by Stephen Rigos
Having recently finished a ResEd course entitled "Science and the Bible" taught by our very own Kirby Runyon (planetary geologist and Ph.D. student at Johns Hopkins University), who presented a view of science and faith in harmony, it seems appropriate to complement his material with that of a well-known and respected Christian geneticist. Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project, also holds a strong belief that faith in God and science can coexist. His book presents with candor his personal journey from atheism to Christianity and, concerning science and faith, from discord to harmony. While addressing the common points of conflict between science and faith in the past and the present, Collins demonstrates a clear sense of the limitations of scientific endeavors and warns the reader about the dangers of basing their faith, or lack thereof, on the latest scientific discoveries.
In the latter half of the book, Collins addresses the primary positions on the topic of evolution and the origins of life, ranging from atheism to theistic evolution. Seeing as his brushstrokes are very wide, proponents of certain viewpoints may feel, understandably, that Collins has not done justice in providing a thorough explanation or in presenting their viewpoint fairly. Rather than provide an exhaustive set of arguments in areas not relating directly to genomics, Collins often relies on other great thinkers such as Augustine and C.S. Lewis to justify his positions. While the content of his arguments may not be convincing to all, an investigation of the life of a respected scientist who claims to have found a beautiful harmony between science and faith is a worth-while endeavor. Any truth-seeker who is struggling to understand the interaction between science and faith will benefit from reading this book.