The church is also eager to counter the view that its teaching is incompatible with science and distance itself from fundamentalist Christians, who believe in the biblical account of the creation.
"Charles Darwin, 200 years from your birth [in 1809], the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still," says the statement. "But the struggle for your reputation is not over yet, and the problem is not just your religious opponents but those who falsely claim you in support of their own interests."
"People, and institutions, make mistakes and Christian people and churches are no exception," it continues. "When a big new idea emerges that changes the way people look at the world, it's easy to feel that every old idea, every certainty, is under attack and then to do battle against the new insights. The Church made that mistake with Galileo's astronomy and has since realized its error. Some Church people did it again in the 1860s with Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection. So it is important to think again about Darwin's impact on religious thinking, then and now."