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Deceptive Watchtower Information Regarding Evolution and Creation

The Watchtower has released a number of books and articles regarding the origins of the universe and life, all of a consistently poor standard. Theories of abiogenesis and evolution are misrepresented and sources misquoted. Whilst much of the information presented is taken from Creationist books, Creationists are themselves criticised. The following articles highlight the deception and false lines of reasoning that the Watchtower resorts to in support of their doctrine regarding creation.

The Awake 2014 March contained an article which managed to misrepresent the Bible, Science and Christians. Alan Feuerbacher highlights the dishonesty and poor logic in Critique of the March 2014 Awake Article "The Untold Story of Creation".

Weighed and Found Wanting examines the two 2010 Watchtower releases regarding evolution (The Origin of Life - Five Questions Worth Asking and Was Life Created?) and shows how both misrepresent evolution and distort almost every quote included.

The WTS View of Creation and Evolution. An article by Alan Feuerbacher showing how the Watchtower book Life - How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? makes regular use of misquotes to support its stance.

Research presented by Watchtower is so poor, they do not even manage to attribute quotes correctly. It is common for Watchtower quotes to provide no source for the reference, such as the quote from the following Awake!.

““The filament of DNA is information, a message written in a code of chemicals, one chemical for each letter,” wrote evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.” Awake! 2015 Aug p.5

A little bit or research uncovers this statement appears on page 37 of Richard Dawkings book The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing. Howe er, Dawkins is quoting Matt Ridley from the 1999 book Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters. How can the Awake! writer be trusted for information on science when the research is so fundamentally flawed even the source of information cannot be correctly identified.

The Awake! January 2015 manages to be deceptive in 3 different ways within its first half page. It starts by using another famous scientist to garner misleading support for creation, quoting Rama Singh as saying "The opposition to evolution goes beyond religious fundamentalism and includes a great many people from educated sections of the population." (Awake! 2015 Jan p.3) This poorly referenced quote is from Darwin’s legacy: why biology is not physics, or why evolution has not become a common sense, (as of 2 Jan 2016). Whilst the quote is accurate, it misrepresents Singh's intention. Singh continues in the same paragraph, "There are several reasons why facts of evolution are not easily comprehensible by the general masses." He continues by explaining why educated people lack comprehension of evolution. Prompted by Singh officially complaining about Awake! using “intellectual dishonesty” when taking him out of context, see inquisitr.com, Watchtower retracted the statement, reloading an edited version of the Awake! issue to their site without the reference to Singh.

Awake! 2015 Jan p.3 before and after revision.

As of 6th January 2016, the English audio version and most non-English language PDF editions still retain Singh's quote.

The second scientist quoted, Gerard, is not identified as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Whilst only a first name is given in the English Awake!, the German issue includes his full name as being Gerard Hertel, described in his Alumni (6 Jan 2016) as being one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

The article then goes on to ask:

"Why is it that even some scientifically-minded people have trouble accepting evolution as the origin of life?"

Evolution does not study the "origin of life," research into the "origin of life" is referred to as abiogenesis. Evolution is the study of "the process by which changes in plants and animals happen over time." There is a huge amount of evidence for evolution, in fact, even Watchtower promotes a rapid form of evolution, when it claims all millions of species of animals on earth evolved from the few thousand that were able to fit on Noah's ark 4000 years ago. On the other hand, even Richard Dawkins admits we know little about the origin of life.

"We know a great deal about how evolution has worked ever since it got started, but know little more than Darwin did about how it got started in the first place. ... We have no evidence about what the first step in making life was ... We don't actually need a plausible theory of the origin of life, and we might even be a little bit anxious if a too plausible theory were to be discovered!" The Greatest Show on Earth, The Evidence for Evolution (2009) pp.416,419

Jehovah's Witnesses sadly trust Watchtower writers on matters of science, whose bias overwhelmingly affects the accuracy of the information they present. Their research skills are so fundamentally inadequate they are unable to correctly identify the source of information, let alone accurately understand and explain matters of science.

Originally published Jun 2015, latest update Jan 2016

creative commons copyright    Paul Grundy  2005 - 2016