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Page last edited on 05 April, 2003

Biological Origins

The Theological Challenge

Chapters in this essay

Biological Origins

Perhaps no other theory of modern science has challenged the religious worldview more seriously than evolutionism. True, Copernicus and Galileo had challenged the literal reading of Joshua, where the Lord tells the Sun: “Sun, stand thou still at Gibeon, and thou Moon in the valley of Aijalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.”[1] And Lyell’s work had called into question the minuscule time scale of the Old Testament and there had been much soul searching within Christianity over what later became to be known as Copernican Revolution and the uniformitarianism of Lyell. But Darwin’s theory posed a direct challenge, especially its extrapolation to man himself.

But let us also note that ever since the Renaissance, the Bible had been gradually losing its force against the questioning attitude of science and critics had pointed out numerous inconsistencies and incompatibilities with the emerging scientific data. This was the subject of the two volume work by A.D. White, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom.[2] By the nineteenth century, the so-called movement of “higher criticism”[3] was firmly established in Protestant Germany and Holland. But England was firmly entrenched in the traditional views. Six years after the reading of Darwin’s paper on Natural selection at the meeting of the Linnean Society, eleven thousand Anglican clergymen signed the “Oxford Declaration” of 1864, which declared that if any part of the Bible were admitted to be in error, all might be doubted. This Declaration was not directed against evolutionism per se, but against a group of seven liberal theologians who had published a volume, Essays and Reviews (1860).[4]

The Position of the Vatican

Darwin’s Origin of Species had little to do with the question of human nature but his descent into the origin of humans was a frontal attack on the belief system held by the adherence of all religious traditions. For Catholics, the immortal soul, the original divine creation of just one human couple, the final resurrection and moral choices are central doctrines, just as they are for Muslims and Jews. Darwin’s wholly naturalistic explanation of corporeal evolution of humans from lower organisms was clearly at variance with the ideas of a unique creation by God, through a singular act of Grace, in His own image a man who was, furthermore, imbued with the Holy Spirit. The Catholicism in the late nineteenth century had become extremely conservative. In 1870, the Vatican Council had pronounced the doctrine of infallibility of the Pope and Augustinian and Thomistic roots of the Church had been strongly reaffirmed.

In 1893, Pope Leo XIII issued an encyclical, Providentissimus Dei, which re-asserted the position of the Church on uncompromising literalism of the Bible:

All the books, which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost; and so far is it from being possible that any error can co-exist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true.[5]

But by the turn of the century, Catholicism was well under the sway of scientific theories and by 1909, the Pontifical Biblical Commission was seeking a middle way between literalism and allegorical interpretations. However, it was clearly stated that the first three chapters of Genesis did contain a “narrative which corresponds to objective reality and historic truth.[6]

In 1943, Pope Pius XII issued an encyclical Divine Afflante Spiritu, which urged those who were trying to interpret the Old Testament to do so by trying to understand the ways and thinking and expression of the Near East in Biblical times.[7]

In August 1950 Pope Pius XII issued his famous encyclical, Humani Generis, in which he said: “If anyone examines the state of affairs outside the Christian fold, he will easily discover the principal trends that not a few learned men are following. Some imprudently and indiscreetly hold that evolution, which has not been fully proved even in the domain of natural sciences, explains the origin of all this, and audaciously support the monistic and pantheistic opinion that the world is in continual evolution. Communists gladly subscribed to this opinion so that, when the souls of men have been deprived of every idea of a personal God, they may the more efficaciously defend and propagate their dialectical materialism.”[8]

Pius XII further said that “such fictitious tenets of evolution which repudiate all that is absolute, firm and immutable, have paved the way for the new erroneous philosophy which, rivaling idealism, immanentism and pragmatism, has assumed the name of existentialism, since it concerns itself only with existence of individual things and neglects all consideration of their immutable essences.”

