Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Francis Collins is being mooted as a candidate for director of the NIH.
This may create a serious problem. Collins is a respected scientist and administered the human genome project for the NIH under Bush. He is however a devout. Unfortunately Collin's Christianity extends beyond simple belief ,, he is very public about this to the point of promoting a sort of CS Lewis form of Roman Catholicism as an alternative to both Creationism and Darwinism.
The alternative, Biologos, is probably harmless because the ideas, like those of Lewis, are very fuzzy. However, Collin's attachment to the Christian view of science may well leads to conflicts with other scientists who do not share his world view. For example, Collin's site makes a bizarre attack on "social Darwinism." I am not at all sure what he means by this bit it worries me that the head of the NIH might oppose Darwinian approaches to behavior because they conflict with his a priori religious views.
And then .. there is the question of how a devout Catholic would weigh in on issues like artificial life, psychomimetic drugs, abortion, ....
Posted by SM Schwartz at 7:12 AM