Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health. He led the successful effort to complete the Human Genome Project, a complex scientific enterprise aimed at mapping and sequencing human DNA, and determining various aspects of its function. Dr. Collins has authored a book titled, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Free Press, 2006).
Collins was formerly a skeptic, or as he describes himself, “a pretty obnoxious atheist” in his younger years. In explaining that philosophical posture, the doctor contends that he once was “afflicted” [an apt term] with the notion that any idea worth believing is possible only by the use of scientific “tools” and “basic physical and mathematical principles.” When one assumes that nothing exists but the “physical” or “material,” he seriously limits his range of investigation, and such was the case with this scientist, who depicts his former approach as “plain arrogance.”
Eventually the doctor began to consider the possibility that there might be “mysteries” beyond the material, and once he opened his mind to this potential, he began to follow the path of logic, ultimately arriving at a belief in God. He contends that God is “in the laboratory.” “He’s the greatest scientist there is. He’s the author of it all.”
This highly respected scientist even considers himself to be a “devout Christian.” When interviewed recently and asked how, as a scientist, he could account for miracles like the virgin birth of Jesus, and the Lord’s resurrection, he replied:
“I have no problem accepting that miracles can occur. Here’s the logic. As soon as you accept the possibility that God exists and is outside of nature, then there is no reason why a supernatural being could not, on occasion, stage an invasion of the natural world” (Interview with Sue Ambrose, Dallas Morning News, as published in the Stockton, CA Record, 7/29/06, E8).
While we commend this distinguished scientist for the journey of faith that he thus far has pursued, we must insist that he has a distance yet to traverse. Unfortunately, like so many others, the good doctor still clings to many of the unfounded assertions of his skeptical past.
For instance, he disputes that the Genesis record regarding the origin of man is “literal truth.” Obviously his scientific training has not refined his analytical skill with the ability to distinguish the literal versus the figurative in literature. There is no evidence whatever that indicates Genesis 1 is symbolic. This chapter has been characterized as non-literal only as the result of skeptical influence, not on the basis of careful literary analysis.
Dr. Collins contends that creationists are “hung up” on what “science tells us about the age of the earth, the relatedness of species and the process of evolution.”
First, there is no “scientific” evidence that proves the earth is billions of years old, thus is in conflict with Genesis. All dating techniques are based upon evolutionary assumptions (see my book, Creation, Evolution and the Age of the Earth).
Second, the process of “evolution” (i.e., simple change), as seen in the fossil record, demonstrates there are huge gaps between the major “kinds” of organisms (the “missing links” – thousands of them) that modern evolutionists cannot explain.
Third, while there is a “relatedness” among species (due to a common design essential to the same environment), there are many more speciated differences that cannot be explained from the evolutionary perspective. Non-human organisms cannot think abstractly, communicate by means of language symbols, appreciate esthetics, know “right” from “wrong,” etc.
Tragically, these facts many fail to see. DNA, the “alphabet of life,” does not spell “time” plus “chance.” It reads: “GOD.”