Seeking Common Language, But Still Maintaining Our Own

Seeking Common Language, But Still Maintaining Our Own

Perhaps the most controversial topic surrounding science and religion is the “evolution / creation” discussion. That’s why, 11 years ago, Professor Michael Zimmerman started “The Clergy Letter Project,” an attempt to have religious leaders say, strongly and clearly, “Evolution does not contradict faith, and evolution — not creationism — is what should be taught in schools.”

As the open letter from Christian clergy states:

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.

Currently, almost 13,500 Christian clergy, along with over 500 rabbis and 450 Unitarian Universalist Ministers have signed such the letter.

Every year, on the weekend closest to February 12th, hundreds of clergy from across the nation celebrate “Evolution Weekend.” Why that day? Because February 12th is the birthday of Charles Darwin. And what could be a more powerful statement about the relationship between religion and science than to have a priest, minister, or rabbi deliver a sermon about the importance, power and value of science?

This past weekend, Sinai and Synapses Fellow Reverend Mark Goodman delivered a sermon about how scientific language and religious language both differ and complement each other. It is part of the Sinai and Synapses Discussion Forum, a collection of perspectives on specific topics, and connected to our series, “How Science Influences Religious Language.”

It is a wonderful celebration of Darwin, of faith, and how we need both in our world today.

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