The Fellowship of Scientists

Bibliography, Part 1

Natural Theology


This listing is offered as a sample of sources likely to be helpful for reflection; it is neither exhaustive nor prescriptive. Books are listed alphabetically by authors; those marked with (P) are available in paperback.

Barrow, J. D. and Tipler, F. J., The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (P)
This is the most extensive treatment of the question, including its history, and addresses anthropic properties at all levels of organization. Heavily mathematical, but a good deal of the meat of the argument can be gotten by reading around the equations. The last two chapters are heavily speculative and not as convincing as the rest of the book.

Comins, N. F., What If The Moon Didn't Exist? Voyages To Earths That Might Have Been (P)
This astronomer explores various aspects of the earth by altering physical parameters, sometimes by small amounts, and then imagining the consequences for life. The physical predictions are straight forward; most of the biological extrapolations look overly optimistic to this biologist, and many of these alternate Earths look sterile or unfriendly to human life.

Davies, P., The Mind of God
Davies explores various aspects of the physical universe as they reveal underlying order and intimations of meaning. Includes a less mathematical treatment of some anthropic aspects of the universe; not a theistic perspective.

Dillard, Annie, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (P)
Incomparable essays about the relations between the natural world, ourselves and God. As powerful in her writing as Hopkins, she exceeds him in the coherence with which she treats predation, pain and death. Repays re-reading.

Gribbin, J. and Rees, M., The Stuff of the Universe
This is a mostly non-mathematical treatment of the Anthropic principle and principally addresses anthropic properties of physical constants and components of the universe.

Houston, J., Reported Miracles; a Critique of Hume
This work by a philosopher of religion reviews the positions of Augustine, Aquinas, Locke and Hume on miracles and makes a case that Hume's critique of miracles is unfounded without additional premises for which Hume offers no warrant. Also includes a brief but clear treatment of epistemology. Dense but readable.

Lewis, C. S., Miracles: A Preliminary Study (P)
Lewis addresses the metaphysical status of miracles and their possible relations to natural law.

Mott, Nevill, ed., Can Scientists Believe?
This collection of essays spans a very wide range of religious beliefs held by the scientists writing the essays. They include an atheist Russian and an Orthodox Jew, as well as many traditions in between.

Peacocke, Arthur, Intimations of Reality (P)
A brief discussion of the relations between theology and science. Includes a useful discussion of the role of metaphor in both and of their epistemological similarities. Clear but dense; cannot be read quickly.

Polkinghorne, J., Faith of A Physicist
Polkinghorne, a particle physicist, presents a systematically developed natural theology, using the clauses of the Nicene creed for organization. Clear but fairly dense; may require several readings.

Polkinghorne, J., Science and Creation
Polkinghorne explores creation, being and becoming, the nature of time and God's involvement in it and other topics in natural theology.

Polkinghorne, J., Science and Providence; God's Interaction with the World
Polkinghorne discusses subjects such as miracles, providence, healing and evil principally from a perspective based in natural theology. Helpful development of quantum mechanics and chaotic systems as offering the physical basis for genuine openness and becoming, and of a metaphysic for consciousness.

Polkinghorne, J., Serious Talk; Science And Religion In Dialogue (P)
This series of eight talks gives an informal and briefer treatment of Polkinghorn's approaches to creation, providence and other topics in natural theology. Can be read by itself or serve as an introduction to the longer works.

Templeton, J., ed., Evidence of Purpose
A collection of essays by scientists and theologians about the evidence for purpose in the universe.

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