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Evidence of Purpose

Scientists Discover the Creator

Edited by Sir John Templeton (1912–2008)

For nearly a century, the central theological message of science seemed to be that there was no need for theology: science could stand alone to explain the universe. But today that message is changing.

In this volume, a gallery of respected scientists describes new developments in their fields and the relationship with theological views of the universe. Contributors include: Owen Gingerich, Russell Stannard, Paul Davies, Walter R. Hearn, Robert Russell, Arthur Peacocke, John Polkinghorne, John C. Eccles, Daniel H. Osmond, and David Wilcox.

Formerly published by Continuum, 1994.

Introduction / 7

1. Dare a Scientist Believe in Design? / 21
Owen Gingerich

2. God’s Purpose in and Beyond Time / 33
Russell Stannard

3. The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Science / 44
Paul Davies

4. Evidence of Purpose in the Universe / 57
Walter R. Hearn

5. Cosmology: Evidence for God or Partner for Theology? / 70
Robert John Russell

6. Science and God the Creator / 91
Arthur Peacocke

7. A Potent Universe / 105
John Polkinghorne

8. The Evolution of Purpose / 116
John C. Eccles

9. A Physiologist Looks at Purpose and Meaning in Life / 133
Daniel H. Osmond

10. How Blind the Watchmaker? / 168
David Wilcox

Endnotes / 183

Contributors / 209


In this collection, Templeton brings together a gallery of respected scientists to reflect on the evidence that they find through their scientific research for design and purpose in the creation and workings of the universe. Contributors include Owen Gingerich, Russell Stannard, Paul Davies, John Polkinghorne, and others.


Ten renowned scientists weigh the possibility of intentional design in the universe. They cover a broad spectrum of theological and philosophical conviction, yet all see evidence of a deep meaning written into the laws and processes of nature. Astronomer Owen Gingerich writes that nature, with its astonishing details (a blade of grass or a cone shell, for example), suggests a God of purpose and design. Paul Davies, a professor of mathematical physics, says that the fact that the universe’s form is linked so intimately with our own existence is evidence that the universe exists for a purpose, and that in our small yet significant way, we are part of that purpose. Among the other essayists, John Eccles, winner of a Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine, analyzes the evolution of purpose, and science professor Waiter Hearn discusses the evidence of purpose in the universe, taking into consideration the subject of science as a challenger of religious concepts. The book may be too scholarly for some readers, but for those willing to stick with it, there is much to be gleaned.