Carl Sagan... Had the wt misquoted him?

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    F flag posted Fri, 14 Apr 2006 15:30:00 GMT(4/14/2006)

    Post 62 of 92
    Joined 1/19/2006

    I know that the wt quotes Carl Sagan a lot.

    But the other day I was checking the wt cd and was surprised of all the quotes they have from him.

    So I was wondering if they had quoted him correctly or out of context?

    I'm sure you guys had discussed this subjet before but right now I don't have time to do research.

    Thanks;

    Flag

    M stevenyc posted Fri, 14 Apr 2006 16:20:00 GMT(4/14/2006)

    Post 1418 of 2222
    Joined 1/27/2005

    Creation Book: Ch5 p.70; Letting the Fossil Record Speak

    "The fossil evidence could be consistent with the idea of a Great Designer" -- Carl Sagan

    Here's the quote, in context:

    "The fossil evidence could be consistent with the idea of a Great Designer; perhaps some species are destoryed when the Designer becomes
    dissatisfied with them, and new experiments are attempted on an improved design. But this notion is a little disconcerting. Each plant and animal is exquisitely made; should not a supremely competent Designer have been able to make the intended variety from the start?
    The fossil record implies trial and error, an inability to anticipate the future, features inconsistent with an efficient Great Designer
    (although not with a Designer of a more remote and indirect temperament)."

    steve

    justsomedude posted Fri, 14 Apr 2006 16:23:00 GMT(4/14/2006)

    Post 105 of 291
    Joined 11/9/2005

    (edit: stevenyc beat me to it)

    The do quote him about 30 times in their pubs (I just looked this up the other day), but 90% of the quotes are from his book Cosmos and I think the quote says something along the lines of the evidence supports the existence of an intelligent creator.

    Based on the 2 other books of his that I have read, I cant really see him making the statement that they quote without putting some sort of qualifier around it. I have not had a chance to read Cosmos yet, but its next on the list after "End of Faith".

    At any rate, here are the notes I quickly jotted down when I looked this up the other day (as far as where Sagan is quoted by the WTBTS). They are hardly detailed.

    Why worship God - Cosmos, Carl Sagan, 1980, page 21.

    Survival book - chapter 1

    Creation book Chapter 5 cosmos

    Chapter 8 cosmos

    Chapter 9 Cosmos

    Chapter 14 Cosmos

    True Peace book - Chapter 2

    Reasoning book - Evolution heading -cosmos

    Life Heading heading -cosmos

    Awakes

    95

    92

    89

    87

    86

    84

    81

    78

    75

    73

    Watchtower

    85

    75

    67

    F rebel8 posted Fri, 14 Apr 2006 16:48:00 GMT(4/14/2006)

    Post 3543 of 9947
    Joined 1/13/2005

    Thanks for mentioning this. I am assembling a list of misquotes for my web site & will add this one to it. I actually bought one of Carl Sagan's books where he mentions WT wackiness but I haven't gotten to the part where it's mentioned yet....had forgotten about that until you mentioned it.

    M mavie posted Fri, 14 Apr 2006 17:15:00 GMT(4/14/2006)

    Post 1 of 1025
    Joined 3/29/2006

    stevenyc,

    I'm curious where Sagan wrote this information about a Great Desinger. What book and page? I don't have "Life - How Did It Get Here?" to refer to. Maybe I will do that when I get home.

    justsomedude posted Fri, 14 Apr 2006 17:34:00 GMT(4/14/2006)

    Post 106 of 291
    Joined 11/9/2005
    I actually ;bought one of Carl Sagan's books where he mentions WT wackiness but I haven't gotten to the part where it's mentioned yet....had forgotten about that until you mentioned it.

    Its in the first two pages of one of the later chapters and he is just listing off bullshit. He dings the WT for the their 1917 (I think) predictions "and many others".

    Love that book.

    M stevenyc posted Fri, 14 Apr 2006 17:38:00 GMT(4/14/2006)

    Post 1420 of 2222
    Joined 1/27/2005

    mavie,

    Its taken from his book Cosmos (1980?) page 19.

    steve

    ,ps welcome

    Leolaia posted Fri, 14 Apr 2006 17:45:00 GMT(4/14/2006)

    Post 6540 of 16234
    Joined 9/1/2002

    rebel8.....Check out this Watchtower misquote I just found:

    http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/6/111589/1948602/post.ashx#1948602

    M RunningMan posted Fri, 14 Apr 2006 17:47:00 GMT(4/14/2006)

    Post 3069 of 3313
    Joined 2/28/2001

    The book where Sagan talks about the wacky prophetic failures of the JWs is Broca's Brain. I encountered that quote entirely by accident as I was reading his book, and was taken rather by surprise. I was still an active Witness at the time.

