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  • Embracing the Sacred Epic of Evolution | Thank God For Evolution
    interfaith sustainability work and community organizing In the spring of 2000 Michael received a prophetic declaration from a friend who had taken him to a Pentecostal Charismatic worship service I have a word from God for you Thus sayeth the Lord My son I have called thee home to reveal thy true mission Step out boldly with thy beloved and fear not For I will bless thy steps and thy ministry more abundantly than thou canst imagine Praise God I m ready Michael thought Then I wonder why God likes Elizabethan English so much And finally Whoa boy did you hear that God said with thy beloved You d better get moving dude You don t even have a girlfriend Several months later Michael met Connie Barlow an acclaimed science writer and author of 4 books including Evolution Extended Biological Debates on the Meaning of Life and The Ghosts of Evolution Michael and Connie were married in June 2001 Three months later when the World Trade Center was attacked the couple felt compelled to reevaluate their priorities Connie had been scheduled for a meeting on September 12 in Tower I In October 2001 they watched a PBS television special Evolution A Journey into Where We re From and Where We re Going Afterward Connie turned to Michael and said You need to be out there speaking to those students You need to show how an evolutionary understanding can enrich one s faith Since 2002 Michael and Connie have traveled the northern continent in a van proclaiming the sacred story of cosmic biological and human evolution On their van are 2 decals one the Jesus fish the other the Darwin fish kissing Many passersby flash a smile when they see it although disapproving responses are not uncommon A retired biology professor in Lawrence Kansas took one look at the decals and laughed Oh great Now you p everyone off A playful approach to the serious subject helps the two maintain perspective Far from a hardship though Michael and Connie enjoy their life on the road and feel blessed to experience the stunning beauty of this vast continent They are nurtured too by the invitations they often receive to stay in people s homes Surely the rewards are reciprocal I see science and religion can be mutually enriching Dowd says in the book We are in the early stages of one of the most far reaching transformations into which human consciousness has ever ascended Today s conflict between science and religion is the catalyst by which both will mature in healthy ways Neither will drive the other into extinction Rather both are moving in remarkable previously unthinkable directions Michael further predicts that believers and non believers will come to see evolution is a gift to religion and that meaning making is a gift to science As the religions come to embrace the science based history of the Cosmos each tradition s core insights will be accessed in larger more realistic ways then

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/embracing-the-sacred-epic-of-evolution (2016-04-30)
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  • Do the evolution | Thank God For Evolution
    that evolution was of the Devil and here they were teaching evolution at a Bible reading college What the 49 year old preacher now believes in is a science based sacred understanding of the universe It is very far from fundamentalism Dowd says The reformed and informed Dowd has indeed traveled a long way from evangelical Christian fundamentalism His path toward politics began in 1988 with an interest in environmentalism As his search for knowledge continued Dowd looked to the sciences for answers I was immersing myself in the studies of biology cosmology anthropology and all these disciplines related to the entire universe story Dowd says Cosmology is the study of the cosmos the study of the large scale structures of the universe I studied chemistry where the elements of the periodic tables came from We ve known since 1957 that chemical elements came from inside stars Joni Mitchell had it right back in the 60s We are stardust As Dowd pursued his studies of all things scientific he felt he was learning far more about the nature of reality than he had learned from the Bible I began to see science as revelatory Dowd said I began calling it public revelation Private revelation is an insight which comes to one individual Public revelation is what the whole scientific community is given The collision of science and politics landed squarely in Dowd s lap in the mid 90s I was the organizer for the National Environmental Trust Dowd says So my job was to organize Jewish rabbis Catholic priests Protestant clergy and Evangelical clergy on key environmental issues which were coming up for a vote in Congress Those were the glory days of former House of Representatives leader Newt Gingrich The Republicans were threatening to repeal all the major environmental legislation Dowd says so there was a lot of interest and a lot of funding for organizing the religious communities around protecting some of the environmental concerns In the United States that was the first time that religion and religious leaders were beginning to take a public stand on environmental issues Dowd s next stop was a governmental sustainable life campaign first in Portland Ore then in New York My job was to help neighbors come together and support one another four to eight households at a time Dowd says These neighborhood groups became eco teams helping each other with using less water composting driving less and recycling Everything changed when Dowd met his future wife We fell in love as mission partners Dowd said We both basically felt that our purpose in this world in our lifetime was to share this universe story perspective with everyone from atheists to evangelicals And that is why they have no front door of their own only the road and other people s houses where they stay as they travel from one speaking engagement to the next They have published a book discussing their evolutionary views Thank God for Evolution and operate a

