Field of Science

Francis Collins Religulous interview

Religulous has this wonderful interview with Francis Collins, who is supposed to be a brilliant scientist. Maybe he is, I really don't know. Here's sort of how it went:
Francis Collins: ... the New Testament as a record of eyewitnesses.

Bill Maher: You know they weren't eyewitnesses.

Francis: They were close to that.

Bill: No.

Francis: Within a couple of decades of eyewitnesses.
Within a couple of... decades? How do you do this in print... Muahaha? LOL? Pffffft?

Imagine that, for a moment. I was actually alive when the Berlin wall fell in 1989, so does that not make me an eyewitness within a couple of decades? I have actually talked to someone who went there to pick up a stone from the wall, so... my account of it surely could make it into the Next Testament, right?

I also was once at the spot of where John Lennon was shot. Exactly two decades after. So, that makes me an eyewitness twice a decade removed, or something? Take my word for it, then: Stephen King did it!

Thankfully, Francis was not all alone working on the Human Genome Project...


  1. Even better:
    I sit in the next office to you, and I saw you on your knees praying and chanting and reciting the bible ...

    or was it someone else before you, I can't tell my temporal eyewitnessing skill isn't that good

    Cheers Arend

  2. Bill Maher is a smarmy bastard and I love him to pieces. I am so pissed I no longer have the channel he's on.

    Claiming written accounts by eyewitnesses is indeed a bit of a stretch. They're not proof that the things written in them had to have happened; they just suggest that lots of people thought so at something close to the time. By the standards of ancient documents, yeah, they're pretty numerous and whatnot.

    But they were written by people. Who wrote them for reasons. Not inscribed on the side of a mountain in letters of fire that say "we apologize for the inconvenience." It's a frigging judgment call whether you want to think those people had the straight story.

  3. I stumbled across this googling Francis Collins, I doubt anyone even checks this blog anymore, but that is such a ridiculous post.

    Dr. Collins is a scientist. Maher booked an interview to talk about science and faith, so you would expect him to use his conversation with one of the world's most renowned evolutionary geneticists (who has since been appointed by President Obama to run the National Institutes of Health) to discuss how one can believe in science and faith. If Maher had asked questions about evolution and the bible it would have been a much more enlightening interview.

    But he showed up for an interview with a scientist and churned out questions about the historicity of the New Testament. What a joke. Of course that's not what Collins expected, and he speaks off the cuff on something he didn't prep for an is not at all an expert on. How stupid, and misleading, of Maher.

  4. Maher was making a movie about religion, so I don't see what is wrong with talking to Collins about it. In any case, Collins' statement is crazy.

    And yes, people still check this blog anymore. Sorry.


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