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America’s top scientist again peddles woo in public - Comments

PrimeNumbers's Avatar Comment 1 by PrimeNumbers

link textLInk to article "Read More" isn't working.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 16:58:03 UTC | #845753

DerekJ's Avatar Comment 2 by DerekJ

I'd like to see Francis Collins ridiculed more often. Scientists need to learn that irrationalities have real consequences. Never miss an opportunity to mention how miserable his logic is regarding the history of the universe.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 17:40:05 UTC | #845759

Mamba24's Avatar Comment 3 by Mamba24

This Collins guy is starting to get on my nerves.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 17:43:18 UTC | #845760

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 4 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 18:13:41 UTC | #845770

dj2badukhome's Avatar Comment 5 by dj2badukhome

I'd like to "Read More" please. Hyperlink doesn't work.

[Fixed now - thanks for flagging up the problem - The Mods]

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 18:17:38 UTC | #845771

Sara12's Avatar Comment 6 by Sara12

saying, as Collins did, that science gives us evidence for God.

I knew it! Wotan does exist!

When are they going to learn that simply restating the observation that stuff exists isn't proof of any god much less the particular one that happens to give them warm fuzzies at night?

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 18:24:52 UTC | #845775

William33's Avatar Comment 7 by William33

It is nice saying, that the views expressed comes from a private citizen but let's be honest. The sole reason Collins is there in the first place is because of his position and past achievements. The sole reason people like himself are invited to these types of things is because of his position and/or achievements. There's a good reason there isn't just any Tom, Dick or Harry standing giving others a lecture.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 18:27:22 UTC | #845776

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 8 by Tyler Durden

Collins admitted that the facts of genetics show that Adam and Eve could not be the literal ancestors of all humanity. But, like a good theologian, he said that that actually makes things better.

Quote from CP: “So I think you can preserve the idea of a literal, historical couple (Adam and Eve) as long as you don’t try to say they were the only humans and we are all descended from just them,” contended Collins. “That second part science won’t support.” . . .

. . . The former director of the Human Genome Project said based on genetic research, it is impossible to support the belief that people today all came from only Adam.

“People in the world are hearing you can’t have both. It has got to be one or the other,” said Collins about choosing between science and creation. “The essential thing is we’re about the truth. A faith that basically asks people to disbelieve facts is not about the truth. If there are aspects about our Christian faith that has gone down that road, it is up to all of us to try to pull that back.

“Look at the facts, look at the truth, and in the process, admire all the more and worship all the more God the creator. But in the nonessential things, let’s not get too worked up about those options about Adam and Eve as long as they’re consistent with the facts.” (CP)

Francis Collins, hot favourite for a gold in mental gymnastics, London Olympics 2012.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 18:41:39 UTC | #845780

CyrusSpitama's Avatar Comment 9 by CyrusSpitama

Fellow Brights, we should just give up now. Our campaign is folly, it saddens me to say, and naive - it was from the very beginning (but religious folk aren't off the hook. They're naive as well). It's more practical for us just to create some kind of underground secret society for us to socialize in. Double lives are always exciting in a way, are they not? It'll be fun.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 18:53:50 UTC | #845782

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 10 by God fearing Atheist

I can't help thinking that Collins will be metaphorically hunted down and killed by his evangelist buddies for saying that.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 19:08:36 UTC | #845784

chawinwords's Avatar Comment 11 by chawinwords

Jerry calls it "woo." Perhaps woodoo would be a better descriptive, thinking of doo-doo from the spirit world of woo, from which no earthly subpoena is possible for sworn testimony, regardless of eons of prayer to that same spirit world. So, for now on I will think of the term, woodoo, until such time as a winged angel or talking snake takes the stand in an earthly sworn court.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 19:16:39 UTC | #845787

superbeanson's Avatar Comment 12 by superbeanson

Amazing that Collins can get away with spouting this claptrap, and his peers let him get away it. They should be baying for him to be slung out of his directorship in the way that that Michael Reiss was hounded out back here in Blighty

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 19:23:39 UTC | #845790

DELETED_ACCOUNT_1ST_AMENDEMENT_TRUMPS_ALL's Avatar Comment 13 by DELETED_ACCOUNT_1ST_AMENDEMENT_TRUMPS_ALL

Comment 6 by Sara12 :

saying, as Collins did, that science gives us evidence for God.

