Reconciling God and science

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Content: Reconciling God and Science - TIME
2/8/10 6:31 AM
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Reconciling God and Science By David Van Biema Monday, Jul. 10, 2006 Related Specials
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Lab coat in the pews: Collins, at the National Cathedral, has been a Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian congregant DAVID BURNETT / CONTACT FOR TIME
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The pious young scientist had a question about human origins and the attention of one of the foremost geneticists in the world. Standing up in a crowded Hilton-hotel conference room in Alexandria, VA., the
62 inquisitive Ph.D.-M.D. candidate asked Francis Collins, who mapped the human genome, about an attempt to
Share reconcile science and faith: Did Collins think it possible
that all species are products of evolution -- except for 3 humanity, which God created separately? "Based on diggs everything we know," the young man asked, "would
digg it that tie together evolution and [a literal reading of the
Bible] and make room for God to intervene?"
(See pictures of John 3:16 in pop culture.)
Collins showed no surprise that a star scCNhN olar poised to contribute to the future of medicine should entertain the idea that evolution might not apply to humans. Indeed, the question was almost predictable, since the room was filled with Harvey Fellows, high-performing young academics devoted to bringing a Christian presence to fields where Evangelicals are Huffington Post underrepresented. And Collins, that rarest of raritiesa superstar evangelical biologistand author of the new book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Free Press; 304 pages), was perfectly qualified to answer. He did. That notion "gets you into a series of real problems," he replied. He sketched one out: the human genome contains nonfunctional elements in the precise spot where they can be found on the chromosomes of
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Reconciling God and Science - TIME
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the precise spot where they can be found on the chromosomes of lower animals. If God was creating humans afresh, Collins asked, "why would he insert a pseudo-gene that has lost its ability to do anything in the same place that it appears in a chimp?" Barring evolution, "you're forced to the conclusionAOLNews that God was trying to mislead us and test our faith -- and I have trouble with that kind of conjecture." (See the top 10 Jesus films of all time.) In America's ongoing and sometimes rancorous discussion about RottenTomatoes News science and God, some stock characters have evolved. There are the vocal proponents of creationism and intelligent design who storm school boards in hopes that either science or Local Government will conform to their beliefs. Then there are academic atheists who claim increasingly aggressively that science is in the process of proving religion a delusion. But few of the polemicists have the authority to preach beyond their own choirs. Most believers don't care to listen to an atheistic scientist calling the idea of God a mythology created to explain what humans don't understand, and academic atheists are just as uninterested in scientific lectures from Bible literalists. Collins, however, has both the standing and the desire to promote a third way. At 56, he is an unassuming 6-ft. 4-in. stork with a reedy voice, a techie's el cheapo digital Timex and -- his one touch of flash -- a wide silver ring emblazoned with a cross. "I think the majority of people in the U.S. probably occupy a middle ground but feel under attack by the bombs thrown from either side," he says. "We haven't heard very much about the way these views can be rendered into a very satisfying harmony. And I do hope that both camps are a potential audience for what I have to say." To some, the mere fact that he is effectively outing himself to the secular world as a man of faith warrants celebration. "Just that he's written the book is important," says Randy Isaac, head of American Scientific Affiliation, a professional group for conservative Christians. "It will help convince Christian Young People that science is a viable career, and scientists to recognize that Christian faith is a relevant option." See 10 surprising facts about the world's oldest Bible. See the top 10 religion stories of 2008. 123 Sponsored Links Back Pain - AccuraScopeTM Our Minimally Invasive Procedure Can Diagnose & Treat Back Pain. www.NorthAmericanSpine.com
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