Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow commented: "After what seems too long a period of silence, it is encouraging to see senior church figures, theologians engaged with science, and scientists engaged with religion choosing to celebrate the landmark anniversaries of Charles Darwin's birth and publication of On the Origin of Species - together with those of other faith and of no religion at all.
"The central point of these celebrations is not to 'rescue Darwin' from either religion or atheism, but to improve understanding and reaffirm a common human commitment to use scientific discovery, including the extraordinary insights of genomics - which are rooted deep in evolutionary biology - to enhance human flourishing."
He added: "The pro- and anti-religion wars of Christendom are a distraction from this vital task, as is the bad theology and non-science of 'creationism'.
"The Christian concern should be to take responsibility for helping to advance scientific creativity, not to take credit or to take exception in ideological terms. Many people of other convictions are seeing things this way, too. Populist axe-grinding often has too little to do with truth," concluded Barrow.
* Darwin and religion - http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/8619
* Why Christians should celebrate Darwin - http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/8620
* Making sense of Darwin - http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/8349
* Methodists and other churches join celebrations of Charles Darwin - http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/8623
* Theology, science and the problem of ID - http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/6707