The prestige of science rested on shocking oversimplifications
and elaborate tautologies.
"Before Adam," CWHN 1:58* * * * * * * *
Science represents a high court from whose judgment there is
no appeal, the idea (Freud expresses it in his The Future of Illusion) . . . that all other
judgments are outmoded traditions; [that] the judges are free from prejudice
and bias, and above petty personal interests, if they let the facts speak for
themselves; that they suspend all judgment until all the facts have been
gathered; that they proceed cautiously and carefully, step by step, making no
mistakes, no guesses, never accepting a proposition until it is proven; that to
question such a judge is an affront to his dignity and to his high office; that
the judges never guess but always know; that they make no pronouncements until
they have proven and verified everything; that they begin their investigations
by accumulating facts with completely open minds, neither selecting or
eliminating as they go; that their procedures and conclusions are in no way colored
by any previous experience. That they never trust anything to luck and rarely
make mistakes; that their accumulated decisions of the past compose a solid and
reliable body of tested and proven knowledge called science; that by following
the instructions and example of the judges, our civilization can emancipate
itself from the darkness of ignorance; that to accept the decision of the
judges as definitive is the mark of an intellectual person; that the knowledge
of the judges is so deep and specialized that it cannot be put into ordinary
language or understood by the layman but [that] science is a necessary domain
of highly specialized experts and so forth. . . .
every one of these propositions is completely false.
"Fact and Fancy in the Interpretation of Ancient
Records," 6-7* * * * * * * *
We have all grown up in a world nurtured on the comfortable
Victorian doctrine of uniformitarianism, the idea that what happens in this
world is all more of the same: what lies ahead is pretty much what lies behind,
for the same forces that are at work on the earth today were at work in the
same manner, with the same intensity and the same effects at all times past and
will go on operating inexorably and irresistibly in just the same way forever
hereafter. There is no real cause for alarm in a world where everything is
under control beneath the watchful eye of science as evolution takes its
undeviating forward course, steady, reliable, imperceptibly slow and gentle,
and gratifyingly predictable.
"Genesis of the Written Word," CWHN 12:451* * * * * * * *
What kind of science is it that bases its theories on
evidence not yet discovered? . . . Our great and thrilling detective drama
begins by telling us who did it, right at the beginning, and then expects us to
wait around with bated breath while the detective brings the evidence.
"Before Adam," CWHN 1:57* * * * * * * *
Science without religion, like philosophy without religion,
has nothing to feed on. . . . It is my contention that any branch of human
thought without religion soon withers and dies of anemia.
"Science Fiction and the Gospel,"
CWHN 12:519* * * * * * * *
The greatest scientist [Newton] and the greatest scholar
[Scaliger] were not humanists at all but always looking for something beyond,
always going back again and again to Genesis and Revelation.
"Humanism and the Gospel," 3* * * * * * * *
It's sad to think how many of those telling points [of
evolution] that turned some of our best students away from the gospel have
turned out to be dead wrong!
"Before Adam," CWHN 1:57* * * * * * * *
When the scientist leaves his closed system and starts
talking in eschatological terms, he is exceeding his authority, going beyond
the bounds which science proudly sets for all who would play the game according
to her rules. Only faith enjoys the luxury of being open-ended.
"Sophic and Mantic," CWHN 10:339* * * * * * * *
In . . . a perspective of eternity, the stock questions of
controversy between science and religion become meaningless. When did it all
begin? Can you set a date? Were there ever human-like creatures who did not
belong to the human race? (There still are!) How old is the earth? the
universe? How long are they going to last? What will we do in heaven forever?
is settled yet, not only because the last precincts are never heard from in
science—and their report always comes as a shocker—but because we
are far from getting the last word in religion either. For us the story remains
open-ended—at both ends—in a progression of beginnings and endings
without beginning or end, each episode proceeding from what goes before and
leading to the next. The absolutes of the University of Alexandria to which the
Doctors of the Christians and the Jews were completely in the thrall from the
fourth century on simply do not exist for Latter-day Saints. Instead of that,
they have a much bigger book to study; it is time they were getting with it.
"The Expanding Gospel," in Nibley on the
Timely and the Timeless, 22* * * * * * * *
Having renounced all traffic with Religion, the Scientist
proceeds to devote hundreds of hours to giving public lectures on "Science
and Religion." This is an interesting paradox:
secret of the Scientist's superiority and success is that he pays strict
attention to the problem at hand; limiting himself to the laboratory situation,
he rejects all else as extraneous and irrelevant.
means that the problem at hand is everything that counts.
that is so, nothing else counts—Science is all in all.
Science alone can give the answers to the ultimate problems of life.
the ultimate problems of life are exactly what Science must renounce in order
to be Science!
a scientist to talk of, for example, "The Relationship between Science and
Religion" is as meaningless as for him to lecture on "The Place of
the Supernatural in the Laboratory,"—and for the same reason. His
function as a scientist rules out any consideration of
either. The greatest chemist alive knows no more about Man's Origin and Destiny
than anybody else does.
scientist readily admits that he was wrong yesterday, but
dogmatically insists that he is right today. We can believe him
when he says he was wrong, but can we believe him when he says he is right
today? He said that yesterday, too: Science cannot be
self-correcting until it knows the correct answers. But as
long as it is progressing, the answers will be changing—Science is not
self-correcting but self-rebuking.
"G-2 Report, No. 2," 4-5 * * * * * * * *
Until the final returns are in, no one is in a position to
make final pronouncements; and as long as science continues to progress, the
final returns will remain at the other end of a future of wonders and
surprises. In the world of things, we must forever keep an open mind, because
we simply don't know the answers.
we are not claiming that because science does not have the ultimate answers,
religion does have them. What we do claim is that the words of the prophets
cannot be held to the tentative and defective tests that men have devised for
them. Science, philosophy, and common sense all have a right to their day in
court. But the last word does not lie with them. Every time men in their wisdom
have come forth with the last word, other words have promptly followed.
last word is a testimony of the gospel that comes only by direct revelation.
Our Father in Heaven speaks it; and if it were in perfect agreement with the
science of today, it would surely be out of line with the science of tomorrow.
Let us not, therefore, seek to hold God to the learned opinions of the moment
when he speaks the language of eternity.
"The Prophets and the Open Mind," CWHN 3:134