Boycott 10,000 BC The Movie

Jamie Trwth Humor, Mormon, questioning, religion 62 Comments

10000 BC

When I saw the trailer for this movie one giant big ‘THING’ came to my mind . . . . Human Kind didn’t live in the time of the woolly mammoth! Or did we? I started to question myself, my religion, Christianity, Judaism, Creationism, etc. I started to believe that there was in fact a human evolutionary process our ancestors went through. Maybe Charles Darwin was correct in his findings at Galapagos. Maybe Sasquatch is our missing link.

This movie seemed really intriguing to me. I really want to go see this movie even though it might make much of what I thought to be true now untrue. The movie has danger, high adventure, ancient civilizations, there is a hint of love in the story line, and it has prehistoric creatures as well as humans roaming the earth together.


The special effects make it seem more real than the real thing, if that’s even possible. But is it the real thing. Should we as Mormons watch such a mixture of real and false worlds? Should we boycott this movie on the sole premise that under the belief that the Church holds the earth is just over 6,000 years old. But that would make a 6,000 year gap between this movie and what we are to believe as Mormons.

I am in conflict with myself. As a technical person I want to know how the movie was made. And being left handed (in my right mind) I want to know the creative process the movie makes went through to accomplish such a dramatic film. What am I to do? Honestly! On the one hand my religion tells me one thing and on the other hand society is telling me another. I can’t just explain it away be saying it’s a rated ‘R’ movie and I shouldn’t watch such movies. But isn’t PG-13 and that excuse won’t stick.

My inquisitive nature guided me check the movie times for 10,000 B.C. as well as ticket costs for an entire family of 5. I was surprised to see ticket prices have gone up since the last time I had viewed a theatrical motion picture. The cost came out to about $49.50. This was before the ticket surcharge for ordering online and before the refreshments. Even if we did the high school trick and snuck in $1.00 Rasinettes from Walmart we couldn’t sneak in sodas or popcorn.

I have seen good hype for movies that turned out to be bad. So maybe we should just skip this one and stick to movies we won’t have financial, religious and cultural remorse for watching. So tonight I am going to walk down to my mail box & gently place the prepaid envelopes into the the post and mail them to “Nearest Netflix Shipping Facility”. If the movies we get in the mail are offensive to us all we have to do is mail them back and we’ll get the next ones in as little as one business day. I hope to see 10,000 B.C. coming to the SiFi network or Netflix in the coming year. This way if I don’t agree with the content I can just yell at the TV and not face being banned from our local Century 16 MegaPlex.

Jamie Trwth

Comments

comments

Comments 62

  1. The belief that the earth is just over 6,000 years old might not be as canonical in Mormon theology as you might think. Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie clearly seemed to have been believe in a young earth, but the author of the lauded “Jesus the Christ,” James E. Talmage (a geologist by profession,) certainly did not. And he was not alone—John Widstoe and BH Roberts both favored a less literal rendering of the Genesis account. It was a hot topic among the Brethren for a long while, until a “cease fire” was formally called. The creationist camp got the last word out, and its ideology seems to have instilled itself in conventional orthodoxy, but it did not get there by any divine decree.

    BYU actually teaches an evolutionary biology class, in which these issues are discussed, and the growing consensus in the LDS academic and religious community is that the earth is NOT 6000 years old. There are even some natural history exhibits around campus that are at total odds with what you would see in an evangelical creationist museum. So while this film most certainly has some historical flaws, I don’t think it should be our religious beliefs that keep us from enjoying it.

  2. “Should we boycott this movie on the sole premise that under the belief that the Church holds the earth is just over 6,000 years old. But that would make a 6,000 year gap between this movie and what we are to believe as Mormons.”

    Jamie,

    Where did you ever get the idea that the Church holds the earth is just over 6,000 years old? The Church holds no such view. We don’t know how old the earth is nor do we do know the method used by the Saviour to create the world. What we do know is that man and woman did not evolve from apes but were created by our Heavenly Father and placed upon this earth as His sons and daughters. Everything else remains unknown.

  3. I am a Christian, but I do qualify what I consider the concept of biblical inerrancy. To trust in the Bible to be an accurate historical and biological cosmogony seems silly. I believe the purpose of the Bible is to acknowledge doctrine and spiritual constants of God’s relationship with mankind, and particularly with His people.

    To wrest beautiful myths like Eden and Noah into a literalist history robs them of their transcendance and beauty, in my opinion. For example, Who literally thinks the geneaology of Jesus spelled out in Matthew is genealogy you could base a pedigree chart on? (Well actually most Mormons and Christians do, but it seems obtuse given the evidence we have.) First, Luke gives an entirely different geneaology. Second, is it just coincidental that the three consonants of David add up to 14, and the geneaology is organized in three groups of 14? Considering the major claim is that Jesus is a decendant of the Davidic line, and “Matthew” does so in such a numerologically significant way, including acknowledging (oddly enough in a patriarchal society) that the lineage decended through 4 unclean or Gentile women (Bathsheba, Ruth, et al), there just might be something larger, more transcendant and beautiful being said here that what seems to be the literal claim. And this “innacuracy” stands in a record less than 2,000 years old. Are we to stake scientific history on bible myths 6,000 years old?

