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DNA Research and Mormon Scholars Changing Basic Beliefs
Beliefnet ^ | July 26, 2004 | Patty Henetz

Posted on 12/22/2010 11:20:50 PM PST by delacoert

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Plant geneticist Simon Southerton was a Mormon bishop in Brisbane, Australia when he woke up the morning of Aug. 3, 1998 to the shattering conclusion that his knowledge of science made it impossible for him to believe any longer in the Book of Mormon.

Two years later he started writing "Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA and the Mormon Church," published by Signature Books and due in stores next month. Along the way, he found a world of scholarship that has led him to conclude The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints belief is changing, but not through prophesy and revelation.

Rather, Southerton sees a behind-the-scenes revolution led by a small group of Brigham Young University scholars and their critics who are reinterpreting fundamental teachings of the Book of Mormon in light of DNA research findings. Along the way, he says, these apologist scholars, with the apparent blessing of church leadership, are contradicting church teachings about the origins of American Indians and Polynesians.

"You've got Mormon apologists in their own publications rejecting what prophets have been saying for decades. This becomes very troubling for ordinary members of the church," Southerton said.

And while the work of the BYU apologists - the term means those who speak or write in defense of something - remains confined largely to intellectual circles, some church members who have always understood themselves in light of Mormon teachings about the people known as Lamanites are suffering identity crises.

"It's very difficult. It is almost traumatizing," said Jose Aloayza, a Midvale attorney who likened facing this new reality to staring into a spiritual abyss.

"It's that serious, that real," said Aloayza, a Peruvian native born into the church and still a member. "I'm almost here feeling I need an apology. Our prophets should have known better. That's the feeling I get."

Southerton, now a senior researcher with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Canberra, Australia, has concluded along with many other scientists studying mitochondrial DNA lines that American Indians and Polynesians are of Asian extraction.

For a century or so, scientists have theorized Asians migrated to the Americas across a land bridge at least 14,000 years ago. But Mormons have been taught to believe the Book of Mormon - the faith's keystone text - is a literal record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas who descended from the Israelite patriarch Lehi, who sailed to the New World around 600 B.C. The book's narrative continues through about 400 A.D.

The church teaches that Joseph Smith translated this record from gold plates found on a hillside in upstate New York in 1820, when he was 14. The Book of Mormon was first published in 1830.

In Mormon theology, Lamanites are understood as both chosen and cursed: Christ visited them, yet their unrighteousness left them cursed with dark skin. The Book of Mormon says Lamanites will one day be restored to greatness through the fullness of the gospel. (The original 1830 version of the Book of Mormon said they would become "white and delightsome;" in 1981, the passage was changed to "pure and delightsome.") Though not mentioned specifically in the Book of Mormon, Polynesians have been taught they are a branch of the House of Israel descended from Lehi.

Traditionally, Mormons have understood the Book of Mormon to cover all of the Americas in what is known as the hemispheric model. At a Bolivian temple dedication in 2000, church prophet and President Gordon B. Hinckley prayed, "We remember before Thee the sons and daughters of Father Lehi." And in 1982, the church's then-President Spencer Kimball told Samoans, Maori, Tahitians and Hawaiians that the "Lord calls you Lamanites."

Southerton's book details how these teachings have helped LDS efforts to convert new members, especially among Indians in Latin America and Maoris in New Zealand. He also offers primers on Mormon history and American race relations, quick tutorials on DNA research and syntheses of Mormon-related genetic research and DNA scholarship.

But in light of BYU scholars' recent opinion that the Book of Mormon's events could only have occurred in parts of Mexico and Guatemala - that is, Mesoamerica - the final third of the book is dedicated to examining the work of LDS scholars at the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, or FARMS, established 25 years ago and housed at BYU.

FARMS findings on Mesoamerica are based on the Book of Mormon's "internal geography," that is, descriptions of how long it took the ancient peoples to get from one place to another. The apologists now believe the events occurred only hundreds of miles from each other, not thousands - provoking new questions including how the Americas could have been so rapidly populated with people speaking so many languages without the presence of vast numbers of people who never appear in the narrative.

