What do Mormons Believe About Evolution?

First off, it’s helpful to define what is meant by the term “evolution”. If, by “evolution”, we’re talking about the process of natural selection by which species change due to certain members having advantageous traits, then yes, I think it’s safe to say most, if not all, Mormons believe in evolution. However, if evolution means do we believe that human beings descended from apes then no, Mormons generally don’t believe in that kind of evolution (although I know there are some out there who do).

There’s also the question of whether those Mormons who believe in natural selection believe that all existing species descended from green algae vs. being placed on earth in some other way by God. My guess would be that 99% of Mormons haven’t thought about it since it doesn’t affect our theology one way or the other.

In fact, whether or not Adam and Eve were descendants of apes or green algae doesn’t really affect our theology either. I do believe Adam and Eve existed and that all humans are their descendants, and I don’t believe Adam and Eve were descendants of apes or cavemen or anything like that, but if they were, so what? It doesn’t change anything for me so I don’t care. It’s interesting to think about the various possibilities, and I’m curious to know exactly how it all came about, but whether it’s one or the other doesn’t make that much of a difference to me.

Comments

  1. Quick clarification, modern phylogenetics does not place humans in the line of decent of green algae. Although they share a common ancestor (like all life does) that would look much closer to green algae than humans (a primitive eukaryote) it is a misnomer that we are their descendants.

    Thank you.

  2. Accepting natural selection, but NOT accepting that natural selection applies to primates and therefore to us means that you and Mormons like you believe that human beings were created in a miraculous way? Since our genes are so very similar to those of Chimpanzees and Bonobos, and since we have a record of a number of fossil species that were even closer to us– at least in terms of their skeletons– I'm assuming that you must believe that your deity created human beings from the apes. The paleontology suggests strongly that there were several steps in the evolutionary process. First from australopithecine apes to the very earliest forms of humans, such as homo habilis around 2.1. million years ago. Secondly, from one of those early hominins to Homo Erectus, a long lived species that most certainly had to be in our ancestry. Homo Erectus has left us quite a few fossils, and is clearly "human" but with a smaller brain than ours. This species persisted from 1.8 million years ago to perhaps 300,ooo years ago. Thirdly, from Homo Erectus, through a possible inbetween and not yet known species, similar to Homo Antecessor, to Modern Humans, an event that took place somewhere around 200,000 years ago. That offers either 3/4 separate miraculous interventions by a creative deity, or a normal evolutionary development crowned by a single miraculous intervention– presumably that which produced us, modern humans. Wondering, where you and Mormons like you might fall on that spectrum of belief.

  3. You think you came from a monkey be my guest!! You are a fool!!! People like you make me sick. Go visit your family at the zoo!!!!!!

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