DC 2010 Release - The Origin of Life and its many misquotes

by Designer Stubble 25 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Designer Stubble
    Designer Stubble

    I have just started working my way through the new publication “The Origin of Life – 5 Questions worth asking”. It is completely appalling. It is at the very most six grade level and just the first references I verified (which most dubs don’t do) have been taken out of context, are completely misquoted or in the example of using the Encyclopedia Britannica – a dated version is used rather than the most recent one, to align with what they want to write, rather than aligned with the newest research.

    Here is one example, taken from page 12, which quotes Microbiologist Ruda Popa: “The Complexity of the mechanisms required for the functioning of a living cell is so large that simultaneous emergence by chance seems impossible.” Here is where the quote ends.

    However looking up the reference in the book “Between Necessity and Probability: Searching for the Definition and Origin of Life, page 126-127, the full quote reads:

    The Complexity of the mechanisms required for the functioning of a living cell is so large that simultaneous emergence by chance seems impossible. Most scientists now believe that life originated in a number of smaller and probabilistically likelier steps. Instead of being one big chance like event, life might actually be an accretion of a series of events emerging at different moments in time.”

    Sounds rather different to me!

    Then scientists are portrayed as not believing that life is created, but that they believe that life arose by chance in a fashion not yet fully understood. Where as the Bible simply states: Of course, every house is constructed by someone, but he that constructed all things is God. (Hebrews 3:4).

    The brochure starts out with a completely stupid introduction illustration. It talks about parents hesitating to tell young children where babies come from…then says: “Just as many parents feel awkward…some scientists seem reluctant to discuss an even more fundamental question – Where did life come from?

    It is going to be painful and embarrassing to go through this brochure, but I want to get all misquotes and inaccuracies listed properly, so that once it is released over here, I have my information ready at hand to wipe the brochure totally out.

  • designs

    The Society is stuck in intellectual purgatory. Caught between the Fundamentalists on one end and Science on the other.

    It ain't pretty.

  • rocketman

    "Sounds rather different to me!"

    Me too Designer Stubble. Looks like they're still taking liberty with quotes just as they did with the Creation book.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    I don't "get" why it is so hard for religious people to simply accept that even IF they are RIGHT and there IS A GOD, that he almost certainly used evolution to differentiate the species of life we see on earth today. There is NO REASON for the two beliefs to be incompatible other than religion not wanting to share its glory and authority as the true source of all information with science.

  • jwfacts

    Thanks DS for the great observations. I look forward to any other similar findings from the book.

  • sir82

    Well, good to know that their MO of chopping up quotes just to get the "good stuff" is unchanged.

    So long as the stuff between the quote marks is accurately transcribed, they are completely and utterly unconcerned with context or meaning.

  • PrimateDave

    This brochure attempts to put the science behind the theory of evolution on the defensive. Really, though, the science doesn't need defending. It may need explaining in a way that even a lay person can understand at times.

    What I am tempted to do with this brochure is put the WTS on the defensive by attacking their journalistic integrity, line by line. What Designer Stubble posted above is a prime example of what I'm talking about.

    An in depth analysis of this shouldn't degrade into a arguments about theism/atheism, the Bible/Christianity, or even Evolution/ID. It's about the fact that they lie. The WTS calls what they have "The Truth," and yet they lie. Once that fundamental fact is established, nothing else they write has any authority.

  • teel

    Mad Sweeney: In case of JWs? I'd say pride. When Russel started the religion 130 years ago, evolution wasn't really hard to doubt, in fact most people doubted it. Then they got stuck with it, like with other beliefs they fought to keep, for example 1914. Some other religions have no problems at least flirting with the idea of "intelligent evolution" - evolution directed by God.

  • Gladring

    Something else to note - on almost every page there is a footnote to say "this scientist is not a creationist and his remarks are not intended to say that he doubts evolutionary theory". Perhaps this is so when you comment on the misrepresentation, the JW can say "look they say here that that's not what the scientist meant". Perhaps it is to cover their legal asses. But why bother printing a brochure and then rendering it impotent with so many disclaimers?

    They have also included a complete bibliography to make it even easier to track the misquotes.

    I think they are trying to address some of the objections raised against the older creation books, but they can't make a case for creation without misrepresenting the scientists quoted.

    The brochure may fool those who already believe, but anyone impartial who checks the references will not be deceived.

  • Gladring

    Teel - Back in 1914 the Bible Students were teaching that evolution is fact and in harmony with the Genesis account. Only in relation to man did they claim special creation. They still held this position in the 1920s.

    Does anyone know why the did an about face on this? Or when exactly it changed?

  • Gladring


    Quote from the photodrama of creation - The fifth day or epoch:

    The conflict between Evolution and the Bible has been sharp. Nevertheless, unnecessary friction has been generated.

    Only in respect to man does the Bible declare a special, direct creation of God. The statements of Genesis in respect to the lower creatures rather favor something along the lines of specialized Evolution. God said, "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the Earth." (Genesis 1:20,21.) This is exactly in harmony with our scientific findings that the beginning of life came from the waters, and later extended to the birds, and later to land animals.

  • teel

    That's very interresting Gladring, I don't think I heard that before. Anyone got any extra info? Thanks Gladring, you answered before I could even ask That link to the photodrama is enough proof. Ever thought of writing prophecies for the WT? You'd do a better job than the current employees.

    Indeed, that disclaimer looks like they're preparing for the people saying it's full of misquotes.

  • VM44

    From the brochure:

    "...some scientists seem reluctant..."

