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  • Sacred Deep-Time Eyes, Both Directions | Thank God For Evolution
    space photos or the man made terror of two towers falling in front of our eyes here on Earth an evolutionary worldview is about much much more than our shared past and an anthropocentric resistance to the reality that we are reated to everything and indeed share 98 of our DNA with chimpanzees and bonobos The most awesome realization comes when we turn over the sands of time and realize that we are going to be on this evolutionary journey together for billions of years yet to come For some this means finding instant freedom from the apocalyptic thinking that has paralyzed our planetary creativity It gives the future back to a generation of believers who have been waiting on the world to end and hoping against hope that someone or something supernatural was coming to save us For others it opens a new window on the world with a view of the future so inspiring that we feel a calling of cosmic proportions to consciously join hands with the very forces the forged us from stardust to humanity As a evolutionary Christian I now understand Jesus parable about ascending to the right hand of God from this perspective How better to shape our future than become Reality s right hand man By embracing evolution as the emergent life force that brought us into being we see the possibility of new powers once thought miraculous supernatural or perhaps even impossible by our ancestors To deny deep time in either direction is to deny the Reality of God a reality that regardless of religion points to a shared past and future where faith grace hope and love take on meanings so rich and so real that they have the power to unite us in a new common cause to evolve together

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1857 (2016-04-30)
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  • Old-Time Religion Trivializes God, Guidance, & Good News | Thank God For Evolution
    7 Deadly Sins of Old Time Religion there are at least seven seriously negative consequences personally and collectively of flat earth scriptural literalism By Old Time Religion I mean religious faith that has not yet embraced an evidential understanding of revelation and a deep time view of grace that is religion that still hasn t integrated and been transformed by the epic of evolution cosmic Earth biological and human history as given by science OLD TIME RELIGION 1 trivializes God guidance and good news 2 balkanizes religion and bastardizes science 3 desacralizes nature 4 blasphemes death 5 fails our children and grandchildren 6 exacerbates personal and interpersonal challenges and 7 blinds us from seeing our way out of the current global integrity crisis Old Time Religion trivializes God by claiming that the Creator is still best understood in terms of Iron Age and ancient Palestinian metaphors It trivializes guidance by suggesting that God stopped communicating all the really important stuff back when people believed the world was flat and religious insights were recorded on animal skins And it trivializes good news by suggesting that our greatest religious inspiration is found in unnatural events back then up there or someday It is vitally important to remember that supernatural and unnatural are synonyms If something is supposedly supernatural then by definition it is also unnatural Is it any wonder that millions of young people are turning their backs on religion if the so called good news or gospel they are offered is a literal interpretation of this storyline An unnatural father who occasionally engages in unnatural acts sends his unnatural son into the world in an unnatural way to offer an unnatural salvation from an unnatural curse brought about my an unnatural snake Those who believe in all this unnatural activity get

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1852 (2016-04-30)
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  • Paul Hawken's Fabulous Commencement Address | Thank God For Evolution
    This is the largest movement the world has ever seen Rather than control it seeks connection Rather than dominance it strives to disperse concentrations of power Like Mercy Corps it works behind the scenes and gets the job done Large as it is no one knows the true size of this movement It provides hope support and meaning to billions of people in the world Its clout resides in idea not in force It is made up of teachers children peasants businesspeople rappers organic farmers nuns artists government workers fisherfolk engineers students incorrigible writers weeping Muslims concerned mothers poets doctors without borders grieving Christians street musicians the President of the United States of America and as the writer David James Duncan would say the Creator the One who loves us all in such a huge way There is a rabbinical teaching that says if the world is ending and the Messiah arrives first plant a tree and then see if the story is true Inspiration is not garnered from the litanies of what may befall us it resides in humanity s willingness to restore redress reform rebuild recover reimagine and reconsider One day you finally knew what you had to do and began though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice is Mary Oliver s description of moving away from the profane toward a deep sense of connectedness to the living world Millions of people are working on behalf of strangers even if the evening news is usually about the death of strangers This kindness of strangers has religious even mythic origins and very specific eighteenth century roots Abolitionists were the first people to create a national and global movement to defend the rights of those they did not know Until that time no group had filed a grievance except on behalf of itself The founders of this movement were largely unknown Granville Clark Thomas Clarkson Josiah Wedgwood and their goal was ridiculous on the face of it at that time three out of four people in the world were enslaved Enslaving each other was what human beings had done for ages And the abolitionist movement was greeted with incredulity Conservative spokesmen ridiculed the abolitionists as liberals progressives do gooders meddlers and activists They were told they would ruin the economy and drive England into poverty But for the first time in history a group of people organized themselves to help people they would never know from whom they would never receive direct or indirect benefit And today tens of millions of people do this every day It is called the world of non profits civil society schools social entrepreneurship and non governmental organizations of companies who place social and environmental justice at the top of their strategic goals The scope and scale of this effort is unparalleled in history The living world is not out there somewhere but in your heart What do we know about life In the words of biologist Janine Benyus life creates the

