Susan is an author with a long-time interest in religion and science. She currently edits Covalence, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology’s online magazine. She has written articles in The Lutheran and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science newsletter. Susan is a board member for the Center for Advanced Study of Religion and Science, the supporting organization for the Zygon Center and the Zygon Journal. She also co-wrote Our Bodies Are Selves with Dr. Philip Hefner and Dr. Ann Pederson.

The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) hosted a talk by Director of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Francis Collins on the “Scientific and Spiritual Lessons in the Time of COVID” as part of its Winter Gathering that was held virtually. 

“Using the tools of science, for a believer that becomes not just an opportunity of academic interest or of curiosity, it also becomes an opportunity of worship as you are uncovering things that God knew all along and we are being given the privilege of being able to understand them through the tools of science,” said Collins, an ASA fellow, in his opening remarks. “So, when people say ‘Well if you’re a scientist you must not be very much of a believer or you must have lost your sense of awe.’ I counter that just the opposite has been the case for me as a scientist who gets to do this kind of discovery work every day, discovery adds to the awe that I have of the beauty and elegance and the complexity of God’s creation.” 

He was speaking on the 12-month anniversary of the WHO declaring COVID a pandemic. Collins shared with the ASA the science of how the COVID-19 virus spreads and how the virus takes over and rapidly makes copies of itself in the human body. The video presentation can be found below.

Covalence for October 2019 - Being the church in the only world we have

“[A]s a scientist who gets to do this kind of discovery work every day, discovery adds to the awe that I have of the beauty and elegance and the complexity of God’s creation.”

– Dr. Francis Collins

Last year, Collins was awarded the 2020 Templeton Prize. In a written response to the awarding of the prize, Dr. Collins wrote, “almost my every waking moment is consumed by the effort to find treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19. The elegant complexity of human biology constantly creates in me a sense of awe.”

In his remarks to the ASA, he pointed out the challenges particularly with the disparities in our current healthcare system. In addition, he tackled the issue of how Christians should respond to the pandemic.

“We are fortunate as scientists we are able to look at evidence,” Collins said fellow scientists at the ASA meeting. “We’re able to sift through publications we’re able to look at claims of various sorts including some that may in fact be based upon misunderstanding and we can convey the facts, the evidence, the truth not by beating people over the head, but always in love. That’s one of the gifts that we’ve been given as scientists and we should be using that at this time where there is so much distrust and so much misinformation.”

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