By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Evolution?

In my constant search for knowledge of all kinds, I have come up against a brick wall with the topic of evolution. I have never felt it was the right answer, but it seems like all the mainstream science material starts with an assumption that evolution is true. I have wanted to read other viewpoints on this and have finally located some resources. I am listing them below because I think that it is good to look at all sides of any question.

First is a website, Science Against Evolution.

My other resources so far are four books:

Kicking the Sacred Cow by James P. Hogan
Tornado in a Junkyard by James Perloff
Refuting Evolution by Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.
Refuting Evolution 2 by Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

Kicking the Sacred Cow talks about other science issues, as well as evolution.

So far, I have read a few articles on the website and the book, Tornado in a Junkyard. And, yes, I have heard people say they can debunk all this stuff with one hand tied behind their backs, but so far, no one has actually done any debunking. I would prefer to find my own way through this, anyway, but I did want to list the resources in case anyone else is interested in reading some different material than that which is so readily available. The links for the books are to Barnes & Noble and the customer reviews range over the spectrum. Amazon likely has reviews, as well. I don’t care to debate the topic, though if anyone wants to post a comment, that is fine. Naturally, I would welcome references to other sources of information. At this stage, I am simply wanting to read and research.

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8 Comments:

Blogger chris g said...

I am just curious as to why evolution seems to be a queasy issue? Is it the issue itself, or what seems to get tied up in the issue?

6:46 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

I don't know. I think for me, one question is where would the line be drawn between not-really-human ancestors and their human children (i.e., Adam and Eve). But I figure Heavenly Father would know how to handle that and other similar situations if He chose to use evolution to create. Perhaps, too, evolution seems to be an attempt to take God out of the equation (I know many don't see it that way, but many do.) I don't see it as a testimony-breaker--not for me, at least. It's just that it doesn't really make sense--why would God not just create what He wanted/needed to begin with? Also, I just don't see any real solid evidence for it. It seems that a lot of what is construed as evidence is really just someone's interpretation of some small bits of bone and teeth, or whatever. Then there's the whole problem with a complicated structure, such as an eye, evolving. If it doesn't spring forth whole, what makes each part evolve when it is useless without the whole. It's those sorts of questions that bother me about it. It's interesting, though, and I plan to continue to read both sides of the issue. I don't feel that having an answer is necessary to one's salvation, but I do feel that any knowledge and/or understanding we can come to, whether it is about evolution or anything else, will be useful to us for all eternity.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Ebenezer Orthodoxy said...

Interesting post. You may be interested in the recent, super long, discussion on this same subject over at Times & Seasons, in which I was a participant. You'll have to ignore a bunch of off-topic comments to get through it, but there is some interesting stuff on both sides of the argument.

1:38 AM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Thanks for the link to that discussion, Ebenezer. It looks interesting--I skimmed it, but will go back and read it this evening when I have the time. Looks like there are interesting points for me to consider.

3:33 AM  
Blogger chris g said...

Like you said Mary, I wonder if the main complaint against evolution is how it removes God from direct involvement. Personally, I am fine with that. I don't think someone's reality or abilities dissolve if they aren't directly involved in everything that occurs. However, I think most people are fundamentally uncomfortable with this. In this regard, I think the discussion mirrors what is now happening with science. Things become so complicated and dependent on specialized expertise that a wide variety of claims get judged on equal footings. Scientists scorn this and assume people should be able to figure out what is bunk and what isn't. Since they can't, scientific claims are starting to become judged just like faith based claims. The validity of the statement is based more on what perspective or paradigm you come from than on anything else.

So how does this apply to evolution? Perhaps it is like what happened with the Saviour. Rejecting status quo dogmas doesn't mean one is diminshing God. Just because we can abstract his personae away to a real of unimaginables, doesn't mean that this is really the case. Historically, the more human God is, the harder he is for people to figure out or accept. Of course in this instance, I don't think difficulty is a good moniker for what the reality of the situation may be.

Personally,ever since watching a pbs episode on the eye, I have found it's evolution to be a fascinating topic. Perhaps once we get a first hand look at what really happens to things after a few million years, we will have a new perspective on things.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Those are some good thoughts, Chris. I think that a lot of people make assumptions about evolution and leap to the conclusion that it means no God when, in fact, it may be that God used evolution as a means to create. It is impossible for us to know how much of creation was "hands on" and how much was setting a process in motion and letting it do its work. Different people have different comfort levels with how God is viewed.

It does seem as though science can be viewed much the same way as faith-based claims, when we are working without the specialized knowledge a scientist has. And scientific claims can be given equal weight, whether they deserve it or not, simply because we don't fully understand it all. A sort of "either or" situation. And we do tend to view science through our own particular paradigm. We just have to do the best we can because, as a rule, we don't have the time to become expert enough to really figure it all out. Sort of like with politics! I think it is worthwhile to learn what we can and reach tentative conclusions, being open to learning more later.

I like the PBS science and nature programming. One can learn a lot. I haven't been watching them much for awhile now, simply because I have cut way down on TV, but I ought to try to remember to check the listings and watch for some of these programs. Speaking of which, I think that one thing that can help the layman learn is to use a variety of sources for their information and not depend only on PBS or one particular science magazine or whatever. When we learn that there are a lot of viewpoints (what they are and what they are based on, more or less), we can start to get an idea of how to weigh them and consider them and all. I think we end up with a more complete, more rounded picture that way.

Well, life certainly doesn't have to be boring, does it?!

11:39 PM  
Blogger jeff g said...

Perhaps the best page I have ever come accross with regards to evolution would be:
http://www.evowiki.org/index.php/Main_Page

It covers all of the arguments used by the anti-evolutionists in a very brief and non-confrontational form. Check it out.

Also, a new blog dedicated to a search for reconciliation between Mormonism and Evolution has been started:

www.mormonevolution.blogspot.com

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another way to look at evolution and God, is that evolution could have been the tool he used to create life. A lot of religious people see it this way.

10:44 AM  

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