Saturday, October 01, 2005

 

CreationWiki Argues Against . . . CreationWiki

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There is a most revealing entry in the CreationWiki about quote mining.
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The CreationWiki entry cites to the Talk Origins Archive’s Index to Creationist Claims (edited by Mark Isaak) and its entry "Claim CA113: Quotes from many noncreationist authorities show that evolutionists themselves find many various failures of evolution." Noting that one source of the claim is the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society's book, Life -- How Did It Get Here? (1985), CreationWiki goes on to say:
Sadly in this case Talk Origins' criticism is somewhat justified. The source given is from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. This is the publication arm of the Jehovah's Witnesses. They are the source of 99% of all such quotes. Jehovah's Witnesses are a pseudo Christian cult. While they do take a young Earth position, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is not a good source of Creationist material.

Sadly most of those who use these quotes do not realise that they were lifted out of context by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and they have seldom checked the original source.

Fortunately the use of such quotes is becoming more and more rare as creation science becomes more centered on real research.

Thanks goes to Talk Origins for helping creation science, by shedding light on this. They have helped to improve the quality of Creation literature by pointing out this mistake.
Set aside the fact that a perfectly orthodox Christian (or at least as orthodox as a Fundamentalist can be), Henry Morris, was the source of a bit more than 1% of these quote mines, publishing an entire book of them, That Their Words May Be Used Against Them.
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Ignore the attempt, worthy of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson himself, to blame creationist usage of quote mines on the insidious machinations of "a pseudo Christian cult".

Instead, contemplate the amusingly schizophrenic manner that the CreationWiki immediately follows the above entry with one flatly denying that the creationists using these quotes either misunderstand or misuse them. And the evidence presented for this is a citation to the entry in the Quote Mine Project (modesty forbids mention of the brilliant editor) about the "extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record" quote from Stephen Jay Gould. But in doing so, CreationWiki completely ignores what Gould himself said and goes on insisting that the quote means something that Gould said it didn't. According to the CreationWiki, the "obvious lack of transitional forms in the fossil record is the salient fact recognized in this quote" but it stubbornly fails to acknowledge that Gould stated that "Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups."

A better example of grimly determined quote mining, even in the face of the author’s own objections, can hardly be imagined.
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Comments:
You are mistaken. Jehovah's Witnesses do not take a Young Earth position.

http://e-watchman.com
 
I did not claim they did (though I seem to remember being visited by Jehovah's Witnesses who certainly held to a young-Earth position and had Watchtower literature to that effect, but be that as it may).

That claim, if it was made, was by CreationWiki. It is certainly true that Jehovah's Witnesses are presently anti-evolution and have used quote mining, however.
 
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