Religion vs. science debate coming to The Woodlands

The Montgomery County Courier

By Kassia Micek

An evangelical preacher has embarked on a nationwide tour to teach and preach evolution from God's view.

The Rev. Michael Dowd, author of "Thank God for Evolution," and his atheist wife Connie Barlow, a science writer, have been traveling North America nonstop since 2002 to present Dowd's 90-minute presentation "The Gospel According to Science: Evolutionary Good News." Dowd will be at Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church, located at 1370 N. Millbend Drive in The Woodlands, at 7 p.m. Wednesday as part of nine stops in the Houston area.

"I'm helping people see God at work in ways they're not used to seeing God at work," Dowd said. "Every scientific discovery is God's revelation of what's real or the truth.

"There's a false choice ... either atheist science or creationism. The fact is there are millions (of people) in the middle. I have a closer walk with God seeing how he created all of this during millions of years."

Growing up Roman Catholic, Dowd became a born-again Christian after a mountaintop experience on a solo backpacking trip while serving in the U.S. Army in Berlin.

He went on to graduate with the highest honors from Evangel University with a Bachelor of Arts in biblical studies and philosophy and then earned a Master of Divinity degree from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Theological Seminary), according to a press release. After years of serving as a pastor in Massachusetts, Michigan and Ohio, Dowd took his show on the road and now calls all of North America his church and his home.

"It builds a bridge between religious and nonreligious people," Dowd said about his presentation. "It builds a bridge between conservatives and liberals. If we're really going to understand what God is up to today, we have to understand God's view of evolution.

"Without an understanding of evolution (what God has been doing) ... we're not going to have guidance of how to move forward in a God-honoring way."

When asked how he preaches the book of Genesis, which details God's creation of the heavens and the earth, Dowd said he does not touch on that subject since there are hundreds of creation stories.

"If you interpret those stories literally, you miss the true meaning," he said. "Genesis is speaking the truth. But if we take that literally, we miss what it is trying to tell us."

Dowd's book is receiving accolades across the board, including from scientists.

"The science vs. religion debate is over," Craig Mello, a 2006 Nobel Prize winner in physiology or medicine, stated on Dowd's website. "Michael Dowd masterfully unites rationality and spirituality in a world view 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."