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Book Review : The Language of God

September 28, 2007

Francis Collins, writer of The Language of God : a scientist presents evidence for belief (Free Press, 2007) is a highly competent scientist who works in the field of medical genetics. He was head of the Human Genome Project. He is also a committed Christian and in his book he shares his personal journey from agnostic to atheist to faith. He writes to challenge Christians to seek the truth science teaches about God’s world even if this upsets their preconceived ideas. Collins is a profound believer in evolution and presents convincing evidence from genetics to support his views. He feels evolution, ‘far from standing in the way faith, reveals a universe of ever greater ingenuity and sublety’. In the past teaching about evolution has excluded God whereas in Collins’ book he explains why evolution requires a creator. Collins also discusses other topics including: Intelligent Design, Young Earth Creationism, genetic diseases, stem cell research and cloning.

While Collins feels science is the only legitimate way to investigate the natural world he also believes that science is not enough to answer all the important questions about life. This is one of the main reasons he came to believe in God. Science could not offer him a satisfactory explanation to what he describes as the Moral Law, that sense of rightness and wrongness that seems to be universal amongst humans but rarely observed in animals.

This is a very worthwhile book coming from such a distinguished scientist and devout Christian. It will cause many (including me!) to rethink their beliefs about science.

by Susan Barnes
12

Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith

12 thoughts on “Book Review : The Language of God”

  1. For anyone who is interested there was an article in Time magazine last November which included an interview between Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins. I hope to post a few more details about it.

    Thanks Erin for asking. The job is going quite well but I’ve never been a librarian before so it is still a learning curve.

  2. For anyone who is interested there was an article in Time magazine last November which included an interview between Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins. I hope to post a few more details about it.

    Thanks Erin for asking. The job is going quite well but I’ve never been a librarian before so it is still a learning curve.

  3. Quote from ‘God vs. Science’ (Interview with Richard Dawkins and Francis Collis) Time magazine, November 13, 2006 pg. 38:

    Collins: By being outside of nature, God is also outside of space and time. Hence, at the moment of the creation of the universe, God could also have activated evolution, with full knowledge of how it would turn out, perhaps even including our having this conversation. The idea that he could both foresee the future and also give us spirit and free will to carry out our own desires becomes entirely acceptable.

  4. Quote from ‘God vs. Science’ (Interview with Richard Dawkins and Francis Collis) Time magazine, November 13, 2006 pg. 38:

    Collins: By being outside of nature, God is also outside of space and time. Hence, at the moment of the creation of the universe, God could also have activated evolution, with full knowledge of how it would turn out, perhaps even including our having this conversation. The idea that he could both foresee the future and also give us spirit and free will to carry out our own desires becomes entirely acceptable.

  5. You know, I subscribe to Time and I remember that issue, but I don’t think I read the article, at least not thoroughly.

  6. You know, I subscribe to Time and I remember that issue, but I don’t think I read the article, at least not thoroughly.

  7. Erin, perhaps the names Dawkins and Collins weren’t as well known last November as they are now?

    Perhaps the other thing I could have mentioned is that Collins wonders if Genesis 1 and/or 2 refers to God’s creation of man’s soul or the spiritual side of things. Interesting thoughts, not sure what I think about it yet.

  8. Erin, perhaps the names Dawkins and Collins weren’t as well known last November as they are now?

    Perhaps the other thing I could have mentioned is that Collins wonders if Genesis 1 and/or 2 refers to God’s creation of man’s soul or the spiritual side of things. Interesting thoughts, not sure what I think about it yet.

  9. That is interesting – I don’t think I have ever heard that *angle* on creation before. I do need to check out that book.

  10. That is interesting – I don’t think I have ever heard that *angle* on creation before. I do need to check out that book.

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