Exactly. The "conflicts" between religion and science are often more
imagined than real. Those of us who are religious need to embrace science. It
is not a competitor but a help, a useful tool to living our lives.
I hope a transcript is made of both events, since I'm a bit too far away to
attend; but as an active Latter-day Saint, with a Phd in biology (and I teach an
evolution class) I'm interested in the interplay between science and
It makes sense that religion would want to co-opt science. If you believe in an
all knowing Creator it's reasonable that he/she/it could inspire all the
discoveries made by science. However, in religion's sacred books is God
making scientific discoveries through his prophets? The way things went over
with intelligent design also comes to mind. I think it would go a
long way if the Creator of the Universe was a guest speaker at these lectures.
Unwieldy Toaster"And worlds without number have I
created""God had materials to organize the world out of
chaos—chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory.
Element had an existence from the time he had. The pure principles of element
are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and
re-organized, but never destroyed. They had no beginning and can have no
It should be interesting hearing Dr. Peterson's common sense side to
understanding of god is nature, and nature is God. An appreciation of Paganism
always helps for a better understanding of the world and God's work.
The wonder of God's creations, temporal and spiritual, in one way or
another bear record of him. This article reminds me of the scripture in Moses
6:63:"And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things
are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and
things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things
which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are
under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me."
I would also be interested in transcripts of this conference. I'd like to
see the topic of the Big Bang addressed by LDS scientists. I know many of them
take this evidence very seriously and they also realize that current LDS
theology is not compatible with it (indeed, the Big Bang has caused no end of
consternation for all materialists in the last century, LDS and atheist alike).
In this case, it might be advisable to have an LDS prophet on hand, as well.
Perhaps he could abrogate some previous teachings on cosmology in order to bring
the LDS Church more in line with traditional Christianity and mainstream science
in this respect.
brokenclay,While most churches believe in a transcendent god,
Mormons believe in an immanent god and therefore, if one accepts the concept of
multiverses rather than one universe, Mormonism actually can support the big
bang theory for the creation of our universe. I am not sure that will do much
for the price of rice in China,...but whatever.
Wow! Dr. Peterson and Spinoza on the same page… who would have thought.But fundamentally I agree with Semi-Strong (and Spinoza). The conflicts
between religion and science are simply due to our lack of understanding and are
rarely conflicts at all… except when they are, and then science wins time
and time again.As our scientific understanding grows it forces our
conceptions of God, religion, sacred books, etc. to either adapt or follow most
of the other religions (humans have practiced throughout history) down the road
of irrelevance and extinction. And if modern science is only 400
years old (in its relative infancy) imagine how much more our conceptions of
religion will be forced to change in the future.
I find that when science is accurately understood (which it often is not) and
Mormon doctrine is accurately understood (which it often is not), conflicts
largely go away. As a Mormon and as a scientist, I find this truly remarkable.
Most problems arise when the goal is to prove the other side wrong rather than
to find truth.As an engineer and devout believer in God, I'm
amused at how easily the Second Law of Thermodynamics is rejected by those who
claim to be devout followers of science. If you're wandering down a
mountain trail and find a random rock, it's pretty easy to conclude,
"The shape content of this rock was determined by natural, random
processes." Find an iPhone, and the response is, "Look - this was
obviously created by humans." But find something significantly more complex
than an iPhone, such as perhaps a grizzly bear, and the response is, "Run
for your life!" Er, no, what I meant to say was , "This is obviously the
result of random, natural processes." In other words, there's a narrow
range of complexity that requires intelligence, but anything below or above that
range doesn't require intelligence. Go figure.The Big Bang
depends on a particular interpretation of red shift. If that interpretation is
wrong, so is the Big Bang. I wouldn't take it to the bank just yet.
Science has to work hard to bring a theory to proof, and even then doubt
persists. Religion just has to say, when proven incorrect, "oh, yeah, earth
around the sun. God did that."
Just a bit of advice to those who're thinking of coming to Prof.
Peterson's lecture: The Joseph Smith Building is at the southern edge of
BYU's campus, and there's very little parking around it. So people
should allow time to stroll from their cars to the auditorium.
I find no greater witness to the grandeur of God than the Universe around us and
the infinite expansion of space and worlds that cannot be numbered unto man.
Science has revealed many great truths and as another blogger commented, if you
understand both Science and Mormon doctrine correctly, you will see much
compatibility.The views of man are myopic when compared to the
majesty of God. Humanity has progressed with worldly understanding of the
Universe but unfortunately, this sometimes has a self-limiting effect with
minimizing the context and role of God in the creation of all things. The more
human intelligence is glorified, the less God exists in the equation. There is
absolutely a place for all intelligence, but for humans to believe they are in
any degree masters of the universe or even the earth, is gross arrogance.How grand and how wonderful are the infinite works of God. How
fortunate we are as His children to be enlightened by knowledge as to witness
Science progress according to God's will. I am amazed at the intricate
organization of matter and dumbfounded by those who say it is all random. Such
is like theoligions advocating ex-nihilo.
