Henry Eyring, Mormon Scientist and supporter of Evolution

there’s a new book for sale on the shelves here in Utah, called Mormon Scientist: The Life and Faith of Henry Eyring. i quickly went to the index and looked up the ever-controversial subject amongst the religious: EvilEvolution.

to quickly summarize, Eyring accepts, supports and even defends human evolution in 3 out of the four locations where the subject turns up in the book (one quote is rather ambiguous).

good for him, now on to the rest of the millions of LDS who are still unaware of their human origins.

Also:

  • BYU’s (the LDS Church’s university in Provo, UT) students have slowly changed their views on issues such as:BYU students were less-likely to hold strict creationist beliefs in 1935 than in 1973. For example, in 1973 the overwhelming majority of BYU students, 81%, believed that the creation did not involve evolution. But in 1935, only 36% believed the creation did not involve evolution, implying that the majority of BYU students in 1935 believed the creation did involve evolution. Similarly, in 1973 roughly a quarter of BYU students (27%) believed the creation did not take millions of years. But in 1935, only 5% held such a belief, implying that approximately 95% of BYU students in 1935 did believe the creation took millions of years.
  • Mormon biologist slams intelligent design in the Salt Lake Tribune (thanks, Joaquim):

First, I want to be clear where I’m coming from. I am a biology professor and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I take particular delight in being raised a Mormon who was taught that education and knowledge are among our highest ideals. Many are surprised to find that I am also an evolutionary biologist. I am also a member of the Society for the Study of Evolution, the United States’ leading evolutionary science organization, and have published papers in its journal Evolution. I have published numerous scientific papers on the topic of evolution and believe that it is the best explanation for the diversity of life we see around us.

Evolution is at the heart of the biological revolution that has transformed everything from genetics, and medicine, to drug discovery and managing antibiotic resistance. As the great 20th century biologist Dobzhansky said, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” As a biologist, I could not agree more. BYU has a number of faithful evolutionary biologists and evolutionary science is taught at Brigham Young University just as it is at any other accredited university. Intelligent Design has no place in BYU’s science curriculum.
Let me be blunt. I find nothing of value in Intelligent Design for both scientific and religious reasons.

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6 thoughts on “Henry Eyring, Mormon Scientist and supporter of Evolution

  1. Henry Eyring belonged to a Mormonism that no longer exists.

    The 1935 BYU survey came at a pivotal moment in LDS intellectual history. Only two years earlier, two prominent leader-slash-intellectuals, B.H. Roberts and James E. Talmage, had died. These men and a few other thinkers–particularly John Widtsoe–had presided over a much more progressive and intellectually open period in LDS history. Consider some of the lesson manuals that were produced during the first third of the twentieth century:

    Science and the Gospel (Young Men’s MIA manual for 1908-1909).

    Heroes of Science (Melchizedek priesthood manual for 1926-1927).

    Jesus the Christ (Melchizedek priesthood manual in 1916).

    Rational Theology (Melchizedek priesthood manual in 1915).

    The Church Education System (CES) was born in this period, and originally employed teachers who had been trained in religion and theology at prestigious universities. The belief was that religion and intellectualism would be mutually reinforcing.

    But the BYU survey cast a shadow on that hope.

    The Church then took steps to purge BYU and CES of secular intellectualism. Science and intellectualism were no longer seen as friendly to faith, but as antithetical to it. As the old Mormon thinkers died off, more conservative minds like J. Reuben Clark, Mark E. Peterson, and Joseph Fielding Smith filled the void that they left. These men were extremely distrusting of “intellectuals”–especially scientists–and their cynisism permeated CES, BYU, and eventually Mormon culture in general.

    (I took most of this info from Givens’ People of Paradox, pp. 206-08.)

    If the same survey were performed at BYU today, I really wonder what the results would be. I don’t know that we’ve become substantially more science-friendly since the 1970’s. The rise of religious fundamentalism in the United States over the past few decades has had a huge impact on LDS culture, if you ask me.

