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Francis Collins - Part I

 

Francis Collins (1950 - ) is an American physicist who lead the Human Genome Project. He is currently the Director of the Nation Institutes of Health. He is presenttly working on the project to map the human brain. For the first part of his adult life as a scientist, he was an atheist. He could not accept belief in God. However, the deeper he studied the material world the more he suspected a spiritual reality. His book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, advocates for a harmony between science and faith.

 

Collins endeavors to show us the “source” of our ability to love. How could we desire to be kind and loving – since these actions may actually go against our own chance for survival – unless there is something more powerful motivating us:

 

Agape, or selfless altruism, presents a major challenge for the evolutionist. It is quite frankly a scandal to reductionist reasoning. It cannot be accounted for by the drive of individual selfish genes to perpetuate themselves. Quite the contrary: it may lead humans to make sacrifices that lead to great personal suffering, injury, or death, without any evidence of benefit. And yet, if we carefully examine that inner voice we sometimes call conscience, the motivation to practice this kind of love exists within all of us, despite our frequent efforts to ignore it. (The Language of God, 27)