TGFE Born Again!

I'm thrilled to announce that Thank God for Evolution (affectionately known by Connie and me as TGFE, pronounced "tee-gee-fee") has been born again! In April, Viking Penguin bought world rights to TGFE from Council Oak Books, the original publisher. The publication date for the new Viking edition is June 23rd. And because the "born again" TGFE will have a new cover, this companion website is undergoing a makeover as well.



Lizard Legacy Bites 3 More Alphas

Governor of New York, Lieutenant Governor of New York, Mayor of Detroit: Recently, the men occupying these powerful posts have had their sexual indiscretions publicly aired. The Governor's alleged cross-state tryst with a prostitute, and the mayor's indictment for perjury in his previous denial of sexual impropriety entangled in government business, could subject both to felony charges. Governor Eliot Spitzer, now-Governor David Paterson, and Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick thus join the ranks of American political (and religious) leaders whose legacies have been marred or even destroyed by sex scandals.

UPDATE: Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow riffed on this topic in August 2009 in one of their weekly PODCASTS, titled "Evolution and Infidelity" 

Evolutionary Revival!

On February 15, I was honored to participate in an evolutionary revival -- likely, the world's first evolutionary revival. It was fabulous!

What is an evolutionary revival? It is an opportunity for folks to gather together to sing, celebrate, and learn about evolution in a salvific way, such that many are moved to respond to a "call to commitment" to the future: to the ongoing evolutionary journey.

LITANY: It Matters What We Think About Evolution!

It matters what we think about evolution. Trying to understand reality without an evolutionary worldview is like trying to understand infection without microscopes or the structure of the Universe without telescopes. It's not merely difficult; it's impossible.

Thank God for evolution!

Evolutionary Morality and Ethics

The single greatest advantage that an evolutionary worldview has over traditional, flat-earth worldviews is that evolution provides a firmer foundation for godly ethics and morality, individually and collectively, than can ethical systems based on the Bible, Qur'an, or any other ancient writings alone.

Connie and I are in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for a couple of weeks. Yesterday I was interviewed twice, first by the religion reporter for the Dallas Morning News, next by a staff writer for Pegasus News. In both interviews I was asked about where, from an evolutionary perspective, I derive my sense of morality and ethics. In my replies I referenced Stephen Pinker's fabulous article in the January 13th issue of The New York Times Magazine: "The Moral Instinct".

Pinker's essay on the evolutionary roots of morality is the latest in a brilliant and compelling lineage. One of my favorite quotations on this topic comes from the 2004 book by Michael Shermer: The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule. Shermer writes, "In an evolutionary theory of morality, asking 'Why should we be moral?' is like asking 'Why should we be hungry?' or 'Why should we be horny?' For that matter, we could ask, 'Why should we be jealous?' or 'Why should we fall in love?' The answer is that it is as much a part of human nature to be moral as it is to be hungry, horny, jealous, and in love."

Zoey 101, Brain Science 101

It matters what we think about evolution. In many situations, nothing matters more. My wife, Connie, just spent the past several hours browsing Internet news and blogs on the Jamie Lynn Spears fiasco. She files this guest post:

Jamie Lynn Spears (16-year-old sibling of Britney) for three years has played the smart, good-girl lead on Nickelodeon's popular tweens television show, Zoey 101. On December 18, she (and her mom) announced to the world that she was pregnant -- about 3 months pregnant.

Now many parents are faced with not only having to help their tween (and even pre-tween) girls deal with their grief and anger that their idol has fallen, but also helping them come through this ordeal better prepared to face the intimacy challenges that they themselves will surely face.

Intelligent Design

Much has been written in the blogosphere in the last week and a half about the Texas science curriculum director who was fired for sending an email to friends suggesting that she thought more highly of evolution than 'intelligent design' (ID). (I find this amazing given the fact that well over 95% of the scientists of the world hold an evolutionary worldview.) I first learned about this story in Wired, which directly led to Wired science blogger Brandon Keim's blog about my version of Evolutionary Christianity, and then, the next day, his interview of me. Since then, however, this Texas story has been written up nearly everywhere.

Clergy Letter / Emerging Churches

I'm often asked "How large is the Evolution Theology movement?" and "What kinds of individuals, churches, and other organizations find a sacred view of evolution inspiring?" These questions are not easy to answer, of course, for two reasons. The first is that there are many different ways that people have referred to a sacred, meaningful interpretation of cosmic history. Second, there are far, far more individuals and institutions that align with Evolutionary Theology than have ever used the term.

Thank God for the New Atheists and Creationists!

The New Atheists and Young-Earth Creationists are both playing vital, necessary roles in furthering the evolution of religious perspectives. The New Atheists are assisting the evolution of religion by ridiculing trivial, uninspiring notions of God; the Young-Earth Creationists are doing their part by ridiculing trivial, uninspiring notions of evolution.

Although a number of insightful and welcome blog posts have manifested on the Internet in response to the November 2007 publication of my book, Thank God for Evolution, one particular blog entry especially delighted Connie and me - for it was written by perhaps the best-known advocate of Young-Earth Creationism.

Ken Ham posted his December 4, 2007 blog with this title: "Evolution Evangelist Visits Creation Museum.". He wrote it in response to an article that appeared two days earlier in the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Will Science, Religion Kiss and Make Up?".

Ken Ham is the president and founder of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum (in Petersburg, Kentucky). He blogged:

The Gospel of Evolution - Pentecostal Evo-Theology

While I find tremendous value in a wide diversity of religious orientations and spiritual practices, I remain unabashedly a Pentecostal Christian - an evolutionary Pentecostal to be sure, but a Pentecostal nonetheless. Whatever differences exist around the world, most Pentecostals and Charismatic Christians are united in emphasizing the following. I see these as 'the four pillars of Pentecostalism':