Though that’s how the unnecessary conflict has been perceived for
far too long. Unlike the Christian author making uninformed allegations
against the Church mentioned in the post below, many Christian and
Muslim churches are marking Darwin’s anniversary to re-examine the
relationship between faith and science.

This is a good thing.

Hundreds of churches this week will revisit the question
of whether man evolved from lower order species or was created whole by
a higher being as part of Evolution Weekend.

Participation through sermons, Sunday school lessons and even
evolution dances has expanded into 974 congregations across the
country, more than doubling since the weekend began in 2006, said
founder Michael Zimmerman, dean of the college of liberal arts and
sciences at Butler University in Indianapolis.

Organizers said the churches include a growing number of
conservative groups, among them black and Muslim groups typically
linked to more traditional views…

“We have to give God a lot more credit than we give him now – we
need to give him the benefit of the doubt that his word includes
evolution,” said Mike Ghouse, president of the World Muslim Congress, a
Dallas-based union of 3,000 Muslims that hosted its first ever
Evolution Weekend discussion Friday.

It’s movement in the right direction.

“Faith is related to one’s belief system … science, on
the other hand, is in a different domain,” said the Rev. Gerald Kersey,
who planned a Sunday school lesson and discussion of Darwin’s theories
at Avondale Estates First Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta.

He blamed religious intolerance for causing many faithful to feel they must choose between science and the Bible.

“I’m presenting the idea that science or evolution is compatible with faith,” he said.

So is the Vatican.

Father Marc Leclerc, professor of Natural Philosophy at
the Gregorian Pontifical University of Rome, explained in a recent
article for L’Osservatore Romano that there is no problem with the
theory of evolution.  The problem, he said, lies in the ideology that
is created as part of the theory…

Darwin, he noted, “applied his theory of natural selection to how
our species emerged, but not to the functioning of current human
societies, underscoring instead as a beneficial aspect for the species
the acquisition of moral and religious faculties that lead man to
protect the weakest, contrary to the absurd pretentions of social
Darwinism.”

“Evolution and creation pose no opposition to each other, but rather
they show themselves to be complementary,” the priest added.

That view has been held by the Church, but it’s going to take a while to inform the culture about that. They’re working on it.

“As Catholic theology rightly affirms,” [Fr.
Leclerc] continued, “each human person is the object of a singular
creative act by God, who also inserts himself naturally in the homo
sapiens species, and appears at the end as the culmination of an
immense evolutionary process about which some secrets are now being
discovered.”

With the upcoming evolution conference in Rome, they’re evolving the dialogue over scientific discoveries and theological meaning.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....