Can faith, scientific progress coexist? They can
Jeff...let me help connect the grammatical disconnect.Contrary to
your assertion, God's existence IS NOT a fact independent of his character and
attributes according to LDS theology...it's precisely what defines his existence
through the process of eternal progression...the idea that as man is, God once
was. So it does indeed make sense that God's existence is
"dependent on His behavior" based upon the specific LDS behavioral
requirements for exaltation. I'm calling you on your equally absurd attempt at
this disconnect through my parroting.Furthermore, your claim to
"know" that God exists through personal evidence does not authenticate
his existence. I also understand that you believe that it "should,"
but it has not. To "know" something implies fact. Without the ability
for others to test your personal evidence makes your evidence unreliable and
perpetuates a myth. Finally, your are indeed "bound" by
supernatural evidence when you claim "spiritual" evidence as a source
for truth. Spiritual evidence IS supernatural on its face. There is
simply no direct objective, "non-spiritual" sources of evidence
confirming the existence of God. Faith serves as the basis for the existence of
God, which is fine. But faith is not fact.
We do not have agreement with the details of God from people claiming to
experience god directly. In fact, we have tons of people all over the planet
giving contradictory accounts of God's contact with them. They cannot all be
right. In fact, if the Mormon version of God is the one true God, then all the
rest, the vast majority, must be wrong. So if the vast majority are wrong about
hearing gods voice or experiencing God's presence affirming their beliefs, what
keeps me from lumping the Mormons in with them? In the sense of personal
witness, yes, it is evidence, but it must be tempered to ensure reliability. I
would argue that all believers in god relying on the defense of personal
experience or witness have failed to ensure reliability as well as certainty.
There are lots of different kinds of evidences. I simply go with the most
reliable and that tends to mostly lean toward science. An evidence of god that
would satisfy all would be if every human being on the planet got the same
message and there was consistent certainty as to the message and the messengers
identity. Personal witness can be explained in_terms_other_than_being_God.
@ Weber State Graduate: Your logic is not clear. Since I separate the behavior
of God from His existence (and you don't), it makes sense that God's existence
is not dependent on His behavior, just as your existence and your behavior are
separate things. You will have to explain your conclusions more carefully for
me; parroting my statement isn't working.Your second statement is
both illogical and misstated. I never used the word "supernatural,"
though you imply that I did. I do not claim to be "bound" by any
classification of evidence; I am willing to accept evidence from both spiritual
and non-spiritual sources. I have said before that I do not necessarily consider
the Spirit to be supernatural in the usual meaning of that word. I think it is
common and perfectly natural that God should speak to His children.In your efforts to parallel what I wrote, you make a bizarre grammatical
disconnect. You say that the existence of God "should" depend
entirely on "'objective' evidence and always has." I understand that
you believe that it "should," but it has not. Feel free to point out
a time in history when God's existence was not a personal witness.
Conversely...It's absurd to suggest that there is a God because He
does or does not behave according to a particular standard of expected behavior.
Its also astounding that someone who claims to be bound by
"supernatural" evidence will declare that there is a God. To know or
not know the existence of God should depend entirely on "objective"
evidence and always has.
It is absurd to suggest that there is no God because He does or does not behave
according to a particular standard of expected behavior. God's existence or
non-existence is a fact independent of what His character and attributes may or
may not be.For me, the existence of God is an established fact--not
because it has been established by any outside evidence, but because I have had
personal contact with Him. His love for me is also an established fact. What
He looks like and how He acts outside my personal experience are a matter of
faith, but I find His interactions with me to be consistent with scripture and
the publicly declared experiences of others who know Him personally.I am astounded that someone who claims to be bound by empirical evidence will
declare that there is no God. To know or not know the existence of God depends
entirely on personal evidence and always has.
Jim987, if your belief in a designer is akin to that of Antony Flew's Deism,
then I would recognize that as an eminently reasonable position, in light of the
conclusions of Natural Theology. In this respect, I would also recognize the
three Abrahamic faiths as rational. These are the only "rational"
options. I even have some amount of respect for the truly "soft"
agnostics-- those who honestly really don't know and don't have a strong opinion
either way, but would like to know more. Those who reject the conclusions of
Natural Theology (i.e., Mormons, "Hard" Agnostics/Atheists, etc.) I
would consider outside the bounds of reasonable debate.What I mean
by "God's terms" is that he selectively seeks us out in whatever way
he sees fit (John 3:27; 6:44-45, 65; 8:47; 10:26). Indeed, people are meeting
with God for the first time every day. And this is the only way, for if God is
transcendent, science can never find him. A spiritual being must be met in a
spiritual way (John 4:23). If you would like to converse more, write my gmail
account, brokenclay47.Scientific positivists, expand your
@brokenclayIt's presumptuous for you to assume that any person is
simply not up-to-date in his reading of relevant literature since the same could
be said of you. I imagine many people can recommend relevent literature as well.
