies, no sincerity. And sometimes we read their magazines without proper understanding, what they really means. That’s why I really appreciate your work. As an former alder for 5 years and serious student of Bible Greek I AM ABLE to argue about some Bible points, but because of learning about science mainly from WT article I am crippled in that matter. I am grateful that about personal development I didn’t do the same mistake… But studied psychology and learn many things. :-)

    Thank you for your helpful work!!!

  • December 28, 2013 at 8:47 am
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    Very interesting article, Cedars.
    I always thought that Jdubs are not creationist. :-)
    I also thought that they are not fundamentalist also. Both proved to be true. Merriam-Webster definition — it was enough for me. Their semantic differentiation is only their. No serious scholar cannot agree with them.

    Although it’s extremely difficult to reshape our views, we as former Jdubs must rebuild it anew. So many lies, no sincerity. And sometimes we read their magazines without proper understanding, what they really means. That’s why I really appreciate your work. As an former alder for 5 years and serious student of Bible Greek I AM ABLE to argue about some Bible points, but because of learning about science mainly from WT article I am crippled in that matter. I am grateful that about personal development I didn’t do the same mistake… But studied psychology and learn many things. :-)

    Thank you for your helpful work!!

  • December 28, 2013 at 9:00 am
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    The battle of semantics, again. The Watchtower has long-distanced and distinguished its teachings on Creation from the plebian, evangelical literal creationist idea and notions of a 24-hour creation day and other literal concepts that sprang from this. The Watchtower with other gymnastic feats in logic is well accomplished in feats of semantics the Cirque de Soleil would envy when it comes to choice and re-purposing the lexicon–the tell-tale marks of a cult.

    Since this cult has its own dogma regarding how Creation happened (because it maps into the chronology for eschatology), it finds itself on an ice floe headed toward the warm Gulf Stream [closest to its North American HQ] isolated amid discussions other evangelical religions have on Evolution versus Creationism. From the literal six days arguments to orthodox RCC viewpoints, the Watchtower finds itself alone, perhaps in some insignificant mixed company with Second Adventists and Christadelphians on the matter. Thus, it finds itself in a 3-way, if not a 4-way, battle, fighting scientists on one arm, creationist literalists on the other arm, and orthodox views with its other arm [no wonder HQ wants to send Hindii nationals home with this semblance of being a multi-armed Kali–Redeemer of us all, since Jesus isn’t allowed as Mediator..].

  • December 28, 2013 at 10:09 am
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    A simple answer to their outright stupidity and forced ignorance on others is this. They constantly use the word adaptation in reference to animals that change state within a species. However they run perilously close to the word evolution when using the term adaption, especially in that context. For the term evolution’s definition in Meriam Websters is “to change or develop slowly often into a better, more complex, or more advanced state”. In the context of an animals adapting we are speaking of changes into better suited for their environment and often a more complex state. The reality as usual is they are duplicitous.

    Also in reference to the development of the basic building blocks of life they say that the number of combinations needed to create one genome is a mathematical impossibility, (Awake 9/06 p.21-23) “The mathematical probability of the random generation of a single chromosome is less than 1 in 9 trillion, an event so unlikely that it can be considered impossible.” This is a ridiculous horrible distortion and assasination of the truth!

    Consider this, if I held in my hand a pair of dice, number from 1 to 6 on its six sides. The odds of rolling a 12 is 1 in 36. the odds of rolling two 12s in a row are 1/36 x 1/36 for 1 in 1296 and so on until we reach 8 times in a row of rolling 12 where the odds reach 1 in 100 trillion. Simply stated, seemingly unlikely but actually very probable over time. To shut the door on their false conclusion, their is one simple fact that proves it even easier. If you tried to roll the dice and get a 13, that is impossible. The odds of that are 0 in you name any number of tries and it will never happen. However the number 1 followed by any number is not only possible, but in an infinite universe very probable.
    As for the development of the human chromosome most scientists agree that it is a mathematical certainty that it would eventually happen and most likely innumerable times considering the vast availability of the materials needed to make a chromosome and the presence of radioactivity on our planet.

    Finally for something both informative and educational you may enjoy the video detailing a technique known as accelerated evolution. This was used recently in creating new batteries. Scientists took a small organism out of the ocean and applied radiation. Their goal was to cause the organism to mutate so it would be magnetic. They then studied and tested the billions of organism that they hit with radiation and were able to find the organism with the newly acquired property and then began replicating the new organism. This is truly a marvel.

