| What is wrong with this? if anything?|
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the
National Human Genome Research Institute. His most recent book is
"The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief."
*ROCKVILLE, Maryland* (CNN) -- I am a scientist and a believer, and I
find no conflict between those world views.
As the director of the Human Genome Project, I have led a consortium of
scientists to read out the 3.1 billion letters of the human genome, our
own DNA instruction book. As a believer, I see DNA, the information
molecule of all living things, as God's language, and the elegance and
complexity of our own bodies and the rest of nature as a reflection of
I did not always embrace these perspectives. As a graduate student in
physical chemistry in the 1970s, I was an atheist, finding no reason to
postulate the existence of any truths outside of mathematics, physics
and chemistry. But then I went to medical school, and encountered life
and death issues at the bedsides of my patients. Challenged by one of
those patients, who asked "What do you believe, doctor?", I began
searching for answers.
I had to admit that the science I loved so much was powerless to answer
questions such as "What is the meaning of life?" "Why am I here?" "Why
does mathematics work, anyway?" "If the universe had a beginning, who
created it?" "Why are the physical constants in the universe so finely
tuned to allow the possibility of complex life forms?" "Why do humans
have a moral sense?" "What happens after we die?"
I had always assumed that faith was based on purely emotional and
irrational arguments, and was astounded to discover, initially in the
writings of the Oxford scholar C.S. Lewis and subsequently from many
other sources, that one could build a very strong case for the
plausibility of the existence of God on purely rational grounds. My
earlier atheist's assertion that "I know there is no God" emerged as the
least defensible. As the British writer G.K. Chesterton famously
remarked, "Atheism is the most daring of all dogmas, for it is the
assertion of a universal negative."
But reason alone cannot prove the existence of God. Faith is reason plus
revelation, and the revelation part requires one to think with the
spirit as well as with the mind. You have to hear the music, not just
read the notes on the page. Ultimately, a leap of faith is required.
For me, that leap came in my 27th year, after a search to learn more
about God's character led me to the person of Jesus Christ. Here was a
person with remarkably strong historical evidence of his life, who made
astounding statements about loving your neighbor, and whose claims about
being God's son seemed to demand a decision about whether he was deluded
or the real thing. After resisting for nearly two years, I found it
impossible to go on living in such a state of uncertainty, and I became
a follower of Jesus.
So, some have asked, doesn't your brain explode? Can you both pursue an
understanding of how life works using the tools of genetics and
molecular biology, and worship a creator God? Aren't evolution and faith
in God incompatible? Can a scientist believe in miracles like the
Actually, I find no conflict here, and neither apparently do the 40
percent of working scientists who claim to be believers. Yes, evolution
by descent from a common ancestor is clearly true. If there was any
lingering doubt about the evidence from the fossil record, the study of
DNA provides the strongest possible proof of our relatedness to all
other living things.
But why couldn't this be God's plan for creation? True, this is
incompatible with an ultra-literal interpretation of Genesis, but long
before Darwin, there were many thoughtful interpreters like St.
Augustine, who found it impossible to be exactly sure what the meaning
of that amazing creation story was supposed to be. So attaching oneself
to such literal interpretations in the face of compelling scientific
evidence pointing to the ancient age of Earth and the relatedness of
living things by evolution seems neither wise nor necessary for the
I have found there is a wonderful harmony in the complementary truths of
science and faith. The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome.
God can be found in the cathedral or in the laboratory. By investigating
God's majestic and awesome creation, science can actually be a means of
Is he 'right-on' or 'far off'? I ask because he knocks liberal Christians, while at the same time, he mentions cathedrals...?!
| 2007/4/5 1:04|
| Re: What is wrong with this? if anything?|
I don't see how he can maintain faith in evolution as that is not scientifically proved. Nobody can recreate the evolutionary proces in order to prove that its true.
He sees DNA as a strong possible proof of our relatedness to other living beings...
Ok, I'm not really into science subjects like chemistry, but what would DNA prove? that God used the same basic materials to create animals and humans? Why would this rule out that God made the fish first, then the birds and last man seperate from eachother?
As long scientists can't prove macro-evolution it is not silly to hold on to a literal explanation of Genesis. This would be safe to say because true science is always based on facts. (one could argue that we would be able to misinterpret facts) Besides if it was this important, God would give a full account of how He made all things (like we would be able to understand!).
Sure it is interresting, just as is finding out if its scientifically possible for the red sea to part. But I hope he uses science to glorify God.
True science might be part of worship as it may make you wonder about Gods creation, but true worship shows through your life.
I hope he gets to know God straight, which is (I found) harder then it seems. Hopefully he will glorify Christ with his life and not use God for his means. :-)
| 2007/4/5 5:36||Profile|
| Re: What is wrong with this? if anything?|
Is he 'right-on' or 'far off'?
