Dr. Collins - What About Dog Butt Jesus?

Over at the Pharyngula blog, P.Z. Myers directs our attention to a talk given by Francis Collins two years ago at a conference of AAAS Science and Technology Fellows. Eventually, Collins brought the discussion around to his ability to accommodate both faith and science under one temple. The twists and turns of logic needed obviously makes this temple something more like a carnival fun-house, complete with distorting mirrors and spinning rooms. As an example, he notes the similarities between an end-view of the DNA helix and a stained-glass rose window. He says
"What I want to do is first to give you a snapshot of some of the new discoveries that for me as a physician-scientist studying the human genome are enormously exciting and provide a real glimpse into how life works," Collins said. "I'm also going to make the argument that, for me also as a believer, research in genetics is an occasion not just of scientific enjoyment, but an opportunity to appreciate the grandeur of God's creation, and in effect, to worship."
"I'm not trying to say that there's something inherently religious" in the DNA image, Collins emphasized. "But, I think it is emblematic of the potential here of the topic to both interest people and to make them unsettled. Can you, in fact, admire both of these [images]? Can you do it at the same time? Is there an inherent problem in having both a scientific world view and a spiritual world view?"

My first thought was Spirograph. But I guess that's one of the few reasons I wasn't picked for director of NIH.

So what was Collins' point? That it's obvious just by looking around to see God's signature in all things? Or did he just want to show how silly his mind can be at times? Describing his journey to faith, Collins recounts:
As an undergraduate, Collins said, he considered himself an agnostic; as a graduate student in chemistry, he was an atheist. But as he began to appreciate biology as "beautiful stuff that made sense," and later, genomics, he also began to struggle with questions of faith. Then, in his third year of medical school, as he visited with an elderly patient who was facing death, Collins said, he experienced a crisis of faith as she asked him, "What do you believe, doctor?"
It's as if the problems suddenly became too big with no immediate answers at hand. He took the easy way out. He read the last page of the book without slogging through the whole thing. He copied off someone else's paper. He peeked at the answer to the puzzle. He took the Christian shortcut.

Despite his appointment, Collins has not shirked from publicly expressing his faith. He has gained more notoriety today for his glass half-full of faith and half-full of science than he has for his work on the Human Genome Project. Still, it's surprising to find him singing the praises of design on air. Caution to the listener: it's a scientist singing - and it sounds exactly like that. (Trivia - Collins' guitar is emblazoned with both a DNA helix, and the Christian fish.)

I have to wonder - what would Collins make of Dog Butt Jesus? Would he say it's "emblematic of the potential" to hold two contradictory views and "admire the image" as well as the concept it represents? Or would his sciency disposition kick in and compel him to say, "It's just a dog's ass!"


don said...

This means for a few seconds everyday, Jesus is smoking a cigar.

The skepTick said...

Or he's daily puking up the sins of mankind.

don said...

We need mandatory psychiatric hospitalizations for those that even consider this to be some divine sign. That is no less fanatical (maybe even crazier)than those that think every non-muslim is an infidel that should die.
You can stare at a cpould formation long enough and see whatever you want to. But the anus of a dog as the lord's head? Insane and very disrespectful!!! Probably justified by the "moves in mysterious ways" catch all clause of the deluded. Maybe it is George Carlin's joke from beyond.

Viagra Online said...

this is a little difficult, and I'm saying this as a person who believe in God and science, there's no problem to put this two elements together, remember my faith and my knowledge are two totally different things.

levitra cialis said...

Those shapes are pretty impressive. I always interested in the mathematics that it is behind the whole thing.