    Simply stated our earth is full of radiation, so much so that the earth spews liquid rock. Otherwise what is the explanation for heat so intense that it can melt rock. Also our sun is full of radiation, all of this causes change. Look at the differences of skin pigmentation for those living closer to the equator.

    Wake up WT readers, the GB and writers at Bethel have an agenda. You summed it up well, $1,000,000,000.00 just in New York, not to mention branches, K.H.s, homes and bank accounts to numerous to count. They want your money and are seeking to enslave your children before they are legally allowed to drive. Truly SICK!

  • December 28, 2013 at 10:10 am
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    A simple answer to their outright lies and forced ignorance on others is this. They constantly use the word adaptation in reference to animals that change state within a species. However they run perilously close to the word evolution when using the term adaption, especially in that context. For the term evolution’s definition in Meriam Websters is “to change or develop slowly often into a better, more complex, or more advanced state”. In the context of an animals adapting we are speaking of changes into better suited for their environment and often a more complex state. The reality as usual is they are duplicitous.

    Also in reference to the development of the basic building blocks of life they say that the number of combinations needed to create one genome is a mathematical impossibility, (Awake 9/06 p.21-23) “The mathematical probability of the random generation of a single chromosome is less than 1 in 9 trillion, an event so unlikely that it can be considered impossible.” This is a ridiculous horrible distortion and assasination of the truth!

    Consider this, if I held in my hand a pair of dice, number from 1 to 6 on its six sides. The odds of rolling a 12 is 1 in 36. the odds of rolling two 12s in a row are 1/36 x 1/36 for 1 in 1296 and so on until we reach 8 times in a row of rolling 12 where the odds reach 1 in 100 trillion. Simply stated, seemingly unlikely but actually very probable over time. To shut the door on their false conclusion, their is one simple fact that proves it even easier. If you tried to roll the dice and get a 13, that is impossible. The odds of that are 0 in you name any number of tries and it will never happen. However the number 1 followed by any number is not only possible, but in an infinite universe very probable.
    As for the development of the human chromosome most scientists agree that it is a mathematical certainty that it would eventually happen and most likely innumerable times considering the vast availability of the materials needed to make a chromosome and the presence of radioactivity on our planet.

    Finally for something both informative and educational you may enjoy the video detailing a technique known as accelerated evolution. This was used recently in creating new batteries. Scientists took a small organism out of the ocean and applied radiation. Their goal was to cause the organism to mutate so it would be magnetic. They then studied and tested the billions of organism that they hit with radiation and were able to find the organism with the newly acquired property and then began replicating the new organism. This is truly a marvel.

    Simply stated our earth is full of radiation, so much so that the earth spews liquid rock. Otherwise what is the explanation for heat so intense that it can melt rock. Also our sun is full of radiation, all of this causes change. Look at the differences of skin pigmentation for those living closer to the equator.

    Wake up WT readers, the GB and writers at Bethel have an agenda. You summed it up well, $1,000,000,000.00 just in New York, not to mention branches, K.H.s, homes and bank accounts to numerous to count. They want your money and are seeking to enslave your children before they are legally allowed to drive. Truly SICK!

  • December 28, 2013 at 10:56 am
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    It is partially amusing, partially irritating to read the self-congratulatory ‘standard Watchtower interpretation’ of Genesis 1-2, which is proudly held forth as the one obviously correct understanding of a story that has sadly been distorted by ‘fundamentalists and creationists’ (which, by any sensible definition, are categories the Witnesses themselves belong to).

    No real evidence, scientific or scriptural, is presented in favor if the preferred interpretation. They just throw in a vague ‘evidently’ here and there. For instance, the Bible text simply says that Yahweh started by creating light. The Bronze Age mythmakers surely felt no need to explain where this light came from. Yet in the Watchtower over-reading, this somehow becomes evidence that the sun and stars already existed, but that at this point a formerly dense atmosphere was made somewhat more transparent so that ‘diffuse light’ reached the earth’s surface. When the actual Bible text says that the deity made the Sun and stars only several ‘days’ later, this in the Watchtower interpretation becomes garbled into an idea that the atmosphere finally became clear and the celestial bodies were ‘made visible’ in the sky. Are the Witnesses really unable to see that this is, at best, a quite peculiar INTERPRETATION and not a simple retelling of the Bible text?