You can't assume people have not thoroughly investigated many sources before
coming to a conclusion.When people make the argument that science
and faith are incompatible, they are referring to those who ignore scientific
fact and replace it with religious belief. We should be interested in what is
correct and incorrect, and the arguments for either side, not the particular
beliefs of certain individuals. The reason why science and religion are actually
incompatible is that, in the real world, they reach incompatible conclusions.
Different religions make very different claims, but they typically end up saying
things that are impossible in the natural world. And science says: none of that
is true. So there you go, incompatibility. The favored method of those who would
claim that science and religion are compatible really, the only method
available is to twist the definition of either science or religion well out of
the form in which most people would recognize it.
@ brokenclay,I tried to find God on "His" terms. But what
is you definition of "God's terms" anyways? I read my scriptures,
prayed, and all that good stuff they tell you to do in Sunday school. Anyways I
left my religion of youth because I have not "met the transcended God"
like you have. Afterall I have gone through, in all the books I have read, all
the prayers I have said I have come to one conclusion. That is if God
exists and has an improtant message to share with us it wont be found in a book.
God did't write any books. God would tell us through our hearts and life
experiences. Why should I have to turn to Literature or a Website to find God.
That sounds silly and I guess that is what you are calling finding God on His
terms. BTW- I don't disbelieve in something Greater than us, maybe a intelligent
designer or life force. But I think if there is such a being. It will be a lot
different than what we've imagined .
Anyone who claims that there is no good scientific evidence in favor of God's
existence is simply not up-to-date in his reading in the relevant literature. I
would recommend starting with the writings of William Lane Craig, and then
branching out from there. He also has a website called "Reasonable
Faith." The conclusions of Natural Theology even caused the most brilliant
atheist of the 20th century, Antony Flew, to become a Deist. Now of course,
Natural Theology does not prove specifically Christian theism, but it does
eliminate almost all other options (except Judaism, Islam, and Deism).But the bottom line is that you can't stick your head in the scientific sand
and still claim to be genuinely interested in settling "the God
question." The issue should at the very least be a joint-venture between
all kinds of science AND theology. If God does indeed reveal himself to men and
meet with men, then we should take that with utmost seriousness, even if he
doesn't do so in a way scientists approve of. Understand this well: If you want
to meet with the transcendent God, you will do so on his terms, not your own.
"...Someone told me that love would all save us.But how can that
be?Look what love gave us.A world full of killing, and
blood-spilling, thatworld never came.And they say that a hero
can save us.I'm not gonna stand here and wait..."Chad Kroeger
lyricsI hope that there is a God (hero) and everything will turn out
in life. "But I'm not gonna stand here and wait when I can take
"If God has any real significance, God must be at least in part outside of
nature. . . . Science, including the science of evolution, is limited to
exploring and understanding the natural world. Therefore, to apply scientific
arguments to the question of God's existence, as if this were somehow a
showstopper, is committing a category error." -Francis CollinsThis argument, which I have also formulated myself independently, must be
faced by the scientific positivist. If one is sincerely interested in deciding
the issue of whether God exists and is knowable, he must abandon his narrow
epistemology. Naturalistic science, by definition, cannot observe a transcendent
God-- and if God exists, he is indeed transcendent and spiritual (the physical
and temporal Mormon god is an impossibility). Nevertheless, there is good
teleological and cosmological science pointing to God's existence. ID and
natural theology are potent forces to be dealt with. But God cannot be known
personally this way, just about.Collins is one of the top scientists
in the world. He believes in BioLogos (explained in the article), that
evangelical Christianity and evolutionary theory are completely compatible. I'm
more inclined to take his word on the issue over an anonymous newspaper
commenter. . . .
In recent weeks we've seen two core scientific theories come under question1. Existence of Higgs Boson or "God Particle" see 2. Neutrino
particles seem to travel at faster than speed of light. Both of
these theories are at the very core of particle and quantum physics .Science changes. My biggest question on evolution is simply why? why would an
all powerful God, if that's what you believe in, need evolution? Just to see
what happens? I just can't get my head around that. Also answer this.
