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Monday, April 27, 2009

National Center for Science Education hypes pro-Darwinist religious beliefs


The controversy over the National Science for Selling Evolution -- a controversy sparked by an article on Jerry Coyne's blog -- is really heating up on Panda's Thumb. [link] [link] It is now the Darwinists who are attacking the NCSE. Darwinist apologists for the NCSE are saying that all the NCSE is doing is pointing out that a lot of religious people see no conflict between evolution and religion (but is there a well-informed person in America who does not already know that?). But the NCSE is doing much more than that -- visiting the NCSE website and clicking on "Religion" in the left sidebar shows that the NCSE has got more religion than a revival meeting. An NCSE list of links says,

Here are some resources for getting started:
God and Evolution
Reading the Bible
The Clergy Letter Project
"Do Scientists Really Reject God?"
Resources especially for clergy

The webpage with "resources especially for clergy" has the following list of links:

The Creation/Evolution Continuum

Why Teach Evolution?

God and Evolution

Religious Perspectives

Commentary on Science and Relgion (sic)

Scientific Perspectives

What is Paleontology?

How Do I Read the Bible? Let Me Count the Ways

Definitions of Fact, Theory, and Law in Scientific Work

How Old is the Earth?

Companion Guide to PBS "Evolution" Series

The Clergy Letter Project seeks rabbis

The webpage on reading the Bible begins,
Opponents of evolution often claim that their opposition is based upon a lack of supporting scientific evidence. In reality, their objection stems from a more basic issue: how to read the bible and interpret the view of nature it projects.

Sick, sick, sick!

Here is the NCSE webpage that was linked by the "Understanding Evolution" webpage that was the cause of action in Caldwell v. Caldwell:

Statements from Religious Organizations

For more information about religious perspectives on evolution, please see the Science and Religion section of our website.

188 Wisconsin Clergy
African-Americans for Humanism
American Humanist Association
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
American Scientific Affiliation
Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism
Episcopal Bishop of Atlanta, Pastoral Letter
Episcopal Church, General Convention (1982)
Episcopal Church, General Convention (2006)
General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Humanist Association of Canada
Lexington Alliance of Religious Leaders
Lutheran World Federation
National Council of Jewish Women
Rabbinical Council of America
Roman Catholic Church (1981)
Roman Catholic Church (1996)
Unitarian Universalist Association (1977)
Unitarian Universalist Association (1982)
United Church Board for Homeland Ministries
United Methodist Church
United Presbyterian Church in the USA (1982)
United Presbyterian Church in the USA (1983)

None of the statements listed above see a conflict between evolution and religion.

Wikipedia says,

in the U.S., many Protestant denominations promote creationism, preach against evolution from the pulpits, and sponsor lectures and debates on the subject. A list of denominations that explicitly advocate creationism instead of Darwinism or evolution include the Assemblies of God, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, the Free Methodist Church, the Jehovah's Witnesses, Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, Pentecostal Churches, Seventh-day Adventist Churches, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Christian Reformed Church, and the Pentecostal Oneness churches.

Also, in a recent poll, only 8 percent of Jehovah's Witnesses agreed that "evolution is the best explanation for the origins of human life on earth." Also, individual religious leaders -- e.g., Cardinal Schönborn and the Archbishop of Canterbury -- have criticized evolution theory.

In an article titled, "Dealing with Anti-evolutionism," NCSE Director Eugenie Scott said,

Teachers have told me they have had good results when they begin the year by asking students to brainstorm what they think the words "evolution" and "creationism" mean . . . .

After one such initial brainstorming session, one teacher presented students with a short quiz wherein they were asked, "Which statement was made by the Pope?" or "which statement was made by an Episcopal Bishop?" and given an "a, b, c" multiple choice selection. All the statements from theologians, of course, stressed the compatibility of theology with the science of evolution. This generated discussion about what evolution was versus what students thought it was. By making the students aware of the diversity of opinion towards evolution extant in Christian theology, the teacher helped them understand that they didn't have to make a choice between evolution and religious faith.

A teacher in Minnesota told me that he had good luck sending his students out at the beginning of the semester to interview their pastors and priests about evolution. They came back somewhat astonished, "Hey! Evolution is OK!" Even when there was diversity in opinion, with some religious leaders accepting evolution as compatible with their theology and others rejecting it, it was educational for the students to find out for themselves that there was no single Christian perspective on evolution. The survey-of-ministers approach may not work if the community is religiously homogeneous, especially if that homogeneity is conservative Christian, but it is something that some teachers might consider as a way of getting students' fingers out of their ears.

Unbelievable, coming from the director of an organization that claims that it doesn't take sides in the evolution v. religion controversy.

NCSE even has a staff position called "Faith Project Director," filled by Peter M.J. Hess.

Also, if the NCSE really wanted to show that it is even-handed, then instead of saying something like, "a lot of people see no conflict between evolution and religion," NCSE would say something like, "a lot of people see no conflict between evolution and religion and a lot of other people see a conflict."
.

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