Science and religion are being reconciled

Canadian Times & Transcript

By Carmel HigginsI am now reading a wonderful book by Michael Dowd titled, "Thank God for Evolution." Dowd, a born-again Christian turned evolutionary evangelist, explains the new story and cosmology in a way that is believable and faith enhancing.Drawing from a host of others on the same journey, and on what he calls ongoing public revelations in contrast to private revelations, he integrates the findings of present day science with an evolutionary faith.By evolutionary faith he means having the ability to change in the same way our skin has been changed from the scaly reptilian skin of our ancestors. Some of our beliefs, he claims, may have so little utility as to disappear altogether, just as the primate tail was lost within our lineage of apes.Religious fundamentalists do have one thing right, Dowd claims. Reconciling ancient texts with modern understandings is no solution. "We cannot command that a 'flat Earth faith' jump into a lukewarm bath drawn by science or step into a cold shower of reason."

The translation and reinterpretation of ancient texts must be bold and meaningful, and resonate profoundly with the "core" truths of all traditions. The epic of evolution, he believes, must be presented not simply as a red in tooth and claw theory, but as an awe-inspiring and energetic sacred story, our story.In my estimation, Dowd does a superb job in reinterpreting ancient myths and certain doctrines by distinguishing the different languages used by science and religion to relay truth.He speaks of day and night language, dream language, and experiential knowing in a way that does not discredit reason or the scientific facts.For him there need not be conflict. His approach is not either/or but both/and, and in mutual respect.I suggest that both Richard Dawkins' book, "The God Delusion," and Michael Dowd's book, "Thank God for Evolution," be read by all who wish to integrate the new findings of science with the best of our Christian heritage. They do actually compliment each other.In fact, Dowd has included in the appendix of his book Dawkin's letter on religion to his 10-year-old daughter and refers to some of the biologist's teaching in his own text.I also suggest that big-box stores sell both side by side from the same shelf. Instead, when searching, I found Dawkins' book proudly displayed on the science shelf and Dowd's book on the religion shelf, wedged between "The de Vinci Code" and Joanna Manning's book "Is the Pope Catholic."A new section is needed for the new religious cosmology and the paradigm shift that is emerging in our time . . . but then, perhaps the time for the full integration of science and religion has not yet come. However, many think differently.I close with this quote by Craig Mello, 2006 Nobel Prize in physiology/medicine winner and one of the many laureates endorsing Dowd's book: "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 for all, including scientists."Carmel Higgins is a Moncton resident. She holds a certificate in culture and spirituality and is the author of the book "Cosmic Fire/Local Sparks: My Journey into the Universe Story." She can be reached via e-mail at