“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
But surely people of science have an excuse, right?
ROCKVILLE, Maryland (CNN) — I am a scientist and a believer, and I find no conflict between those world views.
“As the director of the Human Genome Project, I have led a consortium of scientists to read out the 3.1 billion letters of the human genome, our own DNA instruction book. As a believer, I see DNA, the information molecule of all living things, as God’s language, and the elegance and complexity of our own bodies and the rest of nature as a reflection of God’s plan.
I did not always embrace these perspectives. As a graduate student in physical chemistry in the 1970s, I was an atheist, finding no reason to postulate the existence of any truths outside of mathematics, physics and chemistry. But then I went to medical school, and encountered life and death issues at the bedsides of my patients. Challenged by one of those patients, who asked “What do you believe, doctor?” I began searching for answers.
I had to admit that the science I loved so much was powerless to answer questions such as “What is the meaning of life?” “Why am I here?” “Why does mathematics work, anyway?” “If the universe had a beginning, who created it?” “Why are the physical constants in the universe so finely tuned to allow the possibility of complex life forms?” “Why do humans have a moral sense?” “What happens after we die?”
*Note: Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the Human Genome Project. His most recent book is “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.”