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Collins Appointment May Stir Unexpected Controversy

Original Article

The President’s nomination of former Human Genome Project head Francis Collins to lead the National Institutes of Health must have seemed like a felicitous decision at the White House. Collins lately has been a popular speaker on science and religion around the country, assuring Christians that there is no problems linking faith in God and faith in Darwinian evolution.

But when the confirmation hearings take place I would not be surprised to hear some sharp questions about Dr. Collins’ less known views on subjects that have not come out on his pulpit tours. He is, for example, a strong supporter of President Obama’s program on embryonic stem cell research. The head of NIH doesn’t have a lot to say about evolution, but he does have a lot to say about research matters in science on key social issues. Stem cells is only one of them.

Conservatives also may want to know Dr. Collins’ views on the President’s decision to let the Council on Bioethics lapse.

At the same time, Collins is anything but popular on the Darwinian left because, while he affirms Darwin’s theory completely, he also works God into the picture, and that especially bothers scientists and pundits in New Atheist circles. It was also known to irritate staff at NIH when he was last there. So you are going to hear some interesting grumbles.

Bruce Chapman

Cofounder and Chairman of the Board of Discovery Institute
Bruce Chapman has had a long career in American politics and public policy at the city, state, national, and international levels. Elected to the Seattle City Council and as Washington State's Secretary of State, he also served in several leadership posts in the Reagan administration, including ambassador. In 1991, he founded the public policy think tank Discovery Institute, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board and director of the Chapman Center on Citizen Leadership.