07 April 2015

Faith and Science

An article on evolution news refers to an interview of Dr. Francis Collins. After this article appeared, Jerry Coyne, an evangelistic atheist responded.

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I have much respect for Dr. Collins and his scientific achievements, but I don't respect his view of Christianity. This article, however, points out some of the faulty thinking of the atheist, or at least Coyne.

National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins, who is a devout Christian, did an interview recently with National Geographic about his faith and his science. Predictably, Jerry Coyne, an atheist biologist from the University of Chicago, took exception to some of Collins's answers about the compatibility of faith in God and science.


[Question asked of Collins] Are science and religion compatible?

I am privileged to be somebody who tries to understand nature using the tools of science. But it is also clear that there are some really important questions that science cannot really answer, such as: Why is there something instead of nothing? Why are we here? In those domains I have found that faith provides a better path to answers. I find it oddly anachronistic that in today's culture there seems to be a widespread presumption that scientific and spiritual views are incompatible.


Here he's espousing the NOMA (non-overlapping magisteria) reconciliation rather than the "god-of-the-gaps" reconciliation (but see below), but note that what he's saying is that science and religion are not compatible but complementary. I hate having to address this issue yet again, but I have no choice.

First, science can answer, at least in principle, those hard questions; it's just that Collins and his fellow believers don't like the answers. Why are we here? Because of the Big Bang, the laws of physics, and evolution.

Coyne misunderstands the…

Truly an interesting article to read not only for the points brought out in the article but also some insight in the overzealous, misinformed thinking of an atheist.

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