Thursday, May 27, 2010

Teach the controversy!



Funny stuff. :- )

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Just as an aside, a recent Pew Research Center study showed that belief in the scientific basis of biology is lower in Mormons than any other religious group measured by the study, except Jehovah's Witnesses. Also, and completely by accident, I ran across an Ensign article explaining that both the Flood and the Tower of Babel are fully historical events. (Look it up on lds.org if you think I'm kidding-- The Flood and the Tower of Babel" by Donald W. Parry, Ensign, January 1998.)

This has kind of sneaked up on me. I had forgotten that Mormons are (officially at least) Biblical literalists and what the implication of that really is. It's been a long time.

I remember when I was in the MTC, our branch president, who was a BYU humanities scholar in his 50s, was reading aloud an Old Testament passage that mentioned a prophet (I don't think it was Methuselah) who died at 900 years of age. A young Elder in my group involuntarily gave a short laugh of surprise. (I was well aware of Biblical longevity claims so I knew better than to laugh.) Our branch president looked up briefly from the passage he was reading and made eye contact with the Elder. The room got quiet and the Elder blushed. I still clearly remember his narrow face as it went to pink and then to red. It was an awkward moment. Nothing was said. The BP looked down and continued reading aloud. To me, the message was very clear, and I felt a slight shadow of fear pass over me. Point out the obvious, and you'll be punished. It wasn't a big deal, but on the other hand I've never forgotten that day.

Facts matter. Nobody ever lived to 900. There, I said it. After all these years.

Photo via: LOL god

6 comments:

C. L. Hanson said...

The thing is that the historicity of the BoM requires the Tower of Babel myth to be literal. Also, if you believe JS that "the Garden of Eden is in Missouri," well, then the universal flood has to be literal too.

Daddy Bear said...

I liked the stork photo also.

The longer I am away from Mormonism, the stranger many of the teachings seem.

I absolutely do not miss hearing people quote the brethren as a way of settling an argument.

MoHoHawaii said...

Hi Chanson,

Maybe the two links you mention are why that Ensign article didn't focus on other Old Testament improbabilities.

Hey Daddy Bear,

Thanks for dropping by.

jonedrahadian said...

Well, I believe one could live up to 900 years old at that time, when there was no disease, pollution, or genetic problem.

However, I dont like the branch president who couldnt take a little joke and being too strict.

Joned

Goldarn said...

Even years too late, it's good to state the truth. The Mormon church of my youth (and I'm in my 40s) was full of people who would lambast a person (occasionally me, a child) if that person asserted that science was correct and scripture was hooey.

What passes for official Mormon doctrine today still requires that the Flood, the Garden of Eden, the Tower of Babel, and so forth be literal. The Flood has to be literal and global, no matter what the fake intellectuals at FAIR and FARMS say.

But there was no global flood. Every human isn't descended from two people who were created 6000 years ago. Egypt wasn't founded by a black woman. And nobody ever lived to be 900 years old.

MoHoHawaii said...

Hi Joned,

The human lifespan is known to be genetically programmed. Fewer pesticides isn't going to change that. No animals have lives that even begin approach the numbers in the Old Testament. Not even close. If you want that kind of lifespan you have to look trees.

I think it's better to stick with a completely faith-based explanation (God can do anything) than present arguments that invoke the name of science but provide no scientific evidence.

Hi Goldarn,

Thanks for dropping by.