In a reflection on Francis Collins’s sudden resignation, Jonathan Wells mentions his enabling the harvesting of body parts from babies of 18–20 weeks gestation but he focuses on Collins’s book, The Language of God. (2006):
In the past 15 years, scores of people — some of them my personal friends — have told me how Collins’s 2006 book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, convinced them that a devout Christian can also be a Darwinist. Most of those people, I’m afraid, never read the book, or at least did not read past the first few pages. On those first pages Collins reported that in 2000 scientists released a rough draft of a sampling of human DNA. President Bill Clinton then announced, in a speech Collins helped to write, “we are learning the language in which God created life.”
Yet the remainder of Collins’s book was an argument against that idea. Instead, Collins argued that data from DNA sequencing provide “powerful support for Darwin’s theory of evolution, that is, descent from a common ancestor with natural selection operating on randomly occurring variations.” Probably the most powerful support came from what Collins called “junk DNA.” A creator, he argued, would not have put so much junk in our DNA, so it must have come from unguided evolution. (This is an odd way to argue for a supposedly scientific theory, namely that God wouldn’t have done it that way. Darwin argued similarly in The Origin of Species. But let’s overlook this theological aspect of Darwin’s and Collins’s argument.)Jonathan Wells, “Recalling Francis Collins’s The Language of God” at Evolution News and Science Today (October 8, 2021)
Of course, we know what happened to the “junk DNA” thesis.
It’s not a moral failure to be mistaken about evidence that supposedly supports Darwinian evolution. But the title of Collins’s Language of God was deceptive from the start. And Collins has looked the other way as it has continued to deceive. I consider this one more moral failure of Francis Collins.Jonathan Wells, “Recalling Francis Collins’s The Language of God” at Evolution News and Science Today (October 8, 2021)
You may also wish to read:
At Evolution News and Science Today:The Appalling Moral Failure of Francis Collins (A prominent theistic evolutionist) John G. West: The disclosures about the experiments followed Collins’s repeal earlier this year of restrictions on the use of aborted fetal tissue in NIH-funded research… researchers also sliced off skin from the scalp of the aborted babies and then grafted the fetal skin onto the mice. In the words of the scientists: “Full-thickness human fetal skin was processed via removal of excess fat tissues attached to the subcutaneous layer of the skin, then engrafted over the rib cage, where the mouse skin was previously excised.” The body parts used for these experiments were harvested from aborted human fetuses with a gestational age of 18-20 weeks. By that age, an unborn baby has brain waves and a beating heart. He can hear sounds and move his limbs and eyes …
Casey Luskin reflects on the “official” demise of the term “junk DNA.” Luskin: “these authors remember a day when ‘the common doctrine was that the nonprotein coding part of eukaryotic genome’ consisted of ‘“useless sequences, often organized in repetitive elements.’” Good. Keep the history alive. It won’t be very long before Darwinians start claiming that they never thought it was junk. Then they will start insinuating that WE said it was junk. No, that doesn’t make any sense but if the history is forgotten, it doesn’t need to make sense either.