This web site and the intentions behind it have evolved over the years. Following is the story of how this site has evolved.
Before I began this site in 2004, I had recently heard the phrase “Epic of Evolution” from several sources, and was eager to learn more. I surfed the web to find information on this topic. I found lots of people doing work on the Epic of Evolution, but to my astonishment, no one had registered this domain name. So, enjoying making web sites, I registered the domain name.
My first goal was to create links to people working on the Epic of Evolution. I posted links to anything and everything related to this. As I read books about the Epic of Evolution, I wrote brief reviews and posted these.
Then, with growing enthusiasm for the Epic of Evolution, I created the curriculum for and taught a class called “Exploring Evolution.” This was a five day class for elementary to middle school kids through the University of Colorado’s Science Discovery program. I packed a years worth of hands on activities into five half day classes. We were busy and the kids and I loved every minute of it. Science Discovery was wonderful in that it attracted kids who were really excited to learn about evolution. (“Darwin” is the name of one of those enthusiastic kids.) Some of the activities that I developed for that class turned out to be really useful. Wanting to share these activities with the world, I posted them on this site. These activities are the most popular pages on the site.
Later, I began to post information related to Evolution Weekend. In 2006, I was part of the first ever Evolution Sunday, a grassroots event created to foster dialog between churches and scientists about evolution. I decided to make the Epic of Evolution web site accessible to religious people. At about this time, I realized the importance of language, and how it is symbols that we use to point at things, but not the things themselves. From my experience with Evolution Weekend, learned that most religious people (like everyone else) who hear about the Epic of Evolution in a friendly way are curious to learn more. Unlike what the popular media seems to suggest, people in churches are ready to hear this story.
Then, in the spring of 2011, I saw David Christian’s TED talk on teaching Big History. His project to teach Big History (aka the Epic of Evolution) in high schools ignited my enthusiasm to an even greater degree. That night I threw an impromptu party with close friends because I was so excited that the field I wanted to teach in had finally been created. I became a charter member of the International Big History Association and attended their first meeting in 2012. This event exceeded my great expectations.
Over the years, the old site, which began as simple HTML and was later kluged together with a style sheet, was becoming ponderous and time consuming to update. In January of 2012, I moved the old site into WordPress, which makes the site easier to navigate and to update.
And with the new site, I’ve been thinking about what I really want to communicate.
So, one of my goals for the new site is to remind people to envision an ideal future for the Epic of Evolution.
In the past few years, I have also become clear about how our thoughts create our future. For example, if we think about eating lemons, our mouth begins to water to neutralize the acidity. If we think fearful thoughts, our body becomes flooded with cortisol and we contract and experience stress. When we think about beloved friends, our body produces oxytocin, and we relax into calmness. Although some of the purveyors of the idea that “your thoughts create your reality” go overboard with this idea, there is truth in it. Every worthy human creation begins as a worthy idea.