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AlanF

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  1. The JW Governing Body is no more "spirit directed" than the Pope is. They actually admit it from time to time, but express it by talking out of both sides of their mouth at the same time. This is so as to deceive Watch Tower followers who are too dumb to see through the subterfuge. The term "spirit directed" implies active direction from the "spirit". Passive direction is meaningless, i.e., reading the spirit-inspired Bible and trying to apply its cousel does not in any way imply active direction from "Jehovah's holy spirit". The GB's claims about being spirit-directed depend on a deliberate confusion between active and passive direction. Passive direction by the holy spirit means reading the holy-spirit-inspired Bible, and then interpreting and applying what it says. Active direction means that God actively causes one to perfectly interpret and apply what the Bible says, or that one is actually being inspired by God through God putting in one's mind information that did not originate in one's mind. Since no one can perfectly interpret and apply what the Bible says, passive spirit-direction is meaningless. And since the GB has repeatedly admitted that it is neither inspired nor infallible, they admit that they do not receive active spirit-direction. The Watch Tower Society has repeatedly argued that the spirit-direction claimed by other Christian sects is faulty, and therefore is a faulty form of passive spirit-direction. Yet it also argues that the Governing Body (and earlier JW leaders) have always been spirit-directed, with the implied claim that this spirit-direction has been active and perfect. So, while condemning this claim by "Christendom", they embrace it for themselves -- even while knowing, and occasionally admitting, that their spirit-direction is passive and quite imperfect. That's how they talk out of both sides of their mouth. AlanF
  2. In the original post above, I stated: << Brother Rando locked his two threads after I thoroughly trashed his claims in them:
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    Brother Rando made his usual inane replies and immediately locked the threads. He seems to have objected most to my proof that, because he teaches things contrary to the Bible and to Governing Body teachings, he is an apostate according to Watch Tower standards. >> It turns out that Brother Rando is not only an apostate with respect to the Jehovah's Witesses organization, and separately with respect to the Bible, but is a gross liar. He actually claimed that a 1914 publication called "The Bible Students Monthly" by C. T. Russell mentioned both the 120 years and the 2034 date that he claims are significant in Bible prophecy, but it mentions no such figures. Nor does any other Watch Tower publication. I pointed this out on page 2 of the thread he locked (
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    ? << Brother Rando: The Last Days must reach their full time allotted, which is 120 years. 1914 + 120 = 2034. AlanF: Nowhere does "the faithful slave" teach that 120 years past 1914 is a significant date. Nowhere does it mention 2034 as a significant date. Brother Rando is running ahead of "the slave". That is independent thinking and apostasy. >> Brother Rando later replied (
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    ? << Allow me to expose you and embarrass you once more. You give me way too much credit in making the false claim that the Watchtower Society never mentioned 2034. It was discussed in the early 1900's and printed in the early part of 1914. >> A minor point: apparently Brother Rando is not able to read with understanding. He falsely states that I claimed that the Watchtower Society never mentioned 2034; rather, I said that "the faithful slave" never did. According to current JW teaching, "the faithful slave" only came into existence in 1919, and so C. T. Russell was not "that slave" in 1914. Brother Rando has no idea what he's talking about. Then Brother Rando comments on the supposed contents of a 1914 issue of "The Bible Students Monthly", Vol. 6, No. 1 ( see pdf at
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    ? << In the first part of 1914, the Bible Students known as International Bible Students Association discussed the “time of trouble” on the printed page called The Bible Students Monthly. Early in 1914, an issue of The Bible Students Monthly was issued with the large bold heading “END OF WORLD IN 1914? Some have quoted the large headline of this tract as proof that Russell was expecting the “end of the world” in 1914. However, such neglect the subheading under the larger headline, which states: “NOT THE VIEW OF PASTOR RUSSELL NOR OF I.B.S.A.” >> The above has nothing to do with Brother Rando's claim that this issue of "The Bible Students Monthly" says anything about 120 years or 2034. Brother Rando then pretends to quote from the issue, but does not actually state that what he proceeds to 'quote' comes from it. Rather, he starts off with a misleading sentence fragment, and continues with his fake quotation: << International Bible Students Association: "Nevertheless, when viewed from God’s standpoint, we are still “shortly after” 1914. Although Russell himself did not think the time of trouble would be this long, he did allow that it could be. It is possible that the time allotted for this period is 120 years (1914+120=2034), but that these days will be “cut short” some time before they are allowed to reach their end. We do not put this forth as a “prophecy”, nor would we feel anything was wrong if 2034 came and went and nothing had happened as far the full binding of Satan and the destruction of his empire is concerned. All things are in God’s hands." >> But the referenced issue of "The Bible Students Monthly" says nothing of the sort. So Brother Rando is lying about what this issue said. He knows he is lying because the picture he posted of the "Bible Students Monthly" issue he pretends to quote from is mostly unreadable. The only information about this that I could find via Web search was a 2009 post in the JW section of the Topix forum (
