Evolved to Worship: Reflections on Sir Alister Hardy’s Natural Theology


Vita Toon’s insightful and reflective book highlights Sir Alister’s scaffold for faith by uncovering signs of divinity in both the tangible world in which he lived as well as the more intangible spiritual realm.


The Psalmist asked: What is man that thou art mindful of him? (Psalm 8: 4)

In his empirical biological approach to the conception of God, Sir Alister argued convincingly that man is a religious animal; that there is a basic biological significance in man’s experience of the Divine, and that religion is part of his biological make-up.

He was a convinced Darwinian, yet asserted that ‘the living stream of evolution is as much divine as natural’ and maintained that Homo sapiens emerged with a predisposition for experiencing a ‘Divine Reality’, of whose existence Sir Alister had personal experience. He believed that human beings commune with this Divine Reality in the sacred act of prayer.