Friday, February 9, 2007
Michael Zimmerman's site The Clergy Letter Project has gathered over 10,000 signatures from clergy in support of science and the teaching of evolution:
...For too long, the misperception that science and religion are inevitably in conflict has created unnecessary division and confusion, especially concerning the teaching of evolution. I wanted to let the public know that numerous clergy from most denominations have tremendous respect for evolutionary theory and have embraced it as a core component of human knowledge, fully harmonious with religious faith.
So true. This is one of the many things that troubles me about the more strident atheists like Dawkins, Harris, or PZ Myers: their reduction to absurdity argument that equates any form of spirituality with worship of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. That's some pretty poor scholarship, but getting back to Zimmerman's excellent project:
...I worked with clergy throughout Wisconsin to prepare a statement in support of teaching evolution. We were called to action by a series of anti-evolution policies passed by the school board in Grantsburg, WI. The response was overwhelming... In a few weeks, nearly 200 clergy signed the statement...groups of educators and scientists sent letters to the Grantsburg School Board and to the Superintendent of Schools protesting these policies. In response to all of this attention, as well as the efforts of others, the Grantsburg School Board retracted their policies.
So, what's wrong with that outcome? Many tolerant religious and spiritual people have been battling the Dominionists for years. Dawkins, Harris, et al seem hell-bent on alienating or demonizing people who's only crime is that believe differently than they do.