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    ), where between them two posters, Luis and Gareth, post exactly what Brother Rando pretends to quote above. It's supposed to be from the now-defunct website AllExperts.com (read the Topix thread for details). The poster colin states that "a guy called 'brother Rando' " wrote the above false quotation, and refers to yet another now-defunct website. The poster Mosesjoel seems to take credit for the false quotation. At the end of the thread's first page, Gareth states: "One thin we should ALL remember here is that the opinions of Brother Rando are NOT the opinions of the WTS. I happen to know he teaches some rather speculative things at the very least." Various posters point out that Brother Rando claims to be "of the anointed" and that they feel he is a fake JW. Gareth also seems to think that the false quotation is from an old Watchtower magazine, but it is not -- is completely fake. A more extensive Web search shows that most people who have read Brother Rando's comments on various forums think he is nuts. I agree. Brother Rando obviously knows about his fakery going back at least to 2009, and seems to think that he has covered his tracks. He further tries to cover his tracks in his locked thread by posting a mostly unreadable picture of the "Bible Students Monthly" issue in question -- as if readers ought to take his word for what he pretends it said. But if a reader looks over the link I posted above to an archive of "The Bible Students Monthly" he will find the issue in question, and can see for himself that Brother Rando is flat-out lying about its contents. So once again, for the record, Brother Rando has proved himself an apostate and a liar -- and a fake "anointed one". As an afterthought, I have a vague memory of having read something about C. T. Russell that goes something like ". . . nor would we feel anything was wrong if 1914 came and went and nothing had happened . . ." But I have been unable to track down such a thought. AlanF
  3. Quite right. "Heresy" is what the WTS ought to use instead of "apostasy", but for several reasons it does not. Use of "heresy" generally pegs one as a narrow-minded, bigoted religious fanatic. The WTS knows this. All it really means is believing or teaching things at odds with some religious authority. JWs are heretics according to the Catholic Church, and vice versa. So what? Because "apostasy" has several meanings, including and especially "giving up on God", the WTS takes advantage of these and teaches that disagreeing with its teachings is the same as disagreeing with God. Hence someone who merely quits being a JW is often called an apostate by virtue of "leaving God". One hears such sentiments expressed by JWs all the time when they describe disfellowshipped ones. These are examples of the WTS's talking out of both sides of its mouth at the same time. By the way, an excellent discussion of these ideas can be found in the small book Dissent and Order in the Middle Ages: The Search for Legitimate Authority by Jeffrey Burton Russell. AlanF
  4. This thread is specifically designed for JWs to watch and take notes. Brother Rando makes a big show of being righteous, and has obviously taken in some JWs on this board. But because he teaches things that contradict both the Bible and the Governing Body, he is an apostate by biblical and JW standards. That is gross hypocrisy. As you've probably figured out, such hypocrisy, especially along with gross self-righteousness, and especially accompanied by steadfast refusal to argue for one's claims, is a major hot-button for me. Brother Rando has been reduced to the state of the iconic Black Knight in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but like that Black Knight, will not admit defeat. But he knows he has been defeated because he locked the two threads I mentioned. AlanF
  5. Correct, WTS leaders' predictions have always failed. According to biblical usage, both in the NT and OT, an apostate is someone who has left God. According to the WTS, an apostate technically is a JW or former JW who teaches things contrary to what the GB teaches. So Brother Rando is an apostate according to JW standards. These definitions bring up some interesting points. In everyday JW-speak, an apostate is anyone who teaches things directly in opposition to JW teachings, whether he was ever a JW or not. Are atheists apostates according to the Bible? I suppose one might argue that they've left God, but because they don't believe that God exists, it's a bit of a stretch. It's like arguing that a child who no longer believes in Santa Claus is an apostate with respect to Santa Claus. As you've probably figured out, my ranting about Brother Rando is mostly to show the gross hypocrisy of many JWs. AlanF
  6. While the major news channels that you mentioned do indeed often horribly slant the news, you should not leave out Fox News, which is by far the worst. AlanF
  7. Brother Rando locked his two threads after I thoroughly trashed his claims in them:
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    Brother Rando made his usual inane replies and immediately locked the threads. He seems to have objected most to my proof that, because he teaches things contrary to the Bible and to Governing Body teachings, he is an apostate according to Watch Tower standards. AlanF
  8. Brother Rando posted a number of personal faith testimonies by JWs, and wrote: So let's take a look at the testimonies. But first, let's nail down a couple of important definitions and other considerations. The "Argument From Design" (aka the Teleological Argument; see
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    ) is the argument that God's existence is demonstrable from the perceived evidence of design in the universe. But the argument, in the form that results in the claim that the Christian God is the Supreme Designer, amounts to a string of special pleadings: that a perception of design implies actual design; that such perceived 'design' implies a designer; that such a 'designer' is supernatural; that this supernatural designer is the Christian God. The argument also begs the question of the origin of this 'designer'. It implies that this 'designer' is more complex and difficult to explain than anything it supposedly designed. In the end, The Argument From Design is self-defeating. The "Argument From Personal Incredulity" takes the form "I can't believe P, therefore not-P." It is a specific form of "the argument from ignorance" and is a form of the fallacy called non sequitur (
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    ). This reference explains things nicely: << The divine fallacy is an informal fallacy that often happens when people say something must be the result of superior, divine, alien or supernatural cause because it is unimaginable for it not to be so. A similar fallacy, known as argument from incredulity, appeal to common sense, or personal incredulity, asserts that because something is so incredible or difficult to imagine it is wrong. Arguments from incredulity are called non sequiturs. Arguments from incredulity can take the form: 1. I cannot imagine how P could be true; therefore P must be false. 2. I cannot imagine how P could be false; therefore P must be true. Arguments from incredulity happen when people make their inability to comprehend or make sense of a concept their argument. >> This argument is also a form of the fallacious "argument from ignorance" (
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    ) The Argument From Design and The Argument From Personal Incredulity, with respect to evolution, abiogenesis, the existence of gods or God, etc., are closely related. "I can't imagine how the eye was not designed" invokes both Arguments. Whether such skepticism is justified is a completely separate question. We will see that each of Brother Rando's example testimonies invoke these fallacies as if they are conclusive. Theistic Evolution (cf.
