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The Language of God


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About the Author

Francis S. Collins is one of the country's leading geneticists and the longtime head of the Human Genome Project. Prior to coming to Washington, he helped to discover the genetic misspellings that cause cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, and Huntington's disease. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, and in his spare time he enjoys riding a motorcycle and playing guitar.


When the head of the Human Genome Project calls the genetic code "the language of God," he deserves to be taken very seriously. In a discussion that is both broadly ecumenical and scientifically incontrovertible, Collins entertains propositions both for and against the existence of God and biblical authority, as well as the moral implications of bioethics. He personalizes the narrative by recounting his own journey from atheism to faith, portraying it as much an intellectual quest as a spiritual one. His excellent discussion of intelligent design seeks not to debunk the theory, but rather to cite its limitations and to show how a scientific worldview transcends them without, in his opinion, conflicting with faith. Finally, he talks about his vision of "BioLogos," or science and religion in harmony. An essential read, equally for readers of religious or secular persuasions. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

The Language of God is a powerful confession of belief from one of the world's leading scientists. Refuting the tired stereotypes of hostility between science and religion, Francis Collins challenges his readers to find a unity of knowledge that encompasses both faith and reason.

-- Kenneth Miller, Brown University, author of Finding Darwin's God
Collins's argument that science and faith are compatible deserves a wide hearing. It lets non-churchgoers consider spiritual questions without feeling awkward.

-- The New York Times Book Review
What an elegantly written book. In it Francis Collins, the eminent scientist, tells why he is also a devout believer....A real godsend for those with questioning minds but who are also attracted to things spiritual.

-- Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Collins, a pioneering medical geneticist who once headed the Human Genome Project, adapts his title from President Clinton's remarks announcing completion of the first phase of the project in 2000: "Today we are learning the language in which God created life." Collins explains that as a Christian believer, "the experience of sequencing the human genome, and uncovering this most remarkable of all texts, was both a stunning scientific achievement and an occasion of worship." This marvelous book combines a personal account of Collins's faith and experiences as a genetics researcher with discussions of more general topics of science and spirituality, especially centering around evolution. Following the lead of C.S. Lewis, whose Mere Christianity was influential in Collins's conversion from atheism, the book argues that belief in a transcendent, personal God-and even the possibility of an occasional miracle-can and should coexist with a scientific picture of the world that includes evolution. Addressing in turn fellow scientists and fellow believers, Collins insists that "science is not threatened by God; it is enhanced" and "God is most certainly not threatened by science; He made it all possible." Collins's 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. (July 17) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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