Last Updated on Sept. 4th 2012
I was forwarded this article, God vs. Science, TIME, Nov. 2006 by a friend. I find it to be an excellent one, though it is over 5 years back, to get some top-level view of the God vs. Science debate in the USA. Very interestingly the article has some excerpts of a discussion/debate between “God Delusion” top scientist Prof. Richard Dawkins, who also seems to have become the standard bearer of the anti-religion brigade now, and another, perhaps not so well known, but quite distinguished scientist, Dr. Francis Collins. Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist who led the Human Genome Project and was nominated by US President Barrack Obama to and then unanimously confirmed by the US Senate as Director of the (US) National Institutes of Health in 2009 and, I believe, currently serves in that position. Dr. Collins is also an evangelical Christian.
The article, in its initial part, has an analysis of the “increasing insistence” of the anti-religion position of some scientists. It then refers to “scientism” as a response from the leaders of the religious faithful in this war between anti-religion scientists and religion.
It gives a background of Richard Dawkins and some other anti-religion scientists. They have their theological adversaries but most of whom may not be too much into science. Fascinatingly, for me at least, the article then takes the view of the majority of Americans who want a middle ground where they can have both science and religion. But for that the article needs to balance the tough Dawkins with distinguished scientists who are also deeply religious and may “credibly argue the widespread hope that science and God are in harmony–that, indeed, science is of God”.
This is really great for me :). I have the strong belief and not just hope that “science and God are in harmony” and that “science is of God”.
The article mentions a few distinguished scientists who are religious, finally zeroing in on Dr. Francis Collins. Then it gives some extracts of a 90 minute debate TIME magazine arranged between Dawkins and Collins.
A vital part of the debate, for me, is when TIME questions Collins about Resurrection, virgin birth etc. not being in line with science. Collins answers that if one believes that God made the natural laws then God can violate them too. [Iami1: As simple as that. That is my strong belief too.]
Richard Dawkins then challenges Collins’ scientific credibility because of his faith! [Iami1: This is real fanatic stuff from Dawkins. Either you are a scientist or you are a loony-faith guy, there is no middle ground! Seems to me, if Dawkins has his way, anybody believing in any form of God will not be considered a credible/reliable scientist. Horrifying!!!]
Collins responds calmly. I love his balanced tone and content. Hats off to Collins!
At the end of the article TIME asks for concluding thoughts. I just loved the concluding thoughts of Collins. To view it, see page 9 of the article and read the top paragraph. I can fully identify with those words of Dr. Collins, though I have been a software-technologist for around a quarter of a century and not a top-scientist like Collins, and though my spiritual belief about the whys may differ in some respects from Dr. Collins’ belief. My faith in God does not compromise my ability in any way to think and function as a software-technologist (I am a believer in God for the past 15 to 20 years or so).
Wow!!! It is so great to have a standard bearer like Collins to take on the fanaticism of Dawkins in the rarefied top scientists science-vs-religion war zone. It is almost as if a weight has been lifted off my mind :). I mean, one reads so much about Dawkins in the media nowadays and very little about top scientists who challenge him that I was wondering whether any top scientist had stood up and solidly refuted Dawkins. Now that I know that Collins and co. are refuting Dawkins I can easily point young scientists & intellectuals who are getting swayed by Dawkins & co. but have an open mind, to his refuters like Collins.
Thank you so much, TIME magazine, for this wonderful article.