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Posts posted by fox_goku

  1. Scientific fact:  Life on earth has dramatically changed from 3.6+ billion years ago to the present.  Science would not be doing its job, if it ignored this basic fact.


    Scientific theory:  Darwin was the first to propose a scientifically valid mechanism to account for the fact above.  He proposed natural selection, which essentially says that each generation contains a non-random subset of the hereditary characteristics of the previous generation.  Those organisms that have characteristics that lend toward survival do in fact out reproduce organisms with more deleterious characteristics.  Of course, novel hereditary variations can arise as well in the current generation.


    Few topics in science have greater documentation than evolution -- maybe none.  


    So, I hope the Church always lets us evolutionists attend Sacrament meeting, since I really need it.

  2. I am a "line upon line, precept upon precept" Mormon.  I have NEVER been able to swallow the whole thing all at once.  No matter.  My testimony has steadily grown over time.


    But... yes, I am skeptical.  I love doubts.  I incorporate them into my positive growth, and I don't let them interfere. 


    Joseph Smith made LOTS OF CLAIMS, and if the concept ain't in the Temple Recommend Interview, then I am going to be skeptical of that concept.  But, I won't hold anything against those with the gift of belief.

  3. President Uchtdorf gave a wonderful parable involving "Rose's painting" during the Women's Session of General Conference.  I highly recommend the talk, but I have a question.


    An actual painting was projected on the TV screen during the talk to depict "Rose's painting."  Did President Uchtdorf have this painting produced especially for this talk?  Or, was his talk inspired by this painting that already existed?  Who was the artist?


    I love the painting and its symbolism, by the way.


    Thanks for any insights.

  4. OK, maybe I can be accused of compartmentalizing.  I don't know.  But, I teach a human evolution course at a midwest university, and I teach Ezra Taft Benson in my High Priest group.  To me, evolution is fact like gravity is fact, but neither is particularly relevant to the gospel.


    I assure you that I don't go to Church to learn science, and I don't study science to learn the gospel.  So, maybe that is compartmentalization.


    Even so, I think Genesis 1 is very compatible with evolutionary history, if taken figuratively.  I know many LDS evolutionary scientists.  I don't always know how they juxtapose the two (science & religion), but they are active (in both domains) and seem to have no problems.


    To me it is better to reject evolution and accept the gospel, but the ideal is to accept both.  Neither the gospel OR evolution is going away.  They are here to stay.


    Discoveries in science CANNOT subvert the purposes of God, and God is NOT threatened by science.  However, I will admit there are a few scientists who make poor anti-theologians, who suggest evolution implies NO God.  Such individuals have gone FAR beyond the data in order to attack religion.


    Without evolution, our understanding of genetics, medicine, phylogeny, paleontology, etc. is greatly diminished.  I would rather be on the side of advancing knowledge -- both in science & religion.  Darwin was the "restoration" in life science, just as Jos. Smith was the "restoration" in Christianity.  Isn't it interesting that they both arose about the same time?  Sorry, just calling it as I see it.

  5. I love Kevin Christensen's comment above concerning academic dilemmas:

    "I see 'the church' as the assembly of members as a whole, and not just the officials and bureaucracy. With that perspective, I've found 'the church' fantastically responsive and informative. When I find something particularly helpful in an official publication, I'm pleased to find it there, but I haven't depended on it or expected it for over 35 years. Organizationally speaking, that is not where I expect to find those answers. Hence, I'm not vulnerable to disillusion. I have a much more tolerant and robust set of expectations. And that is, I think, what the revelations would lead me to expect. 'Seek out of the best books words of wisdom,... by study and by faith.' It says 'seek,' not 'sit and wait' and it says 'best books,' not 'official publications.'"

    Church authorities do not have time to resolve academic dilemmas. They have a hard enough time keeping the trains running on time within the organization.

    For the big issues that one often encounters at the university level, we need to realize that there are OTHER Mormons out there that are dealing with the same issues. Many have written and published. Seek them out. (Of course, I am NOT suggesting limiting our reading to Mormons).

    Mormonism, contrary to the thoughts of some, is about individualism. The Church is trying to teach us to acquire insights without losing faith and testimony. Mormons should seek expanded minds. To do so often means that we cannot wait for the stamp of approval from "Moses" (or the equivalent thereof).

  6. Nice comment, DaddyG. Yes, it would be inappropriate to compare modern FLDS practitioners of polygamy with the Utah Mormons of the 19th century. But, I think there is a general mathematical problem that is inherent to polygamy no matter who practices.

    The problem is that for every extra wife a man takes, there is some other man who will either not get a wife or who will have to significantly delay getting a wife. In other words, the 50/50 ratio of men to women means that mating competition will increase the more polygamy grows. Sure, under proper spiritual counsel a society might avoid some of the traps, but there are significant traps under polygamy.

  7. Occasionally, arguments are encountered that sing the praises of polygamous marriage. Such arguments were common in 19th century Mormonism. But, an effective counterargument has been recently published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. The article is from the noted anthropologists Joseph Henrich, Robert Boyd and Peter J. Richerson, and is entitled: "The puzzle of monogamous marriage."

    In their 2012 article (based in cross-cultural data) they argue that polygamy generates very serious social disorder compared to monogamy. For example, they state: "In suppressing intrasexual competition and reducing the size of the pool of unmarried men, normative monogamy reduces crime rates, including rape, murder, assault, robbery and fraud, as well as decreasing personal abuses."

    The full article can be found at:


    Perhaps I should reveal my bias. My Mormon ancestors (on both sides) practiced polygamy, but in my historical studies, I have rarely encountered families that I would regard as successful at the practice. Thus, I am intrigued by the claims of Henrich, Boyd, & Richerson.

    How do you react to the claims of the article? How would you justify polygamy, if you do?

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