Elaborating on the theme of historicism, Pius XII had stated: “There is also a certain historicism, which attributing value only to the events of man’s life, overthrows the foundation of all truth and absolute law both on the level of philosophical speculations and especially to Christian dogmas.” He called to the “Catholic theologians and philosophers, whose grave duty it is to defend natural and supernatural truth and instill it in the hearts of men, cannot afford to ignore or neglect these more or less erroneous opinions. Rather they must come to understand these same theories well, both because diseases are not properly treated unless they are rightly diagnosed, and because sometimes even in these false theories a certain amount of truth is contained, and, finally because these theories provoke more subtle discussion and evaluation of philosophical and theological truths.”

Humani Generis is a milestone in the evolution of Catholic thought on evolution for it cleared the way for an allegorical interpretation of the Genesis account of the creation of Earth and of humans. Though it stressed that in any discussion of evolution, the Catholics must take for granted the spiritual soul of man, it nevertheless, relaxed the earlier position of the Church by accepting allegorical interpretations. Pope Pius warned that

If philosophers and theologians strive only to derive such profit from the careful examination of these doctrines, there would be no reason for any intervention by the Teaching Authority of the Church. However, although We know that Catholic teachers generally avoid these errors, it is apparent, however, that some today, as in apostolic times, desirous of novelty, and fearing to be considered ignorant of recent scientific findings try to withdraw themselves from the sacred Teaching Authority and are accordingly in danger of gradually departing from revealed truth and of drawing others along with them into error.[9]


On October 22, 1996 Pope John Paul II addressed the annual meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Science in Rome. His address was taken as a triumph for evolutionism not because what he said, but because how he said it. This is not to say that there was no change in the position of the Church: the Papal address clearly accepts evolution as a theory among theories and that was taken as a triumph by evolutionists  —a victory that was immediately celebrated.

Just three days after the address was delivered at the Vatican, Le Monde saw in it a redemption of Darwin[10], Science highlighted it with the telling title, “The Vatican’s Position Evolves”,[11] and Nature outdid everyone by the caption: “Papal confession: Darwin was right about evolution.”[12] They announced as valid, the claim that evolution is at least a theory worthy of consideration. This was a major step toward change in the position of the Catholic Church. “The Vatican’s Position Evolves”, claimed the headline of an article in Science.[13]

The Pope had said:[14]

I.                   In his encyclical Humani generis [1950], my predecessor Pius XII had already stated that there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith about man and his vocation, on condition that one did not lose sight of several indisputable points (cf. AAS 42 [1950], pp. 575-576). For my part, when I received those taking part in your Academy’s plenary assembly on 31 October 1992, I had the opportunity, with regard to Galileo, to draw attention to the need of a rigorous hermeneutic for the correct interpretation of the inspired word. It is necessary to determine the proper sense of Scripture, while avoiding any unwarranted interpretations that make it say what it does not intend to say. In order to delineate the field of their own study, the exegete and the theologian must keep informed about the results achieved by the natural sciences (cf. AAS 85 [1993], pp. 764-772; Address to the Pontifical Biblical Commission, 23 April 1993, announcing the document On the Interpretation of the Bible in the Church: AAS 86 [1994], pp. 232-243)

