Bestselling Author Preaches Bold Science-Based Gospel

Ventura County Star

The Rev. Michael Dowd, author of the bestseller Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World, will give a free lecture based on his book on Sept. 27 at California Lutheran University.

"I hope to help attendees celebrate facts as God's native tongue and to truly get that scientific, historic, and cross-cultural evidence reveal God's word for today far more accurately than the Bible could ever hope to," Dowd said. "And if Moses, Jesus, or the Apostle Paul were alive today, they'd be the first ones to shout 'Amen!' to this."

Accessible to all faiths and non-believers, the program is geared for teens and adults and is similar to what Dowd delivered last year at the United Nations.

Dowd served as a United Church of Christ minister for nine years in Massachusetts, Ohio and Michigan. He and his wife, Connie Barlow, a science writer and family educator, launched an itinerant ministry in 2002 and have since spoken to more than 1,500 groups as "America's evolutionary evangelists."

He believes his upcoming talk is important because "idolatry of the written word has rendered the church deaf, dumb, and blind to what God's been faithfully revealing through evidence the past 200 years," Dowd said. "Consequently billions of human beings not only don't appreciate the evolutionary significance of religion and religious differences, their inner GPS is so wildly out of date that it's no wonder they suffer and struggle needlessly. Their views of history, death, and human nature are not aligned with reality."

Why I thank God for Charles Darwin

July 1st marked the 150th anniversary of the theory of evolution. For years, I believed that Darwin was of the devil. Now, I deeply honor his contribution to religion and my walk with God. Indeed, other than Jesus, no one has had a more positive impact on my faith and my ministry than has Charles Darwin.

For the last six years as an itinerant evolutionary evangelist, I have preached the good news of evolution from the pulpits of hundreds of churches across America.

Honoring Charles Darwin

Last week, NY Times op-ed blogger and evolutionary biologist Olivia Judson wrote a remarkable piece about the coming 18 months of "Darwinmania!". From July 1, 2008 through the end of 2009, Charles Darwin's life and work will be celebrated in countless ways and by countless groups throughout the world. The question Dr. Judson poses (and 350 people responded to) is: "Darwin got all the glory, but did he deserve it?"

Dr. Judson is an excellent writer and I've enjoyed reading her column "The Wild Side" the past year or two. But I was caught by surprise, even moved to tears, by this post.

Why Evangelize Evolution?

I'm often asked, as I was on Christian talk radio yesterday afternoon, "Why do you evangelize evolution? What are you hoping to accomplish?" My answer, of course, depends on what kind of audience I'm addressing.

I share the Great News of the science-based history of the Universe as passionately and as inspiringly as I know how (which is what I mean when I say I "evangelize evolution") for a variety of reasons. When I speak to evangelicals, what I'm hoping to accomplish is not exactly the same as when I speak in a non-Christian or non-religious context.


TGFE Born Again!

I'm thrilled to announce that Thank God for Evolution (affectionately known by Connie and me as TGFE, pronounced "tee-gee-fee") has been born again! In April, Viking Penguin bought world rights to TGFE from Council Oak Books, the original publisher. The publication date for the new Viking edition is June 23rd. And because the "born again" TGFE will have a new cover, this companion website is undergoing a makeover as well.



Lizard Legacy Bites 3 More Alphas

Governor of New York, Lieutenant Governor of New York, Mayor of Detroit: Recently, the men occupying these powerful posts have had their sexual indiscretions publicly aired. The Governor's alleged cross-state tryst with a prostitute, and the mayor's indictment for perjury in his previous denial of sexual impropriety entangled in government business, could subject both to felony charges. Governor Eliot Spitzer, now-Governor David Paterson, and Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick thus join the ranks of American political (and religious) leaders whose legacies have been marred or even destroyed by sex scandals.

UPDATE: Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow riffed on this topic in August 2009 in one of their weekly PODCASTS, titled "Evolution and Infidelity" 

Evolutionary Revival!

On February 15, I was honored to participate in an evolutionary revival -- likely, the world's first evolutionary revival. It was fabulous!

What is an evolutionary revival? It is an opportunity for folks to gather together to sing, celebrate, and learn about evolution in a salvific way, such that many are moved to respond to a "call to commitment" to the future: to the ongoing evolutionary journey.

LITANY: It Matters What We Think About Evolution!

It matters what we think about evolution. Trying to understand reality without an evolutionary worldview is like trying to understand infection without microscopes or the structure of the Universe without telescopes. It's not merely difficult; it's impossible.

Thank God for evolution!

Evolutionary Morality and Ethics

The single greatest advantage that an evolutionary worldview has over traditional, flat-earth worldviews is that evolution provides a firmer foundation for godly ethics and morality, individually and collectively, than can ethical systems based on the Bible, Qur'an, or any other ancient writings alone.

Connie and I are in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for a couple of weeks. Yesterday I was interviewed twice, first by the religion reporter for the Dallas Morning News, next by a staff writer for Pegasus News. In both interviews I was asked about where, from an evolutionary perspective, I derive my sense of morality and ethics. In my replies I referenced Stephen Pinker's fabulous article in the January 13th issue of The New York Times Magazine: "The Moral Instinct".

Pinker's essay on the evolutionary roots of morality is the latest in a brilliant and compelling lineage. One of my favorite quotations on this topic comes from the 2004 book by Michael Shermer: The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule. Shermer writes, "In an evolutionary theory of morality, asking 'Why should we be moral?' is like asking 'Why should we be hungry?' or 'Why should we be horny?' For that matter, we could ask, 'Why should we be jealous?' or 'Why should we fall in love?' The answer is that it is as much a part of human nature to be moral as it is to be hungry, horny, jealous, and in love."

Zoey 101, Brain Science 101

It matters what we think about evolution. In many situations, nothing matters more. My wife, Connie, just spent the past several hours browsing Internet news and blogs on the Jamie Lynn Spears fiasco. She files this guest post:

Jamie Lynn Spears (16-year-old sibling of Britney) for three years has played the smart, good-girl lead on Nickelodeon's popular tweens television show, Zoey 101. On December 18, she (and her mom) announced to the world that she was pregnant -- about 3 months pregnant.

Now many parents are faced with not only having to help their tween (and even pre-tween) girls deal with their grief and anger that their idol has fallen, but also helping them come through this ordeal better prepared to face the intimacy challenges that they themselves will surely face.