    M Gerard posted Fri, 14 Apr 2006 18:08:00 GMT(4/14/2006)

    Post 1753 of 2687
    Joined 8/11/2002
    The book where Sagan talks about the wacky prophetic failures of the JWs is Broca's Brain.

    "Doctrines that make no predictions are less compelling than those which make correct predictions; they are in turn more successful than doctrines that make false predictions. "
    But not always. One prominent American religion confidently predicted that the world would end in 1914. Well, 1914 has come and gone, and -- while the events of that year were certainly of some importance -- the world does not, at least so far as I can see, seem to have ended. There are at least three responses that an organized religion can make in the face of such a failed and fundamental prophecy. They could have said, "Oh, did we say `1914'? So sorry, we meant `2014.' A slight error in calculation.

    Hope you weren't inconvenienced in any way." But they did not. They could have said, "Well, the world would have ended, except we prayed very hard and interceded with God so He spared the Earth." But they did not. Instead, they did something much more ingenious. They announced that the world had in fact ended in 1914, and if the rest of us hadn't noticed, that was our lookout.
    It is astonishing in the face of such transparent evasions that this religion has any adherents at all. But religions are tough. Either they make no contentions which are subject to disproof or they quickly redesign doctrine after disproof. The fact that religions can be so shamelessly dishonest, so contemptuous of the intelligence of their adherents, and still flourish does not speak very well for the tough-mindedness of the believers. But it does indicate, if a demonstration were needed, that near the core of the religious experience is something remarkably resistant to rational inquiry. [Carl Sagan, Broca's Brain, Ballantine Books, New York, 1982, pp. 332-3]

    hamsterbait posted Fri, 14 Apr 2006 21:43:00 GMT(4/14/2006)

    Post 790 of 4787
    Joined 7/7/2004


    I think CS would not be happy if he were still alive and knew how the WT misrepresented him.

    In one of his books he cites ignorant religionists pulling the wool over the eyes of their dupes. He mentions how one "sect" saying that the End of the World would come in 1914 blithely told everybody afterwards that it had ended "invisibly" and the world had not noticed!!

    Wonder who he meant?? If you read "A Brief History of Time" there are several statements by Mr Hawking that the WT could quote out of context to support their ideas. I am no longer an "atheist" but I think we all have to learn humility and not claim to know all the answers, or even to create answers to our own cleverly designed questions.

    HB

    F blondie posted Fri, 14 Apr 2006 23:44:00 GMT(4/14/2006)

    Post 17140 of 37445
    Joined 5/28/2001

    An interesting comment on this transformation was made by Carl Sagan in his book Broca's Brain (New York: Ballantine Books, 1979, pp. 332-333):

    Doctrines that make no predictions are less compelling than those which make correct predictions; they are in turn more successful than doctrines that make false predictions.

    But not always. One prominent American religion confidently predicted that the world would end in 1914. Well, 1914 has come and gone, and -- while the events of that year were certainly of some importance -- the world does not, at least so far as I can see, seem to have ended. There are at least three responses that an organized religion can make in the face of such a failed and fundamental prophecy. They could have said, "Oh, did we say '1914'? So sorry, we meant '2014.' A slight error in calculation. Hope you weren't inconvenienced in any way." But they did not. They could have said, "Well, the world would have ended, except we prayed very hard and interceded with God so He spared the Earth." But they did not. Instead, they did something much more ingenious.

    They announced that the world had in fact ended in 1914, and if the rest of us hadn't noticed, that was our lookout. It is astonishing in the face of such transparent evasions that this religion has any adherents at all. But religions are tough. Either they make no contentions which are subject to disproof or they quickly redesign doctrine after disproof. The fact that religions can be so shamelessly dishonest, so contemptuous of the intelligence of their adherents, and still flourish does not speak very well for the tough-mindedness of the believers. But it does indicate, if a demonstration were needed, that near the core of the religious experience is something remarkably resistant to rational inquiry.

    F serendipity posted Sat, 15 Apr 2006 17:06:00 GMT(4/15/2006)

    Post 1551 of 3832
    Joined 11/19/2005

    HI mavie, welcome!

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