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269 of 305 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, July 31, 2006
This review is from: The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Hardcover)
You have to hand it to Francis Collins, he is no fence-sitter, though some may mistakenly so perceive him. Some may think he is trying to win friends and influence people of all types--those who love science and those who love Scripture. In reality, a book like this is sure to displease more die-hards than please them. Evangelicals are sure to get squeamish about Collins' support for the big bang and evolution and his beliefs in a non-literal interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis. On the other hand, as previous vitriolic reviews clearly indicate the so-called loving left will and have attack Collins for daring to value Scripture and claim that believe in God, the Christian God no less, are not only faith issues, but supportable by science. So, he's attacked if he does and he's attacked if he doesn't.

And what does he do? Using his personal faith in God and his professional expertise as an internationally-known scientist, Collins presents a case for the integration of science and Scripture. Both disciplines require the use of reason and logic, as well as faith and experience. Both must interpret the evidence. In Collins' skillful hands and able prose, "The Language of God" is sure to challenge the intellectually honest reader who will read it with an open mind, rather than a defensive heart.

Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Soul Physicians," "Spiritual Friends," and "Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction."
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 26, 2012 4:48:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 2, 2015 2:10:22 AM PDT
Great review Robert Kellemen,

Indeed you capture the essence of reactions some people will indeed have on this issue.

In order to compliment Collins book, those who are more interested in studies on the perspectives of science and/or religion can look at some research on the origins of the concepts of "science" and "religion", there is an excellent text called The Territories of Science and Religion that deals with the origins of the concepts an even has some powerful graphs (based on the usage of these terms in writings through time) showing the invention of both "science" in the 19th century and "religion" in the 17th century which is why even discussions of "science and religion" popping up in the 19th century, never before. Looking at at the literature frequency through time of such terms verifies that we are dealing with concepts that did not exist in the ancient or the medieval world.

Also, studies have been done on scientists (see Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think and general public perceptions of science from all over the world The Culture of Science: How the Public Relates to Science Across the Globe (Routledge Studies in Science, Technology and Society).

Just to add to the reading, there is some good research out there indicating that out of Nobel laureates from 1901 - 2000 (see 100 Years of Nobel Prizes): In Chemistry 72.5% were Christian, 17.3% were Jewish; in Medicine 62.6% were Christian, 26.2% were Jewish; in Physics 65.3% were Christian, 25.9% were Jewish. Another interesting resource is a research paper that discovered that 60% of Nobel laureates in Physics from 1901 to 1990 were Christian (Zhang, Weijia and Fuller, Robert, "Nobel prize winners in physics from 1901 to 1990: Simple statistics for physics teachers" (1998). Robert G. Fuller Publications and Presentations. Paper 23. University of Nebraska-Lincoln).

Also historical trends are discussed by many top notch historians of science in

Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction.

The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, Prehistory to A.D. 1450

1001 Inventions: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilization

The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, Expanded Edition (offers more current history on current topics in a balanced fashion)

Posted on Aug 25, 2016 8:03:04 AM PDT
I have not read this book, and this is the first review I've come to. This so sure review reminds me of the polarization of our times reinforced by the media. That the book is "sure to displease more die hards..." and that "the so-called loving left will and have attack" reinforces that polarization. I like the last paragraph though and hope there are still plenty of us out here who are not extremists and who are capable of reading with open minds and open hearts. Because the truth (or truths) are often somewhere in the middle. Being able to integrate, or at least co-exist, may be what saves us. I'm looking forward to reading The Language of God.
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