Christian geneticist Francis Collins ponders promise, peril of biotechnology

Religion News Service | 6/19/2018 | Staff
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WASHINGTON (RNS) — To geneticist Francis Collins, a person’s DNA can be compared to the beauty of a Gothic cathedral’s rose window.

“I think that is a visual way to point out the beauty of what it is that God has given us as a creation,” Collins said as he stood below a screen at the National Press Club with two images side by side: the window of England’s York Minster and a view down the long axis of genetic material. “We ought not to miss that, even as we get excited about its practical consequences.”

Doctor - National - Institutes - Health - Decade

The medical doctor who has directed the National Institutes of Health for almost a decade said he was speaking Monday (June 18) as a private citizen: “Tonight, I’m just Francis Collins.”

In a talk co-sponsored by organizations examining the intersection of faith and science, Collins told his audience of more than 300 about the wonder and the cautions that come with biotechnology. He also gave them a look inside his perspective as an atheist-turned-Christian.

Opportunity - Something - Medicine - Something

“How do we feel about the opportunity to actually reinvent ourselves?” he asked. “Is this something we can embrace because it has great potential in medicine or is it something we should think a little more deeply about before we plunge in?”

The event, titled “Moving Beyond Conflict: Science and Faith in Harmony,” was the last in a series on “Discovery and Doxology” co-sponsored by the nonprofit Trinity Forum; BioLogos, a foundation Collins founded; Church of the Advent, an Anglican congregation in Washington; and Templeton Religion Trust.

Collins - Leadership - Human - Genome - Project

Collins, who is known for his leadership of the Human Genome Project, described how his work as a geneticist has led to advances in treating diseases, including cystic fibrosis, the most common genetic disease in the U.S. He said deciphering the “instruction book of a human being” has helped...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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