Book of Mormonisms

Did they really say THAT?

Evolution and the Mormon Story

Posted by coventryrm on Monday, March 17, 2008

 If you believe that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old and take the Biblical accounts of the Creation and Flood literally this post is not for you.

This post is for the LDS people that think they can reconcile what we know about the age of the earth and evolution and have come up with some sort of rationale of how that can still be consistent with the Doctrines and Truthfulness of the Mormon Church.  I do not believe that is possible, Mormon doctrine is in direct conflict with the truths that science and evolution teach us. 

Age of the Earth:  It is accepted that Earth is approx 4.5 billion years old, you can perhaps argue a few million years one way or the other, but the bottom line is that it is without a doubt and provable that the idea that the earth is any where near 10,000 years old is completely ludicrous.  What does Mormon “Doctrine” say?   

Abr 3:4

 4 And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord’s time, according to the reckoning of Kolob.

Either the Pearl of Great price is wrong or the Earth is close to 10,000 years old and what science tells us is wrong, which is it? 

In the 1968 October General Conference talk titled “The Destiny of America”  https://coventryrm.wordpress.com/1968-conference-talk-by-elder-dyer/ President Elder R Dyer did a great job of summarizing Mormon doctrine and the Mormon story regarding the significance and meaning of the historical events that surround the North American Continent.  All the doctrine mentioned below can be easily found in countless LDS teachings and doctrine and not just in Elders Dyer talk, I use his talk as an example simply because it includes all these teaching and doctrines.    

A: The Garden of Eden and the origin of Man began in the Missouri area.  

B: All Biblical Characters until the time of Noah and the Flood lived in this same area of Missouri.

C: Based on B you then have to believe in a literal and global flood. (Unless you use the rationale that the flood happened at the same time the continents divided and therefore could have been more regional but then you have to believe in D)  

D: The time of Peleg and the dividing of the continents happened less than 4500 years ago.

I would submit that we do have enough scientific fact and data to disprove all of the above.  I have often wondered why people of intelligence within the Mormon Church require so much evidence and then still dismiss the mountains of it that can be placed in front of them or just flat out refuse to examine or look at it.  Why should so much be required it seems pretty simple,  people say you can not prove Joseph Smith was a false prophet.  Joseph Smith claims to have received revelation from God telling him that in fact all the above took place within the North American Continent.  What more should one really need, either He was a Prophet and God revealed truth to him or he didn’t.  Either the Book Of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price are what they say they are and should contain verifiable truths or they are works of fiction. 

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38 Responses to “Evolution and the Mormon Story”

  1. SkiUtah said

    There are hundreds of quotes from the LDS prophets and apostles on this topic. Here’s a good one from Joseph Fielding Smith, The Progress of Man, p.249 – 250. “Civilization began in America. Contrary to popular belief the western hemisphere is where civilization began. The Lord revealed that Adam-ondi-Ahman, a place in Daviess County, Missouri, is where Adam dwelt after he was driven out of the Garden of Eden.”

    Here’s one by BR McConkie, in Mormon Doctrine p. 492, “This earth, according to the divine plan, is passing through a mortal or temporal existence of seven millenniums or 7000 years. (D. & C. 77:6-7.) During the first six of these (covering a total period of 6000 years from the time of the fall of Adam).”

    Some archeologists contend that the first humans arrived in the Americans 40,000 years ago. There is solid archeological evidence that humans were spreading through the Americas no later than 15,000 years ago.

    No evidence suggests that the human race started in the Americas a few thousand years ago.

    However, this archeological evidence means nothing to people who are arguing from a viewpoint that they didn’t arrive at by logic or facts…

  2. ditchu said

    My line of questioning is this:
    How do they determine these ages?
    What is the most accurate depiction science gives us from these calculations?
    What data is still arround from the dawn of Man?
    Could science be silghtlly wrong in these calculations?
    Do you put your faith in a person who can reason these things into the package we have come to accept as science?

  3. coventryrm said

    Ditchu

    The reason for the first paragraph on this post was so I wouldn’t have to debate and spend my time presenting the mountains of evidence that are easily accessible on the web or in a library in regards to the facts regarding mans origin, evolution and the earths age.

    The point of the post was to show the many LDS that believe they can reconcile the Doctrine of the church with scientific facts and evidence. You should have noticed that as the data has been coming in over the years that the Churches position and their outspoken nature on this topic has changed quite drastically. This presents quite a problem because the basic doctrinal story surrounding certain doctrines in Mormonism rely on some premises, as I illustrated above, that completely run in contradiction to those scientific facts and evidences.

