"The Shadow Side of God's Will"
Dr. Polkinghorne: The engine that has driven the three-and-a-half-billion-year history of life on Earth has, of course, been genetic mutation. I mean, for two billion years or so there were only bacteria. Then things complexified, because genes mutated and new possibilities came along. So that's been a tremendous fruitfulness. But, if that's going to happen, it's inevitable that other cells will mutate and will become malignant. You can't have one without the other. So, though the fact there is cancer in the world is obviously an anguishing fact about the world, it's not, so to speak, gratuitous. It's not something that a God who is a bit more competent or a bit more compassionate could easily have eliminated. It's the shadow side of a world allowed to make itself. Ms. Tippett: What does that way of looking at the world say about something like a tsunami?
Dr. Polkinghorne: Well, if God allows creatures to be, God will allow tectonic plates to be.
Quarks & Creation -- a fascinating interview with quantum physicist & theologian John Polkinghorne.