    ‘Creationists and fundamentalists’ are always faulted for believing that the creation days were literal 24-hour-days, as if this is so very obviously NOT what the Bible text intends. Given that the whole story is plainly the origin myth for the weekly cycle observed by the Hebrews (6 days of work + Sabbath), I don’t think we have to doubt that the original authors intended this as a literal week. But apparently Freddie Franz, whose head was always full of antitypes and intricate chronological schemes, had a weakness for the idea that the ‘seventh day’ was a vast period of thousands of years that would finally incorporate the Millennium. This is based on a very special reading of Hebrews 4:11, which is taken to mean that God’s ‘rest’ was continuing into New Testament times and beyond. Hence the New World Translation of Genesis 2:2-3 is very carefully doctored to give the impression that the Seventh Day continued.

    Hence we had the great 1975 fiasco: the notion that 6,000 years after the supposed creation of the human couple in ‘4026 BCE’ the world would see the start of the Millennium. The only excuse ever offered for the failure of this concept is that the 6,000 years actually started with the creation of Eve, an unknown period of time after the creation of Adam. Since this notion has never been officially abandoned, I guess the Watchtower is now in effect teaching (however tacitly) that Adam was alone for at least 38 years before Eve came along. I daresay few people get this impression from the Bible text.

    For such ideas to work, two concepts have to be rejected. Firstly, one much of course totally ignore the findings of science regarding the true age and origin of the human race: We MUST be descendants of a single couple that lived around 4000 BCE; any notion of humans gradually emerging from a pre-human stock millions of years ago is anathema. Secondly, the plain and straightforward interpretation of the Bible text – that Yahweh created the world in six 24-hour days – must be emphatically tossed aside in favor of elaborate chronological speculations.

    The same science the writers have just rejected (regarding the age of the human race) is suddenly appealed to as regards the age of the earth: Scientists know that our planet isn’t 6,000 years old, and therefore ‘creationists and fundamentalists’ are wrong! At the same time, the true Watchtower position is so far removed from science that these days, the writers consistently refrain from spelling it out. A few decades ago, Watchtower literature explicitly taught that each creative ‘day’ was 7,000 years long, meaning that the entire history of life on earth only amounts to a few tens of thousands of years. This is of course utterly ludicrous, according to the standard geological timetable.

    The idea of 7,000-year creation days has never been explicitly cancelled, yet nowadays the writers consistently use a compromise wording which only speaks vaguely about ‘thousands of years’. As Cedars points out, this is a quite unfortunate wording. Saying that earth became habitable ‘thousands of years ago’ is like saying that World War I occurred ‘minutes’ ago.

    As usual, the Watchtower is stuck in a bizarre ‘middle position’ which actually isn’t a middle position at all: To any real scientist in the relevant fields, the Watchtower ideas are just minor idiosynchratic variations of the ideas of the same ‘fundamentalists and creationists’ the Witnesses are so eager to distance themselves from. At best the Watchtower interpretation is very marginally ‘better’, somewhat like saying that WWI occurred hours ago is after all more accurate than saying it occurred minutes ago.

    The planet can be allowed to be older than 6,000 years, but not humanity, since the Watchtower wordview absolutely requires a literal Adam and Eve firmly within the Genesis chronological framework. Any amount of change within ‘kinds’ (a scientifically meaningless word) is acceptable, but no ‘kind’ must ever be allowed to accumulate so many changes that it would become another ‘kind’, for that would be actual ‘evolution’ as opposed to mere ‘variation’ (just avoid the dreaded E word – word games are apparently all it takes to save Watchtower theology). I understand they still cling to the notion of a pre-Flood ‘water canopy’ which supposedly covered the earth and collapsed during the Deluge (see page 6 of the Awake referred to). The idea was first proposed by Isaac Vail way back in 1874, but has now been largely discredited even among creationists: It would create a quite unacceptable atmospheric pressure while it existed, and would release an enormous amount of energy when it finally collapsed (Noah would be navigating on boiling water).

    These insights apparently have yet to filter through to the Watchtower writers. Sometimes, then, the science of ‘creationists and fundamentalists’ is actually ahead of Watchtower science.

  • December 28, 2013 at 11:33 am
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    The Watchtower Society is certainly among the most anti-scientific religions. This is especially true of its claims about creation versus evolution, which it invariably and deliberately misrepresents. My favorite quotation describing them is:

    A long acquaintance with the literature of the Witnesses leads one to the conclusion that they live in the intellectual ‘twilight zone.’ That is, most of their members, even their leaders, are not well educated and not very intelligent. Whenever their literature strays onto the fields of philosophy, academic theology, science or any severe mental discipline their ideas at best mirror popular misconceptions, at worst they are completely nonsensical. — Alan Rogerson, “Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” p. 116, Constable, London, 1969.

