Mormon scientists saints religion LDS Utah study Wootton
Scientists Believe in Mormonism
An outstanding achievement of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) is the extraordinarily
high level of professionally recognized scientists born in Utah where this
church is predominant. Scientific studies over a sixty-year period by three
separate researchers of university- level academic standing have discovered and
published these facts.
The material in these pages substantiates the following findings:
(1) That Utah is the top state in per capita scientist production and has been for over 60 years;
(2) That in Utah the Mormon population produces more scientists than does the non-Mormon, proportionate to their numbers in Utah;
(3) That the Mormon scientists assert, overwhelmingly, that they are
"Strong" or "Very Strong" believers in the following three key convictions
held by Mormons:
(1) That Jesus is the Divine Son of God, the
Savior, the Messiah;
That Joseph Smith, Jr., was inspired by God in the formation of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints;
(3) And that this church has the only current authority to administer the
teachings and ordinances of Christ's restored church.
The approximate total number of these scientists who
are active and believing in the Mormon Church is 2000. This is, of course, a
very small percentage of
the total Church membership, which includes some, more or less, from the spectrum of the national population.
This data does not mean that education or any other social status indicator is needed for Latter-day Saint Church membership, conviction, or activity.
Membership comprises persons of all walks of life and races.
These facts do establish that anti-Mormon
literature, which has attacked Mormonism from its earliest beginnings, has not
prevented highly educated professional people from being strong believers in
the Mormon church. They did not find anti-Mormon arguments to be convincing.
These well-informed scientists used their broad knowledge and reasoning to
uphold the Mormon claims and counter the prejudiced half-truths and
misrepresentations used against the Mormons. Can anyone of similar ability and
desire also embrace and enjoy the truths and activities of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints? Yes.
The year 2000 update of the 60-year Utah Scientist
“Utah leads all of the states of the union in number of scientific men born there in proportion to population, it is revealed by an analysis of American Men of Science, 1938”, (Science News Letter, August 31, 1940) based on research done by Dr. Edward L. Thorndike of Columbia University for the Carnegie Foundation. The lead was forty-four percent over the second place state, Colorado. Thorndike reported his study as per capita white population, and the other studies reported here have followed this method.
In the 1949 volume Utah was still number one with a lead of thirty-two percent over the second place state, which had come to be Idaho. This study was made by the current researcher, Richard T. Wootton, (now Arizona State University Professor Emeritus). For the 1962 Volume Dr. H. E. Zabel of Minnesota found Utah still to be the first place state, again with a large margin over Colorado, which had moved to second place.
For the 1990 volume, American Men and Women of Science, Dr. Wootton did the research (by CD-ROM of the volume plus the facilities of the database search engine DIALOG, which he also used on the 1998-99 volume) again and reported that Utah was still first, 21% ahead of Delaware.
He has just completed (1999) a similar search of the 1998-99 AMWS and reports that Utah is still number one, 7% over Delaware.
Thus, for sixty years Utah has led the nation in per capita production of scientists. To many people, likely, the fact that a distinctive “religious” state was also notable for scientist productivity, was remarkable, a challenge for some explanation.
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