Francis Collins and the Overselling of Evolution

In two recent posts (here and here), I discussed the continuing misrepresentations of intelligent design by Francis Collins, whose confirmation as head of the National Institutes of Health in the Obama administration was announced on August 7. Today I would like to shift the focus to Dr. Collins’ misrepresentation of evolutionary biology–or more precisely, to his misrepresentation of the scientific usefulness of evolution to biology. Collins has every right to endorse neo-Darwinian evolution if he wishes, but his view of evolution’s value to scientific research is pretty much over-the-top. In a recent interview, he claimed: Trying to do biology without evolution would be like trying to do physics without mathematics. There is no doubt that modern neo-Darwinian theory has had Read More ›

Francis Collins’ Hear-No-Evil, See-No-Evil Approach to Persecution of ID Proponents

Last week I discussed an interview with Francis Collins in Books and Culture where Dr. Collins wrongly called intelligent design (ID) unfalsifiable. Before offering more critiques of the interview, I want to say that in some respects, I have found Francis Collins’ voice to be a welcome addition to the debate over evolution and ID. I am very much in agreement with Dr. Collins on certain issues, such as the evidence for design from the fine-tuning of physics and the frailties of Darwinian explanations for many higher aspects of the human psyche and behavior (i.e. our moral and religious urges). Collins is of course entitled to disagree with ID in biology, but I’m becoming saddened by the charged and inaccurate Read More ›

Francis Collins, Karl Giberson, and Books and Culture Promote Misconceptions About Intelligent Design, Falsifiability & Junk DNA

In the media, it’s not unusual for an interviewer and interviewee to hold similar views on whatever subject they are discussing. Radio show hosts and podcasters, for example, commonly interview friendly guests. But imagine if Paul Allen interviewed Bill Gates on the merits of Microsoft, and then published the interview as an independent journalistic article in Wired magazine. Not only would it would read like a paid advertisement, but critics would begin wondering if Wired was in business to promote Microsoft products. The Microsoft example is of course fictional, but something like it happened recently when Karl Giberson (executive vice president of the BioLogos Foundation) interviewed Francis Collins (the president of BioLogos), and then published the interview in Christianity Today‘s Read More ›

Junk DNA RoundUp (and Rebuttal): How Neo-Darwinism Creates Junk-Hypotheses, Then Resists Their Demise

Sometimes after explaining how the now-defunct junk-DNA mindset was encouraged and fostered by neo-Darwinian evolution, evolutionists respond by asserting that nonetheless some individuals from their camp explored function for junk-DNA. This, they claim, absolves their neo-Darwinian camp from any charges of science-stopping, and shows that the neo-Darwinian paradigm did not hinder research into junk-DNA. But if a 2003 article in Science is any indication, then it seems that the neo-Darwinian paradigm did indeed impose a taboo on research into function for junk-DNA. As the article stated: Although catchy, the term ‘junk DNA’ for many years repelled mainstream researchers from studying noncoding DNA. Who, except a small number of genomic clochards, would like to dig through genomic garbage? However, in science Read More ›