Around 13.7 billion years ago, the universe began with the Big Bang. About 4.5 billion years ago, the Sun and the Earth formed together out of a cloud of gas and dust. Somehow life arose on our planet, and from this single source descended and evolved all forms of life, including bacteria, plants, and animals. They’re all related. Eventually a group of apes left the trees and began walking upright, and some of their descendants became all the humans on earth today, including you.
That’s what science says.
Religion says God created the Earth and all things on it. Is that different than or contrary to what science says? Does it have to be different, or can they both be right? Some people will tell you that you have to choose between science or religion. They’ll say that you can’t have both.
They’re wrong. You can have both, and this blog is designed to help you see how that’s possible. And so, here’s the blog’s working hypothesis:
The LDS scriptures not only allow for evolution to be the way that God created all life on Earth, they imply it.
If any of today’s religions are fully compatible with science, it’s the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Latter-day Saints (sometimes called “Mormons”) are special. And ultimately the one game-changer that we have that the other churches don’t have is Joseph Smith. All of our pro-science scriptures and foresight come from him. Whether he knew it or not, before his death in 1844, Joseph had laid the groundwork for a religion that could literally accept all that science was yet to give us and will give us. Be it the Big Bang, evolution, or life on other worlds- it all complies with the gospel. And the gospel is true.
We’ll start with the assumption that the fundamental theories of science (the Big Bang, evolution, an old Earth, etc.) are correct and true, then support them with scripture. We’ll go through each Day of the Creation, showing how the scriptures that Joseph Smith gave us in the 1800s match up perfectly with what scientists teach us now, in the 21st century. And, most important of all, we’ll propose a scriptural reason for God to use evolution in His creation.
We’ll also talk about other things unique to our religion that help us understand that evolution is true. It’s gonna be pretty awesome. I’m super excited!
But, alas, before we begin, I need to cover a few disclaimers.
Disclaimer 1: This blog is not endorsed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The views expressed on this blog are that of the author (me) only, and are not meant as doctrine, or criticism of the Church, its teachings, or its past or present leaders. I’m merely a fairly young LDS guy wanting to share how science can be compatible with the gospel. Hopefully, if anything, I can get people thinking more about science and believing more about God.
Disclaimer 2: Just so you know, I’m not a trained scientist. I mean, I got a bachelors of science from an accredited university, but it was in engineering. Not exactly the sort of degree to qualify me to write a blog about evolution and religious things. But I’ve always loved science, and I’ve always loved the gospel. And I’ve always secretly desired a way to have both of them in my life, without conflict. I accept the scientific evidence brought forth for evolution completely, but I also know for myself that the Church is true through the Holy Ghost. I can’t deny either of them. There has to be a way they work together.
I’m not an expert in any of this stuff. I’m an amateur at best, so I’m going to make mistakes. The great part is that this is on the internet, and caring and informed people such as yourself, who may know more about science than I do, can certainly help me fix any errors I may have made.
I won’t be presenting any new science, and I won’t be proposing any new Church doctrine. I’m just giving out some ideas that might be helpful. I know they’ve helped me. I will try to cite my sources well so anybody reading can find and search through the same information too, be it a Church-related source or a scientific one.
Disclaimer 3: Because more and more is being discovered everyday, the ideas on this blog may change or need to be updated. And that’s ok. That’s how science works. When we get more information, our picture of the way things really are gets more clear as well. A living Church founded upon modern revelation acts in much the same way.
As far as stuff on the blog goes, if you agree, let me know. If you disagree, let’s talk about it. If I get some science wrong, I need to know. If I mess up on the doctrine, please tell me. If my arguments are flawed, help me fix them. I need some peer review, guys! I want to be in a position to help anyone who may be wondering if they can have their science and their religion.
Through this blog, I want people to gain a stronger appreciation and testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith and of the restored Church; as well as a deeper awe and love for the universe in which we live. Hopefully I can help people realize that not only is science true, but the Church is too.
SOURCES AND NOTES:
- Meme generated by me using the website imgflip.com. To view or share, use the link: https://imgflip.com/i/2r2z2g. The image was taken from https://mashable.com/2015/10/21/the-force-awakens-jedi/#sSOAg7T2liqQ, I think, where the caption reads “Han Solo (Harrison Ford) drops some truth bombs.” The image is originally from the 2015 movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the character pictured, Han Solo, is played by Harrison Ford.