    Now if you want to dismiss scientific finding as just the follies of men then your doctrine works just fine and you are just then left to debate with other Christians as to the true nature of your myth.

  4. deaconj123 said

    Growing up in the church, I can remember being taught that all church members will eventually move to Missouri, prior to the 2nd coming of Christ. I wonder if there has been any update from SLC on when saints will start relocating to “the garden of eden”?

  5. ditchu said

    Your Statment : “The point of the post was to show the many LDS that believe they can reconcile the Doctrine of the church with scientific facts and evidence” Makes some assumptions that are at the core of your position on this post. It would be remis of me not to bring thoes assumptions in to question.

    Also many tactics emploied by “Scientists” to calculate the Age of the earth have various flaws. In perticular the radio-isotope mesurment is accurate onlt to several thousand years according to “Scientists”. It is also rare to find science objectivly applied, most people take the data they collect and fit it in to a pre-concieved result. (this is contrary to what scientists would have us beleive. But who is trully objective?)

    Ah, Myth. That is a very accurate term. Myth comes from the Greek Mythos which means Sacred Story. In fact My religion is founded in the sacred.

    I do not dismis science. I embrace it because it shows us more and more that the order in the universe does not randomly happen, and points to the existance of a supreme intelligence. No I do not dismis science, only the assumptions that all scientific findings are accurate.

  6. deaconj123 said

    The LDS church leaders have definitely embraced the new science. Do you think any of the guys in SLC would stick with the story that humanity started in Missouri a few thousand years ago? Not likely, they’re smart guys, they know they can’t get away with stories like that anymore. I think they’re just hoping that members will forget (or not think) about past prophecies and current science.

  7. ditchu said

    Again, what “Current Sciences” are you talking about?

  8. coventryrm said

    Several thousand years off still puts 10,000 years and 4.5 billion years at odd with each other, they really only have to be accurate within a few million years to prove the P & G wrong and the above doctrine outlined false. My argument concerning the Origin of man on the North American continent and peleg still work even with the several thousand year margin of error theory.

    You must get your science from Behe and Wells. A study of the universe and earth show that after millions of years of chaotic collisions and mass extinctions and start overs things have evolved to the current state. Rather than argue and dismantle your logic in regards to the universe and its order I will quote Carl Sagan he says it better than I ever could.

    “There is certainly a lot of order in the universe, but there is also a lot of chaos. The centers of galaxies routinely explode, and if there are inhabited worlds and civilizations there, they are destroyed by the millions, with each explosion of the galactic nucleus or a quasar. That does not sound very much like a god who know what he, she or it is doing. It sounds more like an apprentice god in over his head. Maybe they start them out at the centers of galaxies and the after a while, when they get some experience, move them on to more important assignments”

    (The last sentence could actually be used to argue Mormons are right in the doctrine that we can become gods. I would imagine if that was so we might have a learning curve and do a few oops! And destroy a few worlds or kill off a few species because of design flaws)

  9. ditchu said

    That accurcy is from the people who use this to define their findings. How do they know the calculation is even this accurate… They say it is from the decay of an isotope that they presume to be at a certiam life span and then they celculate the half life of this isotope, However how does one know the isotope has a constant decay throught the half-life? I am not ready to blindly accept these findings when there are scientific findings that suggest that our galaxy is not as old as some think our planet is. Science is a wonderful thing but when every decade it disproves the theories of the one before, I draw it into question. Example: is the universe contracting or expanding? well this is again in debate but wich ever it is it seems to be accelerating.

  10. ditchu said

    P&G? how about PG13.

  11. coventryrm said

    Ditchu

    In your last comment certainly I hope you were not making fun of or pointing out a typo I made, and are trying to take a stab at me for making the error of P & G instead of P of G But anyway let us just take quick look at your posts and comments and see what we might find that needs correcting.

