|Epic of Evolution Cosmology|
|Universe · Big Bang
Age of the Universe
Timeline of the Big Bang
Ultimate fate of the universe
“The Epic of Evolution is the 14 billion year narrative of cosmic, planetary, life, and cultural evolution—told in sacred ways. Not only does it bridge mainstream science and a diversity of religious traditions; if skillfully told, it makes the science story memorable and deeply meaningful, while enriching one's religious faith or secular outlook." It is a mythic narrative used to relate the scientific story of the universe told in a meaningful and empowering way. Increasingly, philosophers, theologians, and scientists speak of this narrative as a whole, sometimes under the term ‘the epic of evolution’
Liberal theologians say the Epic is the tale of the sacred unfolding of creation or that evolution is God imposed, and some religious naturalists find it profoundly spiritual. Some progressive theologians have developed a ‘theology of evolution’ that sees the Darwinian epic as having “depth, beauty and pathos of evolution – exposing us to the raw reality of the sacred and to a resoundingly meaningful universe”. Eminent theologian John F. Haught writes that theology by accepting the Epic of Evolution can renew itself. Since Darwin presented his dangerous idea, religion has mostly opposed or ignored the scientific narrative but now some theology is fully engaging it.
This article contains too many or too-lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. (May 2009)
The term can be confusing to those not familiar with it as the terms epic, evolution and myth are usually used in ways different than as applied in the Epic of Evolution. Evolution generally refers to biological evolution, but here it means a process in which the whole universe is a progression of interrelated phenomena, a gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex form (emergence). It should not be ‘biologized’ as it includes many areas of science. In addition, outside of the scientific community, the term evolution is frequently used differently than scientists do. Even respected dictionaries may present questionable definitions that are not scientific or only address genetic changes. Unfortunately it is common for the general public to enter into a discussion about evolution with a wrong definition in mind. This often leads to misunderstanding since scientists are viewing evolution from a different perspective. The same applies to the use of the term theory as used in the theory of evolution (see references for Evolution as theory and fact).
This epic is not a long narrative poem but a series of events that form the proper subject for a laudable kind of tale. It is mythic in that it is a story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the worldview of a people and explains a natural phenomenon. It is a form of myth that has an approach to investigation that is empirical or scientific. According to Joseph Campbell myths serve two purposes – provide meaning for a maturing individual (an individuate) and how to be part of a community. This Epic does both.
The Epic of Evolution is a systematic story that helps make sense of humanity’s place and purpose in the process that is the Universe. It marries objective scientific facts with the meanings provided by philosophy and the spirituality of religious belief. It is a vast topic and much has been written and debated about it. It offers two different but combined perspectives of the same reality. It tells the tale of the Cosmos in a methodical way but with a religious acceptance of it while addressing complexity, directionality, purpose, human psychology and survival of the most cooperative and compassionate beings. This epic tale helps some people to deepen their faith and to understand and appreciate other religions and philosophies. They may move from believing in God, to knowing God. 
Dr. William Grassie of Temple University writes that the word "myth" in common usage is usually misunderstood. In academia it defines "a story that serves to define the fundamental world view of a culture by explaining aspects of the natural world and delineating the psychological and social practices and ideals of a society." He suggests that the Greek term "mythos" would be a better term to apply to the Epic as it is more all-encompassing. He concluded that there is not yet an interpretive tradition within science and society about this Epic of Evolution. If anything, there is an anti-interpretation tradition. Consequently, this is dangerous as it is a powerful revelation at this time. Grassie says the Epic is complex and multifaceted, not simple nor easy to understand. It takes a romantic vision, philosophical rigor, and artistic interpretations. It requires a consilience of modern disciplines and acceptance of social diversity. The ancient wisdoms of the world’s spiritual traditions must be adapted to make the framework to weave the Epic.
Naturalistic and liberal religious writers have picked up on the term and it has been used in a number of texts. These authors however at times have substituted synonyms such as: Evolutionary Epic (Edward O. Wilson)), Universal Story (Brian Swimme, John F. Haught), Great Story (Connie Barlow, Michael Dowd), Everybody’s Story (Loyal Rue), New Story (Thomas Berry, Al Gore), Cosmic Evolution (Eric Chaisson) and epic of creation (Philip Hefner). One website uses all these terms, calling it a 21st century Bible - the new universal, great, cosmic story for everybody - a mythic narrative used to encapsulate the complete, verifiable chronicle of the process of creation that is the Universe.
