Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow - April 12 &13, 2013
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Past Speakers

Dowd-Barlow

TITLE OF LECTURE SERIES
"Soulful Science: Evidential Inspiration and Realistic Hope"

FRIDAY evening @ 7 PM:
"The Sacred Side of Science: Big History, Human Nature, Death" - Michael Dowd

SATURDAY morning @ 9 AM and 11 AM:
1) "How Religion Is Failing Our Youth — and What We Can Do About It" - Connie Barlow
2) "How Religion Betrayed God — and Atheists Became Prophets" - Michael Dowd

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THE REVEREND MICHAEL DOWD is a former pastor, veteran sustainability activist, and big history / big integrity evangelist. An outspoken religious naturalist, he is the author of the bestselling bridge-building book, Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World (Viking 2008 / Plume 2009), which was endorsed by 6 Nobel Prize-winning scientists and other science luminaries, including noted skeptics, and by religious leaders across the spectrum.

Michael and his wife, Connie Barlow, an acclaimed science writer and gifted evolutionary educator, permanently travel North America and have addressed more than 1,500 religious and non-religious groups since 2002 — ranging from Unitarian Universalists and secular high school, college, and university students, to Catholic, Protestant, and Evangelical Christian churches, to New Thought, New Age, and Integral groups. They show how the science-based history of everything and everyone can be interpreted in ways that inspire people to cooperate across political and religious differences in service of a just and thriving future for all.

In December 2010 Rev. Dowd hosted the acclaimed conversation series (now a digital audio educational series), "The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity", and in June 2011 he and Connie launched a 5-week online course titled, "Evolutionize Your Life".

Celebrated by liberals and conservatives alike and uniquely gifted at building bridges between believers and non-believers, Michael shares "The Great Story" — humanity's common creation story — in ways that uplift and expand heart, mind, and soul. His passion is showing how a sacred view of death, human nature, and the trajectory of big history can inspire and empower each of us to live with greater integrity, joy, and zest for life.

Michael and Connie are co-creators of the leading Religious Naturalism / Epic of Evolution educational website: TheGreatStory.org.

CONNIE BARLOW is an acclaimed author of popular science books and articles, and developer of THE GREAT STORY website. Connie's most recent book, The Ghosts of Evolution (Basic Books), was Amazon.com's top-recommended science book for several months in 2001. Her previous books, Green Space, Green Time: The Way of Science (Copernicus Books), Evolution Extended: Biological Debates on the Meaning of Life (MIT Press), and From Gaia to Selfish Genes: Selected Writings in the Life Sciences, all explore the nexus of science, spirit, and meaning.

Barlow, an evolutionary humanist and Unitarian Universalist, is also a well-known developer of curricula for children's religious education that highlight our shared evolutionary story. Since 2002, she and her husband (Rev. Michael Dowd) have lived entirely on the road as "America's evolutionary evangelists" — which is also the title of the couple's occasional podcast. She posts videos on evolutionary themes on YouTube under the name "ghostsofevolution".

She is founding member and webmaster of Torreya Guardians, an internet community of botanists, naturalists, and others dedicated to ensuring the continuing persistence in the wild of America's most endangered conifer tree: Torreya taxifolia. In the 1990s she contributed articles to Wild Earth magazine toward encouraging others in conservation to develop "deep-time eyes" by way of learning the history of evolutionary change and paleoecological interactions — culminating in her contributions to "Pleistocene Rewilding" advocacy.