... Taking into account the state of scientific research and the time as well as of the requirements of theology, the encyclical Humani generis considered the doctrine of ‘evolutionism’ a serious hypothesis, worthy of investigation and in-depth study equal to that of the opposite hypothesis. Pius XII added two methodological conditions: that this opinion should not be adopted as though it were a certain, proven doctrine as though one could totally prescind from Revelation with regard to the questions it raises. He also spelled out the condition on which this opinion would be compatible with the Christian faith, a point to which I will return. Today, almost half a century after the publication of the Encyclical, new knowledge has led to the recognition in the theory of evolution of more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of this theory. ... Furthermore, while the formulation of a theory like that of evolution complies with the need for consistency with the observed data, it borrows certain notions from natural philosophy. And to tell the truth, rather than the theory of evolution, we should speak of several theories of evolution. On the one hand, this plurality has to do with the different explanations advanced for the mechanism of evolution, and on the other, with the various philosophies on which it is based. Hence the existence of materialist, reductionist, and spiritualist interpretations. What is to be decided here is the true role of philosophy and, beyond it, of theology. The Church’s Magisterium is directly concerned with the question of evolution, for it involves the conception of man: Revelation teaches us that he was created in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gn 1:27-29). The conciliar Constitution Gaudium et spes has magnificently explained this doctrine, which is pivotal to Christian thought. It recalled that man is ‘the only creature on earth that God wanted for its own sake’ (n. 24). In other terms, the human individual cannot be subordinated as a pure means or a pure instrument, either to the species or to society; he has value per se. He is a person. With his intellect and his will, he is capable of forming a relationship of communion, solidarity, and self-giving with his peers. St. Thomas observes that man’s likeness to God resides especially in his speculative intellect; for his relationship with the object of his knowledge resembles God’s relationship with what he has created (Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 3, a. 5, ad 1). But even more, man is called to enter into a relationship of knowledge and love with God himself, a relationship which will find its complete fulfillment beyond time, in eternity. All the depth and grandeur of this vocation are revealed to us in the mystery of the risen Christ (cf. Gaudium et spes, n. 22). It is by virtue of his spiritual soul that the whole person possesses such a dignity even in his body. Pius XII stressed this essential point: if the human body takes its origin from pre-existent living matter, the spiritual soul is immediately created by God (‘anima enim a Deo immediate creati catholica fides nos retiners [...]’ Encyclical Humani generis, AAS 42 [1950], p. 575). Consequently, theories of evolution which, in accordance with the philosophies inspiring them, consider the mind as emerging from the forces of living matter, or as a mere epiphenomenon of this matter, are incompatible with the truth about man. Nor are they able to ground the dignity of the person. Note that the report by Holden in Science, expresses disappointment that the Papal address did not go further than the 1950 Encyclical.[15] In fact, he did, and by a long shot.

This is indeed a major shift in the position of the Catholic Church. Whether or not the Papal statement supports evolution, it clearly grants an epistemological stature to modern science which is not in keeping with the established hierarchy of knowledge that has been in place for centuries in all spiritual traditions nor with the important scientific studies of scientific methodology that claim that the so-called facts of science are always interpreted in the light of paradigms and that facts per se remain silent as long as an outside paradigm is not applied to them.[16]

“The generic epistemology found in [the Papal] statement is very weak,” as the Italian microbiologist Giovanni Monastra has pointed out in his seminal paper, “Darwinism: Scientific Theory or Historic Illusion?”[17] Monastra states, “Many ambiguities can be found in the Pope’s speech. For example: is it possible for the Church to accept a revised version of Darwinism, where God is seen only as the Author of some ontological jumps during evolution? But is this version consistent with itself? In our opinion it is not. As we will see, Darwin’s theory, even if updated, is intrinsically materialistic, whereas a religious vision of life must be archetypal (and in the Pope’s words any reference to this aspect is lacking).”[18]    


The Protestant Theologians

A survey of Protestant responses to Darwinism is more difficult to make both because of the enormity of the material available on the subject as well as because of the number of positions held by different theologians. We can only attempt a brief outline.

An American contemporary of Darwin, botanist Asa Gray (1810-1888) had suggested that the main outline of the Darwinian theory might be accepted with the extra hypothesis that God was responsible for the occurrence of the favourable variations.[19] Other American theologians, such as Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) and Frederick Temple, tried to incorporate evolution in God’s design. Temple, who lectured on evolution at Oxford, suggested that God’s design might be recognized in the original act of creation and that the chemical elements were originally endowed with properties suitable for the formation of the world, as it is known to us by an evolutionary process.[20]

Let us also mention in passing that Temple, who was one of the authors of the controversial Essays and Reviews mentioned above, was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1896 and this marked the silent acceptability of evolutionary theory by the Anglican Church.