RE: 1.96 Standard Deviations, The wonder of God's creations, temporal and
spiritual, in one way or another bear record of him. Romans 1:20,
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his
eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood
from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. V. 23 and exchanged
the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human
beings…John 4:24 God[is]spirit. Greek.=(*pneuma O theos).RE: EternalPerspective, *Theologians advocating ex-nihilo. Christians, and Jews believe that God created all that exists ex nihilo (out
of nothing). Mormonism is quite different in its cosmology, claiming that God
fashioned the universe out of preexisting material. God is eternal in some forms
of LDS theology, but so is preexisting matter, including the material used by
God to create human beings.*Paul,”For in him we live and move
and have our Being...(Acts 17:28)Creation is dependent on God for it’s
very existence. In(2Tim 1:9 & Titus 1:2) God existed before
time, implying he created time. “
Good science and good religious doctrine is totally compatible. The problem is
there is so much bad science(science falsely so called) and so much bad
religious doctrine.I value the science that discovered useful
things, that created our computers, radio and television transmitters and
receivers, things which NO ONE believes were randomly or accidentally brought
about, albeit human life and the universe are far more complex than are they.
The word "science" simply means "knowledge" and "truth"
(body of knowledge).And religion has been shown by rational and
empirical means to be severely lacking in knowledge, truth, and relevance.
@ "A Scientist"What kind of a scientist are you? All I know
is that you write very short, very arrogant, and not very helpful posts. Yes,
we know that science means knowledge, but a great deal passes for
"science" that is merely theoretical, and would not be called
"science" by any one with much knowledge or any humility.That is the question I would like to see you, and so many others, address.
Contempt for those who have a different opinion and an attempt to reduce
everything to a battle with "religion" portrayed as mere superstition is
getting really old. What else have you got?I would discuss
specifics with you but, as usual, you and many others who adopt your approach,
appear to have none."A scientist" is not a qualification (so
what is your qualification?) that tells me much, and there are so many branches
of science you would be hard pressed to present yourself convincingly as an all
round repository of knowledge.
It will be nice to hear sciences such as geology, archeology, and anthropology
discussed as legitimate areas of GOSPEL knowledge and study. These are endeavors
to explain our world, and they should be taken seriously by anyone who values
the world as God’s creation. I hope people understand going in that, as
these fields are (as are all sciences) open to change as new information
surfaces, so must the fossilized ideas and expectations of their traditional
theology be willing to bend. For those who see the biblical account of creation
as a figurative representation of God’s use of all natural processes,
including evolution, in order to form and people this planet, this will be easy.
For those who have always seen it as literal and historical, leave your
pitchforks in the barn and extinguish your torches; they won’t help. Try
trading in your literal view for a literary view; it will help a lot, and you
will see how scripture and science are not contradictory, but support each other
For the last hundred years, the biggest conflict between science and religion is
in the details of creation. The conflict centers around whether a day in
Genesis 1 is 24 hours or a period of time. Theologians decided that a
“day” in Genesis 1 refers to 24 hours because whenever
“day” is used in conjunction with a number (e.g. third) in other
places in the Bible, then “day” obviously means 24 hours by context.
Therefore, following this rule, a day in Genesis 1 must be 24 hours.The ironic thing about this is that the theologians used a scientific method
to decide what scripture means. Scientific method might tell us that the world
is 4 billion years old, but I am not sure it can be applied to interpreting the
Bible. The apostle Paul clearly teaches us that man’s ways are not
God’s ways. Clearly, the wrong tool was used to interpret scripture. No
wonder there has been conflict!
I think some like the Provo scientist don't really grok what religion is.
I've found through personal experience that changing my life to be more in
accordance with the teachings of my religion, including difficult and ongoing
change, has been extremely beneficial to me. I experience greater peace, joy,
and sense of purpose. I experience inspiration and guidance that comes to me
from a source I cannot detect using scientific instruments, but which is very
real and beneficial in all aspects of my life. It is, in fact, all about truth,
knowledge, and relevance in things that concern my personal welfare. It is both
rational and empirical: make a change, experience a result. It is the personal,
spiritual application of the scientific method.
@sharrona"John 4:24 God[is]spirit. Greek.=(*pneuma O
theos)."The resurrected Christ declared: Behold my
hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath
not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. (Luke 24:39)And Paul
said: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
(Philip 2:5-6)If God is a spirit and Christ has a body of flesh and
bones, they are not equal. Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab,
and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of
Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire
stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.(Ex 24:9-10)
RE: zoar63"John 4:24 God[is]spirit. Greek.=(*pneuma O theos)."There is ‘*no article’ in the Greek text before the word spirit,
and that emphasizes the quality or essence of the word. Furthermore, the word
spirit occurs first in the sentence for emphasis. The literal idea would be
something like, “Absolutely spirit in His essence is God.” God(The
Father)= spirit!…: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as
ye see me have. (Luke 24:39) God the Son=flesh.(Philip 2:5-6) In
context, Verse 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature] of a
servant, being made in human likeness.8 And being found in appearance as a
man.J S, explains in, Lectures on Faith, Q. What is the Father? A.
