Mormons need not shy away from evolution, says BYU biologist

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Salt Lake LDS Temple in January 2018.

They believe in “eternal progression,” for example, and that the universe was organized from pre-existing matter, Steven L. Peck told a packed audience Thursday on the Utah Valley University campus. Those are ideas embraced by evolutionary biologists, too.

“The relationship between science and religion has been among the most fiercely debated issues since the Copernican Revolution displaced traditional wisdom regarding the nature of the cosmos,” program director Brian Birch said in his opening remarks. “Some have argued for a sharp division of labor while others have sought to harmonize spiritual and empirical truths.”

A Pew Forum poll from a decade ago show that 21 percent of Latter-day Saints agreed with the statement that “evolution is the best explanation for life on Earth.” In 2014, however, another Pew survey found nearly 50 percent believed in some form of evolution.

Peck, who has written several books, including “Science the Key to Theology,” was almost gleeful as he addressed the relationship between science and Mormon doctrines.

A few days after he and his wife married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple, they traveled to Seattle for a reception in his bride’s hometown. As they were returning to the Beehive State, their car was hit by a drunken driver. Both barely survived. For six weeks, their jaws were wired shut.

“As I hobbled around on my cane, I wondered what happened,” Peck said. “We did everything right and it was supposed to work out. Nothing made sense.”

After reading the words of the late Eugene England, an influential Mormon writer who died in 2001, Peck became convinced that such tragedies are not only possible but also an essential part of existence.

There certainly are surprises in the development of complex structures, he said. “Things that occur on one level — like DNA mutations — are truly random. And they can bubble up to the macro world.”

In response, life “organizes networks to manage this universe,” he said. “There is genuine novelty in this process. We see surprises being mothered into the universe. … We see it everywhere — rocks, strata and developmental processes.”

“There’s no direction in evolution; it is not trying to get somewhere,” Peck said. “The universe is making itself up as it goes along.”

“God is nothing,” Peck quoted Bergson as saying, “if conceived of as external to or separate from this course of events.”

“A plan of no agency would require a deterministic universe, where God sits above time and broods over an endless loop where nothing new ever occurs,” he said. “Like a ‘Gilligan’s Island’ rerun on loop forever.”

As a scientist, Peck said, he was struck by “a universe brimming with dynamic flows of energy and material, a universe of objects, hills and processes that advances with ebbs and flows, with randomness, chaos and order.”

The struggle for existence is paramount but should not lead humans into despair, Peck said, because they are “joined in a confederation of love … in relationship with each other and with God.”

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Trump’s $4.4 trillion budget moves deficit sharply higher

(Susan Walsh | The Associated Press) The President’s FY19 Budget is on display after arriving on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018.

Washington • President Donald Trump unveiled a $4.4 trillion budget for next year that heralds an era of $1 trillion-plus federal deficits and — unlike the plan he released last year — never comes close to promising a balanced ledger even after 10 years.

The growing deficits reflect, in great part, the impact of last year’s tax overhaul, which is projected to cause federal tax revenue to drop. And Monday’s budget submission does not yet reflect last week’s two-year bipartisan $300 billion pact that wholly rejects Trump’s plans to slash domestic agencies.

Tax revenue would plummet by $3.7 trillion over the 2018-27 decade relative to last year’s “baseline” estimates, the budget projects. Trump is requesting a record $686 billion for the Pentagon, a 13 percent increase from the 2017 budget enacted last May.

In remarks Monday, Trump focused on the spending increases he favors rather than the deficits he and other Republicans have pledged to reduce.

“We’re going to have the strongest military we’ve ever had, by far,” Trump said. “In this budget we took care of the military like it’s never been taken care of before.”

Also getting a boost would be border security. Trump’s budget includes money to start building 65 miles of border wall in south Texas as well as money to bring immigration jails up to a capacity of 47,000 and add 2,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees and 750 Border Patrol agents.

