There is much good news here. Science and faith can indeed exist in harmony if we will just recognize the proper domain of each. Voicing that same theme of harmony between the tough mind and the tender heart, Dr. King quotes the 19th century German philosopher, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: “Truth is found neither in the thesis nor the antithesis, but in an emergent synthesis that reconciles the two.”
A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart
A sermon by Martin Luther King Jr. has profound relevance for contemporary debates over faith and science.
About the author
Francis Collins is one of the world’s leading scientists and geneticists, and the founder of BioLogos, where he is now a Senior Fellow. In his early scientific career, he discovered the gene for cystic fibrosis. Then he led an international collaboration that first mapped the entire human genome. For that work he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science. In 2009 he was appointed as Director of the National Institutes of Health, where he served three presidents until 2021, including oversight of the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022 he was asked to serve for 8 months as Acting Science Advisor to the President, and he continues service today in the White House as a Special Projects Advisor. In 2006, Collins wrote the best-selling book The Language of God. It tells the story of his journey from atheism to Christian belief, showing that science actually enhances faith. The tremendous response to the book prompted Collins to found BioLogos. He envisioned it as a forum to discuss issues at the intersection of faith and science and to celebrate the harmony found there. His reputation quickly attracted a large network of faith leaders, including Tim Keller, Philip Yancey, and NT Wright. These and others joined the BioLogos conversation and affirmed the value of engaging science as believers. BioLogos is now an organization that reaches millions around the world. In celebration of his world-class scientific accomplishments and deep Christian faith, Collins was awarded the Templeton Prize in 2020. It honors individuals who are “harnessing the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it.” He joined a prestigious group of previous winners, including Mother Teresa, Francis Ayala, Charles Townes, Desmond Tutu, and Billy Graham.
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