He is a personage of glory and of power. (5:2.). What is the son? First, he is
a personage of tabernacle.(Ex 24:9-10)Always use the N.T. to
interpret the O.T. ,i.e., (Hebrews 11:27)By faith he(Moses)left Egypt, not
fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is
I find it amazing that those few "scientists" who claim that rationalism
and empiricism are the only sources of truth would limit themselves in that
manner. I've always understood that the discipline of science is open to
inquiry, experimentation, and discovery regardless of where the direction takes
those of inquisitive minds. But I have to ask: isn’t an absolute refusal
to give any credence to the spiritual, emotional, sixth-sense, paranormal, or
call-it-what-you-will side of man a sign of close-mindedness? Don’t
so-called rationalists tend to deny that anything like that even exists (in
spite of common, everyday experiences that show there's much beyond the
observable and measureable)? And doesn’t playing the
"superstition" card dismiss natural curiosity (which opens the door to
pursuit of knowledge)?
@sharrona"J S, explains in, Lectures on Faith, Q. What is the
Father?" As Joseph grew in faith he also grew in knowledge.The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the
Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a
personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.
(D&C 130:22) Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he
make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from
the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line
upon line, line upon line; here a little, and] there a little: (Isa 28:9-10)And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the
lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is
given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the
mysteries of God until he know them in full. (Alma 12:10)
sharronaIn John 17:18-24, Jesus Christ's Intercessory prayer,
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that
they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even
as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one;
and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou
hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with
me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou
lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”.First, whom
the Father has given (foreordination) that accept the Gospel can become
"one" in Christ, as He is "one" in the Father. Does this mean
they or we are the same being? Not possible.Second, Jesus Christ
being the great Jehovah of the Old Testament was spirit before mortality with
the Father's "glory" before the "foundation" or creation.
RE: zoar63, no one can see me and live. (Ex 33: 18-20)… The LORD often
appeared but not in His full shekinah glory(divine presence). Gen. 17:1.…no one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God,
is near to the Father's heart. He has revealed God to us.(John 1:8 NIV)..no man hath seen God at any time, except he hath born record of the
Son…. (John 1:19 JST).RE: EternalPerspective, John 17:18-24,
“That they all may be one; We are one=(en)they are one=(en)
Jn., 17:20-22. One in unity, true.= (*en 1722, Preposition).But(*heis,1520=the#1) different Greek words. i.e..,The Father,the Word, and
the Holy Spirit; and these three are one (*heis) these three agree as one(en)
(1John 5:7,8 KJV translation & JST) . 3 persons one God.
"one in substance”. … the express image of his person(substance,
5287).Hebrews 1:3. i.e..,The one Sun shows itself as triune,
sunlight and heat yet one substance or essence, as its splendid in its unity and
Regarding the timing of the creation:Firstly, as to the age of the
earth, Genesis talks of the formation of a pre-existing earth that was
previously unformed and empty ("without form and void"). The age of the
earth is not addressed or relevant to its organisation as a living, habitable
planet.Likewise Genesis does not use the term "day" to mean
24 hours as has been suggested or surmised. In the first chapter six days of
creation are alluded to, but in the second chapter it is spoken of as one day
(verse 4: These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth... in the
DAY the Lord God made the earth and heavens.... the next verse is interesting
too; check it out).Then we have, in other scripture, the statement
that:"... a thousand years in they sight are but as yesterday when it
is past" (Psalm 90:4). Back to Genesis, the Lord God warned of
the consequences of eating a particular fruit saying:In the DAY thou
eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2: 17). Since Adam lived to
be 930 years, that "day" must have been the celestial day of 1,000
PART TWO....which was alluded to in Psalm 90:4.It would
seem that the ancients (or translators of the King James Bible) used the word
"day" to mean various different "periods of time", much as we
say, on one hand, "today and tomorrow" , but also "Back in the
Day" or "in MY day" etc. These different usages are very common in
the Bible; the wisest and most reasonable course seems to be to regard the term
as meaning a period of time, in this case a creative period, the stages of
creation described being very logical and scientific. Before you
can have land-based plants you must have dry land and water separately, and
water both above and below the "firmament", therefore circulating
between earth and sky, as clouds, droplets, and bodies of water, and mists also
to water the ground as morning dew. When you have land, water and plants, then
you can have both fishes and other water-based animals, as well as herb
As a teacher of Science (Chemistry, Biology, Physics) for over 50 years
I've seen every major theory in science changed, reorganized and fail to
fit the current data. On the other hand I have experienced consistency in the
teachings of the scriptures. When questions arise in class about the
relationship between religion and science I answer by asking them which book
would they search for answers to how to raise a family or how to treat their
fellowman, the scriptures or their chemistry text? Then I ask where they would
find answers to identifying and unknown substance? What is the logical
conclusion? You need both to live a balanced life. PS I read Science News
Daily to learn about the latest advances so I can share a few with my students.