Friday, February 08, 2008

Countdown to Darwin Bicentennial

Next year will mark the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birth and the sesquicentennial of his book The Origin of Species by Natural Selection.

During February 2006 and 2007, Darwin's birth and book were commemorated on Evolution Sunday by hundreds of congregations around the globe.  This year, the event has been expanded to Evolution Weekend which begins today and runs through Sunday, February 10th.  More than 800 congregations from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and nine countries outside the United States are participating (see The Clergy Letter Project).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of course, is NOT participating.


Anonymous Lincoln Cannon said...

The LDS Church is also not formally acknowledging Ronald Reagan Day, even though most Mormons admire Ronald Reagan. Likewise with evolution, whether or not the Church formally acknowledges a celebration of Darwin, most Mormons either accept evolution theory or do not care one way or the other. Only a dwindling minority of Mormons share the concerns expressed here.

2/08/2008 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Do hundreds of religious groups actually commemmorate Ronald Reagan Day?

2/08/2008 03:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeff G said...

Yeah, even if the church weren't semi-officially against evolution, I still wouldn't expect them to participate in the event.

For instance, say that the church really is completely and entirely neutral on the question of evolution like many of the people you are arguing against believe. (The church isn't, but let's just humor them, right?) I don't think anybody would expect the church to participate in such a scenario.

It should also be noted, however, that the church isn't dedicating any services to specifically counter evolution either. Doesn't this PROVE that the church is neutral? hehe

2/09/2008 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Jeff G.,

Three years ago, President Boyd K. Packer's condemnation of evolution was published for all the Church to read.  He said:

-------------- quote --------------
"No idea has been more destructive of happiness, no philosophy has produced more sorrow, more heartbreak and mischief; no idea has done more to destroy the family than the idea that we are not the offspring of God, only advanced animals."  (Ensign, Jan. 2005, p.49; italics in the original.)
-------------- end quote --------------

On another occasion, President Packer very clearly said that organic evolution as an explanation for the origin of man is not only a problem, it is "the problem."  (Boyd K. Packer, "The Law and the Light," The Book of Mormon: Jacob through Words of Mormon, to Learn with Joy [Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, BYU, 1990], p.6; italics in the original.)

Now please keep his position on evolution in mind while you read President Packer's explanation of why the Church doesn't usually allocate substantial resources to counter things like evolution:

-------------- quote --------------
"We have a work to do.  Why should it cease while we do battle with our enemies?  Brethren, set a watch and make a prayer and go about the work of the Lord.  Do not be drawn away to respond to enemies.  In a word, ignore them."  (Ensign, Aug. 1983, p.69; italics in the original.)
-------------- end quote --------------

As I read the above paragraph, the fact that the Church isn't dedicating any services to specifically counter evolution is NOT an indication of neutrality.

2/09/2008 03:06:00 PM  

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