Posted by: morgan1965 | February 18, 2009

“The Clergy Letter”

The 2008 General Conference adopted three petitions concerning evolution – imagine that. One petition affirmed The Clergy Letter Project and its relational programs between religion and science.

I invite the clergy  to sign “The Clergy Letter” which has been signed by more than 10,00 clergy across denominational lines. I signed the letter with the hope that the letter will foster more conversation about the relationship between science and evolution. The General Conference has challenegd the churches to engage in education and dialouge about the subject of science and religion.

To sign “The Clergy Letter,” send an e-mail to Dean Michael Zimmerman at [he only accepts e-mail signers]. You can review the letter at this location:

Thank you for giving “The Clergy Letter” your prayerful consideration.



  1. Dear Bishop Lyght,

    Thank you so very much for taking such a leadership position with respect to the resolutions passed by The General Conference. Your outspoken support for The Clergy Letter Project will greatly help people understand that there is no conflict between Methodism and the best modern science has to offer.

    Michael Zimmerman
    The Clergy Letter Project

  2. Dear Bishop: The General Conference actually adopted four resolutions that touch on evolution. In the fourth “Repentance of Support of Eugenics”, the church repented for its predecessors support of Eugenic practices that the church supported. The resolution specifically notes the Eugenic theories of Charles Darwin and his cousin Francis Galton.

    The study of eugenics did not begin with Hitler or his German scientists, but rather was first promoted by Sir Francis Galton, in England. Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, who expanded on Darwin’s theories and applied them to the human population. In an article entitled “Hereditary Character and Talent” (published in two parts in MacMillan’s Magazine, vol. 11, November 1864 and April 1865, pp. 157-166, 318-327), Galton expressed his frustration that no one was breeding a better human:
    “If a twentieth part of the cost and pains were spent in measures for the improvement of the human race that is spent on the improvement of the breed of horses and cattle, what a galaxy of genius might we not create! We might introduce prophets and high priests of civilization into the world, as surely as we can propagate idiots by mating cretins. Men and women of the present day are, to those we might hope to bring into existence, what the pariah dogs of the streets of an Eastern town are to our own highly-bred varieties.”

    Galton in the same article described Africans and Native Americans in derogatory terms making it clear which racial group he thought was superior.

    Darwin’s second book, “The Descent of Man” celebrates his cousins eugenic theories.

    As one trained in both science and ethics, I would urge the scientists to quit embracing Darwinian fundamentalism as the antidote to Christian fundamentalism. I will be able to urge clergy to sign the Clergy Letter when the website for the letter distances itself from celebration of Darwin. Let’s celebrate some of the modern evolutionary biologists–like Steven Jay Gould who took Apartheid South Africa to task, not scientists like Darwin who let their science be used to discriminate. And let’s NOT celebrate Evolution Sunday anywhere near Darwin’s birthday. It is almost always in LENT, we have a lot to do as a Church during that time already.

    Jaydee Hanson

  3. […] The Clergy Letter Project […]

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