Best way to get revelation.

As I grew up, my impression was always that this reflected the general attitude of the Church towards science:

Every discovery in science and art, that is really true and useful to mankind, has been given by direct revelation from God, though but few acknowledge it. It has been given with a view to prepare the way for the ultimate triumph of truth, and the redemption of the earth from the power of sin and Satan. We should take advantage of all these great discoveries, the accumulated wisdom of ages, and give to our children the benefit of every branch of useful knowledge, to prepare them to step forward and efficiently do their part in the great work. [Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, pg. 369, 31Aug 1862].

I'm not sure if I ever heard this particular quote, but I often heard the sentiment.

If scientific discovery is revelation, it is interesting then to note that since Joseph Smith's time the overwhelming majority of revelation has come through scientists rather than prophets, since very little actual revelations have happened since that time but an enormous amount of scientific discovery has.

The irony is, about 60% of scientists are atheist or agnostic. But not all scientists are created equal. Most scientific breakthroughs come from the relatively few great scientists at the top of their feild. The National Academy of Sciences (Nas) represents the cream of the crop. About ten percent of their members have earned a nobel prize and there are few greater honors a scientist can receive than to be elected to the Academy. So these are the people who, according the views expressed in the quote above, are most in tune to with inspiration, more than anyone else they recieve 'direct revelation from God'. So the irony is increased when considering that, among members of the NAS only 7% actually believe in God. A few more are agnostic, about 20% and the rest disbelieve entirely. Does that mean according to Lds standards that believing in God is actually a hindrance to revelation? At the very least, not believing in God doesn't stop one from revelation and even revieving more than Church leadership itself.


Lincoln Cannon said...

Chris, that's an interesting observation. I think most atheists are rejecting understandings of God that I don't believe in anyway. This might interest you:

Lincoln Cannon said...

Oops. Here's the link: http://lincoln.metacannon.net/2012/09/evolving-gods-and-richard-dawkins.html

Chris Almond said...

Hey, I've been updating my blog via a iphone app and (probably because I am not using it correctly) I hadn't seen your comments! I just now logged in on a computer and here they are! Anyway, thank you very much, I will check out your link!