This blog is maintained on behalf of the Amy Foundation for the purpose of tracking the best Christian journalism we find on the Web. Our posts regularly identify those news articles or opinions in the mainstream media that represent good faith-based writing and example them for other Christian journalists.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The debate between atheism and Christianity continues to rage, this time in the guise of science vs. religion. ...

The a new round is led by Richard Dawkins, Ph.D., a preeminent evolutionary biologist and author of “The God Delusion.” His counterpart, defending the Christian faith and perspective on science, is Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute and author of “The Language of God.”

In Time Magazine’s November 13, 2006 cover story, entitled, “God vs. Science,” written by David Van Biema, Dawkins and Collins square off in a one-on-one debate. At its core is the viability of God in a science-based universe.

Here are the concluding parleys of the debate:
… COLLINS: I just would like to say that over more than a quarter-century as a scientist and a believer, I find absolutely nothing in conflict between agreeing with Richard in practically all of his conclusions about the natural world, and also saying that I am still able to accept and embrace the possibility that there are answers that science isn't able to provide about the natural world--the questions about why instead of the questions about how. I'm interested in the whys. I find many of those answers in the spiritual realm. That in no way compromises my ability to think rigorously as a scientist.

DAWKINS: My mind is not closed, as you have occasionally suggested, Francis. My mind is open to the most wonderful range of future possibilities, which I cannot even dream about, nor can you, nor can anybody else. What I am skeptical about is the idea that whatever wonderful revelation does come in the science of the future, it will turn out to be one of the particular historical religions that people happen to have dreamed up. When we started out and we were talking about the origins of the universe and the physical constants, I provided what I thought were cogent arguments against a supernatural intelligent designer. But it does seem to me to be a worthy idea. Refutable--but nevertheless grand and big enough to be worthy of respect. I don't see the Olympian gods or Jesus coming down and dying on the Cross as worthy of that grandeur. They strike me as parochial. If there is a God, it's going to be a whole lot bigger and a whole lot more incomprehensible than anything that any theologian of any religion has ever proposed.
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I am not suggesting that this Time article is great journalism (actually the article’s preamble gives more play to Atheism’s renewed assault of religion than anything else), but it is very enlightening. It also showcases an intelligent defense of Christianity in the face of an intense, scientific-based attempt to discredit faith.

I believe Collins successfully points out that Dawkins’s mind is closed to God, therefore weakening his assertions and credibility with his antagonistic view of personal faith. Dawkins is left to deny it, but he doesn’t overcome the Collin’s point.

Read the article for yourself, consider the issues, and weigh into the debate by writing about it in your hometown paper.

Submitted by,
Bruce Umpstead


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