Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
Dialogue Foundation, 900 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90024
Backstage Library Works - 1180 S. 800 E. Orem, UT 84097
Rees, Robert A.
Pages scanned at 400ppi on Fujitsu fi-5650C sheetfed scanner as 8-bit grayscale or 24-bit RGB uncompressed TIFF images. Images resized to 950 pixels wide, 150 dpi, and saved as JPEG (level 8) in PhotoShop CS with Unsharp Mask of 100/.3.
Digital image, copyright 2004, Dialogue Foundation. All rights reserved.
Seers, Savants and Evolution I 45 theologians rush to an attack on science as other groups did? They should not, and they did not. Such a view will not be apparent to many. Let us, therefore, quickly proceed to its examination. For all intents and purposes, the modern story of evolution began November 24,1859, the date of the release of Darwin's classic, On the Origin of Species. The earlier announcement of the theory of evolution by natural selection, presented as joint papers by Darwin and A. R. Wallace on the evening of July i, 1858 to the Linnaean Society, had caused little stir. Not so the 1859 publication. Public response was immediate and heated. A recounting of that story is not necessary here, however, since it is readily available elsewhere.15 Our major concern is to identify the central points of the issues that were of interest in Mormon theology. Mayr16 has recently postulated six specific issues that seem to lie at the heart of the revolution of thought precipitated by Darwin. These do not translate easily to the LDS world-view, however, so we would propose the following five basic concepts as useful for comparing Mormonism to the doctrinal positions taken by science and prevailing Christian theology of the last century.17 The theological posits are: 1. Belief in an ex nihilo creation, that is, creation out of nothing. 2. Belief that the earth was created in six twenty-four hour days, and is only about 6000 years old. 3. Fixity or immutability of species; that all species were created originally in Eden by the Creator and do not change in any significant way. 4. Contention that life is dependent on an activating vital force which is immaterial and divine, i.e., spirit or soul. 5. Special creation of man; that God literally molded man's body from the dust of the ground and blew into it the breath of life, the spirit.18 Let us now examine the alignment of Mormonism on these issues. Was the doctrine of the Church as of 1859 (and for, say, twenty or so years thereafter, the period of the hottest debates) such as to align it with the orthodox theologies of the day, or with science, or with neither?