Language of God
by Richard Webb
Frances Collins 2006 book The Language of God, devoted to reconciling Judeo-Christians and evolutionists, misses many opportunities to do so.
The renowned geneticist and leader of the Human Genome Project (assertedly the greatest achievement of our generation), completed the first-draft mapping of the 3 billion gene sequences in DNA in 2000. He now heads the National Institutes of Health.
As a Christian, he laudably proposes that faith in God and faith in science can coexist and be harmonious saying, “We have caught the first glimpse of our instruction book, previously known only to God”.
Collins boldly challenges his Darwinian colleagues: “So those who choose to be atheists must find some other basis for taking that position, evolution won’t do”. (Pg 167). In addition, he says “…agnosticism also runs the risk of being a cop-out,” (Pg 168). Further, he notes that distinguished agnostics who took time to consider the evidence “unexpectedly converted themselves” (Pg 168). Perhaps he wrote this book to those folks. However, instead of reconciling atheistic/agnostic science to God’s Word in the Bible, he attempts to push the Bible toward today’s tenuous tenets of science.
The book first tries to build bridges to atheists by pandering to their 1. common misconceptions about the Salem Witch Trials, 2. Crusades, and 3. the underlying beliefs of fundamentally violent Islam. This leads to unjustified self-criticisms of Christianity (Pg 41); however ,
Unexpurgated history shows witch trials ended because two Christian preachers objected to the execution of 20 Salem witches, ending the murder of tens of thousands in Europe.
The Crusades were a last-option response to Moslems terrorizing Europe
Violent jihad is a resurrected scourge that civilization must again excise as our Founders did in the 1780’s.
Not a Biblical apologist (scholar), Collins writes outside his field of expertise, borrowing credibility from his reputation as an eminent biologist.
His discussion of suffering (Pg 43) fails to understand that all good flows from God’s highest value - LOVE Mark 12:30-31, which requires totally free will, and the inseparable freedom to NOT love. Love cannot be compelled. Logically, anything less than totally free-will regarding an all-powerful God could easily be coercion, which God sedulously avoids. Logically, the failure to choose love begets all evil and suffering. So, should God have restrained free-will in order to prevent evil behavior? Logically, He cannot.
Additionally, Collins analysis of suffering and evil is hindered by his misunderstanding the concept of dominion from Psalm 115:16 and Psalm 8:6. Adam ceded to satan the dominion given to Adam in Genesis 1:28. Satan now exercises that dominion. Luke 4:6 and 2Cor 4:4 But Jesus gave us, His followers, the power to defeat satan James 4:7, John 4:4, Matt 10:8 if we will “be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind” Rom 12:2 and use that power.
Collins also misunderstands (Pg 44-45), that miracles are intended to routinely follow believers:
These signs will follow those who believe Mark 16:17
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. Matt 10:8
These things you have seen me do, you will also do, and greater works than these… John 14:12-14
God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders…” Heb 2:4
Asserting that Big Bang is “well described and unlikely to be revised” is hubristic and inconsistent with history. His Big-Bang endorsement (Pg 68) fails to mention serious doubts raised by observations of counter-rotating galaxies, stars moving toward us, and quantized red-shift. Dissenting scientists question why supposedly 'old' supernova exploding stars have projected materials such short distances when an old-universe theory would predict extremely long distances. Assumption of a 14 billion year universe age (Pg 64) ignores Setterfield’s ZPE (Zero Point Energy video) and radically faster speed of light at creation that promises someday to fit paleontology within the Biblical framework.
warns against literal interpretation of the Bible (Pg
science, as an attempt to know the mind of God, would proceed more rapidly if
a literal Biblical view of Origin informed astronomy, physics, biology, etc.
Instead, atheists waste billions of taxpayer-funded research dollars
constructing fairy-tales to 'prove' God does not exist.
“Professing to be wise, they became fools.” Rom 1:22
Sir Isaac Newton, the key figure in the scientific revolution, and William Maury researched scripture to launch their scientific inquiries. Kepler, Bacon, Galileo, Pascal, Brahe, Faraday, Mendel, Pasteur, Kelvin, Carver, and many others all said their inspiration came from God’s Word – the Bible. Naively, Einstein, Hawking, and many others initially presupposed a materialistic origin, but as evidence mounted, got dragged into reluctant recognition of a Creator.
