Ah, so it's externally determined based upon what others think?
Have you gotten complaints from the kids' parents? Tell them they can teach it -- that should help quiet things down.
Sounds like you should be teaching more science if that's the response.slavereeno wrote: ↑Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:47 amI have taught a little about relativity and the big bang. My co-teacher "explained" to me that the big bang violated the law of conservation of matter so it was obviously out, and that God organized already existing matter to create the universe. I was about to ask him if the earth was flat or round, but I was afraid of the answer I would get.
(You may well understand the following already, but I wanted to ramble on about it a little bit.)
There isn't actually a law of conservation of matter. The best known equation in science, Einstein's E = m * c^2, is about as simple a refutation as possible. Mass and energy have an equivalence and can be converted from one to the other. As the Wikipedia article states,
Your co-teacher needn't worry that such a significant detail has eluded the physicists who have studied cosmology and the origins of the universe. As proposed, the Big Bang Theory doesn't violate the law of conservation of mass and energy. It's all there, at that instant of creation, just packed into an extremely dense, extremely high energy clump. From a scientific perspective, the Big Bang Theory is extremely unsatisfying, as it adamantly refuses to provide any explanation as to what happened before or at that momentary instant.Matter is not perfectly conserved
The principle of matter conservation may be considered as an approximate physical law that is true only in the classical sense, without consideration of special relativity and quantum mechanics. It is approximately true except in certain high energy applications.
A particular difficulty with the idea of conservation of "matter" is that "matter" is not a well-defined word scientifically, and when particles that are considered to be "matter" (such as electrons and positrons) are annihilated to make photons (which are often not considered matter) then conservation of matter does not take place over time, even within isolated systems. However, matter is conserved to such an extent that matter conservation may be safely assumed in chemical reactions and all situations in which radioactivity and nuclear reactions are not involved.
Even when matter is not conserved, the collection of mass and energy within the system are conserved.
Your co-teacher also needs to learn more about Mormon theology, as there isn't really a clear doctrine about how the universe came to be. The only thing Mormon doctrine is really certain about is that it posits the existence of a creator, who created everything. There is no clear doctrine of how the creator was created, at best Hinckley didn't know that we taught that. There is nothing about how the creator created the universe. There is nothing about whether the creator exists within the universe or outside it. The Encyclopedia of Mormonism states,
The Encyclopedia of Mormonism entry on Matter, acknowledges QM, relativity, and the laws of conservation of mass and energy and mass-energy equivalence. It disregards the notion of creation ex nihilo, which is about as clear and far as it gets in Mormon theology. It doesn't mention the Big Bang Theory directly, but nothing it says is inconsistent with it. Mormon doctrine and the Big Bang Theory agree in disregarding creation ex nihilo.The book of Abraham states that God's physical dominion (throne) is located near a star called Kolob (Abr. 3:2-3). While it might seem reasonable to suppose that this refers to some distinguishing feature of the universe, all efforts to identify it are speculative and not authoritative. Wherever Kolob is located, its purpose is to "govern" all planets that are of the same "order" as the Earth (Abr. 3:9). Since Abraham says no more than that, it is not clear whether he is speaking physically, metaphorically, or allegorically. Thus, "to govern" might mean a physical bonding as with gravity, while "order" could conceivably mean planets similar to the Earth in size, or planets in the same region of this galaxy or even in the entire Milky Way galaxy. Kolob was also said by the Egyptians to provide the light for all stars, including that for our sun (Abr. Facsimile 2). Even so, Latter-day Saints have made no definitive comment on the meaning of these passages.
Basically when it comes down to it, not knowing is the most justifiable approach, even when it comes to Mormon doctrine.