Monday, May 4, 2009

Reconciling Science and Religion

I'm always glad to read stories like this. Francis Collins is an evangelical Christian and a scientist. He worked on the Human Genome Project and now he's working on a new project to bridge the gap between Christian fundamentalism and science.

Collins, 59, who with his mustache and shock of gray hair looks like former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton's cheerful twin, seems genuinely pained by the idea that science could be viewed as a threat to religion, or religion to science. And so he decided to gather a group of theologians and scientists to create the BioLogos Foundation in order to foster dialogue between the two sides. The name — combining bios (Greek for "life") and logos ("the word") — is also what Collins calls his blended theory of evolution and creation, an approach he hopes can replace intelligent design, which he derides as "not a scientific proposal" and "not good theology either."

Through the Washington-based foundation, Collins says he and his colleagues hope to support scholarship that "takes seriously the claims of both faith and science." Its online component,, is designed to be a resource for skeptics and nonbelievers who are interested in religious arguments for God's existence. But the primary audience for BioLogos is Collins' own Evangelical community.

I think this is fantastic. The person in the best position to change minds is someone on the inside, a member of the community. Being an Evangelical, Collins knows the language, knows the thought processes of the group and is in a much better position to show them that faith does not have to be in conflict with science. The two enrich each other or at least should. It's the extremes on both sides (Richard Dawkins, James Dobson, I'm looking at you two) that escalate this "battle" and make it difficult for the two to come together.

I guess I'm saying that I vote for more sanity and respect from people on both sides of the issue.

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