The mission statement of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is as follows:
The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is a not-for-profit, membership organization providing information and resources for schools, parents and concerned citizens working to keep evolution in public school science education. We educate the press and public about the scientific, educational, and legal aspects of the creation and evolution controversy, and supply needed information and advice to defend good science education at local, state, and national levels.
They also say this about religion:
What is NCSE’s religious position?
None. The National Center for Science Education is not affiliated with any religious organization or belief. We and our members enthusiastically support the right of every individual to hold, practice, and advocate their beliefs, religious or non-religious. Our members range from devout practitioners of several religions to atheists, with many shades of belief in between. What unites them is a conviction that science and the scientific method, and not any particular religious belief, should determine science curriculum.
So why does the NCSE, which supports every shade between faith and atheism, have a “Faith Project” but not an “Atheism Project”? And why is the NCSE promoting this on their site?:
Interested in exploring the issues raised by science and faith? A free webcast series promises to assemble “thirty of today’s most inspiring Christian leaders and esteemed scientists for a groundbreaking dialogue on how an evolutionary worldview can enrich your life, deepen your faith, and bless our world.” To be broadcast throughout December 2010 and January 2011, “Evolutionary Christianity — Conversations at the Leading Edge of Faith” includes interviews with NCSE Supporter Kenneth R. Miller, discussing “Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul,” as well as Ian Barbour, John Cobb, Michael Dowd, John F. Haught, Karl W. Giberson, Owen Gingerich, Denis Lamoureux, John Polkinghorne, John Shelby Spong, Charles H. Townes, and a host of further scientists and scholars who regard their acceptance of evolution as expanding and enriching their faith. To subscribe to the webcast series and the companion e-newsletter, visit http://evolutionarychristianity.com/.
Over at the endorsed webcast site, The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity, the NCSE’s neutrality toward religion looks a bit, well, compromised:
Saying Yes! To Both Religion and Science
Are you frustrated with how the mainstream media portray the science and religion issue? It’s as if the only two games in town were science-rejecting creationism and faith-rejecting atheism. But for the millions of us in the middle who see no conflict between faith and reason, heart and head, Jesus and Darwin, we know that’s a false choice. Religious faith and practice can be positively strengthened by what God is revealing through science!
Here are some of the participants:
Darrel Falk, President, BioLogos
Karl Giberson, Vice-President, BioLogos
John Polkinghorne, theologian
John Haught, theologian
Kevin Kelly, who thinks that evolution has been set up by God to attain preordained ends
Bishop Shelby Spong
Kenneth Miller, Catholic evolutionist who suggests that “the world . . . knew we were coming“
Dennis Lamoroux, author of I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution
Owen Gingerich, astronomer and member of the board of directors, Templeton Foundation
Philip Clayton, theologian
Tom Thresher, pastor
For a seminar selling “evolutionary Christianity”, evolutionists are a bit thin on the ground. I recognized only Kenneth Miller (who’s written on evolution, though he’s more of a cell biologist). In contrast, I recognized at least eight theologians. What gives? Is it to much to ask them to find a few professional working evolutionary biologists to participate—even Christian ones?
Oh, and the site says this as well:
Evolutionary Christianity points to those who value evidence as divine communication. Whatever our differences, we all have deep-time eyes and a global heart—that is, we’re all committed to a just and healthy future for humanity and the larger body of life.
“Studying evolution is like following cosmic breadcrumbs home to God. Only by looking through evolutionary eyes can we see our way out of the current global integrity crisis that is destroying economies and ecosystems around the world.”
Oh dear Lord, studying evolution leads us home to God? “Religious faith and practice can be positively strengthened by what God is revealing through science?” [My italics.] Evolutionary Christians consider evidence as “divine communication”? This is hardly “studied neutrality” toward religion: it’s an explicit endorsement not only of the harmony between Christianity and evolution, but even a statement that we can find God in evolution. In other words, it’s theology, which the NCSE isn’t supposed to do or endorse.
The NCSE should stop promoting this nonsense. Clearly, the panjandrums there have made an explicit decision that they’ll best further the teaching of evolution by cozying up to Christians, even if those Christians (like Kevin Kelly) have a completely teleological and unscientific view of what evolution is. It seems as if they don’t care what kind of evolution is endorsed, just so long as it’s called “evolution.” God directed it toward certain ends? That’s okay! Evolution is “undirected” and “purposeless”? No, we can’t have that, even if it’s true: might scare the Christians!
For what is an organization profited, if it shall gain the whole world, and lose its own soul?