Commentary by:

SUBSCRIBE in iTunes 


Keyword Search


Rev. Michael Dowd shapes his evolutionary message for a New Thought audience (Unity of Portland, Oregon) on the first Sunday following the November 2016 elections. His three main points: (1) Decline is divine and chaos catalyzes creativity; (2) Interpretations matter — and mythic interpretations matter most; (3) You can't know the impact of your actions, so get on with it.



Direct download: podcast-58.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:37pm EST

Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd reflect on the past year of learnings and insights, stimulated by listening to the final chapter of William Catton's book, Overshoot. Content is expanded in Dowd's 2016 video trilogy Standing for the Future (on youtube) and in Dowd's Grace Limits Audios webpage compilation.

Direct download: podcast-057.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44am EST

This is the second in a trilogy of sermons that Michael Dowd delivered at Peoples Church Unitarian, Ludington Michigan, during the summer of 2015. (The other two sermons are posted as episodes 52 and 54 in this podcast series.) You can also view this sermon on youtube in video format.

Direct download: podcast-053.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:42pm EST

Michael Dowd delivered on 4 January 2015 a guest sermon at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers, Florida. His 3 points: (1) Challenging times remind us of our humanity and promote humility; (2) Challenging times help us embrace our mortality; (3) Challenging times help us clarify what matters most. Topics include Dowd's advocacy of "legacy consciousness" and living in accordance with "the fundamental law of life," which he speaks of by resurrecting a legal/moral term that was a central concern for Thomas Jefferson: usufruct. Dowd concludes, "Religions have been failing in their most important task, which is helping us live in right relationship to reality and ensuring a healthy future." 

Direct download: podcast-051.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01pm EST

Michael Dowd delivered on 8 September 2014 a a guest sermon at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Indianapolis, Indiana. His three points: (1) We are bigger, older, and more deeply related than we thought; (2) Nature is more holy, more divine, than we've been led to believe; (3) Our way into the future is crystal clear. Dowd begins with a reading from Thomas Berry and ends with a prophetic call:"The past is rooting for us, and the future is calling us to greatness!"

Direct download: podcast-049.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:04pm EST

Michael Dowd delivered on 22 June 2014 a a guest sermon at The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango, CO. His three points: (1) What we call Reality, the ancients called God; (2) God/Reality is communicating today primarily through scientific, historical, and cross-cultural evidence; and (3) in order for religions to pass forward a healthy world for future generations, each must undertake a kind of "evidential reformation" — celebrating that "Reality is God and evidence is scripture."

Direct download: podcast-048.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:53pm EST

Michael Dowd delivered on 13 April 2014 a a guest sermon at Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Prescott, AZ. In addition to his primary themes (as presented in podcast episode 43, "Ecology As Theology," Dowd offers that "all gods and goddesses can be understood in either a fictional or a factual way." Other memes include thinking of the human as the "Prodigal Species": "We have squandered our inheritance, and now we must come home to Reality." He advises secular folk to "Make your legacy your primary concern." For Christians he advises, "Make your legacy your Lord."


Direct download: podcast-047.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:17pm EST

Michael Dowd delivered on 23 February 2014 a new presentation to nurture "legacy consciousness" and to motivate action in joyful service of the future. He spoke at the Seaside Center for Spiritual Living in Encinitas, California. This was his inaugural presentation in collaboration with The Great March for Climate Action, which would commence in Los Angeles on March 1 and conclude in Washington D.C. in early November. You will hear embedded audios of three short videos that Michael played for the audience: (1) a TEDx climate talk by David Roberts, (2) a statement on the "intergenerational injustice" if we fail to act on climate change by climate scientist James Hansen, and (3) a recitation by poet Drew Dellinger.

Direct download: podcast-046.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:50pm EST

Connie Barlow delivered a guest sermon on 27 October 2013 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville, North Carolina. The full title is "How Religion Is Failing Our Youth — and What We Can Do About It." She addressed three major concerns: first, the importance of youth being offered a coherent story by which to navigate the excitement and challenges of life (she recommends the "epic of evolution"); second, helping boys in particular steer away from the most debilitating and addictive aspects of internet gaming and internet video porn (without laying on fear or shame); and third, doing what we need to do systemically to pass on a healthy economy and a healthy planet to the generations that follow.

Direct download: podcast-045.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:06pm EST

Connie Barlow introduces in January 2014 a learning and action series for helping trees adapt to climate change — species by species, decade by decade. Citizen naturalists are invited to research a favorite native tree species and begin to work with others to keep up with the northward movement of forest zones by planting and monitoring small numbers of wild seeds of common species onto private forested lands well north of where those seeds were collectedThis "assisted migration" in a time of unprecedented climate shift will be increasingly necessary in the decades ahead. Foresters can create the maps to show us where species will need to move to. But we citizen naturalists will play a complementary role in ensuring that the full diversity of genotypes keeps pace with a warming and drying continent. NOTE: This podcast is the soundtrack of a richly illustrated videoblog by Connie that is posted on youtube: VIDEO: Climate, Trees, and Legacy.

