Evolution - A Conversation with Alex Williams

by cofty 62 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cofty

    Thank you Lee.

    It looks like my interlocutor has left the building?

    Conflating abiogenesis and evolution is not just a JW practice, it's a tactic favoured by creationists everywhere. Evolution is beyond reasonable doubt; abiogenesis is still a subject of many hypotheses. Once abiogenesis is settled all creationists will want to talk about is the origin of the universe.

    Alex if you are still here can we resume our conversation? I would like to talk to you about some specific evidence for evolution and to find out what you already understand about the subject.

  • slimboyfat

    Doug, I wonder if you’ve done any research or have any views on Russell’s qualified support for evolution with respect to non-human animals and life, as in the Photodrama of Creation and the Studies in the Scriptures. (Or on another thread?)

    It seems JWs became more hardline on evolution in the 1920s under Rutherford around the time of the Scopes Monkey trial.

    Might JWs return to a qualified support for evolution again at some point? Either return to the idea that only humans are a direct creation, and evolution produced the rest. Or even agree that humans evolved, but directed by God.

    I don’t agree with the idea that scientific evolution includes the idea that it is undirected. There are scientists such as Simon Comway Morris who argue there is evidence that evolution is a directed process. Natural selection is the basic process. Whether the process is directed or not is an extra question above basic evolutionary theory.

  • cofty

    Evolution has no use for 'guidance' which amounts to nothing less unscientific than creationism. It is unfalsifiable and therefore unscientific by definition.

    Could you provide a quote regarding Simon Conway Morris' thoughts on the topic please?

  • TD

    I think the game of "Spot the human" is an interesting thought experiment for those on the creation side of the isle.


    Most would not consider a creature with the cranial capacity of a chimpanzee to be human, but what happens when we get to half or three quarter the size of modern man?

    How would one draw a line? Where would it be drawn?

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    Yes, Shapiro is one man with one point of view, but that was not the issue I was endeavouring to point out.

    The WTS cited Shapiro in a very selective manner. The issue is not Shapiro but the way that the WTS failed to tell its readers all that Shapiro wrote in that article it was referring to.

    This attitude of selective misrepresentation is consistently displayed throughout the brochure, "The Origin of Life".

    As with its other writings, the WTS starts out with the conclusion it wishes to reach and it then seeks for "support" for that position, often misrepresenting what the original source intended.


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    I do not know what CTR thought about evolution, but that's a good thought.

    I have a copy of his Photo Drama of Creation, and I see that it is available online.



  • slimboyfat

    Doug, check out pages 6 and 7 of the Photodrama book.


    Presumably Russell elaborated on the subject elsewhere. I think it would be a good research project.

    Cofty I don’t know any snappy quotes. There are plenty of articles and videos online. I attended a lecture by Simon Conway Morris on God and evolution a few years ago in Edinburgh.

    Need to remember when thinking about “guided evolution” (I’m not sure that’s a term Morris would use) it doesn’t mean that God overseas all the events of history and says “and now this dinosaur will become a bird”, or “this bat will develop sonar”. What people like Morris seem to have in mind rather, is that God has structured the whole of reality in such a way that the forces of nature function all by themselves to produce living organisms that replicate and evolve, and ultimately produce beings with consciousness. What sort of evidence indicates this? Well convergence is a main line of evidence, because it seems to indicate that reality and life are structured in such a way that they tend toward producing, one way or another, conscious beings such as ourselves.

  • snare&racket

    As someone that used to be a JW, defending creation and rejecting science, you need to start from scratch Alex.

    Ypu wouldn't take an honest approach to learning how satellites worked by copy snd pasting all the flat earth reasoning for why satellites don't really exist,

    Don't trust anyone but yourself, everyone has bias and agendas. You can monitor your motivations and bias however, so, if you REALLY want to know the real truth about science and evolution, take the effort to teach yourself. Currently you are just borrowing other peoples arguments and the majority of informed people will tell you, you have been deceived. But don't take their word for it.... learn all the facts and decide for yourself.

    This is what I did snd it took years to decipher what I felt was true, I did it via the library and science classes. I am very confident spesking for myself that we have a very thorough understanding of abiogenesis and undeniable clarity on evolution. The big bang is also not just well understood but photographed in real-time, it is an exciting time to have genuine questions however the answers will take time.

    Keep in mind what you are attempting to achieve. Abiogeneis is the study of the genesis of living cells and would require years of study in biology, physics and chemistry and advanced degrees is microbiology to fully understand.

    The study of evolution, and the progression of genetics over time requires study in biology and chemistry and advanced degrees in biology.

    The study of the big bang rewuires study in chemistry and physics and advanced degrees in astro-physics.

    The fact that there are people here willing to help guide you through years/ decades of study that they have accomplished means you should firstly be very appreciative, but secondly respect the effort and learning they/we have done and do likewise. Don't just copy and paste what several non academic watchtower writers have written for you to consume. Nobody outside of cults or religious organisations like the JW's likes, needs or wants other people to do their learning and researching for them.

    if you are serious about knowing truth..... go find it yourself and put the literature away, if they are right, you will come to the same conclusion as them, so nothing to lose.....

    Snare x

  • snare&racket

    Nice to see you here, still doing a grand job cofty x

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    I see the discussion on Evolution/Creation as a means, not as the end.

    A long time ago, I decided that JWs follow whatever the WTS says because of who it claims to be, regardless of what it says. So my focus has ever been to sever that mental strangehold.

    With chronology, my focus was on showing that the WTS lied, that they therefore did not deserve a JW's trust. Likewise with blood, I checked the 102 citations in "JWs and the Question of Blood", and I was able to show that they were deliberately deceptive in the way they cited their sources. And this was literally a matter of life and death.

    So it is with evolution/creation. Rather than focus on "which is correct?" the focus needs to be on "how does the WTS handle its sources?" When the WTS is shown to be totally untrustworthy in that regard, a JW must decide whether they should continue following a leadership that treats truth and them with contempt.

    I know this is not easy, given the personal impact on personal relationships. This, of course needs to be weighed against the mental stress caused by cognitive dissonance.


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