The BioLogos Foundation is an evangelical Protestant Christian education and religious advocacy group established by Francis Collins in 2007 and since funded by the Templeton Foundation. BioLogos aims to contribute to the discussion on the relationship between science and religion and to emphasize a compatibility between science and Christian faith, with a particular focus on community outreach to evangelical Protestants who espouse young Earth creationism. The BioLogos Foundation engages other evangelical Protestant Christian organizations that focus on the same topics: origins of life and human beings, studies of processes of change over time in natural history, and ideological concordism between science and religious scripture. The collaborators so far at BioLogos include Reasons to Believe, Answers in Genesis, the Faraday Institute and the Discovery Institute.
The BioLogos Foundation takes a position against the so-called 'warfare model' between science and religion as proposed by such thinkers as Andrew Dixon White and instead seeks peaceful rapprochement with fellow evangelicals who holds different views than their own. In this way, BioLogos is also one of the largest appeasement organisations involved in the science and theology of origins, including human beings.
Francis Collins served as its president until he resigned in 2009 to become Director of the National Institutes of Health. The presidency was then assumed by Darrel Falk, who retired at the end of 2012 after three years. On January 28, 2013, Deborah Haarsma became the new and current president.
Background and goals
After his book The Language of God was published in 2006, Collins says that he received thousands of e-mails from individuals seeking to explore the relationships between what some people consider as 'sacred scripture' and science. Collins established The BioLogos Foundation to provide responses to these questions and promote a view of harmony between science and faith, as understood through the eyes of simple, low-brow answers that would appeal to evangelical Protestants uneducated or statistically often under-educated about sciences such as evolutionary biology. BioLogos aims to distinguish itself not only from young earth creationism, but also from Intelligent Design theory.
The foundation promotes an idea that has come to be known as 'evolutionary creation,' which is meant as a narrower and more orthodox version of theistic evolution. That is, they affirm that God is the divine Creator and that evolutionary biology is the best scientific description of the process by which God brought about the diversity of natural life. Focusing on many components of contemporary science, the foundation helps solidify the relationship between Christianity and science. Evangelicals are the foundation's primary audience; however, Collins said that he hoped skeptics, seekers and other religious believers particularly from the Abrahamic faiths would find the website to be helpful.
The BioLogos Foundation has drawn significant criticism from creationists and atheists, along with general disregard by most Abrahamic theists who reject young earth pseudoscience. In response to a Time Magazine article about the foundation, Ken Ham, a young-earth creationist, said “it is compromisers like Collins who cause people to doubt and disbelieve the Bible—causing them to walk away from the church.” Ham discussed his opposition to The BioLogos Foundation in detail during his second annual "State of the Nation" address on February 17, 2009. Outspoken atheist professor of biology Jerry Coyne, at the University of Chicago, calls the foundation the “latest endeavor to forcibly marry science and faith” and “embarrassing in its single-minded fervor to prove that conservative Christianity and evolution are really good buddies.”
While fellow conservative creationists from Answers in Genesis and Reasons to Believe, along with the Discovery Institute have been invited to participated, BioLogos has thus far withstood inviting atheist voices as leading commentators. This has made many people realize that BioLogos is largely an informal rearguard educational movement trying to update obsolete thinking and unnecessary attitudes towards biblical exegesis sadly still found predominantly within evangelical Protestantism.
BioLogos has also received praise and positive responses from fellow theistic evolutionists and evolutionary creationists. Supporters of The BioLogos Foundation include Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker, who claims the Foundation’s goal of “helping fundamentalists evolve can only be good for civilization - a cause in which even the faithless can believe," displaying also the cultural evolutionist position of BioLogos supporters. Timothy Keller, author of The Reason for God and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in New York City stated that “The BioLogos foundation provides an important first step towards ... a thoughtful dialogue between science and faith”. If on-lookers are not evangelical Protestants, then much more developed and higher level resources are available among other Christian scholars, specifically Catholics and Orthodox.