Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World [NOOK Book]


Few issues have revealed deeper divisions in our society than the debate between creationism and evolution, between religion and science. Yet from the fray, Reverend Michael Dowd has emerged as a reconciler, finding faith strengthened by the power of reason.

With evidence from contemporary astrophysics, geology, biology, anthropology, and evolutionary psychology, Thank God ...
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Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World

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Few issues have revealed deeper divisions in our society than the debate between creationism and evolution, between religion and science. Yet from the fray, Reverend Michael Dowd has emerged as a reconciler, finding faith strengthened by the power of reason.

With evidence from contemporary astrophysics, geology, biology, anthropology, and evolutionary psychology, Thank God for Evolution lays out a compelling argument for how religion and science can be mutually enriching forces in our lives.

Praised by Nobel laureates in the scientific community and religious leaders alike, Thank God for Evolution will expand the horizon of what is possible for self, for relationships, and for our world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Since 2002, ordained United Church of Christ minister Dowd and his wife, science writer Connie Barlow, have traveled the country celebrating evolution as a grand epic story with a host of psychological and moral implications for shaping contemporary life. As narrator, Dowd projects an earnest next-door neighbor teaching style that earns a measure of patience and forgiveness when he undertakes divergent metaphors and analogies that may leave listeners scratching their heads at times. Dowd's talking points offer a potpourri of scientific and theological insights that remain generally engaging, though not necessarily stirring. He reaches the peak of his effectiveness when he provides specific calls to actions for his audience to meld "flat-Earth" Christianity and "evolutionary" Christianity in both their personal problem-solving and in larger global challenges. These nuggets make the lengthy journey worthwhile, at least for those in the fields of science and religion wanting to foster new areas for dialogue beyond the current culture wars. A Viking hardcover. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Unfortunately, this self-read title by "evolutionary evangelist" Dowd is not a cogent collection of his core ideas but, rather, a collection of rambling, meaningless statements interspersed with far too many self-aggrandizing anecdotes about how he and his wife have impacted others' lives. This abridged audio recording contains few facts-not even a proper description of the theory of evolution. Those attempting to understand or even reconcile scientific and religious beliefs should look elsewhere. Not recommended. [Audio clip available through; the Council Oak hc was recommended "for larger libraries," LJ11/15/07; watch the book trailer at]
—I. Pour-El

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440635618
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/19/2008
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 402,118
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

The Reverend Michael Dowd is America’s evolutionary evangelist. He and his wife, Connie Barlow, an acclaimed science writer, have traveled the country sharing their sacred view of cosmic, biological, and human evolution. Equally at home in both conservative and liberal settings, and uniquely gifted at building bridges between religious and nonreligious people, Rev. Dowd is passionate about sharing the fourteen-billion-year epic of evolution in ways that uplift and expand heart, mind, and soul. During the 1980s and 90s, Dowd was pastor of three United Church of Christ congregations, and has worked with diverse religious leaders across the country on environmental initiatives, peace and justice issues, and social reform. He holds a Master of Divinity degree. Rev. Dowd has served on the boards of the North American Conference on Christianity and Ecology; the Ohio Conference United Church of Christ (UCC) Integrity of Creation, Justice, and Peace task force; and the Hudson Valley Sustainable Communities Network. He has also served on the steering committees of the International Network of Biblical Storytellers and the UCC Network for Environmental and Economic Responsibility.
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Table of Contents