I knew it! Wotan does exist!

Jupiter, you barbaric heretic! Don't make us come north again with our armored centurions and legions!

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 19:52:23 UTC | #845801

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 14 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 13 by James_Evans

Jupiter, you barbaric heretic! Don't make us come north again with our armored centurions and legions!

Haha...we shall see how Jupiter does against the invincible Andraste ! Begone you namby pamby Romans with your baths and aqueducts !

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 20:05:11 UTC | #845804

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 15 by Vorlund

There should be some mechanism by which people like Collins can be stripped of the title 'scientist' since he has clearly taken the principles of scientific reasoning, thrown them on the floor and danced on them in a religious frenzy.

The idea that doG created the entire cosmos just so that he could start a complicated avalanche like evolution (with every likelihood that homo sapiens may not have evolved or became rapidly extinct) just so that he could one day sit and watch us struggle with good and evil and kill millions of others in the process is so fucking stupendously absurd that people who hold such views should be confined in straight jackets.

The universe is too big and scary for the likes of Collins. They're too scared to die and pass unnoticed, they want the attention of a creator of the universe, they want to be more important than even the stars who may not live for ever but must burn out.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 20:14:58 UTC | #845805

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 16 by All About Meme

Comment 15 by Vorlund

They're too scared to die and pass unnoticed...

I think you are right. "They" certainly want attention from somebody. But don't we all. Interacting on RD.net is one great way to distract ourselves from staring into the void. Having at least one other human being around (or pet?) to verify your existence is paramount to sanity, I would surmise. A crude analysis yes, but I believe it quite adequately explains the current social networking explosion, as well as things like the I-Phone phenomenon. We can't stand truly being alone. Ergo God.

How does it feel? Bob Dylan

We'll never know if humans exist (or ever existed) who were content to spend their lives in complete isolation. Even if we discover the bones of a monk in the remote mountains of Tibet, we can't conclude that this person was not scared to die unnoticed, or that he even did pass without something noticing his existence.

I'm currently posting to RD.net from a coffee shop adjoining (and owned/operated by) a Christian "mega-church" filled to the brim right now with smiling faces, both young and old, who have just attended services. It is quite an experience, I must admit. I'm taking particular notice of people who are by themselves. Some of these people are quite literally rushing back to the parking lot, eager to get in their cars to make the most of a Sunday afternoon.

One has to wonder why they bothered to come at all.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 21:05:25 UTC | #845816

TobySaunders's Avatar Comment 17 by TobySaunders

The idea of God inventing Satan is rather odd... surely making goodness only, instead of goodness along with the worst evil would be better... that's presumably too complicated for a mind programmed with theism. Collins isn't the problem: belief in mythology is.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 22:51:53 UTC | #845834

Saganic Rites's Avatar Comment 18 by Saganic Rites

Comment 17 by TobySaunders The idea of God inventing Satan is rather odd

Not as odd as what the godbots believe Satan does, because they clearly haven't thought it through.

Once upon a time, Satan was the archangel, God's 2ic, until he started to make noises about wanting a bit of praise himself now and again. Of course God wouldn't share, so he banished Satan to hell. So far, so silly. Now, the godbots believe that this made Satan a bit annoyed, so he tortures the souls of the sinners who get sent his way (they never quite explain how Hell worked before Satan was banished there), and this is where their thinking (sic) goes awry.

If he really had been banished from Gods place, surely that would give him the perfect opportunity to gain a following among the arriving sinners. He's never going to achieve that through torture, so as a finger to God, he'd have made the place Party Central, a kind of Heaven, but without all the rules.

Which is why I'd be happy if I died and found out I was wrong about atheism, if that's my destination!