    1. accurcy = accuracy
    2. certiam = certain
    3. celculate = Calculate
    4. throught = through ?
    5. wich. = which
    6. Statement = Statement
    7. remis = remiss
    8. thoes = those
    9. emploied = employed
    10. perticular = particular
    11. mesurment = measurement
    12. onlt = only
    13. objectivly = objectively
    14. concieved = conceived
    15. beleive = believe
    16. existance = existence
    17. dismis = dismiss
    18. arround = around
    19. silghtlly =slightly
    The above is just from the comments you made on my blog. I can understand sometimes we write quickly and in haste on these blogs and a few typos are bound to happen. Let’s take a look at your blog and the posts there. I will leave out the corrections you can figure those out for yourself this time.
    1. peoson’s
    2. inraged
    3. sillyness
    4. soundbyte
    5. statement
    6. refering
    7. Beleives
    8. mystisim
    9. emploied
    10. certian
    11. beyound
    12. ordnary
    13. peice
    14. thoes
    15. tesk
    16. precieve
    17. baught
    18. possition
    19. signifiance
    20. satisified
    21. prejudgidice
    22. covants
    23. simbolic
    I decided to stop here but there are at least another ½ dozen and that is just from your garment post alone I also didn’t include ones that were clearly just error in keystrokes like hitting the M instead of the N. like “Importamt” So hopefully your last comment was not to point out a typo as a indication of the validity or character of the author and or their intelligence.

  12. coventryrm said

    Ditchu

    Like I said to begin with, and I am guilty of going down this path, I was not going to debate scientific fact and evidence.

    You have not argued against the outlined doctrine above so I am to assume that you believe the above doctrine to be true. You just don’t believe science actually tells a different story. That is how you have reconciled the Mormon story with science.

  13. skiutah said

    While many Mormons don’t believe the nascent evolution science, it seems clear that the LDS church leaders have acquiesced on this point.

    The LDS church leaders are no longer preaching ideas like the prophet Joseph Fielding Smith taught “if evolution is true, then the church is false”. (Doctrines of Salvation, p. 143).

    I think the church leaders are hoping that members won’t investigate historical teachings. Or will explain it with “he wasn’t talking as a prophet when he said that.”

  14. clayton08 said

    I think this is all moot because everyone knows that on Kolob:

    1.Isotopes decay at precisely the rate needed to support implausible dogma.

    2.Global floods and continental drift leave no evidence.

    3.“Missouri” means “Africa.”

    4.“Lamanite” might mean “of Asian origin.”

    5.If you are a “principal descendant,” it means your ancestors came from a magical place that cannot be discovered by science.

    6.DNA can be used for genealogical purposes unless you happen to be both a Lamanite and a principal descendant. Then, no matter what, you came from Missouri.

    7.Smart people use misspelled words all the time.

    8.And…On Kolob, if you quietly change doctrine, no one notices.

  15. ditchu said

    Sorry to say it but that’s all crap.
    firstlly I was not pointing out typo errors but trying to figure out what the H* P&G refers to. I may not be as adapt to USS, (use short slang) OL (OnLine) as ya’ll but if it is not common knowledge what you are saying it points out that maybe you neednt be understood.

    As for the last post: I think you have not places a fair ammount of thought into your jibe. You are attacking me on principals yet to be brought up in this disscussion and something tells me you don’t care to really discuss the issue of scientific assumption being taken as fact.

  16. ditchu said

    Also if you would like to comment about any of my pages please do so on my page. Thank you for the concern though, I have already corrected the errors in my page before I returned to see your post talking about it.

    So You mesure Intelligence by spelling, do you? What else do you mesure intelligenct by? Grammer? Proper, use of , commas? Is this a Blog or a highschool english class?

  17. CoventryRM said

    Ditchu

    You are right the post says just that. You come in here using the same arguments the people trying to advance the agenda of creationism and or intelligent design have been using for 50 years in regards to science and scientific theory and accuse those that are seekers of truth regardless of where it takes them through scientific discovery as having an agenda just because it doesn’t agree with your God myth. So I suppose you also think that 99% of scientists working the fields of paleontology or in actual areas of science that are directly related to the Earth and Universe such as physicists are all conspiring together to advance the false notion of Darwinism.

    However I would be more than happy for you to send me a link of where you are getting your scientific information so I can take a look there is nothing that I am not willing to read and check into.

  18. coventryrm said

    In answer to your last question I do think how one communicates has an impact on how seriously they are taken, literacy is a sign of intelligence and education you are arguing that you have a better understanding of science than 99% of scientists but yet your spelling is not even at High School level so it does bring into question your ability to understand and comprehend the complexity of the science that you want to debate.

  19. ditchu said

    Three things.
    1. in response to:
    “…scientists working the fields of paleontology or in actual areas of science that are directly related to the Earth and Universe such as physicists are all conspiring together to advance the false notion of Darwinism”
    No I do not think this I only think we take assumptions too far. My main argument for this timeline is this… What data have we collected that measures a tenth of the length science says is the age of the earth. In statistics this would not even be an acceptable sample to show the consistency of the device used to “Measure” the distant history.

