Evolution Weekend to focus on environment

| 77 Comments

I just received a letter from Michael Zimmerman, addressed to “Members and Friends of The Clergy Letter Project.” The gist of the letter is that Evolution Weekend will be 11-13 February 2011 and will once again provide religious congregations the opportunity to discuss evolution and how it can be accommodated into their worldview. In addition, congregations are encouraged to discuss “the many environmental threats to the health of both natural and human communities.” The relevant part of Professor Zimmerman’s letter follows.

This year, Evolution Weekend is being conceived in two ways. As always, it is an opportunity for congregations to discuss the compatibility of religion and science - and to do so in a manner that elevates the quality of the dialogue on this important issue. This can be done in any manner that will be the most helpful and relevant for each congregation. Additionally, this year, we are also encouraging congregations that think it might be useful, to focus on specific environmental issues as they explore the relationship between religion and science. As an evolutionary biologist, I know that knowledge of evolutionary theory is absolutely essential for a robust understanding of how the natural environment functions and how it might be affected by human activities. My contacts within the religious community tell me that addressing ecological issues from within their faith perspective can also be empowering and hopeful, especially for those who are grieving about the ways humankind has harmed the natural world. I’ve added a resource section to the Evolution Weekend 2011 web page that you may find helpful if you opt to deal with environmental issues. If you have suggestions for resources that should be added, please let me know.

So, please sign up now to participate in Evolution Weekend 2011 (11-13 February 2011) and find the way that will be the most productive for you and your congregation. To sign up, simply send me ([Enable javascript to see this email address.]) a note with your name and the name of your congregation and I’ll get you added to our growing list. I’ve not yet publicly released the web page for Evolution Weekend 2011 since it is so early but we already have 98 congregations from 31 states and 8 countries listed. Please join with us this year.

77 Comments

I wrote to a number of these clergy and asked them some very fundamental questions anyone needs to know to figure out if evolution is real. These people have no clue but they opinions. So no one should pay attention to what they say.

And a while back someone here, I forget who, cited top historian Harvey Klehr who brought out direct evidence that American progressives were directly controlled by the USSR. That means these left leaning pastors who have no clue about anything in science are sock puppets of a failed political theory.

The salient point is not one responder to the guy gave us the name Harvey Klehr as a source either mentoned his many works or the fact they Klehr’s microfilm from the KGB files was 100% replicated in the Venona papers.

Evolutionists have no clue who is pulling their strings and somehow think their world view is part of science.

[looking around] Did Monty Python just pass this way?

And it’s noteworthy that a search of this site turns up no hits on “Klehr.” Too bad, troll.

I’ve never heard of this person before, but he is real.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Klehr

Harvey E. Klehr (born December 25, 1945) is a professor of politics and history at Emory University; he is known for his books on the subject of the American Communist movement, and on Soviet espionage in America (many written jointly with John Earl Haynes).

He was born in Newark, New Jersey. He received his undergraduate degree from Franklin and Marshall College in 1967, and his doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971.

He has received a number of awards, including Emory’s Thomas Jefferson Award (in 1999). He is a member of the National Council on the Humanities, serving a term that expires in 2010.

But what does Communism have to do with Christian clergy who accept evolution? Nothing that I can see. Sounds like a right-wing extremist smear job.

Evolutionists have no clue who is pulling their strings and somehow think their world view is part of science.

Pardon me, do you have an extra tin-foil hat I might borrow ?

darvolution proponentsist said:

Evolutionists have no clue who is pulling their strings and somehow think their world view is part of science.

Pardon me, do you have an extra tin-foil hat I might borrow ?

No, but I have read this: http://www.angels-light.org/english[…]e_landed.htm

Of special interest is the information about the space alien’s base on the other side of the moon…

And since the USSR and the KGB no longer exist, those puppets are now running loose. Puppet Pastors Gone Wild!

Just how do you accomodate TOE into your Christian World View? Just how much mental gymnastics do you have to perform to accomplish this?

