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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The implications of key LDS doctrines for evolution, part II

In part one, (click here), we examined a 1988 paper by Boyd K. Packer about the evolution and the origin of man. [1] Today we look briefly at an article President Packer prepared twenty years later, in 2008, for the Church's web site about Jesus Christ (click here).

In his 2008 article, President Packer talks about the origin of man's mortal body and explicitely dismisses fossil evidence for the evolution of man, proclaiming instead that man's creation in the image of God was a "separate" creation:

"Created in His Image

"We are taught in Genesis, in Moses, in Abraham, in the Book of Mormon, and in the endowment that man's mortal body was made in the image of God in a separate creation. Had the Creation come in a different way, there could have been no Fall.

"If men were merely animals, then logic favors freedom without accountability.

"How well I know that among learned men are those who look down at animals and stones to find the origin of man. They do not look inside themselves to find the spirit there. They train themselves to measure things by time, by thousands and by millions, and say these animals called men all came by chance. And this they are free to do, for agency is theirs.

"But agency is ours as well. We look up, and in the universe we see the handiwork of God and measure things by epochs, by aeons, by dispensations, by eternities. The many things we do not know, we take on faith.

"But this we know! It was all planned ' before the world was ' (D&C 38:1; see also D&C 49:17; 76:13, 39; 93:7; Abraham 3:22—25). Events from the Creation to the final, winding-up scene are not based on chance; they are based on choice! It was planned that way.

"This we know! This simple truth! Had there been no Creation and no Fall, there should have been no need for any Atonement, neither a Redeemer to mediate for us. Then Christ need not have been." [2]

Notes

  1. Boyd K. Packer, "The Law and the Light," The Book of Mormon: Jacob through Words of Mormon, to Learn with Joy (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, BYU, 1990), 1.
  2. Boyd K. Packer, "Who Is Jesus Christ," Ensign, Mar 2008, p.19.

..

30 Comments:

Blogger Clean Cut said...

I'm really quite indifferent as to how God created our physical bodies. I just care that he did. Now, as to whether or not there was a creation of our spirits--I'd be curious on where you line up on that one (keeping in my that Joseph Smith said there was "no creation about it").

4/06/2010 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Jared* said...

Gary,

President Packer's comments against evolution are almost always in the context of morality or our divine destiny. I think it is those issues that are his primary concern.

So if a person accepts the importance of morality, etc, is there really much of an argument with President Packer to be had?

In your last post you argued that President Packer should not be ignored. I agree, if the intention is to identify points of tension and explore ways of resolving them. But many people bring up such quotes as though they are final pronouncements--as if what "logic favors" can be decided by apostolic pronouncement--and in such cases direct engagement with his statements is likely to be seen as an attack on him.

4/06/2010 08:29:00 PM  
Anonymous raedyohed said...

Jared*
I think President Packer's argument is pretty clear in that man's morality and divine destiny are contingent upon Adam's divine 'separate Creation' (whatever he means by that). It is Adam's initial state as a divine, spiritual, physical, immortal being that gives mankind the seed of divinity. It is by this fact that we can lay claim on Godly gifts of reason and morality, and realize our heavenly birthright through the power of the Atonement.

He seems to be pointing out, and I think correctly, that 'if a person [merely] accepts the importance of morality' this is insufficient. We must understand the root of moral reasoning, which is our descent from a divine, Created, though fallen individual, Adam. This reasoning is sewed up pretty tight, I think. There is real concern that by going the down the we-all-still-accept-morality route without an accurate understanding of why it's there in the first place, one is adopting a precarious position.

4/07/2010 09:12:00 AM  
Anonymous raedyohed said...

Gary
The 1988, 2008 and Law-Light talks were all great reads. Though an evolutionary biologist, I have come to appreciate the teachings of Packer/Benson/Fielding Smith/McConkie et al. re: 'organic evolution' more as time goes by. I learn something new from them every time, though none have yet convinced me to abandon my current career path.

What struck me in these readings was what you alluded to in your OP, viz. a 'separate' creation. This seemed to be a hinge in President Packer's reasoning. I wonder if you could expand on what you think he meant by this. A clue I picked up on was what appeared to be the careful and deliberate use of 'capital "C" Creation'. What 'separates' this from the rest of the creative (lower-case) process in your mind?

