Many people, both religious and secular, believe the differences between science and religion to be irreconcilable. Perhaps the most well-known example of this is the clash between the theory of evolution, a primary paridigm of biology and the book of Genesis in the Bible. This discussion was brought up again, recently, with the debate of whether or not to teach intellegent design (which is really Creationism 2.0) in schools. Upon examining the issue, I came upon the book of a rather prominent geneticist by the name of Francis Collins. For those of you that are unfamiliar with Dr. Collins, he helped discover the gene that caused cystic fibrosis and is the head of the Genome Institute for the United States. He lead the worldwide effort known as the Human Genome Project. Collins' scientific credientials are certainly quite impressive, but what caught my attention even more than the aforementioned accolades was the discovery that he is also a man of strong Christian faith. Even more than that, he believes religion and science compliment each other and can exist simultaneously without compromising the integrity of either discipline. I was sceptical at first, so I e-mailed Dr. Collins and asked him how this could be so. To this, he replied that he had just written a book on the subject and that, I should read that and then come back to him if I had any questions. I immediately ordered the book, entitled The Language of God from Amazon.com and read it in about a day. And then I saw what he meant; it is indeed possible for science and religion to coexist harmoniously. The best illustration, I believe, comes from the confrontation between Christianity and Evolution mentioned above. First, it is necessary to except evolution as fairly close to fact; Collins gives quite a lot of genetic and fossil examples to this effect. Now, it would seem that evolution, which operates by a series of random mutations, would greatly contradict the idea of a divine entity "pulling the strings" of the universe, but this contradiction is easily overcome. Science, by definition, deals only with the observable, testable natural world. According to the observations our limited human intellects are capable of, the changes in evolution do indeed appear to be random, however, if a divine being created this "natural world" he would have to be outside such a world. It is certainly possible that all of these seeming random changes in evolution are, in fact, part of this omnicient beings master plan. Science, constrained to the observable and testable natural world, is not concerned with what is outside the universe and so, delivers the scientific theory of evolution, which, from a scientific perspective can be completely correct and completely accepting of religion. Of course, there is still the issue of the "Young Earth Creationist" perspective which follows Genesis exactly and believes that the earth is only a few thousands of years old. To combat this objection, Collins turns to a theologian who lived long before evolution came about, Saint Augustine. Augustine could not possibly be influenced by evolution and so, can deliever a fairly unbiased opinion with reguard to interpreting Genesis. In one of his writings (I do not have an exact quote, so I am paraphrasing), he says, in effect, that Genesis may well be figurative and that the Hebrew word for "day" used in Genesis is the same that would be used in the expression "in my grandfather's day", which is not indicating that "my grandfather" only lived twenty-four hours. He also uses the rather poetic nature of Genesis as support for this opinion. I am curious to this community's opinions on religion and science. If anyone has questions, I will help where I can, however, I recommend reading The Language of God if you are serious about this subject. Also, after you read the book, Dr. Collins himself will probably be more than happy to answer any questions you have. His address is firstname.lastname@example.org .