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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Dialogues on Science and Religion / 115 exception would be those who take Genesis as the final word about the origins of mankind. I have never encountered the anti-evolutionists within the Church who take Genesis literally, but my father who was a professor of chemistry, did have to cope with them, and he said their views were bad science. The anti-evolutionists? That's right. He said the story in Genesis is just plain incomplete. It picks up man as a developed being and does not show when he developed on this planet. He would assert that Genesis is primitive man's view of the growth and development of the earth and is not enough for an educated man in our day and time. Have you resolved the conflict between evidences in the biological and physical sciences regarding the development of man and the scriptural accounts? Not exactly, but my father seems to have done so. He reconciled Genesis and physical science for himself. It did not trouble him terribly, but he also believed that he had seen devils. He believed that he had driven devils out, by prayer and by fasting. His physical science training did not raise questions for him about alternative explanations for the behavior of "bedeviled people." In his day, as he grew up, these devils were around all the time, you saw evidence of them regularly recounted by people. You could look out in the dark of the night and see them. Our children do not see them now and I have never seen them. My father believed fully in the efficacy of prayer and said medicine has to cooperate with faith. But he did not really believe in miracles that abrogated physical science laws, natural laws. Even more than the physical scientist, I think the social scientist has primitive man's views within the Church to cope with. They appear much more frequently in explaining social than they do in explaining physical phenomena. The social scientist finds these views of man disconcerting, whereas the physical scientist may be indifferent to them. You were paraphrasing before something to the effect that Lowry Nelson was saying to Henry Eyring that "If you were as astute an observer of human and social phenomena as you are of physical qualities in chemistry then you would see why I have the difficulties that I do in the Church as a social scientist." You remember my accounting of this better than I do. You have spoken to the problem of time demands made on members of the Church in relation to President Smith's special message to you about your mission in life, and you have spoken of other confrontations between the views and doctrines of the Church and views and assumptions in the epistemology of the social and behavioral sciences. Seemingly most of these confrontations in your own mind have been decided in the favor of science and have come to a point of resolution. Are there areas of conflict about which you are still troubled and about which you have not made a resolution? Yes, I do not find it pleasant to face death some ten or twenty years from now. I