Jon Huntsman Jr. and Mitt Romney both accept the science of climate change and evolution — a stance which isn't all that uncommon for Mormons, McKay Coppins writes in an article The Daily Beast published Tuesday.

"Romney and Huntsman are currently the only two Republican presidential candidates who embrace mainstream science on (climate change and evolution). They also are the only two Mormons in the race. A look at the relationship between Mormonism and science makes a convincing case that this is no coincidence. …

"While conservative Christians continue to insist that evolution is an assault on their faith, the LDS church has issued no official statement on the subject in decades, and it is almost never mentioned during church services. Ever the pragmatists, many Mormons tend to eschew the culture war in favor of a 'third way,' establishing doctrinal inroads for mainstream science."

Coppins, a BYU alum, interviews several BYU professors in the article and also quotes a 2007 interview in which Romney spoke at length about evolution.

"I believe that God designed the universe and created the universe," Romney said in May 2007. "And I believe evolution is most likely the process he used to create the human body. … I'm not exactly sure what is meant by intelligent design. But I believe God is intelligent and I believe he designed the creation. And I believe he used the process of evolution to create the human body."

No discussion of Mormon faith and science would be complete without a hat tip to Henry Eyring, the famous late LDS chemist who penned the influential treatise "Reflections of a Scientist."

"Organic evolution is the honest result of capable people trying to explain the evidence to the best of their ability," Eyring wrote. "From my limited study of the subject I would say that the physical evidence supporting the theory is considerable from a scientific viewpoint. … In my mind, God is behind it all whether we evolved or not."

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