Thursday, December 24, 2009

Variations on a Theme

It can be quite frustrating when people refuse to accept science (or anything for that matter) because they fear it may not coincide with their religious beliefs. I could sit here lamenting for hours about how infuriating these types of people can be. I won’t. Instead I would like to explore why these people frustrate me.

I just graduated from BYU with a bachelors of science. During the coarse of my studies I have had the opportunity to study a variety of subjects including molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, physiology and human anatomy. Each subject is complex in its own way, with mysteries waiting to be unraveled by the inquiring student. The more time I spent with a subject the more its usefulness was magnified and the more profound its insights became. Religious people should be able to relate to this since the same thing happens with the gospel. (LDS people see Alma 32).

Understanding this, how can somebody dismiss a scientific theory without even understanding the science it is founded on? Surely not in good conscience! Obviously I am referring to evolution here, but I don’t think I need to limit it to that. It is bad for someone to dismiss anything purely out of fear stemming from not understanding. In the end, this type of attitude will damage the religion it is trying to protect.

I am almost finished reading Your Inner Fish and a line inspired me to write this quick post. Neil Subin says, “when you see these deep similarities among different organs and bodies, you begin to recognize that the diverse inhabitants of our world are just variations on a theme.” This was profound to me, but only because I have invested in discovering some of the “deep similarities” that we have with other living things.

In order to understand the conclusion you must first see the supporting data. Please, before you dismiss evolution, do your homework.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Things I Am Thankful For:

It’s Christmas time, a time where we visit family and friends, give to others in various ways, and spread Christmas cheer (yeah, I just watched Elf :-). With the spirit  of Christmas resonating in my soul, I want to take a moment and express a few of the things I am most thankful for. These are in no particular order:


  • My wife Melanie: Mel makes my life better in ways I could never have imagined before I met her. There was a line in “500 hundred days of Summer” which really struck a chord in me when one of the characters was asked whether or not his wife was the girl of his dreams. He said no, and added that he is glad she is not because there are so many things about his wife that he could never dream of and now cannot do without. That sums up Melanie for me. I have no idea how i got along without her and I am thrilled every time i discover more things about her. She makes life fun and I love her for that.


  • Brigham Young University: Gordon B. Hinckley gave a talk once called “The Widow’s Mite.” In it he discusses how blessed we are as BYU students to study for such a low cost, and how he fears more than anything that we take this experience for granted. I am about to graduate from BYU with a phenomenal cache of resume points and experiences which will prepare me for medical school. I have been blessed to have a full-tuition scholarship and tons of grant money which have enabled Melanie and I not only to graduate debt free, but with a little bit of savings as well. What an awesome University; I definitely plan on giving back in some way a few years down the road.

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  • My family: I laugh to myself when I think about all the fights I used to get into with my parents in high school. The problem back then was that i didn’t communicate with them. I am grateful that this is no longer the case. I call my parents all the time now, confide with them about my problems and fears, and receive great advice. They are great in-laws for Melanie and will be great grandparents (when that time comes ;-). Devan has always been close to me and I consider him my best friend. Nothing like going to one of his comedy shows, watching a good Lakers game, or giving him a hard time about not being married. Emily is one of the sweetest people in the world, up there with Mel. I’m glad she is my only sister. Freeman and Gavin are growing up fast. They are both going to do great things in life, both in the Church and in the world. Family is awesome.

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  • Melanie’s family: I couldn’t ask for a better mother- or father-in-law. Peter is stored in the same compartment in my mind as Indiana Jones. He is constantly looking for adventure and tries to bring us along for the ride. I have been most impressed with his testimony of Christ’s gospel. Many little things about the way he acts stand as a witness to me that he knows Christ. Luckily, he instilled much of this into Mel’s personality as well. One word that describes Toni is compassionate. She seems to live her life in the constant service of others. When i met Mel something that stood out to me was her unconditional love for everyone. When I met Toni I discovered where Mel got that from. Both Mel’s mom and Dad are dear to me.

These are a few things I am grateful for. I encourage everyone to take some time and express gratitude for things in your life.

Leia Mais…