Admittedly: I have never been a fan of Francis Collins. I have always had misgivings about people who frantically seek to reconcile the evolutionary paradigm in science to Christian belief.
But that was all I would have charged him with: a misguided theology and unwillingness to consider rock-hard evidence against Darwinism. As it turns out, however, there might be more to learn from the tragic Collins case.
As John G. West documents in this article, Collins has a troubling record as director of the NIH: under his auspices, aborted fetal body parts were used in research, organs and tissues of aborted babies as old as 42 weeks were harvested, and he has intemperately attacked unvaccinated Americans in the name of “loving your neighbor”. This is not exactly what one calls a model of Christian behavior.
As West records in another article, Collins is also anything but a pro-lifer. For example, he has justified eugenic abortions of infants with Down’s syndrome, or has championed the unrestricted funding of embryonic stem-cell research which involves the destruction of human embryos.
More yet: Collins supports the LGTBQI movement, calling himself “an ally and advocate” although he is merely “a White cisgender and heterosexual man.” Not exactly a position in line with traditional Christian doctrine. And while his fervor for including the sexually ‘heterodox’, there is no sign on the NIH website anywhere that Collins pushes inclusion of Christians or Jews or anyone else who might want to distance himself from NIH’s politically tinged “Allyship in Action” campaign.
West aptly sums up that Collins is obviously “conforming to the prevailing paradigm in order to keep his job”, that he has a “tendency to defend rather than challenge the interests and worldview of his guild” and that he is “accommodating faith to culture rather than being willing to question culture even if it is heading in the wrong direction”.
Is it a coincidence that Collins has always been a champion of theistic evolution, even founding his own institute, BioLogos, which is waging an intramural war on views on evolution rather than challenging people outside the Christian community?
Could it be that the slogan to “follow scientific evidence where it leads” is just as little Collins’s motivation to embrace Darwinism as bolstering the biblical command to love one’s neighbor is his motive for attacking unvaccinated fellow citizens?
Could it be that we are faced here not with someone misjudging things rationally, but having made a morally significant pre-decision to gain cultural acceptance at any cost while staying a Christian?
Could this be an instance of a scrapping of the apostle John’s warning:
Could it be that the Collins pattern also applies to other personalities in science, great and small? That, even more generally, our rational judgments have much more to do with moral decisions than we usually think?
Image: NIH / Public Domain