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This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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An Atheist’s Apology

inthenews

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?

Editorial Board
Dallas Morning News
December 15, 2004

Analysis:

I came across this four month old admission by Antony Flew just this past week. The web site where I found it had an accompanying article with the following statement concerning Jonathan Witt of the Discovery Institute: “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.'”

While we appreciate the fact that some evolutionists are beginning to recognize that complexity indicates intelligent design, it is a contention creationists have made from the very beginning of the controversy. As the Psalmist wrote, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well” (Psalm 139:14).