American Response to Darwinism

Darwin’s theory divided American religious communities just as it created foes and friends in other religious traditions all over the world. For those inclined toward accepting scientific data as firm basis of faith, it was a question of accommodating Darwin’s theory in their faith and they quickly made room in their doctrines for the theory of evolution. But majority of Americans “viewed Darwinism, especially when applied to humans, as erroneous, if not downright dangerous.”[21]  But the force of scientific discoveries kept pushing the boundaries of faith and eventually even the most literalist believers of Bible accepted the antiquity of life on earth. But by the end of the nineteenth century, virtually the only Christians writing in defense of the recent appearance of life on earth and attributing the fossil records to the action of Noah’s flood were Seventh-day Adventists.

During the 1920s, a Presbyterian layman and three-time Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan launched a state-by-state campaign to outlaw the teaching of human evolution in public schools. By the end of the decade, they had succeeded in three states, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas but their campaign added fuel to the debates on all aspects of evolution.

The famous Scopes trial of 1925 became a turning point for the history of American response to theory of evolution. Detailed treatment of these responses can be found in an excellent review on the subject in Ronald L. Numbers’ Darwinism Comes to America.[22]

More recent theological debates in America have focused on accommodating evolution within a broad biblical framework. “Most scholars start with the assumption that God is both the transcendent Creator ex nihilo of the universe per se,” wrote Robert Russell in his seminal paper, “Theology and Science: Current Issues and Future Directions,”[23] “including its existence and its fundamental laws, and the immanent, continuous Creator (creatio continua) who is acting everywhere in, with, and through natural processes to bring about physical and biological complexity.  What science describes in terms of neo-Darwinian evolutionary biology is what theology sees as God’s creative and providential action in the world. Evolution is thus the way God creates life, a broad position often called ‘theistic evolution.”[24]

Among the most noteworthy contemporary responses to neo-Darwinism is Arthur Peacocke’s response to Jacques Monod’s assertion that chance events in nature point to the fundamental irrationality and meaninglessness of the world. Peacocke takes chance events—from genetic variation and expression to changes in populations and the environment—as divinely ordained, for God is the ground and source of both chance and law (or necessity). Thus, seen in this perspective, both chance and law serve as God’s means of continuously creating physical, chemical, and biological complexity and hence a world characterized by continuity and emergence, temporality and open-endedness. “...the appearance of self-conscious persons capable, according to the Judeo-Christian tradition, of relating personally to God can still be regarded as an intention of God continuously creating through the evolutionary development”[25] writes Peacocke. He “situates both the ex nihilo and the continuous creation tradition within a panentheistic doctrine of God, in which the world is within God even while God infinitely transcends the world. He articulates his theology of creation through a variety of models: God is a composer and improviser of unsurpassed ingenuity; like a mother, God births the world within herself though the world is other than God.”[26]

Philip Clayton’s response is also pantheistic; he sees divine action in the emergence of new forms of life, though unlike Peacocke he finds quantum physics to be a fruitful avenue for exploring God’s immanent action in nature.[27] Ian Barbour also has a pantheistic view of God and the world, but his position falls within the Process perspective in which God is taken as a source of order and novelty, acting through indeterminacies in each of the integrated physical and biological systems, construed from a top-down cause. Evolution for Barbour is the product of law and chance within which God is continuously active. God influences events “through persuasive love” but He does not control them unilaterally.[28]

Barbour’s pantheistic mind-body analogy for God’s relation to the world is embedded within a social and ecological context that has an interpersonal perspective. God is, thus, the creative participant within the evolutionary community of beings and God nurtures the world through “tenderness, patience and responsiveness towards unchanging goals without coercing it through a ubiquitous, detailed plan.[29]

