He was always very much their sort of guy; one wonders what took them so long:
“As a Christian for 43 years, I have found joyful harmony between the scientific and spiritual worldviews, and have never encountered an irreconcilable difference.”Media Release, “Francis Collins, Geneticist and Physician” at Templeton Prize (May 20, 2020)
That’s vintage Templeton. There was, of course, the affair of Collins and the premature infants:
Medical ethicists were appalled. “The word ‘unethical’ doesn’t even begin to describe the egregious and shocking deficiencies in the informed-consent process for this study,” said Michael Carome, MD, the director of the Health Research Group at the nonprofit (and politically liberal) group Public Citizen. “Parents of the infants who were enrolled in this study were misled about its purpose. … They were misled to believe everything being done was in the ‘standard of care’ and therefore posed no predictable risk to the babies.” Carome, who previously served in the Office for Human Research Protections in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, helped lead the effort to expose the misconduct of researchers and to ensure that the abuses did not recur…
Chief among the defenders of the premature-infant study was NIH head Francis Collins. One of Obama’s key science appointees, Collins was known for his work as head of the Human Genome Project as well as for being an outspoken evangelical Christian. Unlike most evangelicals, however, Collins had supported Obama for president in 2008, and many of his views were out of sync with those of other evangelicals. He was among the NIH officials permitted to review the OHRP’s second compliance letter, and according to Public Citizen, he led a public relations campaign to undermine the OHRP’s initial findings. Citing e-mail messages, Public Citizen accused Collins of seeking to have the second OHRP compliance letter issued the day before an article coauthored by Collins was to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine defending the premature-infant study. Public Citizen found it “disturbing” that Collins and his coauthors “essentially leaked” to journal editors “the fact that OHRP soon would be issuing a compliance oversight letter to UAB putting on hold all compliance actions related to the investigation.”John G. West, “From Science to Scientism in the Obama Era” at World
Story goes on; gets worse. But in the Age of Abortion, premature infants are only human on a technicality anyway, one that infant euthanasia will slowly remove. The matter may not have even come up when Collins was considered for the award.
Collins was a founder of BioLogos, a God-and-Darwin group that we used to hear much more about. Oddly, one of the more recent things we heard was that it was attempting to distance itself from the views of its founder. Maybe just a rumour; one wonders what they’re thinking now…
It seems as though Templeton is returning to an earlier approach here. Collins is definitely a God Squad type, having held the right positions. There was a middle period when some of their awards gave pause for thought; one thinks, for example, of astronomer Martin Rees (2011).
Now, Rees is a lot of fun (see, for example, “Astronomer Martin Rees Reacts To Suzan Mazur’s Darwin Overthrown”). We’re just a bit surprised to think of him as a Templeton type. All the odder in view of the unrelenting hostility to Templeton in some quarters: “Templeton’s Odd Position: Atheists Dump On Them For No Particular Reason.” Wonder what they’ll say now…
From the Templeton media release:
The Templeton Prize, valued at 1.1 million British pounds, is one of the world’s largest annual individual awards and honors individuals whose exemplary achievements advance Sir John Templeton’s philanthropic vision: harnessing the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it. Collins joins a list of 50 Prize recipients including Mother Teresa (the inaugural award in 1973), the Dalai Lama (2012), and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (2013). Last year’s Templeton Prize went to theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser for his writings that present science, philosophy, and spirituality as complementary expressions of humanity’s need to embrace mystery and the unknown. Other scientists who have won the Prize include Martin Rees (2011), John Barrow (2006), George Ellis (2004), the late Freeman Dyson (2000), and Paul Davies (1995).
2 Replies to “Francis Collins finally awarded the Templeton Prize”
As to this quote,
Shortly thereafter, we find out that,,,
As someone who was baptized as a Christian 49 years ago, might it be too obvious for me to point out that if you find “joyful harmony between the scientific and spiritual worldviews, and have never encountered an irreconcilable difference”, all the while promoting Darwinian evolution as unquestionably true, and as somehow being compatible with your Christianity, then your Christianity is of no real effect? As the scripture warns,
Personally, I also have found a “joyful harmony between the scientific and spiritual worldviews” and have never encountered any irreconcilable difference, but that “joyful harmony between the scientific and spiritual worldviews” has certainly not come at the cost of compromising my Christianity to the point that it is unrecognizable, but has come at the realization that the so called ‘scientific world’ is certainly not a materialistic and/or naturalistic worldview (i.e. methodological naturalism) to begin with,, but that the so called ‘scientific worldview’ was born out of, and is, in fact, a thoroughly Christian worldview, even a thoroughly ‘spiritual’ worldview.
