Collins is all scientist. He is the former head of the Human Genome Project, which only identified the nearly 25,000 genes in human DNA and mapped out a genetic blueprint for humankind.
As others have, Stern notes that Collins had a revelation reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (how many people has that book influenced?) and allows Collins to explain himself:
He is a firm believer that the universe began with the Big
Bang14 billion years ago, that evolution explains the development of life, that the Book of Genesis is poetry and not history, and that the Bible-based ideas behind "creationism" and "intelligent design" are neither scientific nor intelligent.
But science is not enough for Collins. Well, maybe it's more accurate to say that his knowledge of science - of intricate codes and formulas that work for no apparent reason - inspires him to believe things that can't be proven by the scientific method.
"The elegance behind life's complexity is indeed reason for awe, and for belief in God - but not in the simple, straightforward way that many found so compelling before Darwin came along," he wrote in his 2006 book, "The Language of God."
For instance: "The Big Bang cries out for a divine explanation. It forces the conclusion that nature had a defined beginning. I cannot see how nature could have created itself. Only a supernatural force that is outside of space and time could have done that."I find myself torn by that position. On one hand, I agree with it because it is also what I believe: that God created the heavens and the earth. And yet, it also falls under the heading of "belief from personal incredulity." Now, since it is not being posited as a scientific explanation for anything, the sting is removed quite a bit. Nonetheless, it is still the position that we, as scientists and (for those of us that are) theistic evolutionists, find ourselves. We believe in God and accept his Lordship over the universe. But we do this as an act of faith, understanding that science is not equipped to address those issues. Perhaps Collins understands this better than most.
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