Evolution has been proven on a micro scale. Indeed, we can see it at work on a cellular level. The problem scientists are making is the transfer of what happens on a small level to a larger level. Thus, the real question here is macro-evolution.
In science, they like to classify all life as the same. A cell, thus, is no different than a complex form of life. I would argue, however, that a complex human being is far greater than atoms or cells. Though we may be made of these components, there is also a spirit at work within us that uses the human body to make the human soul.
Macro-evolution is incompatible with the bible and faith for many reasons. Let us explore some of these.
Within evolution, there are "mechanisms of change." These lead to changes within the genetic structure or DNA within a life form. According to evolution, there are four different mechanisms of change. These can be reviewed at: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/evo_16
Within these mechanisms, only one actually introduces new genetic material. The rest are eliminated or changed by a different environmental factors. Only "mutation" introduces anything new that could lead to a totally new species.
The problem is "mutation" is 1) completely random and 2) "usually occurring because of errors in replication or repair". Therefore, evolution is saying that all life has evolved by "chance." Secondly, it is saying that all life came about by mistake or error. These negate the possibility of a purposeful creator. Would God create life randomly? Would He create life by mistake?
Another problem that exists with evolution is that it claims all life has evolved on the basis of survival. The whole premise behind evolution is that genetic traits that promote survival are the ones that stay. However, this does not take into account aging. Every living thing ages. Why? This does not promote survival. If evolution were true, then why do people age? This gene would have been phased out of the gene pool long time ago if evolution were true.
Another problem is a lack of variation. If evolution is true, then there would be more variations between species. We can look at different species and clearly see distinction. The bible says God created each after it's own kind. A cat is clearly different from a dog. However, if evolution were true, then there would be less of a distinction. There would be more variation. Do we see variations? No, we see disctinction. This applies to a great many things. For example, all larger life forms reproduce by the coming together of male and female. This is a clear distinction. We don't see three, four, or even five coming together. It is always two: male and female. If evolution is true, why isn't there more variation? Likewise, why does aging follow a pattern? Why do we all age at the same rate? These consistencies do not promote survival. Thus, this proves evolution is false.
Another problem evolution faces in regards to the bible is that for Adam and Eve to be created, this process would have had to exist long before Adam and Eve. This means that 1) Eve was not created from Adam 2) death did not enter into the world with sin.
For evolution to create Adam and Eve over millions of years, creatures would have had to die. However, the bible clearly indicates that death entered the world through sin.
Lastly.....and this is big: Adam is called "the son of God" because He was created directly with God's hands. Adam did not descend from another being or creature. He was created from dust directly, meaning that He was not born from another flesh. This is significant. Adam, when He was created, was born not of another flesh (a mother) as you and I, but was born from God directly. As such, Adam was of God. When Adam and Eve sinned, his being changed and his flesh battled against him. Before, Adam had dominion over the earth and his flesh. After, Adam became a slave to the earth and his flesh. When Adam sinned, he was separated from God and without God, Adam alone did not have authority over the earth or himself. Instead, he became something entirely different than what God had purposed.
As such, evolution states that for Adam to be created, he would have had to be born of another being (born of a fleshly mother). He would have evolved from lower life that aged and died. This contradicts with the bible and one of the most important facts concerning the gospel message. Sin and death entered the world through Adam and Eve. Evolution challenges this truth, and thus, hinders the gospel.
I hope this helps,
| 2007/4/5 10:27||Profile|
Great observation Warrior4jah,
...what would DNA prove? that God used the same basic materials to create animals and humans? Why would this rule out that God made the fish first, then the birds and last man seperate from eachother?
DNA demonstrates similarity...that's all. It is wanton imposition to intepret these similarities as proof of some type of linear evolution sequence.
This is always my basic issue with evolutionists...even Christian evolutionists. They refuse to at least recognize the subjective quality of their assertions. They position evolutionary science as objective truth and biblical faith as personal "revelation".
I also find it abit too general how this scientist and brother in the Lord, says that 40% of evolutionists are 'believers.' Yet even if we accept this at face value, when we compare it to the national statistical percentage of self-professed "believers in God" we find it is less then half.
Which suggests that, in contrast to this scientists rosey portrayal, the evolutionary establishment is strikingly disproportionately athiestic when compared to the rest of the nation.
| 2007/4/5 10:30||Profile|
Thank you for your views...
a person that I went to high school with, who is now a Interim Minister in a Presbyterian Church in Canada sent it to me, but I felt that it was not 100% 'good' or accurate.
More ideas are welcomed...
| 2007/4/6 19:57|