As far as I know, Biologos toes the ‘methodological naturalism’ party line, which, as stated by Swamidass himself on Biologos, is basically,
As anyone can see, methodological naturalism basically assumes atheistic naturalism as being true before any scientific investigation has even begun, and regardless of any experimental outcome, tries to force a naturalistic conclusion onto the results whether the conclusion is warranted or not.
Yet modern science itself is certainly NOT based on the presumption of methodological naturalism. Modern science was born out of the presumptions of Christianity. Presumptions which entail a rational universe that was created by God and could dare be understood by humans who were created in His image. As Paul Davies explained,
Thus it is simply not true that scientists must assume methodological naturalism as being true before any scientific investigation has even begun. In fact, if the Christian founders of modern science had assumed ‘methodological naturalism’, (i.e. “our best explanation of the world without considering God’s action.”), as being true, then modern science would have never been born.
The fact of the matter is that, contrary to what many people have been falsely led to believe by Darwinists, (and/or Theistic Evolutionists), about Intelligent Design supposedly being a pseudo-science, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of intelligent design and is certainly not based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism.
From the essential Christian presuppositions that undergird the founding of modern science itself, (namely that the universe is rational and that the minds of men, being made in the ‘image of God’, can dare understand that rationality), to the intelligent design of the scientific instruments and experiments themselves, to the logical and mathematical analysis of experimental results themselves, from top to bottom, science itself is certainly not to be considered a ‘natural’ endeavor of man.
Not one scientific instrument would ever exist if men did not first intelligently design that scientific instrument. Not one test tube, microscope, telescope, spectroscope, or etc.. etc.., was ever found just laying around on a beach somewhere which was ‘naturally’ constructed by nature. Not one experimental result would ever be rationally analyzed since there would be no immaterial minds to rationally analyze the immaterial logic and immaterial mathematics that lay behind the intelligently designed experiments in the first place.
Again, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of intelligent design and is certainly not based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism.
In fact, assuming methodological naturalism leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science itself. Although the Darwinist firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science, (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that Darwinists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to:
Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist, (and/or Theistic Evolutionist), firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.
It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.
Moreover, when examining the scientific evidence itself, we find a very different conclusion than what ‘methodological naturalism’ itself presupposes we will find.
Specifically, when looking at the evidence from modern science, we find out many interesting things which scientists, who have been blinded by the philosophy of materialism, (i.e. methodological naturalism),, miss.
This is because the materialistic and Theistic philosophy make, and have made, several contradictory predictions about what type of science evidence we will find.
These contradictory predictions, and the evidence found by modern science, can be tested against one another to see if either materialism or Theism is true.
Here are a few comparisons between to two competing worldviews:
As you can see when we remove the artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy (methodological naturalism), from the scientific method, and look carefully at the predictions of both the materialistic philosophy and the Theistic philosophy, side by side, we find the scientific method is very good at pointing us in the direction of Theism as the true explanation. – In fact modern science is even very good at pointing us to Christianity as the solution to the much sought after ‘theory of everything’
Thus in conclusion, I, like the current Templeton prize winner Francis Collins, have found a “joyful harmony between the scientific and spiritual worldviews, and have never encountered an irreconcilable difference”, but that “joyful harmony” that I find between science and my spirituality has certainly not come at the cost of compromising my Christianity to the point that it is of no real effect in the world, but instead my “joyful harmony” has instead come from my realization that all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based upon, and indeed strongly supports, my Christian worldview through and through.
In fact, the only people who should NOT find any ‘joyful harmony’ with modern science whatsoever are Atheistic Naturalists and/or Theistic Evolutionists who prefer God to be either non-existent or to be of no discernible effect in the real world.
Of supplemental note:
Several of those prizewinners were already winning prizes from Soros and Nobel and Gates. Seems like Templeton should have been honoring the opposite, not the same.