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About MrShorty

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  1. I found this Wikipedia article about "age of consent" to be informative. There's a link to an additional article on "marriageable age" that -- I thought -- adding some clarification and confusion because marriageable age and age of consent are not exactly the same thing. But, I think the conclusion is still the same. In the US in the 19th century, such a monogamous marriage would not have been scandalous. Maybe uncommon, but not scandalous.
  2. @Carborendum You are correct, this is more of an expression of general human nature than something specifically "Christian". It just seems like we as Christians don't necessarily rise above our human nature any more than non-Christians. It just seems disappointing sometimes.
  3. I wish I knew what to do about that, but I don't. Christianity often seems filled with divisions and intolerance for heterodox and heretical viewpoints. I don't know how to get broader Christianity to agree with us or to accept us as a Christian variant or even how to erase other divisions within the body of Christ. Most of the time I just try to focus on myself and let God worry about the rest of Christendom.
  4. My thoughts -- and I don't know that they are coherent, because I'm not sure how well I understand the whole issue. 1) How are we defining pedophilia? Some say that a rigorous definition is "sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children". Others (especially in the 21st century) will tie it to age of consent or age of majority. The two most prominent "very young" of Joseph's wives are Helen Mar Kimball (married at 14) and Fanny Alger (16). Among Joseph's plural wives were a few rather young (by 21st century standards -- remember that age of consent when it existed in the 19th century was much younger than age of consent in our day) women. 2) Why use inflammatory words like "pedophilia" for this? The topic is difficult enough as it is, without "alleged trolls" entering the discussion brandishing inflammatory words like "pedophile" and claims that Joseph did it all for sexual conquest and such. Brandishing such language often indicates that the "troll" (alleged) is more interested in a fight than in honest discussion of a difficult topic. 3) I agree with @NeuroTypical that a study of history is the place to start. The "Saints" series is well written. In addition, there are several (like Brian and Linda Hales) who have done a lot of research into the Church's 19th century practice of polygamy. Someone who honestly wants to understand -- even if they end up judging that Joseph was "wrong" to implement and practice polygamy the way he id -- will be well served to study the history. Find out what is known, what is not known, and which allegations cannot be proven/disproven with the current evidences. Without delving into the details of the discussion, those are my initial thoughts. It can be a difficult topic that can easily turn into an ugly fight. I think most of us on this forum are not interested in an ugly fight, if that is the only reason for bringing up the topic. For someone who really wants to understand, there is a lot that has been written from a lot of different viewpoints, and some of it is difficult -- especially to our 21st century sensibilities.
  5. MrShorty

