The Reverend Michael Dowd is one of the leading voices in the Evolutionary Theology movement and the author of “Thank God For Evolution.” Read his work at www.thankgodforevolution.com
Plate tectonics -- which we’ve known about since 1966. Stardust--the fact that our bodies are actually made of atoms that are created inside stars. Glaciers -- the fact that for 120 years we’ve understood glaciers, these massive ice sheets that have created lakes, healthy soils and things like that. All of these major truths that we now understand come through science. So it was basically coming to see that science didn’t have to conflict with my faith, that a scientific world view interpreted within a sacred and meaningful way could strengthen, and deepen and enrich my faith.
One of the things there’s universal agreement about in the scientific community is that everything in the universe is evolving. Galaxies evolve, star systems, solar systems evolve, continents and seas evolve, plants, animals, bacteria, and humans evolve. Traditions evolve, anything that tries to stay the same or becomes extinct, toxic or trivial.
You were once a fundamentalist Christian who believed the earth was 6,000 years old. What made you change your mind?
I came to see that God has been revealing truth in the last 200 years that the biblical writers couldn’t possibly known. Things like extinctions—98% or more of the species that once existed are no longer here. Moses couldn’t have known that. That’s a genuine revelation.