Life — How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation?
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|Life — How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation?|
The Cover of "Life — How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation?.
|Author(s)||Watchtower Bible and Tract Society|
|Publisher||Watchtower Bible and Tract Society|
The foreword starts out with setting up the premise of the book. Immediately we get a taste of what kind of publication this will be.
Millions of people today believe in evolution. Other millions believe in creation. Still others are uncertain what to believe. This book is for all such people. It presents a thoroughly researched examination of how life got here - and what this means for the future.
The writer immediately puts evolution and creation on the same level. Apparently belief is what matters, not fact. To give itself legitimacy, the writer claims that this is a thoroughly researched examination. We'll see how that holds up.
Chapter 1: Life - How Did It Start?
Paragraphs 1-3 make a neat little intro and ask the central questions: "How did life get here?" It also tells us how this is important: It decides the very way you live. And we agree. One lives their life on basis of their knowledge, after all. If you don't know anything about the world, how would you know how to live in it?
Paragraph 4 starts out by painting a very gloomy picture:
In the view of many who accept the theory of evolution, life will always be made up of intense competition, with strife, hatred, wars and death. Some may even feel that man may destroy itself in the near future.
Watch as the first link is being laid between a vision of gloom and doom and accepting the theory of evolution. It doesn't bode well if we have to start out by explaining that yes, nature is a place that doesn't give a wooden nickel about your comfort and that life can be pretty brutal in the wild, but that it doesn't mean that our lives should or would be filled with such things. On the contrary: because of our vast knowledge of evolution and nature in general, we have made vast improvements to our own lives and we live longer now than ever before!
And isn't it exactly the Watchtower who insists on saying that people are nasty and mean, quoting 2 Timothy that in the last days people will be "having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness" etc.?
However, the author attempts to support their claim by quoting Carl Sagan:
A prominent scientist stated: "We may have only another few decades until Doomsday. . . . the development of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems will, sooner of later, lead to global disaster."
The author fails to link this statement back to the acceptance of evolution. Why? Because there isn't any. Carl Sagan wrote this in the year 1980, in the part of history that was called the Second Cold War. It was called thus because the first cold war had died down, and just as everyone was settling down a little bit, the great world powers geared back up, becoming more and more militaristic than ever before.
To illustrate how badly it was going around 1980, Wikipedia sums up the events:
- By 1975, NATO had lost its strategic nuclear lead over the Soviet Union, and with the introduction of the SS-20, had even fallen behind. NATO's answer was not long in coming and on December 12, 1979, NATO decided to deploy 572 new nuclear missiles in Europe: 108 Pershing II Missiles and 464 cruise missiles. Of the cruise missiles, 160 were stationed in England, 96 in West Germany, 112 in Italy, 48 in the Netherlands, and 48 in Belgium. All 108 Pershings were stationed in West Germany.
Clearly, Sagan did not say what he said because he accepted evolution - it was because mankind was on the brink of self-destruction. He was mouthing the fears everyone had at the time, be they creationists or proponents of evolution.
The writer continues:
Even if this did not happen soon, many believe that when a person's life span runs out in death he is then nonexistent forever. Others feel that, in the future, all life on earth will end. They theorize that the sun will expand into a giant star and, as it does, "the oceans will boil, the atmosphere will evaporate away to space and a catastrophe of the most immense proportions imaginable will overtake the planet.
Again, the author fails to tie this to the acceptance of evolution. Why does the author have such a problem with these scientific facts? After all, in about five billion years our sun will inflate into a red giant, no matter what you wish to be true or what you accept. Once again, the writer makes this a matter of belief, not of facts, making this chapter already a pile of denialism.
Paragraph 5: Evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin is quoted below as supporting a creation hypothesis:
- Zoologist Richard Lewontin said that organisms "appear to have been carefully and artfully designed." He views them as "the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer." It will be useful to consider some of this evidence.
An examination of the full context of Lewontin's quote, however, reveals that he was merely commenting on one of the challenges Charles Darwin would face in successfully developing a "naturalistic theory of evolution." Lewontin points out that organisms are well-adapted to their environment, and that this had been used as evidence of creation. The full quote does not suggest that he himself believes in a creation hypothesis, as is asserted above; in fact, Lewontin's states that this adaptation is actually evidence in support of evolution.
The manifest fit between organisms and their environment is a major outcome of evolution.... Life forms are more than simply multiple and diverse, however. Organisms fit remarkably well into the external world in which they live. They have morphologies, physiologies and behaviors that appear to have been carefully and artfully designed to enable each organism to appropriate the world around it for its own life. It was the marvelous fit of organisms to the environment, much more than the great diversity of forms, that was the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer. Darwin realized that if a naturalistic theory of evolution was to be successful, it would have to explain the apparent perfection of organisms and not simply their variation.—Richard C. Lewontin, "Adaptation", Scientific American, vol. 239, September 1978, p. 213
- Review of Life at TalkOrigins.org
- Review of Life at EvolutionWiki.org
- List of Misquotations compiled by Jan Haugland
- Author Harry Peloyan interview at Freeminds.org
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