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Published: Sunday, Oct. 27 2013 10:05 p.m. MDT

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jasonlivy
Orem, UT

Spagetti Monster:

The evidence you speak of can't be interpreted any different, right? In the science community, which is made up of a bunch of really smart people, who've deemed it the 'law'...that anyone who doesn't fully embrace evolution is simply uneducated (could this be considered discrimination?). I'm not one who fully disregards evolution. I think many of it's tenets are worthy of discussion and further study. However, evolution doesn't disprove that God exists. Perhaps this was part of intelligent design?

My feeling is the close mindedness of those who are so set on empirical evidence, they miss out on the most amazing things this life has to offer!

I also think it's a copout. If you don't believe, blaming it on the lack of evidence in support of an existence of God, then you are supposedly 'free' from any of the commandments and laws of God. I have faith in God therefore I recognize the role His laws have in my life. I understand that choices of consequences, some severe. I am so grateful that I have a guide to help save me from the chaos so many suffer from.

JanSan
Pocatello, ID

When they come to town PLEASE saints remember - that you can teach better by example then you can by hot words or snubs. You are going to be watched and they are most likely going to blow up any and all little thing that they can find. Most of them will come from Utah or around that area so they already know what Utah is about. I get the feeling that they are going to be coming in like Westborow and just itching for trouble... so please be aware and act as Christ would in that situation or we will be hearing it blaring from the TV and newspapers for months to come

Pops
NORTH SALT LAKE, UT

@Spagetti:

All human enterprise is faith-based, including science. You have to believe what others tell you. You have to believe what's published. You have to believe what your instruments tell you. The human mind is separated from the universe, and must rely on sensors (eyes, ears, etc.) to communicate information about our world. We arrogantly claim to "know" when we observe certain consistencies and patterns, but it really isn't knowledge; it's just an acknowledgement of a consistent pattern.

"evolution by natural selection" is a particularly interesting word association. Given that natural selection is the method by which nature destroys life forms that aren't viable, it's not logical to attribute to that that process the creation of new life forms.

The big contradiction in scientific atheism is the conditional belief in the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

aseguin
Draper, UT

A basic inquiry into atheism will quickly reveal that atheists tend to be more educated and less likely to commit crime. Check it out - the evidence is there, and it is compelling. Those who suggest that without faith in god there is no imperative to act morally are simply making things up. The evidence is to the contrary. Moreover, non-believers act morally for the right reasons - to improve the human condition, and to treat others with respect out of a prudent desire to live in a mutually secure and satisfying social environment. As I have seen in many comments here, those who profess faith in god act morally for two reasons - to avoid punishment and to achieve reward in the hereafter. Sounds pretty selfish (and IMmoral) to me. Another thing I see clearly here, as with all discussions of religious influence, is how religious faith acts to retard human understanding rather than to augment it. Evolution is one example, where reliance on religious texts supersedes overwhelming scientific evidence (biological, chemical, geological, paleontological, archeological, cosmological, etc.) that substantiates the science. "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world." Richard Dawkins

1978
Salt Lake City, UT

Why are the atheists/evolutions planning a convention in the first place. Shouldn't they be more consistent in their beliefs and assume that they will just evolve into getting there at some random time.

Spagetti Monster
Salt Lake City, UT

@Pops:

It appears that you are ultimately anti-science, and indeed, anti-knowledge. If you reject the notion that science is evidence based and assert that it's ultimately faith based, there is no objective standard by which to believe that the earth is round. In fact, you might was well flip a coin: heads, the world is round; tails, the world is flat. If you believe such truth claims are faith based, the flat world claim would be just as valid as the round world claim.

It's unreasonable to suggest that all scientific knowledge rests primarily on faith in scientists. Why would a scientist repeat an experiment to test the claims of other scientists? Indeed, scientists often try to disprove new theories. Do you believe scientists engage themselves in a elaborate hoax and conspiracy to create fake experiments and discoveries?

Does it really make sense to say that believing in a virgin birth and believing that the earth revolves around the sun involve the same kind of faith?

Spagetti Monster
Salt Lake City, UT

@1978:

If you knew anything about evolution, you would understand that it has little to do with randomness.

Semi-Strong
Louisville, KY

Aseguin,

First, most LDS I know do not serve to avoid punishment. Is there a reward? Sure. But you miss the whole part about learning to serve and to love those you serve. That has certainly been my experience.

Just out of curiosity, what is the service rate of atheists vs. the LDS or other service-oriented denominations?

As to education? Studies indicate that, for the LDS, higher education levels lead to higher rates of activity.