‘Epic of evolution’ is a term that, within the past three years, has become the theme and title of a number of gatherings. It seems to have been first used by Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson in 1978‘The evolutionary epic,’. Wilson wrote in his book On Human Nature, ‘is probably the best myth we will ever have.’ Myth as falsehood was not the usage intended by Wilson in this statement. Rather, myth as a grand narrative that provides a people with a placement in time—a meaningful placement that celebrates extraordinary moments of a shared heritage. The epic of evolution is science translated into meaningful story”. Wilson was not the first to use the term but his fame, he is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction, prompted its usage as the morphed phrase epic of evolution. In later years he also used the newer term Epic of Evolution.
Wilson explained that humans had a need for the Epic of Evolution because they must have a mythical story or a sublime account of how the world was created and how humanity became part of it. Religious epics fulfill a primal need in this respect as they verify that humans are part of something greater than themselves. The best empirical knowledge that science and history can provide is necessary in order to provide a comparable epic tale that will reliably unite a separated human spirituality. He believes the evolutionary epic can be as inherently noble as any religious epic when it is expressed in a poetic way. In a similar vein, biologist Ursula Goodenough sees the tale of natural emergence as far more magical than traditional religious miracles. It is a story that people can work with in a religious way if they elect to do so.
Dr. Philip Hefner is the former editor for Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science, the leading journal of religion and science in the world. He uses the analogy of weaving to describe the Epic. The warp anchors the story and the weft creates the pattern and the tapestry. The Epic, as scientists see it, is the warp and the weft forms the pattern as each of us views it (we are all weavers) but the patterns all have the warp in common. “We are here to weave the spiritualities that are life-giving for our phase of the Epic of Evolution and for the next generation.” . Audrey R. Chapman says of him – Philip Hefner is perhaps the theologian who has grappled the most seriously and explicitly with the evolution of human nature. His approach to this topic, particularly in his work ‘The Human Factor’ is to sacralize the process of evolution.
Hefner writes that stories about the evolutionary epic are redolent with ultimacy. It is not science; it is scientifically informed myth, a myth driven by the refusal to give up on the insistence that the natural world and our lives in the world have meaning and purpose. It is a mythical tale of irony and hope that fills a large space in the domaine of religion-and-science. The evolutionary epic is not science; it is scientifically informed myth. We must be clear about this (…)When Wilson wrote that “the true evolutionary epic, retold as poetry, is as intrinsically ennobling as any religious epic,” he also understood and proposed that the epic be incorporated into mythic religious formulation (1978, 206–7). 
Biologist Dr. Ursula Goodenough makes frequent use of the term and uses it to extrapolate from the concept of evolution to a guiding belief for mankind. She writes in Sacred Depths (Emerging Religious Beliefs) "When the responses elicited by the Epic of Evolution are gathered together several religious principles emerge that I can believe, serve as a framework for a global Ethos". She makes use of Hefner’s weaving metaphor to title the Epic of Evolution the warp on which the welt, pattern, color and art of humanity is woven. It is the story that beautifully anchors human nature and purpose to the planetary picture. Religious naturalism is a response to this tale that provides a deep and abiding spiritual awareness and morality. For more comments on the Epic see Goodenought quotes
Evolutionary evangelist and Pentecostal minister Michael Dowd uses the term to help construct his viewpoint of evolution theology (theistic evolution). His position is that science and religious faith are not mutually exclusive (a form of Religious Naturalism). Dowd is the author of Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World.. He preaches that the epic of cosmic, biological, and human evolution, revealed by science, is a basis for an inspiring and meaningful view of our place in the universe. Evolution is viewed as a spiritual process that it is not meaningless blind chance.
Dowd’s stance is similar to that of the position of the Catholic Church. A Vatican official has reaffirmed that evolution is not incompatible with faith . Reuters on Sept 16, 2008 reported that the Church considered the theory of evolution compatible with the Bible and saw no reason why God may not have used such a natural process in creating mankind. The Catholic Church teaches ‘theistic evolution’ which accepts evolution as a valid scientific theory. 
Dr.Loyal Rue, recipient of two John Templeton Foundation fellowships, describes the Epic as “the biggest of all pictures”, “the ultimate account of how things are”, “the sprawling narrative of evolutionary events”, “the essential foundation for discussions about which things matter”, “the unfolding drama” and "humbles us before the magnitude and complexity of creation”. In his Epilogue to Everybody's Story, he explains that there is nothing in the core of everybody's story to rule out belief in a personal deity. However belief in God is not an indispensable part of this narrative and here will be both theistic and non-theistic versions of it.
Rue has a whole section on the Epic in his 2006 book Religion is not About God. He says it is the fundamental story of matter, created from energy, the organization of that matter into complex conditions, and then via self-organization into diverse life forms. Humans are as other living things - we are by nature star-born, earth-formed, fitness- maximinized, biochemical systems. An aspect of the Epic is the evolution of behavior by that biochemical system.
Dr. Brian Swimme, mathematical cosmologist and author of several books dealing with cosmology, evolution and religion, sees the Epic as a way to gently maneuver a person into the magnificence of the Universe. It is an antidote to the unhealthy consciousness of consumerism. It is the way into the future and enabled him to comprehend the cultural significance of this new story of science moving away from a materialistic worldview. It may move science away from its traditional abstractness to the uniqueness found in natural history. To him evolution and creativity are equivalent so it could be the Epic of Creativity (similar to Gordon Kaufman’s thinking). Although the Epic is scientific, it is ‘definitely mythic’ – it has the fundamental nature of being mythic.“You take hydrogen gas, and you leave it alone, and it turns into rosebuds, giraffes and humans.”
He concludes in a 1997 interview Science as Wisdom: The New Story as a Way Forward 
|“||I think that what E. O. Wilson is trying to suggest is that to be fully human, a person has to see that life has a heroic dimension (…) I think for the scientist, and for other people, it's a question of "is the universe valuable? Is it sacred? Is it holy? Or is the human agenda all that matters?" I just don't think we're that stupid to continue in a way that continues to destroy. I'm hopeful that the Epic of Evolution will be yet another strategy in our culture that will lead our consciousness out of a very tight, human-centered materialism.||”|
|— - EarthLight Magazine 1997 – interview by Lauren de Boer|
Dr. Gordon D. Kaufman, Professor of Divinity (Emeritus) at Harvard University and a past president of the American Academy of Religion, in a more theistic manner sees the Epic as a serendipitous creative process referring to it as a relative new ‘common creation story’. He states - It is a notion that can interpret the enormous expansion and complexification of the physical universe (from the Big Bang outward) as well as the evolution of life here on earth and the gradual emergence of human historical existence. The whole vast process manifests (in varying degrees) serendipitous creativity, an everflowing, coming into being, of new modes of reality.
In his book, In the beginning—creativity, he says this creative process is God. Creativity, as metaphor, and as defined in the concept of evolution, has possibilities for constructing a new concept of God. The most foundational kind of creativity is found in that of cosmos/biological evolution – a paradigm that is now the organizing principle of all the sciences . It would seem as though he was equating God to the evolutionary story. This is similar to Dowd who sees the facts of Nature as God's native tongue. 
Chapters of the Epic
Hefner in the March 2009 edition of Zygon says the Epic of Evolution is the natural history story of the universe that zooms from a cosmic macro-story to the micro-story life on the Earth. It is a process over billions of years in which entities change into different and usually more complex forms. The Epic is not a narrative poem but a series of happenings that form the proper subject for a kind of heroic story. It is a story with chapters that may cover decades, thousands, millions or billions of years. It can run from a few chapters to a great many depending on how one wishes to sub-divide it. Due to the time frames involved, a Logarithmic timeline has some advantages over straight line ones.
- Cosmic Walk - The last chapter of 27 ends 30 years ago as Earth is viewed by mankind from space signifying that the Earth’s eco-system have become complex enough to witness her own essential being.. The Cosmic Walk originated with Sr. Miriam MacGillis of Genesis Farm and modified by many around the world.  There are now numerous versions of it that include instruction aids like the Timeline of Life and Great Story Beads., 
- Great Story Timeline - 250 science-based divisions ending in 2002 with the ministry to teach the Epic 
- Seven Ages of the Cosmos - categorization elaborated on by astrophysicist Eric Chaisson ending with the Cultural Epoch 
- 6 + 1 Chapters of the Epic - is there a +1 chapter? 
- Four primary categories: cosmic, planetary, life, cultural
- Various timelines
Cosmic Evolution, an award winning website (contents of this website, version 5, comprise the essence of a course taught mostly at Harvard University for the past 30 years is based on the Universe: An Evolutionary Approach to Astronomy by Eric Chaisson) 
|“||Without a brainy seat of consciousness, galaxies would twirl and stars would shine, but no one would know it. Nothing could likely comprehend the majesty of the reality that is Nature. By contrast, with a conscious, curious brain, we probe the past and discovery our history, striving to decipher our celestial roots and the routes that brought us to the here and now, all the while searching for a better understanding of both the cosmos and ourselves. What emerges is nothing less than a cosmic-evolutionary heritage—a plenary worldview of who we are, whence we came, and how we fit into the universal scheme of all material things.||”|
|— - Wright Center for Science Education|
Dr. Eric Chaisson , an American astrophysicist and science educator best known for his research, teaching and writing on the interdisciplinary science of cosmic evolution , sees a directionality to the Epic. He writes – From galaxies to snowflakes, from stars to planets to life itself, we are beginning to identify an underlying pattern penetrating the fabric of all the natural sciences- a sweeping encompassing view along the ‘arrow of time’, . Author Robert Wright in Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny also agrees that the biological epic and human history have a direction, destiny or purpose. He uses game theory (zero-sum and non-zero sum games) to prove his point. . These views point to ongoing and future chapters to the Epic of Evolution.
