Evening at Trinity Forum in Washington DC

Last night, my wife and I attended the last of a wonderful series of talks at the Trinity Forum in Washington DC on the overall topic of Discovery and Doxology. We had been to previous talks by Praveen Sethupathy on human identity and genetics, (“Are We More than our Genes”) and by Bill Newsome on neurobiology, both brilliant and inspiring. But last night’s talk was the crown jewel. Francis Collins spoke on the harmony between science and Christian faith, including his own journey to faith from atheism by way of medicine and science. He also covered a great deal of the modern science and ethical dilemmas of gene editing.

I should mention for the benefit of our friend @Patrick, that Dr. Collins announced that he was speaking as a private citizen, and not as a representative of the government, nor the NIH, which is perfectly legal and in keeping with all court decisions and governmental policies, so FFRF can relax. He also told me (before the talk started) that it took 5 months to get permission from officials to give the talk, which is typical. I also used to have to go through similar, but not as difficult or rigorous vetting before I could do anything like speak or publish, .

At the same pre talk reception, I also had the pleasure of talking with Deb Haarsma (Biologos was co sponsor of the event), and Michael Murray from John Templeton Foundation, and a number of other old friends. Francis does draw a crowd. All in all a heart warming and inspiring evening.

I believe the entire talk was taped, and I will post a link once the video is available. I may also post more details on what was said, and/or answer any questions posted below.


Thank you, and looking forward. An obvious treat for all who attended. Congratulations!

Thank you @sygarte. That is really great to hear.

Praveen was one of Dr. Collin’s postdocs, and a leading researcher in cancer biology at Cornell. He came to faith from a Hindu background. I really recommend hearing his story. I will be giving a talk at his department (at his kind invitation) this coming April 2019, and may also be doing a Veritas Forum there.

Bill Newsome was keynote speaker at ASA recently, but this is his Trinity Forum Project.

That is great to hear. I had a good time this week at Dabar with both of them. @sygarte I was really excited to hear that Mike Murray knows you, and I was glad to tell him about the work you are doing too.

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Of note, and this will be interesting, Dr Murray presented his take on the Genealogical Adam at Dabar. This is really capturing the imagination of people across the spectrum. @jongarvey, it was really similar to your view. It would be really great if you could write up a post that explains your current theological model in condensed form. I’ll send him a link when you have it.


Without getting into details yet, there was really positive movement from BioLogos before and at Dabar. They are on a good path, and I know for a fact I reacted a bit too strongly to @Kathryn_Applegate’s blog post (apology here: BioLogos Allows for De Novo Adam - #17). @gbrooks9 was right, it was an olive branch. It will be interesting to see how things develop from here. There are in a process of change, it seems.

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Here is a link to the unedited video. It starts with introductions at about 18 minutes. Evening Conversation with Dr. Francis Collins and James K. Smith on Science and Faith in Harmony | The Trinity Forum was live. | By The Trinity Forum | Facebook

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Great news all 'round! Thanks, again!

I just saw that this version doesnt show slides, so I will post another link when the final version (with slides) is out.

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Dr. Collins has always been a great scientist, great researcher, and an exemplary public servant as Director of NIH. He has always handled himself fully compliant with the US Constitution and the rules as the highest level spokesman for the US Government on matters of health research. I wish that Vice President Pence and Attorney General Sessions as well as many Cabinet Secretaries can learn from Dr. Collins on how one can simultaneously be a good Christian and a good US Government policy maker.


4 posts were split to a new topic: Red Team Wins a Round

Josh - out this evening, but should be able to do something here in the morning.

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