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I think you have touched on something I have been saying for years when you said, "the problem with LDS versions of YEC is not that such a belief is in conflict with science, it is that it is in conflict with the scriptures." For years religious Evolutionists have been arguing from science to prove the theory to fellow believers, but its taking it from the wrong direction. At its worst such an approach doesn't create harmony, but atheists.

What needs to be done is focus on the scriptural and theological reasons why Evolution need not be rejected. I know that my own pro-Evolutionary religious acceptance didn't come until I understood the scriptural basis for including it in my world view. Only then did I take Evolution seriously.

Just want to say a little about the supposed LDS YEC peoples. Who are they? I have yet to meet any LDS person who believes in the traditional YEC model of creation from nothing in 6 literal human days. There are many like myself who believe in parts of typical creation models minus the whole creation out of nothing and it popping into existance in 6 24 hour days. There also quite a lot of LDS who disbelieve in evolution while not holding themselves to any particular group such as the YEC or ID'ers. The case you speak of as it relates to LDS is therefore pretty much entirely unfounded in reality amongst the LDS peoples.

Thanks for the comment, Jettboy.

Rob, that's a good point. The Church may have survey data showing what active members of the Church believe about Creation, but I don't. On the other hand, consider the three options discussed by the LDS Seminary manual (discussed in one of the linked posts): creation in 7 days; creation in 7000 years; creation in 7 periods of indeterminate length. Two of those three options are forms of YEC. So it certainly appears there are many LDS who hold YEC views.

Rob, I for one thank you for pointing that out. I know of no Mormon who believes in the YEC of 7 days in its literal sense. Bruce R. McConkie, the go to for these kinds of discussions, was not a YEC and admitted to millions of years or more in the making of the Earth.

The disagreement is in the development of humans. That is where the YEC meets LDS beliefs for many. Even the official pronouncements that are pointed out as "Creationism support" says nothing about how the Earth was formed or how long it took, only the special creation of humans as separate and distinct from other life forms. I am bold enough in this that, without even hinting at Evolution, I propose you ask any random Mormon at church how long they think it took for the Earth to be created. Nine out of ten times I bet they say millions if not thousands. I would be very surprised if they said seven days or at least mean that in the literal sense so you might ask what 7 days means to them.


I have studied the subject quite well over the years. Most of it has to do with semantics. When any pro-evolution person says "YEC" they are pretty much speaking of that one group who believe in creation from nothing coupled with God creating the earth and all that is on it in 7 literal 24 hour days. Here, this is from the wikipedia--

"Young Earth creationists interpret the text of Genesis in a strictly literal fashion. For the vast majority of young Earth creationists, an allegorical reading of the Genesis creation narrative, the Fall of Man, Noah's Ark and the Tower of Babel would undermine core Christian doctrines like the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, they believe that God created the world in six normal-length days, and planted the Garden of Eden for the habitation of an original human couple."

These semantics can get tricky because I have seen LDS who believe in creationism just not "young earth" creationism. In reality, the vast majority of LDS believe in God, the Creator and that our existance is entirely because of a benelovet God who planned, designed and carried out the creation. Now this can be viewed as both "creationism" and "intelligent design", take your pick.

Even, LDS who believe in a God guided evolution would still file under the category of Intelligent design or even that of a modoified creationism. Interesting enough, when most LDS (and most of the general public for that matter) hear the word "evolution" they automatically tag that with "godless". Darwinian evolution models do not have in place a god guided evolution- that goes against the very merits of Darwinian evolution.

So I think in general one has to be careful in how one uses the language to group or classify people. For instance, how would you group me- I believe in micro-evolution (change within species) but I also believe that there is a Creator who is an intelligent designer. As far as the age of the earth, if we are talking the matter itself I believe that it has always existed in some form or another. If we are talking about the age of the earth since it was a sphere, I have no idea nore care. As far as how long life has been on it prior to the fall- not sure. i believe in the traditional LDS doctrinal view that there was no death until the fall. So I believe that death has only been around for 6,000 years. I also believe as the scriptures state that Adam was the first man of all men.

So where do i fit in- am I an evolutionist, a YEC, just a creationist, an ID'er or a mix of them or none of the above?

Thanks Dave. I just discovered my (Orthodox Jewish) boss is a YEC.

Also, Collins has another book addressing one of the fundamental LDS concerns about Adam, Eve and Evolution, which Peter Enns' reviews here.

Jettboy makes a good point. You can't really fight scriptural concerns with science; you have to combat (bad) scriptural interpretation with (good) scriptural interpretation, which often allows a better reconciliation with science.

Thanks for the comments, everyone.

Rob, I'm not sure how to combine your claim that you are an evolutionist with your statement that you believe death has only been around for 6000 years, so I can't really say where you fall on the YEC-Creationism-ED-evolution spectrum. You defy the standard categories.

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