Professor David Christian, San Diego State University, organizes the epic of creation into eight thresholds. Each threshold marks a time when something truly new appeared and forms never before seen began to arise. The story Christian relates has only been possible since the mid-1900 due to improved dating techniques. As he explains, this epic will continue to grow and change as scientists and historians accumulate new knowledge. 
Evolution of life on Earth is a fact substantiated by thousands of scientists. There is plenty of confirming evidence in the geological and biological records. "The word 'theory' does not belong in front of the word 'evolution'." The more proper term should be continuing ‘Epic’ rather than finalized ‘theory’. It is not a final tale but an on going saga. The scenario of cosmic evolution is a human invention. It’s a long and spectacular story, an evolutionary epic that includes the storyteller. Despite its 7 major epochs, this grand narrative was not handed to us on a stone tablet atop some mountain. The scientific community has gradually deciphered the story, is now telling it forthrightly, and continues to refine it as we learn more .
The Epic, after all, is a dynamic story not a static once-and-for-all narrative myth (Philip Hefner). Wright Center for Science Education at Tufts University in its Cosmic Evolution story (Epoch 8 – Future Evolution, Prospects for Human Survival and Alien Life) attempts to spell out what the future chapters may be (The future is a tricky subject. To comment on it is to run the risk of saying nothing concrete. The future is especially troublesome to foresee when life is involved […] Claiming knowledge of the pathways along which cosmic evolution will proceed henceforth is akin to dabbling in science fiction. Nonetheless, it’s possible to examine certain boundary conditions that will likely influence, many of them adversely so, the future of life on Earth) . Author Donald A. Crosby goes a bit further with this thinking and says that the known vastness and complexity of the universe will work on numerous other planets to write future chapters of life and ongoing creativity. Some of these proposed evolving chapters are summarized as:
- Near-term global problems
- Distant global problems
- Genetic degeneration
- Artificial intelligence
- Future's ultimate dilemma
- Extraterrestrial life
- Alternate biochemistries
- Silicon-based life
- Non-water liquids
- Prospects for Life in the Galaxy - An Exercise in Probability
Humankind may have evolved in the past from universal matter, but our future is now largely in our own hands. Are we smart enough to adjust to this alteration in the evolutionary scenario? Are we wise enough to ensure our own survival? The destiny of human life on Earth will truly be a measure of our current intelligence. And how we write these future chapters.
John Stewart author of Evolution's Arrow: The Direction of Evolution and the Future of Humanity writes: A completely new phase in the evolution of life on Earth has begun. It will change everything. In this new phase evolution will be driven intentionally, by humanity. The evolutionary worldview that emerges from an understanding of our role in the new phase has the potential to transform the nature of human existence.
Stewart summarizes the future arrow of evolution into four main areas:
- Intentional evolution
- Advancing evolution by organizing a cooperative global society
- Advancing evolution by enhancing evolvability
- The unique capacity of the evolutionary worldview to provide direction and purpose for humanity
|“||Humanity is at a dangerous stage in the evolution of planetary life, poised somewhere between oblivion and the opening of extraordinary new opportunities. The fate of humanity is likely to be decided this century, by our actions.||”|
|— John Stewart, Evolutionary Manifesto|
In that the Epic of Evolution is the full comprehensive story of evolution, it is subject to the same if not more debates than have characterized the creation-evolution controversy. There is an ongoing dispute about the origins of the Universe, life and humanity between the proponents of evolution, backed by scientific consensus, and those who propose literal interpretations of ancient texts by religious fundamentalists. This clash goes beyond the field of evolutionary biology and includes many fields of science (cosmology, geology, paleontology, thermodynamics, physics and sociobiology).
Although in the scientific community there is essentially universal agreement that the evidence of evolution is overwhelming, and the consensus supporting themodern evolutionary synthesis is nearly absolute, creationists have asserted that there is a significant scientific controversy and disagreement over the validity of the evolution epic.
The debate is sometimes portrayed as being between science and religion. However, as the National Academy of Sciences states:
|“||Today, many religious denominations accept that biological evolution has produced the diversity of living things over billions of years of Earth’s history. Many have issued statements observing that evolution and the tenets of their faiths are compatible. Scientists and theologians have written eloquently about their awe and wonder at the history of the universe and of life on this planet, explaining that they see no conflict between their faith in God and the evidence for evolution. Religious denominations that do not accept the occurrence of evolution tend to be those that believe in strictly literal interpretations of religious texts.||”|
|— - Science, Evolution, and Creationism, National Academy of Sciences|
Dr.John Haught, Roman Catholic theologian, in his Science and Religion: from Conflict to Conversation suggests a theistic acceptance of the Epic. He says contemporary theology is being chanced by evolutionary science. There are many versions undergoing constant revision. He considers evolution to be, at least provisionally, a most appropriate and fruitful scientific framework within which to think about God today and deplores that contemporary theology gets hung up in the creationism controversy. There are liberal congregations these days that may see the Epic of Evolution as a history about life and the Universe that is both scientific and sacred. The profoundly sacred elements of the story warm up the cold technical facts with awe and reverence, giving Nature an inspiring beauty.
