Dr. Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project, is one of the world's leading scientists, yet he is also a man of unshakable faith in God and scripture. Dr. Collins has resolved the dilemma that haunts everyone who believes in God and respects science. Faith in God and faith in science can be harmonious, not separately but together, combined into one worldview. For Collins, science does not conflict with the Bible, science enhances it.
The Language of God makes the case for God and for science. Dr. Collins considers and dismisses several positions along the spectrum from atheism to young-earth creationism, including agnosticism and Intelligent Design. Instead, he proposes a new synthesis, a new way to think about an active, caring God who created humankind through evolutionary processes.
He explains his own journey from atheism to faith, and then takes listeners on a stunning tour of modern science to show that physics, chemistry, and biology can all fit together with belief in God and the Bible. The Language of God is essential for anyone who wonders about the deepest questions of all: Why are we here? How did we get here? And what does life mean?
©2006 Francis S. Collins. All rights reserved; (P)2006 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.
"Collins' credibility as a scientist and his sincerity as a believer make for an engaging combination, especially for those who, like him, resist being forced to choose between science and God." (Publishers Weekly)
Utterly fascinating. This is one of the few books so compelling that I've had to recommend to family. It does require a rudimentary base of knowledge in the sciences and in faith, but across that spectrum, it appeals to a wide variety (from myself, with a basic knowledge to my father, a Ph.D with a degree in molecular biology). Thought-provoking and extremely well-presented, the theology is a bit 'off' from traditional presentations of faith and the sciences, but compelling for all that. Highly recommended.
This book was fascinating, fair and far reaching. As a Christian Pastor the author answered many questions. As a follower of Christ having come out of strong belief against Christianity the truth of his own experience resonated with my own. Christianity is a mystery but also very rational.
While I found the parts of the book meant to convince believers to accept science more persuasive than the parts meant to convince scientists to believe, I did find the entire book to be well thought out and interesting. Collins calming tone and unique perspective allows the science/religion debate to detoxify enough to see that the current fight-to-the-death attitude on both sides is not necessary. I would love for him to write further on the subject - perhaps more in depth on an explanation of his personal beliefs and how he got there. I see how he is a diest, but I am still unsure how he made the jump to theist. Since hearing his book and I am putting more time and effort into deciding where my own beliefs lie. All in all, a great listen and highly recommended.
If you are a believer, read C.S Lewis' Mere Christianity then follow with this outstanding book.
If you don't believe, then read "The Language of God" and when compelled read C.S. Lewis.
While I read and listen to a great many books every year, only a few have the profound impact of this one. As a scientist and a believer, Collins unabashedly delves into territory where most authors fear to tread. His proposal that there may indeed be a possible synthesis between science and religion, provided we prevent extreme views from muddying the waters, has implications of deep and far-reaching meaning. However, this story is not told in a technical and impersonal manner. Quite the contrary, it is told from the perspective one who has found a few answers and encourages us all to seek our own.
It is astounding to me that someone of such scientific achievement as Mr. Collins applies virtually none of the scientific method to this topic. In a nutshell, he simply could have written "Go read some C.S. Lewis -- I did" and saved his readers a lot of time.
Every -- EVERY -- shred of "evidence" he trots out that supposedly supports the existence of God or that refutes an objection to organized religion is specious. No credible scientist would EVER make an argument for a scientific principle by saying, basically, "well, it makes sense to me" or "that's what this other guy I know thinks," yet this is in essence what Collins does throughout.
Also, as other reviewers have mentioned, his knowledge of scripture, theology, cosmology, psychology, and psychiatry is clearly wanting and his dismissal of any relevant issues in these realms is arrogant and without substantiation.
I had high hopes for this book -- I am always interested in how those with deep scientific backgrounds reconcile religious faith and/or belief in a creator with their scientific knowledge and process...I have yet to find one that has the courage to seriously apply the scientific method to this most intriguing of questions. I'm still waiting.
If you are a believer with only a passing interest in hard science, this book will probably please you as it is at least an earnest attempt to reconcile science and faith through anecdotal musings on the two, but for those who both believe and want to really find a meaty scientific basis to underpin your faith, you too will have to keep looking.
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