The spending spree, along with last year’s tax cuts, has the deficit moving sharply higher with Republicans in control of Washington. Trump’s plan sees a 2019 deficit of $984 billion, though $1.2 trillion is more plausible after last week’s budget pact and $90 billion worth of disaster aid is tacked on. That’s more than double the 2019 deficit the administration promised last year.

All told, the new budget sees accumulating deficits of $7.2 trillion over the coming decade; Trump’s plan last year projected a 10-year shortfall of $3.2 trillion.

“In one year of working together, we have laid the foundation for a new era of American greatness,” Trump said in the budget message accompanying his spending document. “America is back to winning again. A great spirit of optimism continues to sweep across our nation.”

The 2019 budget was originally designed to double down on last year’s proposals to slash foreign aid, the Environmental Protection Agency, home heating assistance and other nondefense programs funded by Congress each year.

“A lot of presidents’ budgets are ignored. But I would expect this one to be completely irrelevant and totally ignored,” said Jason Furman, a top economic adviser to President Barack Obama. “In fact, Congress passed a law last week that basically undid the budget before it was even submitted.”

In a preview of Monday’s release, the White House on Sunday focused on Trump’s $1.5 trillion plan for the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. He also is asking for a $13 billion increase over two years for opioid prevention, treatment and long-term recovery. A request for $23 billion for border security, including $18 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and money for more detention beds for detained immigrants, is part of the budget, too.

Trump would again spare Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare as he promised during the 2016 campaign. And while his plan would reprise last year’s attempt to scuttle the “Obamacare” health law and sharply cut back the Medicaid program for the elderly, poor and disabled, Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill have signaled there’s no interest in tackling hot-button health issues during an election year.

The budget also endorses a plan by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., to replace the Obama-era health law with $1.6 trillion in subsidies to states over the coming decade.

The plan also reprises proposals from last year’s Trump budget to curb crop insurance costs, cut student loan subsidies, reduce pension benefits for federal workers and cut food stamps, among other proposals.

Mick Mulvaney, the former tea party congressman who runs the White House budget office, said Sunday that Trump’s new budget, if implemented, would tame the deficit over time.

“The budget does bend the trajectory down, it does move us back towards balance. It does get us away from trillion-dollar deficits,” Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“Just because this deal was signed does not mean the future is written in stone. We do have a chance still to change the trajectory. And that is what the budget will show tomorrow,” he said.

Last year, Trump’s budget projected a slight surplus after a decade, but critics said it relied on an enormous accounting gimmick — double counting a 10-year, $2 trillion surge in revenues from the economic benefits of “tax reform.” Now that tax reform has passed, the math trick can’t be used, and the Trump plan doesn’t come close to balancing.

Trump plan also promises 3 percent growth, continuing low inflation, and low interest yields on U.S. Treasury bills despite a flood of new borrowing, underestimates the mounting cost of financing the government’s $20 trillion-plus debt. Many economists are likely to find the prospects for such a rosy scenario implausible.

The White House is putting focus this year on Trump’s long-overdue plan to boost spending on the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. The plan would put up $200 billion in federal money over the next 10 years to leverage $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending, relying on state and local governments and the private sector to contribute the bulk of the funding.

Critics contend the infrastructure plan will fail to reach its goals without more federal support. Proposals to streamline the permitting process as a way to reduce the cost of projects have already generated opposition from environmental groups.

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Salt Lake church shields Utah mom from deportation

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah mother of two who is facing deportation was about to board a plane to her native Honduras when she changed her mind and went to a church instead.

Vicky Chavez was on her way to the airport Tuesday night with her daughters, a 6-year-old and 4-month-old. She realized her home country was too dangerous for the little girls and instead moved into First Unitarian Church in downtown Salt Lake City, said Assistant Minister Monica Dobbins.

“She’ll be in the safest place that she can be,” Rev. Dobbins said. “We’re supporting her through an incredibly difficult time.”

The last-minute decision made Rev. Dobbins’ church the first in Utah to offer sanctuary to someone seeking to avoid deportation, she said. The 30-year-old mother was seeking asylum but was outpaced by her deportation case, Rev Dobbins said.

