The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief

by Francis S. Collins (Author)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
Collins, a pioneering medical geneticist who once headed the Human Genome
Project, adapts his title from President Clinton's remarks announcing completion
of the first phase of the project in 2000: "Today we are learning the language
in which God created life." Collins explains that as a Christian believer, "the
experience of sequencing the human genome, and uncovering this most remarkable
of all texts, was both a stunning scientific achievement and an occasion of
worship." This marvelous book combines a personal account of Collins's faith and
experiences as a genetics researcher with discussions of more general topics of
science and spirituality, especially centering around evolution. Following the
lead of C.S. Lewis, whose Mere Christianity was influential in Collins's
conversion from atheism, the book argues that belief in a transcendent, personal
God—and even the possibility of an occasional miracle—can and should coexist
with a scientific picture of the world that includes evolution. Addressing in
turn fellow scientists and fellow believers, Collins insists that "science is
not threatened by God; it is enhanced" and "God is most certainly not threatened
by science; He made it all possible." Collins's credibility as a scientist and
his sincerity as a believer make for an engaging combination, especially for
those who, like him, resist being forced to choose between science and God.

From Scientific American
A devoutly Christian geneticist such as Francis S. Collins, author of The
Language of God and leader of the Human Genome Project, can comfortably accept
that "a common ancestor for humans and mice is virtually inescapable" or that it
may have been a mutation in the FOXP2 gene that led to the flowering of human
language. The genetic code is, after all, "God’s instruction book." But what
sounds like a harmless metaphor can restrict the intellectual bravado that is
essential to science. "In my view," Collins goes on to say, "DNA sequence alone,
even if accompanied by a vast trove of data on biological function, will never
explain certain special human attributes, such as the knowledge of the Moral Law
and the universal search for God." Evolutionary explanations have been proffered
for both these phenomena. Whether they are right or wrong is not a matter of
belief but a question to be approached scientifically. The idea of an apartheid
of two separate but equal metaphysics may work as a psychological coping
mechanism, a way for a believer to get through a day at the lab. But theism and
materialism don’t stand on equal footings. The assumption of materialism is
fundamental to science.

Product Details

Paperback: 294 pages
Publisher: Free Press (July 17, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416542744



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