When Jesus fed the thousands with a few loaves and fishes, where did the fish
come from? Did he have to evolve them? Did he just create them then and there?
if you believe they just came into existence then you would also have to
believe that he could create the body of a man as well without evolution. Well
you could say the fish had already gone through their evolutionary process a
million generations ago, but that still doesn't answer where they came from on
that day. They still just appeared, is that any easier than making the body of
Adam and Eve appear?
Where does the thought "Athiests have no scientific evidence to support
their beliefs" come from?I have walked both sides of the fence. Maybe an athiest becomes athiest because he/she spent many years praying to
God and never recieves an answer. Maybe one becomes athiest after getting
cancer and prays to get better and doesn't. Maybe they go see a doctor that can
heal them. Is it the medicine that heals or God that heals? How many of you who
are religous will wait home all day praying to get healed of a sickness before
they give up and go to the doctor. This it what atheist have done (acted out of
knowledge, science, study.). So quit saying athiests do not have any evidence
to support their beliefs.
"good science and good religion are very much compatible"I
think I would disagree unless we knew clearly what we were talking about when we
qualified something as "good religion". If good religion entails
anything that is true - and nothing that is false (reasonably here), and science
entails only things that are true, then yes. Obviously two systems of truth
would be compatible. So far however, we have yet to be introduced to a religion
that provides any solid basis for demonstrating itself as a truth of anything.
@brokenclayAtheistic scientists may place a priority on a narrowly
defined form of empiricism and rather than look up on a starry night and be
unable to "observe" the handiwork of God....they look up and see that
"other explanations" other than God are very possible....and that
"God" is only one explanation and may not be the correct explanations.
I can look at a a starry night and understand why people think it is the
"handiwork" God, but on the otherhand I can also see that explanation
as a human attempt to fill in the gaps of in knowledge rather than it being
proveably true. Presenting scriptures based on ancient assumptions proves
nothing in comparison to modern empiricism that seeks new knowledge and is is
ultimately self-correcting as new knowledge about our Universe is aquired. We
know our Universe exists so perhaps the Universe is God rather than the one
portrayed by unknowledgible humans from our past.
This was a worthwhile article. I enjoyed it very much. To me, it seems that the
jury is still out on many of these things, but in any event, good science and
good religion are very much compatible. Atheistic scientists place
such a priority on a narrowly defined form of empiricism, yet they still are
unable to look up on a starry night and "observe" the handiwork of
God."For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power
and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the
world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."
(Romans 1:19)"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky
above proclaims his handiwork. . . . Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world." (Psalm 19:1, 4a)"[T]hat they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way
toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for 'In
him we live and move and have our being.'" (Acts 17:27-28)
Religion seeks to fill in the gaps in knowledge with unsupported and untestable
assertions and conclusions rather than recognize our knowledge is limited and
incomplete. Religion tends to make unproveable assumptions! Science seeks to
fill the gaps with observable and rigorously testable evidence and recognizes
our knowledge is an ongoing endeavor in which knowledge is incomplete. Science
generally welcomes change. It is ultimately self-correcting. Religion is often
inflexible and unchanging even when new knowledge is evidenced. Religious
beliefs, particularly those based on a sacred text, change much more slowly. In
fact, many faith groups stress the unchangeable nature of their beliefs. There
are still many points of major conflict between science and religion. In each
case, only one will eventually win public support. The historical record
indicates that religion wins very few of these disputes. Change
eventually happens. Most people no longer believe that: The earth is
flat. The sun goes around the earth. Lightning and thunder are
caused by Satan and his demons. Mental illness is caused by demonic
Filo, Going to the Bible, Book of Mormon, or the Koran for answers proving that
god exists is like proving the existence of the elves by quoting The Lord of the
Rings. Sure it supports you assertion, but there's no observable,
rigorously testable evidence outside of the "magic book". The Bible,
BOM & Koran all say that god created one man and one woman, de novo, and
that we are all their descendants. This assertion is not only wrong, but also
impossible given the problems that inbreeding presents. People will defend
their pet magic books and gods by saying "it's just allegorical" but
then speak with certainty about "god's laws" and "god's
will". Outside of the Bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine &
Covenants where there any observable, rigorously testable evidence to
substantiate any of the following claims:Pre-Mortal ExistencePost-Mortal ExistenceTerrestrial KingdomsCelestial KingdomsEternal Marriage/SealingResurrection
@Grace"Neither atheist nor evolutionist can disprove God's existence
or methods."Consider replacing the word God in that statement."Neither atheist nor evolutionist can disprove the flying spaghetti
monsters' existence or methods." It's a true statement, but it doesn't
matter. You can't disprove the existence of countless Gods that have been
worshipped. It's not a reason to believe they exist."The injunction
and reward of faith is in chapters 4 and 11 of Hebrews. Pray on them" Why
does God require us to take his existence on faith? How do you know that he
exists? Because of a feeling? How many people have lived and died convinced
that their religion was the correct one. What makes you any different from
@Filo Doughboy"Evolution will never tell you the ultimate essential:
Where did it all come from? Who put the primordial ooze there?" You are
speaking of abiogenesis. Whether the process of evolution was started by God,
extraterrestrials, or through a primordial ooze it doesn't disprove evolution.