  2. YES! We want the applause of the Evangelicals. We Want to be mainstream so bad. So we ignor, as Joseph Fielding Smith did in his book, the fact that our revelation says the first creation story is the spiritual creation, and the second one gives no information at all. This is such a shame that we as Mormons didn’t jump on this and declare to the world that Genesis doesn’t tell us anything useful except to declare the authorship of the process. Most scientists are coming out of BYU with a firm belief in evolution because the todays GAs leave the science to the scientists.

  3. my feeling is that we’re even less science-friendly (to answer your question, steve), but you went to byu so you’d have a better impression of what the mentality is like there than i. looking at those book titles- that’s a church that sounds very inviting.

    tim, i think we only want the applause of the evangelicals for legal and political reasons (ie “the vote” for a mormon in office), but i think that the church wants badly to be “mainstream” and principally “accepted”. they will do anything to achieve this- even losing core doctrines from their history (see ‘the angel and the beehive’ for examples of the struggle to assimilate or balance being mainstream and yet unique enough to still attract new people- but not so unique to appear cult-like).

    about the ga’s being pro-science, i’ve been hearing good things about the new apostle, but we’ll have to see…

  4. Bait and switch
    close encounter of the 3rd kind

    As confirmation of this frightening swing I will submit a QED for you perusal.

    Jetboy Mormon Theologian and Hovering Angel
    a google image search for: Online cheap viagra » Blog Archive
    Do the search yourself or:
    http://http://images.google.com/images?gbv=2&hl=en&safe=off&client=safari&rls=en&um=1&newwindow=1&sa=1&q=Online+cheap+viagra+»+Blog+Archive&aq=f&oq=&aqi=&start=0
    You will yield, out of 420,000 hits for viagra, there is top ranked, a site that looks like it belongs to Good Mormon Jetboy. Is this so?
    What’s a Good Mormon doing burying intellectual property under Viagra Archives.
    Does this have anything to do with Mormon Psyops?
    Why would a Good Mormon hide stuff in such a way?
    What mysterious ritual is this? Who’s in charge anyway?
    Is Jetboy hiding his association with the Religion Making Business?
    Google Text search: Religion Making Business then do it again in quotes “Religion Making Business
    From Stillbirth of Mormon Art to Online cheap viagra » Blog Archive.
    Posted by jettboy on April 15th, 2007
    “Jet boy, are you AKA blogger of Jared apologizing for Stillborn Mormon Art?”
    Is this your alturnative identity http://www.bloggerofjared.com/2007/04/15/the-stillbirth-of-mormon-art/
    Have you buried you previous identity by retitling you previous posts, renaming them with titles like:
    Online cheap viagra » Blog Archive » Online cheap viagra

    Seems a stretch to go to highbrow Mormon Aesthetics from “Online cheap viagra » Blog Archive.”

    A Test, google image search for: Online cheap viagra » Blog Archive

    This reveals the tacky underbelly of Contemporary Mormon Aesthetics.

    I suspect you are dumping any discent from your Mormon Party Dogma in the “Religion Making Business.”

    Jetboy, to maintain LDS integrity Re-post all the comment for bloggerofjared.com/2007/04/15/the-stillbirth-of-mormon-art/

    When waxing on aesthetics you might consider looking toward some level of integrity, from there most of your mission will become clear. With deceit when expressing yourself, you can only indite the very intension your wish to explore –– truth perhaps.

    I believe Joseph Smith was murdered for suppressing free speech, Here’s hoping your will learn from his mistakes.

    GOK

  5. Evolution is bankrupt as a scientific theory. Those members of the Church who believe in evolution should understand that they believe in the face of no evidence.

  6. The idea of evolution isn’t even a VALID theory… No legitimate evidence supports such an idea and it is mainly rooted in philosophical concepts. Members of the LDS faith who support the idea of organic evolution stand in stark contrast of their faith and therefore must rethink their positions.

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