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    ) The Watch Tower Society is adamant that "theistic evolution" is anti-biblical. In some forms it certainly is, but in other forms it is not. The JWs specifically ignore the latter. The September, 2006 Awake! contains the Watch Tower Society's only discussion of theistic evolution, in an article on the question "Did God Use Evolution to Create Life?" It is a classic example of the way the Society misrepresents a subject by creating a caricature of it, and then knocks down that caricature. The caricature is that all theistic evolutionists deny the Genesis story of the creation of mankind, and so theistic evolution must be wrong. The fallacy here is that many theistic evolutionists believe that God did something magical with the two people called Adam and Eve, such that they were something new in the line of humans that stretches back several million years. Nothing in that magic contradicts Genesis, so the Society's argumentation is blatantly fallacious. Of course, the above says nothing about whether the supposed "magic" involved in God's creating Adam and Eve represents reality. But then, much in Genesis and the Bible generally demonstrably does not represent reality.
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    Rajesh Kalaria A Brain Pathologist Explains His Faith Kalaria studied the pathology of the human brain in college and beyond. He does not seem to have studied evolution at a college level, although it was likely touched on in his biology and pathology courses. Awake! pulls the old bait-and-switcheroo on its readers. First it asks Kalaria, "Why did you accept the teaching of evolution?" He answers that he accepted evolution because others around him, including teachers and professors, did so. Awake! then switches the topic to a different one: "In time you reconsidered the question of the origin of life. Why?" Kalaria answers that some JWs explained some Bible teachings to him. He gives no specific answer to the question asked. Awake! then mixes up evolution and the origin of life (termed abiogenesis) with this question: "Did your medical knowledge hinder your belief in creation?" Kalaria responds that living things are well-designed and complex, and that it makes no sense to him that such complex things are the product of an "unguided process". Two take-away points from this: Awake! deliberately mixes up evolution and abiogenesis -- two independent areas of science that have completely different lines of evidence; Kalaria accepts creation over Awake!'s caricature of evolution because of the "Argument from Design" -- an argument put forth for thousands of years and philosophically debunked 250 years ago by philosopher David Hume. Awake! then asks Kalaria: "Why did you become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses?". He says that there is evidence that the Bible is God's Word, such as its accuracy on scientific matters, its accuracy of prophecy, etc. But those two claims are demonstrably wrong. The book of Genesis lists the order of creation of life as plants, then all sea life and all flying creatures, then all land animals. But the fossil record and genetics show a very different story. First came plants and then animals in the sea, then plants on land, then animals including insects on land, then some flying insects, then more animals on land, then the extinction of 96% of sea life and 80% of land life, then more of all kinds of life for the next 250 million years, with major extinctions in between. So Genesis' order of creation is wrong. Furthermore, Kalaria became a JW in the early 1970s, when the Watch Tower Society was teaching that each of the six creative days of Genesis were 7,000 years long. That means that plant life is less than 34,000 years old, sea life and flying creatures less than 20,000 years, and land creatures less than 13,000 years. So when Kalaria accepted JWs' version of the history of life, and then concluded that when the Bible touches on scientific matters it is consistently correct, he is speaking nonsense, because science has extremely solid evidence that macroscopic life has existed for at least 600 million years. As for accuracy of prophecy, the Bible contains many unfulfilled prophecies, 'prophecies' and 'fulfillments' that were obviously written after-the-fact, and prophecies that were simply wrong. For example, as I showed in my first post above, Ezekiel falsely prophesied that Tyre would soon be destroyed by the Babylonians and never be rebuilt. But some 250 years passed before it was destroyed by the Greeks, and it was soon rebuilt. It was a thriving city in Jesus' day and today has a population over 100,000. Ezekiel even admits that his prophecy was wrong, and that in compensation for Tyre, God would allow Babylon to sack Egypt and make it desolate for 40 years. While Babylon did attack Egypt, Egypt was never desolate for 40 years during Babylon's rule. In fact, in 548 BCE Egypt's king Amasis formed an alliance with the Babylonians, Croesus of Lydia, and Sparta against the Persians under Cyrus the Great. Isaiah 23 also contains the false prophecy that Tyre would be destroyed and then be desolate for 70 years, and then be rebuilt. Not only is this inconsistent with Ezekiel's prophecy, but nothing remotely like that occurred until Tyre was temporarily destroyed by Alexander the Great around 332 BCE. And it was rebuilt far sooner than 70 years later. Jeremiah prophesied that Babylon would be destroyed and never rebuilt. While it was conquered by Persia in 539 BCE, it was never destroyed. Indeed, it was inhabited by many people, including a Jewish community, through at least 700 CE. Clearly, Kalaria's conversion to the JWs is built on a foundation of sand.
