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July 8, 2009

Obama names Francis Collins Head of NIH

President Barack Obama chose Dr. Francis Collins - who led a team to map and sequence human DNA and determined its functions - to lead the National Institutes of Health, according to the AP.

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Obama called Collins "one of the top scientists in the world." Obama said, "His groundbreaking work has changed the very ways we consider our health and examine disease."

He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award. But he may be more widely known for his 2007 best-selling book, "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief." Collins also received a
Christianity Today's Book Award in 2007 for his book The Language of God: 'A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.

Collins converted to Christianity after reading C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. He recently helped found the BioLogos Foundation, a website that attempts to bridge gaps between science and religion.

Christianity Today has interviewed Collins twice: "The Genome Doctor" and "Creation or Evolution? Yes!"

Comments

Now this is whole Christians should be getting behind in politics. This is a person who has truly worked hard and honestly to earn respect as a leader. I'm tired of Christians getting behind people like Ensign, Sanford and Palin. These people talk but they are not even trying to walk the walk. Why do Christians have such a lack of public respect and support for the nerds when all the popular people keep letting them down? People laugh at Palin talking about a dept of law in the white house in the same breath that she is critical of the President's job performance. That's just inexcusable. Christians need to stop respecting tough talkers and start listening and supporting the thinkers. God created the universe. He is infinitely intelligent. He did not create humans in his image for them to take pride in being uneducated. God made only humanity with the intelligence for creation. There is absolutely no good reason for us to live like we are the rest of creation that exists only to live, mate and die. We are more than that and we should embrace it instead of scorning it the way we do.

Say what?!!!

Right on, Nance!

Collins is brilliant and, I think, a sincere believer. I've read his book (Language of God) and found it to be challenging and informative. It does question some traditional Christian notions of Creationism, but that's OK. Even St. Augustine did that.

Whether or not Obama truly believes in Collins is purely secondary to his political motives in placating another constituency (the scientific Christian community). Nevertheless, I applaud his action. Collins can only be an asset.

Francis Collins book "The Language of God" was a great read, but was no more than a primer for theistic evolution. Collins is a great choice for heading the National Institute of Health, but not a person to look to for spiritual direction. I learned a lot from his book, but still reject his premise of Theistic Evolution. However, when witnessing to atheists I do use points from his book.