Perhaps as a professional courtesy, but with absolutely no evidence, Collins PRESUMES (Pg 89) that dirt assembled ITSELF into DNA digital code, acquired the capability of information storage, and differentiated into multiple “kinds”. We have not seen such baseless backward extrapolation since Darwin, in his compendium of speculative conjectures (published without corroborating data) presumed that engineered adaptation explains origin.
Science predicates itself on the foundational principle that there is God’s discoverable order in the universe - down to the structure of sub-atomic particles. Order without intelligence is logically impossible! Yet scientists thrill at each new fairy-tale atheistic deception, and deem anything plausible when multiplied by millions of years. Possibly the Rosetta Stone was formed by millions of years of wind and water erosion.
The Collins book draws no clear distinction between ADAPTATION (micro-evolution) and ORIGIN (macro-evolution).
Collins asserts random assembly of molecules may have occurred. He tries to torpedo the entropy argument against biogenesis, a fairy-tale that chemistry begat biology vs. the truth that everything degrades (second law of thermodynamics). He uses an analogy that ignores the essential elements of purpose-driven order, plus sustainability, and replication (Pg. 92). A molecule bumping into molecules, like people in a crowd, does not infer or confer a relationship, or transfer properties, or create order. There is no reason for the new combination to persist, incorporate, amalgamate, congregate, conjugate, consolidate, or replicate!
He allows that God could have created the first DNA, but offers no rationale for why God would have stopped with a few samples, and thus forego the fun of creating diversity. He warns against a “God of the Gaps” (Pg 93) but fails to acknowledge the eventual overturning of nearly every contravening 'scientific' presumption, hypothesis, and theory to date. Instead of asking, “How did God do this?” materialistic "science" supports vain imaginations (hubristic fairy-tales) that eventually fail. Contrast atheistic "scientists" with the greatest physicist & mathematician ever, Sir Isaac Newton. whose 1704 manuscript describes his quest to extract scientific information from the Bible. Newton’s Laws of Motion and Gravity have withstood the test of time. Perhaps there is a correlation between seeking God and finding truth.
Collins warns against betting on a literal Genesis occurrence, then ventures into paleontology dogma (Pg 93), failing to include recent creationist evidence that disputes long-held scientific beliefs. He proffers no evidence when accepting the claim that extinct “kinds” are the missing transitional forms. There is NOT ONE transitional form in the fossil record!
Collins introduces Darwin’s assertion (which he ultimately adopts) that God may have “created a few original forms capable of self-development” (Pg 98). Then biologists misuse anthropomorphic terms like “strategy” saying that bugs develop a strategy to overcome pesticides. Ridiculous! God engineered rapid adaptation into the 4-dimensional genome.
If self-development was possible, the most intelligent sex-driven strategist in all God’s creation would, by now, have a bigger penis! Kindly pardon my graphic dramatization of this fundamental evidence needed to illustrate the truth that the self-development fairy tale has NO merit whatever.
Emulating Darwin, Collins takes pains to point out possible harmonious interpretations, but instead of accepting the Bible as true, and reconciling the current nascent state of struggling science with it, Collins incorrectly proclaims “no serious biologist today doubts the theory of evolution to explain the marvelous complexity and diversity of life” (Pg 99). He should visit Institute for Creation Research or Answers in Genesis or Creation.com for enlightenment by an ever-growing body of scientists whose compelling evidence refutes his assertion.
My own feeble survey of the beauty and apparently gratuitous diversity of amazing fish (28,000+ species) is sufficient to understand that God intended to give a glimpse of his power, beauty, magnificence, and divinity thru our observation of what He made. Romans 1:20.
Collins cites adaptations in stickleback fish, malaria, HIV, and flu as examples of evolution (Pg 132), but each is just a variant of itself, an adaptation, or a degraded mutation. The flu virus is still a flu virus; it does not morph into an HIV virus or a new disease, or new 'kind'. Even purposeful (with intelligence) attempts to modify fruit fly genes over thousands of generations only result in mutant fruit flies, some with wings sticking out of their heads.
His refutation of Special Creation’s “Ex Nihilo Species” (Pg 137) is feeble in that he illogically ignores God’s prerogative to re-use successful patterns. Why should God start anew with each “kind” created? The Bible repeatedly says “after his kind” for example, in Genesis 1:24 (Noah Webster’s version is the most grammatically correct) which reinforces that God created multiple kinds of plants and animals. One can only imagine how much fun God must have had creating the variations.
It appears that DNA is comprised of error-correcting code like a RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) in a computer server. If a piece is lost or corrupted, the piece reconstructs by referencing the other pieces. Programmers developed the math and logic needed to accomplish this feat in computers long before biologists recognized its pre-existence in DNA. Neither happened without intelligent design!
