I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Bogus defenses of Evolution Sunday and Clergy Letter Project

Michael Zimmerman, the founder of the Clergy Letter Project which sponsors Evolution Sunday, wrote the following response to a letter by Jonathan Wells:

. . . .he says that I created Evolution Sunday in response to the following policy adopted by the school board of Grantsburg, Wisc.: “Students are expected to analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information. Students shall be able to explain the scientific strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory. This policy does not call for the teaching of Creationism or Intelligent Design.”
Absolutely untrue!

Wells goes on to say that “Zimmerman called the policy a decision 'to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance.'”

Ridiculous!

The fact of the matter is that the policy quoted above was what the Grantsburg, Wis., school board adopted after many of us attacked their original policy and brought worldwide attention to their creationist agenda. Those of us who fought the school board declared victory after their creationist policy was jettisoned and this new one was adopted.

Well, why didn't the Darwinists also "declare victory" when the state boards of education of Kansas and Ohio adopted "critical analysis of evolution" policies that were similar to the Grantsburg's school board's policy above? Instead the Darwinists adamantly opposed those Kansas and Ohio policies.

It is true that intelligent design may come up in discussions of the strengths and weaknesses of evolution theory in science classes, but both the Ohio and Kansas education plans for including a critical analysis of evolution theory stated expressly that there was no specific purpose to teach intelligent design.

Zimmerman says,

He also completely misses the point of Evolution Sunday. He asserts that “it is not evolution in general, but Darwin’s particular theory (Darwinism) that Evolution Sunday celebrates.” The term “Darwinism” has never appeared on any material associated with Evolution Sunday. Indeed, “Darwinism” is a term that is almost exclusively used by creationists to attack evolution.

The Wikipedia article on "Darwinism" says that Europeans in particular do not use the term in a derogatory sense.

Zimmerman says,

. . . .the purposes of Evolution Sunday have been absolutely clear from the outset. The event is designed to provide an opportunity for congregations around the world to discuss the compatibility of religion and science, to investigate why religion and modern science need not be at war with one another. . . . . . one of the purposes of Evolution Sunday is to bring attention to the Clergy Letter, a letter signed by more than 10,500 Christian clergy members. This letter makes it clear that thousands upon thousands of Christian clergy members have no problem embracing their faith as well as evolution.

The Clergy Letter does not just call for open-mindedness towards evolution theory but advocates evolution theory, calling it "a foundational scientific truth" and saying that "[t]o 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 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.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Sherwood said...

One of the signers of this clergy letter stupidly and absurdly holding Darwinism to be a "foundational scientific truth," etc.etc., was none other than the pastor of the church attended by Judge John E. Jones III: The Rev. Harold Hand Jr., Senior Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church/ELCA, Pottsville, PA.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 3:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim Sherwood said...

Let's also note that ELCA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is a "theologically liberal" denomination which boasts such luminaries as George L. Murphy, a pastor who writes a lot of stuff advocating Darwinism.

And ELCA has been losing members for a decade and a half. In 2005 alone, its baptized membership dropped by 1.6 percent.

Looks as if Darwinism may not be a winning cause for any church.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 5:32:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said ( 2-21-07 @ 3:53:00 PM ) --
>>>>>One of the signers of this clergy letter stupidly and absurdly holding Darwinism to be a "foundational scientific truth," etc.etc., was none other than the pastor of the church attended by Judge John E. Jones III: The Rev. Harold Hand Jr., Senior Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church/ELCA, Pottsville, PA. <<<<<

Nice discovery, Jim.

In his commencement speech at Dickinson College, Judge Jones said that he got his "true religion" from his undergraduate days at Dickinson. However, the book from which his "true religion" remarks were plagiarized was not published until long after he graduated.

Thursday, February 22, 2007 5:41:00 PM  

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