Religion and Spirituality

Darwin, origin of species, Darwin theories
Charles Darwin

Church of England Apologizes to Darwin

September 17, 2008 03:58 PM
by Isabel Cowles
The Church of England has created a Web site extolling the naturalist’s teachings, recognizing the value of science in conjunction with faith.

Church of England: “Sorry, Darwin.”

Next year marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, as well as the 150th anniversary of the publication of “The Origin of Species.”

In response, the Church of England has made a posthumous apology to Charles Darwin for initially rebuffing his explanation of evolution, and has dedicated a section of the church’s Web site to exploring his ideas.

On the site, the Reverend Dr. Malcolm Brown, Director of Mission and Public Affairs for the Church of England, wrote a personal view of Darwin’s contribution to science. Brown’s essay discusses how members of the Church felt threatened by Darwin’s theory of natural selection when it was first introduced, and why the theories are worth revisiting today.

According to Brown, “It is vital that Darwin’s theories are rescued from political and ideological agendas that are more about controlling human imagination and unpredictability than about good science.” 

Although the Church of England never took an official stance against Darwin, church officials did argue against his theory of natural selection in an 1860 debate.

Darwin’s family considers the apology unnecessary: Andrew Darwin, the naturalist’s great-grandson said: “Why bother? When an apology is made after 200 years, it's not so much to right a wrong, but to make the person or organization making the apology feel better.”

Related Topics: Darwin’s Galapagos findings; creationist beliefs in today’s politics

Darwin’s research on the Galapagos
Palin brings creationism back to politics

Reference: The Church of England on Darwin


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