Direct download: podcast-044.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:12pm EST

Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow discuss Michael's latest version of his ever-evolving "Religion 2.0" -- aiming for a globally relevant, scientifically realistic, inspiring, and activating worldview that can bridge religiously diverse and secular perspectives.  In this episode, Michael pairs a secular term with a religious term in each of his six foundational points: (1) Reality is our God; (2) Evidence is our scripture; (3) Big History is our creation story; (4) Ecology is our theology; (5) Integrity is our religion; and (6) Ensuring a healthy future is our mission. Michael elaborates his points with several quotations drawn from the writings of the late Thomas Berry, mentor to many in this "metareligious" movement.

Direct download: podcast-43.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:34pm EST

Connie Barlow delivered a guest sermon at Harbor Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Muskegon, Michigan, on June 30, 2013. While scientifically literate peoples have long appreciated science for what it tells us about our outer nature (the vast universe and the ecological intimacies that surround us), we are now in the midst of a revelatory experience in which evolutionary brain science is helping us understand our inner nature. We learn that the ancient instincts that so vitally served our ancestors without complication a few generations back now cause us turmoil and trauma because they are profoundly mismatched with altogether new temptations — which, in excess, can sabotage our lives and our relationships. Connie explores 4 realms of profound "mismatch" between our inherited instincts and the ramped-up substances and activities that can do us harm in excess: foods, feel-good substances, connectivity compulsion (including internet porn), and advanced medical technologies that all too often prolong the suffering and generational costs of what would otherwise be the natural death of elders.

Direct download: podcast-042.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:42pm EST

Michael Dowd delivered a guest sermon at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe on February 10, 2013. His core message:  "Ecology is the new theology; big history is the new Genesis. Those who fail to understand that evidence is modern-day scripture, and that the world we live in is an honorable world, betray God and humanity in the most egregious of ways." He also pointed to, what he calls, "the twin idolatries": idolatry of the written word and idolatry of the otherworldly. In closing, he implores fellow baby boomers to attend to our collective "generational legacy" by staving off climate change and by reining in the debt we will otherwise bequeath to the young, simply by passively submitting to costly medical technologies when death by old age is on the horizon.

Direct download: podcast-041.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:19am EST

Connie Barlow recites and discusses a December 2012 essay she and Michael Dowd produced and posted in both the Huffington Post (online here) and Metanexus (here). Barlow and Dowd deliver a call-to-action for religious educators and ministers in theologically liberal settings to revamp their goals and curricula toward offering children and youth the inspiring, practical, and deeply meaningful fruits of a fully evolutionary worldview.

Direct download: podcast-040.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:33pm EST

Michael Dowd propels his personal awakening to the perils of climate change into a powerful sermon. Delivered January 6, 2013 at both services of the Jefferson Unitarian Church (Golden, Colorado), the full title of the sermon is "God Rebukes Religious Right: Repent or Face Hell and High Water." Dowd suggests that "idolatry of the written word" and "idolatry of the otherworldly" have blinded the religious right to the "intergenerational evil" of climate change. Note: This is the audio of a video the church posted online A 2-minute video excerpt of Dowd challenging the boomer generation to arise out of selfishness is posted at:

Direct download: podcast-039.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:24pm EST

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.

Direct download: podcast-038.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:04pm EST

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".

Direct download: podcast-037.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:48am EST

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.

Direct download: cb-cadboro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:53pm EST

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

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.

Direct download: podcast-035.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:11pm EST

12. Tree Talks About Death "Death is natural and generative at every level of reality." That affirmation was a core part of Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd's teachings during their years of living on-the-road as America's Evolutionary Evangelists. Having a naturalized view of death in the cosmos is not, however, intended to diminish the sadness we feel when a loved one dies. Rather, this insight, which emerges from the sciences, provides a "cosmic container" to hold us safely as we experience our grief. What better way to convey this perspective than by story? In this podcast Connie reads to Michael a 5-chapter, interactive story she wrote in 2009, called "Tree Talks About Death." You can freely download this story by visiting the Children's Curricula page of website. A wealth of resources for adults on the topic of death can be accessed via Connie's "Death Through Deep-Time Eyes" webpage.
Direct download: podcast-012.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:57pm EST

11. Naturalizing Religion Connie and Michael explore a smorgasbord of related ideas and current events in the ongoing religion-versus-science controversies, beginning with the recent atheist invention of "Blasphemy Day" and the New Atheist critique of liberal religionists (and moderate atheists) who "accommodate" (and thus inadvertently foster) religious fundamentalisms. Taking a broader perspective, the duo detect in the current foment and antagonisms the signs of evolution in action: cultural emergents tossed into the pool of possibilities by which the religions of the world are, themselves, becoming "naturalized."
Direct download: podcast-011.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:18pm EST

9. Mentors in the Movement Connie and Michael reflect on mentors in the Epic of Evolution Movement, past and present. Among them: Thomas Berry (this photo), Richard Dawkins, Lynn Margulis, and Albert LaChance. Michael speaks of how his cancer challenge has shifted his own priorities away from individual action and leadership and toward mentoring others in this movement and ministry. Connie reminisces on the pivotal role that Carl Sagan's Cosmos series played in her own life and in the lives of others, rounding off this podcast with John Boswell's 4-minute amazing remix of Cosmos that turns Carl's narration into celebratory song.
Direct download: podcast-009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:55am EST