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SamuelTheLamanite

No position on God? How Evolution works according to Science

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Okay, many are telling me to study Evolution so I did some quick research. According to Evolutionary Biologist Francisco Ayala who is himself a Christian  

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Chance is, nevertheless, an integral part of the evolutionary process. The mutations that yield the hereditary variations available to natural selection arise at random. Mutations are random or chance events because (i) they are rare exceptions to the fidelity of the process of DNA replication and because (ii) there is no way of knowing which gene will mutate in a particular cell or in a particular individual. However, the meaning of “random” that is most significant for understanding the evolutionary process is (iii) that mutations are unoriented with respect to adaptation; they occur independently of whether or not they are beneficial or harmful to the organisms. Some are beneficial, most are not, and only the beneficial ones become incorporated in the organisms through natural selection.

It was Darwin’s greatest accomplishment to show that the complex organization and functionality of living beings can be explained as the result of a natural process–natural selection–without any need to resort to a Creator or other external agent. … The scientific account of these events does not necessitate recourse to a preordained plan, whether imprinted from the beginning or through successive interventions by an omniscient and almighty Designer. Biological evolution differs from a painting or an artifact in that it is not the outcome of preconceived design

The theory of evolution conveys chance and necessity jointly enmeshed in the stuff of life; randomness and determinism interlocked in a natural process that has spurted the most complex, diverse, and beautiful entities that we know of in the universe: the organisms that populate the Earth, including humans who think and love, endowed with free will and creative powers, and able to analyze the process of evolution itself that brought them into existence. This is Darwin’s fundamental discovery, that there is a process that is creative although not conscious. And this is the conceptual revolution that Darwin completed: the idea that the design of living organisms can be accounted for as the result of natural processes governed by natural laws. This is nothing if not a fundamental vision that has forever changed how mankind perceives itself and its place in the universe.

In evolution, there is no entity or person who is selecting adaptive combinations. These combinations select themselves because the organisms possessing them reproduce more effectively than those with less adaptive variations. Therefore, natural selection does not strive to produce predetermined kinds of organisms but only organisms that are adapted to their present environment

I guess Ayala believes in some deistic Christianity. According to Casey Luskin

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I explain in God and Evolution, a review of how mainstream biology textbooks define Darwinian evolution reveals it is defined as a “random,” “blind,” “uncaring,” “heartless,” “undirected,” “purposeless,” and “chance” process that acts “without plan” or “any goals,” where we are “not created for any special purpose or as part of any universal design,” and “a god of design and purpose is not necessary.” This is not simply my opinion–this is a review of biology textbook definitions of neo-Darwinian theory.

I hope someone tells me how God used millions of years of death and Evolution. In Exodus 7 God didn't use Evolution to create serpents, why would he use Evolution before the Fall? How am I suppose to believe God used Evolution when no one is explaining how he uses it.  The scriptures teach the Creation was a plan, Science teaches that Evolution is unguided and there is no plan.  

Lastly, the First Presidency stated: "Leave geology, biology, archaeology and anthropology, no one of which has to do with the salvation of the souls of mankind, to scientific research, while we magnify our calling in the realm of the Church."

Many here are telling me that General Authorities make mistakes, so how can we know the statement above is not a mistake?  

 

Edited by SamuelTheLamanite

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Science by definition must be Agnostic. Individual scientists can and do have one or more Gods or no Gods as they prefer.

SEE

How do we know certain GA's idea's are in error? By following the Scientific Method, and knowing what the science says. BTW The GA's control the curriculum at BYU and it teaches Evolution and has a well respected Paleontologist museum.

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54 minutes ago, SamuelTheLamanite said:


Many here are telling me that General Authorities make mistakes, so how can we know the statement above is not a mistake?  

 

We don't know.  That's the point of living by faith.  We guess, assume, test, try, and feel comfortable with.  We don't know.  We do and think what's best for us.

I read the creation stories as myth, metaphors used to try and teach things other then history.  God did not create, as in commanded things to be, so much on my view.  Somehow if we think of Him creating, He did so within a realm of allowing things to evolve and develop. 

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The bible is not science

You still do not get that.  You say you do but you do not.

