I still don’t know if I’m using that word right, but Science and Religion Today asked me a question about the award Chad wants to give me. They wonder “Do moderates have a responsibility to be more vocal in science and religion discussions?”
It’s an admittedly vague question, and they left off my epigram, from Petronius: “Moderation in all things, even moderation.” Ah well.
In brief, I said yes. I used “religious moderates” in what I think is an idiosyncratic way, taking it as the religious subset of moderates on a particular question much under discussion lately, not members of congregations which identify as moderate religions. Because the invitation started with the blog discussion here, I tried to incorporate insights I’ve picked up from y’all, and I’m curious what you think.
One comment that I hope doesn’t have to be made is that it’s quite different to say people should be more vocal than to say they are right. We can’t even know if religious moderates have a good case to be made unless they speak up and make their case. If that has the side effect of drowning out the religious fundamentalists in our discourse, no great loss.
And to all you science nerds, whatever your religious views, don’t forget this bit of advice for churchgoers:
This year contains numerous scientific anniversaries and is being celebrated as a Year of Science, which presents lots of opportunities for such a sermon [on science and religion]. Why not aim for November 21 or 22, the weekend nearest the 150th anniversary of the Origin of Species? publication?
Yep, the 150th anniversary is November 19th. What’s your school doing for that day? Your church? Your neighborhood? Your local museum? Your library? Your skeptics group?
If you don’t have a plan, here’s a suggestion. Get a lot of friends and a copy of the book (Ray Comfort’s going to be giving them away for free, so you might put those to good use), and spend the day reading it out loud in a public place. Take turns when you get tired, and see how far you get. If someone asks what’s up, you can tell them about how far evolution has come in the last 150 years.