Journal of Undergraduate Research


evolution, Latter-day Saint education, science, religion


Religious Education


Church History and Doctrine


My project was designed to answer one question and ended up answering several others. The original question was: Why has so little been written on Latter-day Saint responses to evolution prior to 1909? Darwin’s Origin of Species was published way back in 1859, a full fifty years prior. Surely somebody had said something important during that time, but if so, the secondary literature passed over it in almost total silence. Although my project has undergone several shifts in emphasis since I began it, resulting in two distinct papers, both already presented, one slated for publication in the near future, this topical focus underlay them all. In my journey to fill this lacuna, I not only learned about nineteenth-century Mormon ideas on evolution and science, but about the many different ways present(ist) concerns can limit on both the questions we ask of the past as well as the range of sources (and therefore voices) we consider relevant to answering them.

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Religion Commons