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Thread: Collins, Gene-Mapper, Said to Be Choice for U.S. Research Head

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    Collins, Gene-Mapper, Said to Be Choice for U.S. Research Head

    I thought this was a very interesting article to share, seeing as Orthopedics seems to have its share of controversies over research. It shall be interesting to see what the future holds in the field of research with him as head.

    I was especially interested in Collins' comments on Science and Religion.

    Science and Religion

    “The study of the human genome has completely transformed medical research and is on the way to transforming clinical practice,” Collins said in May, when he announced he would step down as head of the genome institute.

    Collins grew up on a small farm in rural Virginia and was educated at home until the sixth grade. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, in 1970. He received his Yale doctorate in 1974 and a medical degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1977.

    A guitar player known to be fond of motorcycles, Collins is also a one-time atheist who wrote a book in 2006 about his Christian beliefs. He took the title, “The Language of God,” from comments Clinton made at a 2000 ceremony, “we are learning the language in which God created life.”

    “God is most certainly not threatened by science,” Collins wrote in the book. “He made it all possible.”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...v9Y&refer=home

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    Scientists of this high stature who are are also theists are very rare. There is a well shown correlation between educational level and rejection of theism. Some 93% of the cream of the cream of the scientists in the US, the National Academy members, reject the idea of a personal god. That is no coincidence... the more scientific facts you have under your belt, the more religious beliefs become optional and even counterfactual. And scientists are exercising that option to be rational.

    These theistic scientists are one of the only lifelines of reason to the religious folks who deny scientific facts. Many religious folks will not accept scientific facts like evolution and a few billion year old earth from atheistic scientists but they might eventually accept them from theistic scientists.

    Collins would be a good choice in that regard for the same reason Ken Miller is always the star witness at these creationism in public school trials. Miller is a practicing Catholic who demolishes young earth creationism and Intelligent Design creationism with facts and logic. He's one of the good guys fighting on the side to protect innocent school children from getting nonsense jammed down their necks by young earth creationists.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 05-23-2009 at 01:11 PM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

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    Or, it could just be the prevailing dogma of this era...

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    Well, it's official. Francis Collins has been named Director of NIH today.

    "The president hailed Collins as “one of the top scientists in the world” and said his “groundbreaking work has changed the very ways we consider our health and examine disease.” "

    "Collins’s own research laboratory, in addition, has discovered a number of important genes, including those responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington’s disease, a familial endocrine cancer syndrome, and most recently, genes for adult onset (Type 2) diabetes and the gene that causes Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, the White House announcement said."

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=atJa8QDGj8QU

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    Some conern over naming Collins

    There is some concern about Collins being head of NIH among top scientists...

    Francis Collins as NIH director

    "I won’t grouse too much about this, but do want to emphasize again that the guy is deeply, deeply superstitious, to the point where, on his website BioLogos and his book The Language of God, he lets his faith contaminate his scientific views. So I can’t help but be a bit worried." -- Jerry Coyne

    Pick to Lead Health Agency Draws Praise and Some Concern

    "There are two basic objections to Dr. Collins. The first is his very public embrace of religion. He wrote a book called “The Language of God,” and he has given many talks and interviews in which he described his conversion to Christianity as a 27-year-old medical student. Religion and genetic research have long had a fraught relationship, and some in the field complain about what they see as Dr. Collins’s evangelism.

    The other objection stems from his leadership of the Human Genome Project, which is part of the N.I.H. Although Dr. Collins was widely praised in 2003 when the effort succeeded, the hopes that this discovery would yield an array of promising medical interventions have greatly dimmed, discouraging many."
    -- Gardiner Harris

    As for my opinion, I think the huge problem of scientific illiteracy in the United States has got to be tackled. Having a deeply religious man who also fully accepts the fact of evolution, the fact of a few billion year old earth, etc., might help chip away at this problem though it makes me guilty of countenancing accomodationism. And if he continues to let his faith contaminate his science then I don't see how he can serve competently in a top science position.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    As for my opinion, I think the huge problem of scientific illiteracy in the United States has got to be tackled. Having a deeply religious man who also fully accepts the fact of evolution, the fact of a few billion year old earth, etc., might help chip away at this problem though it makes me guilty of countenancing accomodationism. And if he continues to let his faith contaminate his science then I don't see how he can serve competently in a top science position.
    Funny. Me defending FC, like he needs it.

    1. Francis Collins is highly qualified. I am not surprised about his appointment.

    2. I never saw anywhere that he doesn't believe in evolution--if that was the point you were trying to make.

    3. Have you read the book?

    4. Most of his greatest accomplishments in genetics and science came after his conversion at age 27.

    5. Unjustified criticism.

    Hey. And I didn't use the "R" word--so as not to get kiboshed.

