Francis Sellers Collins M.D. Ph.D. (born April 14, 1950) is an American physician-geneticist who discovered the genes associated with a number of diseases and led the Human Genome Project. He is the former director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, from 17 August 2009 to 19 December 2021, serving under three presidents, and for over 12 years.
- The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in the cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic, awesome, intricate, and beautiful.
- The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (2006), p. 211
- As someone who's had the privilege of leading the human genome project, I've had the opportunity to study our own DNA instruction book at a level of detail that was never really possible before. It's also now been possible to compare our DNA with that of many other species. The evidence supporting the idea that all living things are descended from a common ancestor is truly overwhelming. I would not necessarily wish that to be so, as a Bible-believing Christian. But it is so. It does not serve faith well to try to deny that.
- "God Is Not Threatened by Our Scientific Adventures", interview by Laura Sheahen, Beliefnet (undated)
- There are answers that science isn’t able to provide about the natural world—the questions about why instead of the questions about how. I’m interested in the whys. I find many of those answers in the spiritual realm. That in no way compromises my ability to think rigorously as a scientist.
- Yes, evolution by descent from a common ancestor is clearly true. If there was any lingering doubt about the evidence from the fossil record, the study of DNA provides the strongest possible proof of our relatedness to all other living things.
- "Collins: Why this scientist believes in God", editorial, CNN (April 6, 2007)
- "We'll get closer to perfect kids from caring families and good education than we'll ever get from genetics." 2005 National DNA Day Online Chatroom Transcript, https://www.genome.gov/DNADay/q.cfm?aid=5419&year=2005
- Reason alone cannot prove the existence of God. Faith is reason plus revelation, and the revelation part requires one to think with the spirit as well as with the mind. You have to hear the music, not just read the notes on the page.
- I was an atheist, finding no reason to postulate the existence of any truths outside of mathematics, physics and chemistry. But then I went to medical school, and encountered life and death issues at the bedsides of my patients. Challenged by one of those patients, who asked "What do you believe, doctor?", I began searching for answers.
- I would not expect religion to be the right tool for sequencing the human genome and by the same token would not expect science to be the means to approaching the supernatural. But on the really interesting larger questions, such as ‘Why are we here?’ or ‘Why do human beings long for spirituality?,’ I find science unsatisfactory. Many superstitions have come into existence and then faded away. Faith has not, which suggests it has reality.
- ... God must also be an incredible physicist ... there is this phenomenal fine-tuning of the universe that makes complexity and, therefore, life possible.
- (official) Francis Collins - The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence of Belief. Veritas Forum (21 December 2010). (quote at 21:43 of 1:33:09)