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  • They hold evolution sacred | Thank God For Evolution
    other to greatness Dowd and his wife science writer Connie Barlow have been crisscrossing the nation for six years spreading what he says is an uplifting and powerful message about man s relationship to his God and world He spoke with the Star Gazette by phone Monday from the road in Canandaigua This month alone he ll give talks in New York Texas Oklahoma and Tennessee We do a lot of speaking a lot of programs he says We have a Dodge Sprinter van and we live with people in their homes for a few days or a week or more We take over their guest bedrooms as our office and sleep in the van It s our bedroom on wheels and we speak three or four times a week Religion and science have come to mutual understandings of many topics everything from Earth s place in the universe to where babies come from Yet for some scientific theories on the development of life as we know it and faith seem impossible to reconcile Dowd said he doesn t get invited to speak at churches unwilling to make any compromise on evolution Creationists believe in God s creation of the world as described in the Bible In Dowd s opinion many of them have never had evolution explained to them properly For many evolution has never been interpreted in a meaningful way he says It hasn t been interpreted in a sacred way The same facts can be interpreted in multiple ways and we offer an inspiring interpretation that is meaningful and builds and strengthens faith People come to accept it and not just the way they accept death and taxes They wholeheartedly embrace it The Rev Gary McCaslin pastor of First Baptist Church in Painted Post says he s

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/they-hold-evolution-sacred (2016-04-30)
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  • Rev. Michael Dowd on CNN | Thank God For Evolution
    of the Texas state Board of Education subscribe to the theory of Intelligent Desire just one vote shy of a majority And that s important because what happens in Texas doesn t stay in Texas at least regarding textbooks The state is the largest buyer of school textbooks so what Texas wants most of the rest of us get Bill Tucker CNN New York END VIDEOTAPE SYLVESTER The Texas Education Board will decide this summer whether the strengths and weaknesses of Evolution should be taught in schools and the Texas decision could impact other states as well Now there are those who believe there is a link between Evolution and Creationism The Reverend Michael Dowd is at the forefront of that movement He is the author of the book Thank God for Evolution and Michael Dowd joins me now Thank you very much for coming here Now in your book you say this idea that science and religion cannot only coexist but Creation and Evolution can coexist how so And you also say something really interesting the facts are God s native tongue What do you mean by this DOWD There s a huge body of people in the middle it s the millions in the middle who are not being reported on If you just pay attention to mainstream media what you get is the idea that there s just the new atheist on the one end there s the young earth Creationist and Intelligent Design folks on the other But if you ask most Americans do they see a conflict between science and religion they d say no in fact I d love you to do a poll on that one because there s so many people there s 11 000 clergy for example that have signed the clergy letter it s called the Clergy Letter Project and they signed the letter saying they see no conflict between a mainstream scientific understanding of Evolution and their faith SYLVESTER How do you explain it though I mean most people present it as an either or it s either Creation or Evolution How do you bridge the two DOWD Well because it can be understood as 14 Billion year of grace and creativity In other words we can take the same science and interpret it meaningfully In fact in the clip one of the things that I pointed out there that I think is the truth is that we re going to continue to see conservatives reject Evolution and fight against it in schools until it s been interpreted meaningfully for them and it s not right now Most conservatives have only been exposed to a way of thinking about Evolution that s meaningless chance purposeless directionless godless process and of course they re not going to accept that SYLVESTER So you were a minister so when you go around country and you are talking to different religious groups how do you tell them hey this makes sense DOWD Well

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1670 (2016-04-30)
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  • Evolutionary Evangelist | Thank God For Evolution
    been traveling the nation and preaching on the sacredness of evolution I love stories like this that show the ways that religious thinking can adapt and synthesize to totally modern theories Yudhijit Bhattacharjee writes in the Times article that For the last six years he has traveled across North America with his wife Connie Barlow in a van that displays an image of two fish kissing each other one labeled Jesus the other Darwin explaining to conservative and liberal congregations why understanding and accepting evolution will bring them closer to spiritual fulfillment The religious advantage to embracing the evolutionary worldview Dowd says is that it explains our frailties our addictions our infidelities and other moral deficiencies as byproducts of adaptation over billions of years And that he says has a potentially liberating effect never mind guilt once we understand our sinful ways we can get past them and play a conscious role in the evolution of humanity And what is fantastic is to see this in action as Bhattacharjee finds one of Dowd s congregants who experiences religious liberation through this idea of moral weakness as a byproduct of evolution Bhattacharjee writes after Bob Miller an 81 year old man

