The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ The Book of Mormon discussion


31 views
Mormonism and Evolution

Comments Showing 1-28 of 28 (28 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Monkey Man Moses chapter 2 and Abraham chapter 4 in the Pearl of Great Price tell the story of how the Earth and all that is in it was created in seven days.

There are several places that say that humans were created:

"All men were created in the beginning after mine own image" (Ether 3:15)

"And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so. And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him, male and female created I them" (Book of Moses:2:26, 27)


Although the Latter-Day Saints corporation has no official stance on evolution, many Mormons have interpreted the above verses to mean that the Earth is less than 6,000 years old and that life was created by a god rather than evolved.

It seems pretty clear; According to the Book of Mormon, Evolution is a lie.


Matthew Carlson Precisely what do you mean by "Evolution?"


Monkey Man I'm not surprised you don't know that word.


Matthew Carlson You are being deliberately evasive and unnecessarily condescending. Precision is important. I want to know how you define the matter.


Monkey Man Go crack a science book. You might learn something.

And "unnecessarily condescending" coming from YOU is a laugh.


Matthew Carlson Fine, if you don't want to discuss it that's altright with me.


Monkey Man A certain amount of education (or ability to use Google) is presupposed.

If you wish to discuss whether or not belief in the Book of Mormon is antithetical to belief in evolution, I suggest you learn about both. Try your local high-school teacher (offer void in Texas and Arkansas).

Your Future Transitional Fossil,
Monkey


message 8: by Matthew (last edited Oct 12, 2010 08:09AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matthew Carlson Yeah, keep on tossing out the ad hominem's. They are so much more effective than merely responding to the question.

Interestingly you completely missed the careful manner in which I phrased the question itself. I did not ask "What is evolution" which might have justified all you aspersions related to my education. Rather, I asked "Precisely what do you mean by 'Evolution?'" This is a matter of clarification not education.


message 9: by Monkey (last edited Oct 12, 2010 12:49PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Monkey Man It's a gambit to avoid the question, which you refuse to answer.

Nothing new to see here, folks! Just Matthew whining about his ego being bruised and trying to make this a personal issue rather than responding to the topic!

One of two things is happening here:
1. Matthew has read the links I posted above, but wants me to post a definition so he can nit-pick it.
2. He does not know how to click on a link and really has lived his entire life without learning about one of the most important theories of the last 200 years.

Tough choice.

Evolving,
Monkey


Matthew Carlson Actually this is a case of the fallacy of limited alternatives. It is actually neither 1 nor 2. It is in fact 3, I did not consider the links relevant to the matter as your response implies they are related to "education" or "ability" rather than evolution.

Nonetheless, I accessed the link you provided and would like to offer a summarized definition for your comment:

Evolution: The biological theory that animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations.

But of course with the understanding that not only do all "animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types" but that all life has a common ancestry. Is that an accurate reflection of your understanding of the matter?


Monkey Man That's one small part of it. Keep reading...


message 12: by Matthew (last edited Oct 12, 2010 03:23PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matthew Carlson Uh, precisely what other portions do you think relevant? Do you want to make sure I have read the response to intelligent design? I was asking how you define, in the broadest terms, evolution. I'm not finding any of it new or revelatory.


Monkey Man Then, back to the topic of this post:

Does the book of Mormon contradict evolution?


message 14: by Matthew (last edited Oct 13, 2010 08:17AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matthew Carlson That all depends upon what you think creation entails. I won't deny that many Latter-Day Saints will consider the creation to have involved the formation of homo sapiens in our present evolutionary state while in Eden. However, this is not the only way to understand the matter.

The word employed in Genesis for day is of indeterminate meaning. It can mean of course a day, it could also within an LDS framework means 1000 years but it could also represent a period of time of indeterminate length. I see no reason to believe that God could not have formed man via evolution.

So I suppose the answer is yes and no. It depends upon how you understand the creation.


Monkey Man This presupposes the existence of a god, for which there is no logical evidence.

So, it seems that your contention is the "Intelligent (sic) Design" trope, that you can't argue with the evidence so you just slap an (unnecessary) layer of god on top of it all and say "Goddidit".

Interesting,
Monkey


Matthew Carlson Not necessarily. I am simply stating that accepting that God "created" mankind does not necessarily preclude also accepting the scientific theory of evolution. They are not mutually exclusive concepts unless one interprets "creation" in a specific manner which renders them so.


Monkey Man Very confusing. What are the quotes around "created" for? Did god make humans or did they evolve? Or did god create evolution? Or some other weird combination that is really intelligent (sic) design, but you just don't want to use those words?

