Re: Mormons and science

Date: Thu Sep 26 2002 - 09:15:42 EDT

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    During my graduate school years in the evolutionary biology program at
    Washington University in St. Loius (the '90s) I knew of at least 2 students
    who came from BYU and/or were active Mormons. They were apparently given
    license to do evolutionary biology without criticism from church leaders.
    Likewise, another person in the department graduated and obtained a faculty
    position at BYU (Keith Crandall is his name). He does straight-up
    population genetics and evolutionary biology. Although I know he must
    abide by certain behavioral rules (no alcohol, etc.), he is not at all
    limited in what he can research and teach about evolutionary biology.


                         <bivalve@mail.davidson.alu To: <>
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    Mormons and science

                         09/25/02 04:22 PM

    BYU faculty are not necessarily Mormon, though they apparently have
    to agree to obey some of the external legalistic issues such as no
    caffeine or alcohol. A grad student from the lab here just
    transfered to BYU for work on evolutionary biology, neither her nor
    the professor there being Mormon. She was talking about the evasive
    tactics necessary to get coffee or beer.

    I believe there is official acceptance by the main Mormon sect of an
    old earth, though individuals may have YEC leanings. Archaeology
    would be more of a problem than evolution, although the biogeographic
    errors in the Book of Mormon would have connections to mammalian
    evolution. Comparative literary studies could also raise trouble,
    especially given the close resemblance between the Book of Mormon and
    a slightly previously published novel, in addition to Mark Twain's
    observations on its resemblance to the Bible with the good parts left

    Relatively few denominationally-affiliated schools are big enough to
    have a publication series on geology, even if they are favorably
    inclined towards geology.

          Dr. David Campbell
          Old Seashells
          University of Alabama
          Biodiversity & Systematics
          Dept. Biological Sciences
          Box 870345
          Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 USA

    That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted
    Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at
    Droitgate Spa

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