Re: Part 1 - Churches urged to back evolution

From: Pim van Meurs <>
Date: Tue Feb 21 2006 - 13:01:57 EST

Interesting 'arguments'. That NAS members tend to be more agnostic or
atheists is one reason why it is important to enlist the clergy to show
that evolutionary theory is not atheistic. Too many creationists have
been using this to argue otherwise and it is good, as a Christian, to
hear that over ten thousand clergy have signed a petition and that over
400 churches were sending out the message.
Yes, the problem is that both sides abuse science for their positions.
On one hand some atheists are using evolutionary theory to argue that
there is no (need for) a God, on the other hand some (many) creationists
are under the false impression that science rejects their faith.

If people insist on turning the Bible into something that it isn't then
there is a risk that science and faith needlessly conflict. I do not
mind that YECers believe in a young earth based on faith but when they
are trying to use science to support their position, they needlessly
embarass science and religion as there is really no credible scientific
data supporting their position and much data disproving it.

As such, I am thrilled that science is involving the clergy and that the
clergy is starting to send the message that science does not and cannot
deny or prove the existence of a God.

Evolution Sunday

the Clergy Letter Project

The work by the AAAS

And then of course the recent statement by the AAAS

Statement on the Teaching of Evolution
by the Board of Directors
American Association for the Advancement of Science
St. Louis, Missouri • February 16, 2006
Evolution is one of the most robust and widely accepted principles of
modern science. It is the foundation for research in a
wide array of scientific fields and, accordingly, a core element in
science education. The AAAS Board of Directors is deeply
concerned, therefore, about legislation and policies recently introduced
in a number of states and localities that would
undermine the teaching of evolution and deprive students of the
education they need to be informed and productive
citizens in an increasingly technological, global community. Although
their language and strategy differ, all of these
proposals, if passed, would weaken science education. The AAAS Board of
Directors strongly opposes these attacks on the
integrity of science and science education. They threaten not just the
teaching of evolution, but students’ understanding of
the biological, physical, and geological sciences.
Some bills seek to discredit evolution by emphasizing so-called “flaws”
in the theory of evolution or “disagreements”
within the scientific community. Others insist that teachers have
absolute freedom within their classrooms and cannot be
disciplined for teaching non-scientific “alternatives” to evolution. A
number of bills require that students be taught to
“critically analyze” evolution or to understand “the controversy.” But
there is no significant controversy within the scientific
community about the validity of the theory of evolution. The current
controversy surrounding the teaching of evolution is
not a scientific one.
Science is a process of seeking natural explanations for natural
phenomena. Scientists ask questions about the natural
world, formulate hypotheses to answer the questions, and collect
evidence or data with which to evaluate the hypotheses.
Scientific theories are unified explanations of these phenomena
supported by extensive testing and evidence. The theory
of evolution, supported by extensive scientific findings ranging from
the fossil record to the molecular genetic relationships
among species, is a unifying concept of modern science. Of course, our
understanding of how evolution works continues to
be refined by new discoveries.
Many of the proposed bills and policies aim explicitly or implicitly at
encouraging the teaching of “Intelligent Design” in
science classes as an alternative to evolution. Although advocates of
Intelligent Design usually avoid mentioning a specific
creator, the concept is in fact religious, not scientific. In an October
18, 2002 resolution, the AAAS Board underlined the
inappropriateness of teaching Intelligent Design in the science
classroom because of its “significant conceptual flaws in
formulation, a lack of credible scientific evidence, and
misrepresentations of scientific facts.” Judge John E. Jones III of the
Middle District Court of Pennsylvania firmly reached similar conclusions
in the Dover Area School District case.
The sponsors of many of these state and local proposals seem to believe
that evolution and religion are in conflict. This is
unfortunate. They need not be incompatible. Science and religion ask
fundamentally different questions about the world.
Many religious leaders have affirmed that they see no conflict between
evolution and religion. We and the overwhelming
majority of scientists share this view.
Received on Tue Feb 21 13:02:08 2006

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