Thursday, July 31, 2014

How to mix LDS theology and human evolution

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that man is a dual being, with a body and a spirit, and that man is a child of God. None of this is based on science, in fact it contradicts science.

Boyd K. Packer: "Secular doctrine holds that man is not a child of God, but basically an animal, his behavior inescapably controlled by natural impulse, exempt from moral judgments and unaccountable for moral conduct." (Ensign Nov. 1986.)

Boyd K. Packer: "No idea has been more destructive of happiness, no philosophy has produced more sorrow, more heartbreak and mischief; no idea has done more to destroy the family than the idea that we are not the offspring of God, only advanced animals, compelled to yield to every carnal urge." (Ensign, May 1992; see also Ensign, Jan 2005.)

These ideas, that man is basically an animal and that humans are only advanced animals, are both scientifically correct. But these ideas deny that "there is a spirit in man" (Job 32:8) and that "we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16).

In order to harmonize evolutionary science with LDS theology, some people claim knowledge that is superior to science and superior to religion. In other words, their harmony is achieved by modifying both science and theology. Consider the reasoning of BYU Biologist Steven L. Peck:

"Since Homo sapiens appeared about 200,000 years ago, the first spirit child of God must have been placed in one of these human bodies long after the bodies appearance on the Earth. The first man was the first time a spirit child of God was placed in one of these bodies."

This is not science and it is definitely not LDS theology.

So how do you mix LDS theology and human evolution? Simply modify them both until they comfortably merge. Unfortunately, after that happens you no longer have either LDS theology or science.

Bruce R. McConkie said it this way: "There is no harmony between the [unmodified] truths of revealed religion and the [unmodified] theories of organic evolution."

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