America's Evolutionary Evangelists



CONNIE BARLOW and MICHAEL DOWD explore evolution sciences for inspiration and action,,


  • 38. Climate Change and Intergenerational Evil

    31/12/2012 Duración: 49min

    Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow "woke up" to the magnitude and speed of climate change in December 2012. The dangers of human-caused climate disturbance had, by then, become undeniable, making this the fundamental moral issue of our time. In this podcast, the duo include clips from the world's most respected climate scientist, NASA's James Hansen, and two key advocates for systemic change: Bill McKibben and David Roberts.  Because this is just the audio track of the original video podcast, we recommend you watch the entire 49-minute video on YouTube: "Climate Change and Intergenerational Evil". Please recommend that your friends watch it too.

  • 37. Evidential Wisdom

    03/12/2012 Duración: 50min

    Michael Dowd is interviewed for Blog Talk Radio by Richard Brendan. Widely ranging topics from Michael's book, Thank God for Evolution, are the focus of this 50-minute program, including the evolutionary value of religions, how all religions necessarily are evolving, the "evidential wisdom" of science (science as humanity's "global collective intelligence"), science as "public revelation," and the distinction between "practical truth" (carried forward by all long-standing religions) and "factual truth" (the unique contribution of science). Two links are provided here to projects Michael refers to: (1) "Evolutionary Spirituality: Coming Home to Reality" and (2) the 38-audio-interview series "Evolutionary Christianity".

  • 36. Evolution: The Next Generation

    24/10/2012 Duración: 19min

    Connie Barlow delivers a 20-minute sermon at Cadboro Bay United Church near Victoria, BC (Canada) October 2012. Connie suggests that progressive churches will serve a vital role for the next generations when they evolve their understanding of "religious education" to mean primarily the need to provision children with a sense of feeling at home in the universe. Only in churches and homeschool settings can our culture's widespread malaise of "amythia" be healed. To do so, science must be presented in deeply meaningful ways, while all facets of education are integrated as elements ('beads") in one grand (and globally shared) story: the epic of evolution.

  • 35. The Magic of Reality: New Book by Richard Dawkins

    12/10/2011 Duración: 23min

    Barlow and Dowd take an inside look at Richard Dawkins' first children's book, The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True. The couple recite excerpts and discuss why this "courageous and necessary book" may indeed help evolve the religions of the world along the lines of, what Dowd calls, the Evidential Reformation. Note: This commentary was originally recorded in video format and posted on Youtube here. Other resources mentioned in the commentary include: • Jennifer Morgan's Born with a Bang book trilogy for kids • Evolutionary Parables (stories and dramatic scripts) • Great Story Beads (13.7 billion years represented in beads) Theme song "Poetry of Reality" courtesy Symphony of Science.

  • 34. Death, Budgets, and Generational Justice

    25/09/2011 Duración: 31min

    Connie Barlow builds on the 2011 call-to-action opinion piece by NYT columnist David Brooks ("Death and Budgets"), and the 2011 essay (in The New Republic) by Daniel Callahan and Sherwin B. Nuland, "The Quagmire: How American Medicine Is Destroying Itself." ( You can also watch an illustrated version of this podcast on YouTube.) Here, Barlow issues her own call-to-action in order to "foment a revolution" with her fellow boomers and with what remains of the older generations. By "just saying no" to costly medical diagnostics and interventions that merely prolong dwindling life in our elder years, and by pioneering vibrant, responsible, and celebratory ways of openly and actively dying, we can return to humanity's ancestral roots of "generational generosity" in our modes of living and dying. We each can take care to ensure that our legacy "passes forward" blessings to the generations who follow us -- not insupportable debt. Note: This is a sequel to podcast 30, "Death and Intergenerational Generosity." You can

  • 33. A Deep-Time Model of Transformation

    09/10/2010 Duración: 29min

    Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd reflect on their current work of translating the discoveries and interpretations of the fledgling sciences of evolutionary psychology and evolutionary brain science into perspectives and practical tools for transforming lives and relationships.  Inspiration and direction for participating in cultural and societal improvement are drawn from the equally new scholarly discipline of Big History, which aims to uncover broad patterns within the trajectory of evolution and their causal links. The duo give examples of how this work has already helped each of them access empowering emotional states: gratitude for the past, trust in the future, inspiration to be in action, and empathy for engaging oppositional views.  Michael directs listeners to a newly posted site for free online viewing of the main public program he has been presenting in 2010, “Evolutionize Your Life.”  Dowd also commends a new downoadable audio lecture series by Allen D. MacNeill, “The Modern Scholar: Evolutionary P

  • 32. Imprinting Is Not Indoctrination

    20/07/2010 Duración: 22min

    Connie Barlow reflects on events that motivated her to write her boldest statement yet on the importance of provisioning children with a coherent cosmology.  Now available online, "Imprinting Is Not Indoctrination" is a challenge to freethinking parents and liberal religious educators who are so determined to not indoctrinate their kids that they fail to give them "a creation story / worldview through which to enjoy and securely navigate the years of childhood wonder, learning, and innocence."  Connie concludes this podcast with brief descriptions of the newest additions to the "What's New?" page on website.  Notably, a preview of a new children's curriculum (which uses Great Story Beads): "Your Universe Story." Also Connie's newest videomashing project, "Praise Darwin!" — an evolution revival meeting now on YouTube. Finally, links to a terrific dialogue with scientist and kids curricula developer Jon Cleland-Host and a moving 21-minute documentary, "The Great Story in Kosovo."

