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Comments about ‘Religion and politics influence views on evolution, poll shows’

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Published: Tuesday, Dec. 31 2013 11:30 p.m. MST

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Gildas
LOGAN, UT

...but what are the opinions of those who have studied evolution with an open mind?. An interesting discussion could be presented by that handful of people.

They would have to conclude that there is little evidence, that all the physical remains in question are either fragments, fragments glued together so to speak, and are classified as either homo something (man) or something -pithecus (ape).

The approach of alleged discussants who promote evolution present amount to the, for them heady, "argument" that :

I'm scientific and you aren't! Convincing words indeed,

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Science tells us "how",
Religion tells us "why".

[An educated, pro-Science, evolutionary, and deeply religious Mormon].

iron&clay
RIVERTON, UT

I have been taught in my youth that:

we started out as an intelligence, then were given spirit form from Heavenly parents, then those of us who proved faithful to the plan of happiness and fought for freedom to choose our own destinies in the pre-mortal spirit world were given physical bodies through the divinely appointed method of procreation by earthly parents, then our spirits leave our physical bodies in the grave and go to live in a post-mortal spirit world of peace and rest or misery (depending on how we treated each other while here on earth), then we are all resurrected, meaning that our spirits and bodies are reunited through the power of the resurrection made possible by the "Lamb of God"/Jesus Christ, then we are immortal and have the opportunity to become like our heavenly parents and inherit all that the Father has through the atonement made possible through the same sacrifice of the Son of God.

The above teaching sounds like evolving or progression or plan of salvation or ...something like that.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

What is the difference between "Eternal progression", and Evolution anyway?

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

OMM: "What is the difference between 'Eternal progression', and Evolution anyway?"

Well, for one thing, teleology. Evolution through natural selection has no particular end. It's hard to believe that, when all of the millions of living organisms are subject to selection pressures, that only one species is pressured by selection to predetermined end.

Biologist PZ Myers has an analysis of this poll and a critique of theistic evolution on his Pharyngula blog today. Worth checking out for a hard scientific perspective.

Gildas: "They would have to conclude that there is little evidence..."

And even less evidence for alternative explanations of the origins of biological diversity. Events with supernatural mechanisms still leave tracks in the material world. For example, the Noachian flood and the ark would have created an extraordinary genetic bottleneck that we do not see reflected in extant creatures. Nor do we see a pattern of speciation radiating geographically from Mt. Ararat. Where is the evidence for your explanation?

A Scientist
Provo, UT

Those who accept both religion and evolution do not understand either one.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Gildas – “They would have to conclude that there is little evidence… for them heady, "argument" that: I'm scientific and you aren't!”

That may have been the case in the few decades after Darwin, but the evidence today (including molecular biology, which is far more persuasive than fossil records… and fossils are pretty persuasive) is so totally overwhelming that the “theory” (in quotes because many have no idea what theory means in science) of evolution is as epistemically justified as the theory of gravity.

@Open Minded Mormon – “What is the difference between "Eternal progression", and Evolution anyway?”

Even if all religions are wrong (at providing correct explanations about the objective world) and simply a function of our pattern creating, confirmation bias-filled, wishful thinking brains (my own view), at least a religious idea like this would allow someone to reconcile facts & science with their metaphysically comforting worldview.

That is far better than the knee-jerk partisan evangelicals who dismiss science – too bad we can’t exclude science deniers from all the benefits of science – out of nothing more than emotion-laden ignorance and “patriotic” piety.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Open Minded Mormon – “What is the difference between "Eternal progression", and Evolution anyway?”

Even if all religions are wrong (at providing correct explanations about the objective world) and simply a function of our pattern creating, confirmation bias-filled, wishful thinking brains (my own view), at least a religious idea like this would allow someone to reconcile facts & science with their metaphysically comforting worldview.

That is far better than the knee-jerk partisan evangelicals who dismiss science – too bad we can’t exclude science deniers from all the benefits of science – out of nothing more than emotion-laden ignorance and “patriotic” piety.

9:21 a.m. Jan. 2, 2014

==========

Agreed!

I walked out of Priesthood meeting a few years back when someone kept explaning -- no, "demanding" - we take the Bible literally [i.e., not as translated correctly] as God's un-wavering word and only truth -- and that the earth is only 11,000 years old, per the Bible.

Rock hard solid Republican and true Obama hater.
Anything against his myopic narrow-world-view was an evil liberal cabal to trick us into being children and followers of Satan.

These things all tend to bristle with me...

SCfan
clearfield, UT

I've heard it said that some Christians believe in a 5000 year old Earth. Above, Open Minded Mormon had someone say 11,000 years. Where in the Bible is there any mention of the Earths age? Especially when using our 24 hour 365 day cycle? I didn't think there was any such scripture in the OT.

