Quote or Misquote?

Quote or Misquote?

JW.org is notorious for misquoting scientists to promote their Creationist views. In JW.org’s The Watchtower magazine June 1st 2015, they extensively quote the views of scientists. Some they name; some they do not. Below are a selection of those quotes or possible misquotes from The Watchtower article, How Science Affects Your Life, followed by the full quote as found in literature, news articles and/or internet sources.

Unfortunately, many Jehovah’s Witnesses will read the quotes in their magazine without examining carefully if theses things are completely true. Compare Acts 17:10,11. However, you have the opportunity to find out if what JW.org’s The Watchtower magazine article is truth or misleading statements.


 

Quote from The Watchtower June 1 2015:

a scientific argument against the existence of God.
Amir D Aczel

Full Quote:

The same year that Harris published Letter to a Christian Nation, Richard Dawkins, who for decades had been advocating atheism in public lectures and articles, released a book that received even wider circulation and global acclaim, titled The God Delusion (2006). In this work, Dawkins uses his prominence in the field of biology to launch a scientific argument against the existence of God. But in addition to using ideas from science—mainly evolutionary biology, but also a smattering of notions plucked from physics and cosmology—Dawkins embarks on a personal crusade against Scripture, especially the Old Testament.
Amir D Aczel, Why Science Does Not Disprove God


 

Quote from The Watchtower June 1 2015:

the absence of evidence for any God who plays an important role in the universe proves beyond a reasonable doubt that such a god does not exist.
A world famous physicist

Full Quote:

I believe I was the first to argue, in my 2007 book God—The Failed Hypothesis, that the absence of evidence for any God who plays an important role in the universe proves beyond a reasonable doubt that such a god does not exist.
It is inarguable that science has not yet found evidence for a god or the supernatural. If it had, it would be in the textbooks. Still, you will often hear: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Not always. When the evidence that is absent is evidence that should be there, then that can be taken as evidence of absence.
Consider the hypothesis that elephants roam Yellowstone Park. If that were the case, then a tourist or ranger should have been spotted one by now. Or, other evidence such as droppings and crushed bushes would certainly be found. Since none of this has occurred, we can conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that elephants do not roam Yellowstone Park.
Incidentally, note that the often-heard statement that you cannot prove a negative is simply wrong, including the negative that there is no God.
And so it is with the hypothesis of the existence of the God worshipped by Jews, Christians, and Muslims and others among the major religions of the world. Religious apologists and even some atheistic scientists have contended that God is a “spirit” and so science can say nothing about him. However, this particular hypothesized God plays such an active part in the universe that evidence of his actions should be observable.
Earlier I discussed several examples of phenomena that should be seen if such a God exists. The fact that they are not is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that this God does not exist. Note that this proof does not apply to all conceivable gods, such as the impersonal deist god who creates the universe but does not intervene any further. While such a god is not ruled out, we have no reason to pray to it or worship it, so it might as well not exist.
In addition, I have provided unique counter examples to the questions often raised by believers that claim to show the need for some kind of god.
Victor J Stenger, Emeritus Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hawaii and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado


Quote from The Watchtower June 1 2015:

We know that we will never get to the bottom of things
Steven Weinberg, physicist and Nobel laureate

Full Quote:

The important thing is that we have not observed anything that seems to require supernatural explanation.
I can image how disturbed they will feel in the future, when at last scientists learn how to understand human behaviour in terms of the chemistry and physics of the brain and nothing is left that needs to be explained by our having an immaterial soul.
We know that we will never get to the bottom of things, because whatever theory unites all observed particulars and forces, we will never know why it is that the theory describes the real world and not some other theory.
Worse, the worldview of science is rather chilling. Not only do we not find any point to life laid out for us in nature, no objective basis for our moral principles, no correspondence between what we think is the moral law and the laws of nature, of the sort imagined by philosophers from Anaximander and Plato to Emerson.
Steven Weinberg, quoted in James W Sire‘s book Echoes of a Voice: We are not alone


 Quote from The Watchtower June 1 2015:

There may be things that humans will never understand.
Professor Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal of Great Britain

Full Quote:

Here, we astronomers can offer a special perspective. Our biosphere, as everyone bar the creationists accepts, is the outcome of several billion years of Darwinian evolution. But astronomers are mindful that the future is potentially far longer than the past. Our Sun formed 4.5 billion years ago, but its fuel won’t run out for another six billion years. And the expanding universe will continue – perhaps for ever. Future evolution, here on Earth or far beyond, could be as prolonged as the Darwinian process that has led to us – and even more wonderful.
Whether the really long-range future lies with organic post-humans or with intelligent machines is a matter for debate. But we would be anthropocentric to believe that all of science is within humanity’s grasp, and that no enigmas will remain to challenge our descendents. There may be things that humans will never understandbut that doesn’t mean that they will never be understood.
Lord Rees, Astronomer Royal, Even a theory of everything has limits


Quote from The Watchtower June 1 2015:

Our knowledge is vastly outstripped by our ignorance. For me, a life in science prompts awe and exploration over dogmatism
A popular science writer

Full Quote:

So while there are plenty of good books by scientist-atheists, they sometimes under-emphasise the main lesson from science: that our knowledge is vastly outstripped by our ignorance. For me, a life in science prompts awe and exploration over dogmatism.
Given these considerations, I do not call myself an atheist. I don’t feel that I have enough data to firmly rule out other interesting possibilities. On the other hand, I do not subscribe to any religion. Traditional religious stories can be beautiful and often crystallise hard-won wisdom – but it is hardly a challenge to poke holes in them. Religious structures are built by humans and brim with all manner of strange human claims – they often reflect cults of personality, xenophobia or mental illness. The holy books of these religions were written millennia ago by people who never had the opportunity to know about DNA, other galaxies, information theory, electricity, the big bang, the big crunch, or even other cultures, literatures or landscapes.
David Eagleman, Why I Am a ‘Possibilian’


Quote from The Watchtower June 1 2015:

After almost 4,000 years of astronomy, the universe is no less strange than it must have seemed to the Babylonians
Encyclopaedia Britannica

Full Quote:

The objects of all astronomical inquiry, from the time of the ancient Greeks and Babylonians to the 20th century, thus represent only the tip of the iceberg. After almost 4,000 years of astronomy, the universe is no less strange than it must have seemed to the Babylonians.
James EvansDirector of Program for Science, Technology, and Society, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington, Encyclopaedia Britannica

 

2 thoughts on “Quote or Misquote?

  1. Not all of the quotes are exactly what I should call quote-mining and quoting out of context, but it is clear that the quotations provided are highly selective. A minor point or concession in a long text is lifted up as if it were the main conclusion of the writer, and Watchtower readers are left with a very poor impression of the overall message that the scientists quoted wanted to convey. The quote from Lord Reese is perhaps the best example.

  2. The real question is, what bethelite or writing/teaching commitee member is reading these books/science articles in the first place? We’re taught that atheist, agnostics, and evolutionist are so wrong, and all truth comes from the slave, yet someone has to be reading these books in order to find the quotes. That’s so hypocritical. I got in trouble with my coordinator because he saw I had the book “Da Vinci Code”, clearly classified as a fiction novel, by Dan Brown in my bookbag. Obviously, by means of “new light”, Jehovah must of given them special permission to read whatever they want. If only I had the comprehensive skills at 10, the age I got baptized as a JW, that I do now. And that whole being members with the UN. I’ve been thru the Revelation book at least 3x’s at bookstudy. Everytime you finished that book, you felt the UN was nothing short of Satan himself, but they joined so they could get a library card. WTF! So much for not being a stumbling block to your brothers.

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