The origins of morality

by Greg Mayer One of the curious things in Francis Collins’ The Language of God is his claim that there are no, or scarcely any, antecedents of moral behavior in animals.  He writes (p. 23): As best I can tell, this law [the “Moral Law” or “‘the law of right behavior’”] appears to apply peculiarly […]

Sam Harris: the strange case of Francis Collins

Over at The Reason Project, Sam Harris has continued his engagement with the Francis Collins NIH appointment by producing a sizeable critique of Collins’s views and an explanation of why some of us are worried about them. NOTE:  There was some problem with the article’s website, but it appears to be fixed.

Steven Pinker on Francis Collins

Some newspapers and science journals have called atheist-scientists this week, asking for opinions on Francis Collins’s appointment as head of the National Institutes of Health.  In lieu of a phone interview,  Steve Pinker wrote the following to a reporter from one such journal  (copy slightly edited for web publication).  Thanks to Steve for permission to […]

Francis Collins as NIH director

I’ve been chewing over what I think of Obama’s picking Francis Collins as head of the National Institutes of Health. (See the New York Times piece here, which includes some reactions by other scientists.)  I guess my first reaction would be to give the guy a break, and take a wait-and-see attitude towards his stewardship […]

The Hall of Shame: God, evolution, and quantum mechanics

For those who claim that no religious scientists allow their scientific statements and beliefs to be infected with religion, here’s a counterexample.  It’s from Francis Collins’s BioLogos website (funded by our friends at The John Templeton Foundation) and is a statement about how God may influence the world through quantum mechanics: The mechanical worldview of […]

Sean Carroll on the compatibility of faith and science

Over at his website, Cosmic Variance, physicist Sean Carroll weighs in on the faith/science debates.  Carroll has always been a vociferous (note: that doesn’t mean “strident” or “militant”) atheist, and so we shouldn’t be surprised that he finds faith and science incompatible.  However, he does so not for philosophical reasons, but simply from seeing the […]

Did Chris Mooney tell me to shut up?

Well, Chris Mooney has decided to continue the discussion about the compatibility of science and faith that he and Barbara Forrest began on his Discover blog.  If you’ve followed all this, they criticized me for my “divisiveness” in going after the idea that science and faith are compatible.  I responded to this, saying that since […]

Collins may be NIH director

Well, we thought we’d seen the last of the theocracy of George W. Bush, but it apparently ain’t so.  The Scientist reports (and this has been the buzz for weeks), that born-again Christian and BioLogos Foundation director Francis Collins is likely to be named as head of the National Institutes of Health: Francis Collins, the […]

Why the evolution of humans was NOT inevitable; BioLogos peddles more dubious science

Over at that hilarious goldmine of accommodationism, Francis Collins’s BioLogos website (generously supported by The Templeton Foundation, they have posted an answer to the question, “Did evolution have to result in human beings?” Now if you know anything about this history of faith/science accommodationism, you know that the answer has to be “yes”, at least […]

BioLogos Foundation’s “suggested reading”

Francis Collins’s accommodationist website BioLogos, funded by our friends at The Templeton Foundation, features this book prominently on their website: All well and good, until you get to the publisher’s description: “In this thought-provoking book, born-again Christian Denis O. Lamoureux argues that the God of the Bible created the universe and life through evolution—an ordained, […]