    AlanF

  • December 28, 2013 at 11:44 am
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    Ray Comfort is not a Creationist Minister, he is an evangelist
    [link removed as per posting guidelines]

    • December 28, 2013 at 11:55 am
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      A silly comment.

      This is from the first line of Ray’s wikipedia page… “Ray Comfort (born December 5, 1949) is a New Zealand-born Christian minister and evangelist.”

      And your evangelical link promoting creationism has been removed.
      By all means try spamming this website more and see what happens…

  • December 28, 2013 at 11:55 am
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    How can it be said that Jesus could have produced perfect children from an imperfect wife? Would not the children, according to the laws of genetics, have inherited imperfection from their mother?—F. S., England. (w67 5/15 p. 319)!!

    Reading the answer to the above question, I feel like the Watchtower is committing a sin against both SCIENCE.

    we believe that Jesus looked like a Jew, that he had human characteristics that were observable in his mother.
    The question may now arise, Would not Jesus have inherited some imperfection from Mary? No, the Bible plainly shows that Jesus was born perfect. (1 Pet. 2:22; John 8:46) …We should keep in mind that we are not dealing just with genetic laws of dominant and recessive characteristics. No, perfection and imperfection are also involved. We have no experience with the results of uniting perfection with imperfection. Scientists cannot measure human perfection or imperfection resulting from sin. Nor can they predict the powerful effect a perfect male sperm would have on an imperfect ovum. But it is evident from what occurred in Jesus’ case that the perfect male part of the reproduction dominated the imperfection inherent in Mary. Jesus’ perfect Father transferred the perfect life of his Son to the womb of Mary and the result was a wholly perfect offspring, Jesus.—Gal. 4:4.
    Accepting what the inspired Scriptures say took place as to Jesus’ conception and birth, we can conclude that by reason of Jesus’ being entirely perfect he could have fathered perfect children even with an imperfect wife. Of course, that was not God’s will for Jesus. (Heb. 10:5-10; Matt. 26:39) Nonetheless, that potential was apparently there.

    Science is under attack!!!

  • December 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm
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    Nice article, made a lot of sense.

  • December 28, 2013 at 12:30 pm
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    Hi Cedars,

    Thank you for another great post.

    However I was arrested by your comment that evolution

    “…has long ceased to be debated by serious scholars and academics..”

    Although I respect your opinion on how life got started, I think the above statement is far from true. In fact the debate is hotter than ever!!

    Don’t get me wrong, I make no apology for your attack on the weak/hypocritical stance the WT makes in trying to defend its position. I remember hearing a debate on a radio program involving an evolutionary biologist and he ripped into the Society. His particular bone of contention was the book ‘Life How Did It Get Here – by evolution or creation?’ Do you remember that? Well any case his ire was the way the Society had misquoted scientific papers and had borrowed information from the most unreliable sources to make their point.

    I make no claim to having any kind of acedemic understanding of evolutionary biology but I have the following observations to make:

    1. I write computer programs as part of my living. Typically the smallest error results in a program crashing and it takes meticulous debbuging to trap errors and produce a stable program. Now Biologist often say the DNA code is like a program – that being the case I do not know of any program on earth that could come about by chance or just evolve. In fact unless programs are actively maintained (patched, updated etc – think of the continuous updates you have to install on your Windows computer) they tend to fail and are no longer fit for purpose. In my simple and unqualified opinion, if that is the case for human programs, then what of biological programs?

    2. There are respected scientist that do not hold to the evolution model. I went to a lecture by Micheal Behe who serves as professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and he does not believe in evolution. One of the points he made was that many of his fellow academics also do not believe it either. But he said peer pressure did not allow them to raise their doubts. Also consider Stephen Myers who I heard debate an evolutionary Biologist and he made a strong case for ID. His latest book ‘Darwin’s Doubt’ focuses on a problem recognized by Darwin concerning the so called ‘Cambrian’ explosion.

    I could go on, but no doubt we will have to agree to disagree on this subject. However I know you are a balanced individual, and have come to your own conclusion. I respect that. But to those that might be wavering in their belief about God as the Intelligent Agent behind life, don’t throw out the baby with the bath water, just because of the failings of the WT. I for one am unashamedly a proponent of ID and the debate is far from over for me or in the scientific community.

    Finally Cedars, thank you for post and continued hard work to expose the LIE, which is the Watchtower/Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    • December 28, 2013 at 5:04 pm
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      A very good article Cedars, and well written.

