December 9, 2004 | David F. Coppedge

Intelligent Design Evidence Convinces Atheist of Designer

According to an AP report on ABC News, a famous British atheist now believes in God based on scientific evidence.  “At age 81, after decades of insisting belief is a mistake, Antony Flew has concluded that some sort of intelligence or first cause must have created the universe.  A super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature, Flew said in a telephone interview from England.”  He wrote recently, “It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism.”
    For nearly five decades one of Britain’s most outspoken atheists, Antony Flew said that he was always taught to follow the evidence wherever it leads, and the case for a designer was too strong.  The investigation of DNA “has shown,” he has concluded, “by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved.”

He’s just a deist now, pausing at the halfway house on the way to real faith.  Halfway, unfortunately, is just as lost as square one.  At least he admits the scientific evidence could not support the atheistic story that Nature assumes (see 12/08/2004 headline).
    Flew’s turnaround from atheism is a powerful justification of the intelligent design movement’s claim that the evidence itself, without reference to religion, is sufficient to convince a thoughtful person of design.  Flew admitted his views have similarities with those of intelligent design theorists.  But design detection is not enough to give anyone the joy of Christmas.  His designer is a distant watchmaker, not a babe in the manger who loves us and came to die for us.  Antony Flew, now an elderly man, has not yet any hope of heaven, and his hourglass is almost spent.  He should read this and keep making progress toward the light; following the evidence is good, but continuing in the direction the evidence points is necessary.
Update 12/10/2004: A lengthy interview by Antony Flew with Christian apologist Gary Habermas has been published online at the Biola University website.  It provides a very candid look at Flew’s view from the halfway house.  He is a man in transition, still balking at commitment to the claims of the Bible, but at least surprisingly sympathetic to many aspects of it.  To Dr. Flew, Christianity and its Scriptures are leagues above any other religion, especially Islam.  With naturalism inadequate to handle the origin of life, will deism be able to fill the vacuum for Dr. Flew?  Time will tell if the 19-year influence of Dr. Habermas, a man of intelligence, experience, integrity and compassion, will finally bear fruit in the life of this prodigal son who strayed from his Methodist father’s teaching 66 years ago.
See also the articles on this story that appeared in the Seattle Times and Dallas Morning News, reproduced on the Discovery Institute website, and an article on World Magazine.

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