Tuesday, February 14, 2006


According to the NYT "churches nationwide" are singing the praises of evolution:
On the 197th birthday of Charles Darwin, ministers at several hundred churches around the country preached yesterday against recent efforts to undermine the theory of evolution, asserting that the opposition many Christians say exists between science and faith is false. At St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church, a small contemporary structure among the pricey homes of north Atlanta, the Rev. Patricia Templeton told the 85 worshipers gathered yesterday, "A faith that requires you to close your mind in order to believe is not much of a faith at all."

In the basement of an apartment building in Evanston, Ill., the Rev. Mitchell Brown said to the 21 people who came to services at the Evanston Mennonite Church that Darwin's theories in fact had compelled people to have faith rather than look for "special effects" to confirm the existence of God.

"He forced religion to grow up, to become, really, faith for the first time," Mr. Brown said. "The life of community, that is where we know God today."

The event, called Evolution Sunday, is an outgrowth of the Clergy Letter Project, started by academics and ministers in Wisconsin in early 2005 as a response to efforts, most notably in Dover, Pa., to discredit the teaching of evolutionary theory in public schools.

"There was a growing need to demonstrate that the loud, shrill voices of fundamentalists claiming that Christians had to choose between modern science and religion were presenting a false dichotomy," said Michael Zimmerman, dean of the College of Letters and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and the major organizer of the letter project.

Mr. Zimmerman said more than 10,000 ministers had signed the letter, which states, in part, that the theory of evolution is "a foundational scientific truth." To reject it, the letter continues, "is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children."

"We believe that among God's good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator," the letter says.

But just which churches?
Most of the signatories to the project and those preaching on Sunday were from the mainline Protestant denominations. Their congregations have shrunk sharply over the last 30 years. At the same time, the number of evangelical and fundamentalist Christians has risen considerably, and many of them, because of their literalist view of the Bible, doubt evolutionary theory.

No shocker there. Any church that decides to make a Holy Day out of the birthday of Saint Darwin shouldn't be surprised that people are running--not walking--away from them as quickly as they can. They proffer secular humanism with a Jesus veneer and pat themselves on the back about both their worldly sophistication and their deep spirituality. If you want to worship Darwin the Divine don't bother Jesus with the whole thing, just sleep in on Sunday instead.


Chuck Anziulewicz said...

If you want to worship Darwin the Divine don't bother Jesus with the whole thing, just sleep in on Sunday instead.

Aw c'mon, Alan, now you're just being silly, talking about "Saint Darwin" or turning his birthday into a "Holy Day." No one is WORSHIPPING Darwin. He simply scratched the surface of evolutionary biology, and thousands of scientists since have been scratching deeper and learning more.

Are you still one of those people who think of evolution as being characterized by no purpose nor laws, it just being a meaningless, random notion, the whole "tornado in a junkyard" thing? That's not the case at all.

You said earlier that God created gravity. Of course He did, just like He created all the physical and chemical laws that govern the Universe. And guess what? One of those laws that God created is that certain elements (namely carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen) have a natural and I daresay "God-given" affinity for each other. Given the presence of water, organic molecules, and sources of energy (that common "2nd Law of Thermodynamics" argument being irrelevant), increasingly complicated molecular structures will occur, ultimately giving rise to molecular replication and movement. Movement ultimately reflects transfers of energy. The concept of "life" at this point becomes rather subjective, but anyone with some rudimentary knowledge of physics and chemistry can see how life ultimately SPRINGS from the basic laws that God created.

Of course, I doubt that you accept this. So, just for my own edification, please let me know what notion of Creation you prefer to cling to. Do you like the "Intelligent Design" theory, or do you prefer the more literal Creation story? Are you an "Old Earth" or a "Young Earth" Creationist?

Brad Collins said...

I don't have any idea how old the earth actually is. I'm just a Bible believer.

And that Bible claims that God created the heavens and earth and all that fill them in six days. It either happened that way, or it didn't. If the first two chapters of the book aren't even reliable, why would I waste time with the rest of the book?

And without the Bible, Chuck, how can you say, "Of course [God created gravity], just like He created all the physical and chemical laws that govern the Universe"? It seems to me that you've thrown out the only reference that claims to be a record of that fact.