Great refutation of Watchtower's "Origin of Life" and "Was Life Created?" brochures
That's a great document, written with intelligence, tactfully, but uncompromising.
To "arouse interest", I've pasted the Introduction, below.
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.
This is very well done.
This is very useful. Thanks for creating this.
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.
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: http://www.mediafire.com/?bdtg5jjuuv7e4hw
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.
This is a very comprehensive piece, I downloaded the PDF and will show as many as I can.
It's already linked on the Wiki of JW in French (last link).
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 !)
Great Piece of work. Well done to the author.