Statements Supporting Evolution
Many religious organizations have issued statements supporting evolution. We've collected excerpts from some of them. Have a look:
Absolutely. Many people accept evolution and believe in God, including many clergy and scientists. Consider the words of Catholic biologist and textbook author Kenneth R. Miller:
I see the Creator's plan and purpose fulfilled in our universe… I see a science that tells us there is indeed a design to life. And the name of that design is evolution.
— Biologist Kenneth R. Miller(1)
Many religious organizations and clergy agree with Dr. Miller. In the 2008 edition of NCSE's Voices for Evolution, twenty-one religious organizations and 188 clergy members issued statements expressing support for evolution. Consider also The Clergy Letter Project:
The Clergy Letter Project
In 2004, Michael Zimmerman, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University, organized a letter for Wisconsin clergy to sign in support of evolution. The outpouring was so huge that he decided to open the letter to clergy nationally. The project eventually became The Clergy Letter Project.
The scientific community has confirmed evolution—the evidence is overwhelming. Those attempting to argue against evolution say it conflicts with the Book of Genesis. In one interpretation of Genesis—creationism—God directly created all of life in the forms we see today. As we have seen, many people of faith interpret Genesis differently. In The Clergy Letter Project alone, over 12,000 clergy stated that they teach their congregations that God and evolution get along just fine.
Views of Evolution and God
Theistic Evolution: Theistic Evolution is a common way that people reconcile evolution and the existence of a personal God. In this view, life evolves by the principles of evolution, but God may influence—although undetectably by science—the randomness of mutation or the environment in which natural selection occurs.
Francis Collins, evangelical Protestant and former head of the Human Genome Project, explained it this way:
“I'm a theistic evolutionist. I take the view that God, in His wisdom, used evolution as His creative scheme. I don't see why that's such a bad idea. That's pretty amazingly creative on His part.”(2)
Process Theology: In the 1920's, a community of Protestant theologians reflected that evolution was, indeed, descriptive of how species have developed. In this environment, Alfred North Whitehead—mathematician, scientist, and philosopher at Harvard University—developed what has come to be known as Process Theology. Process Theology describes all of reality itself as a process of becoming. This evolution-friendly theory affirms both the creativity in the development of individual lives and of life itself. Individuals and all of life evolve into new and more capable forms as the expression of God, active and interwoven into every concrete event and not just some occasional intervention.
The Clergy Letter Project also organizes an annual Evolution Weekend for congregations across the state and around the world. On the weekend closest to Darwin's birthday (February 12, 1809), religious leaders in numerous congregations mark this event in any of a variety of ways:
Over the four years that Evolution Weekend has existed, more than 2000 congregations from 18 countries have participated.
1. Miller, Kenneth R. (2005). ”The cardinal's big mistake: Darwin didn't contradict God”. The Providence Journal, 2005-08-10. Retrieved on 2007-09-04.
2. Interview with Bob Abernathy (2000). Religion & Ethics, PBS.