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Old 9th September 2007, 09:49 PM   #1
Charlie Monoxide
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Franics Collins Interview

I love POI podcasts and I've been listening to them since last year.

I kind of expected Francis Collins (author of The Language of God) to be a shrill religionist while using his science credentials (namely his running of the Human Genome Project) as something similar to the way that Michael J. Behe uses his (ie I'm a scientist therefore whatever I say, however unrelated to my field of study, is true). Francis Collins wasn't at all like that. He gave an intelligent and enjoyable interview. I don't agree with him, but I liked how he presented his case.

DJ is not an attack dog type of interviewer and seems to have sincerely read the book of whomever he is interviewing. He did explore the questions I would have wanted to hear from Collins.

POI is one of my top 5 podcast. The best POI interview (IMHO so far) has been Peter H. Gilmore is the High Priest of the Church of Satan.

Charlie (thinking of becoming a Satanist) Monoxide
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Old 9th September 2007, 10:05 PM   #2
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Yes, I wanted him to ask Collins how he gets from some god outside of science to the christian god and original sin-- especially in light of the knowledge that humans descended from apes. I never know what to think of Collins... at least he shows that understanding evolution doesn't lead to atheism which many people fear. But he is just so dopey when it comes to religion that it's hard to take him seriously... but he's nice... so you just kind of feel sorry for him.

D.J. was nice-- but Collins was a little nasty in regards to Dawkins--

I though Peter Gilmore was interesting too. I liked the Scientific Naturalism guy they had on recently too. And Salman Rushdie was great (or was that the HNN podcast). Dogma Free America does a nice podcast from one of our own JREF members.
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Old 9th September 2007, 10:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by articulett View Post
D.J. was nice-- but Collins was a little nasty in regards to Dawkins--
Yes, he was. But aren't all god-boys, err god-people. Let's not be sexist when using ad homs.

That makes me love Dawkins (et al) even more....

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Old 9th September 2007, 11:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Charlie Monoxide View Post
Yes, he was. But aren't all god-boys, err god-people. Let's not be sexist when using ad homs.

That makes me love Dawkins (et al) even more....

Charlie (don't be dissing St Dawkins) Monoxide

What else are you going to use when the facts aren't on your side, eh?

Did you ever see this?

http://richarddawkins.net/article,46...Reply,PZ-Myers

or this. http://richarddawkins.net/article,16...ichard-Dawkins

I love smart people.
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Old 10th September 2007, 07:05 AM   #5
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I'll have to listen to this when I get home. I like that he's a big name non-Atheist scientist who believes in evolution, just because it's nice to have one to point to when evolution is portrayed as some Atheist conspiracy. I don't really get his whole "humans are no longer evolving" mentality though. Especially being a geneticist, you would think he'd be the first one to point to divergence in modern human populations as evidence of that. I think that's where his theology seems to get in the way of his science.

Funny little story. My father in law is a nice guy, but pretty religious and doesn't believe in evolution. He always forwards random news stories to everyone in his family (who are also religious and don't believe in evolution). One day he forwarded all of us a link to a story about Collins. He must've stopped reading after the first paragraph, where it said he was a scientist and Christian. He assumed that meant he was against evolution, and didn't bother to read 2 paragraphs down where he explained that even as a Christian he had to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence for every being on earth to have a common ancestor.
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Old 10th September 2007, 10:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Juustin View Post
I'll have to listen to this when I get home. I like that he's a big name non-Atheist scientist who believes in evolution, just because it's nice to have one to point to when evolution is portrayed as some Atheist conspiracy. I don't really get his whole "humans are no longer evolving" mentality though. Especially being a geneticist, you would think he'd be the first one to point to divergence in modern human populations as evidence of that. I think that's where his theology seems to get in the way of his science.

Funny little story. My father in law is a nice guy, but pretty religious and doesn't believe in evolution. He always forwards random news stories to everyone in his family (who are also religious and don't believe in evolution). One day he forwarded all of us a link to a story about Collins. He must've stopped reading after the first paragraph, where it said he was a scientist and Christian. He assumed that meant he was against evolution, and didn't bother to read 2 paragraphs down where he explained that even as a Christian he had to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence for every being on earth to have a common ancestor.
Definitely listen to the podcast. Collins is a hard-core evolutionist, although he thinks it diest driven ....

