Francis Collins

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Dr. Francis Collins

Francis Collins is a geneticist, chemist and director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. In addition to his scientific accomplishments, he's also an evangelical Christian apologist and author. His book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief was published in July 2006. In order to manage the correspondence related to his apologetics, Collins founded the BioLogos Foundation in 2007.

Contents

Religious views

Collins grew up an agnostic and became an atheist during his Ph.D. in chemistry. During his time at medical school, the harsh reality of watching patients die led him to question his religious views. At the age of 27, he became a Christian. He was strongly influenced by Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

"...in my early 20s, I was a pretty obnoxious atheist. Then at the age of 27, after a good deal of intellectual debating with myself about the plausibility of faith, and particularly with strong influence from C.S. Lewis, I became convinced that this was a decision I wanted to make. And I became, by choice, a Christian, a serious Christian, who believes that faith is not something that you just do on Sunday, but that if it makes any sense at all, it's part of your whole life. It's the most important organizing principle in my life.[1]"

In The Language of God, he argues the case for theistic evolution. He opposes creationism and intelligent design, calling them unscientific.

Quotes

"On a beautiful fall day, as I was hiking in the Cascade Mountains … the majesty and beauty of God’s creation overwhelmed my resistance. As I rounded a corner and saw a beautiful and unexpected frozen waterfall, hundreds of feet high, I knew the search was over. The next morning, I knelt in the dewy grass as the sun rose and surrendered to Jesus Christ."[2]

On his religious background and conversion:

"I was not raised in a particularly religious household. I went to church, but it was mostly to learn music, which was a good place to learn music. But I didn't learn a whole lot about theology. And for quite a while, in my early 20s, I was a pretty obnoxious atheist. Then at the age of 27, after a good deal of intellectual debating with myself about the plausibility of faith, and particularly with strong influence from C.S. Lewis, I became convinced that this was a decision I wanted to make. And I became, by choice, a Christian, a serious Christian, who believes that faith is not something that you just do on Sunday, but that if it makes any sense at all, it's part of your whole life. It's the most important organizing principle in my life."

— PBS Interview

Responding to Richard Dawkins' argument that if God created the universe, then how come he seems to have disappeared from the universe?

"I'm sorry that God has disappeared for Richard Dawkins. He's not disappeared for me. I think you can make an argument that if God made himself so obvious, so known, so easily interpretable in daily events, then the whole concept of faith and of making a personal decision about where you stand would be pretty meaningless. You can look at many examples down through the history of faith where this lack of certainty is a critical part of how the whole enterprise operates."

— PBS Interview

On the relationship between religion and science, Collins considers the views to be compatible, given a non-literal reading of Genesis, and calls for an end to the view they are antagonistic.

"It is time to call a truce in the escalating war between science and spirit. The war was never really necessary.[2]"

References

  1. PBS Interview
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Language of God

External links

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