BEIJING, Feb. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Prominent scientists and leading religious figures have joined forces to call for an end to the debate over Charles Darwin's legacy, media reported Monday.
This year is the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, and the 150th anniversary of his evolution theory. However, the battle between Darwinists and creationists is far from over, and carries on full-swing.
Scientists and religious figures warn ahead of the anniversaries that militant atheists are using evolution theory as a weapon to attack religion, therefore, turning people away from it.
Meanwhile, in a letter published in The Daily Telegraph, they also urge believers in creationism to acknowledge the overwhelming body of evidence that now exists to back up Darwin's theory of how life on Earth has developed.
They write: "Evolution, we believe, has become caught in the crossfire of a religious battle in which Darwin himself had little personal interest.
"We respectfully encourage those who reject evolution to weigh the now overwhelming evidence, hugely strengthened by recent advances in genetics, which testifies to the theory's validity.
"At the same time, we respectfully ask those contemporary Darwinians who seem intent on using Darwin's theory as a vehicle for promoting an anti-theistic agenda to desist from doing so as they are, albeit unintentionally, turning people away from the theory.
"In this year of all years, we should be celebrating Darwin's great biological achievements and not fighting over his legacy as some kind of anti-theologian."
"On the Origin of Species" is Darwin's most important study published on the theory of evolution. His concept of natural selection continues to arouse controversial uproars, majorly focused on the issue of whether or not life is the result of luck and natural processes or God's intention.