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Do Jehovah's Witnesses Accept Evolution?


AlanF

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Do Jehovah's Witnesses Accept Evolution?

Some people claim that JWs reject the Theory of Evolution in favor of the Bible's creation account in Genesis.

But is that really true?

Note these frank admissions in Watch Tower publications:

"Scientists have proved evolution to be true." -- Answers to 10 Questions Young People Ask (2016) p. 27

"Evolution is a fact." -- Answers to 10 Questions Young People Ask Work, Volume 2 (2016) p. 27; W13 10/15 p. 11; “Bearing Thorough Witness” About God’s Kingdom (2009) p. 141; G 9/06 p. 22; W04 10/1 p. 10; g90 1/22 pp. 8-10; g87 7/22 p. 10; Life - How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985) pp. 26, 180, 181; G74 9/22 p. 26

"Evolution is as much a fact as the heat of the sun." -- G 9/06 p. 13; Was Life Created? (2010) p. 18

"Evolution is as much a fact as the existence of gravity." -- Life - How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985) p. 181

"Evolution is a fact; God is a myth." G90 1/22 p.11

"Evolution is a fact. It no longer needs to be proved. No competent scientist doubts it. All educated people believe it. Only the ignorant reject it." G87 1/22 p. 10

"There’s no question that evolution is a fact. We see examples of it every day. No responsible person questions it. It’s as much a fact as gravity and atoms!" -- G74 9/22 p. 17

"The Bible is a myth" and "evolution is true". -- W75 7/15 p. 443; W71 1/15 p. 48; G70 4/22 p. 3

"The theory of evolution is true". -- The Origin of Life—Five Questions Worth Asking (2010) p. 9

AlanF

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Do Jehovah's Witnesses Accept Evolution? Some people claim that JWs reject the Theory of Evolution in favor of the Bible's creation account in Genesis. But is that really true? Note the

I tell you what AlanF, since you have done THAT much research, it is clear one of two, possibly three  things: 1.) You are onto something, and we have all missed it, or 2.) You are delibera

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I tell you what AlanF, since you have done THAT much research, it is clear one of two, possibly three  things:

1.) You are onto something, and we have all missed it, or

2.) You are deliberately lying, and making this stuff up completely out of context, which means you are dishonest, evil, and can be completely disregarded, or

3.) some third scenario that is worse than number two, that I have not discerned.

Since you have ALREADY done the research, why not, for a change,  give some credibility to your posting by showing the full quote in context.

By that I mean several paragraphs BEFORE the listed quote, and several paragraphs AFTER the listed quote.

Further, instead of shorthand, spell out "Watchtower and Awake, etc. in your citations.

I for one, would certainly entertain anything you have to say, if it does not on the face of it the same appearance of the factual statements that Chancellor Hitler was a vegetarian, a dog lover, and loved his mother, and niece, and made his nation into an industrial powerhouse.....which taken out of context makes him appear a fine person.

AS it stands, what you say MAY be true, in context, but the probability is approximately the same  with what you have posted so far, as the probability that the Earth is flat, which without PROOF, can be instantly dismissed without any further investigation whatsoever.

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22 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

I tell you what AlanF, since you have done THAT much research, it is clear one of two, possibly three  things:

1.) You are onto something, and we have all missed it, or

2.) You are deliberately lying, and making this stuff up completely out of context, which means you are dishonest, evil, and can be completely disregarded, or

3.) some third scenario that is worse than number two, that I have not discerned.

Since you have ALREADY done the research, why not, for a change,  give some credibility to your posting by showing the full quote in context.

By that I mean several paragraphs BEFORE the listed quote, and several paragraphs AFTER the listed quote.

Further, instead of shorthand, spell out "Watchtower and Awake, etc. in your citations.

I for one, would certainly entertain anything you have to say, if it does not on the face of it the same appearance of the factual statements that Chancellor Hitler was a vegetarian, a dog lover, and loved his mother, and niece, and made his nation into an industrial powerhouse.....which taken out of context makes him appear a fine person.

AS it stands, what you say MAY be true, in context, but the probability is approximately the same  with what you have posted so far, as the probability that the Earth is flat, which without PROOF, can be instantly dismissed without any further investigation whatsoever.

But the earth IS flat! The Bible says so, and here's one of thousands of YouTube videos that prove it:

http://www.flatearthclues.com/video_listing/flat-earth-proof-by-jeranism/

As for these quotes, they simply repeat what the Watch Tower stated. So they are correct.

AlanF

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AlanF:

You are now doing what you in earlier posts on evolution castigated, and for which I just gave you an "upvote" ... quote mining.

