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clarkgoble

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About clarkgoble

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  1. clarkgoble

    Evolution

    I'm having a real hard time following what you're attempting to say here. Speciation is largely a human idea rather than a "natural kind" beyond the fact that two populations can't breed with each other. But why they can't breed can be for a variety of reasons. You can have something like a horse and a donkey that can breed but produce sterile offspring. Thus the populations can't intermix in breeding. You can have major physiological changes such that while they could breed by IVF in practice they can't (say because the physiology of the sexual organs is such that it just wouldn't work - say a bunch of chihuahuas and a bunch of great danes). Sometimes it's more than that, such as those bushes over near Notch Peak in Utah where the actual number of chromosomes of two populations has changed over 50 years. But really the category of species just is a loose one about whether offspring can successful product more offspring. Nothing mysterious to it. The bit about "same mutation" I confess I just don't quite follow. To the degree you think a single mutation matters, I suspect you're just confused about sexual reproduction at the DNA level. But I admit I may just not be following what you're saying. I certainly have no trouble with that - although I'm not sure what "perpetual speciation" means. (Some people seem to pay attention to species for reasons I confess I just can't quite understand) The question I have is what Adam's body was made like when he fell given the nature of DNA of all fallen creation. If there was a major change between a terrestrial and telestial body then Adam appears to have taken up DNA that resembles extremely closely other life here on earth. That seems demonstrable not just by comparing the strong similarity of DNA between humans and primates but DNA in general across the animal kingdom including things like mitochondria. It requires that God made us all, especially primates, very similar at a genetic level. It's also quite possible that they were speculating. There's no revelation that says that. And the case for attributing it to Joseph is somewhat problematic and quite late and third hand. Certainly Brigham Young held to a catastrophe theory for the creation of the earth and saw fossils as evidence from prior creations. We know that's not correct given the fossil record and the ability to analyze DNA for the past few hundred thousand years. Again not quite following you. I'd probably say that we should focus on what's given by clear revelation. I'd also say that just because science doesn't know everything it doesn't mean that there isn't clear compelling evidence for many of the things it knows. If you're contrasting a belief about how to read scripture that isn't given by clear revelation and conflicts with something for which there's overwhelming evidence I'd probably be careful. That's particularly the case with Brigham Young when many beliefs of his regarding scriptural interpretation are wrong. (Adam/God, sons of Cain as Canaanites, etc.)
  2. clarkgoble

    Evolution

    I'm not sure I agree with that. First off mutations aren't random. They're driven by location (some locations are more radioactive than others or have more chemically disruptive contaminates) and diet (some foods are more disruptive to DNA). They're driven by disease. But beyond that, what mutations are conserved gets complicated too since the mutations have to be in the sexual production cells to get passed on. (Eggs or sperm) Further the very nature of cell division means that certain mutations may well be more likely to be conserved than others. There's also various RNA processes in replication and sex that make certain things simply not purely random (again in the sense of a flat probabilistic curve) So the premise you have as being characteristic of so-called neo-Darwinism I'm not sure I fully agree with. I know mutations are often called random, but that's more in the sense of not being determinate not in the sense of being a flat probability curve. Second, it seems to me that you are assuming that selection is only working on the final phenotype convergence. But that's almost certainly not the case. Intermediate steps may have selection pressure making them highly probable even if they don't (yet) produce the phenotype in question. Unless you know what those mutations do in all gene expression I just don't think you can say there's no selection pressure. But the basic flaw in your understanding is the assumption that mutations (and mutation location and rate) is random in the sense of a flat curve. They may be probabilistic but you can have some mutations much more probable than others and still be broadly random. A great example of this, btw, are certain cancers that clearly are more likely than other types of mutations. Not quite sure what you mean by "genetically reproductively isolated" but I'm not sure I'd use that definition for speciation.
  3. Presidents are different IMO. The argument of Woodruff is that God would remove him (kill him) first. One can of course disagree with Woodruff on that point, but it is generally seen as different. This is different from just being an apostle I'd add, since of course those have been excommunicated over the years. I'd also add that the context of the quote is leading the Church into significant apostasy and not making bad choices in other areas. That I think the President definitely can do. I'd point to Brigham Young for an example of that.
  4. clarkgoble

    Evolution

    Could you expand upon this a bit more? I confess I don't see the conflict with evolution here. Maybe I'm just misunderstanding what you mean by neo-Darwinian? To me it just means either we're not calculating the path probabilities correctly or else there are additional selection pressures going on we're unaware of. As others noted this wasn't correct. My apologies, but while I'm sure your a very nice person, you really are tremendously ignorant of what evolution or genetics say. Given that ignorance it might be wise to think twice about whether there is a conflict.
  5. clarkgoble

