World-renowned biologist Francis Collins, a beacon of hope, founded BioLogos in 2009 with a mission that resonates deeply: “to show that you don’t have to choose between modern science and biblical faith.” This mission, a testament to the possibility of harmony, is reassuring and inspiring.  

Collins led the Human Genome Project and currently directs the National Institutes of Health. His best-selling book, “The Language of God,” delves into his personal story and recalls his path from atheism to Christian belief.  

The world’s most famous biologist advocates that “science does not conflict with the Bible but actually enhances faith.” Last week, Collins joined other scientists, pastors and theologians for the Faith and Science Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Collins opened the conference by discussing his concern over the hyperpartisanship he witnessed in the church and nation. During the 2022 conference in San Diego, California, Collins recalled his astonishment at how his fellow Christians attacked him and science during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In Raleigh, Collins lamented what he has seen and heard since the pandemic, calling the turmoil within the church and nation a “deep state of division.” However, he remains hopeful that science is resilient while his faith inspires mercy and love.  

At the event, BioLogos president and CEO Deborah Haarsma  (an astrophysicist and a recent guest on Good Faith Weekly), voiced her concern for the deep division within the church and nation. However, she thinks scientists and people of faith can demonstrate a path of healing and hope for others.

While many have pitted science and faith against one another, Haarsma believes, “When faith and science work together, they achieve remarkable things.” This collaboration, she continued, provides the world with “a richer understanding of the universe.”  

In her most profound statement, the astrophysicist claimed, “A scientific explanation does not replace God.” She went on to demonstrate how the multiverse is an enormous expanse of galaxies, but even within that expanse, there is connectivity. For Haarsma, the connectivity is God.

Jim Stump, host of the podcast “Language of God,” built upon Collins’ and Haarsma’s presentations by discussing how God uses evolution as a process of creation. He equated the evolutionary process with his love for cooking. Ingredients start in one state but, when brought together, create something extraordinary.  

Stump believes God must “enjoy the process of creation.” Extending the cooking analogy, Stump admitted he was not a five-star chef but simply enjoyed the process. According to his argument, maybe God also enjoys creating; thus, evolution makes perfect sense. 

One of the most inspirational speakers was Charmaine Royal, the Robert O. Keohane Professor of African & African American Studies, Biology, Global Health, and Family Medicine & Community Health at Duke University. Her presentation was titled “Eclipsed by God’s Love.”

She began her talk by recalling the recent solar eclipse. Royal described the totality using breathtaking descriptors. However remarkable and beautiful the totality was, the professor pointed to something more inspiring for her.  

During the four minutes of totality, she glimpsed the crowd. Everyone was staring collectively at the eclipse. She described this beautiful moment of collected humanity as everyone staring at the sky inspired by “God’s glory.”  

It was a human bonding moment for Royal, bridging differences under four minutes of God’s glory. Divisions might be overcome if we could only figure out how to extend that moment longer than four minutes. 

BioLogos’ Faith and Science Conference was challenging and inspiring. Speakers provided bright, thought-provoking evidence that science and faith do not contradict each other. In fact, faith and science complement each other very well.  

Their website suggests, “BioLogos invites the church and the world to see the harmony between science and biblical faith as we present an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation.”

Last week’s event was a pleasant distraction from our cultural divisions. Collins, Haarsma and BioLogos inspire others to bask in God’s glory while pursuing rigorous science and offering praise to the creator of the universe.  

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