CBC Radio recently interviewed Francis Collins. The interview was conducted by Mary Hynes a woman who shows herself to be completely ignorant of atheism [Tapestry: Interview with Francis Collins].
You can listen to the entire interview if you dare but there's nothing new here. For the most part, Collins repeats the same old tired arguments we saw in his book The Language of God [Theistic Evolution According to Francis Collins]. One of the things he says is that when he was an atheist he began to question his lack of belief. All of his questions about God were answered on reading the first few pages of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis! I bet you didn't realize how easy it is to become a Christian! Neither did PZ Myers so he posted the first chapter of Mere Christianity on his blog [Get Ready fo Become a Christian]. Atheists beware, read it at your peril. You might fall down on your knees and be converted to Christianity.
Collins believes that one of the strongest arguments for the existence of God is our sense of what's right and wrong. He calls this the Moral Law. Somehow we seem to know the difference between good and evil. Collins also thinks that the concept of altruism is a major stumbling block for atheists. Here's how he puts it in the radio interview.
... because if you pursue the socio-biological explanation of altruism to its ultimate conclusion, and you say that it's really just evolution that is responsible for this sense of right and wrong, you can't get away from what that means, That means that good and evil have no absolute significance at all. They're purely arbitrary. They're evolutionary contrivances. The idea that we have in our head about something being right or wrong is just a complete illusion. And for people who want to adopt that view you have to go all the way there and embrace that. And something about that, in people I talk to, even those who .. consider themselves to be atheists or agnostics, that really troubles them. And it should.Now many people seem to think that C.S. Lewis and Francis Collins have a very sophisticated view of religion—one that Dawkins fails to grasp when he criticizes religion. But as far as I'm concerned, if this is the best they can do then theists deserve all the criticism they get.
Evolution has given us brains and we have learned how to use them. Over thousands of years we have developed rules of behavior designed to improve our security and well-being and promote an orderly society. Accordingly, it is "bad" to take something that doesn't belong to you and it is "good" to help your neighbor. It is "bad" to lie and it is "good" to tell the truth. In the long run, if everyone does "good" things your society will be better off. Nobody like thieves and liars. They can't be trusted.
"Good" and "bad" are not arbitrary and they are not the direct product of evolution. They have "absolute signficance"—they promote social interactions and humans can achieve much more collectively than they can as individuals. Collins is way off base here. I don't know of any atheists who are troubled by this. I can't imagine who he's talking to.