Professor Antony Flew confesses his belief in a creator!
Author of "Theology and Falsification," and "Darwinian Evolution"
"the most famous atheist in the academic world over the last half-century, Professor Antony Flew of England's University of Reading, now accepts the existence of God" (Dallas Morning News)
Read the three Newspaper articles below:
"Former Atheist Says God Exists"
Although Flew, for the moment rejects Christianity, he gives his personal views in an interview:
"My one and only piece of relevant evidence [for an Aristotelian God] is the apparent impossibility of providing a naturalistic theory of the origin from DNA of the first reproducing species ... [In fact] the only reason which I have for beginning to think of believing in a First Cause god is the impossibility of providing a naturalistic account of the origin of the first reproducing organisms." (private interview with Antony Flew, Dec 2004)
Former Atheist Says God Exists
It didn't make news, on the front or back pages of leading American newspapers, but Professor Antony Flew, a prominent British philosopher who is considered the world's best-known atheist, has cited advancements in science as proof of the existence of God. This is comparable to Hugh Hefner announcing that he is becoming a celibate.
At a symposium sponsored by the Institute for Metascientific Research, Flew said he has come to believe in God based on developments in DNA research. Flew, author of the book, Darwinian Evolution, declared, "What I think the DNA material has done is show that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements together. The enormous complexity by which the results were achieved look to me like the work of intelligence."
Associated Press distributed a December 9 story by religion writer Richard N. Ostling about Flew's conversion. Flew told AP that his current ideas had some similarity with those of U.S. "intelligent design" theorists, who believe the complexity of life points to an intelligent source of life, rather than the random and natural processes posited by Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.
Flew's statements have been covered in Britain, where he is a professor, but we found nothing about his transformation in major American newspapers such as USA Today, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. Ostling's status as a religion writer may help explain why. The secular press considers this a religion story.
To its credit, however, the Seattle Times permitted Jonathan Witt of the Discovery Institute to write a column noting Flew's conversion in the context of discussing the usually taboo subject of the holes in Darwinian theory.
Witt noted that Darwin and his contemporaries thought a single cell was a simple blob of protoplasm and that it wouldn't have been difficult for nature to randomly produce something so simple. "In those days the cell was a black box, a mystery. But in the 20th century, scientists were able to open that black box and peek inside," he notes. "There they found not a simple blob, but a world of complex circuits, miniaturized motors and digital code. We now know that even the simplest functional cell is almost unfathomably complex, containing at least 250 genes and their corresponding proteins."
"Darwin's Black Box" is the title of Michael J. Behe's 1996 book. Behe, a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, emphasizes the complexity of molecular systems such as the bacterial flagellum. Identified by electron microscopes, it is what Behe calls an "irreducibly complex system" that is necessarily composed of at least three parts: a paddle, a rotor, and a motor. He argues that Darwinian theory cannot account for it.
But those who believe in intelligent design or find gaping holes in the theory of evolution frequently encounter a hostile press. The Discovery Institute recently provided to Accuracy in Media a thick file of complaints about the way their representatives have been treated by the media, especially National Public Radio. The Discovery Institute focuses on the issue of whether there is any evidence of design in nature, rather than whether there is a designer. Still, its representatives tend to be portrayed in religious terms by the media.
Such a tactic is common operating procedure by the ACLU, which is determined to portray any alternative to evolution as religious and therefore not allowed to be taught or even discussed in the public schools.
Back in 2001, when the Public Broadcasting Service aired the seven-part series, Evolution, financed by Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul G. Allen, it asked Discovery Institute scientists to appear on the last segment dealing with God and religion. It was a trick. The institute rejected this ploy, saying that its representatives had scientific objections to evolution and that they should be included in the scientific episodes.
PBS went ahead with its one-sided program anyway. In response, the Discovery Institute produced a 152-page viewers guide, noting that the series distorts the scientific evidence, ignores scientific disagreements over Darwin's theory, and misrepresents the theory's critics. Because the PBS series is still being marketed to high schools around the country, the Discovery Institute critique continues to be helpful and relevant. You can find it at: www.reviewevolution.com
PBS and the rest of the media would be well-advised to follow the lead of Antony Flew, who said that his life has been guided by the principle of Plato's Socrates: "Follow the evidence, wherever it leads." Journalists can begin their investigation of the Socratic principle by simply reporting the facts surrounding Flew's amazing evolution and the implications that his statements have for a questionable theory that continues to be taught as the Gospel in the public schools.
An Atheist's Apostasy:
An intellectual bombshell dropped last week when British professor Antony Flew, for decades one of the world's leading philosophers of atheism, publicly announced that he now affirms the existence of a deity.
