Evolutionary and Molecular Biology: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action

Edited by Robert John Russell, William R. Stoeger, S.J., and Francisco J. Ayala
Vatican Observatory and CTNS, 1998
ISBN: 978-0-268-02753-7

This collection of twenty-two research papers is the result of the third of five international research conferences co-sponsored by the Vatican Observatory in Rome and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. The papers explore the creative interaction between evolutionary and molecular biology, philosophy, and theology. The topics addressed in the papers include an extensive introduction to the scientific background; evolution and divine action particularly in terms of teleology; religious interpretations of biological themes especially as related to evolution; and the problem of evil from a biological and ethical perspective.


Ayala, Francisco J. “The Evolution of Life: An Overview.”

Ayala, Francisco J. “Darwin’s Devolution: Design Without Designer.”

Barbour, Ian G. “Five Models of God and Evolution.”

Birch, Charles. “Neo-Darwinism, Self-organization, and Divine Action in Evolution.”

Cela-Conde, Camilo J. and Gisele Marty. “Beyond Biological Evolution: Mind, Morals, and Culture.”

Cela-Conde, Camilo J. “The Hominid Evolutionary Journey: A Summary.”

Chela-Flores, Julian. “The Phenomenon of the Eukaryotic Cell.”

Clifford, Anne M. “Darwin’s Revolution in the Origin of Species: A Hermeneutical Study of the Movement form Natural Theology to Natural Selection."

Coyne, George V., S.J. “Evolution and the Human Person: The Pope in Dialogue."

Davies, Paul. “Teleology Without Teleology: Purpose through Emergent Complexity."

Drees, Willem B. “Evolutionary Naturalism and Religion."

Edwards, Denis. “Original Sin and Saving Grace in Evolutionary Context."

Ellis, George F. R. “The Thinking Underlying the New ‘Scientific’ World-views."

Haught, John F. “Darwin’s Gift to Theology."

Hefner, Philip. “Biocultural Evolution: A Clue to the Meaning of Nature."

Pope John Paul II. “Message to the Vatican Observatory Conference on Evolutionary and Molecular Biology."

Murphy, Nancey. “Supervenience and the Nonreducibility of Ethics to Biology."

Peacocke, Arthur. “Biological Evolution - A Positive Theological Appraisal."

Peters, Ted. “Playing God with Our Evolutionary Future."

Russell, Robert John. “Special Providence and Genetic Mutation: A New Defense of Theistic Evolution."

Stoeger, William R., S.J. “The Immanent Directionality of the Evolutionary Process, and its Relationship to Teleology."

Tracy, Thomas F. “Evolution, Divine Action, and the Problem of Evil."

Wildman, Wesley J. “Evaluating the Teleological Argument for Divine Action."

Chapter Summaries