keskiviikko 1. lokakuuta 2014

Francis Collins haastattelussa

Francis Collins (Kuva Wikimedia)
Francis S. Collins (s. 14. huhtikuuta 1950) on yhdysvaltalainen lääkäri ja geneetikko. Hän johti NHGRI:tä (National Human Genome Research Institute) vuoteen 2008 ja toimi myös  Human Genome Projectin johdossa. Hänen tutkimustyönsä avulla on löydetty erilaisia  sairauksia aiheuttavia geenejä, joiden joukossa on Huntingtonin tautia aiheuttava geeni. Collins on Yhdysvaltain kansallisen tiedeakatemian jäsen ja Presidential Medal of Freedomin saaja. Collins piti itseään aiemmin ateistina, mutta on nyt vakau­muk­sel­linen kristitty. Hän on teistinen evolutionisti eli uskoo evoluution olevan Jumalan ohjaamaa. Hän on puolustanut 'BioLogos' (='evolutionary creation') -termillä nimittämäänsä teististä evolutionismia menestysteoksessaan The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (2006). Heinäkuussa 2009 Barack Obama nimitti Collinsin National Institutes of Healthin johtoon. Collins johtaa perustamaansa  BioLogos Foundationia , joka pyrkii edistämään uskon ja tieteen välistä harmoniaa. (Wikipedia)

Molekyylibiologi Denis Alexander, itsekin kristitty, haastatteli Francis Collinsia  maaliskuussa 2008. Lainaan paria kohtaa.

Have you found any particular models of the relationship between science and religion to be especially helpful?
Obviously an area that many people see as a battleground between science and faith is the whole question of how it is that this model of diversity of living things on the planet came to be. The scientific evidence for evolution is now overwhelming – from the study of DNA in particular, where we have a record of what has been happening down through hundreds of millions of years. One can look at that evidence and come away with no other conclusion than that we are descended from a common ancestor.

So, I arrived, early on after becoming a believer, at a perspective that is called by many ‘theistic evolution’ – the notion that God, in God’s awesome intention to create a universe that would support life, and most especially life in God’s image that would seek out fellowship with God, used the process of evolution to achieve those goals. An amazing process, an elegant process, a process that to our minds may seem slow and even random, but for God could have been achieved essentially in the blink of an eye and in a way that wasn’t random at all.

When you’ve put that all together, you’ve achieved what I had hoped to find somewhere: a harmony between science and faith that is completely satisfying. I cannot see any major objections to that synthesis – which is, after all, the one that most biologists who are believers have arrived at, many of them without realising that others have travelled that same path.
Evolution requires a vast amount of both suffering and wastage. Ninety-nine per cent of all the species that have ever lived have died out. How do you reconcile that with the idea of a God of love?
I don’t know that there’s an easy answer to that. Certainly it’s difficult to deny that death is part of the evolutionary process – if it was not, an ever-increasing number of creatures would enter and remain in the world, resulting in an unsustainable model of life. The ugliness of death, you could say, is in a way part of the freedom that God granted to nature. [John] Polkinghorne has argued quite compellingly, I think, that the evolutionary universe is a creation allowed to make itself, and the consequence of that is a creation that contains both beautiful and wonderful things and some things that we are troubled by. 

I think we have to keep in mind the notion that moral consciousness, which we so value in humans as a critical part of who we are, does not necessarily apply – in fact, I don’t think it does apply – in other parts of the plant and animal kingdom, and (although this may sound harsh and unfeeling) that may mean that some of the acts that we perceive as being morally unacceptable when applied to humans may be not so in other parts of the natural world.
The Intelligent Design movement, especially in the United States, has focused on parts of nature that seem to be especially complex and used them to argue that there must be a Designer. What is your take on that?
I think it was an interesting development. Unfortunately, I think it’s turning out not to be a positive one. It’s important to note that the movement did not arise out of the scientific community: it really came from a small group of believers who were troubled that the increasing dominance of evolution in scientific discourse was spilling over into worldviews and threatening the idea that God is the Author of all. There are some interesting ideas there that should cause anybody who figures that evolution has already solved all its problems to step back and scratch their head a bit; but ultimately their arguments have shown increasingly severe cracks. The idea that, for example, nano-machines like the bacterial flagellum (which is the poster child of Intelligent Design) could not have come about by gradual small changes supported by natural selection is not really defensible. And therefore ID falls into this unfortunate category of ‘God of the gaps’ – and now knowledge is advancing very rapidly and ID is in deep trouble scientifically. It’s also, I think, fair to criticise ID for having no real scientific agenda of how to test its theory. It doesn’t seem to get you anywhere – it’s a scientific dead-end...
Koko haastattelu löytyy The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion -sivuilta.

Laitan tähän loppuun vielä muutaman pointin BioLogos Foundation:in omasta määrittelystä 'What we believe'
8) We believe that God created the universe, the earth, and all life over billions of years. God continues to sustain the existence and functioning of the natural world, and the cosmos continues to declare the glory of God. Therefore, we reject ideologies such as Deism that claim the universe is self-sustaining, that God is no longer active in the natural world, or that God is not active in human history.
9) We believe that the diversity and interrelation of all life on earth are best explained by the God-ordained process of evolution with common descent. Thus, evolution is not in opposition to God, but a means by which God providentially achieves his purposes. Therefore, we reject ideologies that claim that evolution is a purposeless process or that evolution replaces God.
10) We believe that God created humans in biological continuity with all life on earth, but also as spiritual beings. God established a unique relationship with humanity by endowing us with his image and calling us to an elevated position within the created order.

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