Dr. Francis Collins (born April 14, 1950), a former atheist who converted to Christianity, is the current director of the National Institutes of Health. He was appointed by President Barack Hussein Obama in 2009. Pope Benedict XVI has also appointed him to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Formerly, Collins was the head of the Human Genome Project at the National Human Genome Research Institute.
He is the author of "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief" and is a speaker for the Veritas Forum at college campuses. He cites C.S. Lewis's writings on Christianity in turning him away from atheism, which he now renounces as the least rational worldview.
Collins promotes theistic evolution, which he calls BioLogos. He believes a non-literal interpretation of creation as it appears in Genesis. However, he believes the fine-tuning of the physical constants and the existence of a Moral Law prove the existence of a loving God.
Creation Ministries International declared concerning Collins theistic evolutionary views:
|“||All Christians, creationists included, can find much to like in The Language of God. Collins’ personal story is fascinating. His intention in writing the book is excellent: to spread the word that faith is reasonable. Like Collins, we want to see an end to the widespread false impression that faith and science are incompatible. However, we must sadly conclude that most of Collins’ arguments—his means to the laudable ends that we all want to further—are going down the wrong path. Instead of creating a harmony between faith and science, theistic evolution subsumes the authority of Scripture to the authority of the latest scientific paper, leaving philosophical confusion in its wake.||”|
BeliefNet wrote concerning Collins' views on abortion:
|“||In a 1998 book he co-authored, Principles of Medical Genetics, he considers a bioethical situation where a genetic counselor is discussing with a (married) mother, 8 weeks pregnant, whether to abort her child because there’s a 7 to 8 percent chance the child will have a mild learning disability. Should the mother indicate an interest in aborting, Collins and his two co-authors commend to the counselor a stance of “respect for [patient] autonomy” and “nondirective counseling.” In other words, the medical professional in this context should be morally neutral.||”|
Collins is also an advocate for therapeutic cloning without the use of embryonic stem cells. In 2020, he was awarded the Templeton Prize.
- The Language of God, 2006