This is socially tricky as you can step on theological toes very easily. The last thing an author wants to do is to turn potential readers off. It can also irk "real scientists' who look at the hand-waving explanation and declare that that couldn't be.
But is is so much fun to write!
"Dying Embers" definitely falls into this category. Shapeshifters are a rare genetic phenotype susceptible to a virus. Talking wolves are a sort of manifestation of a hive mind that exists between the individuals of the species. After all it is now known that plants have an internet of sorts to warn each other of aphids. Why can't the animals have something like that as well?
Also check out my Merchandise Page over at Deviant Art! Cups and magnets and all sort of great "Dying Embers" themed Christmas Gifts.