Pondering the Perils of Biotechnology

To geneticist Francis Collins, a person’s DNA can be compared to the beauty of a Gothic cathedral’s rose window.

“I think that is a visual way to point out the beauty of what it is that God has given us as a creation,” Collins said as he stood below a screen at the National Press Club with two images side by side: the window of England’s York Minster and a view down the long axis of genetic material. “We ought not to miss that, even as we get excited about its practical consequences.”

The medical doctor who has directed the National Institutes of Health for almost a decade said he was speaking Monday (June 18) as a private citizen: “Tonight, I’m just Francis Collins.”

In a talk co-sponsored by organizations examining the intersection of faith and science, Collins told his audience of more than 300 about the wonder and the cautions that come with biotechnology.

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