Thursday, July 30, 2009
The Eyes Have It
There is a point-counterpoint in the Los Angeles Times between Francisco Ayala and Michael Shermer over the appropriateness of Francis Collins' appointment to head the National Institutes of Health. The most notable thing is this from Ayala:
Do I expect Collins to use his office as NIH director to promote religion? No. His past career -- both scientific and administrative -- justifies this expectation. Would I be concerned that a lapsed Catholic or a fully convinced atheist, if one were appointed NIH director, would use the office to promote atheism or attack religion? I wouldn't, as long as their resumes would not show such transgressions in the past or give reason to anticipate them in the future.
In his 2006 book, "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief," Collins proclaims his Christian faith and how it inspires and fulfills his life. This is his privilege as long as he does not use his office to advance religious goals or misuse science for religious purposes.