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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. (July 17)
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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, "Gods 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 dont stand on equal footings. The assumption of materialism is fundamental to science.
George Johnson is author of Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order and six other books. He resides on the Web at talaya.net --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
For those of us who think about what God means, who ask God to forgive our unbelief, this book brings the mystery of faith and the certainty of science together.Published 1 day ago by Knott Family
As a fellow Scientist and Christian this book describes how you can believe in both God and science.Published 11 days ago by TJP
This is an excellent book that shows scientific evidence for beliefs that are typically not in harmony with those who hold a literal interpretation of scripture. Read morePublished 12 days ago by M.Joel Gebhart
For anyone who has wondered if science and religion of any faith can work together, this book presents some definitive answers. It was really well written and so worth the read.Published 13 days ago by Virginia Boding
Nice and intriguing Indeed. But not so good and scientifically brilliant as Naskar's "The God Parasite" and Dawkin's "The God Delusion".Published 1 month ago by Eli
Thoroughly enjoyed the book but it challenged my ability to remember the concepts described earlier. But I heartily recommend it to anyone interested in the history of genomics.Published 1 month ago by JHC_InHim
As a retired Biology teacher, I found this book to be very interesting and thought provoking. It gives the reader a great deal of insight and an opportunity to reflect and compare... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dean Holland
Had to read it for a cell physiology class but really enjoyed it!Published 1 month ago by Jennifer Moser