This collection of twenty-two research papers explores the creative interaction between evolutionary and molecular biology, philosophy, and theology. It is the result of the third of five international research conferences co-sponsored by the Vatican Observatory, Rome and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Berkeley. The over arching goal of these conferences is to support the engagement of constructive theology with the natural sciences and to investigate the philosophical and theological elements in ongoing theoretical research in the natural sciences.
This series of conferences builds on the initial 1987 Vatican Observatory conference and its resulting publication, Physics, Philosophy and Theology: A Common Quest for Understanding (1988), and on the previous Jointly-sponsored conferences and their publications, Quantum Cosmology and the Laws of Nature (1993) and Chaos and Complexity (1995). Future conferences will focus on scientific topics including the neuroscience's, quantum physics, and quantum field theory.
Robert John Russell s Professor of Theology and Science in Residence at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and Founder and Director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences.
William R. Stoeger, S.J., is Staff Astrophysicist at the Vatican Observatory, Vatican Observatory Research Group, Steward Observatory, The University of Arizona, Tucson Arizona. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona.
Francisco J. Ayala is the Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine.
Contributors: Robert John Russell, George V. Coyne, S.J., Francisco J. Ayala, Camilo J. Cela-Conde, Julian Chela-Flores, Wesley J. Wildman, Paul Davies, William R. Stoeger, S.J., Charles Birch, George F. R. Ellis, Anne M. Clifford, Willem B. Drees, Philip Hefner, Arthur Peacocke, Denis Edwards, John F. Haught, Ian G. Barbour, Nancey Murphy, Ted Peters, and Thomas F. Tracy.
“The essays in this volume represent the real cutting edge in discussions between Christianity and biology. They provide a careful, sober assessment of biological story in all its complexity. One can only hope that churchpeople will enter into the debate with the care and reasonableness these authors have shown.” —The Christian Century