    Hype for April 2019 Conference

    I think this really varies ward to ward. I remember being in one ward and I was floored at who the members were. These were clearly mostly people with shall we say social skill issues. I remember coming home pretty depressed. I went a few more times and then ended up spending the next year ward hopping. I still remember getting a letter from SLC asking what ward I was in for their records. (Don't know if that's a common thing) In a certain way singles wards really suck. I'd say they're worthless for dating but then I was flirting with a girl in Sunday School and ended up marrying her. So I guess it does happen. But outside of my wife it was 15 years of not really liking the singles wards but also not really liking the alternative. I also found it actually was tough, at least in Utah, to have much of a real social life too. I ended up just moving back into the BYU scene just to have a social life. But that was much more apartment socializing than ward socializing. Especially the pool and so forth.
  6. clarkgoble

    Hype for April 2019 Conference

    Oh my bad then. Apologies. I almost didn't write anything but figured I should in case someone thought I was avoiding the question. But even if I misread HJW (again apologies) I think it's helpful to be clear that I write these things really quickly (thus all the typos) and often am paraphrasing people who actually know what they're talking about. <bg> I do think though that a surprisingly amount of what Jesus said was quotations. I suspect that if we had good records of the oral traditions and texts of the time of Jesus and a few centuries before that we'd find most of what he said is just quotation. Just a guess of course.
  7. clarkgoble

    LGBTQ+ Question

    I'd agree we don't have good answers (partially because science doesn't really have answers). I'm not sure I'd agree there are absolute rules though, again given the cases of hermaphrodite babies.
  8. clarkgoble

    Hype for April 2019 Conference

    Nearly everything I write is a paraphrase of something. (When I am wise and check my facts before posting - I always regret it when I don't) I just don't bother to always reference the things I look things up. A forum isn't a term paper. There's no way I, or anyone else, could list every reference influencing our view. I only post links if the extended article is of interest to those in the discussion. The time constraints alone make full references impossible. In this case though it really was my own words and not a paraphrase. Although I did check the seven rules from this website to make sure my memory was right: http://www.yashanet.com/studies/revstudy/hillel.htm
  9. This is the typical Protestant reading for sure. The problem with this is that the context for Paul's use of "set apart" is the Old Testament where it's use is nearly always tied to a ritual and someone in authority doing the setting apart. So even if you reject Acts as relevant (which pretty much presupposes its historic claims are false - itself a problematic position) you have to deal with the context of Lev 8 & 9 with Paul's use. In contrast what's the case for it being Paul just setting himself apart? You've asserted this but I don't see an argument beyond "modern eyes." But the modern eyes claim doesn't work if you acknowledge Acts reporting on something that happened in the relative recent past. In particularly I think Acts 13:2-3 is pretty darned significant for deciding how to read Paul's use. So I think there's more than a little circularity in your argument. You say I'm reading it through modern eyes but I'd say the same of you - just that you're reading it through a somewhat Protestant lens that is incentivized to dismiss authority. (I recognize you're largely following Ehrman and others, but even if they've broken with many aspects of Protestantism they're still looking through that lens) I'd add that the word Paul uses, aforizo, is used in the Septuagint for the consecrating of Levites. (Num 8:11) It's also used for separating an animal to God or God separating Israel I'll admit. But I think there's significance here. Finally I'd note that with respect to prophets in the Old Testament the situation is more complex than you suggest as we see with Elijah & Elisha. Persuasive language doesn't imply no authority. One need only look to Joseph Smith's sermons for an example of that. He's not the authority the way say Peter is it's true. I don't think that means he doesn't have authority. In the same way today if a Bishop is speaking to his congregation there are limits on what he can do authority wise. So I don't think this works as a good argument. Right, I understand that. I'm just pointing out the problems with that view. I think you'd quickly acknowledge that Ehrman has his own perspective - perspectives many other scholars in the field don't agree with. Ehrman is hardly an uncontroversial figure. He tends to see much of the NT history as fictional or at minimum heavily distorted. Further even Ehrman acknowledges that Jesus claims special authority rather than merely appealing to scholarly reading of the texts, the way say Hillel does. To make the move to assume that no one else does seem dubious to me. And Ehrman does see the presumption of authority in texts like the epistles of John. One can say that's later, but that then runs into the problem of assuming a break rather than establishing it. Recognize that my position is not that mine is the only defensible reading but that it is a mainstream defensible reading. To say that the Mormon perspective on authority is not Biblical is to say that it's not a reasonably defensible reading of the Bible and history. So you're making a much stronger claim than merely one can read the Bible in a different fashion than Mormons do. (After all we're all aware Protestants tend to read it quite differently due to their conception of a priesthood of all believers) My oft repeated point is that you're equivocating in the discussion over priesthood. By that use of priesthood Mormons don't claim priesthood. You do see the problem don't you? I've raised this point several times now. Given the paucity of texts I don't think you can say we should expect explicit discussion. Especially when there are ambiguities in the text that can be reasonably read as authority and which use language treated as authority only a decade or two later. Again there's a huge circularity here in how later, yet in the same general time era, texts get dismissed. More to the point, the very fact you acknowledge these later texts completely undermines your original claim which is LDS authority is not Biblical. Now you've moved to goal posts to there's not unambiguous explication of such authority in the pre-temple destruction era.
  10. clarkgoble

