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  • Is Darwinism close to Godliness? Here’s one reverend who thinks so. | Thank God For Evolution
    writer and an expert in assisted migration which is the practice of helping animals safely pass through or around developed land Forested corridors through populated areas and more elaborate schemes like highway underpasses designed for wildlife can reduce roadkills and other risks Barlow s own migrations give her a unique perspective on such problems and solutions She also maintains thegreatstory org a website outlining the 14 billion year epic of cosmos life and humanity told as a sacred story Dowd recently published Thank God for Evolution a book that has received praise from both Nobel laureates and religious leaders It outlines his inspiring God affirming unification of science and religion Part of a growing movement known as evolution theology Dowd has discovered that evolution properly understood does not conflict with faith but instead glorifies it Where traditional perspectives see the world as created he sees it as creative God s work is ongoing infused into a world that builds upon itself and so too is revelation of truth a process that did not end when the books of the Bible were assembled Facts are God s native tongue says Dowd who sees science as a self correcting enterprise designed to detect divine truths That view would have been familiar to Charles Darwin a Christian who saw his nature studies as a form of devotion The scientific method arose directly from Christian philosophy and most early science was supported by churches or religious schools Dowd did not always see things this way He was once a young earth creationist sure that the earth was 6 000 years old and evolution a tool of Satan But during his religious training he found teachers who disagreed including Thomas Berry a self described Buddhist Christian My head told me to reject him but my

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1511 (2016-04-30)
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  • God and evolution: One evangelical minister says the two go hand in hand | Thank God For Evolution
    was furious when he heard evolution discussed by his peers God created the Earth in six days and rested on the seventh That was all there was to it Then in 1988 he was introduced to Thomas Berry and within 30 minutes his view of the universe and the sacred had changed profoundly It was like a religious epiphany he said I saw that evolution could enrich and deepen my faith Immediately Dowd began studying geology cosmology astrophysics biology and anthropology He came to the conclusion that science and faith are two sides of the same coin Dowd is author of the book Thank God for Evolution which marries the two Dowd and his wife science writer Connie Barlow will be in Asheville for three presentations this month and in December to talk about his book and the belief that knowledge of science can deepen one s faith in God We humans are the universe becoming aware of itself he said My thoughts my feelings are an extension of the universe We can honor God by honoring creation Dowd speaks with the fervor of an evangelist which he still is He was pastor of three churches in the 1980s and 1990s but in 2002 he and his wife took to the road They travel the country speaking up to 200 times a year to both religious and secular audiences Dowd and Barlow carry their possessions with them and stay with families who open their homes to them They tell the Great Story as Dowd calls his conviction that God is the creative force behind evolution and that humans are the universe becoming aware of itself He explains the creation story in the Bible as the way people explained the unknown before they became aware of the scientific evidence of evolution

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1495 (2016-04-30)
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  • Book Review by Alli Marshall | Thank God For Evolution
    to his book Thank God for Evolution How the marriage of science and religion will transform your life and our world Viking 2007 Like his title suggests Dowd is an evangelist born Catholic born again and initially during his seminary training very much opposed to evolution theory who married a scientist His wife science writer and evolution enthusiast Connie Barlow was at their meeting a self decribed atheist The couple are now full time evolutionary evangelists who live on the road in a van emblazoned with a Jesus fish and Darwin fish in a lip lock preaching the good word Our goal is to inspire people of all ages and theological orientations to embrace the history of everyone and everything in personally and socially transforming ways Dowd writes His enthusiasm for the subject is obvious from page one his excitement contagious Chapters cover many facets of science Thank God for the Hubble Telescope Lessons from Evolutionary Brain Science and Furry Li l Mammal to the Rescue and religion Experiencing God versus Thinking About God God or the Universe What s in a Name and Genesis in Context but the book really comes into its own in later chapter where Dowd explores the place of evolution in expanding spirituality There s more than a hint of Zen philosophy and nods to psychology Yet even as the author continues to expend his scope via the discussion of evolution he continues to return to religious mainly Biblical ideology For readers who are either uninterested in or uncomfortable with Christian doctrine this may be a deal breaker just as many ideas that Dowd posits in regard to evolution may be deal breakers for fundamentalists The author does traverse this mine field with impressive delicacy however For me today the interpretation of the Gospel that

