The Language of God
Francis S. Collins
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Buy *The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief* by Francis S. Collins online

The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief
Francis S. Collins
Free Press
304 pages
July 2006
rated 2 of 5 possible stars
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Click here to read reviewer Dean S. Warren's take on The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.

The title of the book is derived from President Clinton’s remarks during the announcement that the Human Genome project was completed. Clinton said, “…this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind….Today we are learning the language in which God created life.”

The human genome consists of 3 billion (billion with a “b”!) letters of DNA Code and 24 chromosomes. It was an amazing achievement to “map” all that (or most of it). And it is indeed evidence (in my opinion) of the elegance and complexity of “God’s Language.”

In college, Collins tells us, he was more agnostic than atheist, .living a “religious life” along the lines of “willful blindness” - a phrase the author quotes from C.S. Lewis, a writer he was much influenced by in regards to accepting the concept of the Moral Law (humans, of all creatures, have a sense of good and evil. Why? Where did this sense of a moral law come from? Answer, it must have been placed in us by God.). So he believes in God and the intent of this book is to rationalize a kind of “agreement” between his (and others) belief in a Creator and current science. All fine and good.

The problem with this book is two-fold: First, there is ultimately nothing new in the manner in which Darwinism (the “science” Collins ultimately espouses) and the manner in which it is reconciled with theology. Collins here offers nothing more than a synopsis of that reconciliation which existed before (let me state here that I am not a Darwinist, having read on the subject and learned of the many problems with that theory).

Second, and more problematic, is the manner in which this book alters from its supposed purpose into rather a strong argument for the acceptance by all of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

Well, what is Darwin’s theory really? Evolution exists (and people knew that well before Darwin). There were dog breeders and horse breeders aplenty prior to Darwin. What Darwin added to this “accepted evolution” was the theory that a species of animal could evolve so much that it could “evolve” into another species. That is the theory of The Origin of the Species. His theory could be proved (said Darwin himself) by digging for fossils. Such digging should produce lots (lots!) of “intermediates” - i.e., skeletal remains of creatures as they morphed from one species to another.

People dug and dug, and lo and behold, not only were there not lots and lots of intermediates but there were virtually none. No intermediates, no missing links, nada. So what do Darwinians say: The skeletal record in the earth must be wrong. The geological record is incomplete. Since the evidence doesn’t agree with the theory, it’s the theory that’s right and the evidence that’s wrong.

That’s no way to do science.

One reason Darwinians used to use to insist Darwin was right was the commonality of mammals. All mammals have similar traits, similar skeletal parts, they said (true enough), therefore (they conclude) they must have had a common ancestor (not logically correct).

Collins takes this bad logic and applies it to DNA. Basically, he says, that since there is so much commonality in the DNA codes of creatures and humans, it proves a common ancestor. He knows the objection to this “conclusion.” since he states it on page 134 of his book: “This evidence alone does not, of course, prove a common ancestor; from a creationist perspective, such similarities could simply demonstrate that God used successful design principles over and over again.”

On page 138 he says: “It is very difficult to understand this observation (talking now of special sequences of DNA occurring in primate chromosomes) without postulating a common ancestor. This “postulating” is an assumption.

Which is (up to now) what Darwinism consists of, assumptions. Not only that but they’re assumptions not supported by the physical evidence (in regards to skeletal remains of creatures). Collins ultimately is guilty of what most supporters of Darwinism are guilty of: wanting the theory to be true so badly they make non-scientific postulations and assumptions to support it. He clearly accepts Darwinism too easily while failing to state the many problems (and there are many) with that theory. And it remains a theory because it is a postulation that not only is unproved but is actually disproved by the physical evidence (the evidence ignored by Darwinians as being wrong).

Collins puts in his book one very condescending statement toward those who don’t accept Darwinism as true. On page 142, he says as an answer to the question of why people (the general population) haven’t accepted the theory as true is because they’re too ignorant to understand the meaning of the word “theory.” Here he pulls out his Funk & Wagnalls dictionary (literally) and offers us up two definitions of the word. The incredible statement here is that if only people who disagree with him had a Funk & Wagnalls, they too would be convinced of Darwin’s theory.

This is a book by a renowned scientist which ultimately serves to display that great competence in one field doesn’t necessarily mean competence in others. Collins ultimately fails here both as a philosopher and as a theologian.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Mary B. Stuart, 2006

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