I have to give credit for the group for trying to parody the Church of England apology to Charles Darwin. Though naturally they are more funny when they get the wrong end of the stick in their observations on nature (such as Peacocks feathers – which Dawkins had a conversation about with Clive James). Their insults are at odds with the manner by which Dawkins goes for arguments, and the manner in which he does describe opponents. No doubt they would benefit from a day out at the zoo with a zoologist, rather than picketing outside one on Gay Sunday.
Evolution does not underpin my reasons for being an atheist. That it explains the development of life on earth without having to resort to supernatural explanations, and has evidence for it rather than circular reasoning that says all other opinions are from the devil. As a scientific theory new discoveries and ideas play a part in building up what we know about the process of evolution, once they are verified. They will be obtained by pursuing science, and not fearing where the truth will take us.
Those reasons would be Bertrand Russell’s Why I am Not A Christian and becoming aware that philosophy allowed serious discussion of life on earth without needing the assumption of god to work. That you really do have a credible choice in not believing in a higher power that needs worship or else.
Anyway here is the press release:
Dated 15th September 2008 21.00 hrs
Professor Richard Dawkins is to receive an apology from the prayer and lobby group Christian Voice, despite being spiritually dead for over sixty years. The move follows a posthumous apology to Charles Darwin which the Church of England issued today.
The apology will read:
‘Professor Dawkins, 67 years (give or take a month or two) from your birth, Christian Voice owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still. (We are not sure that is good English, but please forgive us for that as well.)
‘In the past Christian Voice has ridiculed you for your irrational belief in evolution and for failing to blaspheme the Holy Spirit.
‘We said, in a press release dated 10th October 2007, that you were ‘daffy’ in encouraging children on your website to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. We said your failure to understand what blaspheming the Holy Spirit actually was stemmed from ignorance and implied that you were barking mad to get people to try to blaspheme a God in whom you did not even believe.
‘We described you as an “evangelical atheist” who looked “malicious, loony, ill-informed and stupid in equal measure”. We pondered your “peculiar combination of wickedness and madness” and asked, “Has the evolutionary biologist lost the plot?”
‘Yesterday, outside London Zoo, while witnessing against the Zoo’s ridiculous “Gay Sunday”, we gave out leaflets mocking the theory of evolution, for which you are such a prominent advocate.
‘We imagined in the leaflet a conversation between two prototype swallows, desperately trying to work out how to stick mud together and watching all their eggs smash on the ground. We had the male swallow saying “I’m sorry about the eggs, darling, it takes time to evolve this nest-building lark.”
‘We ridiculed the idea that the tail of the peacock and the tuft on the head of the tufted duck are there to attract a mate, observing that starlings and sparrows manage to reproduce without over-the-top tails and redundant tufts.
‘In so doing, we characterised you as irrational, illogical and a total loser. We implied you were ill-educated if not a complete plank to think that the incredible interdependence and design in creation could just “happen” over time and did not need a divine designer.
‘People, and institutions, make mistakes and Christian people and Churches are no exception. When a big new idea, like Jesus Christ being King of kings and Lord of lords, emerges that changes the way people look at the world, it’s easy for Roman Empire pagans and modern secularists, both Christian and Atheist, to feel that every old idea, every certainty, is under attack and then to do battle against the new insights.
‘So we recognise now that your dependence on evolution is not science, or even bad science, but an irrational excuse to deny Almighty God. We see that your attempts to poor scorn on Christianity and Jesus Christ are the result of a sort of ‘virus of the mind’, put there by the father of lies.
‘We acknowledge that your hatred of intelligent design – and the Intelligent Designer – is merely a faith-based position, as is the use of your gifts to obscure and even deny the truth of the Gospel.
‘Above all, we now realise, that contrary to your being a complete waste of space and a descendant of apes, you are actually made in the image of God. We realise that although you are still stupid, that is simply because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and that your eyes are blinded and your ears will not hear any contrary view. In short, we now see you are a sinner in need of the saving, life-transforming grace of God in Jesus Christ.
‘It is a start for you, that you realise there is a deep incompatibility between the pseudo-scientific theories you have adopted and developed from Darwin and Christian teaching. But that is not quite enough.
‘So we apologise if we have failed to say, that rather than continue as a militant, proselytising sinner, you need to recognise your failings right now and seek the forgiveness of the incarnate, crucified, risen, ascended, glorified Lord Jesus Christ.
‘The struggle for your spirit is not over yet, and we pray that you will cast away the dead faith of Darwinism for a living faith in the living Saviour.’