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Is it anti-religion to be pro-science?

June 20, 2009 |  6:00 am

To the question above, Dr. Francis S. Collins says: No way. He's the physician and researcher who guided the Human Genome Project in the 1990s and is now said to be the leading contender for the top post at the National Institutes of Health.

Collins Collins, 59, is perhaps the most thoughtful proponent of the idea that science and religious faith can exist in harmony. In fact, he cites the beauty of DNA as evidence for the existence of God.

Having grown up in a religion-free household, he attributes his spiritual awakening to a patient he cared for during his medical training. While serving as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH, he wrote a book on the subject, called "The Language of God."

Collins discussed the interplay between religion and science with NPR reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty last month at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life's Faith Angle Conference in Key West, Fla. A transcript of that in-depth conversation has now been posted here. For an abbreviated version, check out this Q&A with The Times from 2007.

-- Karen Kaplan

Photo: Dr. Collins signs copies of his book in his hometown of Staunton, Va., in 2007. Credit: Jay Paul / For The Times

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