My Title of Liberty

     "In Memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children." - Alma 46:12    

Creation vs. Evolution

Basic Assumptions

Whatever our viewpoints, we have to start with some basic assumptions.  In fact, we cannot conduct our daily lives without assumptions.  Many of our assumptions are never put into words, but are learned by our experiences.  We learn by trying different actions until we try something that works.  We build upon that.  This learning must start in the womb.

At first, we are the center of our universe.  Everything happens to and for us.  Everything revolves around fulfilling our needs and providing comfort for us.  Eventually, we learn there are other individuals around us, that they also have needs and wants.  Our universe expands to our home, to our neighborhood, and to the horizon around us.  The Sun, Moon and stars still turn around us and our little universe.  For many people in the world, this was, and still is, an adequate view of the world.

Most of us today have learned how large (and how relatively small) the Earth is.  We know that many of the ancients had a good idea as well.  We have learned that the stars are much larger and farther away than our unaided eyes are able to tell us.  A very few of us have traveled over a quarter of a million miles to the moon and there are now plans to send men to Mars.

There are a few people who, in spite of television and world-wide travel, still believe the world is flat, and that our trips into outer space and views of the earth as a globe are a hoax perpetrated upon us by the media, or government.

We all have to validate our own assumptions.  No one else can do it for us.

Science is based on the use of experimentation to discover the Universe.  As described already, a baby in the womb is a scientist.  A child learns to walk by trying one thing and another to get upright, learning to balance, and finally placing one foot ahead of the other.  Most of the time, there is an adult or two for him or her to imitate, but the child must still learn how to control his or her own muscles to do so.


The Scientific Method can be described by these four steps:

 

1. Choose an occurrence you wish to understand.

2. Imagine possible explanations for the occurrence (hypothesize).

3. Determine what would happen if your explanation is correct (predict).

4. See if you can reproduce the occurrence with the expected results (experiment).

When you can consistently reproduce the occurrence with the predicted results, your explanation becomes a theory.


People who believe in Evolution generally believe (and assume) that the processes that are going on in the present, have been the same throughout the existence of the Earth.  People who believe that God created the earth as described in Genesis, generally believe that God intervened in the natural processes of the Earth with supernatural processes.  Some believe He has intervened supernaturally since then as well.  There are many who think the answer lies somewhere between the two views.

I believe that the Scriptural account of the beginnings of the Earth, having been provided by One who was there, while not explaining everything we may want to know, is the most reliable account of what happened when the Earth was formed and when Man was introduced to the Earth.

Science, as applied to those ancient times, is handicapped, in that we cannot know exactly what conditions were at the time of creation, or during the advent of mankind, and thus we cannot reproduce them for experimentation.

However, I believe we can apply the Scientific Method to our assumptions.

- David Sawyer, January 30, 2004

 

Testing Our Assumptions

Using the Scientific Method, If we wish to understand how the world, plants, animals, man, etc., came into being (Step 1), we need to make some hypotheses (Step 2).  I can think of three basic possible assumptions:

 

Assumption 1:  God created the Universe and continues to interact with it.

 

Assumption 2:  God created the Universe, but at some point ceased to interact with it.

 

Assumption 3:  God never existed.

 

For Step 3, We need to predict things that would result from each of these three assumptions.

 

For Step 4, We observe our Universe to see if our predictions ring true for any or all of them.

Again, we all have to validate our own assumptions.  No one else can do it for us.

 
For my own part:

Assumption 3 has the disadvantage that it removes all purpose from life; it would not be a useful theory, even if it fit all the observed results.  In my experience, it does not fit all of the observed results.  Put as simply as possible, it might explain passion, but it could not explain love.  Chance and probability are not enough to produce the observed physical results, even in the time assumed by modern physicists.

Assumption 2 has the disadvantage that God must be viewed as an impersonal, uninterested force, while my experience has shown me that God is personally interested in my life.

Assumption 1 has the blessing of my experience.  (see My Search for Truth)  I have tested my assumptions.  God has answered my prayers, He has spoken to me, He has led me step by step to find truths new to me.  He has made me know that the words of His prophets are true, both written and spoken.  They agree with what I see in the world.  They explain things that Evolution cannot explain.

- David Sawyer, January 30, 2004

 

The Evolution of Science

This essay is written to illustrate that 'Science' itself evolves through time, and by further applying the Scientific Method to the same problems.

Galileo dropped objects from the Tower of Pisa in the early 1600's, disproving Aristotle's teaching (4th century BC) that large, heavy objects fell faster than smaller, lighter objects.  This demonstrated that weight did not affect the speed of a falling object.  Personally, I believe that others must have discovered the same thing at least by accident, but either failed to tell others of their discovery, or history has forgotten them.

About 50 years later, Sir Isaac Newton is said to have been sitting under an apple tree, when a new thought struck him on the head with an apple.  He was able to describe mathematically the force of gravity by the relationship of two masses and the distance between them.

In 1915, Albert Einstein, in his General Theory of Relativity, described gravitational fields formed by the bending of Space-Time.

Scientists are working on a Unified Field Theory, a simultaneous explanation of gravitational and electromagnetic fields, and a Grand Unified Theory, which would include the strong and weak nuclear forces.

String Theory, involving multiple dimensions beyond the four we usually think of, is showing some promise in solving the problems involved in unifying the various forces, but there are a number of versions of String Theory that seem to work equally well.

Science, by its nature, never comes to any ultimate answers based on what it can observe and measure, but has to continually revise and refine its theories to suit new discoveries.  New discoveries have increased in frequency exponentially through time; we are all witnesses of that.  Even the universal constants like the speed of light have recently come into question.  Who can say where Science will lead us in the future?