Normally I would avoid criticism in this distinguished scientist’s area of expertise, but Collins makes a special point of calling caspace-12 a “nonfunctional gene” (Pg 139) to argue against Special Creation. Certainly, it is illogical to presume that God would design a gene with 45% flotsam and jetsam (Pg 136). Having been a computer programmer I visualize gene coding as analogous to a computer memory-dump in which data and instructions mix within the hexadecimal strings. It was frequently easier to spot data (analogous to G-A-A and G-A-G recipes for glutamic acid) than to identify instructions within the memory dump. Doesn’t it make sense to pursue an inquiry into what Collins dismissively calls Ancient Repetitive Elements as possible instructions governing the G-A-A and G-A-G instead of flotsam and jetsam?
I could find nowhere that this cellular biology expert presents the fact that DNA requires 75 proteins to exist, but proteins require DNA for construction. Using this undeniable fact, he could have made a much stronger case for God.
Collins attacks Young Earth creationists (Pg 172-179) saying, “Young Earth creationism has reached a point of intellectual bankruptcy, both in its science and in its theology”. He assumes processes like deuterium decay always functioned as now, assumes light had to travel from distant stars (Pg 176) as opposed to beams having been created simultaneous with, or BEFORE (Gen 1:3) the stars (Gen 1:14). He fails to cite the following arguments for a young earth fitting a Bible timeline:
Ocean salinity and sediment deposits at river mouths are consistent with a young earth.
The number of exploding star (supernova) remnants (SNRs) in all three stages is consistent with a 7000 year-young universe.
Evidence that God did not create an embryonic universe, but a fully functioning interactive SYSTEM, manifests in plants that require creatures for pollination.
Due to Barry Setterfield’s ZPE (Zero Point Energy, the physical manifestation of Planck’s constant) the speed of light and electrons has decreased asymptotically since Creation. Light appears to have traveled 30% faster in Jesus day, 400 times faster in Abraham’s day, and ten million times faster prior to 3,000BC.
Speed of light may be increasing as it encounters less ZPE at the outer edges of space. Just as light speeds up after it emerges from water, allow me to speculate that the very nature of light may be such (otherwise, what is the energy source?) that it travels at a fixed speed except while ZPE, water, atmosphere, and space dust etc. hinders.
Electrons bouncing erratically off ZPE on their orbital track, probably explains the “Uncertainty Principle” of quantum physics and the slowing.
Electrons are moving slower, so calculations of age based on linear atomic decay need extreme revision.
We are simply peering thru a longer tail-light beam as the once-close stars travel away. The light appears redder because the lower-energy photons were redder, not a Doppler effect as suggested by Hubble’s red-shift. We cannot observe light from outside the beam because it always heads directly toward us. The speed is relative to our own speed.
When people study the Bible’s supernatural truths, fulfilled prophesies, structure, its heptadic code (7’s), and gematria (Jewish numbering) sufficiently to know that the Bible is, beyond doubt, directly from God, then there emerges a worldview firmly rooted in truth. God’s account of how He created the universe, and us, is not an allegory as Collins opines. Successful (real, true) science, like Bible study, is an attempt to know the mind of God.
Science hinders itself with materialistic terms of engagement that stifle investigation. Our physics is likely only a shadow of a larger reality hinted at by mathematical postulations of at least 6 additional dimensions we cannot yet comprehend. We should think of our material universe as a subset of a larger supernatural reality. Science thwarts progress by clinging to foolish atheistic traditions designed to deny the existence of God.
Educator John Taylor Gatto (author of Dumbing Us Down) told me schooling trains people to act like fish (swim in unison). Joe Bobier, inventor of Single-Cycle Modulation privately said, “If I had been an electrical engineer, they would have convinced me this is not possible.” The reason breakthrough ideas come from sophomore high schoolers (Jack Andraka’s cancer detector, Simon Tsaoussis, two-transistor ternary RAM) is that they are unencumbered by orthodoxy. Revolutionary, disruptive, correct ideas encounter establishment ridicule as Dr. Robert O. Becker describes in his journey The Body Electric. Collins incorrectly struggles to conform to atheist/agnostic orthodoxy instead of standing firmly on God’s Word. I strongly urge him to revise this book.
Richard H. Webb
Ps. While writing this review I found an excellent quick video that summarizes numerous apologetic evidences personally learned by reading many books. I highly recommend it.