Author's Promises     xxi
Prologue: Personal Journey     1
The Marriage of Science and Religion     3
Itinerant Evolutionary Evangelism     4
Introduction     7
From "Adam and Eve" to Us-and Beyond     8
Science and Religion Spurring Each Other to Greatness     10
In Context     12
Overview     13
The Holy Trajectory of Evolution
Our Big Picture Understanding of Reality     21
Stories Within Stories     22
What Is the Great Story?     24
From Shape-Shifting Story to Unchanging Scripture     27
Meaning Making     28
Evolution Is Not Meaningless Blind Chance     31
Interpreting Our Immense Journey     32
The Mythopoeic Drive     34
Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle     36
The Role of Strife     40
The Role of Cooperation     42
The Role of Initiative     45
Evolution and the Revival of the Human Spirit     48
The Universe Can Be Trusted     49
You Are Part of the Universe     56
Accept What Is and Be in Integrity     57
Grow in Evolutionary Integrity     59
Trusting the UniverseMeans Welcoming Challenges     61
Reality is Speaking
Private and Public Revelation     65
Beyond Belief     67
The Birth and Maturation of Public Revelation     69
Flat-Earth Faith Versus Evolutionary Faith     72
Toward an Evolutionary Christianity     75
Facts Are God's Native Tongue     77
Religious Knowers     81
The Nested Emergent Nature of Divine Creativity     84
Thank God for the Hubble Telescope!     86
We Are Made of Stardust     89
The Gifts of Death     93
Litany: "The Gifts of Death"     98
Words Create Worlds     103
Experiencing God Versus Thinking About God     105
The Split Between Religion and Science     108
From Clockwork "It" to Creative "Thou"     109
Day and Night Language     113
What Do We Mean by the Word "God"?     118
No Less Than a Holy Name for the Whole     121
Prayer in a Nestedly Creative Cosmos     123
A Personal, Undeniable God     125
God or the Universe: What's in a Name?     126
Creatheism     128
The Role of Humanity in an Evolving Universe     132
Being "Faithful to God"     134
The Gospel According to Evolution
Growing an Evolutionary Faith     139
Genesis in Context     141
Don't Throw Out the Apple     144
Realizing "The Fall" and "Original Sin"     146
Lessons from Evolutionary Brain Science     147
Lessons from Evolutionary Psychology     154
Resurrecting "The Fall"     158
Your Brain's Creation Story     162
Reclaiming "Original Sin"     166
Realizing "Personal Salvation"     169
The Challenges of Our Lizard Legacy     171
Furry Li'l Mammal to the Rescue     174
Thank God for Our Higher Porpoise!     176
Discerning Your Calling Exercise     178
Salvation Through Evolutionary Integrity     181
The DNA of Deep Integrity     185
Christ-like Evolutionary Integrity     191
Realizing "Saving Faith"     195
Realizing "the Gospel"     200
Evolutionary Spirituality
Evolutionary Integrity Practices     209
Taming Our Monkey Mind     211
Taming Our Lizard Legacy     214
Growing in Trust: Nurturing Humility and Faith     215
Realizing "Love Your Enemies"     217
Growing in Authenticity: Realizing "Remove the Plank"     221
Growing in Compassion/Responsibility: Realizing "Judge Not"     223
Growing in Gratitude: Realizing "Love God and Your Neighbor"     226
Evolving Our Most Intimate Relationships     231
Touch and Tenderness     231
Respectful Communication     233
Playfulness and Humor     236
Meaningful Songs and Rituals     237
Synergy and Service     239
Transformed by the Renewal of Your Mind     241
Deep Integrity Affirmations     241
Imagination Matters! Upgrading Your Mental Software     243
A "God-Glorifying" Future
Collective Sin and Salvation     251
Wrongdoing in a Nestedly Emergent Universe     252
Collective Sin in an Age of Information     255
Confronting Institutional Sin     259
The Wisdom of Life's Collective Intelligence     261
On Earth As It Is in Heaven     262
Collective Deep Integrity     266
Conversation and Creative Emergence     267
Co-Intelligent Social Technologies     269
The Core Commons     270
Cultivating Discernment Within the Whole     273
Co-creating Our Evolutionary Spiritualities      274
Knowing the Past Reveals Our Way Forward     277
The Cosmic Century Timeline     277
Aligning Self-Interest with the Well-being of the Whole     283
Who and What Are We, Really? And Why Are We Here?     288
Our Sense of Self and Our Role in the Body of Life     290
Evolutionary Revivals     294
Beyond Sustainability: An Inspiring Vision     298
Major Challenges in the Next 250 Years     300
Wild Cards     302
Long-term and Short-term Positive Trends     307
Likely Good News in the Next 250 Years     310
Our Evolving Understanding of "God's Will"     318
Responding to Critics Who Reject Religion Because of Scripture     319
Transcending Biblical Values and Scriptural Morality     325
Realizing "Holy Scripture" and "Divine Revelation"     327
Public Revelation: "The Ever-Renewing Testament"     330
Realizing Godly Morality and Ethics     333
Wider Circles of Care, Compassion, and Commitment     334
Realizing "Jesus as God's Way, Truth, and Life"     336
Conclusion     341
Epilogue     343
Testimonial     344
Vision     346
"Good and Bad Reasons for Believing"   Richard Dawkins     349
Realizing the Miraculous     357
Miracles Through the Ages     358
Realizing "the Virgin Birth"     362
Realizing "Christ's Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven"     364
Invitation     369
Acknowledgments     371
Resources     375
Online Resources     381
Who's Who and Sources of Quotations     383
Index     393
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2008