I hope the REAL purpose of your post is to teach the fallacy of quote mining as representing truth ... and NOT asserting the quotes you gave as being truth.

If that is true, then your post has real value ... otherwise ... on the face of it ( using the criteria I posted above...) ... it was designed to deceive.

Quote miners shovel through tons of gold bearing earth, to find crap.

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James Thomas Rook Jr. said:
 
 

Quote

You are now doing what you in earlier posts on evolution castigated, and for which I just gave you an "upvote" ... quote mining.

Exactly.

Quote

I hope the REAL purpose of your post is to teach the fallacy of quote mining as representing truth ... and NOT asserting the quotes you gave as being truth.

You got it.

You'll note that nowhere in my original post did I state that JWs accept evolution. Rather, I asked leading questions that IMPLIED that something that is false is true. I also used the phrase "frank admissions" to describe the misquotes. Guess who I'm imitating here?

Quote

If that is true, then your post has real value ... otherwise ... on the face of it ( using the criteria I posted above...) ... it was designed to deceive.

I think it has real pedagogical value. At least, it does for honest people.

Your above three points are very good, and your post shows proper righteous indignation at what appears to be blatant misrepresentation.

Quote

Quote miners shovel through tons of gold bearing earth, to find crap.

Exactly.

RationalWiki describes quote-mining ( https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Quote_mining ):

<< Quote mining (also contextomy) is the fallacious tactic of taking quotes out of context in order to make them seemingly agree with the quote miner's viewpoint or to make the comments of an opponent seem more extreme or hold positions they don't in order to make their positions easier to refute or demonize. It's a way of lying. This tactic is widely used among Young Earth Creationists in an attempt to discredit evolution.

Quote mining is an informal fallacy and a fallacy of ambiguity, in that it removes context that is necessary to understand the mined quote. >>

Now I'd like you to comment on this claim:

<< . . . as long as you quote or cite the source then if you find a comment that supports your argument even though the author of that reference may have an entirely different viewpoint then it is a legitimate academic practice to use that point accordingly. It is fair game as long as you cite or reference the source . . . >>

I think you'll appreciate this: With the help of my wife I posted the same stuff on Simon Green's board:

https://www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/5959384749309952/do-jehovahs-witnesses-accept-evolution

What do you think of the responses?

AlanF

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For James Thomas Rook, Jr.:

More on quote-mining:

In 1978 evolutionary zoologist Richard Lewontin wrote a Scientific American article "Adaptation" ( https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwju752x5vHYAhVC-mMKHbJhBG0QFggpMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdynamics.org%2F~altenber%2FLIBRARY%2FREPRINTS%2FLewontin_Adaptation.1978.pdf&usg=AOvVaw2ZNdeinrKEjSk8hpWf9RcZ ). On the first page he wrote:

<< The manifest fit between organisms and their environment is a major outcome of evolution. . .

The theory about the history of life that is now generally accepted, the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection, is meant to explain two different aspects of the appearance of the living world: diversity and fitness. . . By the time Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859 it was widely (if not universally) held that species had evolved from one another, but no plausible mechanism for such evolution had been proposed. Darwin's solution to the problem was that small heritable variations among individuals within a species become the basis of large differences between species. . .

Life forms are more than simply multiple and diverse, however. Organisms fit remarkably well into the external world in which they live. They have morphologies, physiologies and behaviors that appear to have been carefully and artfully designed to enable each organism to appropriate the world around it for its own life.

It was the marvelous fit of organisms to the environment, much more than the great diversity of forms, that was the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer. Darwin realized that if a naturalistic theory of evolution was to be successful, it would have to explain the apparent perfection of organisms and not simply their variation. . .

These "organs of extreme perfection" were only the most extreme case of a more general phenomenon: adaptation. Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection was meant to solve both the problem of the origin of diversity and the problem of the origin of adaptation at one stroke. Perfect organs were a difficulty of the theory not in that natural selection could not account for them but rather in that they were its most rigorous test, since on the face of it they seemed the best intuitive demonstration that a divine artificer was at work. >>

A couple of years later the young-earth creationist author Gary Parker wrote an article in a creationist publication where he referenced Lewontin's Scientific American article:

<< As Harvard's Richard Lewontin recently summarized it, organisms ". . . appear to have been carefully and artfully designed." He calls the "perfection of organisms" both a challenge to Darwinism and, on a more positive note, "the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer." >>

My question is: Did Parker fairly quote Lewontin, or did he quote-mine Lewontin?