In a telephone interview from his Canberra office, Southerton said that keeping up with the rapidly growing body of work in genetic research made it difficult for him to finish the book while also keeping it up-to-date with critics and apologists and those in between all seeking to reframe the Book of Mormon in light of DNA research.

In particular, he's tried to keep up with FARMS qrticles, which he said are "completely at loggerheads with what the church leaders are teaching."

Church spokesman Dale Bills on Thursday said the church teaches only that the events recorded in the Book of Mormon took place somewhere in the Americas. The doctrine of the church is established by scripture and by the senior leadership of the Church, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.

"Faithful Latter-day Saint scholars may provide insight, understanding and perspective but they do not speak for the church," he said.

On its Web site, under the "Mistakes in the News" heading, the church declares, "Recent attacks on the veracity of the Book of Mormon based on DNA evidence are ill considered. Nothing in the Book of Mormon precludes migration into the Americas by peoples of Asiatic origin. The scientific issues relating to DNA, however, are numerous and complex."

The site then offers Web links to five articles, four of which were published last year in the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, a FARMS publication. Aloayza believes that is tacit approval of what FARMS is saying.

"There is such a huge divide between what the scholarly elite with the LDS church knows and will discuss and what the ordinary member knows," Aloayza said. "The burden of proof is on the people who are advancing the Book of Mormon as the word of God."

BYU political science professor and FARMS director Noel Reynolds said FARMS research and writings are not aimed at proving or disproving the Book of Mormon. "We understand the difficulties of that. We get dragged into these discussions repeatedly because of books like Southerton's or ordinary anti-Mormon questions," he said.

The work of FARMS shouldn't be considered counter to church doctrine because the geography of the Book of Mormon has "never been a matter of official church pronouncement," Reynolds said.

While believing in a hemispheric model might be considered "naive," he said, "it's also fair to say that the majority of LDS over a period of time have accepted a hemispheric view, including church leaders."

Added FARMS founder and BYU law professor John Welch, "We don't speak officially for the church in any way. These are our opinions, and we hope they're helpful."

Southerton, who no longer is a member of the church, said given the state of DNA research and increasing lay awareness of it, church leaders ought just to own up to the problems that continued literal teachings about the Book of Mormon present for American Indians and Polynesians.

"They should come out and say, 'There's no evidence to support your Israelite ancestry,' " Southerton said. "I don't have any problem with anyone believing what's in the Book of Mormon. Just don't make it look like science is backing it all up."


TOPICS: Other non-Christian; Religion & Science
KEYWORDS: inman; lds; mormonism; scientism
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Hmmm, Mormon Scholarly discussion hidden under a LDS Caucus truce. Really makes you wonder (well me anyway)... what kind of things might a scholar want to protect from open dissemination with feedback?

This article sheds some light on the "Mormon Scholar" thing.

It seems that Scholars who start out Mormons have a difficult time staying Mormon.

1 posted on 12/22/2010 11:20:56 PM PST by delacoert
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: delacoert

And we’re surprised? Hell, basic analytical thought blows all kinds of holes.


3 posted on 12/22/2010 11:35:46 PM PST by TheZMan (Just secede and get it over with. No love lost on either side. Cya.)
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To: delacoert
It seems that Scholars who start out Mormons have a difficult time staying Mormon.

The same could be said, to a lesser degree, about scholars who are Christians or members of other religions.

There is a definite correlation between years of schooling and loss of religious faith.

4 posted on 12/22/2010 11:37:15 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan
There is a definite correlation between years of schooling and loss of religious faith.

If a Christian has truly experienced the Grace of God, it can't.

As the Bible says, there is only one name under Heaven by which man may find God and make Heaven, Jesus Christ.

There is no other way into Heaven, none.

Neither Mormonism, Hinduism, or an other ism will lead a man to Heaven, only true Christianity.

In short, the attempt at relativity fails if the data-set includes true, born-again Christians.
5 posted on 12/22/2010 11:47:40 PM PST by SoConPubbie
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To: Sherman Logan
There is a definite correlation between years of schooling and loss of religious faith.

Are you sure that is the correct way of phrasing that?

Are they measuring the effect of the education and the schooling on people that start as committed Christians, from committed Christian families, or are they just telling you the religious level of the people that have that level of schooling?

