Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In that role he oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research.
Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. He served as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH from 1993-2008.
Before coming to the NIH, Dr. Collins was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Michigan. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007, and received the National Medal of Science in 2009.
Most will agree that Dr. Collins could never be described as anti-science. He has a distinguished record. How Dr. Collins differs from many of today’s scientist is that he has faith in God. He has been quoted as saying, “I think God gave us an opportunity through the use of science to understand the natural world.”
With this statement, it seems to me that Dr. Collins gave science its rightful place. It is a tool or method of better understanding our universe and our world, but it is not a religious dogma, nor is it infallible.
In 2009, sadly, there were those who attempted to diagnose Dr. Collins with dementia because he has faith in God.
Dr. Collin’s reputation wasn’t to be easily destroyed in the eyes of the public. He has such an impressive history of accomplishment that those attempting to make him look inferior could not, and most likely did not, do him any real damage.
Dr. Collins was part of a team at the University of Michigan that in 1989 discovered the gene for cystic fibrosis. He is now working on matching treatments with the genomic profiles of tumors in 20 different cancers. Sometimes a scientist who believes in God can be marginalized quite easily, but not so with Francis Collins.
This, I believe, is why the word dementia was brought up. Dr. Collins having reached the age of 59 could have been injured by an accusation such as this and because of his age, the ‘diagnosis’ might have been somewhat believable.
Dr. Collins is still the Director of NIH and I suppose that those who suggested that he might not be able to continue in his job have clearly seen that they were misled. He is a brilliant scientist. It is my hope that his faith will someday be understood as the asset that it is. Hopefully, he will continue to be a witness to those atheist and agnostics who feel that faith in God cannot exist if a person believes in science.
A day is coming when science will be forgotten. The dead will be judged according to their works. The names of those who worship Christ will be found in the book of life.
And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. Revelation 20:12
The books that will be opened won’t be science books.
- NIH launches $140M drug tox project, hunts for translational R&D chief (fiercebiotech.com)