From my POW, there isn’t any conflict between Christendom and science - up to and including TOE. The cause of conflict is literalism and fundamentalism.

iVORY GIRL said:

Just how do you accomodate TOE into your Christian World View? Just how much mental gymnastics do you have to perform to accomplish this?

Just BEING a Christian requires a lot of mental gymnastics. Are you aware that according to the Gospels, Jesus claimed that some people in his time would still be living when he returned to establish his kingdom? And in the writings of Paul and the book of Revelation, that assumption is also made.

Which is why I am 100% certain that Jesus will never return physically to this Earth. Clearly, his claim was either never made, was badly misunderstood, or he lied.

If you’re into the accommodationist mind set, reconciliation business, fine, try to harmonize science and religion. At what point though, do you concede when the science overwhelmingly contradicts the scripture? Or do you continue to live in your internal reality, conceiving it to be “of greater value” than objective scientific reality?

IVORY GIRL said:

If you’re into the accommodationist mind set, reconciliation business, fine, try to harmonize science and religion. At what point though, do you concede when the science overwhelmingly contradicts the scripture? Or do you continue to live in your internal reality, conceiving it to be “of greater value” than objective scientific reality?

Look like meganfox may have returned!

Look, the Bible was written and edited by hundreds of people over 1500 years or so. Just because Genesis has been found by modern science to be entirely a myth doesn’t mean that we have to convert straight to atheism. Even the Gospels contain glaring inconsistencies, but it is still possible that there was a real person named Jesus who lived 2000 years ago. Stories about him could have been exaggerated over time with pagan elements, resulting in a religion related to but totally different from Judaism (by all accounts, Jesus was Jewish, not pagan).

Now, are you going to pelt us with references to Popper, rabbits in the Cambrian, and other such crap?

Dale Husband said:

Now, are you going to pelt us with references to Popper, rabbits in the Cambrian, and other such crap?

We could eventually go on to PYGMIES + DWARVES!

I will ignore Dale H’s obtuse comments, (who is meganfox ?) I’m not suggesting that anyone convert to atheism. all we need is the kind of desperate apologetics that some are trying to defend to accomplish that. It also achieves the goal of making believers look pretty disingenuous, at least those who have any respect for their religion As for the authenticity of Jesus, it’s falls on par with Robin Hood, perhaps we should all go out and rob the rich and give to the poor base on that premise

Dale Husband said:

iVORY GIRL said:

Just how do you accomodate TOE into your Christian World View? Just how much mental gymnastics do you have to perform to accomplish this?

Just BEING a Christian requires a lot of mental gymnastics. Are you aware that according to the Gospels, Jesus claimed that some people in his time would still be living when he returned to establish his kingdom? And in the writings of Paul and the book of Revelation, that assumption is also made.

Which is why I am 100% certain that Jesus will never return physically to this Earth. Clearly, his claim was either never made, was badly misunderstood, or he lied.

Martin Gardner put it this way. When Yeshua of Nazareth stated that he would return in the lifetime of some of his listeners, the Galilean carpenter turned itinerant preacher was mistaken.

Oh dear, another thread being hijacked into the G*d Wars … just when the last one fizzled out after running for something like 20 pages.

Ivory Girl -

If you’re into the accommodationist mind set, reconciliation business, fine,

I’m “into” the right of every individual in a free society to live and believe as they see fit, with the limitation that they not violate the rights of others.

It is a violation of human and (in the US and many other places) legal rights to discriminate in certain ways. I support that.

Creationists try to violate my rights, try to mislead other people about science, promote bigotry, and also insult my intelligence and educational achievements. I have a problem with those behaviors.

try to harmonize science and religion.

I don’t have to, as I am not personally religious, but it seems that some other people do so, and that is their business.

At what point though, do you concede when the science overwhelmingly contradicts the scripture?

I am not a theologian by any means, but it is my impression that this is only true of certain scriptures, and only if they are “interpreted literally”.

My understanding is that some religious people interpret some parts of some scriptures as being symbolic or metaphorical. I am not religious myself and don’t keep up on these things, but I am pretty sure that they do that.

Or do you continue to live in your internal reality, conceiving it to be “of greater value” than objective scientific reality?

