The calendar boasts plenty of religious holidays, but how many scientific holidays can you name? One of the red-letter days is coming up on Monday, when more than 850 events around the globe will mark Darwin Day, the 198th anniversary of the evolutionary theorist's birth. You can hear about Charles Darwin and the revolution he sparked from hundreds of church pulpits this weekend, as part of a program called Evolution Sunday.
I reviewed the list of participating churches - it's fundie free, but I did not expect to see them participate in this commendable event.
Within the community of Christian believers there are areas of dispute and disagreement, including the proper way to interpret Holy Scripture. While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible – the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark – convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation. Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts.
We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. 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. 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. To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.
This is the kind of thing I like to see. Churches confronting ignorance and fundamentalism.
(Posted while listening to Jane's Addiction - Kettle Whistle - off Kettle Whistle)