Friday, May 29, 2009

Collins at the NIH

Francis Collins's selection as head of the NIH has generated a lot of buzz in the atheist blogosphere. The bottom line is this. By all indications he's a good scientist, and a good science administrator. He has some irrational beliefs, and so do you. Has he, in his professional life, made decisions based on those irrational beliefs? Or has he made the same decisions that an atheist would have? If he's able to keep his personal baggage from interfering in his work - something we all have to work on - then I don't see an issue.

If there were a logical choice for the post (based on qualifications) who happened to be a vocal atheist, and we were talking about a field of candidates, then I would probably be arguing against Collins. But that's not the situation we're in, and Collins has a good reputation even among atheists.

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