On Darwin's Birthday, Some Celebrate 'Question Evolution Day'
As many churches observed "Evolution Weekend," some congregations and other groups decided to celebrate a different perspective on the origins debate with "Question Evolution Day."
The Feb. 12 observance was meant to encourage people to skeptically approach Darwin's theory of evolution. It was coordinated by multiple groups including the Traditional Values Coalition, Creation Ministries International, and the website Piltdownsuperman.com.
"This is not designed to teach Genesis per se, nor is it a platform for debating the age of the Earth; there are plenty of other places for that," said Bob Sorensen of Piltdownsuperman.com, to The Christian Post.
"We should be able to [criticize evolution] without censure, censorship, ridicule and the like. People are encouraged to write articles on Weblogs, make comments on social media, make videos and get creative."
In addition to corresponding with the birthday of Charles Darwin, "Question Evolution Day" also fell at the same time as "Evolution Weekend," an event organized by the Clergy Letter Project. The goal of the project is to prove that a person can be devoutly religious and also believe that evolution is good science.
Michael Zimmerman, founder and executive director of the Project, told CP that groups and websites like Piltdownsuperman.com misunderstand the scientific method and how it applies to evolutionary research.
"Each and every year there are thousands of articles published in the peer reviewed scientific literature questioning and expanding our understanding of evolutionary theory," said Zimmerman.
"Websites of this sort, like most creationist websites, demand that scientific answers be intuitive. If answers become too complex, creationists say, the more intuitive answer must be correct. Simply put, in this field and in every other, this is an incredibly anti-intellectual position."
Zimmerman also said that he believed this year's observance of "Evolution Weekend" was a success, as many churches discussed issues regarding evolution and creation.
"Conservative and liberal congregations celebrated because the issue is one that is beyond politics," said Zimmerman.
"Evolution Weekend was again successful because it provided the opportunity for meaningful dialogue to take place, allowing us to move beyond the bumper stickers and t-shirts that Question Evolution promotes."
"Question Evolution Day" was part of an overall campaign by groups like TVC and CMI to advance evidence against the theory of evolution.
"The campaign involves people empowering people to stand firm together against the evolutionary indoctrination so rampant in our schools, universities and media," wrote Don Batten of CMI.
"Students certainly should question Darwinism in their schools and encourage others to do it too-after all, don't teachers urge students to 'question everything'? Students have a right to question the evolutionary pseudoscience peddled to them."
The Traditional Values Coalition explained that they are part of the "Question Evolution!" campaign because they feel that the issue is central to worldview formation.
"The creation vs. evolution issue is a core issue because the teaching of evolution (everything made itself without God) leads students to reject biblical authority/morality and thus robs them of true meaning and purpose for their lives," said TVC in a statement on their website.
"It is important to reach young people before they are indoctrinated with evolutionary dogma and to have young people filled with energy and enthusiasm actively involved in this campaign."