Responses to Our Public Presentations


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Since the beginning of our full-time itinerant evo-evangelistic work, in early 2002, Connie and I have addressed more than a thousand religious and non-religious audiences across North America. We are both humbled and thrilled at how the Evolution Theology (Evo-Theo) message we have been called to communicate resonates with the vast majority of those to whom we've presented, from Catholics and Quakers, to Baptists and Buddhists, to UUs and gurus. We are also grateful for the generous, enthusiastic comments of Nobel laureates and other science and religion luminaries who read Thank God for Evolution (TGFE) and offered their feedback and endorsements. I wrote about responses from science leaders a few weeks ago and about responses from religous leaders yesterday. What follows is a sampling of responses to our sermons, seminars, and other public presentations, from teachers in various secular and religious contexts, as well as from religious leaders and congregants across the theological spectrum, grouped by religous orientation.


Response from Religious Leaders Across the Spectrum


Responses from religious leaders who have read Thank God for Evolution, by affiliation...


For the Non-religious and Anti-religious


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In addition to speaking in numerous and widely diverse kinds of churches and other religious settings over the last seven years, from very liberal groups to very conservative ones, Connie and I have also presented audience-appropriate versions of our science-based 'gospel of evolution' message in more than a hundred secular settings, including colleges, high schools, grade schools, public libraries, environmental groups, intentional communities, food co-ops, nature centers, and even an occasional zoo. What follows are posts of mine written during the past year that non-religious, science-oriented folk (humanists, skeptics, freethinkers, and atheists) tend to appreciate:


For the Religious (Across the Theological Spectrum)


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One of the challenges Connie and I face in our Great Story-telling ministry is trying to speak meaningfully to a wide variety of religious and non-religous groups. In our first seven years of teaching and preaching evolution together, we have been invited to present sermons, seminars, evening programs, or multiday workshops in more than 600 churches, convents, monasteries, and spiritual centers across the continent, including liberal and conservative Roman Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Unitarian Universalist, Unity, Religious Science, Quaker, Mennonite, Jewish, and Buddhist groups. Here are posts of mine written during the past year that devoutly, as well as nominally, religious people tend to find inspiring, provocative, or both:


BEST EVOLUTION RESOURCES


Click HERE to see why this list was createdwhat purpose it is trying to serve.

THE CREATIONISM VS. EVOLUTION CONFLICT
Evidence of evolution - wikipedia
29+ Evidences for Macroevolution - article by Douglas Theobald
Evolution as theory and fact - wikipedia
Objections to evolution - wikipedia
Creation-evolution controversy - wikipedia
History of creation-evolution controversy - wikipedia
History of evolutionary thought - wikipedia
Big History - wikipedia
The Epic of Evolution - wikipedia
History of the Universe - wikipedia
Earth history - wikipedia
Geological history - wikipedia
Biological history - wikipedia
Human history - wikipedia
Evolutionary origin of religions - wikipedia
Dating methods -wikipedia
Evolution Education wiki
The Great Story - leading Epic of Evolution educational website

ACCLAIMED BOOKS REVEALING COMPELLING EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION
Science, Evolution, and Creationism: National Academy of Sciences
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution: Richard Dawkins
Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction: Eugenie C. Scott
The Counter Creationism Handbook: Mark Isaak
Why Evolution is True: Jerry A. Coyne
Bones, Rocks, & Stars: The Science of When Things Happened: Chris Turney
Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters: Donald R. Prothero
Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origin of Species: Sean B. Carroll
The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution: Sean B. Carroll
Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors: Nicholas Wade
Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul: Kenneth R. Miller
Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design: Michael Shermer

FINDING DEEP MEANING AND INSPIRATION IN AN EVOLUTIONARY WORLDVIEW
The Empathic Civilization: Jeremy Rifkin
The View from the Center of the Universe: Joel Primack and Nancy Abrams
Green Space Green Time: The Way of Science: Connie Barlow
The Sacred Depths of Nature: Ursula Goodenough
God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution: John F. Haught
Evolution and Christian Faith: Reflections of an Evolutionary Biologist: Joan Roughgarden
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves: Matt Ridley
The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era: Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry
The Dream of the Earth, The Great Work, and Evening Thoughts: Thomas Berry
The Universe is a Green Dragon and Canticle to the Cosmos DVDs: Brian Swimme
Nature's Magic: Synergy in Evolution and the Fate of Humankind, and Holistic Darwinism: Peter Corning
Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives: David Sloan Wilson
Not By Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution - Peter Richerson and Robert Boyd
The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future: Joel de Rosnay
Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, & the Economic World: Kevin Kelly
A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science and Spirituality: Ken Wilber
Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution: Steve McIntosh
World as Lover, World as Self and Coming Back to Life: Joanna Macy
Humanity: The Chimpanzees Who Would Be Ants: Russell Genet
Conscious Evolution: Awakening Our Social Potential: Barbara Marx Hubbard
Promise Ahead: A Vision of Hope and Action for Humanity's Future: Duane Elgin
Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World: Michael Dowd