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/evolutionary-evangelist (2016-04-30)
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  • A genre bender | Thank God For Evolution
    an award for the best supporting editor Indeed their marriage its joys and troubles is itself a major topic in the book The subtitle of the book is thus appropriately How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World The book is a genre bender mixing inspirational science writing theological reflection Biblical interpretation and self improvement manual into a sometimes distracting blend Though based on the Greatest Story ever told TGFE itself lacks a strong narrative structure which frankly makes the book easier to pick up skip around put down and pick up again And that is how this book is best read and used In that sense it is a very useful book for adult religious education youth ministries and individual study I foresee no adoption at the university level but frankly in the pews is where the greater need is That is not to say the sophisticates and stayed members of the Academe might not also benefit from reading something completely out of the box Dowd has succeeded in attracting glowing endorsements of TGFE from a huge variety of scientists religious leaders and authors This is accomplished in part by the many generous citations included from these very authors among others The book is valuable simply as a collection of quotes on evolution science and religion Dowd channels a lot of Thomas Berry both in his prose and in his citations Second to Berry is the work of David Sloan Wilson He has wrapped himself in the words and wisdom of many many others and provided a who is who directory in the back which I found myself frequently consulting Seven chapters into the book I had read so many quotes from so many authors that I was beginning to feel a little left out and over looked but then was pleased to discover my own words and name staring back at me on page 127 Thanks Michael While Dowd affirms multiple religious traditions he engages the Christian idiom in depth offering creative evolutionary reinterpretations of concepts like Original Sin Resurrection and Personal Salvation He refers to these as REALizing religion moving religious doctrines of the Night Language of dreams to the Day Language of science from the Private Revelations of scriptures to the Public Revelations of science Continuing revelation is a big theme in TGFE Unfortunately the book will be a non starter for anyone who rejects the notion of continuing revelation I particularly liked Part III The Gospel According to Evolution in which he uses evolutionary brain science and evolutionary psychology to reconstruct the doctrine of Original Sin He notes the quadrune evolution of the human brain with its Lizard Legacy in the cerebellum and brainstem its Furry Li l Mammal in the limbic systems its Monkey Mind in the neo cortex and its Higher Porpoise in the prefrontal cortex It is the interplay of these evolved structures of our brain that inevitably lead to sin Dowd dwells on the story

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/a-genre-bender (2016-04-30)
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  • Creation, evolution both make sense | Thank God For Evolution
    first man and woman commit what Christians refer to as the original sin when they eat fruit from a tree that God has warned them not to touch By eating the fruit they give up the privilege of eternal life for themselves and all of humankind and are banished from the Garden of Eden The original sin of the Creation story says Dowd is much like some of the base instincts that humans have developed through evolution urges they know they should suppress such as sexual lust or cravings for rich foods Dowd who was raised as a Roman Catholic became a born again Christian as a teenager then embraced evolution theology while a student at Evangel University in Springfield Mo says he believes it is important to embrace both literal and metaphorical versions of evolution because doing so allows people to better understand their places in the universe By uniting faith and reason people can better realize that they themselves are part of the Creation that they didn t come into the world they grew out of it says Dowd Once they reach that realization they are more likely to take care of the Earth rather than spoil it for their own gain And that says Dowd is a good thing Certainly anything that encourages more environmental responsibility is a good thing we do have the responsibility of assuring that the generation after us has an earth to live on and the generation after them he said Dowd pointed out that in chapter two of the book of Genesis God created Adam the first man from the dust of the ground That literally roots us into the earth he said Connie Barlow shares her husband s philosophies and has authored four books about evolution theology She ll be leading a number of the events when she and Dowd come to town including a multi generational evolution workshop called The River of Life The couple has lived on the road for the past five years speaking about their shared worldview at engagements across the country for Jewish Christian Hindi Buddhist and secular audiences Dowd concedes that the most fundamental Christian churches those that interpret the Bible s Creation story as a literal account of how life on Earth began don t let him anywhere near their congregations Yet But he s not discouraged I trust God I trust time he said I think the time will come when this topic is big in the media and people can t avoid talking about it The Catholic Church for one is open to such discussions said Dowd as long as they don t discount our fundamental belief that God is the source of life Whether Creation took place in six distinctly 24 hour periods or over a longer span of time whether for instance each day was actually a span of years is an open question he said We re always discovering things that previously we didn t have the equipment or