In other words, the Bible should not be taken literally on this matter- the creation account is a parable intended to teach us we are all dependent on our Father and creator who planned and gave us this beautiful world so we could come here and perfect our lives.

We have been over this with you and still there is no comprehension.

Science=good

Bible = good

Two different subjects, two different sets of rules in discussing them, like basketball vs poetry.

"Robinson Jeffers shoots!  He SCORES!"

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1. Ex 7 seems a very odd proof text to argue against evolution on

2. Natural selection is just something that happens as the interaction between environment and chemical interactions. We can of course use natural selection to create things by simply choosing which individuals breed. That's how we got dogs, wheat, corn, banannas and every other domesticated animal or plant. We selected for traits we wanted. It's effectively genetic engineering in a certain inefficient way. 

3. The only way to know what is or isn't a mistake by a GA is to look at the full body of evidence. That includes personal revelation but significantly also the evidence of nature. The evidence that evolution happens is just so overwhelmingly strong it makes people who continue to deny it seem very irrational if they've looked at the evidence. (I'll fully admit most haven't looked at the evidence)

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2 hours ago, SamuelTheLamanite said:

I hope someone tells me how God used millions of years of death and Evolution. In Exodus 7 God didn't use Evolution to create serpents, why would he use Evolution before the Fall? How am I suppose to believe God used Evolution when no one is explaining how he uses it.  The scriptures teach the Creation was a plan, Science teaches that Evolution is unguided and there is no plan.  

Lastly, the First Presidency stated: "Leave geology, biology, archaeology and anthropology, no one of which has to do with the salvation of the souls of mankind, to scientific research, while we magnify our calling in the realm of the Church."

Many here are telling me that General Authorities make mistakes, so how can we know the statement above is not a mistake?  

 

Samuel, this is how I see it. First of all, from the view of the evolutionist/Mormon view,  you basically have to understand that the creation story is a parable, not a detailed account of creation that is to be taken literally or scientifically whatsoever it is metaphor. Secondly, remember, the Bible is the word of God only with it supports the brethren  at that specific time, all doctrine is subject for review and revision as the brethren see appropriate and your personal revelation does not need to be consistent with the church or the Bible either..... You keep getting stuck on the first presidency statements... remember they are not scripture and subject to revision/editing and different interpretation. Thirdly, do not attempt to combine faith with "science" they are incompatible. Forth,  don't ever question whether evolution is "science"....it's science darn it!!!! and evolution is true! If it's taught in school it has to be true!   If you would accept these 4 concepts, it would greatly help you to understand!  

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, SamuelTheLamanite said:

Okay, many are telling me to study Evolution so I did some quick research.

With respect, I think that is a mistake.  The intersectional study of religion (particularly the tenets of Christianity, and even more particularly of the LDS Church) and evolution is not something that lends itself to "quick research."  Substantive study, over time, using multiple credible resources, would be a much better way to go.

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I hope someone tells me how God used millions of years of death and Evolution.

I'm not sure what you are looking for here.

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In Exodus 7 God didn't use Evolution to create serpents,

Exodus 7 pertains to a single miraculous event (turning Aaron's rod into a serpent).  I am not sure this is a significant reference point for the issue of "how God used millions of years of death and evolution" (and again, I'm not sure what that means).

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Why would he use Evolution before the Fall?

That is not a scientific question.  I'm not sure it's a coherent religious one, either.  

I think the discussion is better if focused on whether God "used ... evolution," not why He did so.  

As to "whether God 'used...evolution,'" that inquiry involves reconciling what we understand to be revealed, prophetic truths with what we understand to be "science" (including principles of organic evolution).  Our command of both of these spheres of knowledge is finite and imperfect, but we do the best we can.

As to "why" God may have used evolution . . . that seems like an imponderable.  "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord."  (Isaiah 55:8).

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How am I suppose to believe God used Evolution when no one is explaining how he uses it.  

We don't know how Christ walked on water, or turned water to wine, or multiplied the loaves and fishes.  And yet we believe in these things, notwithstanding a lack of explanation as to the "how" of these things.

