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Language of God, The Paperback – Jul 17 2007

15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster; 1 edition (September 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416542744
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416542742
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Collins, a pioneering medical geneticist who once headed the Human Genome Project, adapts his title from President Clinton's remarks announcing completion of the first phase of the project in 2000: "Today we are learning the language in which God created life." Collins explains that as a Christian believer, "the experience of sequencing the human genome, and uncovering this most remarkable of all texts, was both a stunning scientific achievement and an occasion of worship." This marvelous book combines a personal account of Collins's faith and experiences as a genetics researcher with discussions of more general topics of science and spirituality, especially centering around evolution. Following the lead of C.S. Lewis, whose Mere Christianity was influential in Collins's conversion from atheism, the book argues that belief in a transcendent, personal God—and even the possibility of an occasional miracle—can and should coexist with a scientific picture of the world that includes evolution. Addressing in turn fellow scientists and fellow believers, Collins insists that "science is not threatened by God; it is enhanced" and "God is most certainly not threatened by science; He made it all possible." Collins's credibility as a scientist and his sincerity as a believer make for an engaging combination, especially for those who, like him, resist being forced to choose between science and God. (July 17)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Head of the Human Genome Project, Collins is one of the most famous and important scientists working today. And he is a former atheist. Collins came to faith slowly, after giving it much thought and, surprisingly, while practicing his scientific profession. In his view, scientific and spiritual worlds aren't antithetical. Rather, belief in God can be completely rational and complementary to the general principles of science. The son of "freethinkers" in rural Virginia, Collins was homeschooled by his unconventional mother. He studied physical chemistry at Yale and there shifted from doubtful agnosticism to full-fledged atheism. But later, as a medical student in North Carolina, he read C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity and reconsidered. He addresses important questions--How can a loving God permit suffering? How can a rational person believe in miracles?--and explores such topics as the origins of the universe, Darwinism and human evolution, DNA, creationism and intelligent design, and, in the appendix, the morality of bioethics. His stimulating book should provoke much conversation and may change some minds. June Sawyers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bart Breen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Sept. 26 2009
Format: Paperback
When I purchased this book I took it somewhat at face value and imagined that it would be a strong treatise on the Human Genome from the man whose efforts primarily coordinated the accomplishment of cataloguing the entire human genome. Further I was hoping for some clear evidence for belief, just as the cover states.

My expectations weren't entirely met in that regard and I have to confess to a certain disappointment and sense that perhaps Dr. Collins or his publisher, decided to make that claim to sell books, rather than accurately represent what this book is.

What this book is, in my opinion, is still a very valuable thing. This is an apologetics book that gives the autobiography of a very intelligent and successful scientist and explains very well, why science as a discipline and faith in the existence of God as revealed through Christianity, need not result in cognative dissonance.

It is engagingly written. It addresses many of the main points needful in such a discussion today. It is a statement of faith from a man in a community often resistant to the idea of faith and from which it seems more statements of attack on faith come than support.

The average reader will find the discussions on DNA and the genome educational and catch some of the awe and wonder of a scientist who is prepared to accept both the existence of God as well as deal properly with science and working with the evidence it provides.

The advanced science reader already familiar with the basics of the field will not find a great deal of new material. The appendices address more in this realm than the main text itself.

Francis Collins is a Theistic Evolutionist. This is not a new position.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think reasonable people will say "Thank you for writing this book". The style is sensitive, engaging, intelligent and balanced. It gives everyone (no matter what side of the debate you are on) the opportunity to read and reflect on the issues and challenges of the spiritual and scientific worlds, how these remain distinct, where they intersect, and how harmony might be achieved. If you are still left with unresolved questions and new questions, my sense is that is a positive outcome of the book. Dr. Collins has chosen his path and given us the opportunity to view it through his lense. Good food for thought. Hopefully others will come in to the debate with such a refreshing approach.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By STEPHEN PLETKO TOP 50 REVIEWER on Dec 1 2007
Format: Paperback

The title of this book comes from the words used in a speech by former U.S. President Bill Clinton after the entire human genome (pronounced GEE-nohm) had been sequenced or "read." ("The human genome consists of all the DNA of our species, the hereditary code of life.")

The book itself was written by geneticist Francis S. Collins, the longtime head of the Human Genome Project (HGP), the project responsible for the incredible scientific accomplishment mentioned above. The HGP was the ambitious international scientific effort that began in 1998 and the first draft of the human genome was completed in June 2000.

Here are the aims or goals of this book as Collins states them:

(i) "This book aims to...[argue] that [a] belief in God can be an entirely rational choice, and that the principles of faith are, in fact, complimentary with the principles of science."
(ii) "[H]ere is the central question of this book: In this modern era of cosmology, evolution, and the human genome, is there still the possibility of a richly satisfying harmony between the scientific and spiritual worldviews?...The goal of this book is to explore a pathway toward a sober and intellectually honest integration of these views."
(iii) "I will argue that these perspectives [or views] not only can coexist within one person, but can do so in a fashion that enriches and enlightens the human experience."

This book is divided into three parts. Below I will give the names of all three parts (in uppercase) and what each part generally discusses:

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Format: Paperback
This book shows -with an easy to understand language- how rational the belief in God can be.
Francis Collins is one of the greatest modern scientists in the world, and a Christian. So no surprise if he is absolutely convinced about theistic evolution.
As a scientist, I was so happy to read about a faith so similar to mine.
Corrado Ghinamo
(author of "The Beautiful Scientist")
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Amazing, thought provoking, inspiring, educational, and a must for all to read, by one of the top scientists in the world.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. Jackson on April 6 2007
Format: Hardcover
In "The Language of God," Collins explains how he, as a scientist, is able to reconcile his Christian faith, and current scientific thought. He does so in a respectful tone, whilst explaining scientific and theological concepts in a way that anyone could understand. This book is also deeply personal: Collins is extremely open about his life journey, the hardships along the way, and how he finds hope in his faith.

I think this book will be deeply engaging for anyone that has questions about how science and faith relate.
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