Science magazine reviews The Language of God by Francis Collins, Ignores the Book's Intelligent Design
Robert Pollack reviews Francis Collins's new book The Language of God in the latest issue of Science. In the process he conveniently makes it appear that virtually Collins' entire case for the existence of God boils down to the moral law in the human heart. But Collins also makes design arguments based on the Big Bang and the fine tuning of the physical constants of nature for life, comparing the design explanation to purely materialistic explanations and building a case that a design inference is the best, the most reasonable option. Pollack mentions these design arguments in only the most vague and glancing terms, giving the impression that Collins offers them not as formal arguments but more on the level of "that's how the universe feels to me."
Think about the definition of ID. The theory of intelligent design holds that an intelligent cause is the best explanation for certain features of the natural world. Collins, the head of the human genome project and a committed Darwinist, is careful to distance himself from intelligent design in parts of his book, but it's as plain as the emperor's birthday suit that Collins makes intelligent design arguments in chapter three, "The Origins of the Universe." And it doesn't take a genome scientist to figure out why the monolithically anti-ID editors at Science magazine would want to hush up that part of Collins's book.
Collins has been attacked for his design arguments:
Collins is in the pseudo-rationalist branch of liberal Christianity. That's fine, he's welcome to dither about in there...but seriously, it has no credibility and no greater rational foundation than the raving mad branches of fundamentalism. I oppose it. I think the only purpose of this kind of crap is to provide a smiling mask of benign ineffectuality to insanity ...
He has been ignored for these (at least this part of his argument).
We celebrate his willingness to follow the evidence where it leads in physics and cosmology, and hope that his example will lead to a similar openness to the evidence of design in biology.