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 23:50:50 UTC | #845842

Saganic Rites's Avatar Comment 19 by Saganic Rites

Oh, I almost forgot to ask; Has Collins had a Templeton yet?

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 23:55:18 UTC | #845843

mjwemdee's Avatar Comment 20 by mjwemdee

Another cogent and well-reasoned summary by Coyne.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 23:55:51 UTC | #845844

jesusdiedLOL's Avatar Comment 21 by jesusdiedLOL

This Collins idiot is responsible for the majority of the "Oh but there are heaps of scientists who believe in Jesus" arguments. What a bore.

In saying that, is he more useful to "our side" as a xtian than an atheist? He is in a position where he can relay to xtians scientific messages without being outright ignored or ridiculed due to his prized position as "top xtian scientist."

I think the way to destroying religion would be through atheists masquerading as religious folk, slowly poisoning their ridiculous beliefs one by one with reason from the inside out, until before they know it, it's all a fairy tale

I won't be putting my hand up for the job.

Mon, 04 Jul 2011 00:11:07 UTC | #845848

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 22 by prettygoodformonkeys

I hope Collins stays in the role long enough for all this claptrap to be dragged into the light where people can see it, and find out how stupid it is, and why. It would be far worse if it were going on in the background and no one talking about it. But, where are all those intelligent scientists to be shining that light, and why are they quiet?

Mon, 04 Jul 2011 00:47:57 UTC | #845851

Vicktor's Avatar Comment 23 by Vicktor

Collins, like many others, must be having trouble coming to terms with his mortality and the perceived "utter meaninglessness" of our existence.

Mon, 04 Jul 2011 01:15:45 UTC | #845852

Matt50's Avatar Comment 24 by Matt50

Excuse me.

Is not the proposal of this group that "serious" scientists must logically have an atheist world view. Along comes a serious scientist who does not have an atheist world view, so the common response is to bag the man: call the views "claptrap", "woo" - (whatever that is supposed to mean), the world is too big and scary for him, taken scientific principles and danced on them, miserable logic etc etc etc.

There is just too much happy agreement here. The discussion sounds like a Springfield town meeting.

I am a Christian and I try to embrace intellectual (and other) challenges to what I believe. I am prepared to acknowledge that people who disagree with my view are still worth taking seriously, without being derided or labeled "accommodationist" or some such puerile, nasty, and small-minded term of derision.

Everyone has "heard it all before" throughout the spectrum of belief, but are we actually listening, or are too many minds comfortably made up and happy to listen to the team cheer squad over and over again?

Like Richard Dawkins, Francis Collins is s person whose opinions demand being taken seriously.

Matt

Mon, 04 Jul 2011 03:43:47 UTC | #845861

DocWebster's Avatar Comment 25 by DocWebster

Why does Collins get a pass by saying he was speaking as a private citizen? He can't, He's not, not when he speaks in public. Like it or not he is appointed by the president and as such is representative of all of the citizens of the US, all of the time until he no longer holds his position.

If he wishes to speak as a private citizen once more he has to assume the role of private citizen, and I eagerly invite him to do so immediately and forthwith.

[Moderator message: If you insert spaces or tabs at the start of lines, it causes an error in the layout of your post. We have edited this post to remove the spaces and correct the formatting.]

Mon, 04 Jul 2011 04:00:49 UTC | #845865

Matt50's Avatar Comment 26 by Matt50

Why does Collins get a pass by saying he was speaking as a private citizen? He can't, He's not, not when he speaks in public. Like it or not he is appointed by the president and as such is representative of all of the citizens of the US, all of the time until he no longer holds his position.

If he wishes to speak as a private citizen once more he has to assume the role of private citizen, and I eagerly invite him to do so immediately and forthwith.

Of course he can speak as a private citizen when he is not acting in the specific role of a Government representative who communicates Government policy. This is called having a personal view, and is called FREEDOM. The government cannot own you and the thought of needing a "pass" to speak is Orwellian.

Mon, 04 Jul 2011 05:07:24 UTC | #845879

superbeanson's Avatar Comment 27 by superbeanson

Comment 24 by Matt50

Like Richard Dawkins, Francis Collins is s person whose opinions demand being taken seriously.

