Written by on 31/10/2021


Radio Maria England Science and Faith

Season 2 Episode 8: Natural Evil

Broadcasts: Monday 11am and 10pm, Wednesday 00.30am, Thursday 8pm and Saturday 5pm

In episode 8, the last episode of this series, we invited two speakers: Dr Vinoth Ramachandra, theologian, author and speaker, with a doctorate in nuclear engineering and Prof. Daniela De Angelis, a statistical scientist working in public health to talk about Natural Evil. We learned what the difference between natural and moral evil is, what the “problem of evil” is, creating vs permitting evil and how we are to understand the plagues in the book of Exodus. Prof De Angelis also shared with us what her personal experience has been like as part of the Royal Statistical Society Task Force for COVID-19.

We also had a chance to comment on an interview Stephen Fry did a few years ago that went viral (linked below in resources) and C.S. Lewis’ struggle to find consolation after the death of his wife from cancer in ‘A Grief Observed’.

Why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it?

Get in touch:

Facebook/Instagram: @radiomariaengland


Listen on demand on your podcast platform of choice:


Dr Vinoth Ramachandra


Stephen Fry’s interview:

Vatican Observatory Foundation:

Christians in Science:

Faraday Institute for Science and Religion:

Interactive Science and Faith workshops:


Prof Daniela De Angelis

Daniela De Angelis is Professor of Statistical Science for Health at the University of Cambridge in the Department of Primary Care and Public Health, and Deputy Director and MRC Investigator at the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit (MRC-BSU). She has a PhD from Cambridge University and a degree in Statistical Science from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. Daniela has over 25 years of research experience at the interface between statistical/computational methodology and infectious disease epidemiology.  She has overall responsibility for the research theme “Statistical methods Using data Resources to improve Population Health” at MRC-BSU, and leads research on ‘Evidence synthesis to inform population health-related decision making’.

Her work focusses on the development of statistical methods for characterisation of epidemics, spanning: cross-sectional burden estimation; reconstruction/prediction of disease incidence and transmission; evaluation of interventions, with emphasis on use of multiple data streams. Noteworthy is the development and application of methods to estimate the burden of blood-borne viruses, which are used to produce official UK estimates and underpin HIV prevention policies. Currently, Daniela is leading work on nowcasting and forecasting of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

She is a member of national and international scientific advisory groups (e.g. NICE, WHO, UNAIDS). She is a senior member of SPI-M (Scientific Pandemic Influenza Advisory Committee), a sub-group of SAGE; member of the Data Science Advisory Board of  the Joint Biosecurity Centre; and member of the Royal Statistical Society Task Force for COVID-19.

Dr Vinoth Ramachandra

Dr Vinoth Ramachandra lives in Sri Lanka, currently serving as the Secretary for Dialogue and Social Engagement for IFES, an international partnership of about 160 autonomous, national, university Christian student organizations. He holds BSc and PhD degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of London. He has authored several articles and books, the latest being Sarah’s Laughter: Doubt, Tears and Christian Hope (2020) which contains a chapter on “God and Natural Evil”. He gives public talks and also encourages inter-disciplinary and inter-faith conversations in universities in many parts of the world. His special interests at present are in the areas of the dialogue between theology & science, bioethics and political philosophy. He also serves on the International Council of the Faraday Institute for Science & Religion. He has also been active in the Civil Rights Movement of Sri Lanka, and with A Rocha, an international environmental movement committed to fostering research and advocacy in the area of biodiversity conservation and caring for the earth. He Blogs occasionally at  He is a voracious reader, has an unhealthy appetite for crime novels, watches too many films, and enjoys cricket and birdwatching.


Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

[There are no radio stations in the database]