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The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Pure Harmony

Over the last hundred years a battle between Christian fundamentalists and evolutionists has been greatly intensified. As more and more scientific evidence for evolution has been revealed, many Christians (including myself) started to feel that science was attacking the...
Over the last hundred years a battle between Christian fundamentalists and evolutionists has been greatly intensified. As more and more scientific evidence for evolution has been revealed, many Christians (including myself) started to feel that science was attacking their beliefs. In response to this attack, they have closed their eyes, ears, and minds to the overwhelming facts that point to evolution as the process that created mankind. In his book The Language of God Francis S. Collins, who directed the Human Genome Project, writes to both sides of the argument arguing that Christianity can, and does, work in perfect harmony with evolution. For most of my life I have included myself as a follower of young earth creationism, a group of people Collins calls a ┬┐well-meaning, God-fearing people, driven by deep concerns that naturalism is threatening to drive God out of human experience.. I, along with the rest of this group, often fill gaps in our knowledge of the formation of the world with God. When science then fills those gaps, the foundation that we have set our beliefs on crumbles, and often our faith crumbles with it. Collins urges Christians to change their foundation to science, whose rules were made by God, and will only support the argument for his presence and his creation of the earth. In a time where science seems to be attacking religion from all angles, the brilliant Collins raises a clear, intelligent voice that speaks up for believers of both religion and science. For Christians and seekers alike, The Language of God can give harmony within by showing the harmony that exists between science and God.

posted by Anonymous on June 24, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

Somehow, I missed the 'evidence'

This book is well written and does have value but its argument for belief is extremely weak. Dr. Collins' conversion from atheism to belief is clearly based on C.S. Lewis' argument that morality is proof of God. This Moral Law argument is based on very simple analogie...
This book is well written and does have value but its argument for belief is extremely weak. Dr. Collins' conversion from atheism to belief is clearly based on C.S. Lewis' argument that morality is proof of God. This Moral Law argument is based on very simple analogies, the assumption that all humans have the same moral values, and seriously flawed logic. In my eyes, Dr. Collins loses credibility by embracing the Moral Law with such enthusiasm and his failure to critically analyze C.S. Lewis' argument. The book does pose a serious threat to those that believe in Intelligent Design. Dr. Collins' comparison of the DNA of humans and animals clearly supports Darwinian evolution. He argues that the second human chromosome is a fusion of the second and third chromosome in primates, convincing him that humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor - not exactly the kind of information that will be embraced by the literal readers of the Bible. This observation is clearly not the 'evidence' promised in the subtitle as it does more to advance the cause of atheists and agnostics. Dr. Collins ultimately settles on a belief system that he calls BioLogos, a renaming of Theistic Evolution. This is nothing more than Deism with more scientific understanding. It promotes the view that God 'who is outside of space and time' got the universe started, jump-started life and then evolution took over. This view has no need for theology, the Bible, a belief in Jesus, or any of the dogma of the world's religion. It is a view that has so little claims that there is no need for proof or no logic to analyze. It is, in my opinion, a very lazy approach to religion with no room for critical analysis. In summary, Dr. Collins gives much 'evidence' of evolution but does not offer any for God - nor does his belief system require any. His aim does not seem to be to prove that God exists but to say that science and faith can exist together in harmony. I agree that science has not proved that God does not exist but Dr. Collins does not give any 'evidence' that He does either. Because of this, I find the subtitle misleading. Dr. Collins may have 'belief' but what that belief relates to is not necessary the God believe in by the Abrahamic religions. For those interested in evolution, I strongly recommend Part Two. Part One and Three, however, hold little value to the believer or the skeptic.

posted by Anonymous on January 15, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2009

    Still wondering where the evidence is

    When I picked up this book I was really excited- a book by such an eminent scientist proclaiming evidence for God's existence. Unfortunately all I got was the regular rehashing of moral code, complexity...- basically quotations by CS Lewis... I mean if I wanted to read CS Lewis I"d read CS Lewis! There wasn't even a fresh perspective. For someone whose such an esteemed scientist I was shocked at such a loose definition of 'evidence'. Besides the parts straight out of CS Lewis it read like a high school introduction to biology and genomics. I was extremely disappointed with the lack of clarity and direction and it really made me rethink my opinion of a scientist who up until now was one of my heros