Consider the leap that intelligent design makes. It's going from "I can't
explain how we got here" to "God did it."As for
scientific discoveries that disprove evolution, I'd be interested in seeing
them. "To travel through the cosmos and come upon only one
magnificent system that supports human life is exactly what The Creator said in
His Book" I'd like to see the scriptural reference for that.
Regarding the earlier comment that "religion teaches people to be satisfied
in not understanding the world around them." When Jesus calmed the storm,
healed the sick, and raised the dead he established a precedent that struggling
against nature, illness, and death was both God's will and viable human
endeavor. He established a foundation for scientific progress and inquiry.
Religion does not stifle understanding.
When Jesus calmed the sea, healed the sick, and raised the dead he challenged
prevailing religious thought on accommodating the status quo and established
precedent for scientific progress and inquiry. The idea that religions prevent
challenging the status quo is wrong.
Byuster,I agree that religion has messed up badly. But man left to
himself hasn't solved any of his problems conclusively either, right? Is it
possible that the Bible is correct in claiming that evil men seek to deceive and
destroy? God says He created this world for His purpose, and He'll complete
it.Religion, by definition, is not a relationship. The Biblical God
seeks a relationship with man, a cosmic love affair. Don't miss His message
just because men without Him continue to misconstrue it and add their own
requirements. You really haven't exhausted your research however,
until you have studied the claims in each religion. The Holy One of Israel
promises that all who seek Him will find Him. I was a happy religionist, for
the first half of my life. Wonderful family and community, religious activity
and legalism. But just like the apostle Paul says in Romans 10 and 11, the
religious zeal of his people did not bring them closer to the true God. Rather
it was zeal in ignorance of truth. I found the Christ "who is the end of
the law", (Romans 10:4).Seek Truth. It's eternal, amazing and
Make my previous statement about spouting unprovable "dribble", to be
unprovable "drivel". That is what presumptuous persons do with God's
Word when they claim omniscience in their proud, haughty hearts. Instead of
seeking knowledge in the realm about which they neither understand nor can prove
their hypotheses concerning, their hypocrisy is exposed:While they
will wait patiently for the results of the petri dish or catalogue years of
research, they rush to claim their omniscience re: the absence of any God,
Higher Power, or Intelligent Designer through out the entire universe. What
fool believes that an atheist has suffuciently explored the cosmos... except
other presumptuous fools? "The fool says in his heart, 'there is no
God'." (Psalm 14:1)I really enjoyed this excellent article for
its objective and honest presentation of scientists who find no conflict with
their research and their personal beliefs. Holder's final quote shows that he
is a true scientist. He will wait for the beauty and information to be
revealed, as he sits in awe of what has been discovered.. He will never be on
the receiving end of God's famous demand of Job- "Where were you
when...?" (Job 38-42)
Some things can be disproven for the honest, objective observer, right? If
little green men exist, then we've just not found them yet. Our non-discovery
doesn't disprove their existence. But if men claim that they cover the moon's
surface, and our lunar explorations disprove that, how long will you still feed
at their trough of ignorance?The Bible warns that 'prophets' can
only be exposed as false after they make false claims. Uttering unprovable
dribble will not reveal the counterfeit. (Deutetonomy 18). So, would you
seriously listen to teachers who claimed that the moon is inhabited by 8 foot
tall Quakers, after years of exploration now disprove their existence? The
Bible assumes a modicum of rational, discernable investigation in verses
18-22.Darwin himself asserted that his hypothesizing was just that
ultimately. The Genesis creation account gave the animal chronolgy centuries
before. To have discovered a piece of the pie and some of its ingredients
doesn't give you permission to claim omniscience about its baker and his
genesis, does it?Neither atheist nor evolutionist can disprove God's
existence or methods.The injunction and reward of faith is in
chapters 4 and 11 of Hebrews. Pray on them.
