Great refutation of Watchtower's "Origin of Life" and "Was Life Created?" brochures

by Third Eye Open 52 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Third Eye Open
    Third Eye Open


    The essay linked above was written specifically to address the new creationist brochures that were put out by the Watchtower at this year's District Convention. The goals of the essay are the following:

    1. Explain the fundamentals of the philosophy of science so that people can understand why creationism (specifically the Watchtower's chosen flavor) is not science

    2. Refute the various claims the Watchtower makes regarding science (exposing out-of-context quotes, correcting logical errors , and pointing out scientific errors)

    3. Explaining basic concepts about how evolution works, the current state of abiogenesis research, and why philosophical design arguments used by the Watchtower fail

    The whole thing is thoroughly referenced to both the Watchtower's original sources (to show their dishonest quotations) and the relevant scientific literature so, as the WTBTS would say, "You can check the context."

    While the Society tried to be more transparent with their sources and has shifted their aesthetic style a little bit compared to their earlier creationist publications, they make the same mistakes and use the same old tactics. If (when, really) they run a public distribution campaign with this stuff, let's have something to hand right back to them or people that are interested in the topic.

  • Copernic

    Awesome !! Who did that ?

    This file should be added on the EvoWiki page

  • AnnOMaly

    That looks well put-together, professionally done. The author should put his/her name to it - even if only a pseudonym.

    It also appears to be written in a straight-forward manner that will make it easy for me to digest (being a complete novice in this area of controversy). I look forward to reading it.

  • PrimateDave

    I've just read through the first few pages and glanced over the rest.

    Wow! Absolutely fabulous!

    Get this one while you can, folks!

  • besty

    great work - welcome to JWN.....

  • jwfacts

    That is an incredible amount of work done in such a short time. I would like to add it to jwfacts as an example of misquotes done by the WTS. I would like to know the source so as to gain permission to post it.

  • besty

    ditto for freeminds...

  • bohm

    This is really solid! its even typeset in LaTeX, definately the work of a guy who know his stuff!

  • PSacramento

    This was a really great job by who ever did it, the author should take credit for all his hard work and research.

    One hopes that ONE day all religious people will be able to reconcile their faith with science.

    The only critique I have is that the wroiting is a bit "dry" and at times "overly" complex and that it could have been "dumbed down" for the genral auidence.

  • notverylikely

    That was an awesome doc

  • hamilcarr

    That's a great document, written with intelligence, tactfully, but uncompromising.

  • leavingwt

    To "arouse interest", I've pasted the Introduction, below.


    1.1 Introduction

    In 2010, The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society began printing and distributing two publications that address an alleged deficiency at the heart of the modern scientifific enterprise, namely the field of biology. The two works, titled Was Life Created? and The Origin of Life - Five Questions Worth Asking, present various criticisms of the evidence supporting biological evolution and argue that the origin and diversity of life is better explained by a supernatural creator god, specifically the God of the Bible.

    In many ways, the case presented will be familiar to those who have read earlier religiously motivated writings targeting the theory of evolution. Included are standard creationist tropes like the assertions that life is too complex and wonderful to be explained by natural processes, that the emergence of novel species is impossible, and that "true" religion and "actual" science are fully reconcilable.

    However, there are some unique features of the material that should be noted. For example, the editors clearly avoid any politically charged language. Absent is the phrase 'intelligent design' and even terms like 'creationist' and 'creationism' are used very sparingly. Attempts by other religious groups to force creationism into the public school science curriculum are dismissed. So-called "fundamentalists" are ridiculed as much for their disregard of scientifc evidence as for their "incorrect" interpretation of Scripture. Additionally, an effort was made to increase the transparency of the sources and quotations cited. Many of the scientific claims reference a bibliography, and several quotes from biologists feature an asterisk and the caveat that the person mentioned actually accepts evolution. Lastly, both documents focus primarily on scientific and logical arguments. While the Bible, God, and religion are featured multiple times, they clearly play a secondary role in the presentation.

    Many of the above mentioned editorial tendencies are ostensibly honorable. It may even be that the publishers are responding to complaints about their past writings dealing with the same subject. Despite these efforts and their motivation, the actual arguments presented fail to hit their target. The reasons for this are predictable. The logical appeals are confused and structural fallacies abound. The supposed "evidence against evolution" is manufactured from science that has been misunderstood, misapplied, or left conspicuously incomplete. As is often the case with people who are more accustomed to arguing about prophecy then phylogeny, the authors completely fail to grasp the purpose, method, and goals of science. The quotes, notwithstanding attempts at transparency, remain out of context and grossly misleading. The result is altogether unconvincing. This paper will address the specific claims made and evaluate the conclusions offered.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney


  • zoiks

    This is very well done.

  • straightshooter

    This is very useful. Thanks for creating this.

  • Yan Bibiyan
    Yan Bibiyan

    Excellent piece!!!

    If nothing else, as a minimum, one should be able to better understand how science and scientists work and the pragmatic approach in which science in general operates.

    Third eye, if you were the author, hats off. If not, hats off to the person who wrote it and definitely credit to you for bringing it to our attention.


  • Third Eye Open
    Third Eye Open

    I am not the author, but I posted the essay here on his behalf. He wants to say the following:

    I appreciate the kind words and enthusiastic reception. This topic is very important to me, so I though it deserved a good effort. I have altered the title page to include a note about the Creative Commons license that will allow people to share it without worrying about copyright. The only thanks I want is for people to distribute the document freely to whoever may benefit. The updated pdf can be found here:

    jwfacts and Besty, feel free to repost whatever you want, just use the new link so that people know they can do the same. Also, thanks to bohm for noticing the LaTeX work.

  • sabastious

    This is a very comprehensive piece, I downloaded the PDF and will show as many as I can.


  • Copernic

    It's already linked on the Wiki of JW in French (last link).

    With that document + these links (here & here), we can hope to have a day a similar & wonderful table which was made by Jan Haugland

    I think that the impact is stronger with an Excel Sheet and easier to use for readers. (even the job done in this essay is awesome !)

  • cantleave

    Great Piece of work. Well done to the author.

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