Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Uh, Where? ...

Hey, remember this outfit?

The pro-evolution Clergy Letter Project currently has a list of nearly 12,000 ministers who affirm that evolution is true and that the Genesis record is a teaching myth like Aesop's Fables. Since 2006, they have successfully promoted the celebration of an Evolution Sunday in churches throughout the world. The Clergy Letter Project is often cast in the faces of Creationists to insinuate that we are merely a fringe element of Christianity, because there has not yet been an answer to their challenge. Our silence is used as an admission of our alleged irrelevance.

It is disgusting that this modern-day Goliath gets to mock the people of God, flaunting the compromise of some of our ministers as if it represented the majority opinion, with no answer in kind.

The Creation Letter Project now provides an opportunity for Christians, clergy and churches who affirm Biblical Creationism to answer the challenge that the Clergy Letter represents.

Wonder how they're doing? It looks like they have 112 signatures.

Only another 11,779 to go.

There is something funny about those 112 comments. Notice all the people that put their comments in quotes, similar phases, lots of "random people" putting commas where they don’t normally go; especially after a the state abbreviation and before USA. I’ll bet you he has about 20 signatures and 92 acts self glorifications.
…and as my previous comment demonstrates, people make lots of grammatical and spelling errors in comments. It’s pretty hard to find a single one.
Both of the "signature" campaigns, suffer from a fallacy. Truth is not determined by the consensus vote of the Great Unwashed. As a former pastor I can affirm that most of us were unfit to evaluate any part of Science. First, we rarely read or educated ourselves with standard Science sources. Instead all most of us read was the polemic from "our" own YEC perspective - a polemic that we adopted and repeated. Second, we had no desire to objectively evaluate truth and a deep motivation to avoid anything that would threaten our position of faith.

I am still shocked at how uneducated many of my pastor or pastor-in-training peers were in matters other than the Bible and "spirituality". That any of them would sign a statement affirming Creationism doesn't phase me at all. Of course they would. It's what they believe fervently. They are the Cubs or Cleveland Browns fans of "Science". They are die hard supporters of their "team". No amount of evidence (or lack of evidence for their position) will diminish their support for their cause.

In the end the world and universe is as old as it is. It came about however it came about. We arrived here however we arrived. The geologic artifacts were caused however they were caused. Our interpretation or belief about them does not change that truth. Best we can do is to attempt to correctly understand and interpret what we stumble upon. That requires evidence and reason - not signatures.
I don't think anyone (OK, make that: anyone with a functioning brain) claims that signature lists decide truth. The effect of these projects is largely social. If I see a whole bunch of people who possess appropriate qualifications in an area (whether theology or science), affirming a proposition within their domain, I am likely to assume that the proposition is at least not obviously stupid. It's enough for me to take a closer look, rather than reject it out of hand. Now that closer look may reveal that, in fact, the claim is false, and the signatories either less qualified than they first appeared (eg. creationist "scientists" who turn out to be engineers, dentists, etc.) or ideologically deluded (creationists in general).
This is not particularly relevant, but I notice that the people on this list do not always identify themselves as American clergy.

Tom S.
@elbogz: I assure you that all of the signatures are valid. I have edited signatures to make them more uniform [hence the comma placement] and to eliminate spelling errors.

@Curtis: I understand your objection, but I am not operating under the pretension that I determine truth by consensus. The Clergy Letter project is used by various organizations to suggest that since a good number of clergy embrace evolution there is no legitimate conflict between evolution and Biblical revelation. I'm simply trying to demonstrate that a good many clergy [and Christians in general] find the Bible and evolutionary theory in conflict, among other things.

As a current minister, I can persoanlly affirm that most of us receive a rather passive Sunday School indoctrination in YEC which is no match for the immersive public school counter-indoctrination in evolution. My counter-indoctrination was quite successful. In fact, when I returned to the faith at 25 yrs old my wife recalls that when she asked me about evolution, I stated that I supposed God could have used evolution. After evaluating the evidence, I came to the conclusion that evolution was bankrupt.

I note that your "go team!" analogy applies equally well to evolutionists.

In any case, I am glad you are no longer a pastor for the sake of your statement "Best we can do is to attempt to correctly understand and interpret what we stumble upon" which makes it clear that you do not believe the Bible to be the revelation of an infallible God. I do hope that you change your current convictions.

@Eamon: I hope that you will not only take a closer look at my list [and my evidences] but also at the signers of the "Christian" Clergy Letter which include Unitarian Universalist, Mormon, and Jehovah's Witness and Unity church cult members alongside legitimate Christian clergy. Zimmerman seems to have inflated his numbers somewhat.

-Rev Breeden

PS We'll catch up in time! Keep watching!
... most of us receive a rather passive Sunday School indoctrination in YEC which is no match for the immersive public school counter-indoctrination in evolution.Heh! I'd like to know what country you're living in, since study after study has shown that education in the US in evolutionary theory, even in public schools, is miniscule, compared to the massive evidence in its support. If a kid gets more than a week or two of instruction in evolution, that's a lot. Which, of course, is among the reasons why the only "Western" democracy that is behind us in the understanding and acceptance of evolution is Turkey. And just above Turkey will be about where our economy will rank in all too few decades, if you have your way and convince a generation that science is not to be trusted.
@Eamon: I hope that you will not only take a closer look at my list [and my evidences] but also at the signers of the "Christian" Clergy LetterThank you, but: been there, done that, got the T-shirt. I've spent a great deal of my spare time over the last 15 years listening to "evidences" as presented by folks like AiG, the ICR, etc. (along with the low-rent creationists like Hovind). My considered conclusion is that there are exactly three kinds of creationists: the charlatans, the crackpots, and the dupes of the first two. Young-earthism specifically is merely the temporal equivalent of flat-earthism, and deserves exactly as much respect.

By "most of us," I meant most of us Christians.
I wasn't talking about your Sunday School "indoctrination" (perfect choice of words, by the way) but about your obviously incorrect characterization of education in evolutionary science as "immersive," whether for Christians or anyone else in our public schools.
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