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1846 (2016-04-30)
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  • WolframAlpha: Amazing | Thank God For Evolution
    Subscribe Study Guides Media Audio Video Flyers Posters Schedule Store The Great Story Search WolframAlpha Amazing The following is taken from the About page of WolframAlpha a revolutionary new search engine that seems destined to be an extraordinarily powerful and invaluably useful tool for scientists engineers educatiors and researchers of all kinds Wolfram Alpha s long term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone We aim to collect and curate all objective data implement every known model method and algorithm and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything Our goal is to build on the achievements of science and other systematizations of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries Wolfram Alpha aims to bring expert level knowledge and capabilities to the broadest possible range of people spanning all professions and education levels Our goal is to accept completely free form input and to serve as a knowledge engine that generates powerful results and presents them with maximum clarity Wolfram Alpha is an ambitious long term intellectual endeavor that we intend will deliver increasing capabilities over the years and

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1842 (2016-04-30)
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  • My Presentation at the United Nations | Thank God For Evolution
    and delight of presenting my newest program Evolution and the Global Integrity Crisis at the United Nations in New York City The event sponsored by The Values Caucus at the United Nations was attended by 40 people representing a wide diversity of religious political and philosophical worldviews See event flier and photo essay My program was very well received and afterwards several members of the Values Caucus began talking about the possibility of inviting me back to speak to a much larger audience at the United Nations Naturally I told them that I would be thrilled to do so Here is what I offered PROGRAM DESCRIPTION From crumbling economies to collapsing ecosystems humanity is experiencing an unprecedented global integrity crisis In a richly illustrated presentation Michael Dowd proposes that the lack of an evolutionary worldview made the current crisis inevitable and that a deep time view of human nature values and social systems provides a clear and inspiring way forward A few days after the event Anne Creter one of the organizers sent me this touching note Dear Michael On behalf of the Values Caucus at the United Nations please accept our heartfelt appreciation for sharing your brilliant rousing thought

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1834 (2016-04-30)
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  • The Nature of Integrity | Thank God For Evolution
    integrity What does integrity mean in an evolutionary context How can individuals and groups of all slizes including corporations and nation states come into deeper ecological and evolutionary integrity This line of thinking led to the creation of my new 90 minute program Evolution and the Global Integrity Crisis which I delivered last month at the United Nations A great source of inspiration for me along the lines of individual family and work place integrity has been Edward E Morler s widely acclaimed book The Leadership Integrity Challenge What follows are a few gems from Morler though they do not appear in this order in his book Integrity is spontaneous responsibility It is doing the right thing even when no one is looking Without integrity our self image and self esteem become dependent on what other people think Every time we compromise our integrity we sacrifice a bit of ourselves we shave off a piece of the wholeness of who we are People with integrity have positive control over their lives and over the events in their lives They have a clarity and certainty about what they want and will allow They do not see life as happening to them