Eric Chaisson in his book, Epic of Evolution, concludes that the coherent story of cosmic evolution – a powerful and noble effort – may perhaps be the way to ethical evolution in the new millennium . Not all of the Epic’s advocates are distinguished scientists. Some are Christians who consider it a ‘narrative of mythic proportions’ that contain religious aspects. They see it as a multifaceted concept that that has been in Christian theology implicitly for hundreds of years and is congenial to perspectives that include ultimacy, transcendence, purpose and morality. However, there are both humanists and creationists that dispute this contending that this is a materialistic story of the world.
Besides the many books, journals, and videos on the evolution epic that have been published in recent years, there have been numerous other educational efforts and teaching aids developed to promote awareness of it.
In 1996 the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science held a conference on the Epic of Evolution. In 1997 the American Association for the Advancement of Science organized a conference on the Epic of Evolution as part of their program on Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion. In July of 1999, The Forum on Religion and Ecology with special support from the Center for Respect of Life and Environment sponsored a conference titled The Epic of Evolution and World Religions. It consisted of a small invitational gathering of scholars of the world’s religious traditions as well as a number of scientists and educators. It explored how the creation stories of the world’s religions intersect with or react to the epic of evolution. An Evolutionary Epic conference was held in Hawaii in January of 2008. It was attended by scientists, artists, educators, and spiritual and religious leaders. The objective was to weave together many otherwise disparate areas of study into one coherent Epic of Evolution tale (a consilience).
A group of scientists, theologians, and artists whose purpose was to explore the meaning and implications of the Epic of Evolution formed the Epic of Evolution Society in 1997. It was led by Brain Swimme DeBoer, founding board member and editor of EarthLight: The Magazine of Spiritual Ecology, in 1998 founded an international group.
An Epic of Evolution Journal was published from 1998 till 2000 with articles by noted authors Brian Swimme, Thomas Berry, Ursula Goodenough, Jennifer Morgan, and Connie Barlow. Washington University in St. Louis offers a course on the Epic of Evolution. The Epic has also been taught at Northern Arizona University. The course engaged the task of formulating a new epic myth that is based on the physical, natural, social, and cultural sciences for which there are as yet few textbooks. The course was presented in three segments: the cosmos before humans appeared, the human phenomenon, and scenarios for the future of evolution. Dr. Eric J. Chaisson, Professor of Physics, Tufts University teaches a course at Harvard University on the Epic of Evolution. California Institute of Integral Studies also offers a graduate course on the Epic.
Dr. Sidney Liebes, physicist and creator of the world-renowned exhibition, A Wall Through Time... From Stardust to Us, has a series of educational videos on The Epic of Evolution. It takes the viewer on a tour of mankind’s incredible evolutionary journey, which he believes provides the basis for a new global ethic that guarantees the earth's biodiversity.
Educational organizations and individuals have devised a variety of novel ways to teach the Epic of Evolution such as: The Council of All BeingsThe Cosmic Walk, Great Story Beads (also Earth Prayer Beads, Cosmic Rosary), We Are Made of Stardust, works of art, and poems (Lament of the Blue-Green Algea - Neal McBurnett), parables (The Buddha Bowl - Paula Hirschboeck, Earth’s Eyes - Leslie Pilder) and evolution songs (I Love to Tell the Story, Praise Birth and Death Amid the Stars, The River of Life Song).
Evolution Sunday, a Christian church event (1,044 Congregations observed it in 2009) arose from the Clergy Letter Project signed in 2004 by 10,500 American clergy. It is spreading internationally and across other faiths. It supports the story of evolution in a manner similar to the Epic (science and religion compatibility) promoting serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science. "For far too long, strident voices, in the name of Christianity, have been claiming that people must choose between religion and modern science," says Michael Zimmerman, founder of Evolution Sunday and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University in Indianapolis. "We're saying you can have your faith, and you can also have science."
Two people spend full time teaching a theistic version of the Epic of Evolution. Reverend Michael Dowd and his wife have traveled the USA since 2002 by van as nomads teaching his Gospel of Evolution and the Epic of Evolution (Great Story) to both secular and religious audiences.. Dowd’s book, Thank God for Evolution, and his neo-theistic religious naturalism teachings have been featured in media ranging from The New York Times Magazine and The Washington Post to the National Catholic Reporter, NPR, the BBC and numerous other radio programs. He has presented his case for the marriage of religion and science at over a thousand events sponsored by a diverse group of denominations, including Christian, Unitarian Universalist, Unity Church, Religious Science, secular humanism and Religious Naturalists venues. 
