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'Science and religion in fruitful partnership' forum tonight

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Tonight, at 5:00pm Pacific/8:00pm Eastern, Michael Dowd will be joined by Catholic evolutionary sacramentalist Linda Gibler, historian of science and former president of the American Scientific Affiliation Ted Davis, and evolutionary theologians, liturgists, and Progressive Christianity leaders Michael Morwood and Jim Burklo. The theme of the final roundtable discussion is: "Science and Religion in Fruitful Partnership".

Sign up and receive information on how to access the forum on the Advent of Evolutionary Christianity blog's home page.

If the world is to be fed....

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Our continued failure to prevent hunger for more than a billion people worldwide is one of our most fundamental moral challenges. By contrast, a billion people are harming their own health – and, along the way, the planet – through overeating. To quote Pope Benedict XVI in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate: “Hunger still reaps enormous numbers of victims among those who, like Lazarus, are not permitted to take their place at the rich man’s table.”

Tim Aldred in a feature article in the UK's The Tablet discusses food supplies and sustainability.

'One million electric vehicles on the road by 2015'

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"We can break our dependence on oil ... and become the first country to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015," said President Obama in last week's State of the Union address.

How far are we from this amibitious goal? The Sierra Club's blog Compass: Pointing the Way to a Clean Energy Future features an article that will answer that question for you.

The Cosmic Walk ritual: A celebration of the universe story

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The Cosmic Walk is a ritual created by Dominican Sr. Miriam MacGillis of Genesis Farm in New Jersey. It has been modified and facilitated by many people around the world. The Cosmic Walk is a way of bringing our knowledge of the 14-billion-year Universe process from our heads to our hearts.

It is a simple ritual that can be performed in a large room or outdoors. A spiral representing the entire almost 14 billion years of the cosmic and evolutionary journey is laid out on the floor or ground. At Genesis Farm this spiral is painted on the floor of the library, but one can also lay out a rope in the spiral form. The spiral should be at least 100 feet long, 140 feet is better, with each instance of emergence in time marked at a proportionate distance along the length of the spiral. Each such station is marked by an unlit votive candle and, optionally, by a card describing the emergence.

New lighting efficiency standards will save us money and lower carbon footprints

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In late 2007, President Bush signed a federal energy bill that established energy efficiency standards for the common light bulb. These standards essentially retire the 130-year-old incandescent, which is so inefficient that 90 four billion screw-based sockets in the US, so this is a really big deal. Unfortunately some have decided to launch a campaign to “save” the inefficient incandescent light bulb. Last month, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas introduced legislation that would return us to the past; its backers are spreading loads of misinformation along the way. The legislation represents a disturbing trend of bashing energy efficiency regulations across the board, regardless of their benefits.

New national lighting efficiency standards will gradually retire the 125-year-old inefficient light bulb, which is easily the least efficient piece of equipment in our homes. In its place will be a broad suite of new and improved bulbs, all of which use a lot less energy to produce the same amount of light and will save consumers money. And what could be better than a light bulb that lowers electricity bills and carbon footprints?

The 'inked' waitress, Meister Eckhart, and the urge to display the glory within

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The waitress arrived with order pad in hand. She was heavily “inked,” as they say. A lavish feast of illustration covered both arms from under her wrists to disappear beneath her shirt sleeves – stylized dragons interwoven with many-petaled exotic flowers, intricate jewels and symbols. When she turned to deliver our order, an ornate rose could be seen on her lower back.

In 1991, a 5,000-year-old “inked” man made headlines in newspapers around the world when his frozen body was discovered on a thawing glacier in the Alps. That’s how old body adornment is.

Anyone who has ever lived with a teenager knows this: There is no power on earth stronger than the human urge to display, to show the world who we are, what we want to become.

I watched my teenage stepson show me and everyone else who he was, with a distinctive haircut etched with razor-hewn zigzags, a Superman emblem tattoo on his upper arm, his bedroom papered with poster blowups of the Michaels – Jackson and Jordan – and of M. C. Hammer and Malcolm X. For a while the house shook with the heavy percussion and in-your-face sounds of hiphop.

Trees, stones and interstellar gas will teach you

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I went on an eight-day vision quest to Canyonlands National Park in Utah when I was in my early 40s, and returned with a major new awareness -- nature and the universe are not composed of inanimate “things,” but rather pulsing, alive, intelligent, loving realities of which I am a part. I especially remember the message that we humans don’t ever have to feel lonely, because we have a constant community of care surrounding us in the form of trees, clouds, earth, animals, stars, and more. And then when I learned from cosmologist Brian Swimme that all of creation has some level of awareness and is sensing me, I was overjoyed by my newly-found “I-Thou” relationship with my creation kin.

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July 4-17, 2014

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