Evolution and BYU


From the 1954 publication of Doctrines of Salvation by Joseph Fielding Smith: 1

Again I repeat, no man can consistently accept the doctrine of the evolutionist and also believe in the divine mission of our Redeemer. The two thoughts are in absolute conflict. You cannot harmonize them and serve both masters.


If life began on the earth, as advocated by Darwin, Huxley, Haeckel (who has been caught openhanded perpetrating a fraud), and others of this school, whether by chance or by some designing hand, then the doctrines of the Church are false. Then there was no Garden of Eden, no Adam and Eve, and no fall. If there was no fall; if death did not come into the world as the scriptures declared that it did — and to be consistent, if you are an evolutionist, this view you must assume — then there was no need for a redemption, and Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, and he did not die for the transgression of Adam, nor for the sins of the world. Then there has been no resurrection from the dead! Consistently, logically, there is no other view, no alternative that can be taken. Now, my brethren and sisters, are you prepared to take this view?

Excerpt from a BYU Syllabus, Evolutionary Biology: Biol 420-01, Winter 2011:  2

“Evolutionary Biology is our senior-level “capstone‟ course in the life science core curriculum. This “capstone‟ status reflects the fact that evolution is conceptually the single most important biological discipline as measured by its ability to tie together all other fields of biology. Without the unifying framework of evolution, the biological sciences would exist as a set of isolated, specialized fields. Indeed, Theodosius Dobzhansky was right when he said that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” More recently, the National Academy of Sciences has stated that evolution is “the most important concept in modern biology, a concept essential to understanding key aspects of living things” (1998). Given this importance, it is not surprising to find that our class is filled by students with majors spanning the full realm of the biological sciences. What then is it that makes evolution the great unifying concept of biology? The purpose of this class is to help you answer that very question!”