Saturday, January 16, 2010

Adam and Evolution

The LDS Church has as a core doctrine that all mankind are spirit children of our Heavenly Father. It is absolutely essential to our religion that men understand our relationship to God. Men, regardless of race, bond or free, are never to be compared to animals. Men are not just the highest animal creation. Like Christ, men are the literal spiritual offspring of God. Like Christ we were with God in the beginning and like Christ, who is the Firstborn, men are considered gods and children of god.

Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Acts 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
Ps 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.


Now, I have made a declaration that men are not to be compared to animals. However, science via evolution has been making these comparisons not long after this theory was first conceived. However, when Darwin first detailed evolution in his "Origin of the Species", the theory did not involve man. However, I am trained in the biological and physical sciences, and I am not ignorant of a few facts. First, animals have an almost miraculous capacity to adapt to their environment. Darwin correctly observed adaptation with regard to finch beak size in the Galapagos. The law of survival of the fittest is a true concept. The individual with the highest reproductive fitness will pass on their genes. Interesting concept here is that reproductive fitness benifits the individual, it doesn't necessarily benefit a population. Genetic variation is what benefits a population and may allow a select minority to resist or adapt to a disease or new environmental stress. These survivors may not be the considered the most reproductively fit during times of plenty, but when it comes to reproduction, nothing beats survival.

What science has not definitively shown is that while animals can adapt to a variety of environmental factors, one kind of animal has never been observed changing into another type of animal. Science has seen a squirrel adapt to living in trees and another adapt to living on the ground even until they reach the point of reproductive isolation. While reproductive isolation determines the creation of a new species, the new species in these cases is not another type of animal. In a, nother example, geneticists have determined that in some cases a single gene can result in the formation of wings in an insect or no wings. Obviously, the presence of wings vs. no wings makes a huge difference. However, also remember that while one gene can turn wings on or off, it takes many more genes for any species to form wings even if one or another genes disrupt the whole process.

Some may be surprised to discover that the LDS church does not have an official doctrine with regard to evolution itself. While the LDS Church does not have an official policy for or against animal evolution and there has been some debate over whether death in other animals existed prior to Adam, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does maintain that man is not part of the evolutionary process. LDS would absolutely reject the notion that man are "evolved from pond scum" or that mankind are just a "pack of neurons." How God formed the body of Adam from the dust of the Earth, has not been revealed specifically.

"Diversity of opinion does not necessitate intolerance of spirit, nor should it embitter or set rational beings against each other. ... Our religion is not hostile to real science. That which is demonstrated, we accept with joy; but vain philosophy, human theory and mere speculations of men, we do not accept nor do we adopt anything contrary to divine revelation or to good common sense."

This is an interesting example of why sometimes God does not reveal everything to us. BH Roberts was one of the most outspoken proponents in favor of death before Adam. While most LDS prophets and apostles have commented that they were of the opinion that the Fall of Adam brought death into the world, the LDS Church came to the conclusion the answer to this issue was not of eternal significance to the salvation of man, and by not taking sides, this avoided contention and made sufficient room in the LDS tent for religious scientists that have faith in God and believe that science and religion can harmonize.

I was watching PBS the other day and a NOVA-like show was visiting an institute of human evolution which had numerous remains of Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon (not called that any more). It is currently believed as far as I can tell that scientists believe that Neanderthals and Early Man (Cro-Magnon), lived in Europe at the same time but didn't mix. And then by some unexplained mystery Neanderthals who are believed to have lived on the Earth as early as 600,000 bc died out after Cro-Magnon moved in about 30,000 bc.

However, I think the Bible tells us exactly what really happened. John in Revelation was shown 4 beasts who stood around the throne of God. Joseph Smith asked God if these 4 beasts represented 4 individuals or classes. Joseph Smith was told that they represented both individuals and classes. The interesting thing about these 4 magnificent beasts full of eyes and wings (knowledge and power) is that one of the 4 had the face of a man. The significance of this is that this beast with the face of a man, was not a man. Could this beast have represented the Neanderthal?