EMERGENCE / LIFE'S TRAJECTORY / COMPLEXITY'S ARROW / CONVERGENT (PARALLEL) EVOLUTION
Evolutionary Perspective - webpage
Introduction to Evolutionary Spirituality - webpage
Let There Be Sight! - A Celebration of Convergent Evolution - pdf by Connie Barlow
This Fleeting World: A Short History of Humanity: David Christian
Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History: David Christian
Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity: Teaching Company course taught by David Christian
The Evolution of Complexity by Means of Natural Selection - John Tyler Bonner
Epic of Evolution: Seven Ages of the Cosmos: Eric Chaisson
Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny: Robert Wright
Evolution’s Arrow: The Direction of Evolution and The Future of Humanity: John Stewart
The Evolutionary Manifesto - essay by John Stewart
Evolution Extended: Biological Debates on the Meaning of Life: Connie Barlow
Major Transitions in Evolution: John Maynard Smith and Eors Szathmary
Life's Solution and The Deep Structure of Biology (ed.): Simon Conway Morris
Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software: Steven Johnson
Complexity: A Guided Tour: Melanie Mitchell
The Global Brain and Waking Up in Time: Peter Russell
EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution: Elisabet Sahtouris
The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology: Ray Kurzweil
The Law of Accelerating Returns - essay by Ray Kurzweil
Radical Evolution: Joel Garreau

THE NATURAL/DIVINE EVOLUTIONARY ORIGINS OF MORALITY AND ETHICS
Evolution of Morality - wikipedia
Evolutionary Ethics - wikipedia
The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society: Frans de Waal
Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are: Frans de Waal
Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved: Frans de Waal
The Genial Gene: Deconstructing Darwinian Selfishness: Joan Roughgarden 
The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures: Nicholas Wade
Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose: Deirdre Barrett
Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct: Michael McCullough
The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule: Michael Shermer
The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation: Matt Ridley
The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology: Robert Wright
The Evolution of Morality: Richard Joyce
The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom: Jonathan Haidt
The Female Brain, and The Male Brain: Louann Brizendine
Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life: Steven Johnson
A General Theory of Love: Thomas Lewis, et al.
Comparison of Societal Health in Religious and Non-religous Democracies - article: Journal of Religion and Society
Bible Stories Your Parents Never Taught You (Parts 1 and 2: OT and NT) - free online audio programs by Mike Earl

Click HERE to see why this list was createdwhat purpose it is trying to serve.


Even Rocks Evolve!


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All too often I hear evolution being dismissed by scriptural literalists as "Darwin's theory," or "just a theory."  For them, understanding of the natural processes of evolution seems to be stuck at the scientific evidence available during the famous Scopes Trial in the 1920s. That is, for them the evolutionary paradigm pertains only to biology - specifically, how the vast diversity of species emerged out of less complex, less diverse forms.

But today, the term 'evolution' applies to far, far more. Consider this historical sequence:


Guest Blog: A Place at the Podium


Guest blog

Guest blog by Connie Barlow (my beloved wife and mission partner)

Just days before the U.S. national elections on November 4, one Republican incumbent (Senator Elizabeth Dole) endorsed a video ad that implied her Democratic rival (Kay Hagan) was an atheist - "godless," to be precise. The Associated Press reported:

"When Dole aired an ad questioning Hagan's credentials as a Christian, Hagan's response was quick and aggressive. She sued Dole, accusing her of libel and defamation, and went to the airwaves to defend her faith, telling voters she teaches Sunday school and serves as a church elder."

As an "out" atheist (I prefer the terms "evolutionary humanist" or "religious naturalist," both of which describe what I am, rather than what I am not), I longed for someone of stature in America to remind our nation that there is nothing intrinsically wrong or morally reprehensible about holding an atheist perspective. If a political candidate is, in fact, an atheist, so what?

Only weeks earlier, Colin Powell had made basically the same point in response to rumors that Barak Obama was Muslim. A transcript of Powell's remarks include:


A Story of Awakening (Teen Boys)


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In October 2008, a Catholic Church in southern Wisconsin invited me to present my "Thank God for Evolution" illustrated slide talk. Middle school teachers at the associated Catholic school invited students to attend with their parents. Soon after, I received an email from one of the parents that totally made my day, Here is how my talk helped two teenage boys: