Scientist Francis Collins Presents Compelling Case for Faith

I’m sitting in the green room (the room a speaker uses to prepare for a speech or performance) just after Francis Collins finished a phenomenal presentation on the compatibility of faith and science.

He was astounding. If you haven’t read his book The Language of God then I recommend you pick it up. We’ll be putting a video of his presentation up soon at

. If you’re impatient you can see one of a similar presentation at MIT last year.

Our venue, Memorial Auditorium, seats 1,700. Our overflow room, Bishop Auditorium, seats 324. We had to open five additional classrooms. I’m confident we had at least 2,000 people turn out, but a police officer providing security was bold enough to suggest that the real total was 2,300.

My favorite part of the event? Looking at the program and seeing six lines.

Welcome: Lisa Ooi
PhD student, Chemical & Systems Biology

Introduction: Professor William Newsome
Chair, Stanford Department of Neurobiology the last house on the left online

Lecture: Dr. Francis Collins
Director, National Human Genome Research Institute

Those six lines sum up the whole event brilliantly — many very bright scientists see no necessary conflict between science and Christianity.

Oh — if you’ve been following my blog for a long time, you might remember Lisa Ooi’s name. She’s a longtime Chi Alphan who actually lived with Paula and I for a brief season. She did a great job and we’re very proud of her.

My second-favorite part of the event? Him showing the clip of himself being grilled by Stephen Colbert. Funny stuff.

Big thanks to Chi Alpha’s co-sponsors InterVarsity Graduate Christian Fellowship blues brothers 2000 divx online (the real driving force for this event), the Catholic Community at Stanford, and the Veritas Forum divx push

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. We could never have pulled off an event of this scale alone. A big special thanks to Amy Chambers and Kyle Heath who shouldered a ridiculous amount of the administrative details, to Pete Sommer for raising a lot of money to make this happen, to Kyle Pubols and Andrea Romero for running microphones during the q & a so very well, to the many students who helped route people to overflow rooms on an instant’s notice, and to Lena Ho, Xianne Leiong, Hilary Dyer, Isaac Penny, and all those who sat through lengthy meetings to plan this whole thing. Oh, and Dr. Bill Newsome did a tremendous job. And thanks to the Office for Religious Life and Dean Scotty McLennan for giving us permission to go for it.

Finally, a special thanks to Clare Kasemset who did a great job on the planning side but fell ill at the last minute and was unable to make it to the event. Hope you enjoy the video, Clare. Get well soon.

I’ll try to get some photos and more thoughts online later. Right now I need to focus on getting ready to preach a sermonic perspective on the same themes tomorrow night. I’ve got some big shoes to fill.

One thought on “Scientist Francis Collins Presents Compelling Case for Faith”

  1. Thanks for the link to the audio/video! Hopefully Collins will come to a university near me soon, but until then I’m happy to hear what he had to say at Stanford.

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