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    Irène Hof Laurenceau An Orthopedic Surgeon Explains Her Faith Laurenceau says: "If we see someone skating or dancing, we have to believe that there's a designer who is superior to us. . . It's difficult to imagine that it could be the result of evolution." Another example of The Argument From Personal Incredulity.
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    Monica Richardson A Physician Explains Her Faith The article starts off talking about abiogenesis: "Monica Richardson changed her view on the origin of life based not only on her education but also on her experience as a physician." But the video ignores abiogenesis and speaks only about evolution -- another instance of bait-and-switch. Richardson studied genetics and chemistry in college, but judging by her appearance of age, that was likely in the 1960s when genetics was barely known and evolution was much less well developed in its details than today. Today, the fossil record of evolution is astonishingly consistent with genetics -- which Richardson appears to know nothing about. Once again we see The Argument From Personal Incredulity from a JW: "I can't believe there is a design without a designer."
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    Yan-Der Hsuuw An Embryologist Explains His Faith Hsuuw is another JW with relatively little education in evolution. Born in 1966, his college years studying veterinary medicine and embryology taught him things about evolution that are often outmoded today, especially where genetics combines with fossil-based evolutionary ideas. Hsuuw had always believed in gods of some sort, so it was a small step to home in on the Christian God. Awake! asked him, "Why did you start reading the Bible?" He had two reasons: "of the many gods that people worship, one must be greater than the others. But which one? Second, I knew that the Bible is a highly respected book." Somehow he concluded that praying would be good, and so he prayed for help to learn about the God he had somehow concluded exists. Then he met the JWs, who "showed" him that the Bible is in harmony with science. He gives a typical example from the JW book of stereotypes -- that the Psalmist speaks of all the embryo's parts as being down in writing. While this point is arguable as to its efficacy in "proving God", even any number of such examples do not negate the many places where the Bible is completely at odds with science and with reality, as discussed above. The Koran correctly states many things, but it is the incorrect things that it states that prove it is a man-made book. So it is with the Bible. In answer to Awake!'s question, "What convinced you that God created life?" Hsuuw states that the complexity of embryo development led him to conclude that life was created. Awake!'s question is a good example of the fallacy known as the False Dilemma -- where only two alternatives are presented, but more than two exist. In Awake!'s imaginary world, there are only two alternatives: evolution/abiogenesis and direct creation by God. But many people of the Christian faith subscribe to various forms of "theistic evolution", where some variety of god creates parts of the universe and life. In an extreme view, a deistic god would have created the universe with the capacity for life to arise by chemical means, and then for evolution by natural selection to produce the life we see today. In another view, a god would have directly created a few life forms and then let evolution by natural selection run its course. In another view, a more hands-on god would have created each "kind" of life separately. Whether that god is the Christian God is a separate issue. In all these cases, one's favorite god would have been responsible for 'creation', and so he would be "The Creator". But the JWs are far too narrow-minded and doctrinaire to consider such possibilities. They're so closed-minded that Watch Tower publications only once address the question of theistic evolution -- and then they merely say, "it's wrong". Hsuuw says that his basic reason for believing in the JW version of creation is that when he considers embryological development, "when I consider the beauty of it all, I’m convinced that life was designed by God." Yet another instance of The Argument From Personal Incredulity.
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    Dr. Guillermo Perez A Consultant Surgeon Explains His Faith Awake! says that Perez, probably in his 60s judging by his picture, once believed in evolution, but now is convinced that the human body was designed by God. He was raised as a Catholic, and accepted the Catholic view that evolution was directed by God. Once again it should be noted that evolution directed by God IS creation. After some discussion with JWs, Perez liked the "simple logic" of the Bible, which says "every house is constructed by someone, but the one who constructed all things is God." Perez apparently does not understand that that is exactly what theistic evolution is all about. Awake! continues its pursuit of fallacies with this question: "Did your study of the human body help you to accept creation?" which again implicitly assumes that theistic evolution is not creation and did not happen. Awake! and Perez go back and forth on the amazing ability of the human body to repair damage. This is yet another implied Argument From Personal Incredulity. Finally Perez says that he became a JW because they're friendly, they always answered his Bible questions, and he admired their courage in proselytizing. He likes telling people about "our Creator’s promise to end sickness and suffering". Perez clearly does not have much of substance to say about his JW faith.
