This year marks the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species.” As if the Church of England didn’t have enough to deal with, it decided to honor Darwin for his immeasurable contribution to science and apologize for all the grief Christianity has given its 20th century scapegoat.
A whole section was added to the Church of England’s Web site to discusses the gifts of Darwin to science and, believe it or not, religion. A few words from the Rev. Malcolm Brown, Director of Mission and Public Affairs:
“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,” he wrote. “We try to practice the old virtues of ‘faith seeking understanding’ and hope that makes some amends. But the struggle for your reputation is not over yet, and the problem is not just your religious opponents but those who falsely claim you in support of their own interests. Good religion needs to work constructively with good science – and I dare to suggest that the opposite may be true as well.”