Shuck and Jive

Friday, January 22, 2010

Invite Your Sweetheart to Church for Evolution Sunday!

A wonderful combination, Valentine's Day and Evolution Sunday is on the schedule for February 14th. Celebrating Evolution Sunday is a marvelous way to raise a hackle here in ye olde bible belt and I seldom miss an opportunity to hackle raise.

Check out the Clergy Letter Project for details about Evolution
Weekend (we allow the lesser religions to participate as well). Oh, I am kidding. Stop it.

You will find all kinds of great stuff there including sermons, articles, and other resources to make your evolutionary celebration truly befitting the glory of natural selection. We do need some hymns and liturgy for this new era of cosmological and evolutionary awareness. "God You Spin the Whirling Planets" just doesn't do it. We need hymns with titles like "Ode to the Brachiopod." Check some of these out. This will be a fun week to try out some new tunes and some new poetry.

If you know of songs, hymns, and anthems that are scientifically literate, aesthetically pleasing, and singable, I will be glad to promote them.

You can write new ones altogether or rewrite old favorites, like Amazing Grace:


Amazing Place, so blue and round,
That sets my spirit free.
I once seemed lost but now am found,
Seemed blind, but now, I see.

This Earth has rendered good to me.
And all my fears relieved.
How precious is this Earth to see,
its beauty now perceived.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
we have already come.
'Tis Earth that brought us safe thus far,
and still will be our home.

When we've been here ten thousand years,
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing Earth's praise
than when we'd first begun.

When 44% of Americans believe the universe is just as God made it 10,000 years ago, we have some work to do. I blather on about it every now and then, like here. Here was my sermon for Evolution Sunday last year. Here is an article in the local paper about Evolution Sunday 2008.

It so happens that this year Evolution Sunday and Valentine's Day share with the church lectionary, the mythical celebration of the Transfiguration of the Lord.

Here is a photo:

Oops, wrong Lord. Here we go.

Religion (including all of its sacred texts, symbols, songs, and stories) is a human-made product not more than a few thousand years old. Earth is 4.5 billion years old.

This 130 million year old fossilized worm is one hundred thousand times older than YHWH (who was created by humans in the first or second millennium BCE).

There is far more evidence that this worm lived than that YHWH did (except in our imaginations). Nothing against imagination, but it seems to me long past time for religious folks to move on and put things in order.

Happy Evolution Sunday!


  1. Here's one for you!

    I have a great recording of this one if you're interested.

  2. I'm sorry but we've evolved to the point where we'll celebrate evolution Sunday at home. Thanks for trying though.

  3. Well, this is what happens when you leave mainline Christian churches (United Church of Christ) and join the Unitarians. I had no idea what "evolution sunday" was about.

    Unfortunately, our new part-time consulting minister (a former Lutheran) is preaching for the first time on the 14th. I'll ask him if he's going to introduce "evolution Sunday" to us UUs who are clearly behind the times.


    Loved the Lord swicheroo.

  4. Thankfully a lot of UUs are in support of Evolution Sunday and have written their own letter. Obviously, the problem is not with the UUs. Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow came to visit us in 2008. Our local UU congregation teamed up with us to host them. They have some good stuff over here and here.

  5. John,

    I came upon your blog(s) a couple of weeks ago. I must confess that I was pleased to see that Rev. Bill Crawford let it be known that your activities have "been reported". Evidently you have not been excommunicated or de-frocked or otherwise expelled from the Presbyterian Church (yet), which makes me hold the Presbyterian Church with higher regard than I might have otherwise. In short, I am pretty sure that if I lived in your neighborhood I would probably be a close associate of your enterprise, if not an outright member. I look forward to following your writings here (and elsewhere) as your take on religion is about the best thing that I have happened upon. Thanks for your efforts!


  6. Steve! Welcome! Thanks, you made my day!

  7. Great post John ! .

    Very funny . Loved every bit of it . :)


  8. Read a novel a few years ago and don't remember the name of it but . . .

    Part of the message of the book is that some people do really stupid things and die in the process. The main characters in the book refer to this behavior by saying "think of it as evolution in action." You do something stupid, you die, you don't reproduce, you genes do not continue in the gene pool.

    A related site online gives out "Darwin Awards" to people who die in particularly stupid ways. They even sell t shirts. Their slogan:

    Honoring those who improve the accidentally removing themselves from it!

    The site is

    Anyway, my contribution to Evolution Sunday.

  9. Thanks Hugh!

    @Bob, I do love the Darwin awards. I think I might be up for one.

  10. John you have to DIE in some particularly stupid way to get a Darwin award! All awards are postumous.

  11. Doh! Well, then I still may be up for one! Maybe you will nominate me when I pass on to my reward?

  12. Well if you are going to die you have to do it in a particularly stupid way to get a Darwin award. Like the guy who drank too much beer and had to stop to relieve himself on I 95. He didn't look where he was going and fell 60 feet to a railroad bed.

  13. When I die it will likely be in a stupid way! The sad thing for the world is that I have already reproduced.