Over 11,000 American Clergy oppose Intelligent Design
Ken at Open Parachute reports on the Clergy Letter Project, an effort to collect signatures from American Clergy who oppose the teaching of Intelligent Design Creationism and schools and who ascent to evolutionary biology. Begun in Fall2004, as of the time of this writing the Clergy Letter Project has collected 11,147 signatures. Compare this to the 730 or so scientist signatures collected by the Discovery Institute since 2001 for their Scientific Dissent from Darwinism petition. You read correctly, in half of the time, focusing only on American Clergy, the Clergy Letter Project list of American Clergy for evolution and against ID is over 15 times longer than the DI’s dissent of Darwinism list, which welcomes signatures of scientists from anywhere in the world.
Here is the official statement of the Clergy Letter Project (I have bolded the relevant points):
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.
While I disagree with a number of the points in this statement, I’ll save myself the time and efforts of deconstructing the comment and simply stick with the pertinent point: over 11,000 American Clergy have signed in favour of this statement which views evolution as foundational to science, to reject it is an act of ignorance, to transmit it is to transmit ignorance, and that school boards should be teaching it as a core component of human knowledge.