    See, my difference is that I don’t think “myth” is a dirty word. I think there is truth, but dividing divine Truth from inconsistent or inaccurate details, especially when some of the details _are_ historically sound, is a great journey of faith as one embraces the Bible. Who’s to say God didn’t at some time find human-like life evolved enough that he could breathe His Spirit into man, and thus begin the spiritual history, and particularly the Redemption, in which Christians trust? The process of evolution is well established, even if our theories about it (natural selection), while seeming quite reliable right now, could ultimately change or be added upon. We can see the fossil record; the Bible cannot be historically “true” if we are to believe the world is only 6,000 years old. So do we throw it out and doubt it, and even God’s existence? Or could it be possible that Truth therein just might be more transcendant?

    Even Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ” I find a deeply moving, even if historically suspect–even if the Gospels themselves don’t completely agree on all details. What they do agree on is Jesus’ divinity, something in which I’m willing to stake my faith.

    I’d rather see “10,000 B.C.” or not see it based on whether it appears, after I’ve read more about it, whether it has a story behind it, a good director, etc. Nevertheless, this post does raise a good point about science, or entertainment, and what do we do when it seems to (or does) challenge faith?

  4. The word the Greek in the old testament uses for “days” actually just means “time period.” Based strictly on what we know, we have no idea how old the earth is.

    My friends all saw 10,000. They said it was terrible.

  5. Jamie,

    I think you should not go see this movie simply because it is made by Ronald Emmerich and his movies are sappy pieces of crap. But that’s just my view. 🙂

  6. I read this post, expecting at any moment the punchline would be delivered. It never came.

    Prior comments have addressed the age of the earth issue, it’s really not one anymore, so drop the 6,000 year idea.

    10,000 BC has bigger problems. Witness people using mammoths from the Ice Age to build the pyramids in the Nile Valley – the writers only missed that one by 7 or 8,000 years. 10,000 BC is when, at best, agriculture was being invented. No such cities or populations existed.

    Steel weapons (even being kind to say copper is off by several millennia), sailboats, horseback riding. The list goes on.

    If you can go to a movie and have fun watching Bruce Willis play an oil rigger and drill on an asteroid and still have fun, you should be able to enjoy this for what it is – escapist entertainment.

    But, seriously, rethink that whole 6,000 year thing.

  7. Unfortunately, in terms of entertainment value, 10,000 B.C. was closer to The Day After Tomorrow than Independence Day (two other films that Roland Emmerich has directed). And, as #6 points out, it was a historical nightmare.

    But for what it’s worth, humans did coexist with mammoths. In fact, many believe that human overhunting may have contributed to their extinction.

  8. Wow. Just wow.

    Jamie I don’t know hardly anyone in the church who thinks the earth is 6,000 years old. Period, end of story. Even my mom, who is about as stick-in-the-mud as a person that you can find doesn’t buy into that. She ALSO doesn’t buy into evolution, so what can I say?

    Creative periods of the seven days? Cory (#4), OT was written in Hebrew, not Greek, FWIW, but otherwise your point is valid. If I remember this point correctly, Joseph Smith at point actually lectured on this (I could be mistaken), but essentially said that he didn’t know how old this planet was. I think Brigham Young said something similar.

    My point? I don’t know how old the earth is, I don’t CARE how old the earth is, and I don’t really care that much about evolution. (I can hear people screaming now…).

    Evolution & origin of life on earth are essentially pointless questions. Regardless of whether God:

    1. Created the earth ex nihilo as claimed by some early idiot creationists;
    2. formed the earth and all the creatures on it from existing materials but in just a few days as claimed by some other creationists;
    3. formed the earth and all the creatures on it from existing materials over the course of 6,000 -7,000 years (based on 1 day in God’s time = 1,000 years to us) as claimed by some moonbats;
    4. formed the earth and all the creatures on it from existing materials over the course of an undetermined time period split into several phases as claimed by several works of scripture with little specifics on the detail;
    5. or found the earth existing with some life on it and simply modified it for His needs including a set of creatures close to humans that He could change according to what He wanted,

    I don’t know. I also doesn’t matter except that I am asked to believe that God is the Creator of my Spirit and that I shall return to live with Him if I do what I’m told by exercising my agency to do good. This requires certain other beliefs. Fine. I don’t mind, but otherwise, as regards the creation, I don’t much care because I choose to believe that a sufficiently intelligent being with the right equipment is certainly capable of creating a planet and placing intelligent life thereon. It might be extremely difficult, but I accept it as possible. What actually happened, and what the fossil record say happened are of no concern to me. This is one of those areas I prefer to reserve judgment until we have further evidence. After all, nearly everyone of the sciences we use to tell the story of evolution is in its infancy. DNA, carbon dating, and numerous other sciences all may seem well established, but in comparison to how long we’ve been around as humans, and how long we’ve been doing things like watching the stars, these are VERY new toys, and I consider the probability of making a mistake with one of them very nearly 95% or higher. When you consider all the alternative theories that physics has considered and discarded to just get to electricity and we still don’t have a clue about gravity (we can’t even directly measure it!) and several other fundamental forces, it becomes fairly obvious that we are still flailing about in the dark.

