Philip Green on Science And Spirituality
  Philip Green     Biography    
Recorded: 31 May 2003

So, I’m kind of negative about—I mean I think religion has done a lot of good through human history, and in some areas I think it’s also caused a lot of harm. And I try as a scientist to avoid spiritual thinking. I know it’s important to many people, but I just try to avoid it because I don’t find it helpful in doing science. And I don’t, you know, in terms of religion my first question is, well, are these religious claims valid for any particular religion, and I don’t see any evidence in the real world that any of the religions have discovered any kind of fundamental truth about nature. So, I’m pretty skeptical of it.

Philip Green is a professor of genome sciences, an adjunct professor of the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Washington, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and was recently elected into the National Academy of Sciences.

Green designs software packages which aid in making genetic maps and identifying genes within the genome. He is concerned with constructing computational tools to understand cell functioning at a molecular level. Green has created the program Phred, which manages the data generated by the Human Genome Project and which is being used to help determine the most common variations in human DNA. Green’s laboratory is working to construct a gene-annotated genome sequence. His lab has modified the number of genes thought to be in the human genome—it is substantially fewer than had been previously believed.

Green spoke at the 68th Cold Spring Harbor Symposium focused on the Genome of Homo Sapiens.