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.
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Rees, Robert A.
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A Dialogue with Henry Eyring I 103 followed him, he would get you into the Celestial Kingdom—maybe the hard way, but he would get you there. The Church, according to a letter from President McKay, has no position on organic evolution. Whatever the answer is to the question, the Lord has already finished that part of His work. The whole matter poses no problem to me. The Lord organized the world and I am sure He did it in the best way. Kimball: Members of the Church often express pride that an eminent scientist is a faithful Latter-Day Saint. Eyring: I think that is the wrong point of view. I have told this story often: I serve on the Board of the Welch foundation. A man named Robert A. Welch struck oil and left what is now an endowment of about 120 million dollars dedicated to the development of chemistry in Texas. Each year we have had the ablest people in the world come to discuss some subject. At the first discussion, which was on the nucleus of the atom, there were about a dozen of us sitting around the lunch table. One of them turned to me and asked, "How many of these people believe in a Supreme Being?" I said, "I don't know; let's ask them." There was no objection. I said, "Now, let's put the question as clearly as we can. How many of you think that 'There is a Supreme Being' best represents your point of view, and how many think that 'There is no Supreme Being' best represents your point of view? Let's not have a long discussion about what we mean, but just choose between these two propositions." All twelve said they believed. I do not think there is anything unusual in physical scientists believing in a guiding, all-wise Being who runs the universe. They might differ in their kinds of theology, in men's interpretation of this big idea, but the best exact scientists in my experience are overwhelmingly believers. Kimball: Does it have anything to do with their being scientists? Eyring: I think they do not see how there could be all of the order in the universe unless there was something back of it. It is hard to believe that we just happened. It is not, of course, a matter of proof. Actually you do not ever prove anything that makes any difference in science or religion. You set up some postulates from your experience or your experiments and then from that you start making deductions, but everything that matters is based upon things you accept as true. When a man says he will believe religion if you can prove it, it is like asking you to prove there are electrons. Proof depends upon your premises. In Euclidian geometry, you learn that three angles of a triangle total 180 degrees and that two parallel lines never meet; the whole argument proceeds very logically. But there are other kinds of geometry. In elliptical geometry, parallel lines do meet and in hyperbolic geometry, they diverge. If you go up to the north pole and draw two parallels of longitude, they will hit the equatorial plane at right angles. That makes 180 degrees, plus the angle at the pole. And the lines are perfectly parallel at the equator, and the fellow that does not know they are curving will find that two parallel lines meet. It is a perfectly good geometry. It is two dimensional on the surface but it is curving in a third dimension. Analogously we do not know whether or not this three dimensional space we live in is curving in a fourth di-