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.
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.