Kathleen Parker on Francis Collins' Biologos
Yesterday I focused on the need for "cross-talk" on matters of science policy, highlighting for example the importance of a middle ground perspective on science and religion. It had escaped my eye, but at the Washington Post on Sunday, columnist Kathleen Parker apparently is thinking along similar lines, spotlighting a recent "Candle in the Dark" initiative from Francis Collins.
I don't normally agree with Parker, yet I continue to read her and respectively assess her ideas. For example, I think in the past she hasn't given the Obama administration enough credit for incorporating a range of ethical perspectives into its decision on stem cell policy.
On the other hand, in this recent column, I agree with her when she applauds Collins' recent launch of Biologos, a Web site and foundation aimed at sponsoring dialogue about science and religion. In her column, Parker reports that a key audience for the foundation's work are home-schoolers and other Christian educators. Collins specifically hopes to develop curriculum and outreach that will enable this growing movement to accurately and constructively instruct students on evolution and the relationship between science and religion.
From Parker's column:
Collins, an evangelical Christian who was home-schooled until sixth grade, wants to raise the level of discourse about science and faith, and to help fundamentalists -- both in science and religion -- see that the two can coexist. To that end, he created the BioLogos Foundation and last month launched a Web site -- BioLogos.org -- to advance an alternative to the extreme views that tend to dominate the debate.
Yes, he asserted to a room full of journalists gathered here, one can believe in both God and science. In fact, says Collins, the latter does more to prove the existence of a creator than not.
This doesn't mean that Collins falls in line with those promoting creation science or, more recently, intelligent design. He merely insists that belief in God doesn't preclude acceptance of evolution....
....Collins says that many creationist-trained young people suffer an intense identity crisis when they leave home for college, only to discover that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old. Talk about messing with your mind.
Collins says he hears from dozens of young people so afflicted. Most susceptible to crisis are children who have been home-schooled or who have attended Christian schools. Of all religious groups and denominations, evangelical Protestants are the most reluctant to embrace evolution. Their objections haven't changed much since Billy Sunday first articulated them almost 100 years ago and revolve around the fear that acceptance of evolution negates God.
To Collins, Darwin is a threat only if one thinks that God is an underachiever. Collins doesn't happen to believe that. His study of genes has led him to conclude that God is both outside of nature and outside of time. He's big, in other words. The idea that God would create the mechanism of evolution makes sense.
Now, if only he can convince his fellow Christians.
Through the foundation and Web site, Collins is hoping to help home-schoolers and other Christian educators come to grips with their scientific doubts. Among other projects, he intends to develop curricula that combine faith and science. He also hopes to help fundamentalist scientists see the error of their ways.
Understanding thinking talents in yourself and others can build strong teams and help avoid burnout.
- Learn to collaborate within a team and identify "thinking talent" surpluses – and shortages.
- Angie McArthur teaches intelligent collaboration for Big Think Edge.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Rediscovering the principles of self-actualisation might be just the tonic that the modern world is crying out for.
Abraham Maslow was the 20th-century American psychologist best-known for explaining motivation through his hierarchy of needs, which he represented in a pyramid. At the base, our physiological needs include food, water, warmth and rest.
"I was so moved when I saw the cells stir," said 90-year-old study co-author Akira Iritani. "I'd been hoping for this for 20 years."
- The team managed to stimulate nucleus-like structures to perform some biological processes, but not cell division.
- Unless better technology and DNA samples emerge in the future, it's unlikely that scientists will be able to clone a woolly mammoth.
- Still, studying the DNA of woolly mammoths provides valuable insights into the genetic adaptations that allowed them to survive in unique environments.
Does believing in true love make people act like jerks?
- Ghosting, or cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is not nice.
- Growth-oriented people (who think relationships are made, not born) do not appreciate it.
- Destiny-oriented people (who believe in soulmates) are more likely to be okay with ghosting.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.