Contact: Jocelyn Godfrey
Spiritus Communications, Inc.
RELEASE – April 1, 2009
47 Physical and Social Scientists,
Interdisciplinary Scholars, Storytellers, and Artists Collaborate to
Update and Respond to the Evolutionary Epic—Science’s Story of Our
CA – The year 2009 has been
called “The Year of Darwin,” as it brings the 200th
anniversary of Darwin’s birth, and the 150th anniversary of
the release of On the Origin of Species.
As a contribution to
this milestone, a 2008 conference held in Hawaii to discuss science’s
story of the origins of the universe has led to a new book, The
Evolutionary Epic: Science’s Story and Humanity’s Response,
providing a collaborative update and response to the science-driven
“story” of our origins.
Evolutionary Epic pulls from diverse disciplines, providing
essays by 47 pioneering scholars that update and respond to the
evolutionary story and are written for the specialist and lay person
alike. The text varies from narrative, to research, to poetry, with such
renowned contributors as Brian Swimme, Russ Genet, Loyal Rue, and Ursula
Goodenough, famed pioneers in the development of the epic of evolution.
“As a scientist, I
had never attended a conference which merged science: astronomy,
geology, anthropology, and materials, with the humanities and the arts:
history, poetry, songs, and paintings,” states Stephen L. Sass,
Professor Emeritus, Materials Science and Engineering, at Cornell
University. “Exploring the history of the universe, the place of Earth
and humans in it, and humanity’s multi-dimensional responses, ultimately
speaks to some of today’s biggest problems, among them, sustainability
and global climate change.”
Creation stories are
known to have been essential to all cultures and religions since the
beginning of recorded history, providing a context for mankind's
existence, and a “map” upon which humans view themselves. Sweeping new
research in the past century has, however, fueled a need to “update” the
story. In the 1950s, new dating methods shifted the evolutionary
timeline. What once was thought to have taken a few thousand years, or
as many as countless billions of years, is now known to have taken 4.5
billion years. Increased dating accuracy has provided not only more
detail to the story, but also a need to collaborate across disciplines
to compile a more comprehensive account.
“A conference like
this would not have been necessary if the evolutionary epic had been
widely known,” states world historian David Christian, who
introduces the book.
Such a discussion
provokes both answers and additional questions, which are tackled in
The Evolutionary Epic. As Christian asks, “How can it best be told?
How can we link the science with the spirit? How can the story be acted
out, re-told, and taught so that this power is palpable? What meaning
does the story contain for humans today? How can we link the science
that underpins so much in our society with our personal experience of
life as felt and experienced?”
Epic is published by Collins
Foundation Press, which seeks to provide leadership in humanity’s
efforts to live sustainably on earth. Their future Humanity
Participants’ Conferences, inspired by Russ Genet’s latest book,
Humanity: The Chimpanzees Who Would Be Ants, will expand upon this
discussion, with the next event, “Science, Wisdom, and the Future,” to
be held June 24-28, 2009, in San Luis Obispo, California. See
for more information,
or to purchase this or another
related books, or, sign up for a conference.