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/do-the-evolution (2016-04-30)
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  • Preacher to tell O.C. church Thank God for Evolution | Thank God For Evolution
    take the Bible far too seriously to interpret it literally Q Most people don t know what evolution theory is as you use the term So perhaps you should explain it in simply lay terms A When I use the word evolution I m meaning the entire history of cosmos Earth life and humanity as we understand it through mainstream cosmology physics chemistry astrophysics geology biology primatology anthropology evolutionary psychology neurobiology etc Q Readers are going to want a full simple clear explanation about why they should consider evolution theory but your answer indicates that the Bible is wrong A The Bible is only wrong when it s compared to the standards of how we come to know the nature of reality today God Reality revealed Himself Herself Itself to humans living three thousand years ago through dreams visions intutitions etc God is revealing the nature of reality today most effectively via empirical evidence Q How is God s word more accurately and effectively revealed through science Which field s of science I need examples A All sciences From an evolution theology perspective God s Word cannot be limited to texts written thousands of years ago It includes any and all guidance for how to live responsibly lovingly faithfully that is in integrity Scripture is where we traditionally have found guidance solace and strength It is also where we are invited challenged and supported to be all that we can be both for the present and for the future For me scripture is divine communication in any form that supports me in honoring and serving the Whole the Holy One it is everything that inspires and encourages me to grow in evolutionary integrity If a poem chapter in a book website or movie helps me grow in humility authenticity responsibility

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/Preacher-to-tell-O-C-church-thank-god-for-evolution (2016-04-30)
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  • Science meets belief as couple put evolution in a sacred context | Thank God For Evolution
    10 a m at First Unitarian Universalist Church 4190 Front St in Hillcrest At 5 30 p m he ll be at Open Door Books 4761 Cass St in Pacific Beach to sign copies of his book Thank God for Evolution In the beginningBiblical creationism God created the earth and everything in it over six days as told in Genesis the opening book of the Bible going back roughly 6 000 to 10 000 years ago There are varying interpretations over whether the time frame was six literal days or six long periods Biological evolution Earth and its life forms developed over a gradual process beginning with the most primitive organisms billions of years ago According to the National Academy of Sciences evolution has been confirmed repeatedly through observation and experiment in a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines Theistic evolution Sometimes referred to as evolutionary creationism it embraces both God and evolution God created the universe through an evolutionary process therefore Genesis and science complement each other Dowd sees himself as teaching evolution in a sacred way Last Friday night about 150 people turned out at the Hillcrest church for a rousing evolutionary revival On Tuesday night he was in Solana Beach at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito for a workshop where the crowd was smaller less than two dozen and more subdued We re suggesting that a science based understanding of the universe gives us a more grounded way of being Dowd told the Solana Beach group When one man asked him where religion fits into this Dowd spoke of how knowing that God is in the midst of all that is evolving inspires him to be a better person to be filled with awe and appreciation and to be a more responsible member of planet Earth We re organically related to the whole he says Keith Mesecher a longtime member of First Unitarian Universalist Church says he s totally turned on by Dowd s message that humans contain billions of years of evolution inside of them We have the wisdom of the universe in us says Mesecher who led the music at last Friday night s revival He echoes Dowd that the problem with the science community s presentation of evolution is that it lacks any mention of the sacred Science provides the facts he adds while religion provides the meaning Mesecher a 61 year old Encanto resident also echoes Dowd about a commitment to be more environmentally aware and to help rescue a planet they consider to be in peril We are having vast negative effects on the planet says Mesecher What we need is to learn how to live in mutually embracing relationships with other species As for Dowd 49 he credits his wife with pushing him to follow his dream of becoming an itinerant preacher for this cause Barlow a 55 year old author of several science books joins him in his presentations coaxing audiences to regard the evolution of the world as

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/Science-meets-belief-as-couple-put-evolution-in-a-sacred-co (2016-04-30)
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  • First Presbyterian Church to celebrate Evolution Weekend | Thank God For Evolution
    our texts differently Rather than see for instance the early chapters of Genesis as a history of cosmology we can see it as a metaphorical expression of truth It addresses questions of meaning for human beings Why is it that we want what we cannot have Why do we kill our brothers Are human beings inherently evil or good What does it mean to be created in the image of God For Christians Shuck says evolution challenges us to see how we view God acting in the world As evolution is a process of change and adaptation God can be seen in all of the evolutionary process rather than as a being outside of creation We don t have to devalue earth or look outside of it to be in contact with God God deeply cares for all of earth and the Universe and is deeply involved in all of it As scripture says In Him we live and move and have our being Evolution also challenges the idea that the world is going to end soon according to Shuck It requires us to look again at texts such as the Book of Revelation he said An evolutionary awareness calls us to care for earth Shuck continued Scientists tell us that our sun is about halfway through its cycle In other words we have billions of years left before the sun burns out its energy Millions of years from now earth will still be spinning around the sun The question is will human beings be here to enjoy it We have a responsibility for leaving a legacy of life for our childrFirst Presbyterian Church to celebrate Evolution WeekendBy Greg MillerStar Staff gmiller starhq com First Presbyterian Church will celebrate Evolution Weekend on Sunday Feb 10 at 11 a m Evolution Weekend is an outgrowth of the Clergy Letter Project said the Rev John Shuck pastor This was started by Dr Michael Zimmerman of Butler University This is from the Web site The Clergy Letter Project is an endeavor designed to demonstrate that religion and science can be compatible and to elevate the quality of the debate of this issue Evolution WeekendShuck s sermon for this weekend is Evolutionary Christianity The fact of evolution has caused me to look differently at many of the traditional Christian doctrines that were formulated when people believed that we lived in a three tiered universe Shuck said The ancients believed that the earth was flat and the sun moon and stars moved across the dome of the sky Science has broadened our horizons of cosmology as well as the emergence and evolution of life on earth Shuck continued Evolutionary Christianity takes seriously that the Universe is 13 7 billion years old and that life on Earth began 4 billion years ago Human beings are part of this evolutionary process Evolutionary Christianity begins with the facts of science and then seeks to understand our meaning and purpose Evolutionary Christianity does not throw out traditional Christian theology

