Francis Collins, 1950, USA, a modern pioneer in science and faith

Hi Max,

This scientist probably has the biggest budget of any scientist on the planet. And he is a Christian. How did that happen? Let me know what you think. Cheers

Francis Collins 1950, USA

is an American physiciangeneticist noted for his discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project (HGP). He currently serves as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.

Before being appointed Director of NIH, Collins led the HGP and other pioneering genomics research initiatives as Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of NIH’s 27 institutes and centers. Before joining NHGRI, he earned a reputation as an innovative gene hunter at the University of Michigan. He has been elected to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science.

Collins also has written a number of books on science, medicine, and spirituality, including the New York Times bestseller, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.

After leaving the helm of NHGRI and before becoming Director of NIH, he founded and served as president of the BioLogos Foundation, which promotes discourse on the relationship between science and religion and advocates the perspective that belief in Christianity can be reconciled with acceptance of evolution and science. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Collins to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Collins has described his parents as "only nominally Christian" and by graduate school he considered himself an atheist. However, dealing with dying patients led him to question his religious views, and he investigated various faiths. He familiarized himself with the evidence for and against God in cosmology, and used Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis[44] as a foundation to re-examine his religious view. He eventually came to a conclusion, and became an Evangelical Christian during a hike on a fall afternoon. He has described himself as a "serious Christian".[19]

In his 2006 book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, Collins considers scientific discoveries an "opportunity to worship". In his book Collins rejects Young Earth creationism and intelligent design. His own belief is theistic evolution or evolutionary creation which he prefers to term BioLogos. He appeared in December 2006 on The Colbert Report television show and in a March 2007 Fresh Air radio interview to discuss this book.[45][46] While not outspoken on the subject, Collins seems to hold a pro-life view of the abortion issue. In a 1998 interview with Scientific American, he stated that he is "intensely uncomfortable with abortion as a solution to anything" and does not "perceive a precise moment at which life begins other than the moment of conception".[47]

In an interview with National Geographic in February 2007, John Horgan, an agnostic journalist, criticized Collins’ description of agnosticism as "a cop-out". In response, Collins clarified his position on agnosticism so as not to include "earnest agnostics who have considered the evidence and still don’t find an answer. I was reacting to the agnosticism I see in the scientific community, which has not been arrived at by a careful examination of the evidence. I went through a phase when I was a casual agnostic, and I am perhaps too quick to assume that others have no more depth than I did".[48]

Collins rejects intelligent design, and for this reason was not asked to participate in the 2008 documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Walt Ruloff, a producer for the film, claimed that by rejecting intelligent design, Collins was "toeing the party line", which Collins called "just ludicrous".[49] In 2007, Collins founded the BioLogos Foundation to "contribute to the public voice that represents the harmony of science and faith". He served as the foundation’s president until he was confirmed as director of the NIH.[50]

I believe in the literal rising of the body of Christ. It’s the cornerstone of my Christian faith.

God is an awesome mathematician and physicist.

Science’s domain is the natural. If you want to understand the natural world and be sure you’re not misleading yourself, science is the way to do it.

One must dig deeply into opposing points of view in order to know whether your own position remains defensible. Iron sharpens iron.

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