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    Dr. Céline Granolleras A Kidney Specialist Explains Her Faith Awake! says that "Granolleras is a medical doctor in France who specializes in kidney disease. More than 20 years after becoming a doctor, she came to the conclusion that there is a Creator who cares for us." When younger, she did not believe in a God, but thought that eventually scientists will explain how life began without any gods. Her husband and family became JWs, and many years later she began reading the Bible for herself. Before that, she had a suspicion that the human body was designed, and one day decided that the Bible God had to be the designer of the human blood system and the whole body. Once again we see The Argument From Design and The Argument From Personal Incredulity. Granolleras claims that she researched all of her questions without reference to JW publications in concluding that the Bible is a book of True Prophecy. In particular she claims that "it shows exactly how much time would elapse between the 20th year of the reign of the Persian ruler Artaxerxes and the year Jesus would present himself as the Messiah." This is the famous "69 weeks" prophecy of Daniel 9:25, which some claim to be 69 "weeks of years" (483 years) from the 20th year of Artaxerxes I (455 BCE) to 29 CE when Jesus was supposedly anointed as the Messiah. The problem with her claim is that very few modern Bible scholars go along with this claim. The claim was common until the late 19th century, but when a variety of ancient cuneiform texts were found in the 1860s through the 1930s, which solidly established the chronology of Persian kings of the 5th century BCE, it became firmly established that the 20th year of Artaxerxes was not 455 BCE but 445 BCE. Many Bible commentators have tried, sometimes seemingly successfully and sometimes not, to reconcile the problem. The point here is that no modern Bible scholars who accept solidly established Persian chronology accept the 455 BCE date. Only the Watch Tower Society and a tiny handful of others continue with the 19th century claim of 455 BCE rather than 445 BCE. Therefore, Granolleras most assuredly used JW literature to "research" this question. Indeed, Granolleras almost certainly found the question in JW literature in the first place. Having done her research in JW literature, Granolleras concludes: "Finally, I concluded that this Bible prophecy had come true on time and that it must have been inspired by God." Of course, she failed to account for any of the failures of "Bible prophecy" as described above.
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    Fan Yu A Software Designer Explains His Faith Raised in China during the Cultural Revolution, Yu accepted evolution and was an atheist. Eventually he moved to the U.S. and later learned the JWs' views on the idea of a Creator in the Bible. He apparently learned enough false ideas from the JWs that he performed the usual bogus creationist probability calculations that result in the conclusion that spontaneous formation of proteins is essentially impossible and therefore that abiogenesis is impossible. Of course, this has only to do with abiogenesis, not evolution, and so it is clear that Yu blindly accepted JW teachings rather than learning actual science and only then coming to conclusions. Yet again we see a JW having bought into The Argument From Personal Incredulity. Yu was also convinced to become a JW because of Bible prophecies that supposedly came true, but of course was never informed of the many that failed.
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    Massimo Tistarelli A Roboticist Explains His Faith Tistarelli basically accepts The Argument From Design, and obviously never looked into the details of evolution apart from Watch Tower literature. Yet another Argument From Personal Incredulity.
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    Wenlong He An Experimental Physicist Explains His Faith Raised in China, He was an atheist and accepted evolution until he came in contact with the JWs. He says that he considered the 2nd law of thermodynamics to conclude that there must be an external agent, a Creator outside the universe, and in some unspecified manner this Creator must be the biblical God. Unfortunately, He's application of the 2nd law of thermodynamics is completely wrong, and a bit of online research will show why. No one reading this post would understand the necessarily simplified explanation that I could give, so I'm not goint to bother. He's other big point for accepting the Bible was "that the universe and the earth seem to be specifically designed to support life." But this is yet another claim that science has pretty well debunked. Again online searches for the topic will turn up reams of discussion that show why such thinking is wrong. To show how shallow He's thinking on these things is, consider his comments on the fact that earth's atmosphere "blocks much harmful radiation while allowing other needed radiation to reach the earth’s surface": << Why did that fact impress you? I was intrigued by the introduction to the Bible’s creation account and its reference to light. It states: “God said: ‘Let there be light.’ Then there was light.” Only a very narrow band of the vast spectrum of solar radiation is visible light, but light is vital for life. Plants need it to produce food, and we need light to see. The atmosphere’s special transparency to light cannot be a coincidence. >> Implicit in He's comments is the idea that life was designed first, and afterwards the earth's environment was designed to fit it. But that's putting the cart before the horse big time! Obviously, since the earth came to exist long before any life did, whatever life came to exist had to fit the earth's environment. Thus, eyes see "visible light" and plants use it to produce food because it's almost the only useful radiation from the sun that gets through the atmosphere to the surface. The rest of He's comments show that he accepted bogus, ass-backwards JW arguments like this without giving them any real thought. Yet again we see virtually blind acceptance of The Argument From Design.
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    Frédéric Dumoulin “I Am Convinced That There Is a Creator” Dumoulin, now a pharmaceutical researcher, accepted evolution while growing up an atheist. After he came in contact with the JWs he began thinking about the origin of life -- abiogenesis, not evolution. But there are no scientific theories on abiogenesis, because there is too little information for a scientific theory to be formed. There are various hypotheses and speculations, but these are far from scientific theories. The fact that Dumoulin and Awake! speak in these terms proves that they have no knowledge of what real science says about these things, but only knowledge of what creationists and popularizers of misconceptions say. Dumoulin says, "I found that whenever the Bible comments on scientific matters, it is accurate." Of course, much of what I've written in this thread proves that, while the Bible is accurate in some things, it is completely wrong in other things, such as the order of creation in Genesis, Noah's Flood, etc. Dumoulin also cites The Argument From Design as another reason he believes in a Creator and rejects evolution. Of course, neither he nor Awake! mention theistic evolution, which is also creation.
