Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Language of God

The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis Collins is the best book I have read on the intersection of faith and science. Collins, a former agnostic who converted, heads the Human Genome Project. Collins sees no reason that faith and science must continually butt heads. My thoughts prior to reading: God created the earth and used evolution to some extent, although I have trouble with the idea that we are descended from apes. I also found the ideas of Intelligent Design appealing (such as how evolution has trouble explaining the development of the eye). Collins seeks to convince atheists and agnostics that there is a God and he appeals to Christians to stop rejecting science as threatening to their worldview. He uses his knowledge of biology and genetics to challenge young earth creationists and Intelligent Design in a respectful way. Collins argues that the theory of evolution has been validated by genetics in ways Darwin never imagined and that unless we think God is trying to trick us, we should embrace what creation tells us about how life developed. Macroevolution has largely been rejected by Christians, but I am beginning to be convinced that this is akin to insisting on a 10,000 year old planet (which I believe requires the belief that God is trying to trick us). The appeal of Intelligent Design is the idea that evolution can't fully explain life, so there must be a God taking care of these discrepancies. However, promoting this "God of the gaps" theory leaves believers with smaller and smaller places to stand as science fills in the gaps. I am still thinking these issues through, but I highly recommend this book.

1 comment:

suz said...

it looks interesting. I'll have to check it out.