Inside the church, ministers and volunteers modified an area to create a makeshift apartment for the LDS family.

“It’s hard to live a normal life when you’re in a building that you can’t leave,” she said, but church leaders and members of the congregation were trying to make the space as normal as possible, with books, games and cozy surroundings.

Federal immigration officials have directed officers to avoid making arrests at places of worship under a “sensitive locations” policy that also pertains to schools, hospitals, rallies and weddings, among other places.

Chavez declined through a spokeswoman to speak with reporters Wednesday, but said in a statement she was fleeing upheaval in Honduras and violence in her home when she came to the U.S. in 2014.

She “has exhausted her appeals through the immigration courts,” the U.S. Customs and Enforcement Agency said in a statement Wednesday.

The federal Board of Immigration Appeals rejected Chavez’s request for a stay of deportation on Tuesday, and she was removed from an alternative-to-detention program the next day, the agency said.

The First Unitarian congregation in a recent vote approved providing sanctuary in such cases, Rev. Dobbins said, noting that other places of worship around the country also were providing sanctuary to immigrants seeking to avoid deportation.

“This is a faith issue,” she said, noting that Chavez’s looming return to Honduras would be difficult and dangerous. “We’re considering this civil disobedience to an unjust law.”

Kristin Knippenburg of Red de Solidaridad, one of the groups rallying around Chavez, agreed.

“ICE assumes that when they order these families to leave, they will do so just as quietly, just as anonymously, and we’re ensuring that isn’t the case,” Knippenburg said in a statement.

As the family settles into its temporary home, activists were seeking to reopen an asylum case for the family, said Amy Dominguez, of Unidad Inmigrante.

Under the direction of President Donald Trump, ICE has ramped up immigration enforcement, including in Utah, where high-profile cases have included parents ordered to return to Mexico and South America.

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Finding Salt Lake City Utah Housing Solutions

Are you looking for housing in Salt Lake City? If you’re trying to find a home in Utah, you’ll want to consider all of your options. Whether you choose to buy or rent, you should be able to find housing that serves your needs.

Affordability

How much can you afford to spend on housing? You should look closely at your budget so that you can determine what you can spend. It’s usually recommended that you spend no more than 30% of your income on housing.

You should also make sure you consider all of your expenses. Don’t just look at what your rent or mortgage payments will be. Look at what you’ll be paying in utilities and taxes as well. If you’ll have to cover other expenses, like the cost of a storage unit, you’ll want to look at those costs as well.

Choosing The Right Neighborhood

Not every neighborhood in Salt Lake City is the same. You’ll want to seek out a neighborhood you’ll feel safe and comfortable in. If you’re planning on using public transit, you’ll want to make sure that you’ll be able to access that without any issues.

If you don’t know Salt Lake City very well, you should take some time and try to get to know the city a little bit better. If you’re thinking about living in a neighborhood, you may want to visit that neighborhood during the weekend or at night. You’ll be able to get a better idea of what the neighborhood has to offer.

If you’re interested in finding Salt Lake City housing, you should start exploring your options now. Start looking at some of the options that are within your budget. See if you can find some choices that you’ll be able to live with.

What You Likely Did Not Know About Salt Lake Utah

Once known as the Great Salt Lake, this area has a long natural history that most do not think too much about. In just a few years the region can look very different from what it had due to droughts and the constantly changing landscape. In August of 2003 the area was vastly different from what it was five years earlier due to a drought.

While the natives were aware that there was a major change, it took seeing a satelite image to really absorb just how different it was. The image showed the difference in coloring of the lake from the norther and southern sections. These differences were primarily due to a railroad causeway built long ago, and before the water levels receded they were not noticeable to the naked eye standing at ground level.

This lake was once part of the much larger Lake Bonneville that once took up most of western Utah. That was during prehistoric times, even when dinosaurs roamed. It is now refereed to as a pluvial lake, which means that it was a basin surrounded by land that filled with rainwater over hundreds of years. This usually occurs when glaciers are developing and rain amounts are far greater than normal.