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    Dr. Hans Kristian Kotlar A Biotechnologist Explains His Faith With Catholic/Protestant parents, Kotlar always believed in God, and practiced prayer. Apparently without really thinking much about them, he accepted evolution and abiogenesis, but confused the two. He was especially interested in "the meaning of life". After meeting two JWs, he asked them if the Bible is in harmony with science. They read Isaiah 40:26 to him: << Lift up your eyes to heaven and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who brings out their army by number; He calls them all by name. Because of his vast dynamic energy and his awe-inspiring power, Not one of them is missing. >> The scripture intrigued him, but all it really says is that God is really powerful, and he created and can count the stars. The New World Translation's rendering of "dynamic energy" is extremely misleading, because it uses the modern scientific term "energy" to translate a Hebrew word meaning "power". A large bull has much power, but that power simply refers to the fact that it is quite strong. That strength has nothing to do with the modern scientific concept of "energy". So Kotlar was deceived by a deliberately misleading scripture translation. Kotlar says that "it also seemed reasonable that only an intelligent Source of energy could account for the order in the universe." Obviously he bought the misleading translation and applied it to the modern scientific concept of energy, and went much further by adding the idea of "order" to it. Awake! asks, "Did your view of evolution change?" Kotlar answers with a classic creationist trope: << I gradually realized that the various theories of evolution lacked rigorous scientific proof. In fact, they are basically stories invented to explain how the remarkable designs found within living things, such as the immune system, could originate in a mindless manner. >> Kotlar continues to confuse evolution and abiogenesis. Nor does he understand how science works. Scientific theories rarely contain "rigorous proof". Rather, they are collections of statements that organize basic facts into comprehensible generalizations of how things behave. After someone proposes some organizing ideas, a hypothesis is set forth. This is tested against new data. If all new data is consistent with the hypothesis, the hypothesis is given more weight in the science community. If the hypothesis is inconsistent with new data, it is rejected, and a new hypothesis might be proposed. Hypotheses must also make correct predictions about what new data will be found. Incorrect predictions result in dropping the hypothesis. After a good deal of time has passed, and the hypothesis has passed all tests, it is given the label "theory of whatever". Thus we have the "theory of gravity", "theory of atoms", "theory of evolution". No such theories are "rigorously proved", but are accepted because they have a great weight of evidence behind them. Thus we have "the theory of evolution" but no "theory of abiogenesis". Kotlar again shows a gross lack of knowledge of scientific practice by labeling "the various theories of evolution" as mere "stories invented to explain how the remarkable designs found within living things . . . could originate in a mindless manner." Having been tested over and over, the explanations that historically led to the Theory of Evolution are not mere stories, any more than the explanations behind the great weight of evidence for Atomic Theory or Gravitational Theory or the Germ Theory of disease are mere stories. With such gross incompetence in science as his background, it is no wonder that he finally concluded "that life is a product of an intelligent Creator." But this is again The Argument From Design and The Argument From Personal Incredulity. We should also note that Kotlar apparently became a JW in the late 1970s, when the Watch Tower Society was teaching that life has existed on the earth for no more than 34,000 years. Since this was a prominent JW teaching at that time, Kotlar was surely aware of it, which speaks volumes about his scientific knowledge and competence as a scientist.
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    Feng-Ling Yang A Microbiologist Explains Her Faith Yang grew up as a Taoist, and accepted evolution as a matter of course. She had the usual repertoire of questions for which JWs claim to have the only real answers (why is there suffering, selfishness, etc.) but could find no answers until she came into contact with the JWs. She "liked mathematics and was fascinated by the way physical and chemical laws govern the structure of things." She believed "the theory of evolution to be a fact" because she "was taught nothing to the contrary." The JWs gave her the Bible's answers to her questions, including "the purpose of life". She "was impressed by the accuracy of its prophecies" and gradually "became convinced that the Bible is from God." Of course, the JWs gave her no hint of the Bible's many scientific inaccuracies or failed prophecies. In the late 1990s, Yang read the book Darwin's Black Box by Intelligent Design promoter Michael Behe (Awake! does not inform the reader of these details) and became convinced "that the molecular machines in living cells are so complex that they could not have originated randomly" and so she "felt that life must have been created." Of course, other scientists have thoroughly debunked Behe's claims, showing that his concept of "irreducible complexity" in biology is wrong. In the famous 2005 Dover, Pennsylvania "intelligent design" court case, Behe's claims were thoroughly trashed by expert witnesses who showed that he actually lied in court about various aspects of his claims. The judge concluded that Intelligent Design is not a proper scientific idea but a purely religious one, which has resulted in the gradual decline of the Intelligent Design movement. Behe, by the way, accepts theistic evolution, and that knowledge is likely why Watch Tower publications have not mentioned him since 2008. Those publications have carefully concealed Behe's acceptance of evolution.
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    Dr. Paola Chiozzi A Biochemist Explains Her Faith In early childhood Chiozzi felt that life was the product of superhuman wisdom, but later doubted God because of her question, "Why would the Creator of so much beauty allow suffering and death?" As a molecular biologist she studied programmed cell death, which somehow convinced her that "this marvelous process was clearly designed by someone who wants us to be healthy." Yet she still was left with the question, "Why do people suffer and die?" When contacted by the JWs, she learned their ideas about "original sin" and concluded that these harmonized with her research: "Since nearly all our cells are regularly replaced, living forever is certainly feasible." The main problem with this thinking is that it ignores the fact that if programmed cell death due to original sin is what makes people die after 80-some years, and God designed programmed cell death, then God is personally responsible for the fact that mankind dies rather than lives forever. But JWs refuse to think about this, because it means that with one hand God gives life and with the other takes it away, all the while pretending that this is due to some kind of justice. No one besides those indoctrinated in Christianity accepts such blatant nonsense. Chiozzi accepted that nonsense and became a JW.