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2006

    A physician should not make these mistakes

    This is another of the growing list of Intelligent Design (ID)books. Collins believes that ID can be detected in the cosmological world but, ironically, not the biological world. I agreed with much written in The Language of God except for the Intelligent Design in biology chapter. Much more evidence exists for design in nature in the biological world than the cosmological world. This irresponsible chapter would not be expected because the author is a medical doctor. Of the many examples I could cite, I will discuss only four. The first is the claim that the eye is poorly designed because the rods and cones face away from the light, a design called inverted. Over a dozen excellent reasons exist for the inverted eye design. One major one is because this design allows both the rods and cones to closely associate with retinal pigment epithelial cells, (RPE) a structure that provides the retina with its nutrients, its blood supply, and recycles photopigments. This design is superior to other designs because it allows intimate association between the rods and cones with the pigmented epithelium that is required in order to maintain the photoreceptors. Rods and cones require an enormous amount of energy and nutrients to maintain their very high metabolic rate necessary for them to function, and for maintenance and repair. The RPE also forms an opaque layer to absorb excess light. In addition, due to phototoxicity damage, the rods and cones must be completely replaced approximately every seven days. Although this design forces photons to travel through the cornea, lens, aqueous fluid, blood vessels, ganglion cells, amacrine cells, horizontal cells, and bipolar cells, before reaching the light-sensitive rods and cones that transduce light signals into neural impulses, most all of these structures are highly transparent. This is shown by the fact that the sensitivity of the existing human inverted design is so great that only a single photon has been shown able to elicit an electrical response. The second claim of Collins, that back problems in humans occur because our back is poorly designed for the reason that we evolved from animals that walk on all fours is also erroneous. I know from my own personnel experience that this once common belief has caused much unnecessary suffering in back pain patients. This belief was behind the once common treatment of most common back problems with strong pain medicine, bed rest, or even surgery. The common solution now is to realize that the back is designed properly, and for this reason must be used properly to avoid problems. The problem is not that we evolved from some primate ancestor that walked on all fours, but because the back was not designed for modern sedentary eight or more hours of sitting life. The common solution is to use the back accordingly to what it was designed for, namely walking, exercise, and physical activity and avoid sitting with poor posture for hours at a time as is common in the West. As they say, use it or lose it. The fact that some animals that walk on all fours, as some dogs, also often have back problems (common examples are dachshunds and German Shepards) further underscores this point. The third claim, that the appendix is useless, is also irresponsible. For my work I reviewed two dozen anatomy books and not one single text that I consulted claimed this. Every text correctly noted the appendix's important immunological and other functions. The last example is the wisdom teeth. Studies of other cultures have found that diet is critical to cause proper jaw development. The Western soft diet does not encourage jaw development, and, as a result, we often have problems with wisdom teeth. In societies with a less refined diet problems with wisdom teeth are rare. If we abuse our body, what can we expect? We must use it according to how it was designed. If Dr Collins was a practicing physician I would report him to the medical licensing board for these appa

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2007

    Scientific discipline lost

    I greatly enjoyed the authors description and comparison regarding Darwin's comments on evolution, atheism/agnosticism, creationism, intelligent design, and his thoughts regarding science and faith in harmony. However, it appears that Dr. Collins failed his scientific disciplinary abilities with his acceptance of the Jesus story. Perhaps a serious study of comparative religion would assist his understanding of organised religion. I suspect Dr. Collins added his conversion story to enhance this books marketing potential.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This guy sure likes to wear his rdeligion on his sleeve. I don't

    This guy sure likes to wear his rdeligion on his sleeve. I don't care what he believes. A dr. knows no more about God than a starfish. As for "Faith", it's anhj emotion, not a mkaterial thing. I wish everyoneb would getn that through their heads. Faith means nothing more than hope. It's not a real measurable thing. Should not be used in language like it's some kind of gem or something. Religionists have been getting away using that word like it's gold forever. It should stop. Faith doesn't warrant "respect". No more than a comfortable chair. It's just a good feeling. No5thing more. Like this: "I believe it because I have "faith". See? Itn means hope. Nothing more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Complete rot

    This book is pathetic. There is absolutely no science in it and the title is completely misleading. A "feeling" is not evidence. The existence of morality is clearly proven as a benefit of evolution. It is absolutely not proof of god. Anyone who thinks this trash is proof of anything has obviously never had ant training in science.

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    Posted September 6, 2011

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    Posted April 23, 2010

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    Posted September 19, 2009

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    Posted June 25, 2011

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    Posted November 9, 2009

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