Marcus French reviews The Language of God by Dr. Francis Collins. In this article, French describes Collins' conversion to Christianity from atheism. I wonder, however, how any skeptic could consider Collins conversion persuasive or compelling.
On the one hand, Collins says, "I had never really seriously considered the evidence for and against belief." On the other hand, he says, "...if I could no longer rely on the robustness of my atheistic position..." It makes no sense to consider a position never seriously examined to be robust.
All apologetic arguments are weak, and the argument from moral law is among the weakest. French himself explicitly calls it an argument from ignorance, a "God of the gaps" argument: Collins turns to Christianity because he finds "no satisfactory explanation in Darwinian evolution" for the presence of moral law. But why do we teach to children precisely those fundamental ethical beliefs that C.S. Lewis (whom Collins references as key to his conversion) uses to support the idea of moral law, especially fairness and the mutual benefit of sharing? And why do we blame the parents, teachers and/or culture, not God, when those beliefs are not properly inculcated?
His qualifier is also weak: "... (especially when considering selfless altruism, which Collins describes as 'a scandal to reductionist reasoning')." I’m skeptical that acts of truly “selfless altruism” are particularly common; I’m skeptical too whether the term “selfless altruism” has definite scientific meaning, especially when you consider psychological or emotional satisfaction as a benefit. At best we have to infer selfless altruism; it’s not something we can observe directly. Collins should be enough of a scientist to understand that it is evidence, not inferences, that falsify scientific theories.
The inability to find an explanation of moral law in specifically Darwinian (presumably biological, genetic) evolution should not immediately turn one to a supernatural explanation; perhaps the scientific explanation might lie in scientific psychology, sociology, anthropology or some as-yet-undiscovered social science.
Collins seems to have examined the issue of moral law as superficially as he examined his own atheism before declares the defeat of naturalism and retreats to the supernatural.