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Home » The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence of Belief: Francis Collins (Transcript)

The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence of Belief: Francis Collins (Transcript)

Transcript Dr. Francis Collins’s presentation titled ‘The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence of Belief’ at Caltech 2009. In this talk, Dr. Francis Collins (Former Director of the National Institutes of Health) shares his journey from atheism to faith and answers the question, “Are science and faith consistent ways of seeing the world?”


Dr. Francis Collins – Former Director of the National Institutes of Health

Thank you very much, Christophe, for that kind introduction and good evening to all of you. Good heavens, this place is really filled up with people, which is so wonderful to see and the students who have worked so hard to put this effort together, together with the Veritas organization, must be very happy to see this turn out on a rainy evening here in Pasadena.

We are here to talk about big questions, maybe the biggest question of all, does God exist? I won’t give you a proof tonight, but I hope I will give you some things to think about, things that have led me from being an atheist to becoming a believer and a follower of Jesus. And I will try to explain to you that pathway in a fairly abbreviated form, and also explain to you how I see no conflict between that perspective and that of a scientist who is rigorous in his views of data and won’t allow you to put one over on me when it comes to views of nature, but who also sees that the study of nature is not all there is.

So come, let us reason together here this evening and see what we might learn. And as Socrates said, ‘Let us follow the truth whithersoever it leads.’ And of course Veritas means truth, and I think that is very much what this forum stands for.

I would like to start perhaps by telling you a little bit about the science that I’ve had the privilege of being involved in, which is the study of our human DNA instruction books, the Human Genome. When the popular press reports on this, as they increasingly have been doing since the study of the human genome has gotten pretty far along, they invariably have covers such as this one of Time magazine that use double helix as the motif, because that is, after all, the wonderful structure of this wonderful molecule, the instruction molecule of all living things.

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