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America’s top scientist again peddles woo in public

Yes, it’s Francis Collins again, director of the National Institutes of Health and an evangelical Christian.  I previously mentioned the Christian Scholar’s Conference at Pepperdine University in California, noting that Collins was scheduled to give a keynote address: “Reflections on the current tensions between science and faith”.

He delivered it on June 16, and although the speech doesn’t seem to be online, the gist of it has been reported by The Christian Post (CP) and The Malibu Times (MT). I guess the content was predictable from what we know of Collins’s views, but I nevertheless find it infinitely depressing that America’s most prominent scientist goes around saying, as Collins did, that science gives us evidence for God.  I thought he was going to stop that kind of stuff when he resigned his position at BioLogos and took over the reins of the NIH, but apparently not.  But before I get to the substance of his talk, let me highlight the halfway decent things he said (and even the three points below are not unalloyed win):

  • According to both the CP and the MT, “Collins stressed that he was speaking at the conference as a private citizen, and not as a representative of the U.S. government” (MT).  Well, I’m glad he said that, and the man has every right to promulgate woo on his own, but I still think that his position as NIH director gives extra credibility to his assertion that science proves God.  It’s really no different from him going around and saying that he believes in the efficacy of homeopathy or spiritual healing.  Yes, he has the right, as a private citizen, to say what he wants, but what he said at Pepperdine is an embarrassment to scientists everywhere and the NIH in particular.
  • Read more

    An article about Francis Collins' talk at the Christian Scholars’ Conference at Pepperdine University in Malibu was previously posted here

    TAGGED: COMMENTARY, JERRY COYNE, PSEUDOSCIENCE, RELIGION, SCIENCE


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