A Closer Look

Section Intro Quotes

Since the Gospel embraces all truth, there can never be any genuine contradictions between true science and true religion...I am obliged, as a Latter-day Saint, to believe whatever is true, regardless of the source.


Latter-day revelation teaches that there was no death on this earth before the fall of Adam. Indeed, death entered the world as a direct result of the Fall.


4000 B.C. – Fall of Adam


More than 90 percent of all organisms that have ever lived on Earth are extinct...At least a handful of times in the last 500 million years, 50 to more than 90 percent of all species on Earth have disappeared in a geological blink of the eye.


The problem Mormonism encounters is that so many of its claims are well within the realm of scientific study, and as such, can be proven or disproven. To cling to faith in these areas, where the overwhelming evidence is against it, is willful ignorance, not spiritual dedication.

CES Letter, Page 110

Death Before the Fall

2 Nephi 2:22 and Alma 12:23-24 state there was no death of any kind (humans, all animals, birds, fish, dinosaurs, etc.) on this earth until the “Fall of Adam,” which according to D&C 77:6-7occurred about 7,000 years ago. It is scientifically established that there has been life and death on this planet for billions of years. How does the Church reconcile this?

How do we explain the massive fossil evidence showing not only animal deaths but also the extinctions of over a dozen different Hominid species over the span of 250,000 years prior to Adam?

CES Letter, p. 111

The author of The CES Letter is not trying to understand the Church's official position regarding Adam's body. It is plainly stated in many sources. God has not revealed precisely how his mortal tabernacle was created, but it may have included processes that have produced the fossil record.

Multiple Hominid Species

If Adam and Eve are the first humans, how do we explain the dozen or so other Hominid species who lived and died 35,000 – 2.4 million years before Adam? When did those guys stop being human?

CES Letter, p. 111

Neanderthal DNA Present in Adam's Descendants

Genetic science and testing has advanced significantly the past few decades. I was surprised to learn from results of my own genetic test that 1.6% of my DNA is Neanderthal. How does this fact fit with Mormon theology and doctrine that I am a literal descendant of a literal Adam and Eve from about 7,000 years ago? Where do the Neanderthals fit in? How do I have pre-Adamic Neanderthal DNA and Neanderthal blood circulating my veins when this species died off about 33,000 years before Adam and Eve?

CES Letter, Page 111

DNA is fascinating. I love comparing where my heritage came from. The church doesn't take a stand on how Adam and Eve's body came to be or when it came to be. Some BYU biologists feel that Evolution was the natural process the Lord used to create our physical bodies.

Discredited Claims

Other events/claims that science has discredited:

  • Tower of Babel: (a staple story of the Jaredites in the Book of Mormon)
  • Global flood: 4,500 years ago
  • Noah's Ark: Humans and animals having their origins from Noah’s family and the animals contained in the ark 4,500 years ago. It is scientifically impossible, for example, for the bear to have evolved into several species (Sun Bear, Polar Bear, Grizzly Bear, etc.) from common ancestors from Noah’s time just a few thousand years ago. There are a host of other impossibilities associated with Noah’s Ark story claims.

CES Letter, p. 111