Mormon Inquiry

Mormon Inquiry

A lot of Darwin

LDS Science Review reminds us that 2009 is the sesquicentennial of the first publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species. The site provides links to several videos and articles of interest. I wonder if the BYU biology department will sponsor any events celebrating this anniversary?

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posted January 8, 2009 at 2:37 pm

I wonder if the BYU biology department will sponsor any events celebrating this anniversary?
Heh. Hopefully it won’t be a hundred years ago all over again.
Thanks for the link.

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posted January 8, 2009 at 3:33 pm

If Mormons stand for truth (and we do), then there is nothing to fear from the scientific study of evolution. There are many LDS scientists out there who study and believe in evolution. It is hard not to, because in biological science it is as obvious as gravity.
Others are welcome to quibble about evolution and disregard it. But, it is a settled issue in science. The only issues of debate are the various mechanisms by which it could have taken place.
I know evolution is not particularly popular in the Church, but the good news is that LDS scientists have studied it for years and even made important contributions, such as Dinosaur Jim Jensen.
Truth has a momentum of its own. I am very confident that the concept of evolution always will have a central place in the life sciences.

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posted January 8, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Indeed, BYU Biology has a slough of events coming up in celebration of the “Year of Darwin” I’ll be posting details about the extraordinary year on my Blog soon. It will be a year to remember!

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posted January 9, 2009 at 9:16 am

“Heh. Hopefully it won’t be a hundred years ago all over again.”
Unless you are talking about specific types of incidents, it has been a hundred years ago at BYU for a hundred years. It is only that a truce has been called between the religion department and the biology department. The war still goes on without direct attacks. The religion department continues to use scripture and Conference reports to prove Evolution irreligious and unethical. The Biology department still uses a few unofficial notes from Church officials and occasional scripture to justify religious acceptance.
My own views on the matter are complicated. I am sympathetic to Evolution as I think the scientific evidence is convincing under current interpretive theories available. However, despite the “official” open position of the LDS Church on the subject, I don’t think Evolution is religiously accepted and in fact discouraged.

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Bruce in Montana

posted January 9, 2009 at 2:01 pm

After taking a few semesters of anthropology at UT Knoxville, I was convinced of the truthfulness of evolution and regarded anyone who couldn’t see that as being simple and uneducated.
The problem is that other explanations, such as the fossil record being from a former creation, are not addressed because they don’t lower themselves to the scientific method.
Of course, we’re told about the “wisdom of man” and all it’s ramifications.
My 2 cents…

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Your Name

posted January 10, 2009 at 11:34 pm

The conflict between the Evolution story and the Creation story has to do with the perception that the stories are rivals competing for the same title – “How Man Came to Be”. When we realize that science and religion answer this question for different reasons, and with different methods, then we see that we never really had to choose between them.

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posted May 8, 2009 at 7:46 pm

I know my comment is late on this subject, but I thought people may be interested in reading an excerpt from Brigham Young on Darwin, Huxley, and Miall. It appears that Brigham Young was right on track when he stated that a “false political economy” based on these ideas would thwart the Saints from living the United Order. Food for thought.

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