I can’t answer this question, not being religious myself.

I will comment that in my opinion, human beings are animals (this is not intended as an insult to other animal species) who are mainly dominated by instinctive and emotional drives, and who can apply abstract scientific reasoning, with great concentration, in limited circumstances. Much of human life is emotional and instinctive, even for atheists.

Whether anything is of “greater value” than anything else is a purely subjective decision.

iVORY GIRL said:

Just how do you accomodate TOE into your Christian World View? Just how much mental gymnastics do you have to perform to accomplish this?

Why would mental gymnastics be necessary?

Contrary to what creationists rant about, Jesus Christ never asked or demanded that His followers to deny reality or deny evolution or deny any other sciences, or to read the (King James Translation of) the Bible literally.

All He asked, from what I was told, was that His followers accept Him as their Savior.

angryindian said:

And a while back someone here, I forget who, cited top historian Harvey Klehr who brought out direct evidence that American progressives were directly controlled by the USSR.

Waitwaitwait.…

I thought progressives were secretely controlled by the Reptaloids under contract with the Masons?

When did things change? How come nobody ever tells me these things?

stevaroni said:

When did things change? How come nobody ever tells me these things?

Ah! It’s the mind control beams, man! Whenever there’s a leak, they saturate the public and make them forget!

Reminds me, I gotta put another layer of tinfoil in my hat.

iVORY GIRL said:

Just how do you accomodate TOE into your Christian World View? Just how much mental gymnastics do you have to perform to accomplish this?

The only “mental gymnastics” required is to obey the Commandment that forbids bearing false witness.

Rather than “instigate another round of the science v religion war” (sorry guys, science won that years ago) I will bow out of the thread. I will leave with one thought.If,as suggested by people in other posts, some scriptures are to be taken only as allegory,yet others must be taken as absolute,who’s authority on this prevails.Who makes that decision you,me,the guy who delivers your pizza? Are virgin births any more likely than talking snakes,or resurected gods than creation stories?

IVORYGIRL said:

I will leave with one thought …

Take a thought with you: believe it or not, there are people out there who care not in the least whether there’s a G*d or not, and find what side people take on the matter about as interesting as whether they prefer Pepsi or Coke.

Rolf Aalberg said:

No, but I have read this: http://www.angels-light.org/english[…]e_landed.htm

Very nice, and I see they’ve gone with the classic TimeCube Lite™ graphics scheme for the site. That’s always a sure sign you’re getting the straight poop.

darvolution proponentsist said:

Very nice, and I see they’ve gone with the classic TimeCube Lite™ graphics scheme for the site. That’s always a sure sign you’re getting the straight poop.

“TimeCube Lite”?! Ah … variable-sized colored fonts with (of course) centering

IVORY GIRL said:

I will ignore Dale H’s obtuse comments, (who is meganfox ?) I’m not suggesting that anyone convert to atheism. all we need is the kind of desperate apologetics that some are trying to defend to accomplish that. It also achieves the goal of making believers look pretty disingenuous, at least those who have any respect for their religion As for the authenticity of Jesus, it’s falls on par with Robin Hood, perhaps we should all go out and rob the rich and give to the poor base on that premise

Good, then you will not mind if the rest of us ignore you in return. Have a nice day!

SLC said:

Dale Husband said:

iVORY GIRL said:

Just how do you accomodate TOE into your Christian World View? Just how much mental gymnastics do you have to perform to accomplish this?

Just BEING a Christian requires a lot of mental gymnastics. Are you aware that according to the Gospels, Jesus claimed that some people in his time would still be living when he returned to establish his kingdom? And in the writings of Paul and the book of Revelation, that assumption is also made.

Which is why I am 100% certain that Jesus will never return physically to this Earth. Clearly, his claim was either never made, was badly misunderstood, or he lied.

Martin Gardner put it this way. When Yeshua of Nazareth stated that he would return in the lifetime of some of his listeners, the Galilean carpenter turned itinerant preacher was mistaken.