    2. I do apologize for my quick and mis-spelled typing. It is not due to a lack of literacy that my hands mistype, It is the speed at which I put them on the keys, I did not think I needed to use more precious time to communicate efficiently.

    3. I do not claim to know more about science that your 99%. I do however think humans tend to error and have seen a lack of data sampling for a statistically trustable assurance to be given to the assumptions for the age of the earth. to explain further: We have seen the consistent decay of materials used as a bases of our assumptions for about 60-70 years, and from this relative short study we assume that the decay is constant. thus the calculations science has given us suggests the earth is several million years old. here is the point: the sample we have of data to base our assumption on is not enough for theoretical proof, however we take the assumptions based on that data as strict fact, to be unquestionable.

    *END*

  20. coventryrm said

    I will do some checking into your above doubts on the reliabilty of information regarding data, if you could also give me a link as to where you are getting this information.

    oh and btw – P & G, should have been P of G which = Pearl of Great Price.

    “P&G? how about PG13” – sure does not look like a question since you added the PG13 after the question mark – if that would have been left out your answer would have been the one above.

    Also before I take the time to discuss with this question you pose regarding science, you then are conceeding the above Mormon story doctrine and Dyers talk are in deed the doctirne of the church.

  21. ***It is not due to a lack of literacy that my hands mistype, It is the speed at which I put them on the keys, I did not think I needed to use more precious time to communicate efficiently.***

    Do you not think that it’s rude on some level to forego checking your writing for spelling mistakes and thereby expecting the reader to decipher the words you misspell for themselves? It’s difficult to concentrate on whatever it is that you’re trying to say because your spelling mistakes are so distracting.

  22. SkiUtah said

    ditchu, the LDS leaders have completely stopped making statements like “if evolution is true, the church is false”.

    Why do you stick to old church teachings when your leaders have changed their tone?

  23. ditchu said

    to your comment “Dyers talk are in deed the doctirne of the church.”

    I cannot clain it is nor can I suggest it is not. I have not heard this in the LDS church and did not yet take tihe time ot verify it.

    To my prior rudeness: It may be rude but no more rude that many of the comments that come my way, I do my best to not be offended to them.

    To Sticking by teachings…: As we are discussing: I am sticking by me reasoning on science and the failure of certianty in the assumed fact.

  24. Ditchu,

    ***It may be rude but no more rude that many of the comments that come my way,..***

    So that makes your continual spelling mistakes justifiable then?

  25. coventryrm said

    I was willing to give ditchu the benefit of the doubt on spelling not being a reflection on his intelligence but the last line of reasoning on the cockatrice topic has me thinking that he spells quite well considering.

  26. Ü Bad spelling doesn’t usually bother me, but then I’ve never come across anyone who spells as bad as Ditchu.

  27. I’m not usually bothered by spelling mistakes. I notice them, but they’re more often than not few and far between. Ditchu though, seems to make a spelling mistakes every three or four words, which is completely ridiculous, in my opinion.

  28. coventryrm said

    “Thank you for the concern though; I have already corrected the errors in my page before I returned to see your post talking about it.”

    Interesting if that is the case why did he only correct the ones I listed and not any of the other 1/2 dozen I hadn’t like “cheet” me thinks Ditchu has a problem with the truth as well. Or maybe taking lessons from JS, I didn’t just copy the word cockatrice from the KJV of the Bible …. Honest!

    I was willing to let the spelling errors go but when he called me to task on P & G instead of P of G I let loose because ordinarily I feel it is rude to point out some ones typos when it is clear what they were really trying to say, but to spell certain words wrong over and over again like cheet especially when the other person is using the correct spelling I find it hard to believe it is just from typing too fast

  29. ditchu said

    I used a spekk checker and if you think I left the Spelling errors in that you did not list then that is your fault.
    I think you nolonger want me arroung your blog so you are striking out at me. If you want me to go away just ask.

    Abpout the P of G, P&G issue. I did not think it was a typo I just did not understant what it was you were mentioning, I also was making a joke with PG13… Too many times people use web-shorthand and I do not have a web short hand dictionary of abrivations. Is it more important to dis’ the spelling or the ideas? Also the P&G i would not have guessed to represent the Pearl of Great Price.