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    FC's conversion was when he saw three waterfalls on a hike that put him in mind of the trinity. That's it folks.

    One wonders if he saw eight waterfalls that he would become a Buddhist given how "deeply, deeply superstitious" he is.

    There is a reason some top scientists have concern about him. It's not random.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    FC's conversion was when he saw three waterfalls on a hike that put him in mind of the trinity. That's it folks.

    One wonders if he saw eight waterfalls that he would become a Buddhist given how "deeply, deeply superstitious" he is.
    So you did read the book?
    Who says he is "superstitious"?
    Who says he doesn't believe in evolution?
    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    There is a reason some top scientists have concern about him. It's not random.
    The reason is the same for anyone who achieves a high rank in their field. Personal attacks are commonplace Francis Collins, Donald Trump, Oprah, or James Watson.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PNUTTRO View Post
    So you did read the book?
    No. I quoted the pertinent part though. This conversion tale has been the source of some derision in MANY scientific circles ever since the book came out. Collins paid a price in terms of credibility with many of his colleagues for having written that though it obviously didn't disqualify him from the top job at NIH (to my amazement).

    Who says he is "superstitious"?
    Well, I provided a quote from Jerry Coyne above. Others may not use that word but they level the same criticism that he lets his faith contaminate his science.

    Now we have to wonder if he thinks "souls" live in petrie dishes and is he therefore against embryonic stem cell research. There is no rational reason to be against this research... all arguments against it are non-scientific and or blatantly irrational.

    Who says he doesn't believe in evolution?
    Nobody I assume. I have never seen that said about him, have you? Why did you ask?

    He clearly accepts the fact of evolution but he contaminates this fact by saying there was a divine intervention somewhere in hominid evolution where the soul was inserted. Of course he never says exactly when that occurs. And he thinks it is possible for diving intervention at the quantum level. The only reason he holds these views is not because there is a lick of evidence but because his faith requires he make up this stuff.

    The reason is the same for anyone who achieves a high rank in their field. Personal attacks are commonplace Francis Collins, Donald Trump, Oprah, or James Watson.
    No. He isn't attacked mainly for those reasons. It is NOT the same.

    He has the added burden of being one of the EXQUISITELY RARE theists among the top ranks of scientists and he lets his faith contaminate his science. That is worthy of intense criticism, if not disqualification, if he is running a Federal science agency BY DEFINITION.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 07-12-2009 at 02:45 PM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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    First, I am quite certain that BalletMom started this thread to bait us into this discussion.

    Second, without actually reading the book, you don't really know what FC believes. I am pretty sure that I don't believe what he believes.

    Third, Jerry Coyne in his blog says FC is a "good administrator, but. . . ".

    I have actually heard of an example where his faith "contaminated' his science. I haven't read that any of his peers and co-workers have a poor opinion of him. I have heard/read about scientists whose egos contaminated their science.
    Last edited by PNUTTRO; 07-12-2009 at 02:44 PM. Reason: My sentence didn't make sense in the first version.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PNUTTRO View Post
    Second, without actually reading the book, you don't really know what FC believes. I am pretty sure that I don't believe what he believes.
    Don't be so sure. I have read elsewhere what he has said on this subject and listened to audio of him saying it. I have heard him in a debate and read another debate he was in. It all happens to match what folks say he claims in the book. More than a coincidence?

    Third, Jerry Coyne in his blog says FC is a "good administrator, but. . . ".

    I have actually heard of an example where his faith "contaminated' his science.
    Yes I mentioned two... where the divine messes around in the natural world on a quantum level and the inevitability of human evolution. Both patent nonsense.

    Do you have a third case?

    Does he sound like the best candidate out there or does he sound a touch wacky?
    Last edited by Pooka1; 07-12-2009 at 04:23 PM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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    "First, I am quite certain that BalletMom started this thread to bait us into this discussion."

    Wow, now I'm an evil genius. How funny!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ballet Mom View Post
    "First, I am quite certain that BalletMom started this thread to bait us into this discussion."

    Wow, now I'm an evil genius. How funny!
    Well, first it's not evil and second it definitely requires no geniusry. And third, it's really not a funny situation with Collins.

    I think P was irrationally exuberant in saying she thought you were being provocative for the sake of it.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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    And third, it's really not a funny situation with Collins.
    Personally, I think it's extremely funny to watch scientists stamp their feet because they can't ostracize anyone they want with the "wrong" views. It's very refreshing. I hope global warming propaganda takes a hard hit with him as the head also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ballet Mom View Post
    I hope global warming propaganda takes a hard hit with him as the head also.
    Perhaps you are unaware that NIH funds health-related research, not earth science research.

    Based on this thread, the thread with your "thoughts" on how people are recruited for clinical trials, your "thoughts" on equine husbandry and others, I conclude you are scientifically illiterate.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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