Monica Richardson - "[Evolution] was something I never doubted; it was taught as a scientific fact."

by cognisonance 9 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • cognisonance

    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?

  • cofty

    She is a physician and she rejects evolution! How does she explain the battle against antibiotic - resistant bacteria?

  • cognisonance

    Cofty I agree. It's been said "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." Dobzhansky's essay (the preceding link) also touches on my point, including the parallels between the heliocentric and evolutionary theories.

  • pale.emperor

    I can say a similar thing about my former religion:

    "I believed in Watchtower because of my theocratic education. Everybody did. It was something I never doubted; it was taught as a scientific fact."

  • cognisonance

    pale.emperor: Ironic isn't it. It goes to show that if a person only believes what they are taught by others to believe, they are in essence appealing to authority and not critically thinking and examining the evidence for themselves. As a result statements like these are useless in that they can apply to things that are true or false. They do, however, implicitly emphasize the danger of not critically thinking while learning.

    A neat tidbit from Dobzhansky's essay linked above:

    "Why then do we accept the "mere theory" that the earth is a sphere revolving around a spherical sun? Are we simply submitting to authority? Not quite: we know that those who took the time to study the evidence found it convincing."
  • OrphanCrow

    For more uplifting, inspiring stories about educated and brilliant scientists/doctors, etc who rejected evolution once they accepted the WT's inspired and wise words:

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Quote from Orphan Crow's interview reference (the roboticist):

    Why did you become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    "In part, it was because Barbara and I liked their thorough study methods. I was especially impressed with the research that goes into their publications. Solid research appeals to people like me, who want to probe into the details of things. For example, I became deeply interested in the many prophecies, or predictions, in the Bible. My study of those convinced me that the Bible really is from God."

    (Italics mine)

    Thorough study methods! JW study methods are as dumb as the Roman Catholic catechism and Bible prophecies are totally ambiguous open to many interpretations.How the apparently intelligent can be bamboozled by Watchtower propaganda.

  • cognisonance

    After exploring more about Dobzhansky's essay, I can no longer support his famous phrase unfortunately, as it doesn't mean what it appears to mean. For a long discussion see Dilley 2013.


    Dilley, S. (2013). Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of theology? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 44(4):774–786.

  • btlc

    @Half banana: RC catechism is a space shuttle compared to WT bicycle study, but yes, still crap.

  • never a jw
    never a jw

    Orphan crow,

    Isn't interesting how the WT disparages higher education, well that is until they need to sound credible.

    Amazing how those otherwise smart people can fall for the overlapping generation and other bullshit of the GB. Just amazing!

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