The Scientist reports that the name being circulated as most likely to head the National Institutes of Health is Francis Collins.
Dr. Collins spearheaded the US government efforts to document the human genome. However, he’s just as well known for being not only a believer, but a Christian. He has told the story of his conversion in the face of the beauty of nature, in his book,The Language of God; A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.
Dr. Collins believes that the evidence is strong that the Earth is more than 6000 or so years old and that it looks as though the Creator used evolution to do His work. (You can imagine the shock when he gave his talk outlining his evidence at the Center for Humanity and Bioethics a few years ago.) He’s started an organization called “BioLogos.org,” to explore the interface of science and religion.
Francis Collins is not the only scientist to reconcile religion with science. Frank Tipler ("The Physics of Immortality") and James Gardner ("Biocosm" and "The Intelligent Universe") are two others where such credit is due.I believe that a transhumanist version of Christianity will emerge that will supplement the conventional "luddite" Christianity in much the same way Protestantism supplemented Catholicism 500 years ago. Concepts such as the transhumanism, the singularity, and the omega point mesh perfectly with the concepts inherent in Christianity. I believe the first priest to grasp the ultimate unity of science and religion is Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. If Francis Collins helps to promote these ideas, he will be a good choice for NIH.
Thanks for the information, kurt9.Here's my opinion: We humans see the super-natural "through a glass darkly," and everyone is getting a slightly different view from the Light – some of us have glass that's more clear, others are too far away from the Source of the Light to see as much.
There seems to be much confusion about what the word "supernatural" means. There is a knowledge frontier that continually moves out over time. Phenomenon inside this frontier is stuff we have perfectly reasonable explanations for. Phenomenon that lies outside this frontier, we call "supernatural" because we do not understand it yet. Since the frontier continually moves out, something called supernatural 100 years ago is no longer called such today. For example, lightning was considered a supernatural phenomenon 400 years ago. Then Ben Franklin flew his kite (nearly getting himself electrocuted in the process) and found out the lightning is electrical discharge.Likewise today, many things we call supernatural will be understood, say, 200-300 years from now. The word "supernatural" means that which lies outside the current knowledge frontier, nothing less and nothing more.