April 14 in freethought history…

franciscollinsApril 14, 1950 - Geneticist Francis Collins is born in Staunton, Virginia. Collins is best known as former head of the Human Genome Project and as current Director of the National Institutes of Health. He has sparked controversy for his outspoken Christianity and his opinions on the relationship between faith and science. Collins describes himself as a former atheist and now born-again Christian who rejects young-earth creationism and intelligent design. While Collins’ scientific bona fides are impressive, many have mocked his squishy logic when it comes to his conversion to Christianity. In a 2006 interview with Salon, he said, “Nobody gets argued all the way into becoming a believer on the sheer basis of logic and reason. That requires a leap of faith. And that leap of faith seemed very scary to me. After I had struggled with this for a couple of years, I was hiking in the Cascade Mountains on a beautiful fall afternoon. I turned the corner and saw in front of me this frozen waterfall, a couple of hundred feet high. Actually, a waterfall that had three parts to it — also the symbolic three in one. At that moment, I felt my resistance leave me. And it was a great sense of relief. The next morning, in the dewy grass in the shadow of the Cascades, I fell on my knees and accepted this truth — that God is God, that Christ is his son and that I am giving my life to that belief.” Collins detailed his experiences and views in the 2006 book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.

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