In the Summer 2000 issue of Sophia, Wolfgang Smith has proposed a solution to the apparent divergence in the scientific and Christian accounts of cosmos and life.[30] His article, entitled, “The Extrapolated Universe”, proposes a fundamental shift in our understanding of the cosmos to which the Bible refers. “We need first of all to ask ourselves whether the two divergent visions—the scientific and the Christian—refer indeed to the same cosmos, the same ‘world’; and surprisingly, perhaps, one finds that in fact they do not.”[31] Smith argues for an ontological distinction between the physical and the corporeal domains. He maintains that the corporeal beings—things which can be perceived—are not the subject of physical sciences because physical sciences deal, ultimately, “with fundamental particles and their aggregates, things that are categorically imperceptible, and hence not corporeal.”[32] Smith maintains that these particles and their aggregates constitute a second ontological domain, the Physical domain and he does so while rejecting Cartesian premises and Whiteheadian bifurcation and adopting a realist view of sense perception. In other words, there is no trick of the sense perception involved in his formulations. He writes:

It appears that in the course of the twentieth century, science has unveiled an imperceptible and hitherto unknown stratum of cosmic reality. Never mind the fact that this remarkable discovery has been almost universally misconstrued on account of a Cartesian bias which in effect denies the corporeal: what concerns us in the present inquiry is that there are these two disparate domains—the physical and the corporeal—and that henceforth every cosmological debate shall need de jure to distinguish between these two “worlds”. Is it conceivable, then, that the corporeal world does in fact accord with the data of Genesis, that is to say, with the Patristic cosmology? I shall argue that this is indeed the case.[33]

He then goes on to build a powerful case for the literal interpretation of the Bible for the corporeal realm, which is not the subject of physical sciences. He ends his article by hoping that “Christendom may soon awake from its protracted slumber, and casting off the yoke of a Darwinist cosmology, may rediscover the truth of its own worldview: a truth that is both factual and iconic, in accordance with the theophanic nature of the universe.[34]

By 1970, creationists had organized themselves, an Institute for Creation Research (ICR) was established in San Diego in 1972 by Henry M. Morris, a hydraulic engineer, the author of The Genesis Flood, and the Creation science movement was tirelessly campaigning for equal time and balanced treatment of evolution-science and creation-science in public schools.

In the mid-1980s, three Protestant scientists, Charles B. Thaxton, Walter L. Bradley and Reoger L. Olsen published The Mystery of Life’s Origin with a foreword by Dean H. Kenyon, a Catholic professor of biology at San Francisco State University which pointed out that there existed a fundamental flaw in the current theories about the origins of life. And this flaw was none other than the undirected flow of energy through a primordial atmosphere and ocean, something to which Whitall Perry had already referred to in his book, The Widening Breach. The publication of Michael Denton’s Evolution: Theory in Crisis (1986) further weakened the strong hold of evolutionism. But it was the publication of a 166 page illustrated book, Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins[35] by Percival Davis and Dean H. Kenyon that gave birth to a new force in the debate of origins: the Intelligent Design (ID) movement. Using six case studies, the authors of this illustrated book examined Darwinian and ID explanations to see which better matched the scientific data. Two years later, Phillip E. Johnson, a lawyer by profession who taught law at the University of California, Berkeley published Darwin on Trial that responds to Richard Dawkins’s The Blind Watchmaker as a lawyer would respond in a case. In this as well as in a subsequent book, Reason in the Balance: The Case against Naturalism in Science, Law and Education (1995), Johnson showed how the assumption that naturalism is the only legitimate way of doing science was unsound.