It is believed that Lake Bonneville was present in the area untill just under 20,000 years ago. Some of the lake drained through a breech near what is now known as Red Rock Pass. After the glacial period ended the remaining water from Bonneville evaporated, leaving what is now known as Salt Lake behind. It is the largest of the four major lakes that remain. The other three are Utah Lake, Rush Lake and Sevier Lake. The three largest rivers that flow into the lake are Bear, Weber and the Jordan River.

Native Americans knew well of this lake for thousands of years. It wasn’t put into written history until Escalante recorded its existance after hearing of it from natives. It was finally mapped in 1824 by a cartographer by the name of Pacheco. Finally, it was settled by Mormons looking for a fresh start free of discrimination.

Salt Lake Utah has a natural beauty that has drawn millions to its banks. Its originality in being the only inland lake that has salt water fascinates adults and children alike. The full history will never be known but that will not end the curiosity.

The Salt Lake Utah Region Is A Special Place To Live

The Salt Lake region of the state of Utah is a special place to live. While there is a common stereotype of the area being all desert and Mormons, this is a very simplified depiction of the place, which is considerably more complex than you might think at first glance.

The area is of course named for the Salt Lake, which is a remnant of a prehistoric body of water called Lake Bonneville. That was a pluvial lake that geologists say covered most of the western parts of current Utah, possibly the size of modern Lake Michigan. It was estimated to be 22,400 square miles in size, about ten times larger than the current Great Salt Lake. Lake Bonneville was around until 16,800 years ago, when much of the water got let go through Red Rock Pass in neighboring Idaho.

The modern lake has three primary tributaries in the Bear, Weber, and Jordan rivers. Cumulatively, they deposit over a million tons of various minerals into the lake annually. Other modern bodies of water that are likely survivors of Lake Bonneville include Rush Lake, Sevier Lake, and Utah Lake.

Fans and enthusiasts of fast cars know the Salt Lake flats as a place where new technologies, cars, and ideas are tested, and where land speed records occasionally fall flat. The area is also used a lot for shooting scenes of major Hollywood blockbusters. The natural areas of Utah and surrounding states are an outdoors enthusiasts paradise, with abundant opportunities for things like hiking, hunting, rafting, and skiing and snowboarding. Many golf courses are found throughout the state as well.

While predominantly Mormon, Salt Lake City itself is home to those that do not adhere to the faith, and given the very nature of the Mormon doctrine and traditions, the Mormon population is not overbearing towards those who are not members of the practice. While other religions have dictates to convert nonbelievers, Mormons are actually quite polite to their neighbors.

The city itself features plenty of things to do, from museums and nightclubs to sporting events. The National Basketball Association franchise Utah Jazz play here, hosting every other team in the league at least once. Brigham Young University and a number of other collegiate institutions join a handful of minor league franchises in providing other sports action. Cities like Ogden and Provo offer smaller, slower, quieter places to live while still having urban conveniences.

Salt Lake Utah: Information You Need

When you think about great places in the United States of America, Salt Lake Utah is an amazing area for so many different reasons. The area is a popular destination and is quite interesting to say the least. The lake is landlocked, yet it contains salty water. Not only that, but it is also the Western Hemisphere’s largest lake containing saltwater and is the largest lake contained between the Pacific Ocean the Great Lakes. The lake is fed off of a trio of tributaries. The Bear River, Weber River, and the Jordan River all work together to deposit the salt into the lake, which is roughly one million tons each year. Also known as The Great Salt Lake, the lake is what is what remains after a much larger body of water, Lake Bonneville. Lake Bonneville at one time covered almost all of western Utah. Since the lake has a long history, there are many legends about the lake and they are all quite intriguing. Today, however, it is a great place that so many people like to visit.

