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Posted by: dr5 ( )
Date: March 03, 2011 03:17PM

Do mormon schools such as BYU teach evolution?

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Posted by: Raptor Jesus ( )
Date: March 03, 2011 03:29PM

You'll find BYU teaching evolution in biology classes, but certain institute teachers teaching creationism.

I went to a different school and had some institute teachers be ok with evolution and others rail against it every lesson they could.

In Sunday School some of the nastiest fights have broken out over evolution as well.

If you look at past profits speaking, you'll see that some of them were very very adamant about creationism, but now there's a decided shift away from that.

Now the apostles and profits just don't address the issue. It's not "pertinent to your salvation."

If you also want to see some other ridiculous non-sense, read what Hugh Nibly had to say about the subject.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/03/2011 03:33PM by raptorjesus.

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Posted by: Omg ( )
Date: March 03, 2011 09:24PM

Poor old Nibley. I wonder if he realized at the end of his life that he was, literally, wrong on everything he ever did during his career.

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Posted by: rt ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 04:29AM

I think he realized that throughout his career. He was a dishonest pseudo-scholar who prostituted himself for a comfortable professor's paycheck and the admiration of male Mormon wannabe-intellectuals.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 04:00PM

Yes. Nibley called his disinformation campaign "the game."

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Posted by: BYU Bio Major ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 04:20PM

My entry level bio class at BYU class did not teach evolution, and the professors (there were three of them) made it clear that they were instructed not to teach it...even though it was included in the textbook. This was a general ed class with several hundred students in the huge room in the JS building. Every other bio class I took, classes for Bio majors, did teach evolution.

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Posted by: Jim Huston ( )
Date: March 03, 2011 03:30PM

The D&C and PoGP both give young earth accounts. However;

"We spend time dispelling the myth that evolution and religion are incompatible," Johnson said. "We try to unburden students from the idea of either-or. That's baggage they don't have to carry."

"Faith-affirming" evolution

Johnson said his study of evolution has not diminished his faith, but has strengthened it by giving him a greater understanding of the creation.

"It gives me insight into the creator's mechanism," Johnson said. "I hope every student comes out of my class with a greater testimony of the creation God has made."

Whiting, who teaches a Book of Mormon class this semester as well as evolutionary biology, said he finds it much more impressive to view God creating species through the mechanism of evolution rather than individually.

"I find it very faith-affirming," Whiting said. "We learn about the nature of the creator."

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Posted by: kryptonite200 ( )
Date: March 03, 2011 03:34PM

I'm not sure about official doctrine on it, but I think in general Mormons fall into the creationist camp based on personal experience. My TBM grandmother once tried to explain how we knew the world was only 6,000 years old and my dad tried to give me some nonsense argument that evolution was disproved because something about humans and salamanders being almost identical in their DNA.

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Posted by: slayermegatron ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 04:08AM

Doesn't that provide evidence to support evolution?

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Posted by: GQ Cannonball ( )
Date: March 03, 2011 03:37PM

In certain regards, it depends on the level of education of the Mormon you ask. My step-father is a Ph.D. in biochemsitry, and he is adamant about evolution, his words..."I've seen it play out under the microscope with my own two eyes."

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Posted by: Ex-CultMember ( )
Date: March 03, 2011 04:09PM

Yeah, I experienced a split in the church regarding evolution. I would say the majority believe in creationism with a minority, particularly the more intellectually inclined, arguing for evolution. The views of the leadership seemed to have been mixed over the years. They now stay out of the discussion altogether. I've seen Mormons use evidence from church leaders' statements for AND against evolution to argue their viewpoint.

I would say Mormons are creationist IN GENERAL but they are certainly not as rabid about it as many of the fundamentalist/evangelical churches are.

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Posted by: beeblequix ( )
Date: March 03, 2011 05:09PM

Rule #0 for the LDS Church -- they want you to attend the temple. To get to the temple one must be worthy. In order to prove one's worthiness one must obey, and, not to put too-fine-a-point-on-it, pay tithing.

Over the last 180 years you'll find multiple examples of LDS Prophets, Seers, Revelators, Apostles, General Authorities who --
a. Taught a fundamentalist/literalistic view of the Creation.

b. Taught a metaphoric view of the stories in the Bible/D&C/Book of Moses and accept evolution directed by God.

c. Taught a "no-opinion" stance and let people just believe what they want to, insisting that it's not a doctrine of salvation.