Thinking along these lines, if Neanderthal and Human's lived together, did Humans and Neanderthal ever mix? Science says no, but the Genesis story may suggest they did. Genesis tells a bazaar tale of the sons of god intermixing with the daughters of man. The result of this forbidden mixing were offspring referred to as the Giants. Could the 6-7 ft Cro-Magnon remains represent the Giants spoken of in the Bible? If Cro-Magnon are the Giants, the Bible tells us that most if not all did not survive the global flood (see Gen 6:4, Deut 2:20-21).

6 comments:

whitehusky said...

You're barking up the wrong tree when you think that the Book of Revelation supports the assumption that Neanderthals lived on earth. The Book of Revelation has symbolic language that graphically shows the foolishness of the doctrines of men. It soundly condemns evolutionism, socialism, communism, and all the philosophies of men.

By the way, there is a simple answer to your misunderstanding about the reference to sons of God marrying the daughters of men. The term sons of God refers to those who accepted the covenant to live the law of the Lord. The term daughters of men refers to those who were outside the covenant living according to the fickle law of men.

What was happening is priesthood holders valued their covenants so little that they were marrying pagan women who did not convert to Christianity. Then they were bringing up children outside the covenant.

As for the theory of evolution, there is no room for it in the Genesis account, which is backed up by the Pearl of Great Price. Besides this, the Holy Spirit boldly testifies that evolution is a false doctrine of men.

The Lord has indeed allowed his creations to adapt to their environment. He gives life and that more abundantly. But, as you noted, never will you see an animal changing its kind. All physical creations are patterned on the spirit and spirit is eternal.

All teachings of evolutionism are corrupt philosophies of men.

D said...

There were no animal "physically" before Adam. Moses tells us the Adam was the first of ALL flesh. The animals in the flesh were then brought to Adam to name. Also, there was no death before the fall. All was in the immortal state in which God had organized it.

David B said...

Please do not misunderstand what I wrote. I was not trying to say there was death before the Fall. What I am saying about possible Humans and Neanderthal mixing creating the Giants (Nephalim) would have occurred POST-FALL and PRE-Flood. I do not believe that current scientific dating is correct because it assumes constant cosmic rays which has been measured many ways and proven false.

This is important to understand because many out there us the confusion about the Nephalim to say Aliens and Man mixed which God said no angel or servants have been sent to Earth then those who correspond to this Earth.

Jaga said...

The answer is not a matter of biology but of Physics (Quantum Physics) why you say "fell" "before" or "after" when time is not messured??? its relative!!!... What we have to understand is that ADAM Fell, no time, but an event!... The answer to the riddle lies on the fact that time has not been the same from the beggining, I would say Adam was 1 billion years of this earth in Eden but for him it would have been like months... while outside countless of other "creations" Took place... Think @ it!

Anonymous said...

More evidence exists in the DNA of Humans and Chimpanzees to prove a common ancestor, than exists in ALL of the fossil evidence to prove that evolution occurred in the ancient past.

I do agree with your premise, though, that Men (meaning Mankind Men & Women) are the spirit offspring of God, and that by comparing Men to animals only serves to disconnect Men from God, and think less of themselves "I'm only doing what my animal instincts drive me to do."

Religion and Science answer two fundamentally different questions! Science is only interested in the HOW things came to be. Religion addresses the WHY.
To be a religious and scientific Latter-day Saint, I put my faith in God, that He was the creator of all we see. And I accept the scientific theories that pertain to the HOW, in as much as I don't think that they conflict with my faith that God is the creator. Who am I to dictate to God what TOOLS he may have used in the creation of the universe, animals, or Mankind?

Anonymous said...

More evidence exists in the DNA of Humans and Chimpanzees to prove a common ancestor, than exists in ALL of the fossil evidence to prove that evolution occurred in the ancient past.

I do agree with your premise, though, that Men (meaning Mankind Men & Women) are the spirit offspring of God, and that by comparing Men to animals only serves to disconnect Men from God, and think less of themselves "I'm only doing what my animal instincts drive me to do."

Religion and Science answer two fundamentally different questions! Science is only interested in the HOW things came to be. Religion addresses the WHY.
To be a religious and scientific Latter-day Saint, I put my faith in God, that He was the creator of all we see. And I accept the scientific theories that pertain to the HOW, in as much as I don't think that they conflict with my faith that God is the creator. Who am I to dictate to God what TOOLS he may have used in the creation of the universe, animals, or Mankind?