So I found another piece in the No 4. 2017 awake attacking evolution. Wow two attacks in the same article!
Anyway Richardson is a physician the JWs are cherry picking to support the idea even intelligent people can think evolution is nonsense. She says something interesting reflecting back to a time when she wasn't a JW:
"I believed in evolution because of my education. Everybody did. It was something I never doubted; it was taught as a scientific fact."
I see this claim a lot in articles and videos like this one (also no doubt a subtle attack on higher education too!). What's interesting to me is that I'm taking an astronomy course right now. Early in that course we went over the evidence to support the fact that Earth revolves around the Sun (heliocentrism). Up until now I don't recall ever being exposed to the evidence to support it (maybe I was in grade school but forgot?). Anyway, my sentiment up until this course was similar to her prior view regarding evolution and I might as well use her words and say:
I believed in heliocentrism because of my education. Everybody did. It was something I never doubted; it was taught as a scientific fact
So far so good. The issue here is that I never was previously taught (or retained) the reasons why heliocentrism is a scientific fact. I suspect the same thing happened with Richardson. Had she learned and retained the information about the overwhelming evidence to support evolution, she would still accept evolution today. Learning mere facts is pretty much useless without also learning the evidence that was used to draw the conclusions that we call facts. Being "taught" something is much different in my opinion than "learning" something. Perhaps this is an indictment against the way science is sometimes taught or how students approach classes focusing on memorizing facts to pass an exam instead of actually, you know, trying to learn something?