God is dead, proclaimed Nietzsche. He was right and wrong. Following their God, traditional forms of religion have been dying, particularly in many technologically advanced, specialized and prosperous countries. Consequently, many have embraced the secularization hypothesis: religion itself is dying. That hypothesis, however, now embraced less by experts than by anti-religious voices in pop culture, is showing its age. In its place, a new hypothesis is rising: post-secularization.
News of a creationist museum using billboards featuring cartoon dinosaurs (yes, that's religious dinosaurs using cartoon dinosaurs to preach fictional dinosaurs) prompted an interesting discussion on my Google+ page regarding interpretation of the Judeo-Christian creation story. The claim was made that the LDS Church (the largest Mormon denomination, of which I am a member) teaches there was no death prior to six thousand years ago, when Adam presumably left the Garden of Eden and became mortal. While some Mormon authorities have certainly taught such ideas, I reject literal interpretations of the creation story. A preponderance of convergent evidence from geology, astronomy, biology, anthropology and history demonstrates that the Earth is billions of years old, that humans evolved from less complex life forms, and that humans and our evolutionary ancestors have been dying the whole time as part of that evolutionary process. Does that mean I reject the Judeo-Christian creation story? No. Well, it must mean at least that I take the creation story less seriously than do other Mormons? No. To the contrary, I embrace the creation story in the most Mormon way!