Personally, I am not sure there is sufficient light and knowledge to make a definitive conclusion on this issue.  I don't know why God hasn't provided specific revelatory guidance on this subject, but it seems manifest that He has not, and that at present we will have to get along with what we have at hand.  Consider these remarks by Pres. Harold B. Lee:

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Perhaps if we had the full story of the creation of the earth and man told to us in great detail, it would be more of a mystery than the simple few statements that we have contained in the Bible, because of our lack of ability to comprehend. Therefore, for reasons best known to the Lord, He has kept us in darkness. Wait until the Lord speaks, or wait until that day when He shall come, and when we shall be among the privileged either to come up out of our graves and be caught up into the clouds of heaven or shall be living upon the earth likewise to be so translated before Him. Then we shall know all things pertaining to this earth, how it was made, and all things that now as children we are groping for and trying to understand.

Let's reserve judgment as to the facts concerning the Creation until we know these things for sure.

There are people who are honest seekers of truth, and who have studied scientific materials relating to evolution and finding them to have some merit.  Some of these people also have faith in Judeo-Christian teachings about God.  Some of these people propose that these two concepts are not mutually exclusive.  

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The scriptures teach the Creation was a plan, Science teaches that Evolution is unguided and there is no plan.

I am not sure that what "Science" (with a capital "S") "teaches" is so black and white.  Or that it is so utterly without flaw as to preclude the notion of evolution being "guided."  Consider these remarks from Henry Eyring (not the General Authority, but his father):

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Organic evolution is the honest result of capable people trying to explain the evidence to the best of their ability. From my limited study of the subject I would say that the physical evidence supporting the theory is considerable from a scientific viewpoint, [but] I’d be just as content to find out that God stirred up some dirt and water and out stepped Adam, ready to occupy the Garden of Eden. The only important thing is that God did it. I might say in that regard that in my mind the theory of evolution has to include a notion that the dice have been loaded from the beginning in favor of more complex life forms. In my mind, God is behind it all whether we evolved or not.

In other words, there are plenty of people who are well-versed in LDS doctrine and scientific data regarding evolution, and who are able to work with both spheres of information quite ably.

This article may be helpful in providing further insights and observations.

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Lastly, the First Presidency stated: "Leave geology, biology, archaeology and anthropology, no one of which has to do with the salvation of the souls of mankind, to scientific research, while we magnify our calling in the realm of the Church."

Many here are telling me that General Authorities make mistakes, so how can we know the statement above is not a mistake?  

I think we should develop and strengthen faith in the basics, and then go from there.  "The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are but appendages to it." (TPJS p.121).

We must allow for varied opinion on this topic in the Church.  We have been specifically told that the LDS Church "has no official position on the theory of evolution," which means the Latter-day Saints are pretty much free to proceed at their individual discretion on this subject.

In the absence of sufficient revealed light and knowledge on this subject, I don't think we can compel a conclusion one way or the other.  So don't force the issue.  Be patient.  Study.  Pray.  Serve others.  Study some more.  Things will work out.  As Pres. Lee put it: "Let's reserve judgment as to the facts concerning the Creation until we know these things for sure."

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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59 minutes ago, snowflake said:

 

Samuel, this is how I see it. First of all, from the view of the evolutionist/Mormon view,  you basically have to understand that the creation story is a parable, not a detailed account of creation that is to be taken literally or scientifically whatsoever it is metaphor. Secondly, remember, the Bible is the word of God only with it supports the brethren  at that specific time, all doctrine is subject for review and revision as the brethren see appropriate and your personal revelation does not need to be consistent with the church or the Bible either..... You keep getting stuck on the first presidency statements... remember they are not scripture and subject to revision/editing and different interpretation. Thirdly, do not attempt to combine faith with "science" they are incompatible. Forth,  don't ever question whether evolution is "science"....it's science darn it!!!! and evolution is true! If it's taught in school it has to be true!   If you would accept these 4 concepts, it would greatly help you to understand! 

Not quite. We accept the Scriptures(Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine & Covenants) as far as they are translated correctly. We readily claim that nothing that mortal man has had any part in is infallible. That includes religion and science.

BTW It is never a good idea to tell others what they believe.

