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Monday, January 16, 2006

The Scientific World Is Turning to God

"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 miracle:

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 life… The system is
extremely complex. It's like it was designed… 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 process… 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 required… 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://washingtontimes.com/national/20041209-113212-2782r.htm
2- Antony Flew, "Letter from Antony Flew on Darwinism and Theology," Philosophy Now; http://www.philosophynow.org/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.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1400368,00.html
4- Francis Crick, Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981, p. 88
5- John Whitfield, "Physicists plunder life's tool chest", 24 April 2003; http://www.nature.com/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.philosophynow.org/issue47/47flew.htm
9- "Atheist Becomes Theist: Exclusive Interview with Former Atheist Antony Flew;"
http://www.biola.edu/antonyflew/index.cfm
10- Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, Touchstone, New York,
2001, p. xi

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