04/17/2008 - For some, there is an inherent conflict between science and religious belief. Indeed, some scientists, including famed evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, argue that an understanding of the natural world logically leads to atheism. But for Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project and an evangelical Christian, scientific knowledge complements rather than contradicts belief in God. In his 2006 bestselling book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, Collins argues that advances in science present "an opportunity for worship," rather than a catalyst for doubt. Recently, the Pew Forum interviewed Dr. Collins about his views on science and religion.
Francis Collins, Director, National Human Genome Research Institute
David Masci, Senior Research Fellow, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Question & Answer:
You write in your book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, that God can be worshipped in a cathedral or in a laboratory. Elaborate a little bit, if you will, on that statement.
If you see God as the creator of the universe – in all of its amazing complexity, diversity and awesome beauty – then science, which is, of course, a means of exploring nature, also becomes a means of exploring God’s creative abilities. And so, for me, as a scientist who is also a religious believer, research activities that look like science can also be thought of as opportunities to worship.
Read the complete transcript The 'Evidence for Belief' on the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Web site.