Mormonism and science/Joseph Fielding Smith claimed that man would never walk on the Moon/Further Reading

Further reading

Further reading

FairMormon Answers articles

Determining truth

Are Mormonism and science compatible?

Summary: Secular critics charge that Mormonism and science are incompatible, and that any Latter-day Saint who actually believes is "intellectually dishonest." In reality, however, Latter-day Saints in many ways have a more liberal view of science than some of their Christian brethren. We believe that God operates according to certain laws. If there are things that God can do which seem to contradict what we know through current science, we assume that there are scientific laws that are beyond our current understanding.

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Burning in the bosom

Summary: Critics are known to mockingly refer to the LDS imagery of a "burning in the bosom." While the phrase is used in the LDS community to express the intense feelings of receiving spiritual witnesses, some claim it is simply the result of an electro-chemical process that occurs in the brain.

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Latter-day Saint approaches to science

Creation and related issues

Creation and related issues

Doctrine & Covenants 77:6 refers to "this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance"

Summary: Do Latter-day Saints believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old? Why does Doctrine and Covenants section 77 say that the history of the earth covers only seven thousand years?

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Death before the Fall

Summary: Does LDS doctrine hold that there was no death before the Fall of Adam?

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Did Adam and Eve really exist

Summary: Do Latter-day Saints believe that Adam and Eve were real?

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Evolution

Summary: How does the Church reconcile the theory of evolution with the story of Adam?

Fall of Adam and Eve

Summary: If it was God's plan for Eve to eat the fruit, then why did God forbid it? Why did God not simply create Adam and Eve as mortals?

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Global or local Flood

Summary: How do we deal with the fact that there is no scientific evidence of a worldwide flood? How can the scriptures and prophets teach of a worldwide flood, when this contradicts the evidence? The biodiversity of plants and animals on the earth could not have occurred within the span of a few thousand years. Did the continents separate during the flood of Noah? Doctrine and Covenants 133:23–24 seems to imply that they did. How do we reconcile this to scientific fact? Didn't Brigham Young, John Taylor and Orson Pratt teach that the Flood was the baptism of the Earth?

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Book of Mormon and science issues

Archaeology and the Book of Mormon

Summary: Critics charge that what is known about ancient American archaeology is not consistent with the Book of Mormon account. Sectarian critics often add the claim that the Bible has been "proven" true by archaeology, unlike the Book of Mormon.

Book of Mormon and DNA evidence

Other issues

Global or local Flood

Summary: How do we deal with the fact that there is no scientific evidence of a worldwide flood? How can the scriptures and prophets teach of a worldwide flood, when this contradicts the evidence? The biodiversity of plants and animals on the earth could not have occurred within the span of a few thousand years. Did the continents separate during the flood of Noah? Doctrine and Covenants 133:23–24 seems to imply that they did. How do we reconcile this to scientific fact? Didn't Brigham Young, John Taylor and Orson Pratt teach that the Flood was the baptism of the Earth?

Free will in Mormonism

Summary: Science demonstrates that all interactions of matter--including all events in the human brain--are sufficiently caused by previous events. If we know enough about the laws that govern these interactions and the current state of the universe, we would be able to exactly predict any future event. Does this mean that the doctrine of "agency" or "free will" is false, since all human choices are predetermined by the laws of physics?

Alleged "discovery" of cold fusion by Utah researchers

Summary: It is claimed that the mistaken "discovery" of cold fusion in Utah reflects on either LDS gullibility, inability to do science, or dishonesty.


Astronomy and the Book of Abraham

The Book of Abraham makes several references to astronomy which draw criticism. These articles address specific issues related to Book of Abraham astronomical concepts.

Kolob

Summary: What is Kolob? I've heard that Mormons believe God lives there.

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Relationship between Kolob and the Sun

Summary: The Book of Abraham states that “the sun [is said] to borrow its light from Kolob through the medium of Kae-e-vanrash, which is the grand Key, or, in other words, the governing power (Abraham Fac 2,Fig 5),” while astrophysics has shown that “The Sun shines ... because of thermonuclear fusion. It does not get its light from any other star.”

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Revolution Time

Summary: Critics of Mormonism claim that "LDS doctrine regarding astronomy is permeated with references to time being measured, or 'reckoned' according to a star's or planet's rate of rotation. Furthermore, this 'reckoning of time' is a prime distinguisher in terms of 'greatness.' From the standpoint of modern cosmology, this makes no sense at all. Rates of rotation are largely arbitrary, and of little comment or concern from a fundamental point of view."

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Book of Mormon topics related to science

Archaeology and the Book of Mormon

Summary: It is claimed that what is known about ancient American archaeology is not consistent with the Book of Mormon account. Sectarian critics often add the claim that the Bible has been "proven" true by archaeology, unlike the Book of Mormon.

DNA evidence

Summary: DNA samples taken from modern Native Americans do not match the DNA of modern inhabitants of the Middle East. Critics argue that this means the Book of Mormon's claim that Native Americans are descended from Lehi must be false, and therefore the Book of Mormon is not an ancient record as Joseph Smith claimed.


Latter-day Saint attitude toward science

Mormonism and education

Summary: Does the Church Educational System (CES) insist that gospel learning takes precedence over secular learning? Does the level of activity in the Church decrease as educational level increases?

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Latter-day Saint apologists' attitudes toward science

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Statistical claims

Summary: This page indexes attacks and criticism of the Church based upon statistical analysis.


Church leaders' statements related to science

General authorities statements regarding science

Summary: If General authorities' statements are treated as scripture, then what does that mean when they make statements regarding science?

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Brigham Young and moonmen

Summary: Didn't Brigham Young preach that the sun and the moon were inhabited?

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Joseph Fielding Smith claimed that man would never walk on the Moon

Summary: Didn't Joseph Fielding Smith declare that man would never leave this planet?

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FairMormon web site

Mormonism and science FairMormon articles on-line

Video


The Children of Lehi: DNA and the Book of Mormon, D. Jeffrey Meldrum and Trent D. Stephens, 2003 FAIR Conference
The Fallacy of Fundamentalist Assumptions, Blake Ostler, 2005 FAIR Conference

External links

Mormonism and science on-line articles

Printed material

Mormonism and science printed works
  • Henry Eyring, Reflections of a Scientist (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983), 1–.