Now, as for evolution. My big question is, did Humans evolve from non homo-sapian to homo-sapian? Cross species evolution? That is the big question of evolution, particularly Human. Or to put it more clearly, from monkey to man. That as I understand it has not been PROVEN to have happened with humans. In fact some have remarked that the human being seems to have just shown up on Earth in a very short time period. No explanation or understanding as to how. As for science and religion, some pretty good scientists are believers. And not just in the LDS Church. As for Human evolution, one only has to look at the difference between Bob Cousy of the 1950s Boston Celtics and compare him to LeBron James of today to see that that has happened.

LKinVA
Henrico, VA

Show me where 1 species has evolved into another!
I'm not talking about adaptation where we see that man is bigger than he used to be, or the beaks of birds have changed somewhat, or that moths are darker in color to match the tree bark.
You have to have more faith in the scientists that teach the THEORY of evolution than you do in God's plan or intelligent design.
Have you studied DNA and RNA? Human and animal bodies are incredibly complicated; we didn't just come from a few cells that grew in a swamp. You can't breed one species with a different species, and get a species that can reproduce because of DNA.
I don't have the faith to believe in a THEORY taught by fallible scientists!

airnaut
Everett, 00

@LKinVA
Henrico, VA

I don't have the faith to believe in a THEORY taught by fallible scientists!
3:05 p.m. Jan. 2, 2014

========

That's fine,
Because Scientists don't need your faith to be believed.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@LKinVA – “Show me where 1 species has evolved into another!”

You mean like take you back in time?

OK, here’s how it would work – we would go back, say, ten million years ago (or do you believe the Universe didn’t exist then?) and show you animal X. Then we would jump ahead maybe a couple million years and show you the same animal with slight variations (randomly mutated and natural selected to enhance survival). Then do it again and show additional variations, and so on and so on and so on.

Then we could compare the first time jump to the last and you would see a totally different animal.

@LKinVA – “I don't have the faith to believe in a THEORY taught by fallible scientists!”

Yet you have faith to believe in a Bronze Age account of creation told to us by shepherds with not only zero evidence (other than the book) to support their story, but literally centuries of science proving over and over again their claims to be false?

Was your comment meant to be irony-free?

m.g. scott
clearfield, UT

Tyler D

Just where in science have you found that the story of Jesus is false. I must have missed that one. Along with the rest of the world.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@m.g. scott – “Just where in science have you found that the story of Jesus is false.”

Not sure what the Jesus story has to do with explaining facts about the objective world (what I argued against).

Relevant to my point, would you like to do a point by point review of Genesis to see if the story stands up to scrutiny? We might be here awhile…

As far as Jesus goes, there seems to be some historical evidence that he existed, but whether he was actually understood (and his teachings correctly conveyed) by his followers is another matter. Not sure how science could decide the issue.

Regarding the miracles he allegedly performed, I’m open to the possibility but if those abilities can ever be demonstrated then it would become the science of Christianity – it would not be magic or miraculous (as science has pretty thoroughly debunked those things).

Big 'D'
San Mateo, CA

A Scientist
"Those who accept both religion and evolution do not understand either one."

As a devout Mormon and devout molecular biologist, I must disagree. Those who accept either science or religion, to the exclusion of the other, not only fail to understand the truths/merits of the excluded philosophy but also fail to understand the limitations of the philosophy they espouse.

Your statement betrays a seriously myopic view of religion and beliefs of the religious. Try reading "The Science of God" by Gerald Schroeder, a Jewish physicist. He describes pre-modern rabbinical interpretations of passages in the Torah, which are surprisingly consistent with modern scientific theory. The way modern "fundamentalist" Christians understand Genesis is not the same way that pre-modern scholars in the culture from whence Genesis sprang understood Genesis.

m.g. scott
clearfield, UT

Tyler D

You said that the story told by shepherds has been proven over and over by science to be false. The shephard story as understood by Christians is much more about the Jesus story than the Old Testament story of creation that comes from the book of Genesis. However, you seem to be among those that would question that the person Jesus of Nazarath even really existed, or was merely, as some have stated, no more real than Bilbo Baggins. If that's the case, then to me that puts you in the "we never landed on the moon" crowd. And a reading of Big D, above might also be in order.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

Big D,
It is all so confluted that it makes sense of Mark Twain's: " Faith is believing what you know ain't so".

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@m.g. scott – “You said that the story told by shepherds has been proven over and over by science to be false.”

Again, you have either misread or misunderstood what I said. I specifically said “account of creation” told to us by shepherds. There is no evidence for the creation (and flood) story as literally told in Genesis. If you have evidence outside of a sacred book, please present it.

Pretty sure I said there’s evidence that Jesus existed, so not following your canard/red herring here.

And I actually think Big D’s comments have merit and do not find them all that troubling. What I do find troubling is the fundamentalist, science denying views of what seems like a growing number of Americans who more & more wear their ignorance as a badge of honor (and the politicians who pander to them – e.g., Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, etc.).

We’re on the same page as far as people who equate fantasies (The Hobbit) with real life…

Reached comment limit...

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

re: Open Minded Mormon

{What is the difference between "Eternal progression", and Evolution anyway?}

Semantics?

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

to LKinVA

"Show me where 1 species has evolved into another!"

There is plenty of evidence where Dinosaurs have birds and hockey moms have morphed into politicians.

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