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1491 (2016-04-30)
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  • Why I thank God for Charles Darwin | Thank God For Evolution
    my struggles to find sobriety as a young man A corollary of being born again however was that the preachers I listened to and the authors I read told me that accepting evolution would seduce me away from godly living At first I believed them But then I met professors ministers priests nuns rabbis and chaplains who not only accepted an evolutionary view of cosmos and culture but found it religiously inspiring Soon I too came to embrace the history of everyone and everything as our common creation story Today thanks to Charles Darwin and the countless evolutionary scientists and writers he inspired in fields as diverse as astrophysics geology genetics primatology sociobiology and brain science I interpret my Christian faith in far broader and more this world realistic ways than ever before It is obvious to me now that God didn t stop revealing truth vital to human wellbeing back when people believed the world was flat and religious insights were recorded on animal skins God is still communicating faithfully today publicly through the worldwide self correcting scientific enterprise I now see science as revelatory and facts as God s native tongue From this perspective divine grace and guidance extend back billions not just thousands of years Looking at the history of the universe through sacred eyes my faith is strengthened and my heart filled with joy No longer am I led astray by my instincts my unchosen nature And no longer do I find it difficult to live in integrity and know the peace that passes all understanding When I ponder the past I am humbled and filled with unspeakable awe and gratitude at our journey through deep time to the present moment When I see suffering nearly everywhere today I am overwhelmed with compassion and called to

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1786 (2016-04-30)
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  • Crossing Over in the Culture War | Thank God For Evolution
    the same air of outreach See scientists are spiritual not soulless They meditate on things unseen Neither author though goes very far into the territory of traditional religion Dowd for all his syncretism dismisses non evolved creeds as night thinking and flat earth faith which doesn t really capture why people might to borrow a phrase from Barack Obama cling to them Frankenberry notes that she chose the word faith rather than religion intentionally to cast a wider net it allows her to pull in everything from the chilling transcript of Galileo recanting before the Inquisition in 1633 to the musings of the pugnacious Dawkins The latter s tart comment on what he calls agnostic conciliation applies to several of the book s other voices and most of all to Dowd You have redefined science as religion so it s hardly surprising if they turn out to converge Why do so many Americans even a major party s vice presidential nominee remain skeptical or even hostile toward a foundational idea of modern biology Surveys have found as few as 40 percent of Americans agree that humans evolved from earlier species and a 2004 CBS poll indicated that more than half of U S adults accept the Bible s account of creation as true It takes a third new book Karl W Giberson s Saving Darwin to cast some light Giberson a physics professor at Eastern Nazarene College a historically Christian school attacks the conundrum with eloquence and clarity Saving Darwin offers readers two gifts a cultural history of the anti Darwin movement that details how its tenets far from being the traditional doctrine of any church were developed by a few cranks and fueled by larger populist fears of secular culture and an empathetic comprehensible account of how the world looks if you believe in scientific creationism as he once did Brought up fundamentalist the teenage Giberson dreamed of getting a PhD in physics the better to fight against Darwinism and related ideas such as the Big Bang theory and radiocarbon dating He carried a dog eared copy of John Whitcomb s and Henry Morris s 1961 volume The Genesis Flood which argues that Noah s flood deposited all the evidence that the deluded see as the fossil record But at college Bible college yet he encountered actual science By his sophomore year he was sliding uncontrollably away from biblical literalism wondering as he abandoned doctrine after doctrine whether he would lose his faith completely He didn t He concluded eventually that the untenable beliefs of Morris and his ilk were not essential to Christianity unlike say the Resurrection But his experience left him keenly aware of the emotional stakes of this ostensibly scientific topic For its protagonists Giberson argues the war against evolution is more like the war on drugs than a war of ideas In the recent court cases over whether to teach creation science in public schools all won by the evolution side he sees not a

