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Church of England to Darwin: Sorry About that Thing 200 Years Ago

Back in 1860, "Soapy Sam" Wilberforce from the Church of England mocked Darwin supporter Thomas Huxley in the famous Oxford evolution debate,...


Back in 1860, "Soapy Sam" Wilberforce from the Church of England mocked Darwin supporter Thomas Huxley in the famous Oxford evolution debate, asking whether Huxley traced his lineage back to the apes through his grandfather or grandmother. Zing!Now, nearly 200 years after Darwin's birth, Rev. Dr. Malcolm Brown from the Church of England apologizes for the confusion:"Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still."In his essay Malcolm assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each "magisterium" (to borrow Stephen Jay Gould's term):"...perhaps because the churches have not been good at equipping people to see God at work in the contemporary world – for all these reasons and others, a parody of science has become a focus for certain forms of social unease."But also:"...the pseudo-Darwinian reductionism, which elevates selfishness into a virtue and celebrates power and dominance, is not only a misunderstanding of Darwin but may even contribute to human decline by eroding those aspects of being human which have given us such a natural advantage."It's fun to see an "apology" from the Church but this essay is also a really good example of how thoughtfulness and understanding can help bridge these cultural gaps. Richard Dawkins could learn a thing or two from Rev. Brown.Via Eyeteeth.
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