Francis S. Collins

Francis S. Collins


Born
in The United States
April 14, 1950

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Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. is the former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). On August 17, 2009 he was sworn in as director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Dr. Collins received a B.S. from the University of Virginia, a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Yale University, and an M.D. from the University of North Carolina. Following a fellowship in Human Genetics at Yale, he joined the faculty at the University of Michigan, where he remained until moving to NIH in 1993. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.

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The Language of Life: DNA a...

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Belief: Readings on the Rea...

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Genomic Medicine: Articles ...

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The Language of Science and...

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Principles of Medical Genetics

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3.60 avg rating — 10 ratings — published 1996 — 3 editions
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“Will we turn our backs on science because it is perceived as a threat to God, abandoning all the promise of advancing our understanding of nature and applying that to the alleviation of suffering and the betterment of humankind? Alternatively, will we turn our backs on faith, concluding that science has rendered the spiritual life no longer necessary, and that traditional religious symbols can now be replaced by engravings of the double helix on our alters?

Both of these choices are profoundly dangerous. Both deny truth. Both will diminish the nobility of humankind. Both will be devastating to our future. And both are unnecessary. The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in the cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic, awesome, intricate and beautiful - and it cannot be at war with itself. Only we imperfect humans can start such battles. And only we can end them.”
Francis S. Collins, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief

“There were long stretches of DNA in between genes that didn't seem to be doing very much; some even referred to these as "junk DNA," though a certain amount of hubris was required for anyone to call any part of the genome "junk," given our level of ignorance.”
Francis S. Collins, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief

“At this point, godless materialists might be cheering. If humans evolved strictly by mutation and natural selection, who needs God to explain us? To this, I reply: I do. The comparison of chimp and human sequences, interesting as it is, does not tell us what it means to be human. In my views, DNA sequence alone, even if accompanied by a vast trove of data on biological function, will never explain certain special human attributes, such as the knowledge of the Moral Law and the universal search for God. Freeing God from the burden of special acts of creation does not remove Him as the source of the things that make humanity special, and of the universe itself. It merely shows us something of how He operates.”
Francis S. Collins, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief

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