The most important thing for our LDS leaders is to get us in the temple, make lifelong commitments to them, fund Church projects through tithing and raise up a new generation of True Believing Mormons to go on missions, go to BYU, get married in the temple and indoctrinate their large brood of offspring in doing the exact same thing ad infinitum. They really could not care less whether we chose a, b, or c as long as the underlying assumption is agreed upon: the Church is True, the Leadership is chosen by God Himself and you can't go wrong by following them. Anything else doesn't hold any weight. For those reasons you'll have leaders and believing members falling into any one of the aforementioned categories. They coexist and make for entertaining debates.

Once a person places a higher importance on validating, verifying, falsifying scriptures, teachings and instructions, and "finding out for oneself" the validity of what they're being taught than they do on being agreeable and obedient then they risk falling into apostasy and eternal damnation. How does an objective, rational, calm person determine how to accept the truth? I personally just want the purest truth I can find. I feel like I betray myself when I accept something under the guise of faith on a subject that's reduced to a metaphor, or provably false or reveals the pretext for a teaching (Joseph Smith's philandering/adultery and plural marriage comes to mind).

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Posted by: Pil-Latté ( )
Date: March 03, 2011 05:18PM

I was taught to believe in the creation as a literal account. So now I feel like a kid, learning all sorts of interesting things about our fantastic planet.

I just had a conversation with my very TBM aunt who says most of the church doctrine, including the creation, is symbolic. So whatever...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/03/2011 05:19PM by heather.

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Posted by: chainsofmind ( )
Date: March 03, 2011 07:00PM

It led to some interesting exchanges with the church leadership. I'm sure you can find the stories in the archive here. Basically, the church has no official position on organic evolution. Like many things they teach, they speak with a forked tongue, and let the listener decide what to beleive.

But, for what its worth, a 2009 pew research study placed Mormons at the lowest level of belief in evolution, even beating out evangelicals and only being surpassed in unbelief by Jehovah Whiteness'.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/03/2011 07:02PM by chainsofmind.

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Posted by: dr5 ( )
Date: March 03, 2011 09:01PM

Do you attribute that to the "teachings" in the temple?

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Posted by: chainsofmind ( )
Date: March 03, 2011 10:48PM

I do think its partly because of the temple. Many are taught that the temple creation story, and even the entire ritual, is literal. The ignorance is also due to the YEC stuff in the PoGP, McConkies 'Mormon Doctrine, and other utterances of the Mormon leaders.

I know I was raised to reject evolution. The culture, my parents, the schools, etc all rejected evolution in general. This was in happy valley. I have a tBM family member who insists that her childhood was completely different, and that she accepted evolution from an early age. She was in California and probably a bit more of an open minded tBM home.

I think its cowardly for Mormonism, or any religion, not to set the record strait on evolution, and proclaim such so there's no ambiguity. This is actually a sore spot for me. I'm kind of a science buff, yet so much knowledge was rejected because of my upbringing. I feel gipped off that I was so closed minded to evolution in particular. I beleive this is the fault of religion, yet the church gets to maintain complete deniability because, after all, they have no official position and its 'not necessary for our salvation'.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: March 04, 2011 01:56AM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2011 01:57AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: LochNessie ( )
Date: March 03, 2011 09:04PM

BYU graduate in Biology in the late '90s. Yes, all my bio professors taught evolution when it was applicable to the class. Unless it has changed a lot, saying BYU science teachers do not teach evolution is false- religion teachers are a different matter. Yes, a few students got upset. More than one professor said something to the gist of this: "We believe man was divinely created, but we do not know how man was divinely created." They also would always point out that the church HAS NO official position as chainsofmind pointed out thus leaving it open to teach evolution and for students to believe in it. No, I do not know how they reconcile their religious and scientific beliefs.

Evolution was often a topic in study groups. We were all a little confused meshing our religion with our learnings in science. I found most of my fellow students believed God used evolution as a tool for everything, but man. You can indeed see it under the microscope and in the fossil and DNA records so there was really no denying it, but you know we had to attend all those religion classes so we had to believe that Man was created by God. Yes, we rationlized as much as we could, but you often do when it comes to religion.

I do not know the belief of all mormons, but most mormons I have had the evo discussion with do not believe it, but some do. One of the reasons I married my husband is because I was impressed that he believed in evo. I liked that he had such an open mind for a mormon.

I have taught high school Bio in 3 different states, not Utah, most of my students do not believe in evolution. I learned over the years how to present it best and I do change a few minds, I also sometimes get angry emails from parents, but for the most part it goes something like this: "It all makes sense, but I just can't believe it because I believe in Jesus." Sigh. It is my favorite subject to teach, but also the most frustrating.

