Today is Evolution Sunday. Or rather, the last day of Evolution Weekend, as the last two annual Evolution Sundays were so successful. It all started with The Clergy Letter Project, in which 11,000 clergy signed a letter stating that evolution should be accepted as scientific fact and taught in schools with no competing theory. From there, the clergy organized an annual function at their churches in which the congregations would focus on bridging the gap between science and religion. They call it Evolution Sunday. These are progressive folks who want to accept the evidence, and not teach creationism, â€œcreation-scienceâ€, or intelligent design in classrooms. And they want to integrate the theory of evolution into their faith and interpretation of the bible. Â
Of course, this requires a complete abandonment of literalism and a bit of apology. For example, Dr./Rev. Timothy McLemore, senior pastor of one of the participating churches says, “I think the Bible gives us a great creation account, and I think it’s profoundly true,” he said. “I just don’t think it was ever intended to be scientifically true or even historically true.â€ This is not my personal belief, but I have no problem at all with what Dr. McLemore believes, or anyone else for that matter, as long as theyâ€™re in support of teaching evolution, and not any form of creationism, in classrooms.
Another positive aspect of this is that it negates the premise that one must be an atheist in order to â€œbelieveâ€ in evolution, or even be a scientist. This is the premise of Ben Steinâ€™s movie Expelled, which is coming out in April.
So, although the compatibility of science and religion is controversial, finding common ground may be the best way to avoid the thwarting of progress.
Hereâ€™s an excerpt on evolution from The Clergy Letter Project:
“We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as ‘one theory among others’ is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children.”Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
And another excerpt on the compatibility of science and religion, which reveals that they even get the magnificence of the universe as discovered through science:
“As I understand the complexities and intricacies of what has been produced through human evolution, not only does it not make me want to run away from God, it strikes a chord of wonder and awe that I can only describe as worship.â€Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
These guys are on the right track.