6 posted on 12/22/2010 11:57:30 PM PST by ansel12 (Lonnie, little by little the look of the country changes, because of the men we admire.)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Sherman Logan

We know this how? Liberal college professors and journalists tell us so?

8 posted on 12/23/2010 12:02:28 AM PST by delacoert
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To: ansel12

Nope, I have seen studies showing quite clearly that the more years an originally devout Christian (or member of another faith) spends in schooling the more likely they are to become agnostic or atheist.

Doesn’t mean I approve or agree or think this is necessarily a good thing, but it is still a fact.

The primary reason is most likely the extremely anti-religious environment of higher education. It would be quite odd if spending more years immersed in it had no effect.

Such a loss of faith is of course not inevitable or universal, but there is a very strong statistical correlation. Unfortunately, I don’t have the references on me at the moment. You’ll have to take my word for it. Or not.


9 posted on 12/23/2010 12:05:54 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan

This is related to my point.

Scientists May Not Be Very Religious, but Science May Not Be to Blame
July 3, 2007 Did God make scientists? Most of them don’t think so.

“Among scientists, as in the general population, being raised in a home in which religion and religious practice were valued is the most important predictor of present religiosity among the subjects.

Ecklund and Scheitle concluded that the assumption that becoming a scientist necessarily leads to loss of religion is untenable.

Ecklund says, “It appears that those from non-religious backgrounds disproportionately self-select into scientific professions. This may reflect the fact that there is tension between the religious tenets of some groups and the theories and methods of particular sciences and it contributes to the large number of non-religious scientists.”

http://www.physorg.com/news102700045.html


10 posted on 12/23/2010 12:20:07 AM PST by ansel12 (Lonnie, little by little the look of the country changes, because of the men we admire.)
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To: Sherman Logan

Seems like the honest comparison of the rates of attrition would be between Christian scholars trying to prove the historicity of the Bible versus Mormon scholars trying to prove the historicity of the Book of Mormon.

Have any references on that? Care to weigh in with your personal opinion?

11 posted on 12/23/2010 12:20:29 AM PST by delacoert
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To: Sherman Logan

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect. It happens regardless of education level and can be illustrated in a survey taken of college professors where 94% of the professors surveyed believed their work was above average. Obviously 50% of them were ill informed if the average held for the entire population of professors. Interestingly, the more a subject actually knows about a topic, the less likely they are to claim to know the most about it. The converse is also true, which explains our Senate, Congress and unfortunately...most of America.


12 posted on 12/23/2010 12:26:47 AM PST by willyd (Tree planting is a zero sum game unless you find the seed on the sidewalk ;-))
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To: delacoert

I don’t think there is any doubt attempting to prove the historicity of the BOM is much tougher than doing the same with the Bible.

The Bible is conceded even by its critics to be an ancient book written by men who lived during or not long after the events they relate.

The BOM is taken by all but devout Mormons to be a work of fiction written by a not particularly well-educated young American man in the early 19th century. As a work of fiction it is quite remarkable. As a work of history it is ludicrous.

I once tried to read the BOM. Could not believe how boring it was, compared to the Bible, which admittedly also has unbelievably boring sections. Even as a literary work it is much inferior.


13 posted on 12/23/2010 12:26:54 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: ansel12

Interesting but irrelevant.

The appropriate study would be of originally religious students and the correlation between their years of schooling and maintenance or loss of religious faith.

I am not trying to say that loss of religious faith among the “most educated” says anything about the truth or falsity of religion, only that more years immersed in an anti-religious environment has an effect. How could it not?


14 posted on 12/23/2010 12:31:46 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan
There is a definite correlation between years of schooling and loss of religious faith.

To the extent that this is true, the real question should be whether there is a correlation between the acquisition of actual knowledge and loss of religious faith. For example, there are quite a number of degree programs these days which consist wholly of complete and utter crap, within which there is not a single word of actual, real-world knowledge that would be applicable in any setting other than some academic circle-jerk. Categories like "Women's studies", "Black studies", "Chicano studies", etc. would fall into this category. In these colleges, nothing is real; it is all pure propaganda and indoctrination. There is no knowledge there that is applicable in the real world. Therefore, since the thrust of the degree is political indoctrination, it is easy to see how such indoctrinated people would be less likely to resist the anti-religious elements of the indoctrination the longer they are exposed to it.