The THEORY of Evolution is still erroneously taught as science today, when the
majority of scientific discovery has exposed its flaws long ago. For those
unfamilar with the so-called academic freedom on university campuses today, take
a class, go on-line or watch Ben Stein's accurate portrayal of the blistering
closed-minded hypocrisy of the upper crust curmudgeons who cling to out-dated
theories:Evolution will never tell you the ultimate essential:
Where did it all come from? Who put the primordial ooze there? It is now more
"scientific" to suggest Intelligent Design, given the advancements of
cellular biology and genetics alone. The 'swiss watch discovered on the
deserted island' analogy is still valid with observations from human physiology
to cosmology and molecular physics. That Steve Hawkiing and Richard Dawkins
believe earth was seeded by Martians should jade even the die-hard atheist:
They don't have the answer to the Genesis or the Designer. We've only recently
discovered that every galaxy has a central black hole...To travel
through the cosmos and come upon only one magnificent system that supports human
life is exactly what The Creator said in His Book. And nothing has disproven
"The "war" is not between science and religion but between
science and certain interpretations of scripture by religions." Perfect! Now we're getting somewhere. Science represents the body of knowledge
we acquire through observation and testing, and religion represents that body of
thought that must change everything the scientific body of knowledge grows.
"If there is a war between science and religion, it's gone on long enough
and for what purpose?" asked religious scholar and BYU law professor John
Welch during a recent lecture discussing faith and science."The
purpose of this certainly cannot be to annihilate the opponent. They both have
need of the other," Welch said.No, they don't 'need' each other
and Yes, bad ideas (like religion) exist to be destroyed.
"Evolution is how God did it" is a crock. The bible & the Book of
Mormon are explicit - man was created, de novo, by god. Ok, fine, god used
'evolution' as his method but the fact remains that we all cannot be descended
from one human couple. The inbreeding & genetic malformations that
accompany it would have doomed our species from the first generations. This is clearly testable through DNA analysis - we are NOT al descended
from a single human mother & father. The evidence clearly shows that the
Bible, Koran, & Book of Mormon cannot possibly be correct. "Oh it's
just a metaphor" is used as an excuse, but then Mormons will speak with
authority on all sorts of imaginary constructs & baseless assertions.Besides blindly quoting the BOM or D&C's, please provide a single,
observable, testable shred of evidence for these fairy tales:Pre-Mortal ExistenceTerrestrial KingdomCelestial KingdomEternal MarriageResurrectionSanctification
The LDS Church has been very circumspect about pronouncements about evolution,
though some individual Church leaders, speaking for themselves, have expressed
opinions on both sides of the question. The Church's only statement that I'm
aware of that definitively says anything is the First Presidency statement that
we are created in the image of God.There are traditional readings of
the scriptures that might preclude the LDS acceptance of some scientific ideas,
but Latter-day Saints must be careful that tradition clouds our interpretation
of the facts. Remember that Christ's disciples were very confused about what to
expect from Him because they could not (without His post-mortal help) understand
the true meaning of the scriptures.The scriptures leave much room
for a variety of understandings about HOW the creation was executed, because
they only focus on the fact that it WAS executed by God. Remember also, that
the history of Man after the creation is limited to what happened or did not
happen in the Garden of Eden, not elsewhere on earth.What we should
be interested in is the truth; both religious and non- get burned when they jump
to unsupported conclusions.
RE: JasonpThose scriptures apply only to the state of earth as
"created" (organized by God)From the advent of the
"organization" there was no death,materially earth
existed long before, and has nothing to do with us, ergo, man a did
not evolve.A perfect, all powerful, all knowing Supreme being would
NEVER need to tinker via nonsensical and rediculous evolution.It
is silly to try and reconcile the silliness of evolution with religion.This is just another attack on religion, to destroy it bit by bit, principle
by principle,there's a God, there was a literal Adam and Eve, anything else is to get you to believe in things that move you away
from truth.Science isn't some bastion of truth, and all should
kneel before its theories and never question them.But that is the
attitude of athiests and those trying to dimininish religion.God
created all the creatures of current state of earth, and Man, and commanded
them to muttiple after their own kind, not even remotely like
evolution, which is built on assumption and supposition and imaginings.while creatures may adapt, this is what science observes, they only do so
within thier own sphere.
