‘It’s worth stressing two things about the case of Francis Collins [the director of the National Institutes of Health, who spent a decade heading the Human Genome Project]. One is that, while being completely orthodox with respect to evangelical doctrine, he played an important role in one of the great advances in the history of human knowledge. And that was possible only because of the gap between the evangelical and fundamentalist perspectives. An advance such as the mapping of the human genome is only possible on the basis of previously developed knowledge – of which evolution is a part, and so-called “creation science” is not.
. . . The other striking issue in the matter of Francis Collins is how much authority his combination of scientific eminence and religious conviction give him within the evangelical world. Which is to say, not much. That he accepts evolution provokes the suspicion that he is under the devil’s influence. Bogus creationist “experts” criticize his work on specious grounds. People walk out on his talks in protest, and his worst hate mail comes from fellow believers.’