      From my perspective on things and understanding at this stage, both are correct, and that is creation via evolution as both criteria fit this perfectly.
      That is there is evidence of design but also evidence of evolution.

      One little seed can hold all the information necessary to grow into a large tree, this does involve sophisticated programming that is beyond any known science of today.

      But just imagine a seed that is designed to adapt and change at various intervals, now that is truly amazing and that is exactly what our fossil records show has happened over millions of years.

    • December 29, 2013 at 1:59 am
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      Thanks for your kind words about my work.

      I agree that the precise mechanics of evolution continues to be debated by serious academics (which is only a good thing), but I contend that its existence does not. I have thus edited the sentence to read as follows to avoid confusion…

      “evolution has long ceased to be questioned by serious scholars and academics”

  • December 28, 2013 at 12:44 pm
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    ET is nonsense. ET is only faith and Jehovah’s Witnesses are totalitarian organization.

  • December 28, 2013 at 2:15 pm
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    Thank you for your informative articles Cedars! One slight correction, JWs say that the creative days start with the earth already formed, so they don’t make any claims about the age of the planet. However, they do make general claims about the length of the creative days. Based on fossil evidence, life has been around much longer than that. So they are still obviously wrong from a scientific standpoint.

    Your overall point is still valid, but for the sake of accuracy, you might want to tweak the caption under the pic of the globe – “Watchtower grossly undervalues the age of our planet.” – and perhaps tweak the language a bit in the article?

    Thanks again for your blog, I always learn a lot!

    • December 28, 2013 at 2:28 pm
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      Glad you like the article!

      “JWs say that the creative days start with the earth already formed, so they don’t make any claims about the age of the planet”

      I already gave this some thought. Rather than being “already formed,” according to the bible the earth started off “formless and waste.” Days 1 through 4 are all to do with fashioning the planet into its recognizable form. Only when we get to days 5 and 6 do living creatures come into the equation. So, I know where you’re coming from (i.e. the sphere of the earth representing its geology), but the partition of the oceans on day 3 indicates at least some geological tinkering well into the creative days. It’s easier to just say that the six creative days apply mostly to the creation of the planet. I hope you understand.

      Thanks for giving this some consideration, and supporting this site!

      Cedars

  • December 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm
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    Under the heading of “Creator perceived in Creation”, they quote Alfred Russel Wallace. He was contemporary to Darwin and conceived the theory of natural selection independent of Darwin. He was controversial within the scientific community for his ideas of spiritualism and the idea that the human mind, and talents such as music, could not be explained by evolution and that there must be something in the unseen universe at play.

    They quote from him to say that even this promenant scientist believes in a creator, however other scientists even at the time (1800s) publicly disagreed with him on this point.

  • December 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm
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    Formed, was probably not the best choice of words. Here is the quote from the article.

    “God had already created the universe, including a lifeless planet Earth, by the time the first creative day began.”

    The distinction is in the age of the planet vs the work of making it inhabitable and creating life. I am not defending their views, I am sure you understand, as they are still unreasonable from a scientific standpoint.

    Best,

  • December 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm
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    Formed, was probably not the best choice of words. Here is the quote from the article.

    “God had already created the universe, including a lifeless planet Earth, by the time the first creative day began.”

    The distinction is in the age of the planet vs the work of making it inhabitable and creating life. I am not defending their views, I am sure you understand, as they are still unreasonable from a scientific standpoint.

    Best,

    • December 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm
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      Hi, yes I know you’re not defending them. But look at it this way… the earth is 4.5 billion years old. What reason would God have to create the earth’s geological structure and then wait around for 4.5 billion years before sorting out the oceans and all living things in just a few thousand years? And what about prehistoric marine and land creatures? The earliest fossil, a single-celled microbe, dates to 3.5 billion years ago (you could argue, the start of the sixth day)!

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/35-billionyearold-horribly-smelly-fossil-found-in-australia-is-oldest-ever-complete-example-of-life-on-earth-8940031.html

      As I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s hard arguing this because it really isn’t my/our problem. I don’t believe in the Genesis record. The fact that it was concocted by primitive ancient minds is obvious to me. But hopefully you can see why I have stretched the six creative days to the total age of the earth for the sake of argument.

      Cedars

  • December 28, 2013 at 4:11 pm
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    The Watchtower loves to quote Michael Behe, who is an advocate of the pseudoscience of Intelligent Design. ID is not a scientific theory, but an attempt to rebrand creationism in a “scientific” cloak. It has produced no positive evidence for its claims.
    Stephen Myers is not a scientist.

