Prof’s words twisted to attack evolution
A Canadian biology professor – Rama Singh, above – is demanding an apology from the Jehovah’s Witness rag – Awake! – after he was wrongly held up as an example of an educated scientist who does not believe in evolution.
The January, 2015, article he takes issue with is entitled “How Did Life Begin” which contains a statement taken out of context.
In demanding an apology, Professor Singh, who teaches Biology at McMaster University, in Ontario, called for an end to attempts to “perpetuate lies against evolution”.
He says that a portion of his statement was picked from the whole, leaving a completely different impression from his actual statement.
Singh was quoted in Awake! as saying:
The opposition to evolution goes beyond religious fundamentalism and includes a great many people from educated sections of the population.
However, when contacted by JW Alumni, an organisation of former Jehovah’s Witnesses, Professor Singh said that the quote gave an inaccurate appearance of his stance.
In a letter to the editor of Awake!, Singh said that, in the paper from which the quote was taken, he’d explained the non-religious reasons which lead people to doubt evolution.
These reasons can be simply summed up: people doubt evolution because they do not understand it. That’s a far cry from indicating that there are good, science-based reasons to doubt the current understanding of evolution of man.
Condemning the magazine for the misuse of his words, Singh says that his quote was deliberately twisted to perpetuate lies.
Your misquotation amounts to intellectual dishonesty and reflects on your character and dignity as editor as well as a man of God. I can understand that you do not accept evolution as an explanation for the biodiversity on this planet, but I cannot understand why you would knowingly misuse a scientist’s work to make him appear supporting the creationist point of view.
He told the magazine:
I have received inquiries from many evolutionists, atheists and former members of your organization (ex-JW) who brought the above misquotation to my attention. I agree with them that your misquotation of my work is deliberate and meant to convince your followers in the truth of creationism by perpetuating false support from scientists.
So I am asking you first to remove the misquotation from your article immediately and second print an unconditional apology for what I consider is a deliberate damaging action on your part to my reputation.
He went on to say that religion and science should share the goal to seek truth, and called on the cult to drop the crusade against evolution.
Singh speaks respectfully of religion as a whole, pointing out that many branches of Christianity and other religions have accepted evolution, and that doing so is no bar to believing in God. He closed with a suggestion that one who would understand evolution must study and meditate on it, stopping short of suggesting that the editors of Awake! do so.
His full letter can be read here.
Awake! has so far not responded publicly to Singh criticism.
According to JW Survey, the JWs have form for misquoting scientists.