The author, a pioneering medical geneticist, explains that as a Christian believer, “the experience of sequencing the human genome, and uncovering this most remarkable of all texts, was both a stunning scientific achievement and an occasion of worship”. The book combines a personal account of his faith and experiences as a genetics researcher.
Following the lead of C.S. Lewis, whose Mere Christianity was influential in Collins’s conversion from atheism, the book argues that belief in a transcendent, personal God can coexist with a scientific picture of the world that includes evolution.
One can respect his belief in the divinity of Jesus without agreeing that such a belief logically follows from his argument for the existence of God. Likewise, Collins goes beyond the evidence when he speculates that “God’s intention in creating the universe” may have been “to lead to creatures with whom He might have fellowship, namely human beings”.
Many readers will doubt that all 10 or 15 billion years of cosmic history merely prepared the way for us, a pack of inquisitive primates pondering the starry expanses from our speck of planetary dust. Still, it’s bracing to be reminded, in our disenchanted day, that an eminent scientist can read the genetic code as sacred speech.