    Return to Church Guidelines

    In a top down Church, more than anything I think it was very public permission from the top for individual areas (within local guidelines) to start resuming public church meetings. In a top down church, the top has to speak so everyone knows their local authorities have permission to invite people back to church.
  6. @Fether Probably. Because we all know that the final, defining characteristic of apostates is the gullibility to push a button that says, "press if you are apostate".
  7. I'm sure that somewhere, someone would call me an apostate.
  8. I can kind of agree that most of Church resources unfortunately seem to steer people away from evolutionary theory, and I think it is because we have this false dichotomy in our collective heads -- that evolutionary theory cannot be gospel-centric. I don't know why published Church materials seem so reluctant to give any kind of nod towards theistic evolution, but there are plenty of us who believe in evolution without undercutting the pillars of creation.
  9. One scriptural addition (since there is enough concordism in this thread to not feel too bad about adding one). Genesis 2:7 (KJV) -- "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground..." Suggesting that man at least could have "evolved" (evolved and formed being essentially synonyms here) from rocks. Are we the only living things with a connection to rocks?
  10. This got me to thinking -- let me see if I can explain. The main objection to evolution here is that it must be "limited" in some way. But, we have had difficulty defining those boundaries across which life cannot evolve. I recall my own progression from creationist who didn't believe in cross-"type" evolution to now and, I think a good way of expressing that process is one of breaking down those barriers. Dogs and cats have to be a different type gives way to Mammalian carnivores probably have a common ancestor. Horses and cows have to be different gives way to ungulates probably have a common ancestor. Ungulates and whales must be different types gives way to whales and ungulates are common Reptiles, birds, and mammals must be different types gives way to reptiles, birds, and mammals seem to have a common reptilian ancestor. Vertebrates and Invertebrates must be different types gives way to Vertebrates may be descended from invertebrates. Humans must be a special creation separate from everything else gives way to humans and apes seem to have a common ancestry And so on.... It's probably not an exact description of the history of the science, but it seems like a reasonable explanation of the science to be, starting with the idea that microevolution occurs, but there must be boundaries between different "types", and the development of the science kind of feels to me like breaking down those evolutionary boundaries between assumed types. I went further in my thought train to include the idea that, if creationists are correct and there must be some hard boundaries that prevent one type from evolving into another type, then creationists could be (are) pursuing research to identify those boundaries. Such research will rely on fossil, anatomical, DNA, etc. (just as standard evolutionary theory, so it's probably not a good idea to broadly reject the types of evidence evolutionary biologists use). The problems will be the same as evolutionary biology runs into (spotty fossil records, speculation and extrapolation, and so on). However, just maybe when all is said and done, the reconciliation of evolutionary biology and creation biology is to identify the hard boundaries between types. My own unprofessional interpretation is that there are no apparent hard boundaries between types (vertebrates and invertebrates could conceivably be the same "type" or descend from the same "seed" organisms, same for plants and animals, etc.). Just a thought -- may need to think more on it.
  11. So, it isn't so much that evolutionists fail to present evidence for their theory, it's that creationists reject the evidence that has been presented. I suppose the thing that we disagree on is why fossil evidence can or cannot be used as evidence for macroevolution. Wikipedia has a fairly extensive summary article on the evidences for evolution. It includes evidence from the fossil record. I would like to note that I have mostly enjoyed this discussion, as it has mostly avoided the worst of the contentions that often bring more heat than light to this debate. I don't expect either side to convince the other in a lowly forum like this, but it is nice for once to have the debate go on without accusations of apostasy or similar.
  12. Up until now, I did not like the term "theistic evolution" because it implied that we were only talking about life on earth. You have shown me that the term theistic evolution can encompass all of that. With the caveat that my cosmology likely does not reduce down to simple yes/no answers to each of those simple questions, I would answer yes to most of that as a simple summary. I waffle between a view where God pushes the right buttons, pulls the right levers, enters the right constants, and presses "GO" and then let's the evolution play out with minimal to no further intervention or a view with Him getting the process started and then constantly shepherding the process along towards His goals (without looking to us like it is trending towards a specific set of goals). At this point, we are back to @Carborendum's question of what a "type" is and where we draw the line between micro and macro evolution. We talked about horses, and maybe called that microevolution from eohippus to modern horses. But horses are also classed as odd-toed ungulates, along with tapirs and rhinos. Evolutionary biologists would say that all odd-toed ungulates share a common ancestor. In your view, does that make them the same "type"? Is this evidence of microevolution or macroevolution? I introduced whales, which are said to be evolved from land based even-toed ungulates, and even-toed and odd-toed ungulates all share a common ancestor. Does that mean that horses and rhinos and cows and giraffes and camels and hippos and whales are all the same "type" and evidence of microevolution? Where do we draw a line (however vague) between "types" and/or between micro and macro evolution? If I understand the stories correctly, Joseph Fielding Smith and Dr. Henry Eyering had at least one "meeting" to talk about radiometric dating, and they both failed to convince the other of accuracy/inaccuracy of radiometric dating. As near as I can tell, there are examples of "outliers" like you describe, but there don't seem to be enough of these outliers to convince very many in the field that the entire principle of radiometric dating is flawed. As near as I can tell, these kind of examples have convinced them that care must be taken in performing the measurements (to avoid sample contamination, etc.) to get them right, but the theory is still considered sound and these kinds of examples are outliers that likely include some element of careless or incorrect methodology. I get the impression that it will take a lot of "outlier" data to convince the establishment that radiometric dating is fundamentally flawed.
  13. @ldsguy422 A couple of years ago, I recall pulling up that particular lesson in the OT institute manual interested in a variant of the OP's question -- were/are the authors in the Church's curriculum department open to theistic evolution. I was a little surprised when I saw that the lesson in question gave equal air time to the question of young earth creationism and old earth creationism and concluded that we don't know, but then went on -- through statements by Joseph Fielding Smith and Dr. Coffin -- to only present arguments in favor of creationism and against evolution. Even in the '80s (I believe that is when the manual in question was originally written), they should have been able to find someone (if not at BYU someone in broader Christianity -- maybe [gasp] Catholicism) who could write something to balance Coffins creationism with a theistic evolution viewpoint, but did not. I think I would be more impressed with a reference to the old OT manual if they had not seemed so biased towards creationism. I wish they had presented both sides of the creationist vs theistic evolutionist debate (much like they did the young vs. old creationism), or maybe even something like the so-called BYU evolution packet, or similar. Then I could take the manual more seriously on this topic. Some of the confusion could be, as @Vort noted in another thread, maybe we are using the term "creationism" differently than Dr. Coffin would use it -- in a way that includes theistic evolution as a type or form of creationism. However, it seems that you, like me, read this particular manual as saying that creationism does not include theistic evolution as a variant. If Vort is right, then we have not been consistent in using the term creationism to include theistic evolution. All that said, though, I think the now outdated OT manual you cite is evidence that some in the Church curriculum department were not open to theistic evolution in their day (as noted, I think it was originally published in the '80s and retired within the last few years).
  14. I'm not sure this is entirely true -- though I guess it depends on exactly what kind of observation or experience you will accept here. If we will only accept a "forward looking" observation (starting today, I observe and document a species, then monitor the variations among the descendants for a suitably long time until I decide that the descendants have diverged into 2 different "types), then let's say that we will only accept such an observation/experiment. However, I think many evolutionary biologists would point out that nature has already run this experiment many times in the past and has left the record of that experiment in the fossil record, and in the similarities and differences in anatomy and physiology, and in our DNA. These "backward looking" observations have been made and have been interpreted in light of evolutionary theory. We can reject these backward looking observations because there are too many gaps, or because they are too speculative, or because they are biased, or because we will only accept a forward looking observation, or whatever reason we want to give. But I don't think we can simply say that we have not made these observations.
  15. It's an interesting idea. Some questions that come to mind: Does this hypothesis fit better into an eternally existing static universe? How would this fit into a cosmology where the universe's age is finite (our current estimates are about 13 billion years)? Or is the idea of "eternities past" referring to time/space outside of our universe? If I assume that the idea is about transporting existing living things from one point in our universe to another, and considering the age of the universe, is it possible that we are the planet where the evolutionary processes are taking place, and that our planet will provide the "seed organisms" used to populate other planets? Is there enough time between the appearance of larger atoms (like carbon, iron, silicon, etc.) that dominate the makeup of our rocky planet in the early universe for another solar system to go through the complete process of evolution to provide the "seed organisms" for our planet? Even if there is enough time, it suggests that we are only one or two generations after the initial, but I still wonder if maybe we are the first. Of course, a lot of that assumes the universe is self-contained and we are products of this universe. What are the implications if we are transplants from outside of the universe?