This was followed by a war of words and actions. The governor of Alabama used his discretionary funds to send copies of Darwin on Trial to all biology teachers in the state but the main proponent of evolution, Stephen Gould, dismissed it as “scarcely more than an acrid little puff, unworthy of any serious response. About the same time, Kenyon’s department at the San Francisco State University ordered him to stop teaching “creationism”. These events fueled the debate but they also brought the proponents of the Intelligent Design closer. The publication of Michael J. Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (1996) by the Free Press of New York posed a major challenge to the evolutionists. Behe, a Catholic biochemist at Lehigh University, uses the examples of vision, blood-clotting, cellular transport and other biochemical processes to demonstrate that the generally accepted belief in evolution may not be a sound scientific theory. For Darwinian evolution to be true, there must have been a series of mutations, each of which produced “working machines” that led to the complexity we now see. Behe argues that “biochemical machines” must have been designed either by God or by some higher intelligence. Writing in an environment in which creationism is seen as anti-science, Behe avoids certain terms and metaphors which would have provided reasons to evolutionists to brand his book as another creationists’ tract. Instead, his arguments rests on minute and complex biochemical details: the complexity of the bacterial flagellum, the chemicals involved in the process of vision, scores of proteins which act in the process of blood clotting and many others. His book is couched in popular, even jovial terms: he even uses the popular Calvin and Hobbes jokes! But nonetheless, Darwin’s Black Box posed a serious challenge to the evolutionists, a challenge they have not been able to meet. The ID theorists have established a center, they publish a journal Origins & Design and the Discovery Institute in Seattle, with its Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture has been the hub of their collaborative work. In addition to Michael Behe, three philosophers of science, Paul A. Nelson, Stephen C. Meyer and William A. Dembski, have played a leading role in establishing the ID movement on firm basis. Dembski’s book The Design Inference (1998) is a formidable exercise in generating mathematical proof for design by eliminating Chance through small probabilities. He uncovers intelligent causes by isolating the specified events of small probability. When a highly improbable event is also specified (that is, it conforms to an independently given pattern), undirected natural causes lose their explanatory power. To be sure, the book is a modern version of the classical design argument but the one which is firmly based in mathematical sophistication and logical deductions.

Darwinian evolution has had in its favour one hundred and fifty years of scientific research, millions of research dollars and the force of a historical process that moved with astonishing rapidity toward a secular vision of life. Its opponents are just starting to make their way into mainstream scientific research. In 1925, it was considered unlawful to teach evolutionism in state schools in certain States; in 2000, it is disdainful to teach a vision of life originating in divine creation.

[1] The Book of Joshua 10:12-13. Thus the sun and the moon obeyed the command of their Lord, the Creator, rather than laws of physics.

[2] For a review of these criticisms see White, A.D. A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, 2 vols. New York: 1896

[3]  Literary criticism of the Bible which subjected the sacred texts to critical scrutiny from a literary point of view, just as any other ancient text, such as the Odyssey or the Iliad.

[4] For an outline of Essays and Reviews, see Vidler, A.R. The Church in an Age of Revolution, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1961, chapter 11.

[5] Cited in Lack, D, Evolutionary Theory and Christian Belief, London: Methuen, 1957, p. 32

[6] Alszeghi, Z, Rome and the Study of Scripture: A Collection of Papal Encatments on the Genesis together with the Decisions of the Biblical Commission, 6th edn. St. Meinrad: Grail Publication, 1958, p. 120

[7] ‘Encyclical letter of His Holiness, Pius XII, Divino afflante spiritu: On the promotion of Biblical studies’, in Foundations of Renewal: Four Great Encyclicals of Pope Pius XII, Glen Rock: Deus Books, Paulist Press, 1961, pp. 64-87.