4/07/2010 09:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Steve EM said...

As much as I feel for BKP now struggling with age and how much I appreciated his remarks at the last conference, I have no concerns taking him on when he's spouting nonsense. Jesus warned us to watch out for false prophets.

4/07/2010 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Jared* said...

Sorry for the double-post.

raedyohed,

My point is that President Packer is arguing in support of positions that can be accepted without accepting all of his reasoning. I don't believe that the reality of the Atonement, our divine destiny, or God's love for us, all depend on whether or not the Creation and Fall happened in a particular way.

Maybe it is the case that President Packer understands the ins and outs of the Atonement to the point that he really knows what is and what is not compatible with it. But this argument is an old one that was imported into Mormonism, and I think it remains in popular use more because it is pithy than because it is illuminating.

4/07/2010 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

.

Clean Cut, regarding "no creation about it."

While he was Prophet, Harold B. Lee taught the Saints in general conference that "your spirits were created." (Harold B. Lee, Ensign, Jan. 1974, p.5.)

There is a footnote in History of the Church vol.6, p.311, next to the phrase "there is no creation about it." That footnote says, "It is clear in this statement that the terms 'intelligence' and 'spirit' are used synonymously and that the intelligent uncreated entity, spoken of as intelligence is meant."

A similar footnote in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith says, "It appears to be very clear that the Prophet had in mind the intelligence, when he said 'the soul—the mind of man&#8212'the immortal spirit,' was not created or made, and he did not have reference to the spirit as a begotten child of God. It was the doctrine of the Prophet, and is of the Church, that the spirits of men are begotten sons and daughters of God." (Footnote #7, p.352.)

President Spencer W. Kimball taught: "God has taken these intelligences and given to them spirit bodies.... Then he proceeded to create a world for them and sent them as spirits to obtain a mortal body." (Ensign, May 1977, p.50.)

President Lee, speaking of the Grand Council in heaven said, "All the organized intelligences before the earth was formed, who had become spirits, were there." (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, p.3.)

4/07/2010 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

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raedyohed, the separate creation of man refers lineage. Man's physical body "is born in the lineage of Deity, not in the posterity of the brute creation." (James E. Talmage)

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Steve EM, I think it says less about President Packer and more about his accuser when someone says he is a false prophet.

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Jared, I think it is possible for one to agree with a selected few of Packer's words while avoiding his intended meaning. I think if we take President Packer in context, using what he has said elsewhere and over and over on this subject to understand his meaning, it becomes more difficult to agree with a selected few of his words. In other words, I think Packer does in fact believe that the Atonement requires the Creation and Fall to have happened as he describes them.

4/07/2010 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger Clean Cut said...

"While he was Prophet, Harold B. Lee taught the Saints in general conference that "your spirits were created.""

R. Gary, this is just another classic case of how some of our prophets didn't share the same interpretation. (See Tripartite existentialism.) While correlation may give off the impression that all our prophets felt the same way about this, there is actually a Wide Latitude of Possible Beliefs In Mormonism about the nature of our spirits.

It is imperative to consider Joseph Smith’s Revelations on Preexistence and Spirits before making statements that may be at odds with Joseph Smith. There is little doubt that Joseph used the terms "spirits" and "intelligences" interchangeably, but that doesn't make the case that spirits are created--it just allows for a reconciliatory model that trys to make everybody "right" in a way. But it still has some problems with it. Now, I don't think it necessarily matters who is "right", but it does seem fairly clear to me that Joseph explicitly taught the opposite (See link above, as well as the recent priesthood manual--"God never did have power to create the spirit of man at all", p. 210--or perhaps the Book of Abraham, 3:18, which also teaches that spirits are eternal.

The footnote in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith is simply how Joseph Fielding Smith chose to interpret it. But not all of the bretheren have always seen eye to eye on this--and that's okay. (See the Tripartite existentialism post).

As noted by what President Kimball taught, the tripartite model is certainly quite popular, but it by no means resolves all debate. As to your last quote of Harold B. Lee, "organized spirits" can be interpreted as "created spirits", but it can also be interpreted as bringing and gathering pre-existing spirits together and organizing them/preparing them for the mortal plan.

4/08/2010 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger raedyohed said...