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    Dr. Davey Loos A Biochemist Explains His Faith Here we find an explicit example of where Watch Tower writers deliberately conflate evolution and abiogenesis. Awake! states about Loos: << At one time, he doubted the existence of a Creator, believing instead in evolution. Later, he changed his mind. What caused a researcher to reconsider his beliefs about the origin of life? >> Loos grew up believing in God, but what he learned in college about the origin of living things (natural processes) made it difficult for him "to accept the existence of God." In 1999 a JW gave him a copy of the book Is There a Creator Who Cares About You? which he read. Of it he says, "I was impressed by the quality of the research that it presented. I began to wonder if evolution really did explain the designs seen in nature." That speaks volumes about Loos' competence as a scientist, since the book is largely a recap of material from Intelligent Design publications, which are entirely based on The Argument From Design and The Argument From Personal Incredulity, and entirely motivated by Christian religious convictions. Loos studied photosynthesis in sea-living cyanobacteria, and due to its "marvelous mechanisms" eventually concluded "that life must have been designed by God." Later, the supposed detailed fulfillment of Bible prophecies convinced him that the Bible is from God, and so, by unspecified reasoning processes, he became a JW. He claims that "our faith is not blind faith that ignores the facts of science". But as shown above, that is simply not true.
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    Dr. Gene Hwang A Mathematician Explains His Faith Right off the bat, Hwang confuses evolution and abiogenesis: "My school taught the theory of evolution, but no one explained how life itself began." In 1978 he began learning JW teachings. Of the Bible, he says, "I was impressed by its account of how the earth was prepared for human life. The six creative periods described in Genesis, albeit in simple language, seemed to fit the facts." Really "fit the facts"? At that time JWs taught that the creative days of Genesis were 7,000 years long, and that life had existed for no more than 34,000 years. So what "facts" is Hwang talking about? He says, "Still, for many years I did not commit to belief in a Creator." Eventually Hwang accepted The Argument From Design and became a JW.
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    Eldar Nebolsin A Classical Pianist Explains His Faith Nebolsin's story is essentially that, for emotional reasons, he accepted JW teachings. Apparently, The Argument From Design played a big part.
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    Petr Muzny A Law Professor Explains His Faith Before becoming a JW, Muzny went along with mainstream thinking in accepting evolution. Eventually he decided that The Argument From Design was sufficient to accept the existence of a Creator, which in some unspecified manner led him to become a JW.
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    Brett Schenck “I Am Convinced That Life Was Designed by God” "A retired environmental consultant in the United States", Schenck studied ecology in college, and later, "the interdependency of plants, animals, and the environment." He always accepted the existence of God and respected the Bible. He also accepted evolution, and so was a theistic evolutionist. He did not think that the Bible came from God, but after some JWs convinced him that the Bible is scientifically accurate, he gradually "became convinced that the Bible is the Word of God." Unfortunately, his example of "scientifically accurate" is Isaiah 40:22 and Job 26:7, ('circle of the earth' and 'hanging the earth upon nothing') which was thoroughly debunked above. So Schenck obviously did little by way of careful research in this field. Among other things, Schenck was convinced that the Bible is the Word of God by its "prophecies that had come true", which overall claim was thoroughly debunked above and has been by many commentators. Eventually, he became convinced that evolution is wrong by The Argument From Design and The Argument From Personal Incredulity. Note that all of the above testimonies are not based on solid facts, but on the emotional appeal of The Argument From Design and/or the refusal to think about solid facts related to The Argument From Personal Incredulity. Watch Tower literature on abiogenesis and evolution is based on similar considerations. It's interesting that these testimonies come from people who became JWs after getting their technical educations or after becoming famous. This is apparently an example of the Watch Tower Society trying to argue by weight of authority -- always a dangerous game to play. Apparently Brother Rando thinks that such personal testimonies based largely on false reasonings support his contention that the Bible is the Word of God. Why he does so in the context of the JW religion is a mystery, though, because he rejects certain teachings clearly set out in the Bible and in Watch Tower literature, as shown in the thread
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    . Clearly, Brother Rando is an apostate according to Watch Tower standards, because he rejects certain teachings of the Governing Body and of the Bible. AlanF
  9. Are you really as stupid as you appear to be? The fact that your English is lousy does not excuse you. An ad hominem attack is a substitute for an argument that, rather than attacking the opponent's argument, attacks the credibility of the opponent by applying a label to him, and trying to dismiss him by that label rather than by actually dealing with the argument. You did that by saying " Looks like Legion got his feelings hurt again". You entirely failed to deal with my argument, namely, my proof that you teach things that contradict "the faithful slave" and the Bible. Do you deny that you teach things contradictory to "the slave's" teachings? Do you deny that you teach things contradictory to the Bible itself? You can't honestly deny it, because your claims are already in print above, for all to see. Of course, you can squirm and lie every which way, just like President Donald Trump. But most readers can read the Bible and The Watchtower for themselves and see how you've contradicted it and "the slave". As for "exposing" me, are you really so stupid that you think that others do not realize that your name calling is just that? AlanF