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36 minutes ago, thesometimesaint said:

Not quite. We accept the Scriptures(Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine & Covenants) as far as they are translated correctly. We readily claim that nothing that mortal man has had any part in is infallible. That includes religion and science.

BTW It is never a good idea to tell others what they believe.

In my post I said "this is how I see it". You might have missed that. But yes I was explaining with very broad strokes. "translated correctly" can mean anything,  from as I said, your interpretation, the first council's interpretation, Joseph's take, metaphor, ....... Question to you, what does "translated correctly" mean?

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

With respect, I think that is a mistake.  The intersectional study of religion (particularly the tenets of Christianity, and even more particularly of the LDS Church) and evolution is not something that lends itself to "quick research."  Substantive study, over time, using multiple credible resources, would be a much better way to go.

I'm not sure what you are looking for here.

Exodus 7 pertains to a single miraculous event (turning Aaron's rod into a serpent).  I am not sure this is a significant reference point for the issue of "how God used millions of years of death and evolution" (and again, I'm not sure what that means).

That is not a scientific question.  I'm not sure it's a coherent religious one, either.  

I think the discussion is better if focused on whether God "used ... evolution," not why He did so.  

As to "whether God 'used...evolution,'" that inquiry involves reconciling what we understand to be revealed, prophetic truths with what we understand to be "science" (including principles of organic evolution).  Our command of both of these spheres of knowledge is finite and imperfect, but we do the best we can.

As to "why" God may have used evolution . . . that seems like an imponderable.  "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord."  (Isaiah 55:8).

We don't know how Christ walked on water, or turned water to wine, or multiplied the loaves and fishes.  And yet we believe in these things, notwithstanding a lack of explanation as to the "how" of these things.

Personally, I am not sure there is sufficient light and knowledge to make a definitive conclusion on this issue.  I don't know why God hasn't provided specific revelatory guidance on this subject, but it seems manifest that He has not, and that at present we will have to get along with what we have at hand.  Consider these remarks by Pres. Harold B. Lee:

There are people who are honest seekers of truth, and who have studied scientific materials relating to evolution and finding them to have some merit.  Some of these people also have faith in Judeo-Christian teachings about God.  Some of these people propose that these two concepts are not mutually exclusive.  

I am not sure that what "Science" (with a capital "S") "teaches" is so black and white.  Or that it is so utterly without flaw as to preclude the notion of evolution being "guided."  Consider these remarks from Henry Eyring (not the General Authority, but his father):

In other words, there are plenty of people who are well-versed in LDS doctrine and scientific data regarding evolution, and who are able to work with both spheres of information quite ably.

This article may be helpful in providing further insights and observations.

I think we should develop and strengthen faith in the basics, and then go from there.  "The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are but appendages to it." (TPJS p.121).

We must allow for varied opinion on this topic in the Church.  We have been specifically told that the LDS Church "has no official position on the theory of evolution," which means the Latter-day Saints are pretty much free to proceed at their individual discretion on this subject.

In the absence of sufficient revealed light and knowledge on this subject, I don't think we can compel a conclusion one way or the other.  So don't force the issue.  Be patient.  Study.  Pray.  Serve others.  Study some more.  Things will work out.  As Pres. Lee put it: "Let's reserve judgment as to the facts concerning the Creation until we know these things for sure."

Thanks,

-Smac

Really well done!

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18 minutes ago, snowflake said:

In my post I said "this is how I see it". You might have missed that. But yes I was explaining with very broad strokes. "translated correctly" can mean anything,  from as I said, your interpretation, the first council's interpretation, Joseph's take, metaphor, ....... Question to you, what does "translated correctly" mean?

IOW Let me tell you what you believe. It doesn't mean anything we want in a LDS context. It simply means we have an open canon to accept new revelation from God. IE; Your Bible clearly has a flat earth in a very small geocentric universe. Now the question for you is your Bible infallible as it is or is it subject to new revelation?

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6 minutes ago, thesometimesaint said:

IOW Let me tell you what you believe. It doesn't mean anything we want in a LDS context. It simply means we have an open canon to accept new revelation from God. IE; Your Bible clearly has a flat earth in a very small geocentric universe. Now the question for you is your Bible infallible as it is or is it subject to new revelation?

I believe God is infallible and so is his word (this bible).