Allen:I don't think it matters how you spin it, but bear in mind
that religion is (and always has been) at war! Those who preach it from the top
do so with the intent of influencing the behaviors and perspective of society.
Science is simply just a good system for learning by observation. It is not a
contender for the religious position of "truth by authority", where
the process for establishing "laws" is an unchallenged decree.
However, there are many issues where religious authorities have decreed, only to
later have the errors of their revelations defeated by observation. Mormonism
has its share of specific battle scars here as well. Naturally if religion
always reforms and conforms to the current understanding of the day, we can
always say that religion and "science" are in harmony. Still, religion
presents itself as superior means of knowledge - and this is particularly true
of Mormonism. It doesn't look good when you claim to have Prophets who allegedly
speak for God, and yet so frequently need to retreat from their words after
careful observation. In short - There is a war, waged by religion,
and it is losing on the battlefield of observation.
@jasonpKeep in mind that the scriptural account of the creation
states the earth didn't become mortal until after Adam & Eve partook of the
fruit, that is, made their decision to become mortal. Since evolution pertains
to mortality, evolution didn't come into play until after Adam & Eve became
mortal. I discuss this in more detail in my blog on Science and Mormonism.We need to keep in mind that the scriptures say Adam was the first man,
but they don't say in what way he was the first man. That he was the first man
in mortality is an interpretation of the scriptures. He could have been the
first man to make covenants with God. Science tells us that humanoids have been
living for a million years. Yet, the Biblical record tells us Adam lived
somewhere around 6000 years ago. The interpretation that Adam was the first man
to make covenants with God fits very well into the scientific picture of the
earth, while the interpretation of Adam being the first flesh doesn't fit with
science at all. The "war" is not between science and religion but
between science and certain interpretations of scripture by religions.
Jasonp,A literal Adam is not a difficult concept to me. If all beings are
created with varying degrees of the same substance (which LDS call
"intelligence" and other religious have different names for) the being
that evolved into finally being capable of holding the highest amount of
intelligence (and also of using it in positive ways, by choice), that first
being with that capacity would be Adam.To me, God is the greatest
scientist of all, and understand science is catching glimpses into the mind of
I would classify myself as an old earth, young biosphere creationist. Evolution
within species is based on observable fact. Evolution as genesis is only a
theory. As a Mormon I agree with JasonP, that genesis by natural selection is
incompatible with LDS doctrine, because it requires successive generations of
mortal life forms for such evolution to occur. There are well-trained scientists
who have developed valid alternative explanations for the fossil record,
including catastrophic geological events such as the flood of Noah and so forth.
As for ultimate origins, neither religion nor science give very satisfactory
answers at this point. Why does God exist? What was before the big bang? There
are no answers at this point, only speculation.
In my opinion, I think they are the same thing. After taking classes like
Physics and Chemistry I realized how beautifully this world fits together. I
live on the Science Channel/Discovery/Nat Geo and the more I learn about
evolution/cosmology/psychology etc the more I believe that there has to be a
divine creator. I understand the notion that this is all based on probability,
but I don't buy it. Hopefully one day I will know the truth about
it all. I can't think of a more satisfying reality than understanding the way
nature functions and the true reality of our existence. My hope is that we are
spiritual beings having a human experience in this world.
It is difficult to reconcile evolution and Mormonism. Mormonism relies on a
literal Adam and claims there was no death before the fall (see 2 Nephi 2:22,
which states that if Adam had not transgressed, "all things which were
created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were
created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end"). This is
incompatible with current evolutionary theory, which states that organisms have
been living and dying on Earth for billions of years. This las led some church
leaders to claim that Mormonism and evolution are incompatible.
@BobP | 9:21 a.m. Oct. 1, 2011 [ silas, if you leave out the
subjective and emotion you create man as an automaton, and a life not worth
living. ]Subjectivity is sometimes appropriate. Emotion is human.
Religion, however, is a racket. Religion is not about subjectivity; it is about
fantasy. Religion takes advantage of people's emotions and manipulates them. I
stand against it.
I wish the author would have addressed the recent theological retreat from a
literal Adam and Eve. Genetic evidence strongly suggests a literal Adam and Eve
did not exist. And yet the core of Christian thought requires a literal Adam.