    Yes we know a lot, but I’d say our knowledge abuot science is still exceptionally crude, and will continue to be that way for a long time.

    As far the movie goes? Who cares. Go see it or not if you like. The only reason I didn’t go see Phillip Pullman’s Golden Compass is because he’s a jerk about pushing Atheism. If he’d just write good books and say, ‘here’s a story, I’ll let you read and understand it the way you like, I’d have gone, even if the movie and book were completely the same as they are now. I watch Stargate after all, and the whole show is about killing gods. Not even subtly, either. They even take the idea of the Christian God to the mat a few times, though they never reject the Christian God outiright, they certainly do make it obvious that there are things to question about religion. In fact its one of the things I LIKE about the show.

  9. Ladies and gentlemen!

    In the young-earth corner, we have the free-lancing tag team of Fielding Smith and McConkie, purporting to represent the Mormon Church.

    In the ancient-earth corner, we have the really bad movie “10,000BC,” not purporting to represent anything other than an opportunity to make a lot of money, but which, for the heck of it, we will pretend represents science and secular society.

    This is a battle for the ages folks! Whoever wins, controls the age of the earth for at least another generation. Pay no attention to those party-poopers who say that neither the Mormon Church nor science actually has a dog in this fight. It’s all on the line here tonight. Let get ready to ruuuuuumble!!

  10. Post
    Author

    #9 Last Lemming (love the name)

    Thank you for seeing this post for what it is ‘Humor’. It portrays the state of the Church’s people perpetuating myths mingled with cannon, the state of ‘If the Church doesn’t tell me what to believe. . . . what am I to believe?’ and the fact that the movies that come out today are crap but they still get your $9.50 whether you liked the movie or not. I thought I brought those three subjects together nicely.

    But the real travesty is that, although the movie audiences and talent have stayed flat, the movie companies made a record profit last year due to higher prices at the theater. I guess piracy isn’t really killing the Motion Picture industry as they say it is.

  11. Wow, I actually got called to repentance at the Y over this issue 20 years ago. I was irritated by the arrogance that McConkie took a stand on this when he didn’t have the backing of actual church doctrine. So I got called to repentance by a fellow student who overheard me for stating that I thought McConkie was out of line. He said I was criticizing the brethren, although one could argue that I was merely taking sides in their argument.

  12. A re-made movie without Raquel Welch is certainly not worth my trouble. period. You don’t have to know the age of the earth to know this.

  13. Michael wrote:
    “What we do know is that man and woman did not evolve from apes”

    This is true, but not in the way that you mean it. Homosapiens did not evolve from the great apes. However, there are mountains of evidence that we have a shared ancestor about 3 million years ago. It is very difficult to explain just the genetic evidence (98.5% shared DNA, chromosome #2, genetic markers inserted into the exact same place in the genome such as retroviral DNA integration, etc…) without acknowledging the possiblity of common ancestry. If people do not believe the physical evidence it is usually because of their preconceived belief of ancient myths.

    As for the 6000 year old earth, it is true that it is not mormon doctrine. However, most members believe that and think that it is. The clear scientific evidence for the age of the earth is over 4 Billion years old, so the two viewpoints are not even close. But the clear concencious of the evidence conflicts with the common mormon viewpoint.

    It is sad that the members of this church are so certain about their “truth” concerning these things that they stop learning. We say things like “It does not effect my salvation, so I don’t care.”, or “I guess I will wait until I am dead to find out about that.” This is non-thinking at its worse. We have a big enough problem with the lack of rational thinking, just look at the alternative medicine plauge in our communities, without becomming willingly ingnorant on top of it. Science is a great way to find out about how the world works. We should not be afraid of it.

  14. So I got called to repentance by a fellow student who overheard me for stating that I thought McConkie was out of line. He said I was criticizing the brethren, although one could argue that I was merely taking sides in their argument.

    Heh. I can only imagine then what that student would have thought about some of the things Dr. Duane Jeffry (who was my faculty advisor my freshman year at BYU, before I changed my major from microbiology to computer science) said about one or two of the Brethren regarding evolution. 🙂

    Jamie, here are a few posts to consider: here, here, and here.

    Also, humans and woolly mammoths did co-exist. ..bruce..

  15. Don’t dump this on me now! I’m still trying to reconcile the Star Wars universe and Middle Earth with the gospel.

  16. Should we boycott this movie on the sole premise that under the belief that the Church holds the earth is just over 6,000 years old.

    Umm. What? When did the Church hold that? Some thing the fall happened about that long ago and that there was no death before the fall. I’ve never heard anyone argue the earth was only 6000 years old. Even the folks who adopt a no death before the fall often embrace a kind of dispensationalism wherein there were earlier creations on this earth that were wiped out analogous to Noah.

  17. Bob H, Most members *might* believe that humanity is 6,000 years old, but I doubt that very many believe *the earth* is that young. There is a HUGE difference between the two.

