The prominent philosopher, Antony Flew, has famously converted to deism (Flew and Habermas, 2005).
Professor Flew was, also famously, a participant in a debate (reprinted, for example, in (Pojman, 1987)), wherein he argued that nothing can falsify a firmly held religious belief. Professor Flew, who claims never to have “attacked belief,” (Ostling, 2005) has evidently changed his mind and is now a deist. (No, he did not convert to theism, and he rejects the Abrahamic God; his belief is far closer to deism, however much Gary Habermas stresses theism in the interview.)
Professor Flew’s religious belief is his own concern and is unobjectionable inasmuch as it does not require denial of established facts. It is a pity, though, that Professor Flew, who admits he is “unable to keep up with the [scientific] literature,” has based his change of heart in large measure on the writing of Gerald Schroeder and on the concept of intelligent design (Wavell, 2004).
Intelligent design theory is not testable and is based on very dubious propositions (Young and Edis, 2004). I will not discuss it here.
Gerald Schroeder’s works are beyond dubious: they are wholly unscientific and distort both science and scripture to support a preconceived old-earth creationism. My colleague, Mark Perakh, and I have independently discussed various of Mr. Schroeder’s opuses and found them wholly without merit. I will not repeat those discussions but rather will provide references below.
I wish that Professor Flew had read Mr. Schroeder’s work more carefully or had consulted critical references to Mr. Schroeder’s work before pronouncing Mr. Schroeder kosher.
References and bibliography.
Carrier, Richard, 2004, “Antony Flew Considers God - Sort of,” The Secular Web, http://www.secweb.org/asset.asp?AssetID=369. The article, Flew, Antony, 2001, “Sorry to Disappoint, but I’m Still an Atheist,” The Secular Web, http://www.secweb.org/asset.asp?AssetID=138, apparently no longer represents Flew’s views.
Flew, Antony, and Gary R. Habermas, 2005, “My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism: An Exclusive Interview with Former British Atheist Professor Antony Flew,” Philosophia Christi, Winter, in press. Available at http://www.biola.edu/antonyflew/flew-interview.pdf.
Ostling, Richard N., “One of the World’s Leading Atheists Now Believes in God, More or Less,” Boulder Daily Camera (AP release), 10 December 2004, http://www.dailycamera.com/bdc/religion/article/0,1713,BDC_2477_3389922,00.html.
Perakh, Mark, 1999, “Not a Very Big Bang about Genesis,” http://www.talkreason.org/articles/schroeder.cfm.
Perakh, Mark, 2000, “O Bolshom Vzryve i Knige Bytiya (About the Big Bang and the Book of Genesis),” Vremya Iskat, no. 3, pp. 94-114 (in Russian).
Perakh, Mark, 2003, “Intelligent Design for Dummies,” The Skeptic (Australia), vol. 23, no. 4, Summer 2003, pp. 22-27.
Perakh, Mark, 2004, Unintelligent Design, Prometheus, Amherst, N. Y., Chapter 10, “Not a Very Big Bang about Genesis.”
Pojman, Louis P., 1987, Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, Wadsworth, Belmont, California, pp. 359-364.
Wavell, Stuart, 2004, “In the Beginning There Was Something,” Sunday Times (London), Dec 19, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/.
Young, Matt, 1998, “The Bible Code: Did God Write the Bible? Or Was It a Computer?” Rocky Mountain Skeptic, March-April, 1998, pp. 1, 4-6. Available at http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung/BkRevs.htm.
Young, Matt, 1998, “The Bible as a Science Text,” Rocky Mountain Skeptic, November, pp. 2-4. Review of The Science of God, by Gerald Schroeder, Free Press, New York, 1997. Available at http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung/BkRevs.htm. See also “Correction and addendum,” Rocky Mountain Skeptic, September, 1999, p. 2, at the same URL.
Young, Matt, and Taner Edis, eds., 2004, Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism, Rutgers, New Brunswick, N. J., http://188.8.131.52/acatalog/____1147.html.