  • December 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm
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    theVoice,
    I write computer programs for a living too. It always proves too simplistic to compare computers to human brains, or computer programs to anything biological.

    Yes, programs are difficult to get right. But “right” in this case means trying to achieve a certain specific outcome. Evolution is not like that; it never had a specific outcome in mind: it was not trying to bring about humans. It was simply mindlessly “selecting” the most fit for survival. Whatever outcome was produced was “acceptable,” and the best simply survived. Now we, as humans, look back and say: “Oh, how could mindless evolution have been so smart as to combine all just the right ‘ingredients’ to produce us?” That sentence, tempting as it is, is the sort of deluded thinking that misleads one into doubting the evidence in front of our eyes.

    You say there are respected scientists who don’t believe in evolution. Respected by whom? Sorry, but they’re not respected by me (as scientists.) When they don’t follow where the evidence leads they are not practicing science.

  • December 28, 2013 at 4:56 pm
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    ET has no evidence. They’re just stories. What once was blowing breeze and the sun was shining and lifeless planet was formed regolith people …..

  • December 28, 2013 at 6:07 pm
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    Smmcroberrts,

    I couldn’t have put it better myself!

    The first mistake creationists make is to misunderstand evolution.

    There wasn’t a great plan to make people through billions of years of evolution. We are an accident of environment and mutation, and we are pretty amazing for all that!

    I’m sorry, folks, but intelligent design sounds great but it’s as mad as a bag of cats. These Respected Scientists have not presented any evidence for their claims.

    If ID were true, then we would have a very strange God indeed!
    GOD : “Dinosaurs? Well, they’re kind of cool but I’m bored with them now” and, BOOM, an asteroid clears the canvas for another go. It’s just very silly indeed. Why create those magnificent animals just to see them all become extinct? Was it a practice go? Did he just get bored and decide to hot things up? Once you begin thinking about it it all becomes very silly.

    Remember also, this fact that God made us gives him the right, as the Creator, to kill billions of people and countless other types of life at Armageddon!

    If you want to believe in Creation then I defend your right to do so. However, there is no scientific backing for the creation account. It just isn’t there, and no amount of wordplay and squeezing science out of poetry will change that.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  • December 28, 2013 at 7:53 pm
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    Unfortunately, geology proves this tinkering with the formation of the earth in 7,000 x 4 days to be a myth, as well. Consider that volcanic activity in the USA is dated back to 2.3 million years and at minimum 630,000 years. Granted some geologic forces can act within a few minutes–earthquakes, subsidence, but plate tectonics and Ice Age proofs were right across the East River in the form of skyscraper clutters embedded in bedrock left in place by glaciers.

    Also, essential to understand how the Hebrews understood the Genesis narration–literal, or interpretative? If literal, then we have to conclude there are TWO creation tales, chapter one, then another in chapter two. [NIV, Genesis 1] “26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.” 6th day–we’re done, rest time!

    Chapter 2–the order is reversed… (come on atheists/agnostics…)
    [NIV] “Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” And, the rib story follows… Chapter 1–non-divisive, androgynous, asexual creation story; Chapter 2–divided, no step by step creation, and female is divided from and subordinated to the male.

    And, so this nags at — if Moses authored the To-rah, as Watchtower (and others) claim, why would he write two versions of the same story? Or, is it two or more competing movements over a period of time contributing to the stories? Why is it we have the Patriarchs and Matriarchs who while devoted to *Tetragrammaton* carry along their talismans and other deities? This worship on the “high places” extended up to King Josiah, even outlasting the infamous Elijah firefall to eliminate the stumblers on their uneven legs.

    So, if this stuff is literal, it has logical gaps Noah’s Ark could fit, but if allegorical, it fits with most myths in providing a moral lesson to guide as a life-lesson.

  • December 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm
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    Cedars, thank you for your postings. I am not a Jdubber I am only connected through family and friends, I take a deep breath when I say friends. My wife a Jdubber “sez” I spend to much time on these sights. She hears me yelling and laughing. I point out latest pedophile arrest, Ponzi scheme , real estate fraud , killings by JWs on and on. Would you please post some thing on one of these web postings where I can send a donation. Thank you..

  • December 28, 2013 at 10:57 pm
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    “This would imply that ultimately the mind-bogglingly complex human actually evolved from bacteria.”

    This is pure propaganda designed to appeal to the personal incredulity of the scientifically ignorant. Look how easy it is to use the same propaganda to disparage the remarkable fact of human development from a single fertilized egg to a full fledged adult:

    “This would imply that ultimately the mind-bogglingly complex human adult actually developed from a single microscopic cell.”