Charlie (Code My Genome - a la Pimp My Ride) Monoxide
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Old 10th September 2007, 01:51 PM   #7
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Yes, indeed,-- he's very clear on common descent between apes and humans-- that's why I wanted DJ to ask about original sin. But even Behe concedes common descent-- but in his own wishy washy unclear who-knows-what-the-hell-he's-saying kind of way.

You can believe your little heart out-- the facts still just keep being the facts. The world was a sphere even all those years humans truly believed otherwise.
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Old 13th February 2008, 07:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by articulett View Post
Yes, indeed,-- he's very clear on common descent between apes and humans-- that's why I wanted DJ to ask about original sin. But even Behe concedes common descent-- but in his own wishy washy unclear who-knows-what-the-hell-he's-saying kind of way.

You can believe your little heart out-- the facts still just keep being the facts. The world was a sphere even all those years humans truly believed otherwise.
I think this thing you point out about Behe is what really ruins his credibility, he says different things based on the audience.

He endorsed and co-authored "Of Pandas and People" which says no bird was ever not a bird, no fish ever not a fish, etc. but he concedes changes among scientific audiences.

But I do think that as much as I hate religion, Collins is for the short term good.
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Old 13th February 2008, 12:42 PM   #9
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Yes... and Collins is older... he can win more converts in the fuzzy older crowd. I think he's wrong, but I also know that if people think evolution leads to atheism they will fight it harder.

It often does lead to atheism... it makes so much more sense and is so much more elegant and explanatory than the supposed divine truths in ancient texts which can't help sounding like puerile myths in comparison.
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Old 13th February 2008, 12:52 PM   #10
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Collins does nothing particularly clever. He practices and preaches NOMA and when pushed about his religiosity he invokes a personal experience with a frozen waterfall. His gimmick is to be a fairly well recognized public figure who happens to be a scientist who happens to share the God delusion.
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Old 15th February 2008, 11:34 PM   #11
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Most of the claims that certain scientists believed in god are simply untrue. They refer to the god of the philosophers i.e. god being all that we have yet to describe. I am interested in why Collins insists on holding on to his upbringing as this is the only reason he would be a Christian. If he of credulous ilk then if he were born a Muslim he would be Muslim etc. This is the overwhelming philosophical argument against patent belief. Science aside.

Personally I just don't need anything other than science to describe my universe and place within- neither should he.


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Old 18th February 2008, 12:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TeslaPRG View Post
Most of the claims that certain scientists believed in god are simply untrue. They refer to the god of the philosophers i.e. god being all that we have yet to describe. I am interested in why Collins insists on holding on to his upbringing as this is the only reason he would be a Christian. If he of credulous ilk then if he were born a Muslim he would be Muslim etc. This is the overwhelming philosophical argument against patent belief. Science aside.

Personally I just don't need anything other than science to describe my universe and place within- neither should he.


paul
Collins actually says that both his parents are secularists. But I do think that if you change upbringing to environment it still holds true.

He also does seem to believe in "The God of the Philosophers" I hadn't heard of that before.

That is very, very, clever.
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Old 18th February 2008, 12:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Alric View Post
Collins does nothing particularly clever. He practices and preaches NOMA and when pushed about his religiosity he invokes a personal experience with a frozen waterfall. His gimmick is to be a fairly well recognized public figure who happens to be a scientist who happens to share the God delusion.
I definitely agree with you about Collins as a person.

But where I live, which is Texas, people are actually persuaded to be open minded about evolution by people like Collins.

I can barely stomach hearing the man speak, because I believe this kind of theism is compartmentalizing of the worst kind.

This is a hard question for me.

What is more important, forwarding atheism?
or forwarding public acceptance of science?

Some might say they are one and the same, but for so many, they seem to prefer compartmentalizing their minds.
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Old 18th February 2008, 12:10 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by articulett View Post
Yes... and Collins is older... he can win more converts in the fuzzy older crowd. I think he's wrong, but I also know that if people think evolution leads to atheism they will fight it harder.

It often does lead to atheism... it makes so much more sense and is so much more elegant and explanatory than the supposed divine truths in ancient texts which can't help sounding like puerile myths in comparison.
This is kind of what I'm thinking right now. Science does eventually, in the long run, lead to atheism.
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Old 18th February 2008, 12:03 PM   #15
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Science certainly makes God unnecessary.
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