Evolutionary evangelist brings message to Huntsville

The Huntsville Item

By Stuart Williamson

The Rev. Michael Dowd, America's evolutionary evangelist, will offer a free, two-hour presentation on Thursday at the Katy and E. Don Walker Jr. Education Center, 1402 19th Street in Huntsville, beginning at 7 p.m.

Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

In his talk, Dowd will cover the major themes of his new book, "Thank God for Evolution!" which has received endorsements from five Nobel laureates as well as endorsements from leaders across the religious spectrum.

Since April 2002, Dowd and his wife, Connie Barlow, an acclaimed science writer, have lived on the road sharing a sacred view of evolution with religious and secular audiences of all ages.

He is passionate in talking about the 14-billion-year history of the universe, Earth, life, and humanity in ways that offer practical guidance and uplift and expand one's heart, mind, and soul.

"I've given this program over 1,000 times in 46 of the 50 states and in Canada," Dowd said. "I greatly look forward to celebrating Charles Darwin's 200th birthday on Feb. 12 in Huntsville at the Walker Education Center.

"I hope to see a lot of Sam Houston State University students, not only those studying the biological sciences, but also any who wish to learn how a mainstream scientific understanding of cosmic, Earth, biological, and human history can build bridges and restore realistic hope."

Darwin's observations on his five-year voyage (1831 to 1836) around the world eventually led to the notions of natural selection and evolution, theories he laid out in his book, "On the Origin of Species."

Dowd, 50, grew up in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He then spent his teenage years in Florida, graduating in 1976 from a high school in Miami.

In 1984, Dowd graduated summa cum laude from Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., (affiliated with the Assemblies of God), where he received a B.A. in biblical studies and philosopy.

Dowd graduated with honors in 1987from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Seminary) in Philadelphia, Pa. (affiliated with the American Baptist Church) where he earned a Master of Divinity degree.

He then served as a congregational minister for nine years, pastoring United Church of Christ (UCC) churches in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Michigan.

Primary sponsor of the program is the Huntsville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. It's also sponsored by Circle Kiwanis International (CKI) which is a Sam Houston State University service organization affiliated with the Huntsville Kiwanis Club.

"We feel quite fortunate to have Rev. Dowd speak in Huntsville," said Joan Stringer, president of the Huntsville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. "We're also fortunate in choosing Feb. 12 for the date of his program. That's the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin who was born Feb. 12, 1809, in England,"