  10. So, Thomas, can you answer the questions I posed to you above? AlanF
  11. Since the Bible does not mention dinosaurs, but only very general categories such as flying creatures, sea monsters and such, the best one can answer is: It says nothing about dinosaurs, so it neither harmonizes with nor contradicts science. However, Genesis 1 quite specifically states the order of creation of life: plants; swimming and flying creatures; land animals. But this order is wildly wrong according to the fossil record. See my comments at The Librarian's link for more information. AlanF
  12. Nicole wrote: They add up the various "begats" in the Old Testament, and make their own version of the chronology of the entire Old Testament, including the chronology of the Jewish kings, then estimate what year in our modern date system to attach their OT chronology to, and presto! about 6,000 years. The current teaching is that Adam was created in 4026 BCE. Roll forward to 2018 and you have 6,043 years. The Insight volumes, under "Chronology", lays it all out. But much is left unsaid, and some key claims are demonstrably wrong. In the 17th century, Irish Archbishop James Ussher made a similar calculation that has appeared in the margins of many Bibles since then: Adam was created around 6 pm on 22 October 4004 BCE (
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    ). Most JWs are unfamiliar with anything to do with the subject of "6,000 years of human history" for a variety of reason. The WTS says little about it today. For most JWs, the subject is too esoteric to be of interest. Of course, the notion was the basis for the WTS's ridiculous claim that the world would end by 1975, and so today it has incentive to play down the ideas that the failed prediction was based on. AlanF
  13. Obviously you have no answer to my proofs that you're an apostate. Deny, deny, deny, and mount ad hominem attacks. That's all you can manage. Here's a challenge to see if you claim you're not an apostate: Send your name, address and a link to your apostate writings and videos to the Watch Tower Society. Tell us what happens. AlanF
  14. Brother Rando wrote several apostate claims: Nowhere does "the faithful slave" teach that 120 years past 1914 is a significant date. Nowhere does it mention 2034 as a significant date. Brother Rando is running ahead of "the slave". That is independent thinking and apostasy. As the January 15, 1983 Watchtower states (p. 27): << Fight Against Independent Thinking 19 As we study the Bible we learn that Jehovah has always guided his servants in an organized way. And just as in the first century there was only one true Christian organization, so today Jehovah is using only one organization. (Ephesians 4:4, 5; Matthew 24:45-47) Yet there are some who point out that the organization has had to make adjustments before, and so they argue: “This shows that we have to make up our own mind on what to believe.” This is independent thinking. Why is it so dangerous? 20 Such thinking is an evidence of pride. And the Bible says: “Pride is before a crash, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” (Proverbs 16:18) If we get to thinking that we know better than the organization, we should ask ourselves: “Where did we learn Bible truth in the first place? Would we know the way of the truth if it had not been for guidance from the organization? Really, can we get along without the direction of God’s organization?” No, we cannot!—Compare Acts 15:2, 28, 29; 16:4, 5. >> Independent thinking, "the slave", points out, is evidence of pride. Brother Rando exhibits pride in spades. Note how he pridefully contradicts "Jehovah's organization": Note how he says that "I gave you the sign . . ." Well who is Brother Rando? Is he a prophet? Does he have special powers of biblical interpretation that override those of "the faithful slave"? Obviously not. Furthermore, Brother Rando directly contradicts both the Bible and "the faithful slave". Note what the April 1, 1997 Watchtower said about "the sign" (p. 15): << At some point after the “great tribulation” begins, but before Jehovah executes his judgment upon the rest of this world, supernatural events will occur. Note the effect they will have. “Then the sign of the Son of man [Christ] will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in lamentation, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:29, 30) “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, . . . while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth.”—Luke 21:25, 26. >> Whatever "the sign of the son of man" is, no one knows it. But the Bible clearly states two things: (1) It appears after the "great tribulation"; (2) It appears in heaven. The "tribulation" has not occurred, and there have been no supernatural signs in heaven. Therefore, "the sign of the son of man" has not yet appeared. But Brother Rando claims that "the sign" is the preaching work done by Jehovah's Witnesses, clearly contradicting both the Bible and "the faithful slave". Brother Rando is clearly an apostate, since his teaching deviates from the Bible and from the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses that he claims to be part of. "The slave" clearly teaches that those who display attitudes like Brother Rando's, who presumptuously teach things that contradict not only "the slave's" teachings but worse, the Bible's teachings, are apostates. The April 1, 1986 Watchtower states (p. 31): << Teaching dissident or divergent views is not compatible with true Christianity, as Paul makes clear at 1 Corinthians 1:10: . . . Was this unity to be achieved and maintained by each one’s independently searching the Scriptures, coming to his own conclusions, and then teaching these? Not at all! . . . Obviously, a basis for approved fellowship with Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot rest merely on a belief in God, in the Bible, in Jesus Christ, and so forth. . . simply professing to have such beliefs would not authorize one to be known as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Approved association with Jehovah’s Witnesses requires accepting the entire range of the true teachings of the Bible, including those Scriptural beliefs that are unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses. >> Because Brother Rando pridefully teaches false things that contradict not only "the faithful slave" but the Bible itself, there is but one conclusion: Brother Rando is an apostate. AlanF

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