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Come now oh foolish ones, Jesus walked on water? scientifically impossible so it's a metaphor. Jesus raised the dead? , sorry, there were no defibrillators in His time so , metaphor.

The scriptures state that God created all things spiritually ( metaphorically? ) before He created them physically ( metaphorically ?)

It is my opinion that whoever believes that all life on earth was built over 4.5 billion years by random mutations of the DNA/RNA and natural selection , forgets that in order to mutate genes there must be genes there to mutate, so where did that massive information storage unit come from?

What are the chances that in the next 20 minutes, an airplane flies over my house and drops an elephant out and the beast falls through my roof and lands in my bed ? It is even possible? Sure it is. Is it likely ? Nope. The odds of such an event happening can be estimated roughly from experience and supposition. The odds of molecules randomly combining to create a single nucleotide are trillions and trillions and trillions of times LESS than the given scenario.

Scientists say that there have been many extinction events which have occurred over the history of the earth. Maybe the bible and other scriptures are speaking of only the latest iteration.

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6 hours ago, thesometimesaint said:

How do we know certain GA's idea's are in error? By following the Scientific Method, and knowing what the science says

You believe following the scientific method is more reliable than General Conference? 

6 hours ago, thesometimesaint said:

Science by definition must be Agnostic. Individual scientists can and do have one or more Gods or no Gods as they prefer.

I know, but in Evolution there is no plan "there is no entity or person who is selecting adaptive combinations" according to the scientists. 

5 hours ago, stemelbow said:

He did so within a realm of allowing things to evolve and develop. 

Sounds like Deism to me.  An atheist argues "A god that does not manifest in reality is indistinguishable from a god that does not exist" 
You believe in the Resurrection? Is God going to let the Resurrection develop for millions of years?  

4 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

3. The only way to know what is or isn't a mistake by a GA is to look at the full body of evidence. That includes personal revelation but significantly also the evidence of nature 

So GA could be wrong about marriage, historical book of Mormon,  and pretty much anything?  So if we just look at the full body of evidence we wouldn't conclude that the Resurrection of Jesus never happened, that Jesus didn't turn water into wine, that Adam and Eve were not our first parents? 

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8 hours ago, snowflake said:

I believe God is infallible and so is his word (this bible).

But the bible is not his word. The bible is mans word. Every passage in the bible is written by a fallible human. Nowhere does the bible claim to be Gods word. Gods word is always spoken directly by him to his servants the prophets. 

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7 hours ago, SamuelTheLamanite said:

You believe following the scientific method is more reliable than General Conference? 

I know, but in Evolution there is no plan "there is no entity or person who is selecting adaptive combinations" according to the scientists. 

Sounds like Deism to me.  An atheist argues "A god that does not manifest in reality is indistinguishable from a god that does not exist" 
You believe in the Resurrection? Is God going to let the Resurrection develop for millions of years?  

So GA could be wrong about marriage, historical book of Mormon,  and pretty much anything?  So if we just look at the full body of evidence we wouldn't conclude that the Resurrection of Jesus never happened, that Jesus didn't turn water into wine, that Adam and Eve were not our first parents? 

General Conference is not a source of doctrine. The scriptures and official statements of the church are. There are multiple examples of conference talks containing conceptual errors - modern talks are scrutinized and corrected much more than those in the past. Packard in particular rarely had a talk survive the editor in his later years as he continued to rant against homosexuality, making statements that were not in harmony with the official position of the church. There is a difference between a single speaker making an error and the official doctrines of the church being in error. You are again conflating to separate issues. 

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8 hours ago, strappinglad said:

Come now oh foolish ones, Jesus walked on water? scientifically impossible so it's a metaphor. Jesus raised the dead? , sorry, there were no defibrillators in His time so , metaphor.

The scriptures state that God created all things spiritually ( metaphorically? ) before He created them physically ( metaphorically ?)

It is my opinion that whoever believes that all life on earth was built over 4.5 billion years by random mutations of the DNA/RNA and natural selection , forgets that in order to mutate genes there must be genes there to mutate, so where did that massive information storage unit come from?