    They are masters at propaganda and sophistry.

  • December 29, 2013 at 12:29 am
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    smmcroberts

    It was simply mindlessly “selecting” the most fit for survival. Whatever outcome was produced was “acceptable,” and the best simply survived. Now we, as humans, look back and say: “Oh, how could mindless evolution have been so smart as to combine all just the right ‘ingredients’ to produce us?”

    Yes! Evolutionists have made a gift of life from God, a pile of dung!

    When they don’t follow where the evidence leads they are not practicing science.

    Scientific evidence? How does one become life from inanimate matter? What is your scientific evidence? How does one become multicellular from unicellular? Where is your scientific evidence? How did insects? How did photosynthesis? Why did all the fruit? How did apes become people? In fact, ET has no evidence. This is just a vivid imagination.

    I agree with the author that JWs is a totalitarian organization, but should focus more on the differences in their doctrines than enough to take a positive opinion on the evolutionary tale.

    • December 29, 2013 at 1:32 am
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      HMC 2011. Please read and study a little about evolution before making any further comments. Your determination to display your ignorance is embarrassing.

  • December 29, 2013 at 1:26 am
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    Perhaps reading the opposing view of what it is you reject would help you understand it? And then you’ll be able to think of how best to respond to it.

  • December 29, 2013 at 3:07 am
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    I like the logic here ‘small variations within a kind to the point where the original is vastly different from the resulting organism’, Well i couldn’t have summarised evolution any better myself! Other than to add that once these variations cause the progeny to not be able to bread with the ancestor, you have a new species! Add in population bottlenecks and expression of the recessive genotype in the phenotype and you got it nearly text book!!

    Oh and one final curve ball.. Who came up with he mechanics of these small variations? not Darwin… It was Gregor Mendel a roman catholic monk and a personal hero of mine. This was before the idea started to circulate that science and religion are mutually exclusive.. Previously most leading scientists were clergymen and the church was actually pushing for truth in science (and Islam previously)

    Cheers for a good laugh!

  • December 29, 2013 at 3:35 am
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    Rowland Nelken

    Please read and study a little about evolution before making any further comments. Your determination to display your ignorance is embarrassing.

    Sure, everyone who does not believe in evolutionary tale is accused of ignorance. Anyone who disagrees with evolutionary ideology, is accused of a lack of understanding “depth of evolutionary learning.” It is almost similar approach as Jehovah’s Witnesses against the opposition.

    • December 29, 2013 at 4:22 am
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      By all means, make your case and show us why evolution is wrong.

      PS: Good luck, evolution has been proven as incontrovertible fact.

  • December 29, 2013 at 5:21 am
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    Alec Holmes

    By all means, make your case and show us why evolution is wrong.

    For example, that life does not come from non-living. Life does not arise from non-living chemicals, therefore evolution could not start. I can not build the third floor of his house when I do not even built the second floor. Evolutionists have no foundation. Life arises only from life. At the beginning had to be life.

    Good luck, evolution has been proven as incontrovertible fact.

    When something is described as “absolute truth”, I have to be suspicious. The story of how the content of lifeless planet for billions of years of change on people, because the wind was blowing, the sun was shining, falling meteorites, exploding volcanoes ……..

      I do not believe it!

    The stones poured water will never change on people.

    • December 29, 2013 at 7:08 am
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      Evolution does not propose an explanation of how life started, seek a better argument. And read on abiogenesis.

      Don’t believe it, search it, read about it, study it.

  • December 29, 2013 at 5:49 am
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    @theVoice, … in that case, things become even more difficult… If you feel creatures are so complex that there is a designer, their creator must be more complex and then, who CREATED THAT CREATOR (God)? Who designed that creator?

  • December 29, 2013 at 5:56 am
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    Hakizimana Jean de Dieu

    who CREATED THAT CREATOR (God)?

    God was not created. God is eternal. Just like there is something eternal in the atheistic theory of the Big Bang. Atheists and evolutionists have the same problems with the start of …

  • December 29, 2013 at 6:06 am
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    Science tells us how, religion why… Different answers to different questions.. God created and used tools like evolution there isn’t really a conflict. Problems come when you mix the question / answers.

    Peace

    • December 29, 2013 at 7:12 am
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      Religion is based on fantasy, science is based on facts.

  • December 29, 2013 at 6:19 am
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    Zeebo

    God created and used tools like evolution there isn’t really a conflict.