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/creation-evolution-both-make-sense (2016-04-30)
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  • Darwinists for Jesus | Thank God For Evolution
    seen as 14 billion years of grace He sidesteps the question of whose grace this is supposed to be although the book s title offers a hint Dowd makes it clear that he s not talking about an intelligent designer Instead he exhorts his audience to supplant or complement their individual notions of God with sometimes fuzzy concepts like cosmic creativity Of course Dowd is hardly the first religious figure to reconcile God and evolution In 1996 Pope John Paul II declared that evolution was more than just a hypothesis And next year the Vatican will hold a conference to mark the 150th anniversary of Darwin s On the Origins of Species In many respects Dowd s work echoes the once highly influential writings of the 20th century French Jesuit and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who described evolution as a part of God s plan driving all of creation toward a sort of magnetic pole of higher consciousness that he called the Omega Point In the 1960s treatises by Chardin like The Phenomenon of Man and The Future of Man were campus best sellers Such an interpretation transforms evolution from a process of random mutations with no purpose which is how most scientists see it to a more hopeful narrative Though Dowd shies away from ascribing a divine plan to the unfolding of the cosmos he finds it spiritually satisfying to look back at the unfolding and see in it a pattern of emerging complexity But Dowd s preaching also draws on more contemporary scientific thinking Central to his pitch about a God glorifying Christ edifying Scripture honoring way of thinking about evolution is how findings from evolutionary psychology might help people overcome guilt about their immoral or unhealthful behaviors We live in a world today that is very different from the world that our instincts evolved to deal with he says We have cravings for sugar salts and fats because for 99 percent of human history we didn t have easy access to those things Likewise he says addictions like sex and drugs are part of our inner proclivities Today we have a far more empirical way of talking about human nature than through stories like the original sin Dowd says More conservative Christians however are unlikely to be satisfied with such a formulation Ken Ham who conceived the 25 million Creation Museum in Petersburg Ky avows that Dowd s evolutionary gospel is of no religious value because it does not provide any of the answers that people want from religion What s his message Ham asks Who is God Is the universe God What is our purpose and meaning What is good and evil Who determines our future The Bible gives us very specific answers Ham says that what Dowd is telling his audience is no different from what an evolutionary atheist would preach with some of Dowd s merely subjective feelings mixed in Yet to scientists and philosophers skeptical about religion Dowd s efforts are no

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/darwinists-for-Jesus (2016-04-30)
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  • Where Jesus meets Darwin | Thank God For Evolution
    United States Dowd did his Thank God for Evolution program Monday night at Unity in Edinboro 130 Meadville St He ll talk tonight at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Meadville His wife who wasn t at Unity on Monday spoke in Meadville on Sunday Dowd 49 an ordained Christian minister and Barlow 56 a science writer present evolution as theology and science as divine revelation What I m trying to accomplish Dowd said is basically to help people see that evolution and when I say evolution what I m meaning is the history of the universe the history of cosmos Earth life humanity so basically the entire history of the universe that our best science is giving us what 97 98 percent of the scientists of the world agree with how that can be understood in a God glorifying way that is a sacred way a meaningful way an inspiring way In a way that will motivate people to be of service in the world to add their creative energies toward creating a healthy world and to live lives of greater compassion love integrity commitment Dowd said most people think evolution and religion are opposites He said he and his wife try to show how a mainstream scientific understanding of the universe can deepen people s faith The husband and wife sometimes called evolutionary evangelists try to show people how a holy view of evolution can inspire people to give their lives in service to a healthy world and to do so with religious devotion Dowd said Twenty seven people turned out to hear what he had to say Monday at Unity Nancy Vandenhonert 58 of Waterford took notes in the back of her copy of Dowd s book Thank God for Evolution How the Marriage of Science and Religion

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/where-jesus-meets-darwin (2016-04-30)
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  • Evangelist spreads science-friendly gospel | Thank God For Evolution
    s gotten him nicknamed an evolutionary evangelist Dowd will preach his Gospel of Evolution in Edinboro and Meadville this week The Rev Joanne Rowden pastor of Unity in Edinboro one of the churches hosting Dowd heard him on the radio more than a year ago She found his perspective refreshing He had an approach to evolution where God wasn t taken out of the picture Rowden said He s stopping two days at her church Unity tends to be a place where we re open to ideas outside the traditional way of looking at things Rowden said Neither her congregation nor the one at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Meadville has talked a lot about evolution but it s a topic of interest We hope to enrich our own understanding of evolutionary topics and to reach out to the community in a positive way on what can be a divisive topic Rebecca Hecking said She s a member of the Meadville church who read about Dowd and his wife Connie Barlow in 2006 and is largely responsible for their northwestern Pennsylvania visit Dowd and Barlow a science writer have spent six years telling people across the U S about evolution theology a marriage of science and religion A former Baptist and United Church of Christ pastor Dowd presents evolution as theology not theory and science as divine revelation according to a news release He s the author of Thank God for Evolution How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World Dowd will give presentations based on the book at both churches He ll also speak Sunday during the Edinboro church s morning worship Barlow will speak at the Meadville church s Sunday morning service Her talk is titled A Walk on the Wild Side

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/evangelist-spreads-science-friendly-gospel (2016-04-30)
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