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Posted by: tensolator ( )
Date: March 04, 2011 02:52AM

At BYU I was taught evolution in biology and genetics classes.

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Posted by: Fetal Deity ( )
Date: March 04, 2011 03:24AM

Mormonism is utterly incompatible with the theory of biological evolution accepted as consensus in the scientific community.

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Posted by: ehemaliger ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 04:03PM

Replied to wrong post

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/18/2017 04:03PM by ehemaliger.

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Posted by: jb ( )
Date: May 23, 2017 12:58PM

I am an active mormon and I believe in creation by means of evolution. I think that it is unwise and ignorant to completely disregard evolution because we can see evidence of it around us every day and in the fossil record, but I don't think it is impossible to believe that evolution is the way God created the world and his children. Time does not exist for him, and so the seven days for Him in which He created the world could be billions of years for us. And He knew that we would need a tangible explanation for suddenly showing up on earth so he formatted it in a way that we could understand. He also recognized that we would need a source of energy, so early on He created animals that would die and become fossil fuels to supply energy to enable development and fulfill His plans.

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Posted by: bobofitz ( )
Date: May 23, 2017 01:26PM

Like most Mormons, you think you've got it all figured out. How nice for you.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 04:04PM

But the same God didn't have the foresight to put a breathing hole in a wooden submarine.

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Posted by: ehemaliger ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 04:06PM

That's all well and good, until you also try to reconcile that with the teaching that there was no death before the fall.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: May 23, 2017 01:29PM

It depends on who you ask.

Some are and some aren't.

That's the short answer.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: May 23, 2017 03:23PM

I have read multiple articles on the subject from the early 1900s.

Several apostles (I want to say Orson Pratt, Widstoe and Talmage but I am at wi rk, not near my librsry) stated the earth was older than 6000 years. Some put it at hundreds of thousands others at millions. The 4 billion mark was not around at the time.

Each one said that "Day" meant a time frame not a 24 hour period and that many years could pass between each day.

We, or at least the men folk depending on who was writting, created the earth as spirits under the direction of Christ.

The account in Abraham says they caused the earth to bring forth X which some see as implying intelligent design.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: May 23, 2017 03:36PM

Some Mormons are young earth creationists because that is what a plain reading of Mormon scripture claims.

Others have not developed the compartmentaization skills needed to completely ignore literal mountains of evidence that death came into the world well over 6 thousand, or even 6 million years ago. They either accept evolution, or don't much care about facts, that being the simplest way to deal with cognitive dissonance.

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Posted by: Riverman ( )
Date: May 23, 2017 03:56PM

I would say closet evolutionists.

Mormon teachings have been evolving since Joseph Smiths time. But you will never get any of them to admit that.

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Posted by: ren ( )
Date: May 23, 2017 04:12PM

I took a science foundations class (required for all students) at BYU-I a couple years ago. The professor taught evolution and also discussed how the church has shifted away from creationism.

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: May 25, 2017 07:37PM

I had a physiology class at BYU in the mid 70s. We had several lectures about why we needed to learn the accepted scientific theories even though we know they are wrong on many things, like evolution. On our tests we had to start the answer with "accepted theory:"

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Posted by: RRman6013 ( )
Date: June 16, 2017 11:18PM

The Masons apparently believe that the earth is only 6000 years old. Look at the cornerstone on one of their buildings. It has two dates 4000 years apart. The one in my old neighborhood read
AD 1908
AL 5908

The AL stands for Ad Lucem, or "to the light"

And the relationship between Freemasonry and the Mormon Church is well known.

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Posted by: DNA Thread ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 07:27PM

Oh, I think that our active mormon just proved evolution by responding to a 2011 thread on an exmo board. It's happening everywhere, everyday, all around us.

Welcome to reality - all are welcome!

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Posted by: quatermass2 ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 02:38AM

They can try and hedge all they want and dance around the houses forever, but ...

In the temple the process of 'creation' is taught as literal truth.

No doubt about it, Mormons are creationists.

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Posted by: Krepta ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 06:23PM

If my anecdotal exposure to youths and YSAs is anything to go by, a majority of Mormons under 30 in the Western world believe in evolution, or if they don't they're embarrassed to admit it. I was even in a YSA sacrament meeting a couple years ago where one of the speakers quoted Darwin in a favorable light to support his point. Both of my bishops in that ward believed in evolution too, one because he was a scientist who worked with plants and the other I guess because he was a "liberal" from New York.

What really gets me is the ones who believe that all animals evolved except for humans... To me, that seems even more logically untenable than denying evolution altogether.

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