Thursday, July 31, 2008

Prof. Stephen Peck's comments on evolution and Lamanite DNA issues

In light of the recent post and discussion about evolution (see the post below on the Seven Deadly Heresies, Part Two), I want to get the word out on this post by Stephen Peck, a Professor of Biology at BYU, who just posted a response to Simon Southerton's claims about Lamanite DNA issues.

Some issues raised by Southerton about the Book of Mormon and DNA stem from comments from Joseph Smith (which is considered hearsay) and by Brigham Young about things such as sun men and moon men. Peck responds:

Joseph Smith’s opinion was like that of one of many of his contemporaries. It wasn’t well-grounded scientific thinking, even given the science of the times, (Oh don’t go stamping your foot and saying John Herschel the famous astronomer believed in moon people, true enough, but he was going against majority opinion, it’s kind of like quoting Patrick J. Michaels to support the fallacy that most scientists don’t believe in global warming (and not believing in human caused climate change today is analogous to believing in moon men in the nineteenth century)), but it’s not surprising. The folks at many of the world’s observatories at the time could have given a much better take on the moon. But so what if the prophet of the restoration was not all that scientifically informed when it comes to the moon, (This despite Widtsoe’s Joseph Smith as a Scientist), or population genetics, or evolution? That was not his calling. He was called to bring about the Restoration, not investigate the natural world. Leave that to Darwin.

Accoring to Peck, comments by General Authorities extend to scientific truths such as evolution. Check out his entire post here.

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