What I would find fascinating is what correlation there is between years of hard science and religious faith. For example, whether those who pursue a physics graduate degree and do real work in the area are less likely to have religion. From my understanding, many have begun to believe in God after studying the universe, or have had their faith strengthened. I emphasize the term "real work", because those who simply acquire the degree and then turn around and teach never progress beyond the spoon-fed pablum that they got from whichever professional academic was their instructor, whereas those who do real work in the field learn and grow beyond the mediocre limits of academia, and the inherent social bias.
15 posted on 12/23/2010 12:36:13 AM PST by fr_freak
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To: Sherman Logan
There is a definite correlation between years of schooling and loss of religious faith.

LOL, you want to make a stupid claim, then back it up.

16 posted on 12/23/2010 12:39:54 AM PST by ansel12 (Lonnie, little by little the look of the country changes, because of the men we admire.)
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To: Sherman Logan

Fair enough.

The staunch ones seem: 1) to regard it as authoritative against the teaching and doctrine pf ALL Christian denominations, 2) to be emboldened by it to the extent that they are the proclaim themselves the only true Christians on earth (by way of the Smithian restoration), and 3) then to want to be recognized as Christian brothers by all those who have been judged heathen by their fictionalized polytheistic heresy.

17 posted on 12/23/2010 12:42:12 AM PST by delacoert
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To: fr_freak

Good points. I am unaware of any study along the lines you mention.

Although it is quite obvious that most “real” scientists are not “men of faith.”

This is merely an observation of a statistical fact, not a comment as to whether the scientists are right to hold this opinion.

For some obscure reason, if you mention the negative correlation between years of schooling and religious faith, many seem to take it as an attack on religion. As if somehow more schooling necessarily equals greater wisdom.

It is also a fact that the higher the level of education the greater the likelihood of a person being a liberal. That doesn’t make them right.


18 posted on 12/23/2010 12:51:11 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan
the higher the level of education the greater the likelihood of a person being a liberal.

Not quite what I meant to say.

GOP vs. Democrat party membership, not exactly the same thing as conservative vs. liberal, but reasonably close, correlates with education as follows:

High school dropout - Democrat.

High school graduate - approximately split.

Some college up to an undergraduate degree - GOP.

Graduate school - increasingly Democrat the higher you go.

This correlates well with the observed fact that Democrats tend to appeal more to the two ends of the income scale than to the middle.

19 posted on 12/23/2010 1:04:35 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan
Although it is quite obvious that most “real” scientists are not “men of faith.”

I'm going to have to call you on this. What reason do you have to believe this is true?
20 posted on 12/23/2010 1:49:15 AM PST by fr_freak
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To: delacoert
The Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, or FARMS, is now the

Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

21 posted on 12/23/2010 2:52:02 AM PST by Pontiac
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To: fr_freak

http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Scientists_and_atheism

According to this study, belief in God among “greater scientists,” whatever that means, has dropped since 1914 from 27% to 7%. This is just about the inverse of Americans in general, who generally report 90%+ to believe in God, or a universal spirit, or something along those lines.

I’m sure there are many nits to pick with the methodology in these studies, but I suspect the numbers aren’t far off. It took me about 3 seconds to find this study. Now that I’ve posted a reference, let’s see your’s to the contrary, rather than just criticism of the the one I’ve posted.

BTW, I was using the term “real” scientists in the sense used by the poster I was responding to, scientists who do actual scientific work, rather than just teaching it. Although I’m by no means as sure as he seems to be that these are inherently discrete categories. I was not trying to imply their status as scientists is more “real” because they are atheists.

I would like to stress that I’m not saying I agree with the majority of scientists. Such issues cannot be settled by a vote among scientists, who have no greater insight on such ultimate questions than anyone else.


22 posted on 12/23/2010 3:38:09 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Pontiac

Correct me if I’m wrong, but FARMS still exists as a sub-unit of the Maxwell Institute with its own distinctive cluster of BYU faculty and staff.


23 posted on 12/23/2010 3:50:24 AM PST by delacoert
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To: Sherman Logan
According to this study, belief in God among “greater scientists,” whatever that means, has dropped since 1914 from 27% to 7%. This is just about the inverse of Americans in general, who generally report 90%+ to believe in God, or a universal spirit, or something along those lines.

