Genetic code and God’s language -cont’d-

There is a new book by Francis Collins “The language of God“, one of the leading persons in human genome sequencing. As the commentary says:

Midway through the book, Collins delivers a clear and cogent answer: He is an evangelical Christian. He sees no difficulty in accepting the continuity of life from its origins on Earth some 4 billion years ago. He makes plain that the continuity of life since then has depended upon the physical continuity of DNA backbones whose sequences undergo random mutation. He accepts wholeheartedly the complete capacity of natural selection … he sees all of this as being the intention of a Creator God, whose continued interest in Creation is exemplified not by any particular miracle but rather by these scientific facts.

Although Collins certainly has my sympathy of bring together religion and science, I feel his approach rather sloppy (if you believe in junk DNA or not conserved sequences between species). As Karl Barth pointed out, God is in heaven, we are on earth – our anthropocentric attempts to describe God will therefore largely fail.

“What expressions we used – in part taken over and in part newly invented! – above all, the famous ‘wholly other’ breaking in upon us ‘perpendicularly from above,’ the not less famous ‘infinite qualitative distinction’ between God and man, the vacuum, the mathematical point, and the tangent in which alone they must meet.”

There is nothing that can be found about God by reading DNA sequences; the epiphany of God is contained in the scripture speaking (fortunately) a human language. The catholic movement seems to be more precautious as found in a recent Nature comment by Declan butler:

Religion is religion, science is science, and good fences make good neighbours.

Benedikt XVI seem to do a much better job of reconciling faith and science.