The creationists will be all over this one — maybe they already are but we haven’t seen any of their posts yet. In London’s Daily Mail we read Atheist Christopher Hitchens turns to evangelical Christian doctor in his fight against cancer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
The last person you might expect Christopher Hitchens, one of the world’s best known atheists, to turn to for help would be an evangelical Christian. But a highly religious doctor might be the only individual who can help the author and journalist who is suffering from cancer.
Dr Francis Collins, the former director of the National Human Genome Research Project was one part of the team which developed techniques to map out the entire human DNA make-up is using Hitchens as a guinea pig for a new treatment.
Christopher Hitchens is well-known for advocating atheism, and lately for suffering from cancer. Francis Collins is not only a physician and a well-known scientist, he’s also a founder of the BioLogos Foundation, the theistic evolution group that is driving creationists crazy (see, e.g., Food Fight: Albert Mohler v. BioLogos).
That’s enough background. Let’s read on:
Hitchens, author of God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, has had his genome mapped out in its entirety by taking DNA from healthy tissue and from his cancerous tumour. On each sample six billion DNA matches were run, in order to catalogue the mutations in the cancerous cells which had given Hitchens cancer of the oesophagus.
Then in the New Year Dr Collins found a mutation and went about tackling the DNA directly. He discovered that a drug already existed to treat the particular mutation and now Hitchens takes just one tablet a day, rather than undergoing gruelling chemotherapy.
That really is fascinating. One more except:
The unlikely alliance between the Christian and Atheist formed when the pair used to debate each other about whether God existed, leading to the two becoming friends.
Hitchens added: ‘It is a rather wonderful relationship. ‘I won’t say he doesn’t pray for me, because I think he probably does; but he doesn’t discuss it with me. He agrees that his medical experience does not include anything that could be described as a miracle cure.’
Despite the clear fact that this is a normal physician-patient relationship, albeit between two famous people, we anticipate that the creationists will be drooling over the imagined “irony” of an atheist being treated by an evangelical Christian. We fully expect that they’ll somehow overlook the fact that Hitchens’ medical treatment has nothing to do with religion; furthermore, Collins is in no way a creationist. If he were, Hitchens would be unlikely to go anywhere near him. As it is, he seems to have made an excellent choice. We hope it works out well.
Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.