Martin Gardner was himself a theist, which in the eyes of some atheists, would also make him DELUSIONAL! Nevermind that he was also a dedicated skeptic in everything else.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusion

A delusion, in everyday language, is a fixed belief that is either false, fanciful, or derived from deception. Psychiatry defines the term more specifically as a belief that is pathological (the result of an illness or illness process). As a pathology, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information, dogma, stupidity, apperception, illusion, or other effects of perception.

To call something a delusion, you must first establish that is indeed FALSE, not that it is merely unproven.

That’s what I was trying to explain to the atheists in the other thread, but I guess they were too busy insulting anyone different from them to listen.

And yes, that is the last I will say on that subject. Back to the main topic, shall we?

You are all wrong. The American progressive clergy are not controlled by Commies or pythons or P&G (makers of Ivory soap). No. They are secretly in cahoots with the movement to establish the Flying Spaghetti Monster (BBUHNA) as the creator of all things. I should know. I’ve been a clandestine operative in the movement for years.

Skeptics beware… our time is coming!

So basically, what you’re saying is pasta la vista?

So, that is the only part of the Bible that you take literally/plainly. I am relieved:)

FL said:

For Rob: I can’t speak for Mr. Martinez, but just speaking for myself only, a literal/plain reading of John 3:16 effectively covers all three bases you mentioned. Think about it amigo!

***

For Stanton: I’m not ignoring your posts or anything. But I gotta admit, I’ve never seen a Panda poster with such a vivid imagination! (Kinda scary, imo!)

FL

FL said:

For Rob: I can’t speak for Mr. Martinez, but just speaking for myself only, a literal/plain reading of John 3:16 effectively covers all three bases you mentioned. Think about it amigo!

***

For Stanton: I’m not ignoring your posts or anything. But I gotta admit, I’ve never seen a Panda poster with such a vivid imagination! (Kinda scary, imo!)

FL

Who’s imagining? You did falsely accuse us of running PvM out of Panda’s Thumb because he’s a Christian, never mind that a good portion of posters here are Christian, and you did state that you can’t wait until God comes down from Heaven to destroy Evolution, and send us to Hell to burn.

Rob said:

So, that is the only part of the Bible that you take literally/plainly. I am relieved:)

What about the time FL said that we have to assume that “windows of Heaven” were also metaphorical in nature, but, the flooding of the world, and the drowning of all life, human, animal, and plant, outside of Noah’s Ark, was not.

Though, I still do not understand how murdering all life, simply on account of humans being too noisy and annoying, is supposed to be an example of God being all-merciful.

Wouldn’t that be like claiming that setting the house on fire with everyone locked in their bedrooms is an example of parental love?

Oh, jeez. Here we go again.

My sentiment exactly. Please do not feed the FL troll or the Ray Martinez troll – or take their bait, whichever metaphor you prefer. I will send further pointless comments to the Bathroom Wall.

Matt Young said:

Oh, jeez. Here we go again.

My sentiment exactly. Please do not feed the FL troll or the Ray Martinez troll – or take their bait, whichever metaphor you prefer. I will send further pointless comments to the Bathroom Wall.

Yes, please, thank you.

FL: I have thought about John 3:16, bach, and it doesn’t say anything about any of the “bases” you mention, or answer any of Rob’s questions. It says nothing about God’s power, nothing about His ethics (only that He loved the world). It certainly says nothing about how we are to reconcile, say, Genesis 6:5-7, or Deuteronomy 20:12-14, or Joshua 6:21, or 2 Kings:23-25 or Matthew 7:14 (to name only a few) with the idea of an unconditionally loving and ethical God. The God described in those passages is neither.

You don’t actually know much about Scripture, do you, FL.

Sorry, I posted before I read Matt Young’s ruling. I apologise.

Blasphemy and stupidity are not worth responding to, anyway, Matt.

Matt Young said:

Oh, jeez. Here we go again.

My sentiment exactly. Please do not feed the FL troll or the Ray Martinez troll – or take their bait, whichever metaphor you prefer. I will send further pointless comments to the Bathroom Wall.

Matt,

I understand and respect your request not to feed the trolls. I would like to address this reference from FL, however, since I believe it speaks directly to the topic of this thread:

FL said:

Hmm. Jacques Monod just came to mind. Let us see what he says.

