Evolution as Meaningful, Inspiring Fact

  • Yesterday I was interviewed on radio by an 'intelligent design' creationist who kept insisting, "There is absolutely no evidence for evolution!" I was amazed that this person was either unaware or dismissive of our collective best understandings of cosmic, Earth, geological, biological, and human history (known collectively as "big history"). Before the interview ended, I determined to write this blog post that offers links to some of the best and most highly regarded web pages and books on the creation-evolution debate. The first set below (mostly wikipedia pages) should be considered essential reading. The second set identifies some of the top books in the field. Beneath that, I have also included my favorite resources that show:
  • 1.  How factual knowledge gained through the full range of evidential sources (history, science, and cross-cultural study) can legitimately and easily be interpreted as religiously inspiring—and why, at this time in history, it is so urgent and fruitful to do so;
  • 2.  How the arrow of cosmic complexity upon which the vast majority of the world's scientists agree can be viewed in spiritually nourishing and deeply empowering ways (teleologically or non-teleologically); and
  • 3.  Why it is wildly erroneous to believe that ancient mythic texts, an unnatural (so-called 'supernatural') judge, or otherworldly carrots and sticks are necessary (or even helpful) for superior moral development and healthy societies.

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

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

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

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

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