Good God. This is your source? Freethoughtpedia.com? Look at their references at the bottom of the entry. You might as well be citing the faculty at Harvard.

I asked you for a cite that would back up your rather bold claim, and you gave me nothing. Well, in return, I'll give you a list of arguably the world's best scientists, who were quite religious, from an equally, or perhaps even more, reputable source:

http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/sciencefaith.html
24 posted on 12/23/2010 4:13:25 AM PST by fr_freak
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To: Paragon Defender; Godzilla; Colofornian; svcw; delacoert

See, PD, all the proof indicates that the stories about Lamanites and Nephites are made-up fantasy tales.


25 posted on 12/23/2010 4:18:08 AM PST by Cronos (One cries because one is sad. For example I cry because others are stupid and it makes me sad.)
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To: Sherman Logan

Not necessarily — it depends on the subject. Many scientists such as Einstein were religious


26 posted on 12/23/2010 4:19:06 AM PST by Cronos (One cries because one is sad. For example I cry because others are stupid and it makes me sad.)
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To: SoConPubbie

***There is a definite correlation between years of schooling and loss of religious faith.***

that is an intersting statement.

I have a MS degree, course work in neurophysiology drove me closer to God. As I peered into the inner workings of neurons I realized it can’t all be from chance.


27 posted on 12/23/2010 4:23:11 AM PST by Gamecock (The resurrection of Jesus Christ is both historically credible and existentially satisfying. T.K.)
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To: Sherman Logan; Paragon Defender

The Book of Mormon is undoubtedly a bad piece of fantasy fiction — not as bad as Dan Brown’s, but not as popular either. Well, you can make anyone believe anything — even fake histories like Lamanites. Why do sane, intelligent people follow this?


28 posted on 12/23/2010 4:33:27 AM PST by Cronos (One cries because one is sad. For example I cry because others are stupid and it makes me sad.)
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To: Sherman Logan
"Nope, I have seen studies showing quite clearly that the more years an originally devout Christian (or member of another faith) spends in schooling the more likely they are to become agnostic or atheist."

That just shows that years of atheist indoctrination weakens the faith young acolytes. The modern university system was created by the Christian church (and perverted by the atheistic academia) so I don't believe there is any inherent link between true intellectual education and a weakening of the faith.

29 posted on 12/23/2010 4:43:41 AM PST by circlecity
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To: circlecity
I don't believe there is any inherent link between true intellectual education and a weakening of the faith.

I agree. I was speaking of what IS, not of what must necessarily be.

30 posted on 12/23/2010 5:21:33 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: ansel12
Ecklund says, “It appears that those from non-religious backgrounds disproportionately self-select into scientific professions. This may reflect the fact that there is tension between the religious tenets of some groups and the theories and methods of particular sciences and it contributes to the large number of non-religious scientists.”

Is it true that fewer scientists are religious than people of other professions? I seem to remember that people were very religious in grad school. From the very beginning, being one of a handful selected out of an applicant pool of hundreds (which causes the selectee to wonder if he/she really belongs there, or was their name accidentally mixed up with someone else's), grad school is stressful. The candles with pictures of Mary and Jesus were a common sight, often being placed on or near equipment known to be finicky or difficult to operate. I also heard more than one student praying that their experiment would work.

31 posted on 12/23/2010 5:31:36 AM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: fr_freak

The source I cited quoted a study. Others I’ve seen show up to 30% to 35% of “scientists” believing in God. Obviously highly dependent on definition of “scientist.”

Your criticism of the source is not necessarily appropriate. Yes, the website is leftwing and atheist. Where else are you more likely to find information on this subject? The obvious leaning of a site does not inherently mean their quotation from other sources is necessarily inaccurate or biased.

The article they cited was published in Nature, a respected journal, which has leftist lean, but then do you know of any scientific journals that lean right? Which kind of supports my point.

Your link is irrelevant. We were discussing the actual religiosity of active American scientists, not the historical prevalence of belief in God among dead scientists. Only three of those mentioned even lived into the 20th. All have been dead for more the 50 years now.

