Robin Collins

Robin Collins
Robin Collins

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy

Robin Collins

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy (717) 796-1800, ext. 3100

Office: 451 Boyer
Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophical Theology

Statement of Faith

Professor Robin Collins, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy. He specializes in philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, metaphysics, and philosophical theology. He is well-versed in issues relating to science and religion, with graduate-level training in theoretical physics. He has written almost forty substantial articles and book chapters in these areas with some of the leading academic presses, such as Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Blackwell, and Routledge. He has also spoken on issues relating to God and the cosmos at many colleges and universities (including Oxford University, Cambridge University, Yale University, and Stanford University) and has appeared in the popular Christian and secular media – for example, in Christianity Today, Lee Strobel’s Case for the Creator, and Robert Kuhn’s PBS series Closer to the Truth. Professor Collins is widely regarded as the foremost expert on the fine-tuning argument, an argument for the existence of God based on the extraordinarily precise structure that the universe must have for life to exist. He is currently finishing two books on this topic: one that provides a detailed analysis of the evidence for fine-tuning and one that carefully makes the philosophical case from fine-tuning to divine creation. Besides his work on fine-tuning, he has written on the philosophy of quantum mechanics, the relation between the mind and the body, the nature of prayer, atonement, and a variety of other topics in philosophy of science and philosophy of religion.

  • Ph.D., Philosophy – University of Notre Dame, 1993
  • B.S. Physics, B.A. Mathematics, Washington State University, 1984
  • Problems in Philosophy
  • Asian Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Issues in Science and Religion (Team taught with Professor Ted Davis and Associate Professor David Foster)
  • Christian Apologetics
  • Metaphysics
  • “Against the Epistemic Value of Prediction over Accommodation.” Noûs, Vol. 28, No. 2, June 1994, pp. 210–24.
  • “An Epistemological Critique of Bohmian Mechanics.” In Bohmian Mechanics and Quantum Theory: An Appraisal, James T. Cushing, Arthur Fine, and Sheldon Goldstein, eds., Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996, pp. 265–76.
  • “Evidence for Fine-Tuning.” In God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science, Neil A. Manson, ed., New York: Routledge, 2003, pp. 178–99. [This article has been translated into Russian, Chinese, Spanish, and Turkish.]
  • "Evolution and Original Sin.” In Perspectives on an Evolving Creation, Keith B. Miller, ed., Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003, pp. 469–501.
  • “Contributions from the Philosophy of Science.” In The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science, Philip Clayton and Zachary Simpson, eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 328–44.
  • “The Multiverse Hypothesis: A Theistic Perspective.” In Universe or Multiverse?, Bernard Carr, ed., New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 459–80.
  • “The Case for Cosmic Design,” and “Clarifying the Case for Cosmic Design: A Response to Paul Draper,” in God or Blind Nature?: Philosophers Debate the Evidence, edited by Paul Draper,, 2008. (This is the first online book debating the merits of theism versus atheism).
  • “Modern Physics and the Energy-Conservation Objection to Mind-Body Dualism.” American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 1, January 2008, pp. 31–42.
  • “The Teleological Argument: An Exploration of the Fine-Tuning of the Universe.” In The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland, eds., Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009, pp. 202–81.
  • “God and the Laws of Nature,” in Philo: A Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 12, No. 2, Fall–Winter 2009, pp. 142–171.
  • “Divine Action and Evolution.” In The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology, Thomas P. Flint and Michael Rea, eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 241–61.
  • “A Scientific Case for the Soul.” In The Soul Hypothesis: Investigations into the Existence of the Soul, Mark C. Baker and Stewart Goetz, eds., New York: Continuum International, 2011, pp. 222–46. [Defends the existence of a soul distinct from the body.]
  • “Theism and Naturalism.” In The Routledge Companion to Theism, Charles Taliaferro, Victoria Harrison, and Stewart Goetz, eds., New York: Routledge, 2012.
  • “Non-Violent Atonement,” Brethren in Christ History and Life Journal, April 2012
  • “Modern Cosmology and Anthropic Fine-tuning: Three Approaches.” In Georges Lemaître: Life, Science and Legacy. (Astrophysics and Space Science Library.) Rodney Holder and Simon Mitton, eds., New York, New York, Springer, 2013.
  • “The Fine-Tuning Evidence is Convincing.” In Oxford Dialogues in Christian Theism, Chad Meister, J. P. Moreland, and Khaldoun Sweis, eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • “The Connection Building Theodicy.” In The Blackwell Companion to the Problem of Evil, Dan Howard-Snyder and Justin McBrayer, eds., Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming.
  • “Universe or Multiverse? A Theistic Perspective.” Invited Plenary Speaker, Symposium on the Multi-Universe Hypothesis, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, March 27–30, 2003. Sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation.
  • “The Case for Theism.” (A debate with philosopher Doug Jesseph (University of Florida), sponsored by the Philosophy Club at Florida Gulf Coast University at Fort Meyers, FL, March 25, 2009.)
  • “The Fine-Tuning Argument for Theism,” Invited talk for the Second Annual Distinguished Lecture in Philosophy and the Christian Faith, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA, April 6, 2010.
  • “The Atonement: A New and Orthodox Theory,” Invited talk for the Second Annual Distinguished Lecture in Philosophy and the Christian Faith, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA, April 7, 2010.
  • “Cosmic Fine-Tuning: Three Approaches and Their Implications.” Invited Plenary Speaker (all expenses paid plus honorarium), Georges Lemaître Anniversary Conference, Faraday Institute, Cambridge University, April 7–10, 2011.
  • Invited Workshop Leader for “The Fine-Tuning Argument: A Series of Three All Day Workshops.” June 15–18, 2011, St. Thomas Summer Seminar in Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology, University of Saint Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, Michael Rota and Dean Zimmerman, seminar directors.
  • Seminar Co-leader. “Science and Religion Pedagogy.” June 27, 2011 – July 27, 2011. Calvin College Summer Seminar for Chinese Professors, co-taught with Professor Ted Davis.
  • “Non-violent Atonement,” invited speaker, Brethren in Christ Study Conference, Grantham, PA, November 12, 2011.
  • “Saving Our Souls from Materialism,” invited speaker, Church of the Servant, Grand Rapids, MI, March 3rd, 2013. (Point/counterpoint in which I defended belief in an immaterial soul for and another speaker defended Christian materialism.).

