27 July 2009

Francis Collins takes a lickin'

Its been a minute since I've blogged but I feel I should link you to several posts concerning Barack Obama's appointment of Francis Collins to the head of the National Institutes of Health. I'll offer my own thoughts on this odd appointment tomorrow sometime but for now, try these.

Sam Harris says it all, and he says it nicely in his NY Times Op-Ed, and he isn't interested in beating around the bush. It will be interesting to see what kind of response Harris gets as a result of this.

Evolutionary biologist, Jerry Coyne, has a wonderful blog that is generally chalk full of evocative vignettes of evolutionary biology, commentary on current peer reviewed research as well thoughtful posts on the current iteration of the science vs religion fight. Prompted by Sam Harris, Coyne watched the lecture by Francis Collins that Sam Harris found so odiously otiose. Coyne has some very precise thoughts on the manner in which Collins approaches scientific inquiry. Do check it out.

Evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker, is unsure about Collins as well. Pinker is never dull and his list of worries is cogent and well thought out.

In none of these essays will you find much in the way of praise, back-handed or otherwise, for Francis Collins. There won't be any in my upcoming blog about the guy. However in the interest of balance, clicking on the title of this blog will take you to Collins' ridiculous brain-child The Biologos Foundation. Tool around that site and come to your own conclusions about Dr. Collins. Below I've also embedded Collins lecture at UC Berkley.


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