The Interpreter Foundation sponsored a conference on November 9, 2013, entitled “Science & Mormonism: Cosmos, Earth & Man” in Provo, Utah. It was filmed. Videos of each of the presentations are now available for free viewing on The Interpreter Foundation’s YouTube channel, or at MormonInterpreter.com. They are also embedded below. [Read more…]
One of the criticisms often leveled at the Church and the restored gospel, and even more broadly at Christianity in general, is that it is “behind the times” with regards to science. Critics point to past teachings that coincide with creation, evolution, genetics and DNA, archaeology, paleontology, geology, neurology, and other areas to show how “out of touch” and “out of date” the Church is in these areas. These criticisms are even pointed toward teachings we find in the temple, particularly those regarding the creation of the Earth and of mankind. Some have lost their faith over what they view as the “incompatibilities” of modern science and the gospel. This need not be. [Read more…]
This is a follow-up to “The Age of the Earth” post, although I suppose that one was really laying the groundwork for this one. This is where everything comes to a head (like the one shown here). Was there death before the Fall of Adam and Eve? It is a very delicate question, because there are very strong feelings on many sides of the issue, some of which may have tremendous gospel implications as well. So here we will tread lightly, and attempt to not make any dogmatic conclusions. I’m not sure I have any besides. These are simply some first impressions on the subject. Because that is the case, we will ask more questions here than we attempt to answer in any substantial way.
This is a point of presumed doctrine in LDS belief that causes consternation for many members. Similar to the age of the Earth question, it causes cognitive dissonance for some, insofar that some even lose their faith in the Church, and even leave the Church. I perceive that this should not be. There are answers, even if preliminary, to most of these difficult questions. It should also be noted that questions such as these are not necessarily central to the gospel, nor to our salvation, but they do affect some people’s ability to function in the Church because of the cognitive dissonance it causes them.
The belief, as I introduced above, is that there was no death before the Fall of Adam and Eve. No death, period. On the other hand, the world and its legions of scientists of all stripes inform us that there were dinosaurs, dating back 230 million years, with bones scattered in all parts of the world (one of the largest caches is located right here in Vernal, Utah). There were trilobites, perhaps the most common fossil, dating back 526 million years (again, one of the richest quarries is just west of Delta, Utah, where you can actually “farm” for trilobites to take home.) There were ancient forests, plant life, zooplankton, and algae, dating back millions of year, which helped give us the crude oil that powers much of our world today. There are even bones of hominids that used stone tools that most scientists concur died a couple million years ago. Indeed, there are even bones of anatomically modern humans that have been dated to up to 200,000 years old (see the image above). [Read more…]
I recently came across an issue that has troubled some members of the Church. It is simply that some scriptures and the words of some Church leaders seem to indicate that the Earth is only about 6000-7000 years old, and that there was no death before the Fall of Adam and Eve. This causes significant cognitive dissonance for some because it seems clear from geologic and biologic evidences that the Earth has been around for much longer than that, with birth and death throughout. Because of the conflict between these two thoughts, it has caused some to even lose their faith and leave the Church. Let’s explore these issues some more and see if there is a reasonably plausible solution or reconciliation of these views. [Read more…]
Hugh Nibley once made this audacious claim: “All the arts and sciences began at the temple. Dance, music, architecture, sculpture, drama, and so forth – they all go back to the temple” ((Nibley, Hugh, and Gary P. Gillum. Of all Things!: Classic Quotations from Hugh Nibley. 2nd, rev. and expand ed. Salt Lake City, Utah; Provo, Utah: Deseret Book Co.; FARMS, 1993, 45)). The more I learn, the more I am convinced of that statement.
My mind returns again to posts I’ve written in the past about subjects that do not cease to fascinate me. Today I was reminded of a post in 2009, The Traditional Greek Folk Dances and their Ancient Roots. The Greek dances are some of the most ancient dances in the world, and have been passed down by tradition to the present day where they maintain many of their archaic forms. [Read more…]