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1471 (2016-04-30)
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  • Where Darwin meets Genesis | Thank God For Evolution
    that The self titled evolutionary evangelist will be in Palatine Thursday night talking about his new book Thank God for Evolution Dowd says he goes beyond merely reconciling the God versus science dichotomy Evolution and God are two different names for the same creative processes he said in a Tuesday interview What I try to do is show how science and religion can be mutually enriching Science can deepen one s faith Science is revelatory It reveals divine truths Dowd didn t start out embracing Darwin He started life as a Roman Catholic and later became a born again Christian and fierce opponent of evolution While a student at Evangel University in Missouri Dowd was shocked learning Darwin was on the curriculum Satan obviously has a foothold in this school he told his roommate But several of Dowd s mentors at the school believed in evolution and he evolved to accept it Dowd has a master s of divinity degree and served as a United Church of Christ minister for a decade Since 2002 he s been on the road with his wife science writer Connie Barlow spreading his message in a van with magnetic Darwin and Jesus fishes kissing While he leaves out controversies such as embryonic stem cell research Dowd doesn t shy away from quixotic positions The way forward begins with this simple truth he writes in Thank God for Evolution Your greatest difficulties including substance addictions and other destructive habits while your responsibility are ultimately not your fault Such challenges spring from inherited proclivities that served the survival and reproductive interests of our human and pre human ancestors He adds the good news is that an evolutionary appreciation of our instincts can help us navigate the troublesome issues many of us deal with related to food

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1464 (2016-04-30)
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  • Evolutionary evangelist brings together science and religion | Thank God For Evolution
    more Moving beyond literal interpretations of religious texts Dowd writes that making a distinction between the discoveries of science which he calls day language and those of our subjective personally revelatory and sacred understandings called night language leaves room enough for both the flourish To be sure Dowd s makes it clear that our understandings must be grounded in science because science reveals reality to us Nevertheless Dowd believes he is able to square a naturalistic understanding of our world with nearly every religious concept ever conceived And Dowd knows both religious and scientific concepts equally as well Growing up Catholic Dowd received a degree from Evangel University receiving a double major in biblical studies and philosophy Later he went on to earn a Master of Divinity degree from Eastern Baptist Seminary Yet prior to his academic career Dowd was Pentecostal preferring to speak in tongues over speaking in the language of science He rejected science and evolution believe them to be the work of the devil and that what he called Darwinism was the root of many social ills He even distributed anti evolututionary tracts and believed the Earth to be just 6 000 years old But his studies at Evangel convinced him that perhaps his worldview was mistaken and a lecture by Albert LaChance a few years later in 1988 laying out to Dowd the scientific account of the creation and development of the universe completed his transformation Less than an hour into the evening Dowd writes I began to weep I knew emphasis his I would spend the rest of my life sharing this perspective as great news Another transformative moment occurred following Sept 11 2001 when after watching a PBS special on evolution featuring conservative Christian college students struggling to embrace both science and a pre

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1457 (2016-04-30)
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  • Interview with Michael Dowd | Thank God For Evolution
    There was a time in my life when I thought the best we could do was to do less bad Well finding courage to do less bad is an uphill battle I mean people don t get fired up each morning to do less bad or to get other people to do less bad But this new way of seeing our past and who we are that we are the universe becoming conscious of itself literally and recognizing how interdependent and interrelated we are gives people a sense of belonging hope and inspiration when they look to the future It gives them a sense of living with challenges pain difficulties and the inevitable breakdowns in our lives and to relate to those things from a place of trust hope and faith When we look over the course of deep time past and we realize that the main thing that has driven the process of evolutionary creativity is chaos breakdowns and bad news we begin to trust the difficulties in our own life And when we look ahead a few decades and see the challenges coming down the pike we can look not with a sense of dread or overwhelm but from a sense of possibility and curiosity We re inspired to be in action to be part of evolution becoming conscious of itself and to do our part from a place not of fear but of possibility trust and inspiration In your book Thank God for Evolution you talk a lot about night language How do you define day and night language and how do they affect our worldview I use the phrases day and night language as a reflection of our day and night experience Humans dream and in our dreams we have night experiences different from our day experiences We fly turn into other creatures walk through walls We do all kinds of bizarre things In fact if we could do during the day what we do most nights in our dreams we would be having supernatural or miraculous experiences every day But we don t call them supernatural or miraculous because if we are sane we easily distinguish our day and night experiences Day language and night language reflect this Day language is the language that describes what is measurably so what is physically consensually true But we also add night language components that is interpretive components because facts in and of themselves are not particularly evocative They don t inspire They need to be interpreted to be inspiring and there s never only one right way to interpret any set of facts Night language is the realm of poetry myth symbol metaphor and traditional religious language It s the language that inspires it touches the heart moves the soul brings us to tears and calls us to awe I don t know of a single example of a people s creation story explaining where we came from why we re here where everything is going and

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1447 (2016-04-30)
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