Jehovah’s Witness Publication Cites Professor Who Doubts Evolution… but Professor Says He Was Unfairly Misquoted

If you’re like me, you read every issue of the Jehovah’s Witness publication Awake! And in the latest issue (January, 2015), which is dedicated to undercutting the science of evolution, you get a perfect look at how these faith-based writers are liars.

Check out the very first section, questioning how life began:

Some might assume that a scientifically-minded person would pick “evolution” and that a religious person would pick “creation.”

But not always.

Rama Singh, professor of biology at Canada’s McMaster University, says: “The opposition to evolution goes beyond religious fundamentalism and includes a great many people from educated sections of the population.”

Whoa! Rama Singh sure seems to suggest that evolution is doubted by educated people for reasons that have nothing to do with religion.

But Misha Anouk, the founder of the site JW Alumni, knew better than to just accept whatever a JW publication told him. So he contacted Singh to find out if that was a fair and in-context quotation.

Not only did Singh tell Anouk he was intentionally misquoted, he wrote a damning open letter to the editor of Awake!:

Contrary to what you imply, I do not support a creationist view, nor do I suggest that even a minority of scientists support such a view. Anyone who reads my article can see that I fully support the theory of evolution (Singh 2011).

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.

So where did Awake! even get that information? Singh’s 2011 article said that a lot of smart people don’t accept evolution for reasons other than religion… because they don’t actually understand evolution. The same article went on to suggest that colleges should make evolution a mandatory course.

This is a perfect example of someone taking a scientist’s words out of context to prove the exact opposite point. It’s dishonest, it’s deceptive, and they justify it because it’s done in the name of God.

But that’s not the only bit of dishonesty on the page. Look what the magazine says in the very next paragraph:

Consider Gerard, a professor of entomology who was taught evolution at college. “When I took tests,” he says, “I would give the professors the answers they wanted — but I did not believe it.”

That’s… weird. What professor goes by a single name?

It turns out that non-English-language versions of the magazine include the professor’s full name: Gerard Hertel. And while Hertel’s quotation appears to be accurate, the magazine left out a relevant bit of information that was discovered elsewhere:

Hertel writes that he “now spends his time teaching the Bible as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses

In other words, he’s one of them. Not exactly an unbiased source.

This is what Creationist propaganda looks like. They can’t rely on science or evidence, so they resort to bullshit. Which, I suppose, makes sense since it’s already worked on them.

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