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Prof’s words twisted to attack evolution

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.

awake

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.

15 responses to “Prof’s words twisted to attack evolution”

  1. Carlynot says:

    I have a sister in law who is a jw. You cannot reason with these people, They are such a closed cult, the north korea of religion.

  2. Rob Andrews says:

    Mosy JWs don’t understand anything about evolution. Many scientist doubt the current understanding of evolution in favor of a new theory called punctuated evolution. But the still believe in basic Darwinism though. From JWs the critique above, they’re not clear on this. So that may be what they are trying to say.

    The Watchtower and Awaik magazines are aimed at their internal readership anyway. And they don’t fully understand evolution from the questions posed to me. For example:
    Q: If man came from an ape, why are there still apes around?
    A: Man and apes evolved from a common ancester, not one from the other.

  3. 1859 says:

    Let’s state it bluntly: Those with two brain cells will never understand evolution and it’s easier and safer for these poor unfortunate souls to just believe and have faith – that doesn’t require much thinking (and with only two brain cells you don’t want to think too much lest it kills one of them). But then hasn’t it always been like this – the vast majority of religious believers prefer the realm of non-thought because it is so much easier to live life from day to day just saying prayers to statues and fairies?

  4. Paul Cook says:

    I just never see the logic of saying I believe in gawd and evolution. It is just illogical. One denies the necessity for the other, and the other denies everything.

  5. AgentCormac says:

    Rama Singh should sue them for every penny he can get.

  6. jay says:

    I was raised as a JW. They will twist anything, but that’s one of the things that opened my eyes.. I could see how corny and illogical their arguments were.

    What puzzles me, however, is that ex-JWs often join some other religion. That makes no sense.

  7. Trevor Blake says:

    Some species die out and those that remain change over time. That is the sum total of evolutionary theory. Some details are clear (why some species die out), some are debated (the mechanisms of change) and some are conjecture (the origin of life).

    Or, an invisible monster that lives in the sky made life using magic. All the species alive today have always been alive and no species ever dies out, even when the invisible monster drowned the entire world.

    Go with whichever theory makes the most sense.

  8. R Pilotte says:

    Anyone surprised by this?

    I am sorry to say that humans are insufficiently evolved because a huge proportion of the species beleives “GOD DID IT”.

    And a small minority of dishonest, disingenuous bigots with lucrative business interests and political agenda have to propagate this puerile idea to maintain their influence over their hinterland of stupefied uneducated credulous followers from which they leech money and over which they wield their power.

    Meanwhile those of us who cannot believe in lunatic confected myths have to push back against the hucksters with mockery, ridicule, contempt, the force of international law,and most importantly, by the education of the credulous masses.

  9. R Pilotte says:

    Religion…the first resort of the intellectually challenged….the tool with which tricksters extract money from the credulous…..and the tool with which power hungry psychopathic meglomaniacs exert power over the repressed.

  10. Newspaniard says:

    One commenter pointed out that man and primates both developed from a common ancestor. Is it possible that this tree should consist of primates, islamists and infidels because there is no current relationship between the three?

  11. Cali Ron says:

    Education is religions enemy, and my good friend. “None are so blind as those who will not see.” There is a certain level of willful stupidity that can’t be excused by ‘lack of education’ when the facts are all around, obvious even to the uneducated and intellectually challenged. Choosing to be deluded and robbed seems a pathetic and servile action. Perhaps man is not nearly as evolved as we would like to think. Does believe in religion indicate a higher level of intelligence, than say an ape’s or a lower level? Hmmmm!

  12. Stephen Harvie says:

    It is bad enough these idiots constantly coming to the door to spread the good news without them destroying your reputation and standing in the scientific community

  13. Robster says:

    Our place seems to quite an attractive one for the JW “pioneers”that prowl the neighbourhood, we get lots of them. They all seem completely brain dead. They nod and grunt when I’m talking, when they’re not rabbitting on about their biblical nonsense and lying about their shunning practise, they don’t seem to be able to understand (or perhaps don’t want to) any rational argument offered. It’s like they’ve been sort of turned off.

  14. Dave says:

    I know that my knowledge of exactly what evolution is and how it works is probably skating the surface. However, I’m trying to find out more about the subject, and I have no doubts about the truth of evolution.

    I’m trying to do the same with religious belief, and why people are convinced the universe is being controlled by some . So far, I still can’t understand why people can’t see that faith completely defies reality.

  15. John C says:

    The tragedy is that those least capable of self realisation and least competant will never understand how stupid they are compared to those who have attained an intelectual advantage and constantly question themselves, yet these are the very people who are most certain about what they believe and in their own abilities.It is made worse when someone is making a fast buck out of their stupidity .