Page last updated at 15:14 GMT, Saturday, 7 February 2009

Churches hold Darwin conference

Charles Darwin

A group of churches in Oxford is hosting a conference to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of scientist Charles Darwin.

The event also commemorates the 150th anniversary of the publication of his seminal book the Origin of Species, on the theory of evolution.

Organiser the Reverend Tim Stead said it wanted to explore the relationship between science and religion.

He said evolution was one of the "most influential scientific ideas ever".

The conference is aimed at "exploring Darwin's contribution to our world view".

Mr Stead said: "It impacts on our entire understanding of the world.

"One of our aims in holding this conference is to go some way towards redressing the impression that some of the general public have that Christians are anti-science and anti-Darwin."

Mr Stead said many Christians wanted to celebrate Darwin's huge contribution to their world view.

"This is a chance to set the record straight and to explore how it is possible for faith to sit alongside Darwin's views," he said.

"Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is one of the most influential scientific ideas ever conceived."

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