Francis Collins presentation

| 14 Comments

Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Research Institute, recently gave a presentation at Trinity Episcopal Church. The newspaper reports suggest that Collins considered Intelligent Design to be ‘faith’ and in fact, according to an eyewitness report, Collins considers Intelligent Design to be lacking as a science.

Collins used the Biblical Quote

“It is not good to have zeal without knowledge. … “ (Proverbs 19:2 NIV)

Collins is concerned about the ID movement for a number of reasons: First, it falsely insists that evolution is wrong. Collins instead predicts that ID will be discredited within a fairly short time, as scientists come up with more and more evolutionary mechanisms to explain the existence of “irreducibly complex” structures. In that event, Christianity, not science, is what will look stupid. Second, ID strikes him as a “defense” of God from Darwin’s theory, something Collins doesn’t think God needs.

From the newspaper article we gain a similar insight into Collins’ arguments

But Collins said critics are setting up false arguments against one of the most reliable theories in science. Rejecting evolution means rejecting the fundamental tenets of biology and other scientific disciplines, he said.

“The idea that the theory of evolution is perhaps subject to collapse is simply not the case,” he said. “You will not find today a mainstream biologist or human geneticist who is not absolutely convinced that Darwin’s theory is correct.”

Why are such presentations important? Because they provide people of faith with the necessary scientific information to make informed decisions

The message that evolution could serve as a complement, rather than a threat, to the church, was welcomed by many in the audience Sunday.

“I think that the most marvelous part of the message was that you don’t have to believe one or the other,” said Frances Mackey of Flushing, Mich., who was visiting family in Staunton. “You can believe both.”

“Instead of adding to the divisiveness and separation of all these ideas, he sees them as belonging together and fitting together, which I see as so much more like life,” said her daughter, Lynne Mackey.

Charlie Eckman, an eighth-grader at Stuart Hall Middle School who said he was interested in genetics and physics, said he thought the speech might have opened some people’s minds to consider evolution.

“It was convincing,” Eckman said.

Amen

While some may argue that science should stand on its own merrits, reality has shown that the United States scores extremely poorly on scientific knowledge and people of faith are easily convinced to reject good science in favor of faith. Making these people understand what science does and does not state and making people realize how solid the evidence for evolution really is, can help further a better educated public, free from the confusing created by Intelligent Design ‘claims’.

Once people understand that Intelligent Design is scientifically vacuous, and theologically risky, its time to reconcile their faith with what God is showing us.

And from a faith based perspective, that message is quite awesome.

14 Comments

OT

WOW! I can’t believe what a charlatan and coward William Demski is.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been visiting his blog uncommondescent.com and leaving posts.

I’m never belligerent or rude. I just post rebuttals to what Demski has in his posts and what other posters write.

There is never word, but they have removed my username not once, not twice, but thrice!

That’s not surprising, since most creationist blogs and message boards do that.

But what proves that William Demski is a total fraud and coward is that he also removes every post I make.

It’s amazing that anyone takes him or any of these creationist fools seriously.

Yeah, uncommondescent.com is like that. It’s much easier to get your own blog and regularly critique his posts. He has Wordpress’s pingback feature enabled so your critiques would appear in his comments without you having to login or post anything on his site.

For example, http://www.uncommondescent.com/inde[…]archives/388 The first comment on that page is a pingback.

Watch him disable it now :p.

I have had a running discussion on his blog debating the neural basis of mind (I take the position that the mind is entirely material). To my surprise he has not banned me. However, my posts are not about evolution.

In that event, Christianity, not science, is what will look stupid.

Christianity should not be judged by DIC (DI creationism).

Second, ID strikes him as a “defense” of God from Darwin’s theory, something Collins doesn’t think God needs.

I’m fairly certain God doesn’t need the TMLC.

Dembski Wrote:

No, not that ID is correct now, but that it may prove to be correct. The other side, by contrast, claims now to know that ID could not possibly be correct

Notice how Dembski is confusing the issue. It’s not that people claim that ID could not be correct, it’s the claim that ID is scientifically vacuous which is something ID proponents have yet to show erroneous. In addition, Dembski’s argument is mostly one of ignorance and thus the correct argument against ID is not that it could not be correct but that it lacks a rigorous scientific framework, of course not surprising since it is vacuous.

Dembski, convinced by his faith that life has been designed, already ‘knows’ the answer. Why he cannot see the beauty of design all around him but rather hides his god in his ignorance amazes me, given his theological background.

Back on-topic: From following the links, it seems that Collins spoke in a small city in Virginia.

If he could persuade a church-going audience there, he can probably do the same just about anywhere.

Staunton seems to have been favored this time because Collins is a native, according to the News-Leader article, but it would be A Good Thing if he could be encouraged to take his presentation (with or without guitar) on the road. (We could definitely use him in Florida…)

Please post any advance word of his future talks on PT!

“You will not find today a mainstream biologist or human geneticist who is not absolutely convinced that Darwin’s theory is correct.”

1) Isn’t it what cretinists are often criticized for? “Darwin’s theory”?

2) Possible tautology, if mainstream biologists are defined as accepting the theory of evolution.

A “mainstream biologist,” Paul, would more properly be described as one who is engaged in biological research or application. Note there is no “accepts theory of evolution” required.

But the facts are that those who do the real work in biology, those who carry the water, use evolution theory every day. Is it a tautology to note that most auto mechanics who are not scam artists utilize the theory of the internal combustion engine? Evolution is such a theory, to all biology.

It would only be a tautology if it were logically impossible for a mainstream biologist to not be absolutely convinced that Darwin’s theory is correct. Not only isn’t the statement a tautology, it isn’t even true – most scientists are wary of being “absolutely convinced” of anything, and certainly not “Darwin’s theory”, which is known not to be true in certain particulars, or any other statement of the theory of evolution, which is likely to be mistaken in some aspect. OTOH, that evolution has occurred is not open to reasonable doubt, nor that there is some correct theory of evolution, which could, if painting with broad enough strokes, be characterized as “Darwin’s theory”.

Christianity should not be judged by DIC (DI creationism).

It shouldn’t, but (according to the “eyewitness report”) Collins is concerned that it will be.

Jason says, “WOW! I can’t believe what a charlatan and coward William Demski is” and “I’m never belligerent or rude”. Well forgive me for doubting you Jason. Someday, when you grow-up, you might make a contribution to science in some fashion. Probably not. You have much to learn from William Demski.

Jason says, “WOW! I can’t believe what a charlatan and coward William Demski is” and “I’m never belligerent or rude”. Well forgive me for doubting you Jason. Someday, when you grow-up, you might make a contribution to science in some fashion. Probably not. You have much to learn from William Demski.

Such as what? His NFL was ‘written in Jello’ his design inferences flawed. What really has Dembski contributed to science? Philosophy yes, theology surely, mathematics… well… I have my doubts, but science? What have I missed?

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on November 5, 2005 12:49 PM.

TMLC: You Better Shop Around was the previous entry in this blog.

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