Decoding the Language of God

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  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-12-22
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
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While atheists have the outspoken critics Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens to argue vigorously for the nonexistence of God, believers have a credentialed ally in Francis Collins. In his 2007 bestseller, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, the geneticist who pioneered the Human Genome Project and who now directs the National Institutes of Health argues that science does confirm the existence of God and that scientists can effectively study the natural world and still be believers.

Author Biography

George C. Cunningham, MD, MPH, now retired, is the former chief of the Genetic Disease Branch of the California State Department of Health Services. He has published more than 150 articles in scientific publications, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, the American Journal of Human Genetics, and Pediatrics.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 11
Introductionp. 13
Why I Wrote This Bookp. 13
A Note on Languagep. 16
Are Scientists Believers?p. 17
Why Is Scientific Acceptance So Important to Believers?p. 18
Science versus Religionp. 20
Are You a Believer?p. 21
References to Godp. 23
From Belief to Atheismp. 29
A Personal Journeyp. 29
Evidence and Rules of Argumentp. 37
References and Sourcep. 37
Belief, Knowledge, and Faithp. 38
What Is Valid Evidence?p. 41
Burden of Proofp. 45
The War of Worldviewsp. 47
Wish Fulfillmentp. 48
Will Wishing Make It So?p. 51
Can Science Explain the Need for Religion?p. 52
Harms of Religionp. 54
The Problem of Evilp. 57
Free Will and GodĂs Foreknowledgep. 58
Natural Evilp. 65
Evil Is the Work of the Devilp. 66
A Biblical Justification of Sufferingp. 67
Miracles versus Sciencep. 68
Why Are Miracles So Rare?p. 70
WhatĂs Wrong With the Moral Argument?p. 75
The Moral Law. Does It Exist?p. 75
Is the Moral Law a Product of Culture?p. 77
Is the Moral Law Naturally Inherited?p. 80
What Accounts for Altruism?p. 81
How Does Science Explain Moral Behavior?p. 86
Is the Moral Law as Natural as Speech?p. 88
Is the Moral Law an Unintended Consequence of Evolution?p. 90
Other Problemsp. 90
Cosmology: Origins of the Universep. 99
What Came before the Big Bang?p. 99
Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?p. 104
What Is the Purpose of Creation?p. 105
Anthropic Coincidencesp. 107
What about Genesis?p. 117
The Biblep. 121
My Experiences with the Biblep. 121
Analysis of the Biblep. 123
The Resurrection as Proofp. 131
CollinsĂs Defense of the Biblep. 139
The Bible and Sciencep. 151
The Problem of Genesisp. 153
Other Problems with Genesisp. 157
The Bible as Legendp. 159
Are Atheists the Real Bible Literalists?p. 161
What Does the Popularity of the Bible Prove?p. 164
Naturalism (Atheism and Agnosticism)p. 169
Collins against Atheismp. 169
Collins versus Freudp. 171
Collins versus Dawkinsp. 172
The Case for Atheismp. 176
Is Our Universe the Work of God?p. 177
Is God Evil?p. 178
The Theodicyp. 179
The Free Will Defensep. 180
Who Causes Natural Evil?p. 186
Summary Statementp. 187
Supernaturalism (Ethical Monotheism, Spirituality)p. 189
Why Is Science Opposed to Christianity?p. 189
The Supernaturalp. 193
Is There Evidence for the Supernatural?p. 196
Miracles as Supernatural Eventsp. 198
Prayerp. 202
Paranormal Claimsp. 208
Mysticismp. 211
Supernatural Visionsp. 212
A Personal God?p. 217
What Is a Person?p. 218
Is God a Person?p. 221
Is God Made in Our Image?p. 224
Why Believe God Is a Person?p. 228
Does God Have Multiple Personality Disorder?p. 230
Conclusionp. 233
Summing Upp. 233
Exhortation to Believersp. 237
Exhortation to Scientistsp. 241
Commitment to Truthp. 242
Indexp. 247
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