Yes, you read right!
That’s what New York Times reporter Gardiner Harris wrote in an article on Dr. Francis S. Collins, the new director of the National Institutes of Health.
You see, Dr. Collins — who is an M.D. and has a Ph.D. in physics — believes in God! More than that, he preaches about his belief in churches and a best-selling book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.
Dr. Collins was a nonbeliever until he was 27. All that changed when he was among those treating a woman dying of heart disease. “She was very clear about her faith and she looked me square in the eye and she said, ‘what do you believe?'” he recalled. “I sort of stammered out, ‘I am not sure.’ ”
He realized then that he had never considered the matter seriously, the way a scientist should. He began reading about various religious beliefs, which only confused him. Finally, a Methodist minister gave him a book, Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis. In the book Lewis, an atheist until he was a grown man, argues that the idea of right and wrong is universal among people, a moral law they “did not make, and cannot quite forget even when they try.” This universal feeling, he said, is evidence for the plausibility of God.
When he read the book, Dr. Collins said, “I thought, my gosh, this guy is me.” After nearly two years of investigation, Collins decided God does exist. Today, he is a Christian who does not embrace any particular denomination.
Reporter Gardiner Harris wrote:
“many scientists view such outspoken religious commitment as a sign of mild dementia.”
Alas, that would mean that many scientists themselves are demented! For a survey by the University of Georgia, reported in the journal Nature in 1997, found that 40% of biologists, physicists and mathematicians said they believed in God – and not just a nonspecific transcendental presence but a God to whom one may pray “in expectation of receiving an answer.”
The survey’s findings are virtually unchanged from one done in 1914. In both cases, participants were drawn from a directory of American scientists.