Anthony Flew writes:
I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite Intelligence. I believe that this Universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source.
Why do I believe this, given that I expounded and defended atheism for more than half a century? The short answer is this: this is the world picture, as I see it, that has emerged from modern science. Science spotlights three dimensions of nature that point to God. The first is the fact that nature obeys laws. The second is the dimension of life, of intelligently organized and purpose-driven beings, which arose from matter. The third is the very existence of nature.
When I finally came to recognize the existence of a God, it was not a paradigm shift, because my paradigm remains, as Plato in his Republic scripted his Socrates to insist: “We must follow the argument wherever it leads.”
The leaders of science over the last hundred years, along with some of today’s most influential scientists, have built a philosophically compelling vision of a rational universe that sprang from a divine Mind. As it happens, this is the particular view of the world that I now find to be the soundest philosophical explanation….Anthony Flew, “There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind,” (New York: Harper One, 2007).
The evidence that convinced “the world’s most notorious atheist” that God’s creative activity gave rise to the universe and life is the same evidence that Uncommon Descent has repeatedly presented from ongoing research findings across the scientific disciplines. What more could be said?
75 Replies to “Excerpt from: “There is a God, How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind””
Any who seriously considers what Anthony Flew did must come to the same conclusion as he did. God does exist.
The laws of physics require nature to follow the laws that govern the universe without exception. All life has purpose that did not come about randomly. Everything from the single-celled organism to the most complex shows design. The existence of nature could not have come about through chance, but must have had a beginning. All matter has a beginning, which means God created the first matter that could not have come about randomly. Something cannot come from nothing.
Why would a man who had spent his life as an atheist suddenly change his mind? He must have already been familiar with the arguments for the existence of a God.
Apparently, he consulted an Orthodox Jewish physicist call Gerard Schroeder who espouses controversial views about how the creation myth in Genesis can be reconciled with a universe estimated to be 13.8 bn years old through the theory of relativity. Whether Flew had already been exploring paths towards some form of belief in a God and Schroeder’s views provided him with a scientific straw to grasp is unclear.
Neither did Flew convert to one of the orthodox forms of Christianity. Rather, it is suggested his beliefs became more akin to the deism of Thomas Jefferson.
I think we all agree that we cannot get something from literally nothing and this would be presumably true even of an omnipotent being like God. That means that something – whatever it might be – must always have existed and preceded the start of our 13.8bn year-old Universe.
The unanswered question is what.
I had never even heard of him. Can’t be that “notorious.”
You hadn’t heard of him because, although he came out of the British analytic tradition, his work focused on the philosophy of religion which was considered a philosophical backwater through most of the 20th century.
His later notoriety came almost exclusively as a result of his very public “conversion” from atheism to deism somewhere around 2004. It made him somewhat of a cause celebre with the apologist crowd…
Guys, did you see this question from one of our poor friends?
Talk about clueless!
Here’s teh question:
“I think we all agree that we cannot get something from literally nothing and this would be presumably true even of an omnipotent being like God. That means that something – whatever it might be – must always have existed and preceded the start of our 13.8bn year-old Universe.
The unanswered question is what.”
Well, not quite. It’s been answered for thousands of years.
Here’s the answer. God
He has existed forever.
He is outside of space and time.
Being omnipotent, He can make a universe out of nothing., just by willing it,
Like He did 13.8 billion years ago, at the start of space and time. For Him, it’s a piece of cake.
Anyhow, your not knowing it, dont feel bad.
Not your fault.
You got gyped by the schools you went to.
I bet they were taught by Atheists spreading propaganda. Kind of like they did in the Soviet Union.
Maybe you could sue them, if they didnt take off in the middle of the night with all your dough.
The most notorious atheist? Hardly.
If I had to cast a vote for “most notorious atheist”, I’d say Salman Rushdie.
Seversky at 2,
I have seen the same falsehoods repeated about the Founding Fathers over and over. Deism? No.
“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Establish the law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state to effect and on a general plan.”
-Excerpted from multiple sources: “A Summary View of the Rights of British America,” “Notes on the State of Virginia,” “The Autobiography,” letter to George Wythe (1790), letter to George Washington (1786).”
Tammy Lee Haines @5,
Well said and my thoughts exactly! No mystery.
What people unfamiliar with relativistic physics usually forget is that space-time is one thing as is mass-energy. Thus, the appearance of our universe from non-existence must of necessity have been the starting point for mass, energy, space AND TIME.
Why is it so hard for some people to grasp that the Creator of space and time is outside of space and time?
And why is it so hard for some people to grasp that the Creator of mass and energy is not composed of mass and energy?
Moses asked the Creator for a name that he could reference. And what Moses was told was simply I AM WHO I AM (or I AM for short). This in itself is profound and revealing.
While you are on the topic of “whys,” why would a perfect, eternal and transcendent being have the need to create lesser, imperfect beings, knowing full well that he or she or it would be consigning the lion’s share of those beings to eternal damnation? Seems pointless to me………
Why would you think that the Creator does things out of “need”?