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/first-Presbyterian-church-to-celebrate-evolution-weekend (2016-04-30)
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  • Weekend devoted to science, religion | Thank God For Evolution
    British naturalist said all species have evolved from one or a few common ancestors through the process of natural selection Meanwhile in January Pope Benedict XVI was outspoken in warning the devout about science while other clergy leaders have maintained that the world was created 6 000 years ago and that humans are direct descendants of Adam and Eve The Congregational Church of Belmont is one of a few congregations in San Mateo County that will look at religion and science to emphasize that the two theories should complement each other rather than be adversarial We see science as one of the ways God speaks to us said the Rev Kristi Denham The facts of science are constantly drawing us toward awe The more you know the more you see how wonderful the universe is Awe is the most sacred of feelings On Sunday Denham will discuss Michael Dowd s book Thank God for Evolution Her congregation has participated in Evolution Weekend the last three years It was while working at a church in Atlanta that Denham was faced with the perceived split between science and religion A teenager in her congregation created a Web site called Creationism v Evolution Denham said that because the 16 year old got some nasty hits on the site he committed suicide That pushed her to open up the discussion We need to say that the sacred does include the use of our brains Denham said That we are able to be whole human beings and still believe in God Church can be a place to celebrate God s mystery and we can have good questions and not have easy answers Evolution Weekend was started three years ago by Michael Zimmerman dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University in

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/weekend-devoted-to-science-religion (2016-04-30)
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  • Science Meets Religion ... Amicably? | Thank God For Evolution
    weeks ago City Week recommended a lecture by Victor Stenger who avows that modern science disproves the existence of God In the interest of a multiplicity of perspectives this week I urge you to attend a lecture by the Rev Michael Dowd whose new book Thank God for Evolution celebrates the marriage of science and religion You may now be thinking Huh I thought intelligent design theorists were out for Darwinist blood But Dowd a traveling spokesperson for evolution theology stresses that while he isn t critical of the intelligent design movement he realizes it will never appeal to mainstream science The term design implies a designer that knew it all ahead of time Dowd says in interview According to evolution theology atoms molecules organisms and everything else in the universe are creative units that exist in a layered nesting system Evolution is one such layer God another God is the largest nesting doll Dowd says a sacred name for ultimate reality and creativity In rebuttal to Stenger s claim that science disproves God Dowd says Sure the god he s talking about a trivial notion of God a supreme engineer There s no evidence for this But this is

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/science-meets-religion-...%20amicably (2016-04-30)
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  • America's Evolutionary Evangelist Michael Dowd | Thank God For Evolution
    are engaging in a life changing new conversation about Creation The place is the Sedona Public Library The date is Thursday February 7th at 7PM See for yourself why Nobel Prize winning scientists and religious leaders across the spectrum are lining up to praise his bold new book that builds bridges provides guidance and restores realistic hope for people of any religion or belief system Reverend Michael Dowd has been technically homeless for the past six years roaming the fifty states in his Dodge Sprinter named Angel speaking to hundreds of congregations a year He s on a mission he says to proclaim the gospel The Gospel of Evolution that is Accompanied by Connie Barlow his acclaimed evolution writer spouse Dowd espouses a theology that moves away from biblical literalism views science as sacred and proclaims the 13 7 billion year epic of evolution as our common creation story On February 7 Dowd is in Sedona to give presentations and promote his new book Thank God For Evolution a 400 page explication of his brand of Evolution Theology Not that it needs much promotion mind you it s been touted by 5 Nobel Laureates and it is offered free for

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/Americas-evolutionary-evangelist-michael-dowd (2016-04-30)
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