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  • ‘Thank God for Evolution' author visits Racine | Thank God For Evolution
    science writer call the continent their home in light of the fact that they haven t had a permanent residence since hitting the road Their mission is popularizing a sacred understanding of evolution and healing the science and religion gulf Dowd said during a cell phone interview Monday from Madison where he was giving presentations Raised as a Roman Catholic Dowd 49 had a born again experience in his early 20s and spent years embracing what he calls a fundamentalist view that evolution was of the devil A series of events contributed to Dowd s conversion from evolutionary skeptic to evolutionary evangelist Dowd eventually enrolled in Evangel University where he says he learned that most evangelical colleges and universities taught evolution He also met a Buddhist Christian who fully embraced evolution and convinced him that a scientific worldview didn t have to contradict a person s deeply held religious beliefs Based on his experience Dowd understands why some deeply religious people dismiss evolution If you just say the word evolution to many religious conservatives what they think of is a chance meaningless purposeless godless directionless process Dowd said It s not a surprise to me that religious conservatives are not climbing over themselves to embrace that idea of evolution Dowd said the fear among many religious fundamentalists is that if someone doesn t believe the biblical account of creation in Genesis to be the literal truth then they wouldn t trust anything in the Bible Dowd doesn t take that argument head on He believes people can have a deeper understanding of biblical concepts While he travels the country preaching about evolution Dowd said he isn t necessarily trying to convert anyone I m not trying to bang down the doors and go where I m not invited Dowd said

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1409 (2016-04-30)
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  • Minister preaches 'Gospel of Evolution' | Thank God For Evolution
    the former anti evolution fundamentalist told a crowd of about 350 in the auditorium of the just completed 9 1 million addition to Madison s First Unitarian Society Dowd and his wife acclaimed science writer Connie Barlow have been traveling for the last six and a half years living out of a van adorned with Jesus and Darwin fish kissing Known as America s Evolutionary Evangelists they travel the United States preaching the Gospel of Evolution Dowd s Monday night sermon followed three talks he gave at the First Unitarian Society over the weekend Dowd will be presenting variations on his sermon again on Oct 19 and Oct 21 at Unity Church 601 Tompkins Drive The religious advantage to embracing the evolutionary worldview Dowd told the New York Times Magazine this summer is that it explains our frailties our addictions our infidelities and other moral deficiencies as byproducts of adaptation over billions of years Dowd a former pastor in the liberal United Church of Christ has come to view evolution as a spiritually inspiring idea that God fearing people must embrace He calls his adopted religion Religion 2 0 Once people understand that sin is universal they can get past it and play a conscious role in the evolution of humanity he said It is important to realize religion sanctify science and reveal the true magnitude of both science and religion Dowd told his Monday night audience It unmasks the powers of manipulation and clarifies our way into the future he said Integrity is the key to alleviating suffering living life fully and loving the life you live Dowd said What we do today will impact the world for good or ill for countless generations To end his lecture Dowd quoted by heart the Rev Thomas Berry 93 a Catholic

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1479 (2016-04-30)
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  • Book Review by Rich Heffern | Thank God For Evolution
    long ago mutiny have forgotten that they live on a ship and that it s supposed to go somewhere For them the ship s windowless interior is their entire universe and even the idea that something might exist outside the ship is so foreign a concept that most can t imagine it Their lives revolve around the necessities of eating mating and feeding the matter converter controlled by a high priesthood of scientists themselves ignorant of where they actually are When the story s protagonist Hugh Hoyland a young man with ambitions of becoming a scientist is forcibly thrown into the company of mutants who occupy the upper decks he has his eyes opened to what the ship truly is when the two headed leader takes him to the bridge to look out the window at the stars Hugh starts a battle to educate all the inhabitants and put the ship back on track but first he is jailed and accused of heresy It s a plot premise that has been revisited many times in science fiction And it s an apt parable for religious views in America today A 2008 CBS poll showed most Americans do not accept the theory of evolution Instead 51 percent of Americans say God created humans in their present form in a day A Creation Museum opened in northern Kentucky last year costing 27 million to build and sitting on 49 acres The nonprofit ministry that built the museum Answers in Genesis claims the universe was created in six 24 hour days a mere 6 000 years ago and that fact serves as the blueprint for the museum Founder Kenneth Ham said The conclusions of modern science are not to be trusted as they are biased by the fickle reasoning of humans and a