Dowd teaches that the Epic of Evolution is “ a shared sacred story that honors both objective truth and subjective meaning: For the first time in human history we have a creation story that not only addresses life’s biggest questions—Who are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going? Why are we here? How are we to live?—but helps us answer those questions in ways that are both religiously inspiring and scientifically accurate. No longer are subjective meaning and objective truth isolated from one another in separate domains. Both are conveyed through the same story.”
Voyages Through Time on CD-ROM is a year-long curriculum for ninth or tenth graders. It is divided into six modules: Cosmic Evolution, Planetary Evolution, Origin of Life, Evolution of Life, Hominid Evolution, and Evolution of Technology. A teaching aid for primary school children has been put together by science writer Connie Barlow. She has presented most of the elements of this curriculum as a guest teacher in children’s programs in nearly 50 different Unitarian Universalist congregations. Eugenie Scott at the National Center for Science Education defends the teaching of evolution in public schools and provides material and advice for doing that.
- 2009 - Michael Ruse & Joseph Travis - Evolution: The First Four Billion Years, Belknap Press, 2009, ISBN-10: 067403175X
- 2008 - Chet Raymo - When God Is Gone, Everything Is Holy, Sorin Books, Sept. 2008, ISBN-10:1933495138
- 2008 - Michael Dowd - Thank God for Evolution:, Viking (June 2008), ISBN-10: 0670020451
- 2008 - Kenneth R. Miller - Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul, Viking Adult, 2008, ISBN-10:067001883X
- 2008 - Eugenie C. Scott - Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction, Greenwood Press, ISBN 978-0313344275
- 2007 - Eric Chaisson - Epic of Evolution, Columbia University Press (March 2, 2007), ISBN-10: 0231135610
- 2006 - John Haught – Is Nature Enough?, Cambridge University Press (May 31, 2006), ISBN-10: 0521609933
- 2004 - Gordon Kaufman - In the Beginning….Creativity, Augsburg Fortress Pub., 2004, ISBN-10: 0800660935
- 2003 - James B. Miller - The Epic of Evolution: Science and Religion in Dialogue, Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2003, ISBN 013093318X
- 2000 - Ursula Goodenough - Sacred Depths of Nature, Oxford University Press, USA; 1 edition (June 15, 2000), ISBN-10: 0195136292
- 2000 - John Stewart - Evolution's Arrow: The Direction of Evolution and the Future of Humanity, Chapman Press, 2000, ISBN-10: 0646394975
- 1999 - Loyal Rue - Everybody's Story: Wising Up to the Epic of Evolution, SUNY Press, 1999, ISBN 0791443922
- 1997- Connie Barlow - Green Space Green Time: The Way of Science, Springer (September 1997), ISBN-10: 0387947949
- 1992 - Brian Swimme - The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era, HarperCollins, 1992, ISBN 0062508350
- 1978 - Edward O. Wilson - On Human Nature, Harvard University Press,1979, ISBN 0-674-01638-6
- The Epic of Evolution, 2004Taylor's Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature
- Edward O. Wilson, On Human Nature, Harvard University Press, 1988, ISBN 067463442X
- “It’s narrative form is the epic: Michael Ruse - Darwinism and Its Discontents, Cambridge University Press, 2006, page 203, ISBN 052182947X
- The Epic of Evolution is the scientific story of the universe told in a meaningful and way WiserEarth.org retrieved 3-09-09
- Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley - The Encyclopedia of Christianity, E-I, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2001, page 229, ISBN 9004116958
- Sarah McFarland Taylor - Green Sisters: A Spiritual Ecology, Harvard University Press, 2007, page 266, ISBN 0674024400
- Eugenie Carol Scott, Niles Eldredge - Evolution Vs. Creationism: An Introduction, University of California Press, 2005, page 235, ISBN 0520246500 - 
- "profoundly spiritual (…)is the essence of the Epic of Evolution" - Brian Swimme interview 
- John F. Haught - God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution, Edition: 2, revised, Westview Press, 2008, pages ix,2,47, ISBN 0813343704 
- J. C. Polkinghorne, The Work of Love: Creation as Kenosis, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2001, (Peacocke chapter) page 21, ISBN 0802848850 
- Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley - The Encyclopedia of Christianity, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2001, page 229, ISBN 9004116958
- Laurence Moran – What is Evolution, 1993 retrieved 4-07-09
- Merriam-Webster 
- Epic of Evolution is definitely mythic – Brian Swimme interview 
- Duncan Campbell in one of his interview 
- Celebrating the Epic of Evolutionretrieved 4/15/09
- Can the modern evolutionary cosmology be a mythic story for our time?- retrieved 3-22-09
- William Grassie, Science and Spirit 1998, 9(1) - page 6 of this ref- Science and Spiritretrieved 3-16-09
- *Edward O. Wilson - On Human Nature, Harvard University Press,1979, ISBN 0-674-01638-6
- Brian Swimme - The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era, HarperCollins, 1992, ISBN 0062508350
- Eric Chaisson - Epic of Evolution: Seven Ages of the Cosmos, Columbia University Press, 2006, ISBN 0231135602, 9780231135603
- Loyal Rue - Everybody's Story: Wising Up to the Epic of Evolution, SUNY Press, 1999, ISBN 0791443922
- Gordon Kaufman - The Epic of Evolution as a Framework for Human Orientation,1997
- Mary Evelyn Tucker – IRAS Epic of Evolution conference, 1996
- William Grassie – Science and Spirit, 1998, 9 (1)
- The Encyclopedia of Christianity: E-I, By Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley, Translated by Geoffrey William Bromiley, Contributor Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley, David B. Barrett, Published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2001, ISBN 9004116958. (Increasingly philosophers, theologians and scientists speak of the narrative as a whole, sometimes under the term "the epic of evolution" and epic of creation.
