Skip to comments.An Atheist Abandons Atheism
Posted on 01/11/2005 1:07:15 PM PST by truthfinder9
BreakPoint with Charles Colson Commentary #050110 - 01/10/2005
Weighing the Evidence An Atheist Abandons Atheism
Antony Flew, the 81yearold British philosophy professor who taught at Oxford and other leading universities, became an atheist at age 15. Throughout his long career he arguedincluding in debates with an atheist-turned-Christian named C. S. Lewisthat there was a "presumption of atheism," that is, the existence of a creator could not be proved.
But hes now been forced to face the evidence. It comes from the Intelligent Design movement, led by Dr. Phillip Johnson and particularly the work of Michael Behe, the Lehigh biochemist who has proven the "irreducible complexity" of the human cell structure. Though eighty-one years old, Flew has not let his thinking fossilize, but has faithfully followed his own dictum to "go where the evidence leads."
Christian philosophy professor Gary Habermas of Liberty University conducted an interview with Flew that will be published in the winter issue of Philosophia Christi, the journal of the Evangelical Philosophical Society and Biola University. Flew told Habermas that a pivotal point in his thinking was when he realized two major flaws in the various theories of how nature might have created itself. First, he recognized that evolutionary theory has no reasonable explanation for "the first emergence of living from non-living matter"that is, the origin of life. Second, even if a living cell or primitive animal had somehow assembled itself from non-living chemicals, he reasoned it would have no ability to reproduce.
Flew told Habermas, "This is the creature, the evolution of which a truly comprehensive theory of evolution must give some account. Darwin himself was well aware that he had not produced such an account. It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design."
Flew has, thus, become a Deistthat is, he acknowledges God as creator but not as a personal deity. In his opinion, "There is no room either for any supernatural revelation of that God or any transactions between that God and individual human beings." In fact, he told a group last May that he considers both the Christian God and the Islamic God to be "omnipotent Oriental despotscosmic Saddam Husseins."
But a crack is beginning to develop in his opinion that God hasn't spoken through Scripture. When he reads the first chapter of Genesis, Flew says he's impressed that a book written thousands of years ago harmonizes with twenty-first-century science. "That this biblical account might be scientifically accurate," says Flew, "raises the possibility that it is revelation." A book containing factual statements that no human knew about at the time of writing seems to argue that the authors must have had coaching from the Creator.
The evidence is there for all who will look, as his one-time adversary C. S. Lewis discovered, and as more and more thinking intellectuals are discovering today. So it is that Antony Flew, perhaps the most famous philosopher of atheism, is just a step or two away from the kingdom.
Been all kinds of buzz on the net about Flew flying from the koop! The secularists are dismayed as well. Flew was a 'father' of the movement.
I will certainly pray that he finds Christ.
"It comes from the Intelligent Design movement, led by Dr. Phillip Johnson and particularly the work of Michael Behe, the Lehigh biochemist who has proven the "irreducible complexity" of the human cell structure."
What an incredible statement, considering this 'proof' is not only missing from the scientific literature, but is outright denounced by much of the scientific community on their websites like the AAAS and NAS.
This entire article, whether true or not, is based on the dumbest logic possible. Namely, that if evolution can somehow be found lacking in its ability to explain the universe, then obviously the universe was created by magic! This logic could not be more ridiculous, it is dishonest and just plain stupid.
"In fact, he told a group last May that he considers both the Christian God and the Islamic God to be "omnipotent Oriental despotscosmic Saddam Husseins.""
Amen, if he did believe, sounds like he wouldn't worship them anyway...
"When he reads the first chapter of Genesis, Flew says he's impressed that a book written thousands of years ago harmonizes with twenty-first-century science."
I looked this up, specifically he refers to the 6 days of creation. After the fact prophecy can pretty easy to do, look at Nostradamus' predictions. Since the bible was inspiration for expert theologians to conclude the universe is 5-10 thousand years old for over a thousand years, until SCIENCE told them differently, I'd say Flew's logic is questionable at best.
If the bible is such a rich source of scientific understanding, then why don't you divulge a couple of these secrets that have yet to be uncovered for the betterment of man? I know that once science explains them, you will be one of the people hastily looking through the bible for any weak link that could be used to claim the bible said it first. So how about actually SAYING it first for once instead of waiting around for science?
"The evidence is there for all who will look, as his one-time adversary C. S. Lewis discovered, and as more and more thinking intellectuals are discovering today."
More and more thinking intellectuals? Do a poll at your nearest research or engineering center on who believes in a personal god. Then go to your nearest trailer park and ask the same question.... You don't need to do you? We already know the answer. Education is inversely proportional to faith.