Do you understand that my point is not about whether religious belief is compatible with scientific knowledge or practice? Obviously it is, or can be. My point is that most working scientists today are atheists or agnostics, and of the remainder even fewer would be considered relatively orthodix Christians or Jews by most on this site, much less conservative versions thereof.

Haven’t you noticed the recent discussion of scientists blackballed for hiring or tenure for being Christians? Or articles by Christian scientists about how they feel obliged to keep their faith under wraps until they achieve tenure? Doesn’t this indicate to you the overwhelming majority of their colleagues find open belief to be unacceptable?


32 posted on 12/23/2010 5:45:03 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan

I think many are misunderstanding your points.

As a Christian I would have to agree with you. Hence the reason so many Christians have turned to homeschooling.

The most destructive setting for our young children and young adults is within the secular, anti-religious school system.


33 posted on 12/23/2010 6:06:04 AM PST by Vegasrugrat
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To: Vegasrugrat

Thank you for understanding what I’m trying to say.

Quite a few seem to think that if most “scientists” don’t believe in God this is some sort of “proof” He doesn’t exist, so they claim the statistic can’t be true.

It is equally true more scientists are liberal or leftist. Doesn’t make them any more right on those topics, either.

Scientists are those who use a particular method that has been proven quite thoroughly to be highly effective at determining the truth on those subjects for which it is suited. Their determinations are generally accurate when using this method properly. This says nothing whatsoever about their wisdom or the value of their judgment on matters for which science is not well suited, such as the existence or not of God, or when they speak on subjects where they aren’t using the scientific method, such as most political issues.


34 posted on 12/23/2010 6:47:42 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: All
Seekers of truth,

If you peruse the Free Republic religion forums you will notice a pattern. There's an anti-Mormon group of people here that spends a great deal of their time attacking the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They post regurgitated propaganda on an almost daily basis.

They have a misguided obsession. You can witness many different tactics employed that you might find quite interesting. The straw man argument is a big favorite and is frequently preceded by cherry-picking quotes or other material. After the "quotation" the attacker will misrepresent what has been said or what was meant and then attack their own interpretation.Later they will have the audacity to claim they were "only" quoting our own material.  

They will of course insist ad nauseum that they are merely using our sources and are therefore innocent of any deceptive practice. LDS persons have no issue whatsoever having our scriptures or leaders quoted as long as it is presented fairly and accurately. This is rarely (if ever) done.

Another favorite is posting scripture or statements which on their own really present no dilemma. They make something out of nothing while never bringing up a single objection that hasn't been addressed a hundred times before.

You might note a couple of other tactics used to try to antagonize is the use of disrespectful or insulting terms or language and/or pictures. That's a Christlike thing to do right? Yeah I don't think so either. It does speak volumes about them though.

Some of them claim being some sort of special witness to you as being supposedly former Mormons. So someone who is an ex-member of any organization would never have an axe to grind or have reason to try to justify their actions by any means? Perhaps not but perhaps so. The LDS Church gains members from other denominations as well as others faiths all the time. This doesn't make them an expert on anything and you certainly won't hear them attacking their forner Church.

Frequently they cruise the headlines of the day seeking any story that might be twisted into making the Church look bad. Anything will do, just watch the progression of posts following it and see what I mean.

After reading their posts, I invite you to seek the truth about whatever "issue" they seem to be "revealing" or "exposing". I promise that if you do so with honest intent, the "ahah" moments you will have will be many and frequent. You will start to recognize the tactics employed to cleverly twist and attack and will likely chuckle the more you see. In actuality, there's nothing new here. It's all been addressed many times before.

The latest twist in the anti-Mormon propaganda machine is to actually go to the links provided, but then they cherry pick what they want, then quote and straw man attack that. Clever. It almost appears that they are helping you, the seeker of truth out by doing some footwork for you. Not so much. Don't be insulted, look for yourself. It's not the haystack they want you to think.

Here's a few links to get your started from a different viewpoint. I have found that the vast majority of the "issues" brought up can be found and addressed at http://www.fairlds.org/ but here's more:

http://scriptures.lds.org/
http://www.lds.org
http://www.fairlds.org/
http://www.mormonapologetics.org/
http://www.mormonwiki.com/Main_Page
http://www.lightplanet.com/response/index.html
http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDS_Intro.shtml
http://www.answeringantimormons.com/index.htm
http://promormon.blogspot.com/

Now you will likely notice the "you never address or answer our points" posts pop up as usual. All after providing the answers just as you have here.

