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Since we don't know the reason for the rejection, I want to withhold judgment. But I am quite inclined to agree with you.

For heaven's sake, this is not the Ensign we're talking about--it (BYU Studies) is a scholarly publication. And as I said at my blog, if there is such a thing as "faithful science," this must be as good an example as any. Unless, faithful science = young earth creationism.

I doubt the full story behind the rejection will ever be told, but -- based on what (admittedly, little) I know of BYU administrative politics -- it would not surprise me if there was support for the article among many people, but one person sufficiently close to the top killed it. It may not be an anti-intellectual thing, so much as a "let's not rock the boat" kind of thing.

BYU is not known for cutting-edge, kill-the-sacred-cow kind of scholarship. Careers often depend on keeping the peaceful status quo.

Well, I can understand the reticence -- there's plenty of good scholarship to publish at BYU Studies, why stir up trouble needlessly? BYU Studies walks a thin line, needing to maintain its "loyalty credibility" with LDS leadership, but, as a scholarly journal, also needing to maintain its scholarly credibility. But, in fairness, if it is to be questioned on either of these, it ought to be for something the journal chooses to publish, not for something it chooses to not publish. Journals pass on articles for all kinds of reasons.

Bottom line: BYU Studies' loss is Dialogue's gain. It's probably a win-win choice for both journals.

It's hard for me to imagine a rationale for BYU Studies' rejection of the article that, if revealed, wouldn't be a complete embarrassment. Of course, maybe that just speaks to the poverty of my imagination. :)

Seriously, it's 2007, for crying out loud. Publish the damn thing.

Aaron B

I actually had a longer comment on the T&S thread that I didn't get to post because they closed comments. Ah well.

Some month or other, some writer is going to tire of picking at low-hanging fruit. He's going to write a Dialogue article explaining that belief in God is all neurochemistry. Some blogger will complain that the article didn't cover the symbolic importance of God. Another will insist that the Church really does teach that God exists. Others will scoff at such naive interpretation of what were merely opinions expressed by church leaders in an unauthoritative capacity.

If I had reviewed the article, I would have told the authors to drop the word Noachian unless the flood they are writing about happenned on Mars. In other words, a scientificky article about a flood should display at least a shade of respect for geology.

The Dialogue article, as well as the discussions here and elsewhere have led me to finally pull together my own thoughts on a possible LDS interpretation of the Flood. Comments are welcome. ..bruce..

I'm still trying to work out how Noah got those koalas and kangaroos out of australia and then back again after the flood. Can someone help me here?

The one time I saw reality, the way I think it is, the physical world seemed like a soap bubble stretched over and filled by the spirit. I have no problem in believing that physical reality reorients itself around the power that sustains it, giving us a countless number of possible pasts.

I don't know if that happened or not. I personally think it did not, but it is perfectly possible, especially if physical reality is less solid than most of us think it is.

Think of variable crystal latices.

I know, this is a different comment than one would expect, given that my personal reading of the Bible is that Noah and his family emerged from the flood and within twenty or so years encountered more than one group of gentiles who spoke different languages from each other and one of his grandsons made peace and worked out a division of the lands.

I don't have any problem with Adam being introduced into the Garden and then, when he was evicted, ending up where the Black Sea is now, and founding a civilization that sparked dramatic changes in humanity (consider that the "in the dirt" record seems to indicate that improving the chipping of flint took 35,000 years ... that isn't the kind of humanity we think of when we use the term).

I don't have any problem with all of us being Adam's posterity as we are Abraham's children or the descendants of Israel. Nor do I see it as problematic that when in the Pearl of Great Price it says "he beheld many lands; and each land was called earth" and "only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you" the speaker means that there are many, many different "earths" and really means lands, both on this globe and others, but the story he is telling Moses is only the story of Moses' people.

On the other hand, I don't have any heartburn if that is not so. Reality is much more mutable than it appears.


BTW, one thing that struck me when I read The Discourses of Brigham Young (from the paperback set of essential books the Church put out at one time) was how he talked about the limits on mens understanding created by the limits of their cultures and languages and education and how that colored what they could understand, believe and know.

It made me profoundly less certain of how I read texts or what I thought I was learning from them.

Here's a plasma science take on the Flood:


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