[8] Emphasis added. For complete text, see ‘Encyclical letter of His Holiness, Pius XII, Humani generis: Concerning some false opinions which threaten to undermine the foundations of Catholic doctrine’, ibid; pp. 171-186. Also see, Ewing, J.F. “Current Roman Catholic thought on evolution; in Tax, S. (ed) Evolution after Darwin: The University of Chicago Centennial, Volume III: Issues in Evolution, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1960

[9] Complete official text (English translation) of this 1950 Encyclical of Pope Pius XII can be found at http://www.ewtn.com/library/encyc/p12human.htm


[10] Le Monde, October 25, 1996, p. 17

[11] Holden, C., “The Vatican’s Position Evolves”, Science, 272, 1996, p. 717

[12] Abbot, A, in  Nature, 383, 1996, p.717

[13] Holden, C., “The Vatican’s Position Evolves”, Science, 274, 1996, p. 717-0

[14] Complete text of Pope’s address is available at:http://www.cin.org/users/james/files/message.htm


[15] Holden, C, Science, op.cit., p. 717

[16] See, for example, Kuhn, T, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970, also his The Essential Tension, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977 and Evola, J, Revolt against the Modern World, Rochester: Inner Traditions, 1995

[17] Sophia, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1997, pp. 60

[18] Ibid, p. 61

[19] Gray, A., Darwiniana: Essays and Reviews pertaining to Darwinism, New York: 1876. Also see his review of The Origins in Atlantic Monthly, first published in 1860 in which he said: “We should advise Mr. Darwin to assume, in the philosophy of his hypothesis, that variation has been led along certain beneficial lines.

[20] Temple, F, The Relations between Religion and Science: Eight Lectures preached before the University of Oxford in the Year 1884, London: 1885, p 119 (republished Garnborough: Gregg, 1972)

[21] ibid, p. 2

[22] Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998

[23] www.ctns.org/Publications/Russell/papers/russell/paper.html

[24] Russell notes mentions the following for a review of positions taken in the nineteenth century: Claude Welch, Protestant Thought in the Nineteenth Century, 315 pp (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985), 2:Ch. 6. and Ian G. Barbour, Issues in Science and Religion (New York: Harper & Row, 1971 (originally published in 1966 by Prentice‑Hall), Ch. 4. For more denominationally focused articles on evolution and theology see the articles by Jürgen Hübner, Arthur Peacocke and Schmitz-Moormann in Svend Andersen and  Arthur Peacocke, Editors, Evolution and Creation: A European Perspective (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 1987).  Also helpful is David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, Editors, God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter Between Christianity and Science (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986). See also Niels H. Gregersen,  Ulf Gorman and  Christoph Wassermann, Editors, Studies in Science & Theology1997: Yearbook of the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology, vol. 5, The Interplay Between Scientific and Theological Worldviews, Part I (Geneva: LABOR ET FIDES, S. A., 1999).


[25] Peacocke, Arther, “Genetics, Evolution, and theology”, in Peters, Ted (ed.), Science & Theology: The New Consonance, Boulder: Westview Press, 1998, p. 197

[26] Peacocke,A. R., Creation and the World of Science: The Bampton Lectures, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979; also see his Intimations of Reality: Critical Realism in Science and Religion: The Mendenhall Lectures, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984, and Theology for a Scientific Age: Being and Becoming ‑‑‑ Natural, Divine and Human, Enlarged Edition, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993; See also Robert John Russell, “The Theological‑Scientific Vision of Arthur Peacocke,” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, 26.4 (December 1991): 505‑17

[27]          Clayton, P., God and Contemporary Science, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997. Clayton’s view of Christian pantheism is also found in his article, “The Case for Christian Pantheism,” Dialog 37.3 (Summer 1998).  Also see the series of responses to this article and Clayton’s response to them in the Fall, 1999 issue of Dialog.


[28] Barbour, I. G. Issues in Science and Religion, New York: Harper & Row, 1971 (originally published in 1966 by Prentice‑Hall).

[29] ibid.

[30] Smith, Wolfgang, “The Extrapolated Universe”, Sophia, vol.6, no. 1, Summer 2000, pp.7-36

[31] ibid, p. 7

[32] ibid, p. 8

[33] ibid, p. 8, emphasis in the original.

[34] ibid, p. 34

[35] Davis, Percival, Kenyon, Dean H, Of Pandas and People, Richardson: Foundation for Thought and Ethics, 1989.