In aviation it’s called a “course correction”. When a flight crew realizes that they’ve deviated from the pre-established direction of flight, they correct their course.
It seems the BYU Biology department needs a course correction.
The biology department’s mandate is to teach the science of biology, including evolution, within the light of the gospel. I am sure they are doing an excellent job of teaching the principles of biology and evolution, but when it comes to integrating the principles of biology with the principles of the gospel, they’ve goofed. They are way off course. That’s right; if they were NASA, the Mars rover would have crashed landed on Venus.
A faculty member recently said, “We [the biology department] spend time dispelling the myth that evolution and religion are incompatible” (Feb. 9, 2009 BYU newspaper, The Daily Universe). In other words, they are teaching that the doctrines of evolution and religion are in complete harmony. I can only assume that this statement includes the restored gospel.
Can someone please tell me how a godless and directionless theory of the descent of mankind is in harmony with a purpose-driven and divinely-directed theology of creation? BYU biology professors who do not recognize these inconsistencies between the evolutionary and gospel accounts of the creation of mankind need to do some reading. Those who avoid the conflict by compartmentalizing dissimilar gospel and evolutionary teachings and then tell their students that the two are compatible are being disingenuous. In either event, a course correction is needed.
Apparently I am not the only member of the church who has pointed out the glaring inconsistencies between gospel and evolutionary accounts of the origin of mankind.
Joseph Fielding Smith, John Taylor, Joseph Fielding McConkie, and Boyd K. Packer also recognized the inconsistencies. Here is what they said:
Joseph Fielding Smith
“This idea that everything commenced from a small beginning, from the scum upon the surface of the sea, and has gradually developed until all forms of life, the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, the fishes of the sea, and the plants upon the face of the earth, have all sprung from that one source, is a falsehood absolutely. There is no truth in it, for God has given us his word by which we may know.”
According to gospel doctrine, “The principles [of creation] do not change, as represented by evolutionists of the Darwinian school, but the primitive organisms of all living beings exist in the same form as when they first received their impress from their Maker. There are, indeed, some very slight exceptions, as for instance, the ass may mix with the mare and produce the mule; but there it ends, the violation of the laws of procreation receives a check, and its operations can go no further.”
Joseph Fielding McConkie
"Is the theory of evolution compatible with the doctrine of the Fall? No. We can tug, twist, contort, and sell our birthright, but we cannot overcome the irreconcilable differences between the theory of organic evolution and the doctrine of the Fall. Some have argued for a form of theistic evolution—that is, a God-inspired evolution—in which lower forms of life progressed over great periods of time to the point that God could take the spirit of the man Adam and place it in an animal and declare it to be the first man. The argument is at odds both with scripture and with an official declaration of the First Presidency on the origin of man."
Boyd K. Packer
"No lesson is more manifest in nature than that all living things do as the Lord commanded them in the Creation. They reproduce after their own kind. They follow the pattern of their parentage. Everyone knows that. Every four-year-old knows that! A bird will not become an animal nor a fish. . . . Each is a child of God. He is not a monkey; neither were his ancestors."
It is time for the BYU biology department to change course on their approach to evolution and Mormonism. First, they need to stop spreading the myth that Mormon theology and evolution are in complete harmony. Second, they should study the underlying differences, acknowledge that differences exist, tell their students about the inconsistencies, and let their students make up their own minds on the matter.