Visited from Antelope Island, the lake is visited quite often and is popular for its beautiful, white sandy beaches. Also, the lake’s salinity is much higher than the ocean at around 12 percent. This means that those who swim in the water can easily float. The lake is also popular for sailing and has a nice marina. Many people enjoy kayaking on the water, too. This is a great way for you to see some of the areas of the lake and Antelope Island that would otherwise be hidden. There are other reasons, too, that the lake is so great to visit, and the island is a nice place to spend some time. Whether you have a day, a week, or longer, there is much to do for those who enjoy a beautiful landscape, an interesting body of water, and spending time in nature.

As you can see, there are many reasons to visit Salt Lake Utah and there are many reasons that the lake is such an interesting place. If you are looking for a great place to visit, you should add this one to your list. If you just want to learn more about a unique body of water, don’t hesitate to learn all you can about the lake. It is interesting, unique, and fun.

Why You Should Live In Salt Lake, Utah

Are you trying to find a city in Utah to call home? If you are, you should strongly consider moving to Salt Lake City. This metropolitan area has a lot to offer.

There Are Plenty Of Jobs

If you are going to move to a new area, you will want to make sure that the area has a strong job outlook. That is something that you will be able to find in Salt Lake City. A number of Utah businesses have their headquarters here.

Whether you work in the medical industry or are searching for a position in IT, you should be able to find a job in Salt Lake. The job market here is fairly strong, and it is only going to keep growing in the future.

It’s Beautiful

When you live in Salt Lake City, you will have the chance to enjoy the city’s namesake. Salt Lake is the remnant of a prehistoric lake. Experts believe that this lake once covered a large portion of Utah.

The city itself is very well maintained. In addition to the lake, there are a number of lovely parks in the area. When you walk around Salt Lake, you will have a lot to see and enjoy. There is also a lot of entertainment in this area! Local events are held all the time.

It’s Affordable

Cost of living is a major consideration for most people that are looking for a new home. Thankfully, it isn’t particularly expensive to live in Salt Lake. While it is more expensive than rural Utah towns, you can still rent or buy here without having to spend a lot.

In addition, life in the city isn’t all that expensive. You’ll be able to find affordable groceries, and your utility costs shouldn’t be that high. You shouldn’t assume that you can’t afford to live in a place like Salt Lake. There is a very good chance that this town is more affordable than you think. You can live here even if you are on a fairly tight budget.

If you’ve been trying to find the right Utah community for you, you should definitely be taking a closer look at Salt Lake. This is a city that many people are moving to, and it is easy to see what draws them there. There is a lot of recommend Salt Lake, and it is a wonderful place to call home.

Tips For Finding Apartments In Salt Lake City

A lot more people are renting in apartments salt lake city. This means that apartments are often rented out very quickly. If you want to find an apartment in this area, you are going to have to be prepared.

Thankfully, these simple suggestions will make it easy for you to find a new home in the Salt Lake City area:

1. Figure Out What You Can Afford

Think about how much you can afford to spend on rent and bills each month. It’s typically recommended that people spend less than 1/3 of their salary on rent; try to find an apartment in that range.

Many apartments in the Salt Lake City have the cost of utilities included in their rent. If your utilities are not a part of your rent, you will have to find out how much you will be paying. Most rental companies will provide you with this information if you request it.

2. Keep A Close Eye On Listings

If someone puts up a listing on a great apartment, they are going to get responses on it right away. It is easy to see why this happens. There are a lot of people seeking apartments, and people can now look for new apartments no matter where they are.

You should make sure you pay close attention to apartment listings. You might want to install some sort of apartment-hunting app on your phone. That way, you’ll be able to look for new apartments even when you are on the go.

3. Make Sure You Rent The Right Apartment

Have you ever realized that an apartment had more problems than you realized? This sort of thing isn’t uncommon, especially when it comes to apartments that are in older buildings. A lot of people wind up with apartments that have a lot of issues.

When you go to look at an apartment, you should examine it closely. Take the time to make sure that the apartment is free of any major issues. You should also try to rent from a landlord that will take care of problems in a prompt manner.

Do you want to rent an apartment in Salt Lake City? If you do want to rent in this area, you are going to have to think about a number of things. With that said, as long as you’re prepared for the challenges ahead of you, renting an apartment shouldn’t be a problem.