    So you have more to talk about in my absence:

    lkjhfdag ;,kirkj lkhoioiht 98yhg ;’o53h’q3

  30. coventryrm said

    Your ideas and your spelling have about the same merit, I can’t follow your logic or spelling, I am not normally this harsh but I have never come across a situation like this before either, it is up to you if you want to keep blogging on here or not. If you don’t make any sense I am not going to hold back either. How is it possibly my fault that you didn’t correct your mistakes because you used “spekk” checker is beyond any line of reasoning I can come up with.

  31. blazeheliski said

    I think that ditchu could be described as a “New Earth creationists” as described in the link below and Coventryrm could be described as a “Scientific view” person as described in the link below. The page is a good overview of the competing arguments.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/evolutio.htm#age

    You may want to read the parts about carbon dating and the links to arguments for an old or a young Earth. Interesting reading.

  32. myreligioniskindness said

    I was given another interesting hmmmmmmmmm recently that when I posed it to some members who would usually have a quick answer for, they didn’t and I wondered if anyone could get a ‘good’ answer from an intelligent member.

    I know the connection between the church and the free masons has long been around, and it is not new. A friend furthered the connection for me (despite the obvious proof of the temple ordinances) when he posed the idea of how Joseph Smith was simply a pawn for them and that they financed the church entirely early on.

    He said, “Think about it. The new members had no great wealth and yet they would build these beautiful temples of the finest craftsmanship and build beautiful cities only to be driven out and leave everything behind, but then build another temple and city and the cost of moving all the saints from not only the east coast, but Europe. Not a cheap trip for anyone. I personally had my great grandmother leave her family in Sweden and journey to the US by herself at age 17. HIs question………
    Where did they (the church itself and the individual members) get the money to do this? If not from the masons? Is there any writing on this subject?

  33. blazeheliski said

    There is lots of writing on the subject. From what I have read – I am not sure how much the Masons would have funded the early Church. It sounds to me like they had a rocky relationship for the most part. Here is a quote from the website I listed below……..

    “In time, Joseph would not only make changes to existing rituals but introduce higher, more significant ceremonies reserved exclusively for the Mormon priesthood. However, his success did not go without notice or envy in Illinois. As Nauvoo Masons came to outnumber others, the Illinois Grand Lodge initiated investigations about whether to remove authorization of the predominately Mormon lodges. The Mormons refused to be restrained, and the Grand Lodge withdrew all authority from the Mormon lodges—an act which may explain why, when two Master Masons, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, were killed in Carthage, Illinois, Joseph’s Masonic cry of distress went unanswered by the Masons crowded outside the jail.”

    http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/essays/mason.htm

    Eventually Masons and Mormons came to distrust each other and would not allow crossmembership.

    Do a Google search. There is tons of stuff written on all this.

  34. ditchu said

    -kindness, you said nothing about the black helicopters that the early Mormons flew over their grand cities, in your crack-pot conspiracy theories.

  35. coventryrm said

    Ditchu

    How is your study of the Journal of Discourses coming along?

  36. myreligioniskindness said

    I didn’t necessarily say I blindly believed his theory, but it did make me think, and so far no one has been able to give me an answer. I am curious…how DID the early church fund it’s early years? The trek west? Thanks, Blaze, for the links! Ditchu….do you care to take a stab at it?

  37. blazeheliski said

    I found an interesting site that has a list of quotes from people that supposedly knew Joseph Smith. From reading the quotes – it sounds like Joseph Smith was obsessed with money. I think I found a quote that shows where Smith got all the money to build temples and the early church! 😉

    “Peter Ingersoll:
    I was once ploughing near the house of old Joseph Smith. When about noon, he requested me to walk with him a short distance from his house, for the purpose of seeing whether a mineral rod would work in my hand, saying at the same time he was confident it would. When we arrived near that place at which he thought there was money, he cut a small witch-hazel bush and gave me direction how to hold it. He then went off some rods, and told me to say to the rod, “Work to the money,” which I did in an audible voice. He rebuked me severely for speaking it loud, and said it must be said in a whisper. While the old man was standing off some rods, throwing himself into various shapes, I told him the rod did not work. He seemed much surprised at this, and said he thought he saw it move in my hand. . . . Another time he told me the best time for digging money was in the heat of summer, when the heat of the sun caused the chests of money to rise near the top of the ground. “You notice,” said he, “the large stones on the top of the ground— we call them rocks, and they truly appear so, but they are, in fact, most of them, chests of money raised by the heat of the sun.”[14]”

    This quote was found at this site here…………

    http://www.waltermartin.com/eyewit.html

    Interesting reading

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