To be sure, Mr. Flew has not become an adherent of any creed. He simply believes that science points to the existence of some sort of intelligent designer of the universe. He says evidence from DNA research convinces him that the genetic structure of biological life is too complex to have evolved entirely on its own. Though the 81-year-old philosopher believes Darwinian theory explains a lot, he contends that it cannot account for how life initially began.
We (the Editorial Board of the Dallas Morning News) found this conversion interesting in light of last year's controversy regarding proposed revisions to the state's (Texas) high school biology textbooks. Our view then was that while religion must be kept out of science classes, intellectual honesty demands that when science produces reliable data challenging the prevailing orthodoxies, students should be taught them.
We were bothered by Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin's statement that for scientists, materialism must be "absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." That's called stacking the deck.
Mr. Flew may be dead wrong, but it's refreshing to see that an academic of his stature is unafraid to let new facts change his mind. The philosopher told The Associated Press that if admirers are upset with his about-face, then "that's too bad. My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato's Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads."
If the scientific data are compelling enough to cause an atheist academic of Antony Flew's reputation to recant much of his life's work, why shouldn't Texas schoolchildren be taught the controversy?
Academics viewing the universe through a narrow scope should rethink assumptions
Last week, The Associated Press broke the news thatthe most famous atheist in the academic world over the last half-century, Professor Antony Flew of England's University of Reading, now accepts the existence of God.
Mr. Flew's best-known plaint for atheism, "Theology and Falsification," was delivered in 1950 to the Socratic Club, chaired by none other than C.S. Lewis. This paper went on to become the most widely reprinted philosophical publication of the last five decades and set the agenda for modern atheism.
Now,in a remarkable reversal, Mr. Flew holds that the universe was brought into being by an infinite intelligence.
"What I think the DNA material has done is show that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements together," he said. "The enormous complexity by which the results were achieved look to me like the work of intelligence."
Given the conventional wisdom of some psychologists that people rarely, if ever, change their worldview after the age of 30, this radical new position adopted by an 81-year-old thinker may seem startling.
But Mr. Flew's change was consistent with his career-long principle of following the evidence where it led him. And his newfound theism is the product neither of a Damascus road experience nor of fresh philosophical arguments, but by his sustained analysis of scientific data.
Mr. Flew's conclusion is consistent with the actual beliefs of most modern scientific pioneers, from Albert Einstein to quantum physicists like Max Planck and Werner Heisenberg. In their view, the intelligence of the universe - its laws - points to an intelligence that has no limitation - "a superior mind," as Einstein put it.
Not a few of our men and women of letters, it would seem, have been looking for God in all the wrong places. Those who dismiss God as a product of psychological conditioning or pre-scientific myth-making have not come to terms with the essential assumptions underlying the scientific enterprise.
Science assumes that the universe follows laws, which leads to the question of how the laws of nature came into being. How does the electron know what to do? In A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking asks what breathes fire into the equations of science and gives a universe for them to describe. The answer to the question of why the universe exists, he concluded, would reveal to us "the mind of God."
Last May, I helped organize a New York University symposium on religion and science, with the participation of Mr. Flew and others. Our starting point was science's new knowledge that the universe's history is a story of quantum leaps of intelligence, the sudden yet systematic appearance of intrinsically intelligent systems arranged in an ascending order.
Many people assume that the intelligence in the universe somehow evolved out of nonintelligence, given chance and enough time, and in the case of living beings, through natural selection and random mutation. But even in the most hardheadedly materialistic scenario, intelligence and intelligent systems come fully formed from day one.
Matter came with all its ingenious, mathematically precise laws from the time it first appeared. Life came fully formed with the incredibly intelligent symbol processing of DNA, the astonishing phenomenon of protein-folding and the marvel of replication from its very first appearance. Language, the incarnation of conceptual thought with its inexplicable structure of syntax, symbols and semantics, appeared out of the blue, again with its essential infrastructure as is from day one.
The evidence we have shows unmistakably that there was no progressive, gradual evolution of nonintelligence into intelligence in any of the fundamental categories of energy, life or mind. Each one of the three had intrinsically intelligent structures from the time each first appeared. Each, it would seem, proceeds from an infinitely intelligent mind in a precise sequence.
We can, if we want, declare that there is no reason why there are reasonable laws, no explanation for the fact there are explanations, no logic underlying logical processes. But this is manifestly not the conclusion adopted by Einstein, Heisenberg and, most recently, Antony Flew.
Roy Abraham Varghese of Garland is the author of The Wonder of the World: A Journey from Modern Science to the Mind of God (Tyr Publishing). He helped organize presentations by Antony Flew in Dallas on two occasions. Readers may contact Mr. Varghese through tyrpublishing.com.