    As to evolution, I have argued about this extensively with some people, but all I will contribute here is that the Church’s ONLY official position (1909 – “The Origin of Man”) does not take a position on the physical creation of humanity as a species. It posits humans as a separate species, with an original ancestor known as Adam; it claims that “man” is not just an evolved ape – since the insertion of the spirit of a child of God into a physical body created a distinctly new creation; it does NOT reject evolution as the process of physical creation for Adam’s body, since it explicitly leaves open the possibility that Adam’s body began as an embryo.

    I’m NOT saying the official Church statement teaches evolution as the source of our bodies; I’m saying the statement doesn’t take a position but, instead, explicitly mentions evolution as a possibility. It says, essentially, “We know Adam was the first “man”, but we don’t know how his body was created.” Most members don’t know that, but that’s what the official statement says – and it hasn’t been reworded by any subsequent statement.

  18. I urge you to consider the fact that many many people have no issue with evolution/old earth and the LDS faith. The BYU biology department teaches evolution openly with the sanction of the Brethren. Don’t dismiss the scientific “facts” out of hand. Just realize that there is a tradition in the Church that was championed by Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie that was not the doctrine of the Church, that was not believed by many people such as Eyring, Talmage, Roberts, and even David O. McKay. YES! The prophet, seer and revelator of this church during all that time believed in Evolution in spite of Joseph Fielding Smith’s dogmatic declarations causing no doubt people like yourself to have crises of faith.

    This doesn’t mean that evolution is the whole answer or THE answer. Just take into consideration the fact that these great men believed in it and it didn’t affect their faith.

    How to reconcile this with “Church doctrine”? Well, if Joseph Fielding Smiths beliefs were never Church doctrine, and evolution/old earth was never Church doctrine either, then you have nothing to reconcile. It means that the Church never had an official doctrine and it leaves it open for you to have an opinion, whatever that might be, and you need not be disturbed by either side of the debate.

  19. I agree with some of the above. Since the fall of Adam and Eve (whom we literaly believe existed) it has been about 6,000 years. The age of the earth itself is probably much older. For example, look at this Bible scripture:

    2 Peter 3:8
    But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

    So it’s clear that when the Lord was creating the earths, he wasn’t measuring time like we do. If we took the scripture literally, the 7 days of creations could have been 7,000 more years. My personal opinion, the creative periods were in the millions of years.

  20. Carlos, I only would add that many Mormons believe the Fall narrative is figurative and that humanity could be much older than 6,000 years. Such a belief is not at odds with the temple ceremony, certainly not the one of my early adulthood. Those of us old fogies who blog have a slightly broader perspective of evolving Mormon symbolism than some of the young sprouts.

  21. Carlos, I only would add that many Mormons believe the Fall narrative is figurative and that humanity could be much older than 6,000 years.

    Indeed. Although, I would add that some of us have a hard time comprehending how mankind couldn’t be more than 6,000 years old. The evidence is overwhelming.

  22. Jeff Spector (#12),

    Aw, you beat me to the punch with the Raquel Welch reference. What’s a prehistoric thriller without a pterodactyl nabbing a fur-lined hottie? On the other hand, the fact 10,000 BC is trying to come across as credible while using a leading lady that looks more Victoria’s Secret than Zippy the Chimp offends my sensibilities.

    Steve M (#7), don’t knock Independence Day. I totally bought into the idea that aliens use Mac technology.

  23. David T,

    I was praising Independence Day (kind of)! I was saying that it’s unfortunate that 10,000 BC wasn’t as good as Independence Day, but was more along the lines of The Day After Tomorrow.

  24. And, there are some of us Mormons who believe there was no death before the Fall and that God did use evolution involving death over millions of years in his creation, and that these two concepts are compatible with each other. The key to this reconciliation is putting evolution at the correct point in the time-line of the earth.

  25. I believe in evolution. I don’t think any rational, thinking person who examines the scientific evidence, pro and con, with a dispassionate eye, can come to any other conclusion. That is not to say there are some holes in evolutionary theory–but the vast weight of evidence comes out in favor of evolution. The genetic evidence I think is the most convincing–genetic analysis of different species has shown their familial relationships.

    In spite of all this secular evidence, however, there are several LDS scriptures that directly contradict the theory of evolution, so I can understand why some LDS have trouble accepting evolution:

    2 Nephi 2:22:

    “And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.”

    Alma 12:23

    “23 And now behold, I say unto you that if it had been possible for Adam to have partaken of the fruit of the tree of life at that time, there would have been no death, and the word would have been void, making God a liar, for he said: bIf thou eat thou shalt surely die.”

    Moses 6:48

    “48 And he said unto them: Because that Adam fell, we are; and by his fall came death; and we are made partakers of misery and woe.”

    All of these seem to plainly state that there was no death before the fall. Thus many Mormons say that if nothing died before the fall, then evolution can’t exist. This seems a pretty reasonable conclusion, if you take as a premise that no death existed on earth before 7,000 years ago (which according to D&C 77:6, is the temporal age of the Earth, “temporal age” being understood to mean the age of the Earth since the fall).

