United Church of Christ strongly supports evolution
The National Center for Science Education reports that the United Church of Christ has released a new statement on faith, science and technology that describes evolution as a matter of fact. The statement also espouses the misguided faith-based assertion that evolution is the means by which God creates, and claims erroneously that science and religion are compatible. On the bright side, at least they’re not IDiots. An excerpt from their statement, entitled “A New Voice Arising: A Pastoral Letter on Faith Engaging Science and Technology” is presented below.
“Evolution helps us see our faithful God in a new way. Our creator works patiently, calling forth life through complex processes spanning billions of years and waiting for us to awaken and respond in conscious participation in God’s own overarching dream for all living things. Evolution also helps us see ourselves anew, as creatures who share a common origin with other species. Today we know that human bodies and brains share the same genetic and biochemical processes with other creatures, not just mammals but insects, plants, and bacteria. How then should we understand ourselves as evolved creatures, sharing much of our DNA with other species, and at the same time as distinct creatures in the image of God?”
“A New Voice Rising” is being distributed in February to all 5,700 UCC local churches as part of a new campaign aimed at the scientific and technological communities, intended to promote the UCC’s (misguided) belief that science and religion are not mutually exclusive and to express the denomination’s welcome to scientifically-oriented people.
While I’m happy that they are being honest about the evidence for evolution and are standing up for science and rationality, it is nevertheless the case that science and religion simply do not mix. When it comes to making statements about the objective nature of the world, religions rely greatly on faith-based claims. Science does not do this. Science is an exercise in fallibilism, not certainty. It’s about having beliefs that are consistent with the evidence and that can be disqualified. Moreover, on those rare occasions when scientists find merit behind religious ideas or practices, these practices cease to be exclusively religious. They become a part of our rational secular worldview. A good example of this is Buddhist meditation. Strongly supported by extensive research in psychology and medicine, we now have secularized mindfulness meditation which is being applied at a great number of Western medical facilities.