- David Sawyer, January 30, 2004

 

The Six Days of Creation

sources: Genesis 1, 2; Moses 2, 3; Abraham 4, 5

Day One:  At the beginning of the Six Days reported in the Biblical account, apparently the Earth had already been formed and was covered entirely with water.  Genesis (KJV) reads, "the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep."  The Hebrew words translated "without form" and "void"  mean "deserted" and "empty."  In fact, the Book of Abraham, translated by Joseph Smith in 1842, reads, "And the earth, after it was formed, was empty and desolate, because they had not formed anything but the earth; and darkness reigned upon the face of the deep."

God created light to dispel the darkness.  We are not told what the source of that light was, but it was the beginning of the measuring of day and night for the earth.  Where was the earth?  It is said in Genesis that the stars were made on the fourth day.  The greater light and the lesser light made on that same day are not named, though we generally assume it is the Sun and the Moon that are referred to then.

Day Two:  On the Second Day,  God placed some of the waters above the Earth, whether in vapor, clouds of droplets, or, as some have speculated, a canopy of ice.  He calls the expanse (or firmament) of the upper waters Heaven, or in Hebrew, shamayim.  The lower waters are called, in Hebrew, mayim.

Day Three:  On the Third Day, God caused the Dry Land to appear.  Genesis goes on to say that God commanded the earth to bring forth the plant life of the earth, while the Book of Abraham only says that the earth was prepared and organized to bring forth the plant life of the earth.

Day Four:  As mentioned before, On the Fourth Day, the lights we are used to seeing in the sky were made.  The Book of Abraham says they were organized, and then set in the earth's sky (heavens).  Both sources say they were put there to be used for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years, and to rule over the day and the night.

Day Five:  On the Fifth Day, God brought about the creatures of the seas and the birds of the air.  The Book of Abraham merely says that the waters were prepared that they might bring forth these things.

Day Six:  On the Sixth Day, God created Man, male and female.

God then rested on the Seventh Day, which He has also commanded us to do in our time.

In Genesis, chapter 2, we seem to have a separate, different account of the Creation, where God makes man, then plants, and finally the animals.  This discrepancy, and the differences between the Genesis, Abraham, and Moses accounts of the Six Days, may be resolved by understanding the Six Days as a "spiritual" creation.  In the Book of Moses, chapter 3:3-5:

"And I, God, blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it I had rested from all my work which I, God, had created and made.

"And now, behold, I say unto you, that these are the generations of the heaven and of the earth, when they were created, in the day that I, the Lord God, made the heaven and the earth,

"And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;"

If this scripture is correct, there is no scientific tool we now possess that would let us peer back before the time the first man, Adam,  was placed bodily upon the earth.

The Book of Abraham (Abraham 5:13) tells us something else that we could not otherwise know, that before the Fall of Adam, time was reckoned by the Lord's time, which is One Day with the Lord is as one thousand of our years (Abraham 3:4; 1 Peter 3:8).

- David Sawyer, February 1, 2004

 

Paradoxes of Creation

Are Fossils a Hoax played on us by God?  Hardly, since He has told us about the Creation from the beginning.  If we at times lose track of what He has revealed to us, it is certainly not His fault.  He never intended for us to rely solely on our five senses. 

Did Adam have a belly button?  For myself, I can answer that question in the affirmative.  I know that God has a body, and that Adam was made in His image.  For those of you who believe God does not have a body, still the answer should be Yes.  His son Seth, born in Adam's express image, would have had one, and in any case, Adam was the pattern for the human race.

- David Sawyer, February 1, 2004

 

The Fossil Record

What does it really tell us?  As a teenager, I remember seeing a picture of a human footprint alongside the footprint of a dinosaur, and yet I still hear scientists say that dinosaurs died out more than a hundred million years before there were any men on the earth.  The theory of Evolution, and specifically the theory of the extinction of the dinosaurs at such an early time obviously does not fit all the evidence.

- David Sawyer, February 1, 2004

 

DNA

Some parts of DNA control the creation of specific proteins, some contain code for turning genes on and off, and still other parts are mysterious.

It has been found that certain hormones, including adrenaline, affect the genes.  Foxes raised around humans, after several generations, along with lowered adrenaline levels, developed traits that were not present in their genes, multi-colored coats, floppy ears, etc.  Are dogs, then, the tamed descendents of foxes and wolves, or are they their ancestors?  A creationist is more likely to decide that wolves and foxes are dogs that have had to fend for themselves for too many generations.

- David Sawyer, February 3, 2004

 

Miracles

It is probably a good thing to point out here that God has powers that we do not yet understand, as exemplified by miracles wrought by His servants the prophets, and especially by His Son, Jesus Christ.  Our science can produce no immediate cures for leprosy, crippling conditions, insanity, blindness, deafness, or a severed ear.  We cannot by scientific principles walk on water or make iron float in water.  We cannot control the weather.   We cannot cause a young boy's meal to multiply so it can feed thousands.  We cannot raise the dead.

We can only speculate about what means God employed in the creation of the earth and in preparing it for the occupation of mankind.  It is clear from the miracles that have been witnessed, that God has control over the very elements of which all things, life included, are made.  Nothing He wants to accomplish is impossible, the so-called "laws of physics" notwithstanding.

- David Sawyer, February 4, 2004

 

Catastrophes

Besides miracles, we have catastrophic natural occurrences to consider, which themselves may have supernatural components.   Here are a few:

The Flood:

The Division of the Continents:

The Sun Standing Still: