CofE apology to Darwin

Despite it being so late as to seem silly for the Church of England to apologise to Darwin for not believing in evolution, it’s still a good idea, given the efforts by creationists to hijack their religion.

There’s nothing on the Church of England’s website and it won’t let me in to the testbed area but The Times, the unpleasant Daily Mail and even more deeply unpleasant Conservapedia think the CofE is about to launch a pro-Darwin site.

Or as the morons at conservapedia – who think this is “socialist Britain” πŸ™‚ and that Christian Voice is a “leading Christian organisation” – say:

The Church of England sides with the Darwinists, misrepresenting biblical creationists in the process.(from conservapedia)

Anglican leaders fear that β€œnoisy” advocates of a literal interpretation of the Bible – especially in the United States, where even the Republican vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, is a vocal supporter – are infecting the perception of Christianity worldwide. (from the Times)

Nice one, Church of England. Bravo. The same goes for the Roman Catholic Church where it has spoken out for science. Both major Christian denominations recognise that the Enlightenment happened. They also claim the adherence of most of the Christians on the planet, mercifully.

It’s one thing to have to disagree with their philosophies about the nature of the universe and the ultimate ground of being. Let a million flowers bloom, etc… It’s another thing altogether when religious institutions that underpin many people’s beliefs about the world give themselves over to arrant anti-scientific nonsense, like the disturbing stuff from fundamentalists.

11 thoughts on “CofE apology to Darwin

  1. Has everyone gone mad ? For the church to apologise to anyone for it’s beliefs is pure madness. The church has nothing to prove to anyone and should stand by what it teaches. The so called experts once claimed the earth was flat …
    I am sick and tired of a so called christian country bending over backwards to befriend every other denomination or belief !!!!
    The church does not have to answer to anyone but the obvious !!!!!!!! It may be unpalletable or non pc to say but unfortunately who soever doesn’t believe in God come the day of judgement will, make no mistake, burn in hell.

  2. Hi Keith, thanks for the comment.

    Just a quick question – when did anyone (expert or otherwise) think the Earth was flat?

  3. One possible candidate who comes to mind is Augustine (of Hippo, not Canterbury), who argued the idea that men could live on the opposite side of the world was not credible saying in De Civitate Dei, xvi, 9

    Antipodes? What’s that all about? ‘Scientists’ eh? They don’t even say how the water stops on. It’s political correctness gone mad!!!!!! Check your bible!!!

    ‘cept he said it in Latin. Not everyone agrees that Augustine believed the earth was flat, on the grounds that Augustine is a big person in Christianity and saying he did believe in a flat earth makes him look a bit stupid. Opinions are changing but Keith’s argument that Augustine is merely a ‘so-called’ expert would put him on the extreme liberal wing of the church.

  4. The point I was trying to make was that what is thought to be the case changes with the season. Scientists are always saying one thing, because “that’s what the data suggests” then the next day something else is the case. But the church does not have to apologise for it’s own beliefs over anyone elses.

  5. In that case you chose exactly the wrong example. After the discovery of a spherical earth, the only real resistance to the idea was around the 3rd to 5th centuries from various Christians who argued that the world had to be flat for theoglogical reasons. They later did a complete U-turn. Mocking Christian foibles is not an argument against scientists. In contrast you’ll find that often scientists refine ideas rather than throw them out. Scientists don’t believe the Earth is spherical anymore, instead they say it’s an oblate spheroid which is a bit like a squashed sphere. The reason they say this isn’t because of the season but rather the evidence

    Many people think changing your mind in the face of the evidence is a good idea. For example, if you taking someone to Manchester and accidentally miss your turning on the motorway, it’s not considered a virtue to mutter “I don’t have to apologise for my beliefs,” and carry straight on till you hit the sea.

    But certainly some beliefs do change without any evidence. It used to be believed that the soul didn’t occupy an embryo until 40 days if you were male, or 80 if you were female rather than conception. I’m not familiar with any evidence for that. Christian food isn’t kosher, despite the Old Testament, yet no-one has come back from heaven to say shrimp is ok and the law still stands (Luke 16:17). They’ve even changed the holy day commanded by God from the Sabbath to Sunday. I don’t know if specially trained theologians were able to detect that Sunday was actually holier than the Sabbath, or if it was politically correct accomodation of pagans, but either way it’s blasphemy (Luke 16:17 again). Another change is a belief in hell, which certainly wasn’t part of early Christian belief. Paul is quite clear on this Romans: 6:23 “The wages of sin are death…” Of course Paul could just have been a ‘so-called’ expert on Christianity. He was against heterosexual marriage (Corinthians 7:27 though platonic marriage is tolerable), yet that’s a big thing for some neo-Christians these days.

    Those are merely silly changes but it used to be that the Bible was ok with slavery and the CofE profited mightily from it. Do they need to apologise for that? It depends how you view morality. Some people with a beef against the Bible might say that slavery is a Bad Thing. Others might say that so long God is happy it’s fine to treat fellow humans as tools and no-one should mock a sincere religious belief. The CofE is on the respect for humans side. That’s why “I only have to answer to the obvious!!!!!” isn’t a defence against criminal activity under English law.

    From a Christian perspective it all depends on whether or not you think it’s just God who’s infallible, or if some humans are infallible too. There is a tendency for some more extreme ‘Christians’ to assume their own personal distortion of the religion is the Right Way and that they can judge others without accounting for their own actions, You can decide if these people really are following the religion that Jesus taught.

    If you pick ‘n’ mix which bits of the Bible you follow and which bits you don’t, then surely you should be taking responsibility for your choices?

  6. The examples you give are typical of how the church is going. The so called church leaders are making of the bible what they will and interpret it to suit their want to carry on with whatever suits their way of life. You can find warped justification for anything by different interpretation. “spin” isn’t that what it’s called now. The modern church is so scared of upsetting anyone these days that it tries to apease everybody to the detriment of itself. And as for the wrong doings of the other denominations of the church. Gay and lesbian vicars, and all sorts of other liberal “forward thinking” rubbish.

  7. The examples you give are typical of how the church is going.

    Actually, these are examples of where the church has been. The last 2000 years are littered with examples of the Christian church re-defining whole branches of theology to suit the current society.

    Even the translations of the bible dont agree on what is said, so a claim that religion is unchanging is blatantly wrong – as is the idea that this is a “modern” trend.

  8. Pingback: Minor Update » Why Dont You Blog?

  9. Pingback: Church says “Sorry,” believers furious » Why Dont You Blog?

Comments are closed.