Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Who's on First?

Letssee ... Tom Heneghan at Reuters FaithWorld Blog tells us that the Evangelical Church in Germany isn't:

That's "evangelical" as in the German evangelisch (meaning Protestant, mostly Lutheran), and not "evangelical" as it's more commonly used in the United States.
... and tells us that the Church:

... felt it necessary to issue a 22-page booklet about teaching evolution ... called "The Origin of the World, the Theory of Evolution and the Belief in Creation in School"
... aimed at:

... school teachers urging them not to advocate creationism or intelligent design (ID)
... and that:

... EKD Chairman Bishop Wolfgang Huber ... writes in the introduction that there is "an intense debate" about these issues but that "it is being conducted in Germany in a different way from, for example, the United States of America. Still, a fundamental clarification is of considerable practical importance
... that the Bishop does not elaborate on but the daily Die Welt [The World] helpfully adds background to by writing:

... This dispute is increasingly spilling over from the USA to us and has already led to political debates. The Hesse state culture minister (and Protestant synod member) Karin Wolff spoke last year of a "surprising agreement" between evolution and the Bible. With that she sparked a dispute within the Church in which the reasonable faction of the EKD found itself confronted with the growing strength of evangelicals loyal to the Bible.
... despite the fact that:

... in Germany, ... there are few U.S.-style evangelicals and almost no dispute about the theory of evolution
... so, naturally, the booklet:

... criticises Richard Dawkins and other atheists for thinking science can disprove the existence of God
... and lovingly:

... compares the books of the "new atheists" to the communist textbooks in East Germany.
On the other hand, the booklet:

... has several pages on the relationship between science and religion ... [that] boil down to saying that biblically literal creationism is unseriƶs ("unserious" is a serious put-down in German). ID turns God into a god-of-the-gaps ...
... which brings us back to:

... teachers, because of their pedological responsibility and the duty to be evenhanded that goes with their occupation, cannot claim a comparable right [to advocate a religious view] for themselves, neither about creationism nor other views, for example atheist ones ...
... despite the fact that:

... even state schools in Germany have religion classes, separated according to religions and denominations.
I don't know ... third base!

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