    Interesting Book

    Athiests pride themselves on being rational and educated. As an athiest I recommend this book because you SHOULD read opinions contrary to your own. The facts SHOULD be discussed so that the truth will emerge. If you are an athiest you SHOULD read this book. If you are a believer you SHOULD read The God Delusion. Know the arguements for BOTH sides, then make up your mind.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2010

    A powerful work of unity.

    This book is great for anyone interested in Infinite Intelligence (God, Allah, Brahma, Spirit or whatever name you've been trained to call Divine Spirit) The language is non offensive and the ideas are bulletproof. Whether a fundamentalist, atheist or anything in between this information works.

    Dowd is the real deal. He offers a new paradigm for discussion and speaks a language of tolerance. His writing is authentic yet he doesn't pontificate or speak over anyone's head.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2008

    I can still love my Christian Roots!!

    I have wrestled over this issue...for awhile becoming a rather rabid atheist. Mainly mourning for the beautiful parts of Christianity that I thought I had to just throw in the garbage. Thank you Michael for letting me love them unashamedly still.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2008


    A thought-provoking book that finally brings together the realization that religion and science can coexist. This is something that I have been expressing for several years now. This book is a MUST read book for everyone as it will better help the reader understand both religion and science, and how humans fit into the BIG picture. Thank you Michael Dowd for writing this book and for giving me a platform to help others understand the evolution of God. Thank God for Evolution and thank Michael Dowd for an excellent and thought-provoking book. Well done!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This man does not know the word of God.

    For everyone who reads this book and finally thinks wonderful now I can believe in God again...this man does not know God or His word. The teachings of evolution for starters are not scientifically accurate; they are not proven and never have been. Many people call creationism a pseudoscience, well I can tell you it is better science then the concept that nothing exploded into everything which denies the scientific law that matter can neither be created or destroyed. Where did the matter come from that exploded into everything? Then after so called millions of years the earth finally cooled and formed and rain came down for more millions of years (where did this rain come from, who knows) then at which time some magical soup formed in which bacteria emerged (despite the fact that bacteria are more complicated than a space station) and gradually mutations occurred transforming us into the human beings we are today-even though mutations are never beneficial only harmful. These ideas are laughable. Scientists are grasping at straws and they keep saying someday we will find the prove of this, well it's been more than a hundred years I think it's time to give this nonsense up and get to know God. Want to learn some truly amazing scientific facts? Go to ,skeptics go... I dare you. What do you have to be afraid of? GOD is science.

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    Definitely Made Me Think

    This book definitely made me re-think how I approached science and religion, and helped me find a middle ground between them. While I don't agree with the abstraction of religions out to "The Great Story" level, the concepts presented are an excellent building block for your own worldview.

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