By Jeffrey L. Falick
Not too long ago someone asked me if The Clergy Project was in any way related to The Clergy Letter Project. The two should definitely not be confused! The Clergy Project is a private forum for current and former clergy who do not hold supernatural beliefs. One of its founders is the editor of this blog. The Clergy Letter Project is an effort by liberal religious leaders to support the teaching of evolution.
Now I can’t argue that this is not a laudable goal. We should be teaching evolution. Unfortunately, The Clergy Letter Project is grounded in an unsupportable idea.
In order to support teaching evolution, those behind it promote the idea that religious beliefs and the findings of science are perfectly compatible. This is what biologist Michael Zimmerman, the effort’s founder, has written on the sitehttp://www.theclergyletterproject.org/Backgd_info.htm:
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.
Zimmerman is in good religious company. Just as I was preparing this piece for publication, his viewpoint received a big boost from none other than Pope Francis himself who reiterated the Church’s support for evolution in an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. He said:
“Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of [God’s] creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”
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