The idea that bringing up differences between science and religion is perilous because it causes persons to give up either science or their faith is rather silly. Macroevolution comes to mind as an example.

There are inconsistencies between gospel teachings and the notion that Adam and Eve’s bodies evolved from lower life forms. Teachings contrary to macroevolution in the form of scriptures and statements from past and present apostles abound. These inconsistencies should be openly discussed in the LDS scientific community, if people choose to do so, as long as it is done with respect.

Our scientific and faith-based understandings are continually evolving. (Pardon the pun.) Some members thought that blacks would not be granted the priesthood until the millennium – they were wrong. Some members went into faith crisis mode when the priesthood was granted to all worthy males. And some scientists thought that the theory of luminiferous ether was an absolute truth – they were wrong. Some scientists likely went into crisis mode when ether was debunked.

Latter-day Saints don’t have to go into crisis mode when inconsistencies between gospel teachings and their favorite scientific theories arise. In science, challenges often bring us closer to an understanding of truth. Scientific progress happens when we have an open mind and allow criticism.

And so it goes with macroevolution. It is okay for people to discuss the differences between macroevolution and the gospel. Macroevolution is not sacrosanct. It is not immune from intellectual and theological challenge. No theory is perfect, and if the future resembles the past, it may eventually get replaced by a better theory.

Raising theological, intellectual, and methodological concerns with macroevolution is not a direct assault on science; it is critical thinking.

Vive la difference!

Continue reading at the original source →