A biology professor is speaking out, demanding an apology and calling for an end to attempts to "perpetuate lies against evolution" after a statement from him was taken out of context in a creationist article in Awake!, a Jehovah's Witness publication. He says that a portion of his statement was picked from the whole, leaving a completely different impression from his actual statement.
The article spoke of educated scientists who don't believe that evolution occurred, and they quoted Professor of Biology Rama Singh to make their point. Professor Singh teaches Biology at McMaster University, in Ontario, Canada. The statement appears to show Professor Singh suggesting that there are good reasons to doubt evolution.
Rama Singh says as follows.
"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 organization of former Jehovah's Witnesses, Professor Singh said that the quote was taken out of context, and gave an inaccurate appearance of his stance.
(Author's note: It has been brought to my attention that the person initially responsible for contacting Professor Singh and receiving a response from him was Reddit user ImNoScientician.)
In a letter to the editor of the magazine, the biology professor said that, in the paper from which the quote was taken, he went on to explain the nonreligious reasons which lead people to doubt evolution. Professor Singh's reasons can be summed up simply, though: 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, and he's calling for an apology.
"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."He goes on to say that religion and science should share the goal to seek truth, and calls on the organization to drop the crusade against evolution.
"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."
"If I may suggest, as an organization you should stop wasting your time in perpetuating lies against evolution."Professor 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 closes 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.
As of this publication, the quote the biology professor says was used to "perpetuate lies against evolution" remains in the article, and Awake! has made no public response.
[Photo credit: brentdanley]