Regardless, this is all moot since proving or disproving evolution has absolutely nothing to do with the supernatural.
BTW truthfinder9, I am still waiting for you to give me the names of those 'hardcore' journals that publish ID papers that are a 'tier or two' higher than Science and Nature and the PNAS within the scientific literature. Just admit you made it up and I'll stop asking for them, else, provide the names.
This is a rather weak argument known as the "God of the Gaps", that anything for which science does not currently have an explanation must be the handiwork of God. (This has the unfortunate side-effect that any time scientific knowledge increases, God's domain is diminished.) It's much more honorable to simply say "I don't know".
"Education is inversely proportional to faith. "
It's unclear what the significance of this statement is. It may also be true that educated people are more likely than uneducated people to become dictators. They may be more likely to be communists too.
Moreover, if you want to debate people, don't use absurd stereotypes about religious people living in trailer parks. It is better to debate using real arguments.
Lastly, if you think that religion is for dummies, why don't you read "Orthodoxy" by G.K. Chesterton.
"Wasn't this some kind of Internet legend?"
It was reported twice before that he had converted to christianity, but he came out saying that was a lie. But from what But apparently this time it's true that he is considering deism, at least according to infidels.org, and I doubt they would lie about something like this.
"It's unclear what the significance of this statement is."
I was responding to the following statement from the original post: "...as more and more thinking intellectuals are discovering today [that there is a designer]."
" It may also be true that educated people are more likely than uneducated people to become dictators. They may be more likely to be communists too."
The original statement made no positive claim about dictators or communists... Your statement would be valid IF I had made the original statement, but I didn't. I don't see you objecting to the originators inference that 'intelligent' people accept ID...
"Moreover, if you want to debate people, don't use absurd stereotypes about religious people living in trailer parks."
Like when 517 members of the [U.S.] National Academy of Sciences from the biological and physical sciences (the latter including mathematicians, physicists and astronomers) were polled on their religious beliefs, and less than 10% said they believed in a personal god.
The paper I refer to appeared in the 23 July 1998 issue of Nature by Edward J. Larson and Larry Witham: "Leading Scientists Still Reject God." Nature, 1998; 394, 313. The return rate for the poll was slightly over 50%, that's app. 1/8 of the total members of the NAS.
"Lastly, if you think that religion is for dummies, why don't you read "Orthodoxy" by G.K. Chesterton."
No thanks. If I were to choose a religion to assuage the weight of life's complexities, it would likely be buddhism. Any one other than a judeo-christian religion.
If science points to a designer, then it is not "God of the Gaps." In other words, we all know how to detect design, but naturalists refuse to apply this everyday ability to their own theory. So most of the time their claims of "God of the Gaps" are invalid. On the other hand, I have seen them countless times invoke "Science of the Gaps" such as "we don't have evidence now, but someday we will because we have already decided a priori that naturalism is true."
>BTW truthfinder9, I am still waiting for you to give me the names of those 'hardcore' journals that publish ID papers that are a 'tier or two' higher than Science and Nature and the PNAS within the scientific literature. Just admit you made it up and I'll stop asking for them, else, provide the names.
I posted a whole list of jounral articles that ID supporters base their science on. I didn't expect someone who believes in pseudoscience to notice.
Yesterday, I caught part of Dennis Prager's show discussing Flew's change of mind. Prager interviewed Gerald Schroeder, author of, THE HIDDEN FACE OF GOD. I wish I would have caught the entire show from the start, because Schroeder was fascinating. Here's a link to Schroeder's website for anyone interested.
you know of course the twilight zone music ... we as brothers ought to have a similar tune! I just got this book 3 days ago....at the suggestion of someone else the week before, who listened to a discussion about an atheist relative...
It is a great book so far. Thanks!
"I posted a whole list of jounral articles that ID supporters base their science on. I didn't expect someone who believes in pseudoscience to notice."
haha! Yes, we already know that IDers do not do their own research, they take real science from actual science journals and distort it, but that is not the point in question. The point is that you told me that ID papers have not only been published in actual peer reviewed journals, but they had been published in journals that are more respected than the PNAS/Science and Nature journals.
I'm calling you out, you haven't even denied saying these things. We both know you were lying, I just want to hear you admit it. You have no where to hide, you will never find these papers. And if you do, there are no journals a 'tier or two' higher than Nature/Science/PNAS.
You said they exist, if so, give me names. If these journals are so emminent, then surely you no trouble remembering their names.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.