What are the chances that in the next 20 minutes, an airplane flies over my house and drops an elephant out and the beast falls through my roof and lands in my bed ? It is even possible? Sure it is. Is it likely ? Nope. The odds of such an event happening can be estimated roughly from experience and supposition. The odds of molecules randomly combining to create a single nucleotide are trillions and trillions and trillions of times LESS than the given scenario.

Scientists say that there have been many extinction events which have occurred over the history of the earth. Maybe the bible and other scriptures are speaking of only the latest iteration.

This is not at all what is being claimed. you are intentionally misrepresenting the argument. Genesis is a liturgical text. Its very structure screams liturgy. It is using symbolic language to teach a gospel message. Ancient languages did not have both poetic and expository language. Until you understand how to read ancient texts you will never understand the bible. 

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18 minutes ago, Freedom said:

This is not at all what is being claimed. you are intentionally misrepresenting the argument

Of course I am. :ph34r:

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15 hours ago, SamuelTheLamanite said:

I hope someone tells me how God used millions of years of death and Evolution. In Exodus 7 God didn't use Evolution to create serpents, why would he use Evolution before the Fall? How am I suppose to believe God used Evolution when no one is explaining how he uses it.  The scriptures teach the Creation was a plan, Science teaches that Evolution is unguided and there is no plan.  

 

FWIW, I think you're on the right track.  I've pointed out before that while there may be some theoretical semantic convolution in Mormon doctrines that provide just enough wiggle room for the more enlightened among us to believe in both the LDS scriptures and teachings and the principles of organic evolution, doing so creates a silly hash of the idea of creation.

For example, consider the doctrine of "spiritual creation".

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5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/moses/3.5?lang=eng#p4

So if we believe in the evolution of creatures, then we are theorizing that God created the entire evolutionary chain up to and including Man, as well as those creatures which are currently evolving and will yet evolve, spiritually before doing so physically.  This includes all the extinct mid-steps, as well as the dead ends and vestigial remnants.

It's certainly possible He did it that way.  But it's kind of a silly idea.  It would be like someone asking you to make Nestle Tollhouse Cookies, and you decide to experiment with thousands upon thousands of different recipes until arriving at the determined cookie, all the while having the recipe on the package in front of you.  Sure, you could do it that way, but it's hardly an intelligent use of time or cookie ingredients.

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While I believe the science behind evolution is sound based on what we know so far, one thing is very difficult for me to comprehend. Given what we know about genetics and our growing capabilities with editing genes and DNA and a God that is more advanced than we can currently understand, why would God ever use evolution to accomplish the creation? With the other powerful tools at His disposal, it would be the most inefficient exercise in creation possible. 

It just makes absolutely no sense to me. I don't really accept the argument that it's all just to test our faith.

Rather, I think our entire paradigm on the origins of the earth is probably wrong in some fundamental way. But until we have perfect knowledge, evolution is the best explanation for the evidence we have.

I believe in God and that he created the earth. At the moment, I can't reconcile that with the science, but that's ok. I believe that once we know everything in full detail, it will all make sense.

Edit: didn't see Cinepro's post before mine. Sorry for any redundancy.

Edited by rchorse

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Suppose God decides to design and create a tiger. God says, "Let there be a tiger," and there is a tiger. It's a supertiger, in fact—the most perfectly designed creature that there could be of its kind.

God gets bored, and decides to do something harder. God decides to design and create, not a tiger, but a factory that will make tigers, all by itself. God says, "Let there be a tiger factory," and there is a tiger factory. It produces those perfectly designed supertigers, and it produces them in the most perfectly efficient way—for a factory. It's not as efficient as God's direct creation of the tiger was, because the factory itself involves some resources. On the other hand the factory can go on producing tiger after tiger, all by itself, without God having to coax it along.

God gets bored again, and decides to do something still harder. God decides to design and create, not a tiger, not a tiger factory, but a factory that will itself design tigers, coming up with its own notions of what a tiger should be, and then make those quirky tigers, by its own quirky ways. In fact it will keep on coming up with new designs for creatures, and new ways of making them. The design-making factory won't be nearly as efficient at making tigers as the tiger factory that God made directly was, because of all the overhead resources it needs for making designs and setting up its own production lines, but it will still be perfectly efficient as the thing that it is, which is a lot more than just a tiger factory.