Perhaps this would make for a great follow up article. Adam cannot
be just brushed aside as symbolic of man, can he? Still, the
methodology of science is opposite that of religion. You can't say you are
religious and scientific at the same time. You must change hats. Go to the lab,
put on the science hat. Got to church, put on the religion hat. To
me, that seem likea) too much work and b)a bit hypocritical.
Wearing the science hat, all the time: works, is easier, is more
rewarding and key to living with philosophical integrity.
There is a difference between saying, "I know there is no God," and
"I don't believe in God" The word atheist simply describes someone
doesn't believe in God. It doesn't mean that person claims to know that there
is no God. Atheists look at the available evidence and do not see a convincing
reason to believe in God.For example, I don't believe in the flying
spaghetti monster. But I don't claim to know that there isn't a flying
spaghetti monster. There may be a flying spaghetti monster, but I see no
evidence to convince me that he exists.
We each choose how we will approach truth. I don't have the right to criticize
others who seek truth differently than me. And, I believe, they don't have the
right to criticize me in my search for truth. We're not in a war with each
other. Let us seek common grounds for our relationships and not argue and fight
over our differences. If others find fulfillment and joy through their search
for truth, I'm happy for them, and I hope they are happy for me as I find joy
and fulfillment in my search for truth.
Allen:I would agree with your position if it humbly went both ways.
In other words, stricts atheists, ie, those who assert definitively that there
is no God, are making unsupported claims. Therefore their statements are
irrational. Conversely, however, religionists must be placed in the same basket.
If there is no evidence either way, then religious belief is also irrational.
I would also argue that in this case, religion is more irrational.
If there is no evidence, then the Atheist is declaring that they refuse to
believe in that which they do not percieve. They are wrong in assuming that
their lack of perception completely invalidates the reality of religion because
they would then have to assume that everything which exists is within their
ability to percieve. So Atheism is irrational, but they are at least correct in
recognizing that they have not yet percieved a thing that they could not
(because there is no evidence). Conversely, religionists would be arguing that
they can detect that which is undetectable, ie, that which has no evidence. They
are saying that there is a reality within their awareness, for which they have
no proof. They fail to acknowledge their inability to percieve.
Concerning truth, scientists study the laws that govern the Cosmos. Scientists
don't claim they know everything about laws of nature, and they are continually
gaining better understanding of the laws.Philosophers use logic and
reason to understand how the world functions. They have a lot of structure to
their thinking. Their conclusions, however, are restricted by assumptions or
postulates they make to begin their thinking, as well as by the reasoning they
follow.Religionists use belief and faith to understand how the world
functions. They use history, culture, and acceptance of sacred writings as the
basis of their beliefs. Their conclusions are restricted by the ambiguity of
their sacred writings and their interpretations of history and culture.I think it is ridiculous for scientists, philosophers, and religionists to be
at war with each other, because they approach truth differently. We are all
different and choose how we will seek truth. I accept others and their searches
for truth, and I hope they accept me and my search for truth. If others make
mistakes in their search for truth, that is for them to learn. If I make
mistakes in my search for truth, that is for me to learn.
Religion has been wrong about things. But so has the scientific community.The biggest problems probably come when religion is wrong. If they brain
wash people into believing that living a life devoid of fun and pleasure, it
results in a life wasted in large part.I don't understand how a
religion that got it wrong by insisting that the sun revolves around the earth,
can convince people to spend an entire life without companionship of the
opposite sex. Or convince people to not ever use bith control even when they are
done having kids. Such a religion leaves people sexually frustrated and for
what.Then there is an other religion that makes women wear full
coverings. Denies them education. Doesn't let them drive.People
should throw off the shackles and live life to the fullest. Religion in large
part is a negative influence.
@PursuitI guess I'm an agnostic concerning pink unicorns. As you
indicated, there is no evidence one way or the other. Reason and common sense
say the probability of such unicorns is small, but reason and common sense are
not scientific evidence. I agree with Screwdriver. I respect
Agnostics because they recognize and admit there is no evidence one way or the
other about god. I have less respect for atheists, because they make a decision
that is not supported by scientific evidence.
silas, if you leave out the subjective and emotion you create man as an
automaton, and a life not worth living.
bricha, well said.Socrates said that 'knowing is knowing that we
know nothing'.We are not all-knowing, or omniscient. We stand in a
dark room, and a circle of light around us represents what we've learned. The
more this light grows, we realize that the room is bigger than previously
thought. - The more we learn, we should recognize that there is so much we don't
know. Without knowing everything, we could always be wrong.Atheism
claims - Without proof, God's existence is impossible.Agnosticism
claims 1 of 2 thingsa) Deity is possible, but unknownb) Deity
is possible, but unknowableAtheism and Agnosticism(b) both deny
possibility. This is an intentional decision to deny what could be in the rest
of the room, without actually having explored it.The LDS church and
a couple other small, highly unknown, and remote religions claim - "I
know". Most religions claim - "I believe".Atheism and
Agnosticism(b) only claim is that religions are wrong, denying possibility by
"arguing from silence".Saying I'm right, or I don't know
is free thought. Saying 'you're wrong' doesn't take any stance, except for
attacking others without justified cause. This is unscientific and against free
Here we are having the same debate talked about in the article. I would have to
agree Gr8bald1 and Voice of Reason. First that we need to be extremely careful
in our arguments to put emotions aside and point out common ground instead of
differences. Second I would say that the two can and should help the other out.
When I have come across something scientific that seems to defy what I believe
from my religion I understand two things first we don't understand the world
perfectly so science might not understand yet, or two I don't understand
religion perfectly so I might not understand yet.
No, science and faith cannot coexist. I do recognize Mormons as probably the
most scientifically literate among the religious. But I see no coexistence
between science and the musing of one Joseph Smith.One doesn't need
science to debunk religion.
Proving a negative - eg. no God - is impossible.On the other hand
proving there is a God(head) is not very difficult. It is based on observation
and many subjective elements.Atheists seem to be all involved with
getting a monopoly position for their puny intellects.
Do you have any proof about the unicorns? People should have learned by now to
keep an open mind.
@ Screwdriver: "A true scientist can't claim there is no god because there
is no evidence one way or another. A strict scientist without faith should
simply be agnostic."By your logic, it may also be said that
people can not deny the existence of tiny, invisible, undetectable, pink
unicorns sitting on everyone's shoulders. There is no evidence one way or
another. Read about Bertrand Russell's Celestial Teapot for further exploration
of this line of thought.
@Voice of ReasonIf churches truly embraced science there would be no
churches, no religion as every respective religion does not translate to what we
it commonly accept as fact; I use the word fact sparingly. I see the battle for
religion failing on every front. I suppose my issue is I would have to be
ignorant to the world around me to believe what I have read in the bible, BoM or
The LDS Church and several other religions have openly embraced furthering
scientific study and education. So while some religions have taken actions
against empirical research; in the end those do not justify arguments against
religions who support the pursuit of knowledge.Many scientists have
openly embraced evolution theory, string theory, and other theories as
definitively proven. With so many replacing scrutiny in the scientific method
and reasoned evaluations, with assumptions and flat-out unreasonable rejections-
it is no wonder that several religions today still resist scientific study. With
historical context, it is really no wonder that either 'side' has ever felt
threatened by the other.Inductive reason defines much of our
scientific arguments and beliefs. Inductive is only ever probable, never
provable.Deductive reason defines much of our religious arguments
and beliefs. Deductive is provable, but relies on true premises.Neither can disprove the other, yet so many attack other beliefs while causing
the damage they condemn of others. Attacking someone's views ultimately is an
attempt to replace inquiry with fear.We would do better to always
tolerate and protect free thought. We should always work to edify each other.
Yet so many pretend superiority to justify their hatred.
This often becomes an emotional discussion very quickly. There is a tendency to
want to immediately "pigeon-hole" or "frame" anothers
perspective --- which we should avoid. It can shut off any beneficial rational
exchange of common understanding -- and enlightenment through a broader
edification of one anothers views.One must be very precise in the
agreement of definitions before proceeding. Evolution, Darwinism, Intelligent
Design, science, all have many variable definitions.In short ---
engage with extreme caution.
@RichardI think part of the issue is for the longest of times
religion has stood in the way of science. I hope this comment is not censored,
but religion teaches people to be satisfied in not understanding the world
I'm glad that many religious people concede that Evolution is real in light of
so much evidence, but I fear that a lot of damage has already been done. Many
scientists now believe that to secure the future of science they must eradicate
or severely diminish religion. To be honest I can't really blame them. It's
been a long road. In 1925 John Scopes was breaking the law when he taught
evolution in Tennessee. Here we are all these years later, still having this
discussion.I hope that next time the religious think twice before meddling
A true scientist can't claim there is no god because there is no evidence one
way or another. A strict scientist without faith should simply be agnostic.The more I study physics the more I realize what we don't know at all.
Quantum physics are truly strange and mysterious.It's all very
humbling if one is honest with themselves.