Matt

Collins' infamous prime justification for the uptake of his particular superstitious beliefs is the 'feeling' he got when he looked at a frozen waterfall.

This is a man who is not to be taken seriously when he talks metaphysics.

He has compromised his hard earned reputation as a rational thinker in a devastating way because he is prepared to beilieve a whole raft of very far reaching claims about the world on 'faith' alone.

This is a product of youthful indoctrination and wishful thinking- nothing else; it's sad to see how strong this pernicious influence can have over an intelligent mind.

There is just too much happy agreement here. The discussion sounds like a Springfield town meeting.

...but are we actually listening, or are too many minds comfortably made up and happy to listen to the team cheer squad over and over again?

The happy agreement comes from the fact that most people on this site have taken pains to look at each and every argument for the justification of a theological outlook and have discovered no merit in any of them. Many of us came from religious backgrounds; the de-programming was painful. But if you are prepared to be intellectually honest with yourself and the world in general there is no other conclusion but that there are no gods- and the world is a better place for it.

All thinking men are atheist

Mon, 04 Jul 2011 05:30:41 UTC | #845884

rjohn19's Avatar Comment 28 by rjohn19

Collins is in the old gap trap. Neil DeGrasse Tyson does a nice bit on youtube about this phenom. Even Newton fell prey to it. Newton took god out of everything he discovered but ceded god the rest because if he couldn't figure it out, it must have come from a higher power.

Tyson also points out that once they have hit their personal gaps and ceded the rest to a god, they are pretty much finished as discovering scientists.

Collins fits the mold to a tee. He explained away Adam and Eve as not the two original hamsters who populated the earth's pet stores, hit a mental wall, gave up and conceded the rest to his god.

Scientifically, I doubt we'll hear much from him again.

Mon, 04 Jul 2011 05:48:54 UTC | #845888

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 29 by Vorlund

Comment 27 by superbeanson :

Comment 24 by Matt50

Like Richard Dawkins, Francis Collins is s person whose opinions demand being taken seriously.

Matt

Collins' infamous prime justification for the uptake of his particular superstitious beliefs is the 'feeling' he got when he looked at a frozen waterfall. This is a man who is not to be taken seriously when he talks metaphysics.

Collins could have looked at a frozen waterfall and been overawed by the resemblance to the tridentine nature of Poseidon's trident, falling upon his knees and proclaiming Greel mythology was the true path. Water is after all his jurisdiction. Had Collins done so it is not just the atheists who'd be having a good laugh all of the Xtians would be joining in to. More to the point he'd have completely lost his bonafides but talk about god and its suddenly respectable to talk gibberish. However such a claim would have exactly the same status as the tridentine nature of a god who is also a ghost and his own son and who is everywhere including frozen waterfalls and burning bushes.

Collins falls into the trap of mapping reality to his own wishful thinking. It's a bit like digging up a turnip in your back garden and bursting with joy on noticing a passing resemblance to Mohammed Ahmed suddenly converting to Islam.

Such people don't deserve to be taken seriously. Atheists reject their views because they are irrational. A Xtian would reject them because they don't fit his particular meme.

Mon, 04 Jul 2011 06:58:44 UTC | #845900

justinesaracen's Avatar Comment 30 by justinesaracen

@Matt50 If you detect a shorthand dismissal of Collins by many of the posters here, it is because most of us have encountered his ilk and know that all of his arguments are bogus. Rather than dissect them yet again, we just throw up our hands at the fact that he goes around spreading his own version of the myth that god reveals himself in reality.

As a Christian, perhaps you can explain how the biblical miracles jibe with the laws of physics. Without the miracles, Christian faith is the same as faith in Santa Claus. So how do you explain virgin birth, the raising of the dead, walking on water, and - of course the Big One,-- the resurrection?

I ask these specific questions, without recourse to an ad hominem. Please answer them and if your answer makes sense, I will completely rethink my atheistic position.

Mon, 04 Jul 2011 07:23:44 UTC | #845904