Sunday, August 24, 2008

This earth was made from other older planets

SteveP writes the Mormon Organon and teaches evolution at BYU. His comments are welcome on this blog. However, one of his recent comments has me wondering. He claims "no one is a 'moron' for not believing evolution."

The definition of a moron is "a stupid person." Yet on his own blog SteveP mocks what he calls the "Smashed Together and Uniting Planets Indurately Doctrine" or, as he abbreviates it, "STUPID."

According to SteveP, the "STUPID" doctrine offers a false explanation for the existence of fossils that are millions of years old on an earth that is only a few thousand years old. In spite of things like data and evidence, therefore, the "stupid" doctrine facilitates not believing evolution.

The problem, of course, is that the "stupid" doctrine was taught by Joseph Smith. So I'm wondering, does that make Joseph Smith "stupid"?

Twelve years ago, BYU Studies editor John Welch said nineteenth-century LDS writers had "commonly suggested before 1929 that this earth was created from pieces of other worlds recycled by God in organizing this planet. Under that theory, evidence in the rock record of prehistoric life did not imply that death had occurred on this sphere before the fall of Adam and Eve." (In the introduction to B. H. Roberts, The Truth, The Way, The Life, 2nd edition, Provo: BYU Studies, 1996, xiii-xiv; italics in the original.)

Again, I'm wondering, were those nineteenth-century LDS writers "stupid"?

Last year, the Church's Newsroom posted an article, "Approaching Mormon Doctrine," which links to a 1989 Ensign article that quotes Joseph Smith saying:

"This earth was organized or formed out of other planets which were broke up and remodeled and made into the one on which we live." (Ensign, Jan 1989, p.27.)

I don't think the Church's Newsroom is "stupid" and I don't think the authors of the 1989 Ensign article are "stupid."

So I'm wondering, what did SteveP actually mean when he said, "No one is a 'moron' for not believing evolution."

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