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1459 (2016-04-30)
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  • Religion that’s not afraid of science | Thank God For Evolution
    not afraid of science National Catholic Reporter Three recent books take seriously the story science tells us about where we are and how we got here on Earth NCR columnist Rich Heffern talks with the authors to discuss the implications for religion of modern science s account of an unimaginably vast universe of 500 billion galaxies and the evolution of humans that took place over millions of years Michael Dowd

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1390 (2016-04-30)
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  • Christian author, science professors believe God and evolution co-exist | Thank God For Evolution
    Dowd s book but remains skeptical He says that some popular books on evolution seem too much like infomercials I don t think it s quite as simplistic as he or intelligent design suggest it is he said I think life is complex Grammer is head of the biology department at Belmont a Christian university with Baptist roots He says most faith and science discussions at Belmont occur outside of the classroom rather than in the lab In the biology department we teach straight science and straight evolution he said Grammer a member of Crievewood Baptist Church says that evolution and faith are compatible To me it s perfectly plausible that a supernatural God can operate how he chooses he said Some of the students in Belmont s labs are creationists Grammer thinks learning about evolution but privately rejecting it They take it in and learn it and then spit it back he said Mark Bolyard chairman of the biology department at Union University a Baptist school in Jackson Tenn takes a more proactive approach to combining evolution and faith In his classes students learn the fundamentals of evolution in the same way they do at a secular university But Bolyard who holds a doctorate in molecular biology from the University of North Carolina also talks about God as creator in class not just a God who wound up the universe and let it go While he doesn t expect students to embrace evolution Bolyard wants them to understand it Evolution is the 800 pound gorilla of biology he said In class Bolyard raises questions about how life on earth began He wonders if the first cells could have come into being without God s hand and says how life started remains a mystery I don t know and anyone

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1388 (2016-04-30)
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  • Preacher, science writer teach on faith, evolution | Thank God For Evolution
    Thank God for Evolution How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World Viking He also runs a Web site thankgodforevolution com His missionary zeal for evolutionary theology comes from a conviction that evolution itself provides meaning to existence by creating yes creating a holy trajectory from simplicity to ever greater complexity Humans are part of that process Dowd said The universe became complex enough so that it could be aware of itself We re not separate from nature It s nature becoming aware of itself He believes that as religious traditions accept this understanding they ll see their truths are more real more visceral This view of the cosmos stands in contrast with evolutionary thinking that leaves little room for purpose or meaning When I talk to conservative audiences Dowd said I tell them they re right to reject evolution mostly as a chance purposeless process I present evolution in a God glorifying Christ edifying Scripture honoring way In his view humans represent a high water mark in evolutionary development We are conscious of ourselves and seek relationships not only with other humans but with the ultimate reality itself In Dowd s vocabulary the proper name we give that ultimate reality is God Language is another bridge linking science and religion according to Dowd When we understand how language developed he said All concepts of God and religion make complete sense All societies grow up with what he calls night language the language of dreams and metaphors that humans have used through their history to explain the world These stories speak deep subjective truth he said The story of the fall in the Garden of Eden that s profoundly true in night language Then science comes along and puts down night language speaks only