    I think it is difficult to reconcile these scriptures with our current scientific knowledge. None of the explanations I have heard are particularly satisfactory. Here are the explanations I’ve heard:

    1. The Garden of Eden was a small place set aside from the rest of the world that God created for Adam and Eve. There was no death in the Garden, but outside of it, death and the normal processes of life applied. Evolution occurred outside the garden, and then when God was ready to create man he put already-evolved animals into the Garden and made them immortal. Thus, these scriptures are only referring to conditions prevalent in the Garden of Eden. This seems very tortuous logic, plus the scriptures don’t limit themselves geographically and seem to be referring to the entire world’s state (e.g. “All things which were created”).

    2. These scriptures only meant that humans are immortal, but death existed among all other animal species. Once again, the scriptures seem to contradict this: “And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.” This seems to be referring to ALL living things and stating that they would existed forever, unchanged, but for the fall.

    The only rational explanations that make sense to me are:

    1. Joseph Smith made this stuff up, and got it wrong. This still leaves open the possibility that Joseph Smith was inspired, but that he interpolated his (incorrect) understanding of things into the inspired scriptures he produced.

    2. The BoM and PoGP are historical documents, as they claim to be, but that the prophets who wrote in them were living in primitive, pre-modern ages, and thus had an imperfect understanding of natural processes and science. They thus misinterpreted what God explained to them about the creation, or God simplified things to a level that they could understand, and thus they explained doctrine in terms of their own understanding, and got some of the scientific details of creation wrong. Because of this, they misunderstood stories about the fall and creation that were meant to be understood symbolically as being literal.

    3. The translation imperfectly captures what the prophets were trying to say.

    4. I am misunderstanding these scriptures.

  26. We should not boycott this movie over religious issues, we should boycott it because it is a bad movie. It only has a rating of 10% on Rotten Tomatoes, and pretty much every movie critic has panned this stinker.

  27. MoJim wrote:

    “2. The BoM and PoGP are historical documents, as they claim to be, but that the prophets who wrote in them were living in primitive, pre-modern ages, and thus had an imperfect understanding of natural processes and science. They thus misinterpreted what God explained to them about the creation, or God simplified things to a level that they could understand, and thus they explained doctrine in terms of their own understanding, and got some of the scientific details of creation wrong. Because of this, they misunderstood stories about the fall and creation that were meant to be understood symbolically as being literal.”

    I quite like that explaination. These people did not need to understand the details of HOW man, or the earth, came to be, but they were told WHY we are here. They had the correct sense of purpose even if they had invalid concepts of some of the details. We still do about some things, we just don’t know it.

  28. I suppose that yesterday afternoon is “pre-modern” from a scientific standpoint. I’ve been overwhelmed as I’ve watch the series “The Universe” on the History Channel and realize the amazing changes in understanding that have happened in just the last few years. But the milieu surrounding the writing of D&C 77 was hardly “primitive”. And much less so, the writings of 20th century prophets. So, the 7,000 year earth concept is still an enigma to me. I give B. H. Roberts a “A” for effort in his attempt to harmonize science and revealed religion in “The Truth, The Way, The Life”, and I’m sure that those attempting to reconcile scripture and 2008 science will not fare any better in the eyes of the 2088 saint.

  29. George Jackson (#20),

    Gregory A. Prince and Wm. Robert Wright, in David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism (Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, 2005), state clearly that President McKay…

    “…never made a public statement affirming his acceptance of biological evolution…. The closest he came … was [using] evolution as an argument in favor of resurrection [and going] so far as to borrow from Charles Darwin to make his point.” (p.46).

    Likening evolution to the Resurrection was a rhetorical comparison that President McKay used more than once during his ministry. In reality, of course, Darwin’s theory is unrelated to the Resurrection. But unfortunately, such remarks are sometimes seen as evidence that President McKay believed in biological evolution.

  30. There are others that have given private testimony that David O. McKay believed in it. There is plenty of evidence for it, not just the testimony from Sterling McMurrin. Rhetorical Nothing. President McKay was a full blown believer in Evolution.

    For the record, I do not believe in Evolution in the sense of species becoming other species, in case somebody is thinking I’m an apologist for it. However, I do believe in death before Adam, and I believe in “pre-Adamite” human-like beings. I don’t know where Adam came from but I think that his body is a direct lineal descendant of the body of God the father, not from a lower form.

    I do prefer the idea that man came from a monkey more than I do man coming from dirt though, if forced to choose between those two alternatives.

    I’m a believer in facts, however, and that is why I believe that this fact should not be buried, that this is what President McKay believed. It is a significant fact that shows how not all general authorities sided on Joseph Fielding Smith. It is significant to me because I don’t believe in a young earth and no death before Adam as Joseph Fielding Smith did.

  31. George Jackson (#35),

    Yes. David O. McKay’s exact words were “I believe in evolution.” And Gordon B. Hinckley’s exact words were “I believe in evolution”:

    “I believe in evolution, not organic evolution, as it is called, but in the evolution of the mind, the heart, and the soul of man. I believe in improvement. I believe in growth. (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p.298.)

    Hinckley and McKay used the same words “I believe in evolution.” Did they disagree?

