Monday, December 17, 2007

The Clergy Letter

In an effort to aid in the discussion area of whether or not a Christian can support evolution, I offer 11,000+ signatures of American Christian Clergy of many denominations who support evolution. Head to this website to look for yourself. Look at the list of names and you might find your own clergy person!

The letter they signed wasn't vanilla like the letter all 700 . . . wow, 700 . . . scientists signed that the Discovery Institute claims shows the firestorm of controversy over Intelligent Design. Take a look at the clergy letter:

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.

and here is the Discovery Institute's letter:

We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.

Not much to compare is there. One letter is very specific, the second is pretty vague. One specifics support for evolution and the other claims that it supports Intelligent Design. Read it for yourself: "Advocates of Intelligent Design theory such as Dr. Michael Behe, Dr. William Dembski, Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez, Dr. Jonathan Wells, Dr. Steven Meyer, and Dr. Paul Nelson have quite real PhD’s, and over 700 scientists with real PhD’s have signed a statement dissenting from Darwinism." Notice how they blend their pet Intelligent Design PhD's and imply support for ID even though all they did was dissent from Darwin -- which doesn't even imply dissent from Evolution because Darwin is only part of the Modern Synthesis of Evolution Theory.

So over 11,000 clergy support evolution and only a die-hard Christian Fundamentalist would even question their religious beliefs. Each year they offer special sermons to their members on Evolution. It's called Evolution Sunday!

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