    I do not agree! Evolution does not belong to Christianity. Evolution needs to course death, ruin, bloodshed. So God did not create.

  • December 29, 2013 at 7:26 am
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    Hi, Yeah it doesn’t belong to Christianity because it isn’t a doctrine or belief its just a method.

    And in terms of death and bloodshed the bible clearly shows the ‘Jehovah of armies’ permitting this kind of thing. I was Reading 2 Samuel 12:11 where God tells David that hes going to give his wife to his neighbors in broad daylight, then kill his son (which he does).. That sounds a bit meaner than this wonderful and amazing process he created of evolution!

    I think that things like evolution and the complexity of DNA actually point to a creator not retract from there being one.

    And i am a trinitarian orthodox christian.. but like i said i don’t think religion should be threatened by science. The old testament was written for nomadic desert people thousands of years ago, if God started telling them directly about the role of mRNA and ribosomes and such like, they wouldn’t have got it. so he gave it to them in a way they could swallow.

    Finally I like the fact that we can talk here and have different opinions. I’m not forcing my world view on you and i respect your argument. This is why not being in the WT is so great.

    Catholic – Unity in diversity – I like that

    • December 29, 2013 at 8:13 am
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      Evolution explains complexity without the need for a god. Evolution doesn’t need a god.

  • December 29, 2013 at 7:36 am
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    He was referring to evolution, not abiogenesis. He asked for proof as to why evolution is wrong, but you started talking about something else.

    Evolution is change over time. Abiogenesis is creation from nothing. What is your case for evolution being wrong?

    • December 29, 2013 at 7:48 am
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      Certainly it was once the priesthood who sought answers to the questions of the origin of the universe and of earthly life. Now we look to science for those answers as the religious route was found wanting. Yes, early Islam inpired some great scientific innovations, and Isaac Newton was as crazed a Bible nut as Judge Rutherford with all his prophetic sums drawn from Biblical numerology. But now we have reached a parting of the ways. Scientific method, based on evidence and the testing of hypotheses, has never come up with a religious truth or dogma, and Abrahamic religion, based on sacred texts received through, or at least inspired by, a visionary experience, has never produced a scientific formula.

  • December 29, 2013 at 7:48 am
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    @theVoice

    I’m afraid your understanding of evolution still betrays what it actually is. Perhaps the program analogy is a poor one, and biologists should cease using it, being biologists rather than computer scientists :-P

    I’ve always thought that the following is the most concise way to explain evolution:

    Random mutations filtered by natural selection.

    Mutations occur all the time. The larger a given population, the more variety that exists within it, the higher the likelihood that at least a few individuals will survive should the environment suddenly or drastically change. Those surviving individuals who would possess the traits necessary for survival would pass it on to their offspring. Their progeny would repopulate, and as the population grew again, the frequency of new mutations popping up would increase, etc, etc. That is what is meant by adaptation.

    Evolution doesn’t mean improvement, it means adaptation, roughly by the mechanism I just described.

    Michael Behe is hardly the only scientist who seeks to reconcile his religious beliefs with his scientific knowledge by advocating the pseudoscience Intelligent Design. His “irreducible complexity” hypothesis has already been demonstrated experimentally to be false.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2006Sci…312…97B

    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/188646?uid=3739576&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21103269836813

    Also it’s no secret that there is demand for the type of literature that Micheal Behe writes. He was even interviewed by the WTBS, and his book was promoted by the Awake! magazine.

    http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102006324?q=Michael+Behe&p=par

    The debate in the scientific community is over. The scientific community just needs to do a better job of translating it into layman’s terms. That doesn’t mean there is no creator, it just means that there is no evidence presented so far to show that it exists, or that it played any role in the diversity of life.

  • December 29, 2013 at 7:54 am
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    “The same cannot be said of young, impressionable minds that can be only too easily stultified and hindered by the preachments of a cult that has nothing more than self-perpetuation as its sole preoccupation.”

    What a great closing statement, well said Cedars.

    Anyone leaving or fading from the JW’s should pick up a book of “The Greatest Show on Earth” by Richard Dawkins which outlines the evidence for evolution. It completely changed my flawed understanding that I was brought up with in the JW cult.

    I recommend anyone in this comment thread who doubts evolution or doesn’t feel they have a thorough grasp of it to check out this video on Youtube that breaks it down very simply: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdddbYILel0

  • December 29, 2013 at 7:55 am
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    Alec Holmes

    Religion is based on fantasy, science is based on facts.

    ET has no “facts”. Only interpretation.

Comments are closed.

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