  32. R. Gary,

    Yes, they did disagree. Don’t be absurd. What are you trying to prove? You simply have no foundation to your argument.
    President Hinckley never believed in organic evolution. David O. McKay’s meaning of his words in the context of the discussion that took place with Sterling McMurrin are absolutely clear. Don’t try to bamboozle us with semantics, because I think that any intelligent and honest person reading about it, or hearing McMurrin’s testimony about it cannot mistake the meaning of what was said, just as any intelligent person reading president hinckley’s words know what he means.

  33. I find that offensive. Its enough to say that you don’t agree with me and that I don’t agree with you. Why don’t you just state that?

  34. While it is true that Hinckley did not believe in organic evolution, it is also true that the church does not take an “official” position on the subject. Even if it did, that would not change the reality of evolution. The truth is what it is and popular opinion or voting cannot change it. It is unimportant what Hinckley or McKay or Smith or whoever said about evolution. Their opinions do not change or influence reality.

    It is interesting that the “one true church” whose gospel contains “all truth” cannot even tell us where our species came from. This leads me to start to ask some questions.

    Why do the brotheren refuse to take a stand on the subject?

    Is it not important for us to know if Genesis is literal or figurative, and if it is literal how it fits in with the evidence that we do have?

    If the fall of Adam is as important as we teach, do we not need to know if he was a real historical figure?

    If we as a species have existed for 200,000 years or so, why did God only decide to reveal himself to us in the last 6,000 years after ignoring us for the previous 194,000?

  35. “As you yourself said, “any intelligent person” would know.”

    That wasn’t implying that I had more intelligence than you. That was implying that I am saying that my idea that I was putting forth is what is called “common sense” whereas your idea is “spin”. That wasn’t an attack on your intelligence.

  36. Bob H –

    “Why do the brotheren refuse to take a stand on the subject?”

    Personally, I don’t think they know one way or the other. Some may not agree with that, but that’s my opinion.

    “the “one true church” whose gospel contains “all truth””

    It does? I thought we had a long ways to go… that there is still all sorts of things we’ll learn, and new things to be revealed. I don’t know where you got this idea from. Perhaps from truth as it directly relates to salvation, maybe?

    It doesn’t completely answer everything, but a nice little book on the subject is “Mormonism and Evolution: The Authoritative LDS Statements.”

  37. “Why do the brotheren refuse to take a stand on the subject?”

    Why should they, when its the job of biologists to tell us these facts? It is not a “gospel” subject per se. It is enough to know that we were created by God. God never told us how it happened. Thats why the whole thing with the Adam from dust and Eve from a rib is in the scriptures. Because it is something that the scriptures don’t teach plainly. Brigham Young taught that we were descended literally from the bodies of Heavenly Parents. This is my belief. That doesn’t mean that I’m committed to that belief to the point that I would bet money on it or anything. It isn’t an issue to me that I lose sleep over. And I think it is probably the same with people who are just trying to run the church that are regular men who have the keys to lead. They dont concern themselves with things that in all reality are trivia.

  38. “I thought we had a long ways to go… that there is still all sorts of things we’ll learn, and new things to be revealed.”

    Very true. I was being somewhat facecious.

    Still, this is an important subject in our times and culture. One only needs to look at the actions of the Dover, PA school board, or the creation museums being built to see the growing “attack on science” movement. This is a very confusing issue to many people and some light and revelation on the subject would be nice to have. Why should Gods one true church be silent on the issue?

  39. Re: facetious – Yeah, it’s hard to tell that online sometimes. Kind of like the post here. I thought Jamie actually thought we should boycott the movie at first. 🙂

    As for the “creation museums” that ignore science, well, that scares me a little, as does trying to teach creationism in a science class. As a theory, maybe, or in a religion class, but as science?

    So, I see your point.

  40. I wondered how long it would take for R. Gary to show up on this thread. Welcome, Brother.

    Your answer is the same I’ve given you previously: It’s important because too many people – inside and outside the Church – mis-state what “The Church” states about evolution. That’s all – to establish that the possibility of physical evolution of the body is left open.

    MoJim, you left out one possibility that many members believe:

    The Fall narrative is figurative and allegorical. If it refers to our pre-existence, for example, and the choice we all had to make (remain in the presence of God or leave and face all the crap of this life – ironically, by going where Lucifer had influence and power), then the verses you quoted make perfect sense (including there being no death before the Fall).

    R. Gary, I don’t feel like going the rounds on this one again with you here. What I just wrote is sufficient for this thread.

  41. Gary,
    I’m actually reading your comments differently today than I usually do—what you’re saying (unless I’m misreading) is that certain General Authorities do not believe in, and have spoken out against, evolution. If that’s your assertion, I’m with you 100%. Some certainly have. They certainly have.

    Of course, that doesn’t answer the “so what” question, but who really cares? The fact remains that some really, really, really don’t (or didn’t) like evolution.

  42. “Why do the brotheren refuse to take a stand on the subject?” Maybe it hasn’t been revealed yet, and maybe if it were it would be so easy to create life that we’d all say, “Oh, is that all?” and go start the genesis project on Mars. Then, it would be sheer chaos, cats & dogs, living together . . .