Pew Research says: Mormons are significantly more likely than the population overall to have some college education. Six-in-ten Mormons (61%) have at least some college education, compared with half of the overall population. However, the proportion of Mormons who graduate from college (18%) or receive postgraduate education (10%) is similar to the population as a whole (16% and 11%, respectively)

From Orson Pratt: The study of science is the study of something eternal. If we study chemistry, we study the works of God. If we study chemistry, geology, optics, or any other branch of science, every new truth we come to the understanding of is eternal; it is a part of the great system of universal truth.

1978
Salt Lake City, UT

@Spagetti Monster

So you are saying there is some intelligent design behind it all?

Mr.Glass
Salt Lake City, UT

@1978:

Why are you suggesting that non-randomness implies intelligent design? You obviously don't understand evolution. Sigh.

Stay the Course
Salt Lake City, utah

I still beleive they call it the theory of evolution
Theory is different than absolute truths

Mr.Glass
Salt Lake City, UT

@Stay the Course: Don't confuse the common usage of theory with scientific theory.

Wikipedia does a good job of explaining what a scientific theory is:

"A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on knowledge that has been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation.[1][2] Scientists create scientific theories from hypotheses that have been corroborated through the scientific method, then gather evidence to test their accuracy. As with all forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and aim for predictive and explanatory force.

The strength of a scientific theory is related to the diversity of phenomena it can explain, which is measured by its ability to make falsifiable predictions with respect to those phenomena. Theories are improved as more evidence is gathered, so that accuracy in prediction improves over time. Scientists use theories as a foundation to gain further scientific knowledge, as well as to accomplish goals such as inventing technology or curing disease.

Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge. This is significantly different from the word "theory" in common usage, which implies that something is unsubstantiated or speculative"

1978
Salt Lake City, UT

@Mr Glass

You are right and neither does anybody else who claims that somehow it is validated by science because it isn't. That is my only point.

Mr.Glass
Salt Lake City, UT

@1978:

The theory of evolution by natural selection has been validated by science. The theory has improved over time as more evidence has been gathered, and the accuracy of prediction has improved over time.

It's sad the religious beliefs prevent people from understanding scientific theories. It's kind of tragic, really.

Ralph
Salt Lake City, UT

Wait a minute.

Aren't all Mormons atheists too...with respect specifically to Hindu Gods?

They are atheists with respect to every other deity ever imagined, except for their own deity.

And Hindus are atheists.....with respect to the Mormon God.

Atheists just believe in one fewer God than Mormons do, that's all.

LittleDrummerMan
,

So they're going to have fun at our expense? Well then let's get a big ol' group down there and sing I Am A Child Of God and other hymns! Oh but then they'd probably be unhappy with us for having fun at their expense.

COCougar
Northern, CO

@spagetti (sic) and aseguin
Thank you for speaking in simple terms to us backwoods religious folk. Clearly no member of the LDS faith has any of that there learnin from books and such fings. Wait! I have a doctorate, my wife has a degree, many members of the Quorum of the Twelve have advanced degrees and are highly respected minds in the worlds of business, law, healthcare, military, etc. Sure, some religions have tried to keep their membership from learning (see Catholicism) back centuries ago, but my religion promotes education and has from the time of Joseph Smith. Our dictrine is riddled with admonishments to learn as much as we can. I love delving into the works of the greatest minds that have graced this Earth over the millenia. Science strengthens my testimony, as do the arts, literature, and mathematics. I am not alone in the LDS world in this viewpoint. We are taught constantly to seek learning about things above and things below. My religion doesn't hold me back from any of this, but I am also not limited to an understanding of science -

Mr.Glass
Salt Lake City, UT

@COCougar:

I never said religious people who reject the theory of evolution are uneducated.

What is your position on evolution by natural selection? If you don't accept the theory, I would still say religion prevents you from accepting it. I know only one Mormon who accepts it.

It's even more tragic when a very well educated person's religious beliefs prevents them from accepting the theory of evolution.

Pops
NORTH SALT LAKE, UT

@Spagetti - epistemology is a fascinating area of study. I highly recommend it. One might learn, for example that it is not anti-science to acknowledge the limitations of human endeavor. Scientific theories (or "facts") are "knowledge" only until we find out they're wrong or incomplete - that is, until we find an exception to an established pattern. Given that we cannot know the unknown unknowns, we shouldn't be arrogant about what we do claim to know.

The contradiction in the theory of evolution is that we observe in nature - without exception - a pattern we call the second law of thermodynamics. We intuitively recognize, for example, an iPhone must have been created through intelligent action. Yet some assert that a homo sapiens, which is orders of magnitude more complex than an iPhone, and, perhaps ironically, a possessor of intelligence, is ultimately a product of unintelligent action. Go figure. "But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation" [Sir Arthur Eddington].

greatbam22
andrews afb, MD

I wonder what Muscato's family history looks like and if he is related to anyone from the midwest. Reminds me of church history when the people in the midwest didn't like mormons and making trumped up charges.

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