Francis Collins, the director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute, and head of the nation’s human genome project, claims there is a rational basis for a creator and that scientific discoveries bring man “closer to God”. And he’s written about it in his new book, The Language of God : A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.
This is interesting to me on many levels. First, his daughter (whose name now escapes me) actually worked for me in the labs at UNC-CH when she was an undergrad. Sometimes I wish I would have exploited that friendship to get a job with her Dad on the genome project. We were both Christians, and she told me about her Dad’s strong faith even back then (1990).
But secondly, it is is interesting because he is a theistic evolutionist – that is, he believes that evolution happened, but that it was somehow used or guided by God. From a recent interview, he seems to believe this for many reasons, including the incredible information content of DNA – one of the arguments that IDers use (I TOLD you IDers weren’t just creationists):
"When you have for the first time in front of you this 3.1 billion-letter instruction book that conveys all kinds of information and all kinds of mystery about humankind, you can’t survey that going through page after page without a sense of awe. I can’t help but look at those pages and have a vague sense that this is giving me a glimpse of God’s mind.”
Collins joins a line of scientists whose research deepened their belief in God. Isaac Newton, whose discovery of the laws of gravity reshaped our understanding of the universe, said: “This most beautiful system could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful being.”
Interestingly, he sees evolution as having reached it’s apex! That has many interesting ideological consequences. You can read another good interview with Collins at PBS, where he discusses The Question of God, and his conversion via C.S. Lewis’s book Mere Christianity.