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“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 Antony 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 realized, 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 ‎encyclopedic 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 ‎organized by the Institute for Metascientific Research in ‎Texas in May, 2003. Professor Flew participated in the ‎discussion together with the author, Roy Abraham ‎Varghese, a physicist, and the molecular biologist, Gerald ‎Schroeder. Flew was impressed by the weight of the ‎scientific evidence in favor 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 Anthony ‎Flew, famous for defending atheism for many years, ‎reflects a final scene in the process of collapse which ‎atheism is being subjected to 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 in-‎formation, 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 knowledge and wisdom. ‎There is no doubt that the possessor of that knowledge ‎and wisdom that designed the universe at all levels is ‎Almighty God. God reveals these truths in many verses ‎of the Qur’an.‎









Notes and references

1. Richard N. Ostling, “Lifelong atheist changes mind about divine creator,” ‎The Washington Times 10 December 2004; ‎‎(‎

‎2. Antony Flew, “Letter from Antony Flew on Darwinism and Theology,” ‎Philosophy Now; (‎

3.‎ Stuart Wavell and Will Iredale, “Sorry, says atheist-in-chief, I do believe ‎in God after all,” The Sunday Times, 12 December 2004; ‎‎(,,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; ‎‎(‎

‎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; (‎

‎9. “Atheist Becomes Theist: Exclusive Interview with Former Atheist An-‎tony Flew;” (‎

10. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, Touchstone, New York, ‎‎2001, p. xi.‎


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