They ARE mutually exclusive. One or the other. Either god was necessary for humans to be here today or not.

Pick one,
Monkey


Matthew Carlson You feel "They ARE mutually exclusive." I do not. I can accept that God utilized a natural process to create mankind.


Monkey Man A "natural process" does not need a god to make it work.

Since a god is not necessary, putting one into the mix just complicates things.

It also seems that Joseph Smith could have been clearer when he wrote the Book of Mormon. Something along the lines of:

"All men eventually evolved after mine own image, but since they continue to evolve, so will my image..." (Ether 3:15)

Or

"And I, God, evolved man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten evolved I him, but not male and female, because male and female won't evolve until about 1200 million years ago..." (Book of Moses:2:27)


See, THAT I would get behind...

Still evolving,
Monkey


Monkey Man Which brings us back to the main point:

There is NOTHING in evolution that needs a god to make it work.

Yet, the Book of Mormon is clear: God created humans.

Which one is wrong?


Heather The first day of class started, and the atheist professor wanted to
make his first point, and let his students know where he stood.
"Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ." The
professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of
his new students to stand.

"You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"

"Yes sir," the student says.

"So you believe in God?"

"Absolutely."

"Is God good?"

"Sure! God's good."

"Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"

"Yes."

"Are you good or evil?"

"The Bible says I'm evil."

The professor grins knowingly. "Ahhh, The Bible! He considers for
a moment....

"Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and
you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you
try?"

"Yes sir, I would."

"So you're good!"

"I wouldn't say that."

"But why not say that? You'd helped a sick and maimed person if you
could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't."

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. "He
doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer,
even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is Jesus good?
Hmmm? Can you answer that one?"

The student remains silent.

"No you can't, can you?" The professor takes a sip of water from a
glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

"Let's start again, young fellow. Is God good?"

"Er...yes," the student says.

"Is Satan good?"

The student doesn't hesitate on this one. "No."

"Then where does Satan come from?"

The student: "From...God...."

"That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there
evil in the world?"

"Yes sir.""Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make
everything, correct?"

"Yes."

"So who created evil?" The professor continued, "If God created
everything, then God created evil. Since evil exists, and according
to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is
evil."

Without allowing the student to answer, the professor continues:
"Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these
terrible things, do they exist in the world?"

The student: "Yes."

"So who created them?"

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats the q
question. "Who created them?"

There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace
in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized.

The professor goes to another student.

"Tell me, do you believe in Jesus Christ?"

The student's voice in confident. "Yes, professor, I do."

The old man stops pacing. "science says you have five senses you
use to identify and observe the world around you; seeing, hearing,
feeling, tasting, and smelling. Have you seen Jesus?"

"No sir, I have never seen Him."

"Have you ever actually felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus, or
smelled your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of
Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?"

"No sir, I'm afraid I haven't."

"Yet you still believe in him?"

"Yes."

"According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable
protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to
that, son?"

"Nothing," the student replies, "I only have my faith."

"Ahh yes, 'faith'", the professor repeats. "And that's the
problem science has with God: There is no evidence, only faith."

The student stands silently for a moment, before asking a question
of his own. "Professor, is there such a thing as heat?"

"yes," the professor replies. "There's heat."

"And is there such a thing as cold?"

"Yes, son, there is cold as well."

"No sir, there isn't."

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The
room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain:

"You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super heat,
mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, little or no heat, but we
don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degrees
below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after
that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to
go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Everybody or object is
susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy. Absolute zero
(-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, 'cold' is just
a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure
cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy.
Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it."

The room, and the professor, remain silent.

"What about darkness, professor? Is there such a thing as
darkness?"

"Yes," the professor replies without hesitation. "What is night if
it isn't darkness?"

"You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it's the
absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright
light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have
nothing, and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we
use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were
you'd be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?"

The professor begins to smile. This will be a good semester. "So
what point are you making, young man?"

"My point is, professor, your philosophical premise is flawed to
start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed."

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. "Flawed?
Can you explain how?"

"You are working off the premise of duality," the student explains.
"You argue that there is life and then there is death; a good God,
and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something
finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a
thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never been
seen, much less fully understood with either one. To view death as
the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot
exist as a substantive thing. death is not the opposite of life,
just the absence of it. Now tell me, professor, do you teach your
students that we evolved from a monkey?"

"If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of
course I do."

Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?"

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he
realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester indeed!

Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and
cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you
not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist, but a
preacher?"

The class is in an uproar, and the student waits until the commotion
has subsided.

To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student,
let me give you an example of what I mean."

The student looks around the room. "Is there anyone in the class
who has ever seen the professor's brain?" The room breaks out in
laughter.

"Is there anyone here who as ever heard the professor's brain, felt
the professor's brain, touched or smelled the professor's brain? No
one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules
of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, with all due respect,
sir, science says that you have no brain. So if science says you
have no brain n, how can we trust your lectures?"

The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face
unreadable. Finally he says, "I guess they'll have to take them on
faith."

"Now," says the student, "you accept that there is faith, and in
fact, that faith exists in life. Is there a thing called evil?"

Now uncertain, the professor responds, "Of course there is evil. We
see it every day. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to
man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the
world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil."

To this the student replies, "Evil does not exist, sir, or at least
it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God.
It is just like darkness or cold, a word developed to describe the
absence of God.

God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when
man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the
cold that comes when there is no heat, or the darkness that comes
when there is no light."

The professor sat down.


☆♪Taylor♪☆ monkey,

Jerk wad.

yours truly,
Taylor


Monkey Man Heather,

You are just going to spam this story on every thread?
I'll just cut-and-paste the standard response:


My analysis:

It's a charming little piece of fiction. It has all the classic elements of an urban legend...


..But the most salient feature of the story is that neither the professor nor any of his students have an adequate grasp of the most basic concepts of science. What kind of idiot is this professor, whose idea of science is that if you can't smell it, taste it, feel it, hear it, or see it, then it doesn't exist? If that's the case, then what happened to electrons, cells, Newton's laws of motion, living dinosaurs, black holes, photons, magnetism, infrared light, and general relativity? For that matter, what about abstract concepts like "harmonic chords" or "Thursday"?

Science isn't about what we can perceive with our five senses. If that were true we wouldn't need scientists, because most of us already HAVE those five senses. It's about organizing facts about the known world into descriptions that can explain the way things happen. These descriptions make predictions which can be tested, repeated, and falsified if they're wrong.

Of course, science can't actually prove that the professor has a brain. Just because every human or animal body that has ever been dissected and analyzed has always had a brain; just because countless experiments have demonstrated that the brain controls an organism's ability to move and speak and reason; just because an animal with a damaged brain becomes an inanimate mass of carbon... these things are hardly conclusive proof. What science can do is make predictions with confidence and high accuracy; it can prove things beyond reasonable doubt but it can't prove anything with 100% certainty. The fact that it is able to change and correct mistakes is part of what makes it a powerful tool.

If the professor had any kind of clue what he was on about, he could have explained all this. Of course, the problem isn't with the professor, who is after all only a fictional character. The problem is that the author of the story has never heard of or simply doesn't understand the scientific method. It's easy to make up little stories where the opposition is always an evil overlord who doesn't know how to argue and your side always wins. It's also easy to win at chess when you control both sides of the board.

Oh, and one final point...

"Wrong again, sir. You see, immorality is merely the absence of morality. Is there such a thing as injustice? No. Injustice is the absence of justice. Is there such a thing as evil?" The Christian pauses. "Isn't evil the absence of good?"

No, evil isn't the absence of good. An empty universe would be devoid of both good AND evil. A universe with no life or intelligence would not be good or evil. "Good" and "evil", assuming they exist, are not passive activities or "absence" of something else. A professor of philosophy should have seen through that immediately. But he doesn't because he, like the story's author, is completely out of his depth.


Monkey Man Taylor wrote: "monkey,

Jerk wad.

yours truly,
Taylor"



Taylor,

What would Jesus do?

Love,
Monkey


message 25: by Noel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Noel Stutz Jesus would plead with you, Monkey, to stop trying to convince us our church is incorrect? What religion are you because it seems like you ignored me last time. And i would like to know because if you dont go to church then you really dont have a say in our religion and why ours is incorrect. Its just like when you dont vote but then you complain about who won.


Monkey Man Noel,

When Mormons quit butting into other peoples' lives, I'll hang up my keyboard.

Until then, any comments on evolution, or will you continue your off-topic comments?

Love,
Monkey


message 27: by Heather (last edited Jun 13, 2011 07:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Heather "When Mormons quit butting into other peoples' lives, I'll hang up my keyboard."

Who is 'butting' into who's lives???


message 28: by Noel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Noel Stutz Monkey,
I wasnt butting into your life. I was just trying to gather some facts so we can have a relevant conversation.


back to top