Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Mormon Myth of Evil Evolution

Ask your average member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) what he thinks of evolution, and he'll probably tell you it's a fallacy. Ask him what his Church says about evolution and he'll probably tell you that Church doctrine says it's a fallacy as well. He would be wrong. The Mormon Church has no official doctrinal position on the question of organic evolution. Many members are unaware of this. Mormon apologist Michael R. Ash, however, is completely aware of the debate that has taken place about evolution among members and leadership in the Church, and put that knowledge into a great essay that seeks to clear the myth held by so many that the Mormon Church has a negative view of evolutionary theory. His introduction:
Several years ago while teaching the priests’ quorum, part of my lesson focused on the deceptive methods used by Satan. I asked my class for suggestions as to what tools, techniques, and deceptive teachings Satan employs. Some of their responses included the immorality in movies, television, and music, or the notion that there is no God. Then the bishop, as president of the priests’ quorum and a regular attendee of the class, said, “Evolution.” In the years since this event, I’ve found that there are a number of members who believe that evolution is a doctrine of the devil. It is apparent that many members are not familiar with the official position of the church on the topic of evolution, nor of the past history associated with this issue. The purpose of this paper is not to take a position on whether evolution is correct or is in error, but rather to demonstrate that the church’s official stand on the subject is neutral and that many faithful Latter-day Saints, including LDS scientists, accept evolution as a currently valid scientific theory. (Read the entire thing here, .pdf)

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