Bare Bones Biology 221F – Watchtower

“Are you proselytizing?”

“Well, not really.”

Of course they were. The big man was hiding the Watchtower magazine behind his leg. And why else would he and his companion get all dressed up in city shoes, drive 3.5 miles into the wilderness and stop in my yard. The dictionary defines proselytizing as: “trying to convert someone to beliefs or opinions.”

Watchtower Christians are past masters of the conversational bait and switch, but I am no slouch at keeping my logic on target, and the subject of the month is Climate Change. Good bait; I’m very pleased that the Watchtower people care about climate change. They should learn all they can about it.

130626-red truck-ASC_6366RsThe visitor might have thought me a tree-hugger, way out here in the boonies; probably was not expecting an ecologist/geneticist. I said: “I do not argue with anyone about science unless and until they are willing to take the trouble to understand the science.” He said they weren’t “arguing.” She said they couldn’t be expected to be experts in science; I said: “I didn’t say expert, I have enough expertise for us all, but there is no point talking about science with people who don’t understand what the words mean and aren’t interested in finding out.” They didn’t argue.

I said I would read the watchtower, and I gave them the web address of my blog. I have a whole series on climate change, was it a couple of years ago already? that would be easy to find by plugging in the key words (“climate change”).

I read the Watchtower article on Climate Change, which is entitled “Will Man Ruin the Earth Beyond Repair?” This article expresses an apparently genuine concern about climate change and gives an accurate summary of the basics. There is a sidebar with references to popular, reputable and apparently accurate sources. I will definitely quote their description of the Zone of Life, including the closing sentence from Jeremiah 10:12 “the One who established the productive land by his wisdom.” It’s a little behind times. The “zone of life” is not as narrow as we used to believe, and continues deep within the earth, including the area that is being devastated by fracking, but that is another discussion. This is about the Watchtower article itself. What do I, as an expert scientist, think of the article?

In fact, I recommend this article to all climate change deniers, and I agree with its summary of climate change. I have only two negative reactions to this article. First, among the Bible references that are scattered through the article are none that place responsibility upon you or me or us to make the necessary effort to maintain the viable (living) balance of the “productive land” that the Bible says God created. Second, the Watchtower people clearly do not understand how the “productive land” stays alive so that it can provide for and support the people. In the modern age, we do know how Life maintains itself – at least we understand the basics of the System. It’s odd, in this crisis, that we are encouraged to sit back and wait for God to fix it for us.

140909-peablossom_dsc0003RSs copyThe Bible is not the only thing that God created. He also created the wild things, plant and animal, and the entire living unit of the Biosystem, and as Jesus said about prophets (Matthew 7:16) “Ye shall know them by their works.” If this is true of prophets, how much more it must be true of God.

I think sitting around waiting for God to fix the mess we created in His Biosystem, rather than take a few hours ourselves to understand the basic laws of God and nature that permit the living earth to survive – as they are demonstrably manifested in His creation – well, I don’t think that approach will solve the problem, and since He kicked us out of the Garden of Eden once already, I expect he is still waiting for us (including the “good guys”) to grow up and take responsibility for the demonstrable consequences of our own behaviors.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS radio, 89.1, Bryan Texas.

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at:

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