  • 31. Sermon: The New Atheists As God's Prophets

    27/06/2010 Duración: 26min

    June 6, 2010 was a landmark day for Michael Dowd as an evangelist of the evolutionary perspective in American churches.  This was the day that he delivered his boldest sermon ever, titled "The New Atheists As God's Prophets."  People's Church of Ludington, MI was his first religious venue for this title.  He will reprise this sermon on July 11 at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Syracuse, NY, then twice in August in Oklahoma City: first at Mayflower Congregational Church and then at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral.  This sermon offers the ideas first presented on September 6, 2009, in the sixth podcast of this series, and which Michael presented as a blogpost on June 4. Michael's aim is this: “I want to encourage religious people not to get defensive when the New Atheists are attacking religion or attacking concepts of God. Instead, recognize that they are fulfilling the role of a prophet."

  • 30. Death and Intergenerational Generosity

    24/06/2010 Duración: 32min

    Connie Barlow reflects on her visit to Pioneer Cemetery in Canandaigua NY, where her paternal ancestors six generations back are buried.  (Photo right is of her brother Bill and nephew Myles Barlow pondering the stone memorials of Abner and Mary Barlow.)  This podcast topic was also stimulated by a memoir in the 6/20/10 issue of New York Times Magazine: "What Broke My Father's Heart".  Barlow notes that the essay well depicted the modern-day obstacles that make achieving a natural and good death for the elderly exceedingly difficult in our highly medicalized culture, but that it was sorely lacking in addressing the equal need for the elderly themselves to make decisions in light of "intergenerational equity."  To this, Michael Dowd added, "It is more than just intergenerational equity we are calling for; it is intergenerational generosity."  The duo explore the role that a deep-time perspective can play in naturalizing our understanding of death and thereby calling forth voluntary and joyful expressions of in

  • 29. Supernatural Is Unnatural Is Uninspiring

    08/06/2010 Duración: 21min

    Michael Dowd returns to the theme of our most popular podcast thus far: "The New Atheists As God's Prophets." This meme, which has since generated a lot of commentary on the internet, was introduced by Michael in Podcast #6, posted September 6, 2009.  Now Connie Barlow joins Michael in discussing his companion blogpost, which is also titled "Supernatural Is Unnatural Is Uninspiring" (dated 7 June 2010). A key historical understanding grounds his premise: "The supernatural realm emerged as a thought form after we began to understand things in a natural, scientific way. Only after the concept of 'natural' emerged was it deemed necessary by some to speak of the 'supernatural': that which was imagined to be above or outside of nature."

  • 28. Inspiring Naturalism and Evolving Faith: Two New Podcast Series

    01/06/2010 Duración: 27min

    Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd announce the launch of two new podcast series and provide snippets from the first several episodes.  "Inspiring Naturalism" is a new series in which Barlow and Dowd serve as cohosts, interviewing and engaging ideas with scientists, historians, educators, and others leading the way toward reality-based views of the world that are both meaningful and motivating.  "Evolving Faith" is hosted by Michael; he engages theologians, ministers, and other religious professionals in exploring ways for evolving religious traditions toward congruence with the foundation of inspiring naturalism. The short samples include dialogue with evolutionist David Sloan Wilson, big historian David Christian, and theologian Bishop John Shelby Spong.

  • 27. Deep-Time Remembering, Deep-Time Blessing

    31/05/2010 Duración: 32min

    Michael Dowd extemporaneously delivers a guest sermon at a large, very progressive church in Spring Lake Michigan: C3 Exchange. This being Memorial Day weekend, his theme is remembering — but from a deep-time perspective.  Michael offers the congregation four essential components for experiencing deep-time grace: (1) Learn your story, (2) Interpret life generously, (3) Honor your instincts, and (4) Be a blessing to others and the world.  His wife, Connie Barlow, regards this as his best sermon ever.

  • 26. Idolatry of the Written Word

    26/04/2010 Duración: 33min

    Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow discuss ideas and share stories from their 8 years of experience evangelizing a modern evolutionary perspective in churches -- many of which have yet to update their beliefs, creedal statements, and liturgies beyond pre-medieval norms and understandings. Specifically, the duo highlight the harm caused by veneration of ancient religious scriptures over more modern evidential discoveries. Dowd suggests that, by making an idol of the written word, "The Christian church in the developed world will continue down a long and slow path to its own extinction, or irrelevance, as long as it sees the Bible as God's Word, as the main way the divine communicates, while failing to see scientific evidence as divine revelation." Dowd has also posted a companion blog to this podcast (same title), on his website. Note: This podcast builds upon Podcast #6, posted 6 September 2009, "The New Atheists As God's Prophets" and Podcast #7, posted on 20 September 2009, "Humanity Gr

