The Evolutionary Epic: Science’s Story and Humanity’s Response
The Evolutionary Epic is the science-inspired story that starts with the Big Bang and ends at the present with complex beings on Earth who understand who they are and how they came to be. The Epic is science because, at its core, it provides a naturalistic explanation and adheres to well-accepted science. The Epic is story because it takes an art form—story telling—to weave the fundamentals of physical, biological, and cultural evolution into easily understood, humanly engaging, culturally-imbedded narratives. Besides being science and story, the Epic is also education. An understanding of the Evolutionary Epic can weave many otherwise disparate courses of study together. And the Epic is spiritual, even religious, because the Epic—and the cosmos it embodies—elicits awe and reverence, and is seen by many as God’s way of implementing a divine plan. Finally, the Epic is humanity and Earth—the sudden dominance of a sentient species and all that implies for the planet.
The Epic conference will be attended by scientists, artists, educators, and spiritual and religious leaders. The scientists will provide the facts and theories behind the story. The artists will explain and demonstrate how the epic can be portrayed in a variety of humanly attractive and meaningful ways. The educators will provide examples of how they have utilized the epic as an educational framework—as an organizer and high level schema. The spiritual and religious leaders will explain how the epic has, is, and will be, integrated within humanity's diverse cultural traditions—each with its own unique vocabulary and story renditions. Finally, a number of participants will suggest how the telling of the Epic can contribute to the sustainability of life on planet Earth.
The Evolutionary Epic is an intellectual vacation, a break from busy continental life to relax in the sun. It is an opportunity for each participant to engage in leisurely conversations with a diverse group of the intellectually inclined, and to contribute to the understanding and development of the one story that belongs to all humanity. Hawaii, in the beginning of January, provides excellent weather and a relaxing, contemplative atmosphere, yet the early conference date allows the many professors and students who will be attending to arrive home in time for their classes.