- Hefner - The Evolutionary Epic – Zygon, vol.44 #1, March 2009, page 3, - an enormous amount of attention has been given to constructing this myth. Such efforts commonly go under the names “evolutionary epic,” “epic of evolution,” or “epic of creation”
- The new universal, great, cosmic story for everybody Epic of Evolution.inforetrieved 3-07-09
- E. O. Wilson coined the term ‘evolutionary epic’– Teilhard Perspective, Volume 30 #2 Fall 1997
- Connie Barlow - The Epic of Evolution: Religious and cultural interpretations of modern scientific cosmologyScience & Spirit Magazine
- Novacek, Michael J. (2001). "Lifetime achievement: E.O. Wilson". CNN.com. Retrieved 2006-11-08.
- Edward O. Wilson, Foreword of Everybody's Story: Wising Up to the Epic of Evolution By Loyal D. Rue, SUNY Press, 1999, page ix and x,ISBN 0791443922,
- Edward O. Wilson, Consilience 1998 
- Ursula Goodenough - Sacred Depths of Nature, Oxford University Press, USA; 1 edition (June 15, 2000), ISBN-10: 0195136292
- Classic Quotations - Philip Hefner, 1997 AAAS Epic of Evolution Conference 
- Audrey R. Chapman - Unprecedented Choices: Religious Ethics at the Frontiers of Genetic Science, Fortress Press, 1999, ISBN 0800631811
- Hefner - The Evolutionary Epic – Zygon, vol.44 #1, March 2009, page 5,6
- Zygon Editorial retrieved 3-13-09
- Ursula Goodenough - The Sacred Depths of Nature, Oxford University Press US, 1998, page 272, ISBN 0195126130
- Evolution Theology: Religion 2.0
- Michael Dowd - Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World - Viking Adult (June 19, 2008), ISBN-10: 0670020451
- Thank God for Evolution
- Herald Tribune - Europe, 2008/09/16retrieved 3-16-09
- VATICAN CITY (Reuters) retrieved 3-16-09
- Loyal Rue - Everybody's Story: Wising Up to the Epic of Evolution, SUNY Press, 1999, ISBN 0791443922
- Loyal Rue - Religion is not About God, Rutgers University Press, 2006, Part 1.1, ISBN-10: 0813539552
- Center for the Story of the Universe 
- Brian Swimme interview - Science as Wisdom: The New Story as a Way Forward 
- Gordon D. Kaufman - God, mystery, diversity: Christian theology in a pluralistic world, Fortress Press, 1996, page 101-2, ISBN 0800629590  retrieved 3-17-09
- Gordon D. Kaufman - In the beginning—creativity, Fortress Press, 2004, page x,33,57,137, ISBN 0800660935 retrieved 3-17-09]
- evolutionary evangelist retrieved 2009-02-01
- Hefner - The Evolutionary Epic – Zygon, vol.44 #1, March 2009, page 3
- Cosmic Walk 
- Cosmic Walk 2 
- The Timeline of Light 
- Great Story Beads 
- Great Story Timeline 
- Epic of Evolution: Seven Ages of the Cosmos,2006
- 6 + 1 Chapters 
- "The Epic of Evolution" in the 2004 Taylor's Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature:
- Tufts University - Cosmic Evolution - Wright Center for Science Education  retrieved 3-10-09
- Eric Chaisson - Epic of Evolution: Seven Ages of the Cosmos, Columbia University Press, 2006 page xii, ISBN 0231135602
- Arrow of Time
- Robert Wright – Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, Vintage Press, 2001, pages 7, 334, ISBN-0-679-75894-1
- Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity, Course No. 8050 retrieved 4-11-09
- Is Evolution a Fact?retrieved 3-09-09
- Tufts University - A Continuing Story retrieved 3-09-09
- Future Chapters retrieved 3-09-09
- Donald A. Crosby - A religion of nature, SUNY Press, 2002, page 162, ISBN 0791454541 
- For Further Readingretrieved 3-09-09
- INTENTIONAL EVOLUTION retrieved3-16-09
- See Hovind 2006, for example.
