The Great Story

The Great Story

The Great Story, or "Epic of Evolution" refer to mythopoetic language used by a social movement (or meta-religious movement) that tells the history of the Universe in ways that are simultaneously scientific and sacred. It is an articulation of the understandings of modern science – especially the evolutionary sciences ranging from stellar evolution to biological evolution and cultural evolution – as a sacred creation myth, much like the traditional creation myths passed down through oral cultures and sacred texts.


Advocates of the Great Story see science not only as a source of physical truths that empower technology and the material affluence and complexity of modern life. They see its 14 billion year epic of evolution – with its eons of increasing complexity, aliveness, consciousness and intelligence – as a story filled with meaning and moral texture.

A foundational book in the Great Story movement is "The Universe Story" (1992) by Brian Swimme, a mathematical cosmologist, and Thomas Berry, a Catholic priest of the Passionist order and a cultural historian. But the movement sees itself as having roots in the work of anthropologist and naturalist Loren Eiseley, biologist Edward O. Wilson, early conservation movement leader Aldo Leopold, evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley and the French Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (himself inspired by Henri Bergson). Recent contributions to an understanding of the Epic of Evolution include the writings of Robert Wright, John Stewart, Joel Primack and [ Nancy Abrams] , John Haught, Eric Chaisson, David Sloan Wilson, Jonathan Haidt, Ursula Goodenough, Russ Genet, and Michael Dowd.

The Great Story Timeline

# 13,700 million years ago(Ma): Great Radiance - beginning of the universe (13.7 billion years ago)
# 12,000 Ma: Galactic Phase - formation of stars
# 4,600 Ma: Hadean - formation of Earth, pre-life
# 3,800 Ma: Archaean - first life: bacteria
# 2,000 Ma: Proterozoic - amoebas
# 540 Ma: Paleozoic - complex life
#* 540-500 Ma: Cambrian
#* 500-440 Ma: Ordovician
#* 440-410 Ma: Silurian
#* 410-360 Ma: Devonian
#* 360-290 Ma: Carboniferous
#* 290-245 Ma: Permian
# 245 mya: Mesozoic - dinosaurs
#* 245-210 Ma: Triassic
#* 210-45 Ma: Jurassic - flowering plants
#* 145-65 Ma: Cretaceous
# 65 Ma: Cenozoic - mammals & birds
# 0.013 Ma: Holocene - human-caused extinctions (13,000 years ago)

ee also

* Cosmological timeline
* Deep ecology
* Evolution Theology
* Geologic time scale
* Logarithmic timeline
* Timeline of evolution
* Timeline of invention

External links

* [ The Great Story] - a leading site in the movement
* [ Thank God for Evolution!] - website supporting Dowd's itinerant ministry and 2008 book of the same title
* [ Evolutionary Spirituality Wiki] - for continued evolution of these ideas
* [ The New Story] - early coverage in the alternative press
* [ Walk Through Time] - pictorial story of terrestrial evolution
* [ Thomas Berry and the New Story: An Introduction to the Work of Thomas Berry] by Professor Mary Evelyn Tucker
* [ Evolution's Arrow] - John Stewart's website
* [ Nonzero] - Robert Wright's website
* [ Meaning of Life TV] - interviews with leading thinkers on related topics
* [ Creation Spirituality] - Creation Spirituality Info.
* [ The Epic of Evolution] - resources to learn about and celebrates humanity's place in evolution
* [ The View from the Center of the Universe] - Joel Primack and Nancy Abram's website
* [ Video interviews with Dr. Haught on science and religion]
* [ Video interview of Dr Haught] by Robert Wright for []
* [ Eric Chaisson's web site]
* [ Wright Center web site]
* [ Cosmic evolution web site]
* [ Omniscopic Institute] : Rich Blundell's website promoting a worldview consistent with the Great Story
* [ The Earth Community] - multi-media celebration of Thomas Berry
* [ Evolutionary Religious Studies] - lead website in new scientific field of Evolutionary Religious Studies
* [ Directory of Scholars] - key academics and independent scholars in Evolutionary Religious Studies
* [ The Happiness Hypothesis] - Jonathan Haidt's site related to his most recent book
* [ Ursula Goodenough interview] - on Beliefnet
* [ Humanity: The Chimpanzees Who Would Be Ants] - Russ Genet's book

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