This third creation is a far harder task than either of God's previous efforts, because the hard work of design that God has previously done, making the perfect supertiger and superfactory, will now be done by the new factory itself. Even if a lesser being than God could have the power to perform this third task, a lesser mind than God's would be hopelessly boggled by thinking of how to do it. God, however, is God.

God says, "Let there be light."

Edited by Physics Guy

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19 hours ago, SamuelTheLamanite said:

Okay, many are telling me to study Evolution so I did some quick research. According to Evolutionary Biologist Francisco Ayala who is himself a Christian  

I guess Ayala believes in some deistic Christianity. According to Casey Luskin

I hope someone tells me how God used millions of years of death and Evolution. In Exodus 7 God didn't use Evolution to create serpents, why would he use Evolution before the Fall? How am I suppose to believe God used Evolution when no one is explaining how he uses it.  The scriptures teach the Creation was a plan, Science teaches that Evolution is unguided and there is no plan.  

Lastly, the First Presidency stated: "Leave geology, biology, archaeology and anthropology, no one of which has to do with the salvation of the souls of mankind, to scientific research, while we magnify our calling in the realm of the Church."

Many here are telling me that General Authorities make mistakes, so how can we know the statement above is not a mistake?  

 

 

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7 hours ago, cinepro said:

 

So if we believe in the evolution of creatures, then we are theorizing that God created the entire evolutionary chain up to and including Man, as well as those creatures which are currently evolving and will yet evolve, spiritually before doing so physically.  This includes all the extinct mid-steps, as well as the dead ends and vestigial remnants.

 

I don't think that's any more silly than at some point speaking everything into existence while making it all appear quite differently. 

It also could be the spiritual creation before being formed physically is creating things in his conception.  We've just assumed it means God created a spirit for all living things. 

Or

It could be, finally, that this passage is wrong, conceived by Joseph or Moses before him, but neither really knew that they were wrong. 

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7 hours ago, cinepro said:

FWIW, I think you're on the right track.  I've pointed out before that while there may be some theoretical semantic convolution in Mormon doctrines that provide just enough wiggle room for the more enlightened among us to believe in both the LDS scriptures and teachings and the principles of organic evolution, doing so creates a silly hash of the idea of creation.

For example, consider the doctrine of "spiritual creation".

So if we believe in the evolution of creatures, then we are theorizing that God created the entire evolutionary chain up to and including Man, as well as those creatures which are currently evolving and will yet evolve, spiritually before doing so physically.  This includes all the extinct mid-steps, as well as the dead ends and vestigial remnants.

It's certainly possible He did it that way.  But it's kind of a silly idea.  It would be like someone asking you to make Nestle Tollhouse Cookies, and you decide to experiment with thousands upon thousands of different recipes until arriving at the determined cookie, all the while having the recipe on the package in front of you.  Sure, you could do it that way, but it's hardly an intelligent use of time or cookie ingredients.

If I were looking for a way to harmonize this with evolution, I would discard the notion that spiritual beings start out resembling their physical bodies. Maybe they start of as fuzzy spheres of light with varying degrees of "intelligence", and only start to take some kind of spiritual form after they're been incorporated with whatever body suits them (bird, dinosaur, human, whale, etc).

Edited by Gray

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9 hours ago, Freedom said:

General Conference is not a source of doctrine. The scriptures and official statements of the church are.

Okay, but there are many ways to read and interpret the scriptures, I see General Conference as a guide to understand the scriptures. We rarely get official statements. For me the idea that scriptures are the only source of doctrine is circular reasoning.

9 hours ago, Freedom said:

 Until you understand how to read ancient texts you will never understand the bible. 

Some ancient text scholars don't agree with your view. Here is one Mormon scholar that believes in creation and a great flood.

53 minutes ago, Gray said:

If I were looking for a way to harmonize this with evolution, I would discard the notion that spiritual beings start out resembling their physical bodies.

Mr. Gray. You sound like a smart guy, do you know how God used Evolution? Doesn't Science teach Evolution is unguided and the mutations are random?

 

 

 

Edited by SamuelTheLamanite

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