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The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Beliefby Francis S. Collins
Synopses & Reviews
Dr. Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project, is one of the world's leading scientists. He works at the cutting edge of the study of DNA, the code of life. Yet he is also a man of unshakable faith in God and scripture. He believes that God cares about us and can intervene in human affairs — on rare occasions, even miraculously. Collins has personally discovered some of the scientific evidence for the common descent of all living creatures, even though he repudiates the materialist, atheistic worldview argued by many prominent Darwinists.
In short, Dr. Collins provides a satisfying solution for the dilemma that haunts everyone who believes in God and respects science. Faith in God and faith in science can be harmonious — combined into one worldview. The God that he believes in is a God who can listen to prayers and cares about our souls. The biological science he has advanced is compatible with such a God. For Collins, science does not conflict with the Bible, science enhances it.
For many years Dr. Collins kept his views largely to himself, as he helped oversee the Human Genome Project's stunning sequencing of the code of life. Now, in what may be the most important melding of reason and revelation since C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity, Dr. Collins explains himself in detail. The Language of God makes the case for God and for science. Dr. Collins considers and rejects several positions along the spectrum from atheism to young-earth creationism — including agnosticism and Intelligent Design. Instead, he proposes a new synthesis, a new way to think about an active, caring God who created humankind through evolutionary processes.
He has heard every argument against faith from scientists, and he can refute them. He has also heard the needless rejection of scientific truths by some people of faith, and he can counter that, too. He explains his own journey from atheism to faith, and then takes readers on a stunning tour of modern science to show that physics, chemistry, and biology can all fit together with belief in God and the Bible. The Language of God is essential reading for anyone who wonders about the deepest questions of all: Why are we here? How did we get here? And what does life mean?
"Collins, a pioneering medical geneticist who once headed the Human Genome Project, adapts his title from President Clinton's remarks announcing completion of the first phase of the project in 2000: 'Today we are learning the language in which God created life.' Collins explains that as a Christian believer, 'the experience of sequencing the human genome, and uncovering this most remarkable of all texts, was both a stunning scientific achievement and an occasion of worship.' This marvelous book combines a personal account of Collins's faith and experiences as a genetics researcher with discussions of more general topics of science and spirituality, especially centering around evolution. Following the lead of C.S. Lewis, whose Mere Christianity was influential in Collins's conversion from atheism, the book argues that belief in a transcendent, personal God — and even the possibility of an occasional miracle — can and should coexist with a scientific picture of the world that includes evolution. Addressing in turn fellow scientists and fellow believers, Collins insists that 'science is not threatened by God; it is enhanced' and 'God is most certainly not threatened by science; He made it all possible.' Collins's credibility as a scientist and his sincerity as a believer make for an engaging combination, especially for those who, like him, resist being forced to choose between science and God. (July 17)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"An essential read, equally for readers of religious or secular persuasions." Library Journal
"What an elegantly written book. In it Francis Collins, the eminent scientist, tells why he is also a devout believer....A real godsend for those with questioning minds but who are also attracted to things spiritual." Archbishop Desmond Tutu
"The world respects Francis as a brilliant scientist responsible for breakthrough discoveries benefiting mankind. For a decade I have been privileged to admire him as a devoted family man and talented musician with a charmingly sharp wit. This intellectually honest, spiritually grounded reconciliation of God and science helps answer your greatest questions. I was profoundly enlightened and believe this important book should be required reading." Naomi Judd
"Francis Collins, one of the world's most distinguished scientists, treats the relationship of science and religion with reason and reverence. Collins's mix of clear technical exposition and personal reflection is infused with an intellectual and spiritual honesty. Everyone who questions how religious faith could be reconciled with scientific knowledge, everyone who fears that modern science attacks the heart of religious faith, everyone interested in an enlightened discussion of a crucial issue of our time should read this book." William D. Phillips, 1997 Nobel Laureate in Physics
"In today's world, scarred by cultural warfare, it is rare for a scientist to offer a testimony of faith in God. For that scientist to be one of the world's most renowned is rarer still. For his testimony to be so lucid and compelling, combining reason and revelation, science and spirit, is unheard of. The Language of God belongs on the shelf of every believer and every seeker." Dr. Robert H. Schuller, Founding Pastor, the Crystal Cathedral
Book News Annotation:
He earned a PhD in chemistry and became a medical doctor, headed the Human Genome Project, discovered the genetic misspellings that cause cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis and Huntington's disease, and somehow found time to search for and find God in it all. Here Collins explains why he kept what he feels is his most important discovery to himself for many years and why he eventually had to write about the reasons for his belief and his relationship with Christ, built upon his observation of the power of faith in his patients and the proof he saw of God in the complexity of the gene and evolution. He acknowledges the chasm which has grown between science and faith, but counters with what he learned deciphering the human genome and learning the theories of the biologos, in which science and faith are in harmony. He closes with commentary from his perspective on bioethics.
Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Book News Annotation:
He earned a PhD in chemistry and became a medical doctor, headed the Human Genome Project, discovered the genetic misspellings that cause cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis and Huntington's disease, and somehow found time to search for and find God in it all. Here Collins explains why he kept what he feels is his most important discovery to himself for many years and why he eventually had to write about the reasons for his belief and his relationship with Christ, built upon his observation of the power of faith in his patients and the proof he saw of God in the complexity of the gene and evolution. He acknowledges the chasm which has grown between science and faith, but counters with what he learned deciphering the human genome and learning the theories of the biologos, in which science and faith are in harmony. He closes with commentary from his perspective on bioethics. Annotation Â©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Francis S. Collins is one of the country's leading geneticists and the longtime head of the Human Genome Project. Prior to coming to Washington, he helped to discover the genetic misspellings that cause cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, and Huntington's disease. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, and in his spare time he enjoys riding a motorcycle and playing guitar.
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