Friday, June 19, 2009

The Gospel vs. Science - Automatic Victory?

So I was listening to a talk on the radio the other day... it had the feel of a BYU devotional or CES fireside. I don't know who the speaker was, but they quoted (I hate when people do this, so I'm trying to track down the quote) Elder Maxwell on the subject of conflicts between science and religion. He said something about how the gospel embraces all truth, and that true science never conflicts with the gospel.
The speaker then went on to point out that our understanding of science is limited, but that the eternal gospel is unlimited. That, for him, when there is a conflict, it doesn't bother him for they will one day be reconciled.
All well and good. But here's my problem with the idea: While it's true that our knowledge of science (both individually, and collectively) is quite limited and imperfect. And it is true that the eternal gospel is limitless and complete and perfect. But, since when did we believe that our understanding of the gospel is complete and perfect? We don't! Continuing revelation is not just about establishing new quorums of Seventy and calling new Apostles. It's about revealing the Christ didn't, in person, actually go to the spirits in Prison, despite the fact that the Bible says he did. It's about eternal damnation not really meaning damnation of an eternal duration, but rather of an Eternal kind (being God's - where one of His chosen names is Eternal).
So revelation has, can, and will continue to change our understanding of the doctrines of the Eternal Gospel. So why, when a conflict arises, is there an automatic victory for the currently held belief in the church? Isn't it just as likely (ok, maybe the odds are not the same. They could be higher or lower) that the prophet will later reveal a change as it is that the scientific evidence will be overturned by newer research?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Future of Medicine

I was having an interesting conversation the other day with a Family Practice doc. He works in a rural community. He's one of those docs who does everything. He takes care of pregnant women, delivers their babies, takes care of the kids, and all the way up to the elderly in a nursing home. And he's struggling to make ends meet. It just really got me thinking about Obama's new socialized medicine plans. There's pretty much no way I can see that having an optional national healthcare plan will work in the long run. I think that if we are going to offer this plan to people, more and more companies are going to stop their health plans, or at least cut back on them. The program will just keep growing and growing. And here's the deal... some people think you can pay for this by (at least in part) cutting payments to doctors.
And here's what's going to happen. There are going to be more and more docs who decide that taking care of Medicare/aid (and whatever this new program will end up being called) patients is just too big of a hastle. I've talked to him a bit about how much trouble he has already, with medicare being one of the worst reimbursers out there. There will come a point, and I think that's going to be just as all these baby boomers are suddenly needing all this healthcare, when a decent number of docs are simply going to say, no thanks. Cash only, please. (or maybe private insurance if it's still around)
And then what are we going to do?

By the way, sorry about the delay. Finals, internships, moving, etc have really kept me from getting anything put up here.