Clergy Letter Project
| The divine comedy|
As the name implies, the letter was intended to be signed by members of the clergy; it states that:
- There is no conflict between the Bible and the scientific theory of evolution;
- "The theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth";
- Cdesign proponentsists are guilty of "embrac[ing] scientific ignorance."
More than 13,000 clergy have signed the letter, which has also been endorsed by the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church, and the Southwestern Washington Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. There are also: Rabbi Letter (over 500 signatures), UU Clergy Letter (over 250 signatures) and Buddhist Clergy Letter.
The project was begun by a biology professor, Michael Zimmerman, as a response to anti-evolution measures passed by the school board in Grantsburg, Wisconsin. After Zimmerman had gathered some hundreds of signatures, the letter was delivered to the Grantsburg school board, which eventually reversed the measures.
Full text of the letter
“”Within the community of Christian believers there are areas of dispute and disagreement, including the proper way to interpret Holy Scripture. While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible – the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark – convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation. Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts. 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.
- Biblical literalism: The project takes the Biblical infallibility position listed there, as opposed to the more strict positions taken by creationists.
- Origins debate
- Project Steve
- Non-Overlapping Magisteria