Do you know any humans who do things out of love or out of creativity?
Do you know of any humans who are working on AI to try to create entities that can operate independently, fully knowing that their human creator might need to step in at some point?
In your experience, do you know of creative humans who try to repair or enhance their creations?
Uncoerced human creativity is accompanied with love, joy, and delight, accepting of the risk of failure and the challenge of making something better. And if something breaks beyond repair, do humans consign it to the eternal damnation of the dustbin with any pleasure? The choice is always yours to make.
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family.
consigning the lion’s share of those beings to eternal damnation?
Could be it’s only the wilfully blind?
It’s funny to see how, stereotypically, the atheists on this site come running in to attempt to diminish the significance of his conversion by attacking the notoriety of the individual. Bravo, for never letting me down.
Flew noted that he came to belief in God by following the argument, and/or scientific evidence, where it leads.
Seversky, via his deep personal animosity towards Christianity, was quick to reply that, although Flew may have come to belief in God, it was some form of Deism, and was not the personal God of Christianity.
But be that as it may, Flew listed three lines of scientific evidence that drove him to belief in God. 1. The Laws of nature, 2. Purpose driven life, 3. The very existence of nature.
Out of these three lines of scientific evidence, Seversky only touched upon the existence of nature. Moreover, in the one line of evidence he addressed, Seversky did not even dispute the fact that the universe had a beginning, Seversky only argued that it MIGHT not have been God that preexisted the existence of the entire universe.
To call Seversky supposed rebuttal of Flew’s 3 lines of scientific evidence for believing in God ‘lacking’ is an understatement. Seversky left two lines of Flew’s scientific evidence completely unaddressed, and in the one line of scientific evidence that he did address, Seversky acted as if his mere hint that something other than God MIGHT have preceded the universe was enough, in and of itself, to refute the fact that God is, by far, the best explanation, out of all possible explanations, for the existence of the universe. (see Stephen Meyer, “Return of the God Hypothesis”),
In short, Seversky, because of his deep animosity towards God in general, and Christianity in particular, would much rather follow his completely unsubstantiated imagination wherever it leads rather than ever following the scientific evidence, like Flew did, to where it leads.
Which is, sadly, par for the course with atheists.
Instead of ever following the scientific evidence where it leads, atheists constantly use unsubstantiated imagination, imaginary conjectures, and/or illusions, as an explanatory principle in their worldview.
Here are a few examples of atheists substituting imaginary conjectures, and/or illusions, in place of any real, substantiating, scientific evidence.
What is the origin of the fine-tuning of the universe?
Atheists: Well, you see, the universe is not really fine-tuned, it is only the illusion of fine-tuning since we can imagine an infinity of other universes that were not fine-tuned for life.
What is the origin of ‘purpose-driven’ life?
Atheists: Well, you see, life is not really ‘purpose-driven, it is only the illusion of ‘purpose-driven’ life, since we can imagine that purpose can somehow, magically, arise from completely purposeless chaos.
What is the origin of my first person subjective experience of “I”?
Atheists: Well, you see, you do not really objectively exist as a real person, as an “I”, but you are merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ generated by your brain, since we can imagine that matter can somehow, magically, generate the first-person conscious experience of “I”.
What is the origin of my free will? i.e. My willing to do something and then doing it?
Atheists: Well, you see, you don’t really have free will, and you don’t really do anything of your own accord, since we can imagine that particles can somehow, magically, generate the illusion of free will. i.e. Generate the illusion that you are in control of what you do.
What is the origin of the reliability of my beliefs?, i.e. That I know certain things to be true, and certain things to be false?
Atheists: Well, you see, you don’t really have reliable beliefs, and you are only under the illusion that your beliefs are reliable, since we imagine that our beliefs were selected for survival value, not for truth value.
What is the origin of the reliability of my perceptions? My ability to make accurate perceptions about the world?
Atheists: Well, you see, you don’t really have accurate perceptions of reality since we can imagine that our perceptions of reality are only “constructed representations” of the material brain.
What is the origin of the overwhelmingly apparent design of life?
Atheists: Well, you see, life, despite all appearances, is not really designed because we can imagine that the ‘designer substitute’ of Natural Selection can somehow, magically, produce the overwhelming illusion of design.
What is the origin of meaning and purpose for my life?
Atheists: Well, you see, there is no real meaning and purpose for your life since we can imagine illusory meanings and purposes for ours lives, minus any belief in God, that can somehow, magically, serve as stand-ins for real meanings and purposes for our lives.
What is the origin of beauty in the world?
Atheists: Well, you see, there is no real beauty in the world since we can imagine that our perception of beauty in the world is merely an illusion that was somehow, magically, created to give our lives some semblance of illusory meaning and purpose.
What is the origin of morality in the world?
Atheists: Well, you see, morality does not objectively exist either since we can imagine that we can create an illusory, and subjective, system of morality that is somehow, magically, binding for all people.