    LGBTQ+ Question

    Again that wasn't me, although I think increased suicide after surgery is indicative of a problem. But I wouldn't blame the suicide on the surgery. Suicide is almost certainly a complex issue. It could just as easily be tied to expectations that surgery would solve the problem and it doesn't (for a wide variety of reasons not the least of which it doesn't solve all the biological issues and thus isn't the silver bullet some see it as). I'm not sure that's a fully satisfactory answer though - especially if there is persecution involved. Nope. Never even addressed this. I was speaking of the tensions in the general case. Are you saying everyone who feels transexual has an incompatible spirit gender? Again I have no trouble with that. I think the general case is far more complicated though. Clearly not everyone feels the way you do after the transition.
  11. clarkgoble

    Hype for April 2019 Conference

    I think the point is there's nothing in the text suggesting that Matthew is the author. The text is labeled Matthew but nothing in the text suggests this. Contrast this with most of the Pauline epistles for instance. Typically the assignment of authorship is seen as late with the gospels with nothing internal to the texts suggesting authorship.
  12. clarkgoble

    LGBTQ+ Question

    Why? While a rhetoric of feeling is clearly used to explain the epistemology of revelation there's also clearly a distinction between feeling and the revelation. So for instance a person with body dysmorphia like an eating disorder such as anorexia may feel they are fat, but clearly they are not. I wasn't taking a position that suicide rates tell us about distinguishing these things. I think that was someone else. However I do think there are clear indication that satisfaction with surgery is far from universal, suggesting that not all claiming to be transexual actually are. (Here assuming some sort of gender essentialism) That is at least some fraction are likely suffering body dysmorphia.
  13. I don't think you can make that opposition. After all keeping the Church from apostasy is a doctrinal and ethical necessity in many people's views. My own included. I also think that even if this is the main issue, it's not the only issue. Further if they see this as an existential threat to the Church, then it's quite reasonable they see the danger of children being used as pawns with the Church. Again the history of polygamy is likely the concern here.
  14. clarkgoble

    LGBTQ+ Question

    I think it's actually more complex especially in the case of hermaphrodites at birth. But I'll confess I don't know the nuances on that. Certainly for the more popular types of transexuality where one feels of one gender opposed to ones biology the Church has problems with reassignment surgery. It's a tricky situation since of course the medical community tends to assume one should follow the feeling of gender but has no tests to distinguish this presumption from body dimorphism problems. There's also starting to be evidence that at least a sizable minority of people who take the surgery come to regret it. That suggests the presumption that feelings are always correct and reflect actual gender are problematic. (And in many cases where parents are pressuring children probably socially complex. That was my understanding too but I suspect they aren't sure what to do. However there are also clearly cases where people who feel themselves needing surgery face church discipline. It's a complex issue. There's a youth in our ward who felt themselves to be female that led to some issues. I don't know the details there though. That gets at the ambiguities. Even if gender is essential you may well have the problem of biology conflicting with what the spirit was. Clearly in some cases like hermaphroditism that happens. Given the biology which we also know is at least somewhat malleable this gets complex fast. After all someone could well argue that it's precisely because of the Church's stance on gender essentialism of spirits that this is such a big problem. If the biology doesn't match the spirit then the proper thing would be to fix the biology. The problem is that there's no way to tell biologically when this happens versus body image issues in terms of psychological health.
  15. clarkgoble

    Hype for April 2019 Conference

    It's worth noting that the first period of apostasy in the early Church was many of Joseph's followers leaving precisely over this point. The very notion of priesthood structure was not something they wanted. Certainly there's many people who want a far less organized church without pesky prophets telling them things different than what they want the theology to be. Some might find union with the Community of Christ (RLDS) although even there one finds schisms and conflicts. However I've noticed some prominent feminists leaving the church to join the RLDS.
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