R. Gary
While I think the excision of Elder Talmage's statement puts meaning where it may not have been intended (the phrase in context seems ambiguous towards the physical origin of Adam) I would not dispute that President Packer likely shares that view. From “The Pattern of Our Parentage,” Ensign, Nov. 1984:

“Since every living thing follows the pattern of its parentage, are we to suppose that God had some other strange pattern in mind for His offspring? Surely we, His children, are not, in the language of science, a different species than He is?”

IOW, given that God is our father, and if offspring follow the pattern of parentage, then we are the same species; and given that 'species' is a biological classification, therefore mankind are the biological [lineal] offspring of God.

For those who hold it, this view solidifies the meaning of the statement that man is "the direct and lineal offspring of Deity." Taking the view of Adam's physical sonship this paradoxical statement may refer to two usages of 'man'; Adam is God's direct offspring and mankind are His lineal offspring. Or, perhaps it refers to the duality of man; we are all God's direct offspring spiritually, as well as His lineal offspring physically. In either case doesn't President Packer's notion of separate creations leave the door open for a view where one separate creation was paradisiacal and the other separate creation was natural?

You guys probably know of some material you could direct me to on this specific line of thinking.

_______

Jared*
"My point is that President Packer is arguing in support of positions that can be accepted without accepting all of his reasoning."

Agreed, but my point is that President Packer is arguing in support of positions that could be rejected if one doesn't accept all of his reasoning. Doesn't this place great weight on the question of whether or not to allow for a specially, separately, and divinely created individual placed to stand at the head of the human family?

4/08/2010 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

.

Clean Cut,

Your views are welcome here and I get your point, but you also know where I stand. I believe few Church members will be interested in blog links that highlight discord among — and challenge the credibility of — living apostles and prophets and their correlated media. Nevertheless, I'm sure the debate will continue in some circles forever.

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raedyohed.

I've read and reread the 1931 Talmage talk over and over for nearly forty years. I see nothing in it that challenges his conclusion about man's body, that it "is born in the lineage of Deity, not in the posterity of the brute creation."

Furthermore, I'm confident that Talmage agrees with Packer on this point: "The sealing authority with its binding of the generations into eternal families cannot admit to ancestral blood lines to beasts." (Boyd K. Packer)

Yes it's also true Packer's words leave the door open to ideas that avoid his intended meaning. So if you see any of this differently, that's just fine by me.

4/08/2010 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Jared* said...

raedyohed,

"President Packer is arguing in support of positions that could be rejected if one doesn't accept all of his reasoning."

I think in practical terms it is the other way around. People will only accept his reasoning if they already accept the conclusions.

One of my first-ever posts at my blog was how the Plan of Salvation is a model. (It even includes a nice quote from President Packer.) I appreciate the desire to construct a self-consistent and logical structure to call 'the Gospel' or 'Plan of Salvation', but I don't think we should do so at the expense of denying clear scientific findings. Why should how humans were created be as, or more, important to our self-identity than the central teaching of the Gospel--that God himself came down and atoned for our sins that we might live with him and become like him?

4/08/2010 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Jared* said...

Gary,

"I think it is possible for one to agree with a selected few of Packer's words while avoiding his intended meaning."

I'm not avoiding his meaning; I understand his meaning. This is what makes discussing statements like this difficult. President Packer says - (X and Y, therefore Z). I look at that and think, well, I agree with (Z), but I don't agree with (X), and anyway I don't think that the overall argument necessarily follows. Others look at it and think, well, if President Packer says (X and Y therefore Z), then (X) must be true, (Y) must be true, (Z) must be true, and (X and Y therefore Z) must also be true.

Either President Packer is making an argument, where rules of logic apply, or he is stating a series of truths (or at least what he believes to be true) and has packaged them into what only appears to be an argument.

"I think Packer does in fact believe that the Atonement requires the Creation and Fall to have happened as he describes them."

I don't disagree with you there.

4/08/2010 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Thanks, Jared*, for your comments. I guess I'm one of those who childishly just believes what President Packer says. If I may paraphrase what President Eyring's Dad once said about an earlier President of the Twelve, "I think Packer is right about most things and if you follow him, he will get you into the Celestial Kingdom."

4/08/2010 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Clean Cut said...

"I believe few Church members will be interested in blog links that highlight discord among — and challenge the credibility of — living apostles and prophets and their correlated media."

