Darwin's lack of evidence

by Half banana 26 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • shepherdless
    But don't confuse evidence with interpretation and conclusions.

    More importantly, don’t confuse bald assertions with evidence.

  • Ruby456

    scientists have beliefs too - such beliefs are part of our rich repertoire of meaning making that joined creator and creativity in our world. In this sense I would suggest that most Jehovah's witnesses accept evolutionary processes but as guided by Jehovah and as demonstrating his wisdom. In this vein I was particularly struck by this comment of yours half banana particularly the creative creator like characteristics of pigeon fanciers

    Darwin’s honest admission was that the geology of his day could not demonstrate his theory of the origin of species in respect of evidence for fossil forebears of modern birds. If you have read the Origin of the Species you will remember that he used by way of example the deliberate or artificial selection by pigeon fanciers to create distinct breeds or characteristics and then made a telling comparison with the natural selection seen in the various species of Galapagos finches. half banana (bolding mine)

    so what I am arguing Jehovah's witnesses are not so far away in their science when we approach it as a way of meaning making. That scientists have beliefs we can consider Dawkins' memes. Theses memes have the status of demi-gods in the power that is attributed to them. I'm not so much judging Dawkins as drawing attn to how impossible it is to make out that science is without the very things we want to criticise in Jehovah's witnesses.

  • Phizzy

    Ruby456 says "Scientists have beliefs..." er, yes, what do you mean by beliefs ?

    If they are making an Hypothesis then it is based upon facts/evidence, from that they may extrapolate what they believe to be the case, recognizing that new facts may crush their interpretation. They of course are as free as the rest of us to offer opinions and ideas. But the latter are not truth, just opinion.

    What we who lead evidence based lives criticize in "believers", JW's and others, is that they trust that something is true without evidence, and then go on to assert that we should trust it is true too !

    The Scientific Method of robustly testing Hypotheses and continuing to scrutinize when they become Theories is the only way to get a true understanding. Anything else is simply opinion and emotion.

  • Fisherman
    don’t confuse bald assertions with evidence.

    "Bald assertions "don't validate interpretations and conclusions either.

  • Ruby456

    yes I agree with you Phizzy but we all including scientists live by means of beliefs or sense making. Dawkins is a prime example and yes he has been challenged regarding some of his opinions and like all good scientists he probably is eager to be falsified. But I'm sure he would robustly defend his opinions, ideas and beliefs because after all his social status is on the line.

    we all care about our reputation and social standing and I guess it is because of this that we care that we have robust beliefs that can stand up to scrutiny in our ordinary lives apart from our academic lives. So in this too I think JWs seek to have beliefs that can be defended robustly and that can be proven to be evidence based and for this they can be commended - pls see this https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311965887_How_to_talk_someone_out_of_a_damaging_cult

  • TD


    I would suggest that most Jehovah's witnesses accept evolutionary processes but as guided by Jehovah

    Or perhaps by Satan?

    Jehovah's Witnesses believe that predation evolved in some unspecified way as a result of "sin" which is a repudiation of special creation any way you look at it.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Ruby said

    I think JWs seek to have beliefs that can be defended robustly and that can be proven to be evidence based

    That is not my experience at all!

    JWs are believers in their leader's claim to a special relationship with their creator.

    The governing body are viewed as oracles of divine wisdom in the minds of the flock, their word is truth and since the claims they assemble are from the Bible; for JWs that makes their assertions equivalent to "God's word".

    This attitude prevents the individual witness investigating an evidential basis for belief, for to attempt to substantiate JW beliefs by external sources is a virtual apostasy. The mentally blinkered JW is hide-bound to conform to the commonly held religious hype which is asserted without evidence but reinforces "group think".

    No Ruby, JWs are intellectually flawed, they do not seek evidence and truth at all.

    What is of overriding importance to a JW is to have their identity validated by membership and the social approbation of their fellow believers by demonstrating their unquestioning loyalty to HQ.

  • Ruby456

    half banana the evidence is provided by their experiences of being JWs - for example they must feel a sense of wellbeing and mission from being part of the group and more so than from their previous lives. To be honest I did feel this sense of wellbeing and mission when I first joined.

    the evidence regarding beliefs is that the logic fits together sufficiently to be be acceptable for them and again more so than the logic of what they believed previous to becoming JWs.

  • Half banana
    Half banana


    It is not a matter of interpretation! Darwin's theory gave science (ie human knowledge) the framework for explaining the origin of species by transmission and variation of inherited biological information. He predicted transitional fossils because he knew his explanation of descent within families and species was scientifically sound and would reveal the ancestral lineages as it has done.

    To demonstrate relatedness of all species is to demonstrate the truth of his theory. There is little prospect of any significant revision of these fundamental facts-- unless you have something in mind?

  • WhatshallIcallmyself

    "Maybe. But don't confuse evidence with interpretation and conclusions." - Fisherman

    Shouldn't you learn about the subject you so like to belittle before attempting to offer your opinion on it?

    In your world "god did it" may be an easy explanation but out here in reality that answers nothing and helps no one.

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