Leiden Declaration on Evolution and Religion

We, religious and secular biologists, philosophers, historians of science, teachers and theologians, participants of the Lorentz workshop 'Distinguishing Science and Metaphysics in Evolution and Religion' 2018 in Leiden, Netherlands, declare that:

1. the scientific theory of evolution, as it has been developed over more than one and a half centuries, currently provides the best explanation for the diversity, distribution, history and ongoing change of life on earth;

2. this theory provides a unifying framework in biology, essential to understand living organisms, with applications in medicine, computer science, ecology, agriculture et cetera;

3. this theory should be taught at both public and religious secondary schools, in a way that distinguishes it from atheistic or religious interpretations;

4. scientists, philosophers and religious believers have disagreed on the topic of evolution in the past and still sometimes do today, but these disagreements are not intrinsic to either evolutionary theory or religion per se;

5. we should respect the distinct roles of science and of metaphysics (including religious and secular worldviews): metaphysical claims should not overrule established scientific conclusions; likewise the natural sciences should not be misused to make metaphysical claims;

6. where friction or disputes occur, attempts to engage in respectful dialogue seem the best way forward;

7. we will seek to address unwarranted claims made in our own discipline about other disciplines and commit ourselves to further respectful exchange.

This declaration is the result of a five-day international workshop (Leiden, the Netherlands, August 2018) in which a group of over fifty academics, from theologians, philosophers and science historians to physicists and biologists with different worldviews discussed on the Science and Metaphysics in Evolution and Religion. 

  1. Duur Aanen (Wageningen Universiteit, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
  2. Bert van den Berg (Heerenlanden College Leerdam, The Netherlands)
  3. Piter Bijma (Wageningen Universiteit, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
  4. Hans Breeuwer (Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  5. Gijsbert van den Brink (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)
  6. H. Floris Cohen (Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
  7. Ernst Conradie (University of the Western Cape, South Africa)
  8. Rana Dajana (Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan)
  9. Cees Dekker (Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands)
  10. Sander van Doorn (Groningen University, Groningen, The Netherlands
  11. Celia Deane-Drummond (University of Notre Dame, IN, USA)
  12. Héloïse Dufour (EVOKE, Paris, France)
  13. Herman van Eck (Wageningen Universiteit, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
  14. Hans van Eyghen (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)
  15. Ab Flipse (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)
  16. René Fransen (Groningen University, Groningen, The Netherlands)
  17. Michael Gerhardt (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)
  18. Neda Ghatrouie (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)
  19. Deborah Haarsma (BioLogos, Grand Rapids, MI, USA)
  20. Mark Harris (University of Edinburgh, UK)
  21. Jelmer Heeren (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)
  22. Nicola Hoggard (NZCIS, Auckland, New Zealand)
  23. Robin ten Hoopen (PThU, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  24. Aniek Ivens (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)
  25. Gerard Jagers op Akkerhuis (Wageningen Universiteit, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
  26. Henk Jochemsen (Wageningen Universiteit, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
  27. Gerdien de Jong (Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
  28. Marnix Medema (Wageningen Universiteit, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
  29. Vidyanand Nanjundiah (Centre for Human Genetics, Bangalore, India)
  30. Mathijs Nieuwenhuis (Wageningen Universiteit, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
  31. Lennart van de Peppel (Wageningen Universiteit, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
  32. Herman Philipse (Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
  33. Peter Punt (Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands)
  34. Matteen Rafiqi (Bezmialem Vakıf Universiy, Istanbul, Turkey)
  35. Jeroen de Ridder (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)
  36. Albert Ringer (Liberal Jewish Congregation, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
  37. Danny Rozen (Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands)
  38. Umar Ryad (Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
  39. Marcel Sarot (Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)
  40. Bethany Sollereder (University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)
  41. Christoffer Southgate (University of Exeter, UK)
  42. Nico van Straalen (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)
  43. Eva van Urk (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)
  44. Danie Veldsman (University of Pretoria, South Africa)
  45. Bert van Veluw (Protestant congregation De Hoeksteen, IJsselmuiden, The Netherlands)
  46. Sabine Vreeburg (Wageningen Universiteit, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
  47. René van Woudenberg (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)
  48. John Wilkins (University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
  49. Jelle Zandveld (Wageningen Universiteit, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
  50. Bas Zwaan (Wageningen Universiteit, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
  51. Mark Zwart (Netherlands Institute for Ecological Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
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