Bible Society Director of Programmes, Canon Dr Ann Holt, defended Darwin, on Prayer for the Day, BBC Radio 4, 27th May 2009. She said:

“It may surprise you to know that Charles Darwin had little interest in religious controversy, preferring instead to adopt a quiet and respectful attitude to people with whom he disagreed. Some of those on both sides of the faith and science debate could do with learning from the attitude of the man in whose name they sometimes quarrel. Polarisation outside the confines of formal debate is rarely helpful when it comes to moving a discussion forward, and can be utterly destructive of relationship. Recently as director of programmes for the Bible Society I’ve been in receipt of some exceedingly unpleasant letters where it’s clear that because the writers don’t know me personally they think they can assume and say anything, just because they disagree with my actions. In our plural society, one of the most constructive initiatives I know of is that of scriptural reasoning groups. They are being used to bring Jews, Muslims and Christians together around their sacred texts. Freedom of thought and expression are precious gifts, not to be snubbed and should be used in enriching dialogue that we might understand one another as Darwin and the archbishop Frederick Temple did nearly 200 years ago. In the New Testament, the Pharisees could barely contain their anger when Jesus failed to conform to their stereotype of what a good rabbi should be like by picking ears of corn on the Sabbath for example. Angry people are rarely good judges of outcomes, soft answers are what turn away wrath, and can open the way to considered wisdom.”

Editorial Comment: Towards the end of his life Darwin openly rejected the basic message of the Bible. He wrote: “I am sorry to have to inform you that I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation, and therefore not in Jesus Christ as the son of God.” (Letter to Frederick McDermott, 24th November 1880.)

The Bible Society was established so that people all over the world could read the Scriptures and find salvation in Jesus Christ, who is God the Son, Creator, Saviour and Lord. As a director of the Bible Society, Ann Holt should be defending the Bible, rather than praising someone who rejected it. Darwin’s gentlemanly attitude does not make him correct about science or Scripture. (Ref. philosophy, multi-faithism, apostasy)

Evidence News 24 June 2009