CofE to Darwin: sorry about all the name calling, can we be friends?

CofE to Darwin: sorry about all the name calling, can we be friends? September 14, 2008

Apparently, the Church of England is going to officially apologize tomorrow for all the abuse it heaped on Darwin and his theory of natural selection a couple of centuries ago. According to the Daily Mail:

An article to be posted on the Church’s website will say: ‘Charles Darwin, 200 years from your birth [in 1809], the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still.

Andrew Darwin, one of his grandsons, points out that it’s all a bit late, really:

‘Why bother?’ he said. ‘When an apology is made after 200 years, it’s not so much to right a wrong, but to make the person or organisation making the apology feel better.’

Anne Widdecome’s also in a lather. She’s fed up with apologizing for the beastly behaviour of her ancestors. Why can’t these down-trodden wimps just get over it? Says she:

‘We’ve already apologised for slavery and for the Crusades. When is it all going to stop? It’s insane and makes the Church of England look ridiculous.’

But actually, there is a point to the church’s apology, because it’s an important gesture aimed squarely at creationists. And it comes as part of a package. According to the Telegraph, the Church will also be launch a website “to honour Darwin and his hypothesis”. It’ll make interesting reading, I’m sure!

Update: website now up http://www.cofe.anglican.org/darwin

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