With unanimous support from the U.S. Senate, Dr. Francis Collins has become the 16th director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH is the world’s largest biomedical organization, comprising 27 institutes and research centers that together employs about 18,000 individuals. Its research program has an annual budget of $29.5 billion (second only to the Department of Defense). [HT: The Christian Post, which has more info.]
Dr. Collins is highly regarded for his pioneering work in guiding the Human Genome Project to completion. He is also an outspoken born-again Christian (having been converted from atheism by the aid of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis). Collins is the author of The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief which spells out his thoughts on the origins of human life.
Some Christians, such as Justin D. Barnard, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Carl F.H. Henry Institute for Intellectual Discipleship at Union University, have raised concerns about Dr. Collins’ view on abortion. Others, such as Marvin Olasky of World magazine, while not questioning his faith, have taken issue with Collins’ view of Scripture. Olasky writes (in part):
Let’s be clear here: Collins is not an atheist like many Darwinians. He told the New Yorkers that “atheism is the least rational of all the choices.” He’s not a deist: He believes not only that God got the ball rolling, but that miracles can happen, although not very often. He believes in Christ’s resurrection. But he doesn’t seem to have a high view of Scripture, which is where we primarily learn about Christ’s resurrection.
Here’s just one example: Collins’s BioLogos website declares, “It seems likely that Adam and Eve were not individual historical characters, but represented a larger population of first humans who bore the image of God.” Many subsequent figures in the Bible, preeminently Jesus, referred to Adam as an individual: Were they deluded?