President Barack Obama tapped Francis Collins, the discoverer of the genes that cause such pernicious afflictions as cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease, to lead the National Institutes of Health, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Collins, 59, also led the government project to map the human genome, authored a best-seller detailing scientific reasons to believe in a higher power and is a widely respected research scientist.
If confirmed — as is expected, the newspaper reported — Collins would step into one of the most powerful positions in science, commanding 27 institutes and a $30 billion annual budget.
In 2006, he published “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief,” which explained his journey from agnosticism to a religious philosphy he calls “biologos,” or theistic evolution. It’s an acceptance of a higher power that rejects creationism and so-called “intelligent design,” according to the Times:
“‘[E]volution 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.’
“He called his philosophy Theistic Evolution, or BioLogos, and argued that God created the physical parameters of the universe but then allowed it to develop on its own.”