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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 September 26, 2006

    Finally! What a wonderful book!

    I thouroughly enjoyed this book. Dr. Collins presented both a thorough investigation and thought-provoking description that kept me completely enthralled in the implications of his message. Being a Christian who is inclined in the natural sciences, I have always wanted to find the missing pieces to create a marriage between science and faith. Dr. Collins did so beautifully... very inspirational:)

    1 out of 2 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    This book shows -with an easy to understand language- how ration

    This book shows -with an easy to understand language- how rational the belief in God can be.
    Francis Collins is one of the greatest modern scientists in the world, and a Christian. So no surprise if he is absolutely convinced about theistic evolution.
    As a scientist, I was so happy to read about a faith so similar to mine.
    Corrado Ghinamo
    (author of "The Beautiful Scientist")

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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 July 3, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Simply an exceptional book.

    Simply an exceptional book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    If you have ever struggled reconciling your Christian Faith with

    If you have ever struggled reconciling your Christian Faith with Evolution Science then this is the book for you. 

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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 April 15, 2012

    Worth you time.

    Dr. Collins lays out in layman's terms the culmination of years of research by thousands of people in the arena of the human genome. Awe-inspiring.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    Huum

    I didnt read it yet, but it was recommended to me by my Youth Director because i asked him how do you argue with an ignostic person?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Okay, but just focuses on mainly Christianity and negates negatives of world religions. Reads contrived, but is interesting in some areas.

    "The Language of God" relates to a lot of current and past scientific data, but does not present data for evidence of God's existence. It also negates the negatives of world religions--the wars, the environmental pollution, the lack of moral character. I believe in God because of the existence of seahorses and an unpolluted environment is important for that and similar. To me the Judeo-Christian-Moslem religion may have some validity, yet those religions are like some ancient Egyptian tomb heiroglyphs where you see the curses also. Anyway, there are plenty of nice things about the Judeo-Christian-Moslem religions, but the opposite is true also, and the author just mentions mainly Christianity and negates negative aspects of it. So, the book so far sounds very contrived, but it is an interesting read. I would have liked to see more Asian philosophy mentioned.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2006

    Best effort yet on compatibility of science and religion.

    My greatest fear about this book is that it might not be widely read. And it should be. Collins spares us the struggle with the detailed science and mathematics that could have been a big part of the first 50 or 60% of the book. But you still have to understand the ideas, which are not easy. However, I ended up with the feeling, after finishing the book, that anyone who feels science or math challenged can probably 'get the message' by reading only the last three chapters or so. Collins is not only multitalented and brilliant - he is also very caring and sincere. For example, he expresses towards the end of the book his personal preference for Christianity over other religions on the basis of what he considers to be the statistical significance of the eyewitness accounts contained in the early gospels - but not until after the following caveat: '...I offer this with some trepidation, since strong passions tend to be incited as soon as one begins to differentiate from a general sense of God's existence to a specific set of beliefs.' To sum up, I do not think that one will get a more profound, caring, and up-to-date view of the relationship between creation and the religions we have attached to it than the one contained in this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 27, 2010

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    Posted April 30, 2011

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    Posted January 14, 2009

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