POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

Sam Harris is "Uncomfortable"

It doesn’t take much religion to get Sam Harris’ shorts all up in a bunch. It appears that someone having faith in God is making him “uncomfortable” again. I’m not sure why he can’t live and let live - his worldview would tell him that all beliefs are by-products of blind, physical processes operating according to routine natural law. What’s it to him if someone is religious?

This time someone is going too far once again. Harris must speak out! Barak Obama, has nominated Francis Collins to be the next director of the National Institutes of Health and Sam Harris is uncomfortable and is letting the world know in the NY Times. Now why is this so troubling? Collins is not some crazy creationist, he doesn’t even take the route of intelligent design. He is a full card carrying evolutionist after all. He is also a fantastic scientist and was the leader of the Human Genome Project. So why does this bug Mr. Harris so much? Well, Collins believes in God and is not really in the closet about it. Shocking!

Harris acknowledges Collins’ impeccable credentials, listen to his own words:

PRESIDENT OBAMA has nominated Francis Collins to be the next director of the National Institutes of Health. It would seem a brilliant choice. Dr. Collins’s credentials are impeccable: he is a physical chemist, a medical geneticist and the former head of the Human Genome Project. He is also, by his own account, living proof that there is no conflict between science and religion. In 2006, he published “The Language of God,” in which he claimed to demonstrate “a consistent and profoundly satisfying harmony” between 21st-century science and evangelical Christianity.

So why the big problem for Harris. It seems he does not like that Collins is not an atheist just like him! For Harris and those who think “Science=atheism” simply do not want a divine echo around anything they call “science.”

Again, hear his words as to why he is so uncomfortable with Collins’ appointment. The closing words of his essay read as follows:

Francis Collins is an accomplished scientist and a man who is sincere in his beliefs. And that is precisely what makes me so uncomfortable about his nomination. Must we really entrust the future of biomedical research in the United States to a man who sincerely believes that a scientific understanding of human nature is impossible?

If we are honest, Harris is being a bigot - he is uncomfortable with Collins because he believes differently about the nature of life and the universe. He seems to want a world where people like him can discriminate as the high priests of materialism adjudicating between who is worthy to do scientific inquiry. To be honest, I am hopeful that the Times will provide a counter opinion for his bigoted view of Dr. Collins and his abilities.