Wonders of the Living World

Curiosity, awe, and the meaning of life

The Book

Experience the wonders of the living world with this fully illustrated colour book.

Suitable for age 16+

RRP £19.99

Lion & Hudson
The Book


The living world is beautiful, intricate, and highly ordered. Organisms flourish across virtually every location on earth, and biological scientists are constantly discovering more about them. These findings spark awe in those who study the natural world, and also raise questions about the meaning of what we see. What’s so special about life? Why are we here? Where is it all heading?

Drawing on the thoughts of six scientists of faith, the work of the theologian Alister McGrath, and biblical scholar Hilary Marlow, Dr Ruth M. Bancewicz examines their research to assess the claim that the discoveries of science are consistent with the existence of a God.

Beautifully and creatively illustrated, Wonders of the Living World will inspire curiosity and amazement, and prove a fascinating guide to your thinking about the meaning of life.

Featuring the work of: Prof. Stephen Freeland, Astrobiologist; Dr Rhoda Hawkins, Theoretical Physicist; Prof. Jeff Hardin, Cell and Developmental Biologist; Prof. Simon Conway Morris, Palaeobiologist; Prof. Jeff Schloss, Natural and Behavioural Scientist; Dr Margaret Miller, Marine Biologist.


Project Leader

Dr Ruth M. Bancewicz

Ruth is Church Engagement Director at The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, where her role is to encourage the UK church community to engage with science in a positive way. After studying Genetics at Aberdeen University, she completed a PhD at Edinburgh University, based at the MRC Human Genetics Unit. During this time she also worked at the Edinburgh Science Festival, developing and delivering hands-on science activities.

She spent two years as a part-time postdoctoral researcher at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, Edinburgh University, while also working as the Development Officer for Christians in Science – a post she held for three years, before moving full-time to the Faraday Institute to develop the Test of FAITH resources, the first of which were launched in 2009.

Danny Allison

My name is Danny Allison and I entered this world in 1979. I was raised in, (or by) the infamous seaside town of Blackpool, on the North West coast of England. I neither drew or painted in my early days, instead I discovered a wooden plank with four wheels attached. This was my creative stage for a while.

After an intense stint of trying to become a professional skateboarder in the 1990s, my body decided it could no longer take the punishment I was forcing it to endure. A sever debilitating knee injury (clean snap of my ACL ligament) stamped dead any chance of completing my dream. After a year of soul searching, I signed up to study a National Diploma in Photography at the Blackpool college. Little did I know, that this was one of the very best photography courses in the UK and the start of my path towards becoming an illustrator.

I am very appreciative of where I was raised, and I am lucky to have discovered skateboarding. My past, has without a doubt heavily influenced my illustration style and creative process, which I hope you can enjoy

Quotes and Reviews

“When I picked up this book, I couldn’t put it down. On every page another wonder of the natural world was beautifully described, with text wrapped around charming illustrations. The explanations are mixed in with the personal stories of scientists, providing a front row seat to the excitement of new discovery.”

Ard Louis, Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Oxford


Wonders of the Living World explores scientific discovery and its interaction with beliefs in a fresh and much needed way: not simply through reasoned argument, but also by awakening the imagination and instilling a sense of awe. Bancewicz deftly considers how the beauty and intricacy in nature, uncovered by scientific pursuit, is helpful in addressing questions of ultimate meaning and purpose. I highly recommend it!”

Dr Sharon Dirckx, Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and author of Am I just my brain?


“In this beautifully illustrated book, the wonders of the living world are seen through the eyes of six high-profile scientists. Full of fascinating insights, the book describes the world in a way accessible to those with or without any science background. A highly recommended journey.”

Dr Denis R. Alexander, Emeritus Director, The Faraday Institute


“This is a wonderful book about wonder. In the presence of the world’s top scientists this will lead you into a new excitement and appreciation of the natural world. And for some it may lead to worship.”

Revd Professor David Wilkinson, Principal of St John’s College, Durham


“This beautiful book entices the reader with full-color artwork on every page, engaging personal stories, and exciting scientific findings. Along the way, we meet several scientists, hearing their stories of the challenges of science and the joys of discovery, and learn how science fits with their Christian faith. Readers are invited to revel in the wonders of the natural world and to ponder the larger “why” questions that science alone can’t answer, such as meaning, beauty, and God. A great book for science fans, pastors, and students.”

Dr Deborah Haarsma, Astronomer and President of BioLogos


“This beautifully produced book by Ruth Bancewicz really draws us into the excitement of scientific discovery. It’s lively combination of cutting edge research and the personal stories of the scientists shows us as well how science and faith can be friends not foes, each in their own way leading us into the wonder of the world we live in. A great read for a young adult and a great gift too for anyone wondering how faith and science fit together. ”

Rt Revd Dr David Thompson, former Bishop of Huntingdon