    “The fact remains that some really, really, really don’t (or didn’t) like evolution.” Since there’s no official stance, I wish they wouldn’t be outspoken on this. I really, really, really wish they would not talk about matters that neither revelation nor the public education system have illuminated for them. And I say that fully prepared to own the limits of evolutionary theory.

    Calling evolution a theory among theories doesn’t bug me, but touting creationism as an equal competing theory to be taught in public school just seems like wishful Biblical-literalist thinking. In what class would that be taught? Science? By whom? Using what text with what interpretation?

  43. I don’t think this theory is in conflict with either Genesis or Abraham.

    In Abraham 3:24, the materials mentioned in “we will take of these materials” may have been parts of a previously inhabited planet or planets upon which dinosaurs or hominids dwelt.

    Abraham 4:2, states that “the earth, after it was formed, was empty and desolate”. It still doesn’t say how it was formed, whether it was assembled from raw molecules, raw atoms, or even sub-atomic particles. Or in the other direction, it may have been assembled from fragments of pre-existing planets, or even an entire single planet upon which the fossil record was laid down.

    Like a potter taking the clay from previous pots and making a new pot.

    Genesis and Abraham start at the beginning of _our_ story, or _our_ creation, or _our_ “turn on earth”. We only know of the children of God who pertain to Adam and Eve. Not only may the Grand Council in Heaven have been attended by people pertaining to other planets of Elohim and Jehovah, it may be possible that there were previous “batches” of Heavenly Father’s children who had previous Grand Councils.

    We are told that we aren’t told about the other earth’s or other worlds, just that they exist: Moses 1:35: “But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you.”

    Did this Earth, or ball of mud, have previous inhabitants before the point of Genesis 1:1 or Abraham 3:24? I think it’s possible, because “in the beginning” is only our beginning, it is not an absolute beginning point.

  44. The Church has long prided itself on embracing all truth, no matter what its source. Impliedly, this means adjusting our beliefs in order to accommodate new truth, whether it come through revelation or the scientific method. However, as the prominent LDS leader-scientists (such as Talmage) died in the early- to mid-20th century, more conservative minds like Joseph Fielding Smith filled the vacuum of their influence. Whatever contributions he and other conservatives made to the Church, they also introduced into Mormondom a cynicism about science and intellectualism that persists to this day. Rather than adjusting pre-existing beliefs to accommodate new discoveries from the scientific field, Latter-day Saints now tend to simply discount those areas of science that don’t fit nicely into their religious worldview. This may be changing, but if it is, it’s a very gradual change.

    My current ward is full of young doctors, scientists, and graduate and professional students, yet the scorn for science and intellectualism is remarkably strong. Personally, were I in need of surgery or some medical treatment, I would hope that my doctors trusted science more than some of the doctors in my ward appear to.

    I think that, in many cases, the failure of evolution to gain traction with many Latter-day Saints is attributable to their willful ignorance of the facts. Superficially, the theory appears to contradict their religious beliefs, so they write it off without further consideration, because “revealed truth” (and their subjective interpretations of it) apparently trumps everything else. I recently read a blog post elsewhere in the blogging world in which the author, a Mormon, began by admitting that he knew very little about evolution or “Darwinism,” but then proceeded to detail why he did not believe in it. In my opinion, this is paradigmatic; many Mormons that do not accept evolution simply do not understand it.

  45. “In Abraham 3:24, the materials mentioned in “we will take of these materials” may have been parts of a previously inhabited planet or planets upon which dinosaurs or hominids dwelt.”

    I am not a scientist, but with what little I do know about evolution, this seems like an absurd explanation. There is a reason we refer to the dead things in the earth as a “fossil record.” Contrary to the beliefs of most LDS, carbon dating is not so horribly inaccurate as to be completely useless as young earth apologists would have us believe. Also, geological processes themselves are only noticeably measurable over many thousands of years, so their effect on any fossil records can give us further clues as to the real age of a particular fossil record. The evidence for how slow things happen here on earth and indeed the universe is rather overwhelming.

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  47. I have just watched this movie (from netflix) and it is as farfetched and contrived as a saturday matinee double feature from the 60’s. As a mormon, I also believe in science and believe that God used science as the means to create the earth and all that is hear. I believe in evolution because it has been proven and is a fact taught even at BYU. I also know a lot about anthropology. This movie has history truly messed up. It was fun as fiction, but fiction it was. You made the right choice by keeping the family home!