Well, that's not quite what I see happening. You've mentioned two separate issues here--highlighting discord and challenging credibility. Do you see the mentioning of disagreements or differences of opinion as bad? I think it's fantastic. The truth is what it is, and it's good to know. I think the trick is to see the "marvelous" even within the "messiness". Perhaps correlation just doesn't want anyone to think there's any messiness?

I don't see the credibility of prophets and apostles being "challenged" by the acknowledgement that they haven't all thought the same. Perhaps the idealized correlated view is challenged, but perhaps that's not necessarily a bad thing? By any means, I think it's wonderful that there can be differences of opinion on so many things, especially those that perhaps are not so essential. "In essentials let there be unity; in non-essentials, liberty, and in all things, charity."

Consider the words of President Eyring here, or watch him when he spoke at the press conference after being called to the First Presidency.

He said when he attended his first meeting with the apostles and the First Presidency, he thought "this is the strangest conversation. Here are the prophets of God and they're disagreeing in an openness that I had never seen in business. In business you're careful when you're with the bosses, you know…

..."I watched this process and they were disagreeing, and I thought ‘good heavens,' I thought revelation would come to them all and they'd all see things the same way in some sort of way. And it was more open than anything I'd ever seen in all the groups I'd ever studied in business. I was just dumbfounded.

“But then after awhile the conversation cycled around and they began to agree. And I saw the most incredible thing, that here are these very strong, very bright people all with different opinions and suddenly the opinions began to just line up and I thought ‘I've seen a miracle. I've seen unity come out of this open exchange that I'd never seen in all my studies in government or business or anywhere else. And so I thought, ‘Oh, what a miracle.'

“Then, it was President Harold B. Lee who was chairing the meeting …and I thought now he's going to announce the decision. I'd seen this miracle, and he said, ‘Wait a minute. I think we'll bring this matter up again some other time. I sense there is someone in the room who is not yet settled.' And they went on to the next item, and I thought, ‘That is strange.' And then I watched somebody, one of the brethren, I think one of the Twelve, walk past President Lee, and say, ‘Thank you. There's something I didn't have a chance to say.'"

I think it's wonderful that they can disagree and have strong opinions and yet they lead the Church in unity.

4/08/2010 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger Clean Cut said...

I also want to give a hearty amen to Jared's comment here: "I appreciate the desire to construct a self-consistent and logical structure to call 'the Gospel' or 'Plan of Salvation', but I don't think we should do so at the expense of denying clear scientific findings. Why should how humans were created be as, or more, important to our self-identity than the central teaching of the Gospel--that God himself came down and atoned for our sins that we might live with him and become like him?"

4/08/2010 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Clean Cut, leaders of the Church work out their differences in private. These private discussions are a necessary part of reaching consensus and there is a huge difference between private discussion and public preaching. This has been especially true during my lifetime. If you will go back and read his comments again yourself, you'll see that President Eyring spoke from this point of view.

The private discussions that precede consensus are not an excuse to disagree with Church leaders.

4/08/2010 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Clean Cut said...

My point was only to claim that it makes no sense to claim that they do not disagree or somehow that they're all in consensus. While many of their disagreements were and are private, many of them are quite public and well known. For example, you can just juxtapose what Elder Talmage believed about death before the fall with what Elder Joseph Fielding Smith believed about it, etc. (see http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_science/Death_before_the_Fall)

Now, here's the money quote from President Eyring (at about minute 3:33) and he said it was a lesson taught him by President Harold B. Lee. I think it can apply in our discussions here as well, if we too are just looking for the truth and not trying to dominate or "win":

"We can be open, we can be direct, we can talk about differences in a way you can't anywhere else because we're all just looking for the truth. We're not trying to win. We're not trying to make our
argument dominate. We just want to find what's right".

I seem to be a little more open to doing that in public--it can be very beneficial. I don't think it is a principle of the gospel to never disagree with a Church leader--nor am I looking for excuses to do so. I don't feel the need to have an excuse. But I'll certainly always try to be respectful, even if I may have a different viewpoint. By any means, it doesn't make any sense to cover up the truth in the name of "perfect unity".

4/08/2010 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Clean Cut, regarding your "money quote."

The discussions he is talking about are happening in private. And I was in fact thinking of Talmage versus Smith regarding ndbf when I said differences among Church leaders have been kept private especially during my lifetime.

So just to be clear. You and I can be open, we can be direct, and we can talk about our differences on public blogs. But you cannot show me a single instance of the FP/12 disagreeing in public since 1970. It doesn't happen. They spend too much time together in the temple discussing their differences. And when they come to an agreement, that's when the public hears their thoughts.

You and I, we can disagree in public as often as we like, but the FP/12 never do.

Of course you can disagree with a Church leader. We are all free to disagree with Church leaders. Just be careful with the idea that you are smarter than the unified FP/12.

4/08/2010 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Jared* said...

Gary,

I do not--and I hope I won't ever--consider your belief "childish." As President Benson said, we are all eventually backed up against the wall of faith. It is not for me to judge anyone for where they have built that wall. And I agree with your application of Henry Eyring's statement to President Packer.

I'm still not sure that I've expressed myself clearly in these comments, but it will have to do for now.

4/08/2010 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger Clean Cut said...

R. Gary--just to be clear--I don't think nor did I express "the idea that [I'm] smarter than the unified FP/12". And it's not that I disagree with them--it's that I agree with one (Talmage) who disagrees with another. And frankly I don't care whether that's public or not--it's just a historical fact.

I told you I've been reading Henry Eyring. I like his quote here: "In my judgment, anyone who denies the orderly deposition of sediments with their built-in radioactive clocks places himself in a scientifically untenable position. Actually, the antiquity of the earth was no problem for two of our greatest Latter-day Saint leaders and scientists, John A. Widtsoe and James E. Talmage. However, there are vast differences in the training and background of members of the Church. Therefore, I am completely content that there is room in the Church for people who think that the periods of creation were twenty-four hours, one thousand years, or millions of years. I think it is fine to discuss these questions and for each individual to try to convert others to what he thinks is right." - Henry Eyring, Reflections of a Scientist, (Bookcraft, 1983) 56

I simply agree--I too think it is fine to discuss these and other questions and for each individual to try to convert others to what he thinks is right.

4/08/2010 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger raedyohed said...

Jared*
Practical terms aside, I think we've tentatively agreed that the literal fact of a specially created Adam is a central assumption in President Packer's cosmology, and construction of moral reality. He argues, and I could lean that way too, that this point is essential to proper, divinely originating morality.

"Why should how humans were created be as, or more, important to..." etc. It's not so much that I would say this is as or more important than any other concept within President Packer's cosmology. It seems fundamental to it though. It sure changes things, some how, in some material way. I mean when I let my mind meander through the various theological positions re man's origins I find I react differently to all of them. Not in a bad way usually. Usually there is something new to learn from all considerations. But I must say that Man as God's literal, lineal offspring, in the sense I have intimated previously, strikes me as quite profound.

I submit that if true it would be worth knowing. And if true it may not necessarily be at odds with evolutionary biology in general, in the sense of there being a seperate creation, which phrase is what initially caught my attention here. The term had never registered with me, and I find it used only sparingly, and by no one else in church leadership that I can find. I personally view the realm of evolutionary biology and the origin of life, and the origin of Adam as quite seperate cases.

"I appreciate the desire to construct a self-consistent and logical structure to call 'the Gospel' or 'Plan of Salvation', but I don't think we should do so at the expense of denying clear scientific findings." This is really square one, and I totally agree with you here. I don't take President Packer's approach of dismissing out of hand the assertions of evolutionary biology. On the other hand we ought not insist that the only things relevant to our origins are those which are empirically demonstrable, or rationaly derived, right? Right. So definitely evolution, and maybe a special Adam? Like I said, square one.

R. Gary
So Elder Talmage and President Packer holding essentially the same position on the method of Adam's physical creation is an inference. A reasonable inference, but still. There's nothing that I've overlooked where he more plainly states anything to the effect that Adam is the physical offspring of celestial parents, is there? I mean, this is basically what President Packer is getting at. It's not new. President Young is all about this kind of thinking for a time. It's just interesting to trace the idea as one moves closer to present day. It becomes hard to detect. The language used becomes more flexible in meaning.

4/09/2010 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

.

Clean Cut,

As you may have noticed, I have the highest regard for Henry Eyring (1901–1981), father of our current President Eyring. And he is correct about the beliefs of James E. Talmage (1862–1933) and John A. Widtsoe (1872–1952) regarding ndbf.

But the views of Talmage and Widtsoe are now muffled by forty years of Church Presidents and apostles teaching ndbf in official LDS media with no inside opposition. In other words, by agreeing with Talmage on ndbf, you disagree with every FP/12 since 1970.

----------

raedyohed,

About a year ago, there was a discussion about Adam's parents on this blog (click here).

4/09/2010 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger Clean Cut said...

I'm glad we share the same respect for Henry Eyring. I know President Eyring of the current First Presidency also shares that respect for his father. But do you honestly believe that President Eyring disagrees with his own father's published views? I highly doubt it.

You say that there has been "no inside opposition" lately, but you simply cannot possibly know that. Especially when you yourself acknowledge that they share their disagreements privately. Do you have some insider list? And could it not be that some of them have simply decided to not make their views known?

I believe there's a reason no one publicly speaks out about these points anymore, and I think it has to do with the fact that we had a couple of domineering bretheren (who'll I'll leave unnamed) who forcefully pushed their opinions. The current bretheren have learned a lesson from that, and apparently are more cautious not only in not speaking out against their former colleagues (and thus not showing obvious public disagreement) but also in reiterating that the Church has "no official position".

If the Church has no official position on this, then how can I or anyone else disagree with the Church's position? I think it's commendable that you're trying hard to be in line with what you assume most current "living" apostles believe. But suppose, RGary, that you are living in the time when Talmage is saying these things. Would you accept what the living apostle is saying, or would you have rejected his words? Or would you have thought you were smarter than the apostles?

Or would you merely change your mind depending on what age you live in, as if the truth changes? Is it all just relative to when you are living? Moreover, there is NOTHING to stop the FP from teaching Talmage's or Widstoes teachings again. It's just a lot less hassle to simply say "no official position".

I think it's pretty narrow minded to tell me that by "agreeing with Talmage on ndbf, [I thus] disagree with every FP/12 since 1970." Not only can you not know that (you seriously think you know President Henry B. Eyring's personal views and whether or not he thinks his father was wrong?), but why do you pull out this date of 1970? Is it because (as I'm sure you know) President McKay, who died in 1970, personally--albeit very privately--believed in evolution?

By any means, why do you keep trying to shift to the idea that I am personally disagreeing with apostles as if I'm some rogue member? Why paint me out as if I'm disagreeing with apostles when the real issue is that apostles are disagreeing with other apostles?

Furthermore, why don't you just admit that YOU are disagreeing with Elder Talmage, et al? You either have to disagree with Talmage or believe that Talmage as an apostle was wrong on doctrine. But then, of course, you're admitting that the apostles CAN be wrong. But you can't have it both ways.

4/09/2010 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Hey man, did you unload or what? That's a long comment. I'm flattered.

4/09/2010 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Clean Cut,

I've posted a reply to your long comment (click here).

4/10/2010 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger raedyohed said...

R. Gary

Thanks for the link. That, and the BH Roberts double creation theory (both from the same JMH article) were great. Elder Talmage's statement that the "adamic race of men are of an entirely different order" is tempting for me to accept, except that 1) genetic data has obliterated the preconceived notions of what 'race' is biologically, and 2) phylogenetic analysis of that same data has revealed the extent to which living humans are somewhat distantly related so as to preclude a single and exclusive common ancestor prior to 100-200 kya, and 3) newly sequenced genetic data from non-human hominid fossils has revealed the extent to which we share common genetic material with them as well. Not pointing those out by way of continuing or redirecting any type of argument per se. Just lamenting out loud, I suppose, how easy it used to be to come up with alternate explanations. Thanks again.

4/10/2010 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Clean Cut said...

I posted my response here:

Debating the role of "official LDS media" in establishing certain teachings as correct

4/12/2010 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Rich Alger said...

Is whether or not there was no death before the fall that important of a teaching to spend all this time on? Why is it so important. Would it not be better spent time proclaiming the good new that Jesus is our Savior. That the testimony of Him has been renewed by the Book of Mormon and modern prophets?

4/13/2010 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Rich Alger, I invite you to take a look at one of my early blog posts (click here). I go forward because living apostles continue to teach that death before the fall is not compatible with a true understanding of the Creation, Fall, and Atonement.

4/13/2010 12:57:00 PM  

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