Published on Apr 26, 2012
"We're fortunate to have Michael Dowd on our side (the 'our' being humanity)," says Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, who introduces Dowd as part of Skeptic's Distinguished Lecture series at CalTech. Following is a brief description of Dowd's bridge-building Religious Naturalism program, presented here in 2009. He shows how a mainstream understanding of cosmic, biological, and cultural evolution can be framed as "good news" for secular and religious audiences alike. (Dowd also presented this at the United Nations a few months earlier.)
From crumbling economies to collapsing ecosystems, humanity is experiencing an unprecedented global integrity crisis. In a richly illustrated presentation, Michael Dowd sheds light on a wide range of personal, social, political, and economic issues through the prism of "global integrity": humanity in right relationship to reality at all scales, from the personal to the planetary.
The evolutionary sciences teach us that throughout life's history, a vital trend is chaos catalyzing cooperation in ever-larger systems of interdependence. Dowd proposes that only a deeply meaningful and inspiring, evidence-based evolutionary worldview can help us co-create a just and thriving future at this emerging, planetary level of interdependence.
The talk is based on his landmark 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 atheists, and by religious leaders across the spectrum. Michael and his wife, science writer Connie Barlow, have been called "America's evolutionary evangelists." Since April 2002 they have lived entirely on the road and have spoken to more than 1,600 secular and religious groups -- from atheists to evangelicals -- across North America.
You can purchase a DVD of this presentation from the Skeptic website, here: http://www.skeptic.com/past-lectures/...
Michael's BIO, PUBLICATIONS, and BLOGS:
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-mic...
Thank God for Evolution: http://thankgodforevolution.com/blog_...
Click on blue time stops below to access topics immediately in the video:
01:00 - end of Michael Shermer's introduction of Dowd
00:15 - Dowd begins "Evolution and the Global Integrity Crisis"
01:30 - the power of mythic stories; "supernatural" is "pre-natural"
01:55 - goal of helping supernaturalists become religious naturalists
03:00 - background on Dowd's "evolutionary evangelism"
04:18 - images of Saturn (and Earth) from Cassini mission
04:57 - overview of program: "Evolution and the Global Integrity Crisis"
06:26 - "day language" v. "night language"; facts, story, meaning
10:35 - God as Reality personified -- not a person
14:45 - evolutionary brain science for understanding human nature
21:35 - "night language" animal names for Quadrune Brain: Lizard Legacy, Furry Li'l Mammal, Monkey Mind, and Higher Porpoise
22:20 - "in-group" v. "out-group" instincts
23:26 - Monkey Mind and Higher Porpoise (higher purpose)
24:06 - social and cooperative instincts
24:41 - mismatched instincts and "inherited proclivities"
28:09 - rise in status leads to a rise in testosterone (risk-taking and sex drive)
31:41 - fault v. responsibility; from denial toward recovery and compassion
35:55 - an evolutionary view of addiction
36:59 - evolutionary psychology reveals human universals; fosters compassion and realistic hope
41:07 - REALizing/naturalizing religious concepts (e.g., Original Sin)
41:35 - integrity as "right relationship with reality" (at all levels)
43:55 - "Evolution's arrow," the trajectory of complexity, and evolutionary emergence
44:44 - "creatheist"
45:27 - greater complexity, interdependence, cooperation (nonzero sum) through time
48:09 - humans as the universe becoming conscious of itself and its story
49:43 - "naturalizing" religious/mythic insights and stories
51:27 - evolutionary directionality; crisis catalyzes creativity; multi-level alignment of self-interest
54:57 - two vital questions for 21st century
56:49 - five vital reasons for spreading an evolutionary worldview
01:00:20 - until we see through sacred deep-time eyes
01:01:01 - creative role of chaos and destruction
01:02:55 - Nobel prize-winning scientists endorse "Thank God for Evolution"; book trailer
01:06:00 - Q&A with audience at CalTech
01:14:48 - overview of books and dvd resources
01:23:00 - websites and "Best Evolution Resources"
01:23:27 - concluding quote from Brian Swimme
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