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1222 (2016-04-30)
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  • Devolution in Education | Thank God For Evolution
    the dubious distinction of being branded a RINO by some members of her own party A Republican in name only runs the risk of challenges from more conservative candidates backed by a mega church or two Hardy said that her 2006 opponent Dr Barney Maddox never attacked her personally but used campaign materials that fed the allegation of weaknesses in the current science theory During the campaign Maddox refused to talk about his position on evolution However his affiliations seem to confirm his ideological leanings As a doctor Maddox was tapped more than a decade ago to sit on the state review panel for high school biology textbooks He condemned one potential textbook Prentice Hall s Biology The Living Science because he said the book violated state law Proclamation 95 requiring discussion of scientific weaknesses of evolution Maddox also wrote an article for the Institute for Creation Research in which he is credited as author of the biological sciences course material for the Creationist Worldview distance education program offered by ICR Hardy won re election this spring and the SBOE remains for the time being tenuously balanced In the curriculum revision process that began earlier this year some teachers groups have accused the SBOE of smokescreening its true agenda a charge that the SBOE leadership denies David Bradley a Republican board member from Beaumont has been quoted as saying that during the science curriculum revision process the only thing this board is going to do is ask for accuracy Conservative board members have denied that there will be any controversy unless liberal thinking groups like the Texas Freedom Network bring it Schafersman of Texas Citizens for Science said Bradley is being disingenuous at best The intent of the SBOE creationists is to ask for misrepresentation of science not for accuracy he wrote in an e mail What Bradley and his colleagues actually plan to do is damage evolution instruction by trying to get the new science standards to include lessons on alleged but false weaknesses of evolution in order to weaken evolution content confuse students and make them think science is less accurate and reliable about biological origins than it really is Don McLeroy a Bryan dentist is the current State Board of Education chairman As a medical professional his credentials for board membership might seem impeccable However McLeroy who was appointed by Perry is also an evangelical Christian who rejects the theory of evolution Quoted in The New York Times on June 4 McLeroy said his rejection of evolution I just don t think it s true or it s ever happened is not based on religious grounds My personal religious beliefs are going to make no difference in how well our students are going to learn science he said in the interview That may be true But the decidedly anti evolution slant of McLeroy and his conservative colleagues on the education board may make that difference In an interview with the San Antonio Express News on May 31 Bradley told a reporter Evolution is not fact Evolution is a theory and as such cannot be proven Statements like that throwing around terms like theory and hypothesis and guess as though they were interchangeable just illustrate the problem as far as Lewisville s Fisher is concerned In layperson s terms if you say It s just a theory that usually means you re talking about a guess or something unproven But Fisher said that in the precise language of science a theory is something that has been rigorously tested reviewed by scientists modified when new evidence becomes available verified by repeated experimentation and has become part of the scientific consensus A theory differs from a law in that a law governs a single action like the law of gravity A theory on the other hand explains a whole series of related phenomena like the theory of relativity A hypothesis Fisher said is a guess that hasn t been through that scientific process of being tested and proved up And creationism which is based on biblical interpretation isn t even a guess It s a belief based on faith he said A theory isn t a guess Fisher said Science deals with natural explanations which are testable In that context he said evolution can be proven The evidence is overwhelming Teachers like Fisher with science backgrounds and scientists like Schafersman believe that evolution is a concept critical to the understanding of all of the sciences A former geology professor Schafersman said his biggest criticism of the state board s process is that most of the elected officials who will formally approve the curriculum are not educators And in this case he said the fact that most also are not scientists can make a huge and dangerous difference for Texas students The lack of science background on the part of most state board members means they may not understand that creationism is a belief not a scientific theory like evolution that is subject to being proved The idea that divine guidance played a part in the creation of the world the basis of intelligent design is a possibility but we have no way of testing it Fisher said However that doesn t stop ID proponents from touting it as a credible scientific theory or conversely attempting to discredit evolution with the words It s just a theory Chief among the proponents of intelligent design are the fellows at the Discovery Institute in Seattle According to its web site the institute s Center for Science and Culture is run by a group of more than 40 biologists biochemists chemists physicists philosophers and historians of science and public policy and legal experts The web site states that the institute is not a religious organization and also maintains that intelligent design is not the same as creationism One of the center s primary goals is to support research by scientists and other scholars challenging various aspects of Darwinian theory The CSC s leaders have

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1223 (2016-04-30)
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  • "America's evolutionary evangelists" are coming to Elizabethton | Thank God For Evolution
    he has read Dowd s book which is also being used as a tool for the Thursday morning study group at First Presbyterian Shuck says he was always intrigued by the fact that Dowd was a minister and that he actually wrote and spoke against evolution He kind of had a change of heart and now he is a traveling evolutionary evangelist Shuck continued He talks about the evolutionary story He makes it particular to people so that they can see it s not a polarizing thing It doesn t have to be either or It doesn t have to be a person of faith or a person of evolution that there is a way to understand it that is complementary rather than oppositional Shuck says he thinks the creation story in Genesis was a story created by people before we understood what we know about science but they talked about one of the refrains that we hear in Genesis and the Lord said that it was good I think in a sense that is the enduring message of the story The people who told that story told it in their time and their understanding of how the universe worked

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1177 (2016-04-30)
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