Christian Darwinism Darwinism Intelligent Design theistic evolution

Francis Collins finally awarded the Templeton Prize

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Francis Collins official photo.jpg

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

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    As to this quote,

    “As a Christian for 43 years, I have found joyful harmony between the scientific and spiritual worldviews, and have never encountered an irreconcilable difference.”
    – Francis Collins, Geneticist and Physician” at Templeton Prize (May 20, 2020)

    Shortly thereafter, we find out that,,,

    ,,, “Collins was a founder of BioLogos, a God-and-Darwin group,,,”

    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,

    2 Timothy 3:5
    having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

    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,

    “Today’s science is well described as “our best explanation of the world without considering God’s action.” The exclusion of God’s action is the rule of methodological naturalism (MN).”
    – Swamidass – Why Science Uses Methodological Naturalism

    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,

    “All the early scientists, like Newton, were religious in one way or another. They saw their science as a means of uncovering traces of God’s handiwork in the universe. What we now call the laws of physics they regarded as God’s abstract creation: thoughts, so to speak, in the mind of God. So in doing science, they supposed, one might be able to glimpse the mind of God – an exhilarating and audacious claim.”
    – Paul Davies

    Taking Science on Faith – By PAUL DAVIES – NOV. 24, 2007
    Excerpt: All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. You couldn’t be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed.
    ,,, the very notion of physical law is a theological one in the first place, a fact that makes many scientists squirm. Isaac Newton first got the idea of absolute, universal, perfect, immutable laws from the Christian doctrine that God created the world and ordered it in a rational way. Christians envisage God as upholding the natural order from beyond the universe, while physicists think of their laws as inhabiting an abstract transcendent realm of perfect mathematical relationships.

    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:

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must hold beauty itself to be illusory (Darwin).
    Bottom line, nothing is truly real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    Darwinian Materialism and/or Methodological Naturalism vs. Reality – video

    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.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    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:

    1. Naturalism/Materialism predicted space-time energy-matter always existed. Theism predicted space-time energy-matter were created. Big Bang cosmology now strongly indicates that time-space energy-matter had a sudden creation event approximately 14 billion years ago.

    2. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the universe is a self sustaining system that is not dependent on anything else for its continued existence. Theism predicted that God upholds this universe in its continued existence. Breakthroughs in quantum mechanics reveal that this universe is dependent on a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause for its continued existence.

    3. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that consciousness is an ‘emergent property’ of material reality and thus should have no particularly special position within material reality. Theism predicts consciousness precedes material reality and therefore, on that presupposition, consciousness should have a ‘special’ position within material reality. Quantum Mechanics reveals that consciousness has a special, even a central, position within material reality. –

    4. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the rate at which time passed was constant everywhere in the universe. Theism predicted God is eternal and is outside of time. – Special Relativity has shown that time, as we understand it, is relative and comes to a complete stop at the speed of light. (Psalm 90:4 – 2 Timothy 1:9) –

    5. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the universe did not have life in mind and that life was ultimately an accident of time and chance. Theism predicted this universe was purposely created by God with man in mind. Scientists find the universe is exquisitely fine-tuned for carbon-based life to exist in this universe. Moreover it is found, when scrutinizing the details of physics and chemistry, that not only is the universe fine-tuned for carbon based life, but is specifically fine-tuned for life like human life (R. Collins, M. Denton).-

    6. Naturalism/Materialism predicted complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Theism predicted the earth is extremely unique in this universe. Statistical analysis of the hundreds of required parameters which enable complex organic life to be possible on earth gives strong indication the earth is extremely unique in this universe (G. Gonzalez; Hugh Ross). –

    7. Naturalism/Materialism predicted it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11). Geochemical evidence from the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth indicates that complex photosynthetic life has existed on earth as long as water has been on the face of earth. –

    8. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the first life to be relatively simple. Theism predicted that God is the source for all life on earth. The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. (Michael Denton PhD) –

    9. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Theism predicted complex and diverse animal life to appear abruptly in the seas in God’s fifth day of creation. The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas. –

    10. Naturalism/Materialism predicted there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record, Theism predicted sudden appearance and rapid diversity within different kinds found in the fossil record. Fossils are consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within that group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. –

    11. Naturalism/Materialism predicted animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Theism predicted man was the last species created on earth – Man (our genus ‘modern homo’ as distinct from the highly controversial ‘early homo’) is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record. (Tattersall; Luskin)–

    12. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the separation of human intelligence from animal intelligence ‘is one of degree and not of kind’ (C. Darwin). Theism predicted that we are made in the ‘image of God’- Despite an ‘explosion of research’ in this area over the last four decades, human beings alone are found to ‘mentally dissect the world into a multitude of discrete symbols, and combine and recombine those symbols in their minds to produce hypotheses of alternative possibilities.’ (Tattersall; Schwartz). Moreover, both biological life and the universe itself are found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis.

    13. Naturalism/Materialism predicted much of the DNA code was junk. Theism predicted we are fearfully and wonderfully made – ENCODE research into the DNA has revealed a “biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.”. –

    14. Naturalism/Materialism predicted a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. Theism predicted only God created life on earth – The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever. (M. Behe; JC Sanford) –

    15. Naturalism/Materialism predicted morality is subjective and illusory. Theism predicted morality is objective and real. Morality is found to be deeply embedded in the genetic responses of humans. As well, morality is found to be deeply embedded in the structure of the universe. Embedded to the point of eliciting physiological responses in humans before humans become aware of the morally troubling situation and even prior to the event even happening.

    16. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that we are merely our material bodies with no transcendent component to our being, and that we die when our material bodies die. Theism predicted that we have minds/souls that are transcendent of our bodies that live past the death of our material bodies. Transcendent, and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created or destroyed), ‘non-local’, (beyond space-time matter-energy), quantum entanglement/information, which is not reducible to matter-energy space-time, is now found in our material bodies on a massive scale (in every DNA and protein molecule).

    Theism compared to (Atheistic) Naturalism – video (Major predictions of each Philosophy compared to the scientific discoveries we now have in hand) – (with link to a paper with references for each claim)

    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’

    Overturning of the Copernican Principle by both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics
    Specifically, allowing the Agent causality of God (and of humans) ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into 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.

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Of supplemental note:

    “In fact, besides mathematics, the term ‘science’ itself is an abstract term that cannot possibly be grounded within the reductive materialistic framework that provides the foundation for Darwinian evolution!
    Thus, not only is Darwinian evolution NOT science, it actually denies the reality of science.” 🙂

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    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.

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