  • 25. Deep-Time Eyes

    17/04/2010 Duración: 40min

    Connie Barlow was one of 17 guests interviewed by Craig Hamilton in early 2010 as part of Craig's free, multi-week telecourse: "Awakening the Impulse to Evolve: The Birth of Evolutionary Spirituality".  35,000 people signed up to listen to the interview series live or to visit the audio archives at their leisure. This was a landmark event, both for giving free access to the insights and ruminations of many acclaimed thinkers across a spectrum of views and for its use of new technology that enabled listeners to ask questions and to enter into small-group discussions. In this podcast, Connie Barlow dialogues with Craig about how, what Connie calls, "deep-time eyes" inspire and enliven her naturalistic approach to evolutionary spirituality, as a religious naturalist, aka "evolutionary emergentist." Note: For more on the topic of "emergence", which Connie discusses in this interview, see our 5 September 2009 podcast, "Evolutionary Emergence".

  • 24. Evolutionize Your Life

    13/04/2010 Duración: 37min

    Michael Dowd was one of 17 guests interviewed by Craig Hamilton in early 2010 as part of Craig's free, multi-week telecourse: "Awakening the Impulse to Evolve: The Birth of Evolutionary Spirituality" audio archives at their leisure. This was a landmark event, both for giving free access to the insights and ruminations of many acclaimed thinkers across a spectrum of views and for its use of new technology that enabled listeners to ask questions and to enter into small-group discussions. In this podcast, Michael Dowd responds to Craig's questions on the theme of how to evolutionize your life.

  • 23. Dark Green Religion, Neo-Humanism, and More

    02/04/2010 Duración: 24min

    Dark Green Religion, Bron Taylor's new book, is one of the topics covered in this potpourri podcast by Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow.  Other current events discussed are the March 2010 iaunch of a "Neo-Humanist Statement" by Paul Kurtz and others, Sam Harris's recent TED Talk, the Dennett/LaScola study "Preachers Who Are Not Believers", their recent experience at "The Little Church That Could," and more.

  • 22. Music for Fossil Lovers

    18/03/2010 Duración: 26min

    Connie and Michael sample 5 songs from "Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway" (companion CD to the extraordinary fossil + art exhibit (by that same title) now on display at the Burke Museum of the University of Washington, Seattle).  Titles include "Ages of Rock," "Hey Fishface," "I Am a Paleobotanist," "Ammonite" (which is an extinct mollusk, pictured here), and "Time Travellin' with a Shovel" -- all destined to become classics!  Inspired by the latter song, Connie composed a song to convey the content of her 2001 book, "Ghosts of Evolution" -- and that song is played here too. (You can also watch the full 5-minute music video "Ghosts of Evolution" on Connie's YouTube channel.)   Closing out this podcast is the audio from the latest "Symphony of Science" music video (by John Boswell): "Poetry of Reality".

  • 21. The Scientific Basis of Compassion

    07/03/2010 Duración: 20min

    Here is Michael Dowd's Feb 28, 2010 sermon at the Unity Church of Portland -- his first sermon since re-launching itinerant evolutionary evangelism following 6 months of successful cancer treatment in Seattle. Fresh from reading Jeremy Rifkin's new book, The Empathic Civilization, and listening to Frans de Waal's The Age of Empathy, Michael offers that "The challenge of our times is to create a global empathic civilization -- where we cooperate at the scale of a species and where we do so from a place grounded in respect for our differences."  At the personal scale of relationships he advises, "To the degree that we share our vulnerability with each other, we become much more beautiful to each other because that's where our hearts open with compassion -- suffering with -- and our natural, instinctual empathy begins to embrace the other." Michael has also blogged on this topic at his Thank God For Evolution website.

  • 20. Evolutionary Legacy

    19/02/2010 Duración: 31min

    Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow discuss current events in the context of "evolutionary legacy" -- the ripples of action that continue on in the world after we, as individuals, are gone.  Intentional, even courageous, action are what the evolutionary impulse is calling forth from each of us now.  As Dowd frames the issue, "The growing edge of both Eastern and Western thinking is participatory: How do we, in an embodied way, participate in the evolution of life, the evolution of consciousness and culture, such that we further evolution in positive, constructive ways?" Examples come from the work of Thomas Berry, notably, his distinction between a "redemption" focus v. a "creation" focus, as well as a February 7, 2010, sermon by Rev. Marlin Lavanhar of All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

  • 19. Deep Time, Deep Integrity, Deep Bliss

    02/02/2010 Duración: 34min

    Michael Dowd published 3 blogs recently on his website, which he and Connie Barlow discuss here.  The first is for general audiences and is titled, "Evolutionary Spirituality: Coming Home to Reality".  Dowd advocates a very practical form of evolutionary spirituality that is above all relational.  Striving for "deep integrity" and pursuing an evolutionary calling ("deep bliss") are core elements. Next come the highlights of the two blogs Dowd wrote specifically for Christians: "Atheists Promote Bible Reading?!" and "The Salvation of Religion: From Beliefs to Knowledge"

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