I started this site because I wanted to share my ideas with others and gain a better understanding of the relationship between science and the gospel from others. I believe that we can enrich our understanding of both by integrating them. This integration is largely inspired by the Prophet Brigham Young’s mandate for Lattery-day Saints to gathering in truth and bring it to Zion. By bringing scientific truth to Zion, we enlighten our understanding of the gospel and increase our appreciation and knowledge of the handiwork of God. Bringing scientific truth to Zion also enlightens our understanding of scientific principles and facilitates our quest for truth in science.
In an attempt to bring scientific truth to Zion, I have written posts covering the physical sciences, social sciences, health sciences, and quantum mechanics. There are also a few posts on political issues and the history and philosophy of science. So far, for the most part, the response from readers has been positive. I thank you all for your thought-provoking comments.
Sometimes we agree and sometimes we disagree. Disagreement is welcome when it is done in the right spirit. There are many different perspectives in science and there are different viewpoints on gospel teachings for which we lack certain knowledge (i.e., things that God has not yet revealed). By fostering an open and amiable exchange of perspectives, this site provides members with the opportunity to “try out their views” in the marketplace of ideas and discover new viewpoints.
Over the last year there have been a couple of unexpected surprises. One came a few weeks ago when I posted an article on the homosexual community’s efforts to redefine marriage. Several non-members and even some members posted comments in direct opposition to the church’s stance on same-sex marriage. Why someone favoring same-sex marriage would want to read a conservative, Mormon-themed blog and post comments contrary to the teachings of the LDS church is beyond me.
Another surprise is the response to my evolution posts from members who are theistic evolutionists. Now I have no problem with theistic evolutionists sharing their views on the creation on mormonsandscience.com and at BYU where I teach. A willingness to explore theistic evolutionary ideas is a sign of good scholarship. What is surprising, however, is the undercurrent of arrogance and dogma that currently exists among some within the macroevolutionary community.
This recent comment, posted by Mike, expresses my concern very well. He wrote:
The evolutionary world is in a twist about their pet theories, they love to style their struggles as backwoods religionists (we poor pathetic rubes) vs. intellectual heavyweights (the smart, superintelligent evolutionists). They seem to portray Darwin as a demigod, and his theory as absolute fact, and don't seem at all capable of applying critical thought to their own theories. They laugh, they sneer, they condescend, they kick out from their midst anyone who dares question them. It's not peer review anymore, it's peer pressure.
The bottom line is this: in our post modern evolutionary world, there is no room for dissent, no room for questioning fundamental tenets of macroevolution which, it is claimed, have been “proven beyond a reasonable doubt.” This attitude is reflected in the following statement on recent challenges to the well-accepted theropod dinosaur-to-bird hypothesis. James and Pourtless observed that, among evolutionists, “Criticism [about the hypothesis] has usually been dismissed, often with the [misleading] claim that no more parsimonious alternative has been presented” (James, F. C. & Pourtless, J. A. . Cladistics and the Origins of Birds: A Review and Two New Analyses, Ornithological Monographs, 66, 1-78).
The same dogmatic adherence and arrogance has, I believe, fueled personal attacks against those who oppose macroevolution. While there is nothing wrong with being committed to one’s favorite scientific theory, it is unscholarly to personally criticize scholars who hold opposing viewpoints.
Why has it come to this? I think that evolutionists’ aggressive posturing may have something to do with the backlash against unreasonable challenges from creationists who have tried to get biblical creation in the schools and evolution out of the schools. These challenges (in particular, the 2004 Dover Trial Of Pandas and People debacle, and the 1912 Scopes Trial) have the evolutionists circling the wagons and standing guard with plenty of ammunition to keep the wolves away, and understandably so. Unfortunately, they’ve grown trigger happy. Instead of just keeping the wolves at bay, they are now taking shots at anything that moves, at anyone who opposes macroevolution.
Anyway, I look forward to more informative discussions and novel ideas from readers. I hope you are enjoying the posts and will continue visiting on a regular basis.