    From wiki:

    Weasel words is an informal term for words and phrases aimed at creating an impression that something specific and meaningful has been said, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated

  • Robert7

    I never was angry at the WTS because I just see them as misguided and mostly sincere. But this type of deception makes me angry! Twisting quotes to fit an agenda is flat-out lying and unethical.

  • sir82
    on almost every page there is a footnote to say "this scientist is not a creationist and his remarks are not intended to say that he doubts evolutionary theory".


    That's nuts!

    In other words, "Heck yes we freely admit we are taking this guy's words out of context. But we expect you poor suckers reading this to believe us anyway! Nyah nyah nyah boo boo boo - l-l-l-l-l-losers!!!!"

    Their contempt for the intelligence of their followers appears to be growing exponentially.

  • inkling

    In case anyone interested missed it on a previous thread, a PDF of this brochure is floating around, and can be downloaded (for a limited time at least) here:


    The other creationist-themed brochure released is here:


    Enjoy! (or whatever the twisted evil twin sibling of "enjoy" is...)


  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Their contempt for the intelligence of their followers appears to be growing exponentially.

    And the intelligence of their followers appears to be shrinking exponentially, too! The brain drain that has happened to the Borg over the last couple decades as smart people leave and are replaced with less intelligent replacements is significant.

  • BluesBrother

    If or when they study this at the weekly Book/Bible Study portion of the Meeting....... I really hope that that the reader reads aloud all the footnotes !

  • inkling
    But why bother printing a brochure and then rendering it impotent with so many disclaimers?
    They have also included a complete bibliography to make it even easier to track the misquotes.

    Why? I'll tell you why... becuase they know that no one will bother!

    That's the saddest and most frustrating thing here... they can brazenly TELL their readers that they are quote mining, and it remains just as effective! The reader will simply feel pity for the poor silly misguided scientists who are smart enough to say the stuff they just had quoted but not "connect the dots" to god. It not only appears to weaken the case for evolution, but also makes the scientists appear to have "minds blinded by Satan"

    And who is going to actually look up the references? Or understand them? Can you imagine a JW browsing the biology section of thier local library? And if you ARE, or are looking up this stuff on the internet, you are no longer the kind of person who they want as a JW anyway.

    It's strategic GENIUS. It seriously amps up the appearance of credibility, while barely watering down the propaganda at all.

    This is very nearly a "those magnificent bastards" moment...


  • Copernic

    p 24 Henry Gee seems to be misquoted too and it's not the first time

    You can reed the quote in his book

    Gee Responds to Discovery Institute’s use of Quotation

    The Discovery Institute’s Viewers Guide to the PBS “Evolution” series claims in several places (for example, on page 11) that the series “…leave(s) viewers with the misleading impression that the evidence for human evolution is much stronger than it really is.” The Guide attempts to discredit the scientific implications of the human fossil record by quoting (on pages 11, 40, 47, 88, and 111) passages from the 1999 book In Search of Deep Time by Dr. Henry Gee, who is also Senior Editor, Biological Sciences, for the journal Nature. Dr. Gee has sent us the following comments:

    1. The Discovery Institute has used unauthorized, selective quotations from my book IN SEARCH OF DEEP TIME to support their outdated, mistaken views.

    2. Darwinian evolution by natural selection is taken as a given in IN SEARCH OF DEEP TIME, and this is made clear several times e.g. on p5 (paperback edition) I write that "if it is fair to assume that all life on Earth shares a common evolutionary origin..." and then go on to make clear that this is the assumption I am making throughout the book. For the Discovery Institute to quote from my book without reference to this is mischievous.

    3. That it is impossible to trace direct lineages of ancestry and descent from the fossil record should be self-evident. Ancestors must exist, of course -- but we can never attribute ancestry to any particular fossil we might find. Just try this thought experiment -- let's say you find a fossil of a hominid, an ancient member of the human family. You can recognize various attributes that suggest kinship to humanity, but you would never know whether this particular fossil represented your lineal ancestor - even if that were actually the case. The reason is that fossils are never buried with their birth certificates. Again, this is a logical constraint that must apply even if evolution were true -- which is not in doubt, because if we didn't have ancestors, then we wouldn't be here. Neither does this mean that fossils exhibiting transitional structures do not exist, nor that it is impossible to reconstruct what happened in evolution. Unfortunately, many paleontologists believe that ancestor/descendent lineages can be traced from the fossil record, and my book is intended to debunk this view. However, this disagreement is hardly evidence of some great scientific coverup -- religious fundamentalists such as the DI -- who live by dictatorial fiat -- fail to understand that scientific disagreement is a mark of health rather than decay. However, the point of IN SEARCH OF DEEP TIME, ironically, is that old-style, traditional evolutionary biology
    -- the type that feels it must tell a story, and is therefore more appealing to news reporters and makers of documentaries -- is unscientific.

    4. I am a religious person and I believe in God. I find the militant atheism of some evolutionary biologists ill-reasoned and childish, and most importantly unscientific -- crucially, faith should not be subject to scientific justification. But the converse also holds true -- science should not need to be validated by the narrow dogma of faith. As such, I regard the opinions of the Discovery Institute as regressive, repressive, divisive, sectarian and probably unrepresentative of views held by people of faith generally. In addition, the use by creationists of selective, unauthorized quotations, possibly with intent to mislead the public undermines their position as self-appointed guardians of public values and morals.

    5. The above views are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my colleagues at NATURE or any opinion or policy of the NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP.
    Henry Gee

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