Monod: Namely, (natural) selection is the blindest, and most cruel way of evolving new species, and more and more complex and refined organisms…

TV interviewer Laurie John: Cruel?

Monod: The more cruel because it is a process of elimination, of destruction. The struggle for life and elimination of the weakest is a horrible process, against which our whole modern ethics revolts. An ideal society is a non-selective society, is one where the weak is protected; which is exactly the reverse of the so-called natural law. I am surprised that a Christian would defend the idea that this is the process which God more or less set up in order to have evolution.

–TV Interview, 10 June 1976, Australiang Broadcasting Commission Science Unit, reprinted by AIG

Monod’s right, and the Clergy Letter Project is wrong. There you go!

FL

Jacques Monod, like so many other folks - particularly apologetic Christians, demonstrates a distinct misunderstanding about evolution here. There is nothing inherent in evolution, the process or the theory, concerning the elimination of the weak. Many people, but apologists in particular, misunderstand what Darwin meant when he referenced natural selection and what Spencer meant (in reference to Darwin’s concept) by survival of the fittest. The concept is NOT that only the strong survive (and by inference that the weak die off), but rather that ALL those who are FIT ENOUGH have offspring who inherit those ‘fit enough’ characteristics. The “weak” (a relative concept anyway) are in many cases fit enough and certainly what passes for “weak” in human society is a questionable characteristic at best. Do we mean literally weak in terms of physical strength? Clearly not. Weak in terms of societal power? Again, clearly not. Weak in terms of economic status? Nah. So what then is Monod railing against? Answer - clearly a strawman based on ignorance.

You cannot use the argument that god would not be cruel, therefore evolution cannot be true. Cruelty exists, it exists in nature and it exists in human societies. So, either god created or god allows cruelty. If god could not allow evolution to produce cruelty, she must have created it herself. If god allows cruelty, then god would have no problem with evolution. The problem is assuming that god and human societies are constrained to be like nature, that is a logical fallacy.

DS said:

You cannot use the argument that god would not be cruel, therefore evolution cannot be true. Cruelty exists, it exists in nature and it exists in human societies. So, either god created or god allows cruelty. If god could not allow evolution to produce cruelty, she must have created it herself. If god allows cruelty, then god would have no problem with evolution. The problem is assuming that god and human societies are constrained to be like nature, that is a logical fallacy.

I would argue that nature is not - cannot be - cruel. The term cruel includes the concept of intent - an intention to inflict pain and/or suffering. But nothing in nature, at least nothing of which I’m aware, intends to inflict pain and suffering on anything else. Certainly some elements of nature lead to pain and suffering, but I do not see such as a product of cruelty.

A god otoh could “logically” (assuming a god exists) be cruel.

Nature merely appears to us to be cruel because most of us don’t wish pain, suffering, and death on others. Please avoid the obvious finger-pointing. Thank you.

Clean-up on aisle number, uh, well, pretty much all of them…

FL said:

You gonna stir up big trouble with these wild and wooly Pandas, Mr. Martinez.

(But thanks for your kind response there!).

FL

Ray and FL on the same thread! So will we be treated to a debate on the age of the Earth (Ray says old, FL says young), whether “microevolution” happens (Ray says no, FL says yes, I think), or both?

Frank J said:

Ray and FL on the same thread!

And if Byers shows up, we get … Moe, Larry, & Curley. “Woo woo woo! Nyuk nyuk nyuk!”

Frank J said:

Ray and FL on the same thread! So will we be treated to a debate on the age of the Earth (Ray says old, FL says young), whether “microevolution” happens (Ray says no, FL says yes, I think), or both?

I think we should refuse to engage either of them until they resolve these issues, which are critical to any scientific discussion of evolutionary biology. They’re both willing to discuss these issues at length with others, so surely they will be honest enough to debate each other.

So Ray, FL – have at it! I think we’ll all be interested in seeing who prevails … I know I will be.

So Ray, FL – have at it!

They may have at it, but they will do so on the Bathroom Wall.

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