Please explain your answer.

AlanF

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Nana Fofana wrote:

Quoting the poster cognisonance from the jehovahs-witness.com board:

Quote

 

https://www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/5959384749309952/do-jehovahs-witnesses-accept-evolution?page=2#5533312618594304

This responder says :" It was stuff like this helped wake me up:

"The fossil evidence could be consistent with the idea of a Great Designer" -- Carl Sagan

 

This was quote-mined by the Creation book, page 70, from Sagan's 1980 book Cosmos.

Quote

 

Here's the quote (emphasized), in context:

    A Designer is a natural, appealing and altogether human explanation of the biological world. But, as Darwin and Wallace showed, there is another way, equally appealing, equally human, and far more compelling: natural selection, which makes the music of life more beautiful as the aeons pass.

    The fossil evidence could be consistent with the idea of a Great Designer; perhaps some species are destroyed when the Designer becomes dissatisfied with them, and new experiments are attempted on an improved design. But this notion is a little disconcerting. Each plant and animal is exquisitely made; should not a supremely competent Designer have been able to make the intended variety from the start? The fossil record implies trial and error, an inability to anticipate the future, features inconsistent with an efficient Great Designer (although not with a Designer of a more remote and indirect temperament).

 

The Creation book quoted Sagan to support its claims that "fossils do not support the theory of evolution" and that the "fossil evidence does lend strong weight to the arguments for creation". In the same paragraph, it quotes young-earth creationist Harold Coffin (a Seventh-Day Adventist) that "the basic facts of the fossil record support creation, not evolution." Then it quotes Sagan: "Astronomer Carl Sagan candidly acknowledged in his book Cosmos: "The fossil evidence could be consistent with the idea of a Great Designer".

The quote-mining is this: the Creation book's claims (1) that the fossil record supports not evolution but creation, and (2) that Sagan's acknowledgement that the fossil evidence could be consistent with the idea of a Great Designer supports that claim, when the rest of his statements clearly show that he views the notion of creation by a supremely competent Designer -- God -- as "disconcerting" at best, because the obvious "trial and error" seen in the fossil record is evidence, not of an "efficient Great Designer" but of at best "a Designer of a more remote and indirect temperament", i.e., a deistic god, and NOT the God of the Bible that JWs believe is the Great Designer. In other words, Sagan clearly argued that any supposed "Great Designer" is more likely to be a deistic god than the Bible's God. Were this clearly explained to the reader, his comment on what Sagan said would surely be, "Why is the Watch Tower book quoting someone who is virtually an atheist?"

Quote

From which quote I will 'quote mine' the following:

You obviously don't understanding what quote-mining is: It is quoting or misquoting with the intention of misleading the reader about the author's views or intent, so as to give false support to the quoter's argument. Obviously, then, were the reader given a truthful view of the author's views, he would form a different opinion of the quoter's argument than were he given a view that is unfairly spun by the quoter.

Quote

"Each plant and animal is exquisitely made; should not a supremely competent Designer have been able to make the intended variety from the start? The fossil record implies trial and error, an inability to anticipate the future, features inconsistent with an efficient Great Designer (although not with a Designer of a more remote and indirect temperament)."

This is not quote-mined -- it is a fair quote. If you had said or implied something untrue about its meaning, that would be quote-mined.

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And I'd also like to 'quote mine' Stephen Jay Gould. . .

Again this is not quote-mined. But you're going way off topic. If you want to discuss Gould's views, start a new thread.

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So with *WT's 'quote mining' {*I'm presuming that's where the 'mined' C.S. quote came from}

Correct; see above.

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-your responder missed out on a longer quote by  Carl Sagan asserting that the fossil record demonstrates how imperfect were "transitional  forms" that supposedly occurred between the "exquisitely made" plants and animals we see around us.

Sagan said nothing of the sort. Read the material again.

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But this is apparently untrue, because Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould says - in a quote which I have 'mined' from the longer quote above:

Quote

“The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our text- books have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils. Yet Darwin was so wedded to gradualism that he wagered his entire theory on a denial of this literal record:"

All of Gould's quotes are grossly taken out of context, which can easily be proved by doing some online research, including reading the complete article, and by looking for Gould's statements at how creationists constantly misquoted or misrepresented him. But again, this is material for another thread.

Quote

 

So I think the responder to your experiment would probably be better off with whatever the fuller context was in the WT literature from which he mined this example of the 'tragic' cutting short of some  untrue blather, by 'mining' something true out of it and only printing that.

 

I have no idea what you're trying to say here.

AlanF

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