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1833 (2016-04-30)
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  • New Preface: Plume Paperback TGFE Now Available! | Thank God For Evolution
    presented in ways that ignore these basic human values values that religions excel in providing there is little hope that the devoutly religious will appreciate science for anything more than its technological fruits The good news is that the coming decades will see each of our religious ethnic and cultural stories embraced within a larger sacred context The scientific history of cosmos Earth life and humanity is our shared sacred story our common creation myth It is an epic tale that reaches back billions of years and crowns each and every one of us as heir to a magnificent and proud lineage This Great Story is open to improvement as the revelations of science yield new insights offer new ways of seeing and alert us to misperceptions It is open to change too whenever more helpful and inspiring interpretations of the facts become available All this is possible moreover without scientists needing to fear that religious interpretations will skew or shade the truth Nor must religious peoples join the ranks of atheists In public lectures that distill the contents of this book time and again I have seen faces light up when I explain the distinction between private revelation and public revelation and when I advocate the importance of both day language and night language Both pairs help us value the contributions of objective science without dismissing the subjective realms artistic emotive and spiritual that served our ancestors for thousands of years and still vitally serve us today During seven years of itinerant evolutionary evangelism I have watched young and old alike delight in the astonishing fact that we are made of stardust that the calcium in our bones the iron in our blood and other atoms of our bodies were forged inside ancestor stars that lived and died before our Sun was born I have seen too this naturalized and cosmic understanding of death comfort those whose grief would not otherwise be consoled Scaling down to the inner realm I have witnessed tearful testimonials from those freed from years of guilt shame or resentment after learning our brain s creation story that is how the brain with its embedded instincts reflects an evolutionary trajectory from reptilian ancestors to early mammals primates and hominids Others are grateful for the practical tools for improving lives and relationships that an evolutionary understanding of human nature affords Still others have found that the supernatural claims that linger in the creeds and liturgies need not drive them from cherished traditions of their faith Sanity health and joy each emerge and are sustained only in right relationship with reality Thank God for Evolution is thus a call to integrity to wholeness to sustainability individually and collectively In the year since its publication events have validated and expanded the understanding of deep integrity outlined herein From sex scandals in politics to crimes of greed on Wall Street the underbelly of modernity and postmodernity is now vividly apparent Thanks to discoveries in evolutionary psychology and evolutionary brain

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1824 (2016-04-30)
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  • The 7 Deadly Sins of Old-Time Religion | Thank God For Evolution
    big questions including our concepts stories of Ultimacy God or Undeniable Reality evolve too Reflecting on this is I suspect what led Pierre Teilhard de Chardin to write Is evolution a theory a system or a hypothesis It is much more it is a general condition to which all theories all hypotheses and all systems must bow and satisfy henceforth if they are to be thinkable and true Evolution is a light illuminating all facts a curve that all lines must follow Over the next few weeks I will elaborate on The 7 Deadly Sins of Old Time Religion taking them one at a time I will show that there are 7 profoundly negative consequences of religious resistance to a measurable understanding of time and emergent view of grace Specifically I will reveal how from a religious naturalism point of view a pre evolutionary worldview frozen within scriptural literalism necessarily 1 Trivializes God guidance and good news 2 Balkanizes religion and bastardizes science 3 Desacralizes nature 4 Blasphemes death 5 Fails our children in three tragic unnecessary ways 6 Denies individuals and families access to the most important saving wisdom for overcoming personal and relational challenges and 7 Blinds us from seeing the true nature of the current global integrity crisis Everything must evolve in order to remain viable Three billion years ago life bacteria and archaea thrived in a context of 2 oxygen Today anything less than 15 oxygen would wipe out all mammals In an ever emerging ever developing Cosmos conditions that were once healthy and lifegiving can later become dangerous or even deadly which is of course why life must be so adaptive Traditional religions will either evolve like everything else or paradoxically they will destroy nearly everything they stand for or maybe just go extinct I

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/1822 (2016-04-30)
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