- Martz & McDaniel 1987, p. 23, Newsweek article which states "By one count there are some 700 scientists (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation-science
- An Index to Creationist Claims , Mark Isaak, Talkorigins Archive,Copyright © 2006.
- Delgado, Cynthia (2006-07-28). "Finding evolution in medicine" (hmtl). NIH Record. 58 (15). Retrieved 2007-10-22.
- Ruling, Kitzmiller v. Dover page 83
- Morris, Henry (n.d.). "The ICR Scientists". Institute for Creation Research. Retrieved 2007-10-23.
- Denton, Michael (1986). Evolution: a theory in crisis. Bethesda, Md: Adler & Adler. ISBN 0917561058.
- Schafersman, Steven (2003-09-05). "Texas Citizens for Science Responds to Latest Discovery Institute Challenge" (html). Discovery Institute. Retrieved 2007-10-23.
- Committee on Revising Science and Creationism, A View from the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (2008). Science, Evolution, and Creationism. National Academy of Sciences. p. 12. ISBN 0-309-10586-2.
- John F. Haught - Science and Religion: from conflict to conversation, Paulist Press, 1995, page 69, ISBN 0809136066 
- The Epic of Evolution - A sermon by Douglas Taylor retrieved 3-15-09
- Eric Chaisson - Epic of Evolution: Seven Ages of the Cosmos, Columbia University Press, 2006, page 442, ISBN 0231135602 retrieved 3-23-09
- Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley - The Encyclopedia of Christianity, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2001, page 235, ISBN 9004116958
- Books, Journals and Videos on the Epic of Evolution 
- Past Conferences, Institute on Religion in an Age of Science
- American Association for the Advancement of Science - Epic of Evolution conference program
- The Forum on Religion and Ecology Epic of Evolution and World Religionsretrieved 3-27-09/
- Evolutionary Epic Conference evolutionaryepic.org
- Epic of Evolution Society [http://www.ciis.edu/faculty/swimme.html
- International Epic of Evolution Society Epic of Evolution Societyretrieved 3-27-09
- Epic of Evolution Journal
- 210A: Epic of Evolution
- Northern Arizona University
- Astro E-8 COSMIC EVOLUTION: The Origins of Matter and Liferetrieved 3-09-09
- California Institute of Integral Studies - MULTIDISCIPLINARY GRADUATE PROGRAMretrieved 3-27-09
- Global Mind Shift – Dr. Sidnet Liebes - The Epic of Evolution: Our Place Among the Stars3-07-09
- Council of All Beings , John Seed, Joanna Macy, Pat Fleming and Arne Naess - Thinking Like a Mountain, New Society Publishers, 1988
- The Cosmic Walk
- Text for the Cosmic Walk
- Welcome to Creation’s Story
- Great Story Beads
- The Cosmic Rosary
- Catherine Russell - Artwork inspired by the Epic of Evolution
- Epic Teaching Aids- Great Story Parablesretrieved 3-27-09
- 2009 Evolution Weekend  retrieved 2-26-09
- Religion and Science Relationship  retrieved 2-26-09
- Christian faith in the other good book, 2007 retrived 2-26-09
- Leslie Palma-Simoncek (2008-08-10). "Author to talk on 'Gospel of Evolution'". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
- Michael Dowd, Biography & Resources - Enlighten Next Magazine  retrieved 2009-1-29
- The Penguin Speakers Bureau retrieved 2009-1-29
- Audio Interviews with Michael Dowd  retrieved 2009-1-29
- Past Speaking Itinerary of Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow
- Reasons Why Nothing Matters More Than What We Think About Evolution 
- Voyages Through Time3-28-09
- We Are Made of Stardust - Sept. 2007, Supplementary Lesson B revised Feb. 2008
- National Center for Science Education retrieved 3-25-09
- Epic of Evolution
- Epic of Evolution Information
- Cosmic Evolution
- Forum on Religion and Ecology
- Center for the Story of the Universe
- National Center for Science Education
- Thank God for Evolution
- Understanding Evolution: Evolution Beyond Biology
- Rainforest Info.com
- Brian Swimme.org
- The Great Story.org
- Tufts University.edu
- Voyages Through Time