  48. Don’t boycott this movie (I haven’t seen it though) on the basis that it places man before 6000 years ago. It is a proven and accepted fact among almost all mormon theologians that the earth is about 4 billion years ago and that humanoid (or prehistoric man) lived before 6000 years ago.
    (If you really want a good book to read on the matter, read “Mormon Scientist” or “Faith of a Scientist”).
    But just because the earth is old and prehistoric man existed does not in any way affect your religious belief in a supreme creator who is your Heavenly Father and a Jesus Christ who atoned for your sins and that you lived as a spirit before you came here and you will live as a resurrected being after you die and that glories will be assigned to based on your righteousness to God’s commandments as they have been taught to you both in this life and the next. Nothing changes. It is just like everyone thought the world was going to end when Galileo said that the earth was round and orbited around the Sun. Everyone freaked and the Catholic Church put him on house arrest until his death. No that seems silly because after all was said and done, we came to find out and prove that the earth really did revolve around the sun. But you know what, nobody’s faith was weakened by that. A lot of human philosophy changed but the core of the gospel remains the same.
    The mormon religion is the perfect religion for any scientist and for the 21st century space age. We believe in studying above,beneath, and in the earth and seeing all of God’s creations. Science is trying to explain the how in the absence of the Why and religion does exact opposite. Why? Well science wants to be completely amoral and not tell you how to live your life but just give you plain facts. And religion wants to change your life to give you new and profound meaning to why we live. They are completely complementary like ying and yang. In fact, they synergize each other. When learning deep mysteries about religion, science becomes more interesting and when learning about new things in science, religion because more interesting. There are lot of gaps and neither one can really can be completely connect to earh other although they do connect on many levels. However, what’s more important between the how and the why is definately the why. So don’t lose faith when someone comes out with a new earth-shattering scientific discovery. When all is said and done, its the why that is the most important and the how is usually speculative anyway and will probably be proven wrong. In my opinion, however God wanted to create the earth and all of its creations and prepare a place fore his children could gein a mortal experience is just fine by me. It doesn’t change anything. Its interesting as a intellectual inquiry but that is about it.

  49. Actually, there are dozens of talks that the LDS prophets have given on this topic:

    President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign (CR), May 1975, p. 63:

    Now, we have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should. Our homes are not as strong unless we are using it to bring our children to Christ. Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book to expose and combat the falsehoods in socialism, organic evolution, rationalism, humanism, etc.

    Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol 1, p.79

    We have evidence beyond dispute that Adam was driven out of the Garden of Eden about 6,000 years ago, or perhaps a short time less… Both from the Bible and from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, we know that the flood came in the year 1600 from the driving of Adam out of the Garden of Eden. We know that Abraham was living in the days of Shem, son of Noah, if not in the days of Noah himself. Profane history corroborates the history of Israel and Abraham. So a man is willfully blind who would push these days back tens of thousands, much less, hundreds of thousands of years.

  50. Another talk by a Mormon leader that the age of the earth is only 6,000 years…

    Elder Orson F. Whitney, Conference Report, April 1920, p. 123

    A day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” According to our Prophet’s teachings, God gave to this planet, Mother Earth, seven thousand years as the period of “its temporal existence;” and four thousand years, or four of those great days, had passed before Christ was crucified, while nearly two thousand years, or two more days, have gone by since. Consequently, we stand at the present moment in the Saturday Evening of Time, near the close of the sixth day, at the week’s end of human history. Morning will break upon the Millennium, the thousand years of peace, the Sabbath of the World.

  51. I find this fasinating (for give the disletic spelliong please)
    I have ofthen wondered about reconsiling the two. I am not as learned as many of you. But here are my own theries and intresting enough they were devoped with out much interfeareance of formel education,Just pondering.

    The earth was gathered from previous creations. Prepared for the needs of modern man. We had to have oil in the last days. Mney thing were formed by eveloution, for God does follow since. He uses Naturl Law. I do not belive we were formed from moneys, However we share some of the same jeans. That doesn’t mean we were evolved from them. Sertainly man has phiscaly changed over the time we have been here. Envorment and naturl selection are aperent.so in that form I belive in evolutjion of man.

    How did he form Adam? Peronal, and this is my own thoughts and none else, I have wondered that mabey Heavenly Mother gave birth to Adam in the natural way. But I also belive that Eve was litrly taken from Adams rib. Or his DNA was used and was explained thus.

    We know not how long they were in the garden. Time didn’t really start for them till they left. Adam and Eave had to grow to a point of maturaty where they could think for them selfs and make choises. I think Father gave them much instrution during there time in the Garden.

    I also agree in the peiod as to pertaining to time The way it is put in the Perle of Great Price is peiod of time. Giving no spesific timeing of howlong it took to make things or living creatures.

    As for the Bretheren not speaking clearly out, I think I remeber a semonery film that dealt with the idea of man evolving from apes. It was pointed out to be incorct thinking. However it said nothing about plants and anamles. I don’t think everyting came form a ameba, and crowled out of the murky depts, I think he put basic life here and let naturl seletion and the laws of nature go forth. These are my own theries and not supported by any one else.

    thank you for reading my musings 🙂

  52. My friends, let us not take ouur selves to seriously. here is a lenk witch I think all of us should read and ponder on.
    (Lds Last Days.com
    by Joseph filding MCConkie ) June 1987
    Let us not Judize our selfs.
    his Lecture will enlighten all of us. I read this and felt that this post was compleatly described in it. Thankd you
    DJBowl

  53. “…not to begrudge existence to creatures that looked like men long, long ago, nor deny them a place in God’s affection or even a right to exaltation-for our scriptures allow them such. Nor am I overly concerned as to just when they might have lived, for their world is not our world. They have all gone away long before our people ever appeared.” -Hugh Nibley

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