Secular Media

  • Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine, January 11, 2004. “The Deity and the Data: How Science Is Putting God under Its Lens” by William Hageman, January 11, 2004.
  • PBS Series: Closer to Truth: Science, Meaning and the Future, September 22, 2006. This program “brings together leading scientists, scholars and thinkers to explore fundamental issues of life, sentience, and universe.” (About 45 minutes of the interview were broadcast on selected PBS stations throughout the US; the interview is now on the web at
  • Stanford University’s Philosophy Talk Radio, March 17th, 2013. Hour-long live interview on the fine-tuning design argument for. (This was played on selected NPR stations throughout the US).

Christian Media

  • Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards, The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery, (Independent Film), Washington D.C.: Regnery Publishing Inc., 2004. On-screen interview in documentary film.
  • Interviews on September 15–16, 2010 with an editor from Christianity Today for an article on Stephen Hawking’s new book, The Grand Design.

  • Templeton Foundation Grant to finish the Well-Tempered Universe: God, Fine-Tuning, and the Laws of Nature. ($91,000, reduces teaching load to half time over the period Spring 2008 through May, 2010.)
  • “Discoverability and Providence” grant from the Templeton Foundation. Two-year (2013 – 2015), $54,000 grant to work on the evidence that the universe is fine-tuned for discovery and its implications for the relationship between chance and providence.
  • “Neuroscience and The Soul” fellowship, Center for Christian Thought, Biola University, spring 2013. ($45,000 fellowship + expenses).
  • August, 2012 – present: Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Messiah College
  • 2005 – 2011: Professor of Philosophy, Messiah College
  • 1999 – 2004: Associate Professor of Philosophy, Messiah College
  • 1994 – 1999: Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Messiah College