Sometimes it is claimed that these sites present a needle in a haystack. Far from it. But if you give up before you try you won't know will you? They often state that these sites provide no answer. They just don't want you looking. It is as simple as that.

Will you wear blinders too? Seek truth. Find out for yourself. Want to chat with someone on any topic? A few of these sites provide just that. So do your homework sincere seeker of truth. Listen and read from both "sides". Make up your own mind.

I witness to you of these truths and wish you the best, in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

 


35 posted on 12/23/2010 7:15:45 AM PST by Paragon Defender
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To: fr_freak; All
I find reading in quantum physics incredibly inspiring. So many of the things the physicts "discover" and seem to struggle with, seem to me to have a rather compelling "spiritual" explanation that squares with the Biblical account.

I also find that the more I read and research, the more vivid the life and times of Jesus becomes. A wonderful overview of what is known about Jesus from the Bible is T.R. Glover's The Jesus of History.

36 posted on 12/23/2010 7:28:06 AM PST by fightinJAG (Americans: the only people in the world protesting AGAINST government "benefits.")
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To: Paragon Defender
Ah yes, another non-answer by PD. Lurkers will note that none of the links will actually address the issue except to offer up excuses for the lack of hebrew dna in Amerindians. Those sites that do attempt to address the issue are NOT official spokesmen for lds inc., but just represent their own opinions.

Yet the belief and doctrine of mormonism from its foundings was that ALL Amerindians were descendants of the Lamanites - even through to the 20th century and late president Hinkley. DNA is another nail in the coffin of the bom - more evidence that it is a poorly written fiction of the 1800s


37 posted on 12/23/2010 7:34:58 AM PST by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: delacoert

It was supposed to be sarcasm. We seem to get blamed for everything. Why not pile on Polynesians!


38 posted on 12/23/2010 8:09:11 AM PST by April Lexington (Study the Constitution so you know what they are taking away!)
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To: Paragon Defender
SEEKERS OF TRUTH

If you peruse the Free Republic religion forums you will notice a pattern. There’s a mormon poster here that spends a great deal of his time posting . He posts regurgitated propaganda on an almost daily basis.

These  multiple spam messages do not address the many examples of mormon doctrine that are posted directly from mormon scriptures and the statements of mormon leaders.

This must lead you to realize that there is NO legitimate method for FR mormons to address the words of their scriptures and leaders in an attempt to paint the mormon religion as Christian.  In fact, statements from mormon doctrine and leaders can ONLY show that these doctrines and leaders were RABIDLY ANTI-CHRISTIAN, from the founder Joseph Smith down through more than 180 years.

Mormonism is attempting to co-opt the Christian message and twist it to include this anti-Christian doctrine so that the world will accept the demand of the mormon church that it be included in the Christian community. 

Don't fall for the lies. Your eternal soul is at risk.

stop claiming

Are you willing to do for the truth what the cults do for a lie? If you REALLY want to know about mormonism..click here


39 posted on 12/23/2010 8:33:13 AM PST by greyfoxx39 (T Roosevelt said speak softly, carry a big stick. Obama talks trash and carries a broken stick)
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To: Paragon Defender

Your robotic posting of a single post, over and over, are evidence of being a cult victim.


40 posted on 12/23/2010 10:06:22 AM PST by ansel12 (Lonnie, little by little the look of the country changes, because of the men we admire.)
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To: Sherman Logan
Nope, I have seen studies showing quite clearly that the more years an originally devout Christian (or member of another faith) spends in schooling the more likely they are to become agnostic or atheist.

Where are those studies?

I posted one that says differently but you said it was "irrelevant".

“Among scientists, as in the general population, being raised in a home in which religion and religious practice were valued is the most important predictor of present religiosity among the subjects.
Ecklund and Scheitle concluded that the assumption that becoming a scientist necessarily leads to loss of religion is untenable."

