Unconventional gospel: Self-described 'evolutionary creationist'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Ann Rodgers

The Rev. Michael Dowd set out to preach the gospel, and he figures that's what he's still doing as he and his wife live out of their car, preaching "the gospel of evolution."

Evolution, he said, tells the story of God's interaction with the universe, and can provide a framework for people of all faiths to work for a better world.

The marriage of Science and Religion


Submitted by Diana deRegnier, UPIAmong the five Nobel Laureates who have endorsed the book, "Thank God for Evolution," Craig Mello, recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine. Mello, offers, "The science vs. religion debate is over! Michael Dowd masterfully unites rationality and spirituality in a worldview that celebrates the mysteries of existence and inspires each human being to achieve a higher purpose in life. A must read all, including scientists."February 1988, in a course taught by Albert LaChance, a cultural therapist, Michael Dowd heard the story of the Universe as a sacred epic and began to weep. "I knew I would spend the rest of my life sharing this perspective as great news," says Michael.

Preacher says evolution and theology mix

The Oregonian

by Nancy Haught

If science is sacred, maybe evolution needs an evangelist. So thinks Michael Dowd, a Pentecostal preacher and the author of "Thank God for Evolution! How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World."

Evolutionary evangelist to speak in Roseburg

Roseburg News Review

by Cara Palone 

Sample ImageFor the past six years, the Rev. Michael Dowd, 49, and his wife Connie Barlow, 56 have made a home out of their white Dodge Sprinter, traveling the United States and spreading the message that evolution and Christianity can peacefully co-exist.The evangelist will spread his gospel of evolution in Roseburg Wednesday when he gives a presentation based on his book, “Thank God for Evolution!: How the Marriage of Science and Religion will Transform Your Life and Our World.”Dowd, an ordained Christian minister and former anti-evolution fundamentalist, and his scientist wife are often stopped by people at restaurants and gas stations during their travels, who want an explanation for the two fish imprinted on their van. Red hearts float above the image of one fish with the word, “Jesus” imprinted in the hollow of its body kissing the other fish labeled, “Darwin.”Dowd said one man interpreted the fish as a great way to make everyone angry.In two sentences, Dowd said he explains to those wondering about the logo on his van that, “Science and religion are spurring each other to greatness. They’re in a love affair!”

Minister has embraced sacred evolution

Gresham Outlook

Do you believe the biblical story of creation is literally true, symbolically true, a little of both, or none of the above?

Sample Image

by Rob Cullivan

No matter what you believe, the Rev. Michael Dowd wants you to consider that there may be another story behind the creation story – and that’s the story of evolution. He’s presented his belief in “sacred evolution” to Christians, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics and other groups, and has earned kudos from scientists and religious thinkers alike for his work.Raised a devout Roman Catholic, Dowd became a born-again Christian while serving in the U.S. Army in Berlin and came to believe evolution was the devil’s lie. Now he believes it’s the honest-to-God truth.

Reconciling evolution and religion

San Mateo County Times

By Christine MorenteSAN MATEO — The Rev. Michael Dowd and his wife, Connie Barlow, have criss-crossed the country in their Dodge Sprinter, teaching and preaching the Great Story, for the last six years.Their road trip adventure has led them to hundreds of congregations, retreat centers and monasteries open to learning about a movement that binds science and religion."A lot of people are hungering for a message that bridges the divide," Dowd said recently. "Sacred evolution bridges the head and heart, science and the religious, faith and reason with a deeply spiritual or soul-nourishing message that inspires people to great integrity, to greater love."

Evangelist sees hand of God in evolution

Oakland Tribune

Dowd preaches 'sacred, inspirational' story of how universe was created

By Rebecca Rosen Lum

Long, lanky and athletic, the Rev. Michael Dowd paces the stage, gesticulating, his voice moving from a whisper to a gleeful roar.

"The atoms of our bodies are literally stardust," he tells the rapt crowd. "The carbon and the oxygen and the nitrogen were formed inside red giant stars. The gold and silver and other heavy metals were formed in supernova stars that then explode" -- his voice reaches a crescendo -- "with this tremendous metal-rich stardust."

He is an itinerant preacher with a cosmological message to spread. Evolution is God's work, he tells his audiences.

A passionate preacher with a Pentecostal style, Dowd has undergone his own evolution.

So serious is he about his "responsibility to find more sacred, meaningful holy ways of promoting evolution" that Dowd has taken to criss-crossing the country in a van with his wife, science writer Connie Barlow.

Raised as a Catholic, Dowd underwent a born-again experience after wrestling with drug, alcohol and other problems. Newly convinced the world began 6,000 years ago, he showed up to evolution talks to argue.

While a student at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., Dowd stormed out of his biology class, saying Satan had a foothold at the Christian academy.

Then he was born yet again.

Do the evolution

Ventura County Reporter

The Rev. Michael Dowd began life as a born-again evangelical believing Darwinian biology to be the work of the devil. Now, he preaches the gospel of science. 

By Joan Trossman BienSample ImageThe Rev. Michael Dowd is making the rounds in Ventura County this week, delivering speeches and workshops at churches in Ojai and Ventura. The topic of his considerable passion: evolution.For Dowd, a trip through the cosmos ends at your front door. Actually, Dowd and his scientist-author wife, Connie Barlow, don’t really have their own front door. They have lived on the road for six years, preaching the excitement of science as religious inspiration. They roam North America appearing at venues both secular and sectarian, attempting to convince their audience that each individual person is the result of 14 billion years of evolution.

Embracing the Sacred Epic of Evolution

Pacific Sun

The Reverend Michael Dowd unites meaning with realism in the marriage of religion and science.by Diana deRegnierFebruary 1988, in a course taught by Albert LaChance, a cultural therapist, Michael Dowd heard the story of the Universe as a sacred epic and began to weep. "I knew I would spend the rest of my life sharing this perspective as great news," says Michael. "My evangelizing began shortly thereafter as an avocation wedged into the rest of my life… By no longer opposing evolution, but wholeheartedly embracing it as the 'Great Story' of 14 billion years of divine grace and creativity, I now have a more intimate relationship with God and a more joyful walk with Christ than ever before."

Science meets belief as couple put evolution in a sacred context

San Diego Union Tribune


Rev. Dowd in San DiegoSome say you can tell a lot about people from the cars they drive. The Rev. Michael Dowd drives a camper van with drawings of two fish, one labeled “Jesus” and the other “Darwin,” who are kissing each other with red hearts above them.For nearly six years, Dowd, a former United Church of Christ minister, and his wife, science writer Connie Barlow, have traveled the country preaching the gospel of evolution with evangelistic zeal.It's time to declare an end to the war between science and faith, he argues. He says the facts are indisputable: Earth and its inhabitants evolved over billions of years. But that's OK, he adds, because God, or whatever name you want to give to a higher power, was and is still involved.“Imagine a realm of nothingness,” says Dowd, invoking an image of the beginning of time. “God is the essence of that everything. Everything that emerges is not emerging outside of God, but within God.”