Francis Collins, the author of this work, is the distinguished physician and geneticist who was the director of the Human Genome project. The Human Genome research was a ‘complex multidisciplinary scientific enterprise directed at mapping and sequencing all of the human DNA, and determining aspects of its function’.
Collins writes eloquently about the implications of the findings for the human race. The human genome ‘consists of all the DNA of our species, the hereditary code for life’ – 3 billion letters long and written in four letter code.
Collins boldly addresses the issue of conflict between scientific observations and religious claims. As a dedicated Christian, who faced his own personal challenges to his Christian faith with the rape of his own daughter, he emerges as a strong advocate for the creation of the universe by a personal God.
Colin echoes the common understanding that ‘the awareness of right and wrong, along with the development of language, awareness of self, and the ability to imagine the future’ makes the human race stand out as unique among all of God’s creation – created in His image.
Collins takes us through a quick review of the prevailing worldviews – Atheism, Agnosticism, Creationism, Intelligent design and the less well known Biologos.
In his view, Biologos is the most satisfactory explanation for human existence. This may not sit well with all Christians, and he leaves many questions unanswered.
Biologos, as defined by Collins, is science and faith working in harmony.
In summary, it posits that ‘God chose the elegant mechanism of evolution to create microbes, plants, and animals of all sorts. Most remarkably, God intentionally chose the same mechanism to give rise to special creatures who would have intelligence, a knowledge of right and wrong, free will, and a desire to seek fellowship with him’.
Biologos shares the same definition as theistic evolution and is simply a rebranding of it.
Theistic evolution is a view not embraced by all Christian apologists. Theistic evolution maintains that once evolution got going, no supernatural intervention was required for human kind to evolve. Yet it leaves the question of how life started in the first place unanswered. If God started life then why do we question direct creation of mankind in his image?
Even, if like me, you disagree with Collins conclusions, you cannot but marvel at the intricate nature of life and wonder why anyone could believe that we are all a result of some random accident.
This book is an excellent read but not for the faint hearted.