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Atheist  Becomes a Believer


As people have certainly been influenced by me, I want to try and correct the enormous
damage I may have done." (Anthony Flew)

The newspapers these days are echoing with these regret-filled words by Anthony Flew, in his time a well-known atheist philosopher. The 81-year-old British professor of
philosophy Flew chose to become an atheist at the age of 15, and first made a name for
himself in the academic field with a paper published in 1950. In the 54 years that
followed, he defended atheism as a teacher at the universities of Oxford, Aberdeen, Keele
and Reading, at many American and Canadian universities he visited, in debates, books,
lecture halls and articles. In recent days, however, Flew has announced that he has
abandoned this error and accepts that the universe was created.

The decisive factor in this radical change of view is the clear and definitive evidence
revealed by science on the subject of creation. Flew realised, in the face of the
information- based complexity of life, that the true origin of life is intelligent design and
that the atheism he had espoused for 66 years was a discredited philosophy.

Flew announced the scientific reasons underlying this change in belief in these terms:

"Biologists' investigation of DNA has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the
arrangements which are needed to produce [life], that intelligence must have been
involved." (1)

"It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about constructing a
naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism." (2)

"I have been persuaded that it is simply out of the question that the first living matter
evolved out of dead matter and then developed into an extraordinarily complicated
creature." (3)

The DNA research which Flew cites as a fundamental reason for his change of opinion has
indeed revealed striking facts about creation. The helix shape of the DNA molecule, its
possession of the genetic code, the nucleotide strings that refute blind chance, the storage
of encyclopaedic quantities of information and many other striking findings have revealed
that the structure and functions of this molecule were arranged for life with a special
design. Comments by scientists concerned with DNA research bear witness to this fact.

Francis Crick, for instance, one of the scientists who revealed the helix shape of DNA
admitted in the face of the findings regarding DNA that the origin of life indicated a

An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in
some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are
the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going. (4)

Based on his calculations, Led Adleman of the University of Southern California in Los
Angeles has stated that one gram of DNA can store as much information as a trillion
compact discs. (5) Gene Myers, a scientist employed on the Human Genome Project, has
said the following in the face of the miraculous arrangements he witnessed:

"What really astounds me is the architecture of lifeÉ The system is extremely complex. It's
like it was designedÉ There's a huge intelligence there." (6)

The most striking fact about DNA is that the existence of the coded genetic information
can definitely not be explained in terms of matter and energy or natural laws. Dr. Werner
Gitt, a professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology, has said this
on the subject:

A code system is always the result of a mental processÉ It should be emphasized that
matter as such is unable to generate any code. All experiences indicate that a thinking
being voluntarily exercising his own free will, cognition, and creativity, is requiredÉ There
is no known natural law through which matter can give rise to information, neither is any
physical process or material phenomenon known that can do this. (7)

Creationist scientists and philosophers played a major role in Flew's acceptance of
intelligent design, backed up by all these findings. In recent times Flew participated in
debates with scientists and philosophers who were proponents of creation, and exchanged
ideas with them. The final turning point in that process was a discussion organised by the
Institute for Metascientific Research in Texas in May, 2003. Flew participated together with
author Roy Abraham Varghese, Israeli physicist and molecular biologist Gerald Schroeder,
and Roman Catholic philosopher John Haldane. Flew was impressed by the weight of the
scientific evidence in favour of creation and by the convincing nature of his opponents'
arguments, and abandoned atheism as an idea in the period following that discussion. In a
letter he wrote for the August-September, 2003, edition of the British magazine
Philosophy Now, he recommended Schroeder's book "The Hidden Face of God: Science
Reveals the Ultimate Truth" and Varghese's book "The Wonderful World."(8) During an
interview with the professor of philosophy and theology Gary R. Habermas, who also
played a major role in his change of mind (9), and also on the video "Has Science
Discovered God?," he openly stated that he believed in intelligent design.

The "Intelligence Pervading the Universe" and the Collapse of Atheism

In the face of all the scientific developments outlined above, the acceptance of intelligent
design by Antony Flew, famous for defending atheism for many years, reflects a final
scene in the process of collapse being undergone by atheism. Modern science has
revealed the existence of an "intelligence pervading the universe," thus leaving atheism
out of the equation.

In his book "The Hidden Face of God," Gerald Schroeder, one of the creationist scientists
who influenced Flew, writes:

"A single consciousness, a universal wisdom, pervades the universe. The discoveries of
science, those that search the quantum nature of subatomic matter, have moved us to the
brink of a startling realization: all existence is the expression of this wisdom. In the
laboratories we experience it as information that first physically articulated as energy and
then condensed into the form of matter. Every particle, every being, from atom to human,
appears to represent a level of information, of wisdom." (10)

Scientific research into both the functioning of the cell and the subatomic particles of
matter has revealed this fact in an indisputable manner: Life and the universe were
brought into being from nothing by the will of an entity possessed of a superior mind and
wisdom. There is no doubt that the possessor of that knowledge and mind that pervade
the universe at all levels is Almighty Allah. Allah reveals this truth in the Qur'an:

Both East and West belong to Allah, so wherever you turn, the Face of Allah is there. Allah
is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing. " (Qur'an, 2:115)

____________ _________ _________ _________ ____

i Richard N. Ostling, "Lifelong atheist changes mind about divine creator," The Washington
Times 10 December 2004; http://washingtonti /
20041209-113212- 2782r.htm
2- Antony Flew, "Letter from Antony Flew on Darwinism and Theology," Philosophy Now;
http://www.philosop issue47/47flew. htm
3- Stuart Wavell and Will Iredale, "Sorry, says atheist-in-chief, I do believe in God after all,"
The Sunday Times, 12 December 2004; http://www.timesonl article/
0,,2087-1400368, 00.html
4- Francis Crick, Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981, p.
5- John Whitfield, "Physicists plunder life's tool chest", 24 April 2003; http:// nsu/030421/ 030421-6. html
6- San Francisco Chronicle, 19 February, 2001
7- Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information, CLV, Bielenfeld, Germany, pp. 64-7, 79
8- Antony Flew, "Letter from Antony Flew on Darwinism and Theology," Philosophy Now;
http://www.philosop issue47/47flew. htm
9- "Atheist Becomes Theist: Exclusive Interview with Former Atheist Antony Flew;" http:// antonyflew/ index.cfm
10- Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, Touchstone, New York, 2001, p. xi




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