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The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 17 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 20 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 December 7, 2008

    A powerful novel that will remain throughout the ages.

    This book is a very powerful novel written discussing the relationship of science and religion with reason. Collins is finally the voice of reason we have long awaited. Collins discusses how evolution and faith are compatible. Collins a former atheist, discovers god and sees his faith in a new light. He discusses the bond between science and faith. As well as the great questions of Human existence, and the origins of the universe, and our existence on Earth, and in the end lessons of the Human Genome. In the end Collins leaves you with the discussion of Faith in Science and Faith in God. A book that is a must read for anyone wishing to look deeper into their faith and believe in a new repect.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Recommended

    I really enjoyed this book. Of course it matched up pretty well with my own ideas about how religion and science co-exist. If you didn't enjoy Biology class this book might be a bit heavy.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    A great book for someone trying to relate to both scientific advances and religion

    I first saw Dr. Collins at a scientific lecture, at which time he mentioned that later that evening he would be presenting a lecture on Science and Religion. I found him a dynamic speaker and decided to buy the book. This book presents insightful and thought provoking arguments for why Science and Religion are not truly at odds with themselves as many would like you to believe. A portion of it was his journey from atheism to faith as well as the experiences of several other believing scientists, which lightens the reading to keep it from being to much like a textbook. The rest of it analyzes how the big bang theory, evolution and other hot-button topics in relation to religion. It is written so that someone without a strong scientific background can understand both the theory and the reason that the theory is not incompatible with faith. One of my favorite quotes from the book is a quote from Galileo, "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2007

    1st Rate Book from a First Rate Mind

    very good investment of your time and money. One of the best things I've ready in a long while - If you liked Blink or Tipping Point by Gladwell - you'll like this even more.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2006

    A Good Read

    An excelent book, and a great thought provoker. The only real problem is that the first bit is a tad dull, and i wished he had gone more into the aspects of Theistic Evolution, however the book is very interesting, very informative, and a real page turner. Just get the book, you won't be disappointed

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2014

    All books that seek to reason a way to belief in God (or a god)

    All books that seek to reason a way to belief in God (or a god) suffer from the same problem, which is that ultimately you can't prove what must be a faith-based decision. However, Collins does a good job of looking at the juxtaposition of faith and science, and how each seeks to address the greater questions of life. He then looks at four different world-view options, and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each. The strength of this book is actually in his explanation of the scientific perspective, but as a believer he represents that position well, and one can learn a great deal about both science and religion without feeling either side is overrepresented.

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  • Posted December 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    "The Language of God" has philosophical issues

    On the whole many good things can be said about Francis Collins' "The Language of God". The autobiographical and medical sections are A-1 wonderful pieces of writing and the chapter on the fifteen exquisely fine-tuned paramaters of the Big Bang is an awesome account of our improbable universe which provides all the tools and conditions for Evolution.

    However the discussion of the rationale of faith as found in C. S. Lewis is weak because Collins leaves out Lewis' principle argument for the existence for God which in the moment of Insight which all of us have when we suddenly realize something or solve a convolated problem. If Dr Collins wants to talk about C. S. Lewis he should at least first read him carefully.

    Secondly (and more seriously) the argument that Intelligent Design fails to account for the flaws in the human body (spine, retina, gene misspellings, etc) is truly an idiotic argument. Collins, in rejecting ID, is merely pushing back God's design to an earlier phase and if the human body is flawed, it is still flawed because of bad Design on the part of the Designer. If God does not interfere in the process of Evolution it is because he did all His interfering up front.

    The ontological and ethical consequences of "flawed design" are immense and can lead to a form of Gnosticism which postulates an Alien God who is not the True God of Christianity. Dr Collins has not a clue to these isssues. He is too superficial for my taste.

    Dr Collins is a poor philospher and is truly ignorant of theology and comparative religion. He admits that the primary texts or scriptures of some major world religions are too hard for him.

    He is, however, an excellent politician and he probably will run for the Senate or for Governor now that he is NIH director for Obama.

    **** Stephen_Zaddikmann

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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