41 posted on 12/23/2010 10:11:58 AM PST by ansel12 (Lonnie, little by little the look of the country changes, because of the men we admire.)
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To: ansel12
Ecklund and Scheitle concluded that the assumption that becoming a scientist necessarily leads to loss of religion is untenable.

Righto. Please point out where I stated otherwise.

Among scientists, as in the general population, being raised in a home in which religion and religious practice were valued is the most important predictor of present religiosity among the subjects.

While this is no doubt true, it does not invalidate my point. More of those scientists who were raised in believing homes remained faithful. This says nothing whatsoever about the percentage of believing scientists as compared to the general population.

42 posted on 12/23/2010 10:19:24 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan
There is a definite correlation between years of schooling and loss of religious faith.

Why do you keep denying your own post?

The only study sited on this thread related to your claim, refutes it.

"Ecklund and Scheitle concluded that the assumption that becoming a scientist necessarily leads to loss of religion is untenable. Among scientists, as in the general population, being raised in a home in which religion and religious practice were valued is the most important predictor of present religiosity among the subjects."

43 posted on 12/23/2010 10:44:58 AM PST by ansel12 (Lonnie, little by little the look of the country changes, because of the men we admire.)
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To: ansel12

Your robotic posting of a single post, over and over, are evidence of being a cult victim.


Actually, I broke out of the anti-Mormon cult and learned the truth. I know how pointless it is to play an anti-Mormon activists game.

The best thing in my opinion is to merely give the lurker an option to find the truth. Arguing with an anti is pointless. Yes I do it anyway from time to time. I am weak.


44 posted on 12/23/2010 11:09:20 AM PST by Paragon Defender
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To: Paragon Defender
Actually, I broke out of the anti-Mormon cult and learned the truth.

Even that is a robotic, cult victim response.

Before joining the Mormons, you were in an anti-Mormon cult? Where, for how long?

45 posted on 12/23/2010 11:26:57 AM PST by ansel12 (Lonnie, little by little the look of the country changes, because of the men we admire.)
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To: Sherman Logan
Your criticism of the source is not necessarily appropriate. Yes, the website is leftwing and atheist.

Well, sure, why would we question anything that's leftwing and atheist? I can't imagine. Oh, wait - leftwing, atheist, and wiki, even better.

I'm well aware of the bias against religion that exists in academia. However, hard sciences tend to be more conservative than other, softer sciences. Part of our discussion, at least the part that I was getting myself into, was whether there was a difference between the number of religious members of the hardcore sciences and the number of religious members of "other" sciences. The survey cited in your wiki site was strictly of members of the National Academy of Sciences, which may skew left just in its membership, and no mention is made of what constitutes "scientists" in their view. Do they classify anthropologists as scientists right along with physicists? How about "social scientists"? They do not say. So the original question goes unanswered, even with your cite.

By the way, I included the cite listing the famous scientists through the years who were devout in there faith to demonstrate that achieving the pinnacle of scientific thought does not preclude one from believing in God. In fact, often the opposite is true., which is why I asked the original question in the first place.
46 posted on 12/23/2010 12:24:42 PM PST by fr_freak
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To: delacoert; Pontiac

***Correct me if I’m wrong, but FARMS still exists as a sub-unit of the Maxwell Institute with its own distinctive cluster of BYU faculty and staff.***

Is this the same as DAMAGE CONTROL?

Though question asked! DAMAGE CONTROL! DAMAGE CONTROL!


47 posted on 12/23/2010 3:25:47 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (I visited GEN TOMMY FRANKS Military Museum in HOBART, OKLAHOMA! Well worth it!)
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To: delacoert

I don’t really know.

I did a search for FARMS and found that they were now the Maxwell Institute.


48 posted on 12/23/2010 3:34:15 PM PST by Pontiac
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To: ansel12; Paragon Defender

***Your robotic posting of a single post, over and over, are evidence of being a cult victim.***

And I am tried of missing every IB4PD post I try to make!


49 posted on 12/23/2010 3:47:33 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (I visited GEN TOMMY FRANKS Military Museum in HOBART, OKLAHOMA! Well worth it!)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
And I am tried of missing every IB4PD post I try to make!

Rest assured - you'll get plenty more chances ;P

50 posted on 12/23/2010 3:52:49 PM PST by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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