Thus in conclusion, and in a shining example of poetic justice, if God is not real for the atheist, then everything else else in the atheist’s worldview, including the atheist himself, becomes imaginary and illusory.
It’s fun to skip past Seversky and Chuckdarwin
Merry Christmas to you as well….
Don’t you have to have notoriety to have it attacked?
And requires far less scrolling than skipping past BA77 and Kairosfocus. That is very considerate of Sev and CD.
Flew also commented on the science fiction that Dawkins peddled in his book “The Selfish Gene”,
Yes, Dawkins wrote fairytales for adults but not Dawkins is to be blamed. He is just a salesman . Who bought his books?
SG, you just confessed to part of your problem, you are here to push an agenda not to seriously discuss a subject. That is the act of an ideologue, rather than one seriously pondering a matter, something that is sadly compounded by lack of substantial but too often dismissive or even cutting remarks on your part. I trust, a more substantial approach to matters of serious import for civilisation will be in your new year resolutions. That duly noted in response, enjoy the season. KF
KF at 20,
The agenda is obvious. Evolution – regardless of facts to the contrary – must be promoted. Why?
Evolution: Nothing made you.
ID: An intelligence made you.
The atheist worldview will not have a “scientific” basis without evolution. ID will lead people to the truth: They were designed.
According to Dennett, there are two types of explanations, scientific ones built from the ground (bottom) up and those that depend on something imaginary intentionally reaching down from some transcendent viewpoint to fix or establish something. He calls the bottom-up explanations “cranes,” and the top-down explanations “skyhooks.”
Dennett fails to appreciate that the laws of nature are definitely skyhook-like and, in fact, offer only top-down explanations, that is, they are not cranes and do not offer bottom-up explanations.
The question becomes: are there cranes?
Mark my words, this is a game changer.
Those who don’t support ID are accurately described.
F/N: Let’s highlight the core of Flew’s remarks:
1: Lawlike, intricately coordinated, complex functional order — better, organisation — is akin to and a generally recognised sign of mind. This is relevant to a cosmos that is massively fine tuned for C-Chem, aqueous medium, cell based life.
2: The world of life is chock full of such intricate, complex functional organisation, from the key molecules of life to the major body plans with organ systems, including our own.
3: This specifically includes what for months now objectors here have tried but failed to undermine or discredit, the presence of alphanumeric code in the cell, recognised by Crick in 1953 as he transitioned from “it is like a code” to “it is a code” a telling point that led to modern genetic code analysis. As I pointed out from a leading Biochem textbook, the consensus opinion, for cause, is:
4: The existence of the world, a contingent, fine tuned domain of reality, calls for necessary being as reality root. As, immediately, an infinite regress of finite causal-temporal, thermodynamically constrained stages is an infeasible supertask, and circular retrocausation is something from the not yet, i.e. from non being. Thus, we need causally adequate, necessary being at the root of reality.
5: Necessary being, is framework to any possible world and is causally independent. (Try to imagine a distinct possible world, W in which two-ness does not exist, or begins, or can cease. Impossible, so soon as we have a distinct possibility, twoness is already present.) So, such is eternal.
6: A serious candidate NB — flying spaghetti monsters and imagined island paradises need not apply — will either be impossible of being [similar to a Euclidean plane square circle], or else will be possible and as framework to worlds, actual. Where, as God is patently serious, objectors to God need to provide good reason to hold him impossible of being, which they simply have not.
7: Further to this, God as inherently good, utterly wise creator and maximally great being, would also provide a root level reasonable bridge of is and ought: he expresses the good, and is the very root of wisdom so too the why of the good. Goodness is fulfillment or progress towards proper purpose, and evil the frustration or perversion of that, with of course, chaotic effects.
8: As part of that world, we sit on the same branch, our rational, responsible freedom with the first duties of such . . . which BTW would extend to ET’s of like nature. These include:
9: In this context, responsiveness to the voice of God is not ignorance, stupidity, insanity or wickedness, as too many are prone to invite, suggest, imply or outright assert. Such a hostile attitude speaks for itself, to its utter discredit. Mr Dawkins, I am looking straight at you.
PS: Jerry, you raise a serious point.
“Brevity is the soul of wit…..”
It is a metaphysical assumption that “nature obeys laws”, which assumes the laws exist separately and impose their structure on nature.
A different metaphysical assumption is that nature exists as it is, and the laws are descriptions of how nature acts, but are not themselves causative nor have an independent ontological existence.
This is a fundamental metaphysical difference that separates some of us here, and one that is not amenable to an objective determination of which is right. That’s the way metaphysical assumptions work.
We don’t disagree that the nature we observe behaves in orderly ways, but we disagree about the nature of our descriptions of nature.
This is bogus.
It is an attempt at an answer to the fine tuning argument. But why should nature exist is this unbelievable precise way unless someone designed it that way.
That is what has to be answered. To just say that’s how it is, ignores the incredibly fine tuning.
No, we disagree on why nature behaves in this incredibly precise way.
Our nature/universe is one of the 10 to the 10,000,000,000,000,000,000+ power of possible universes. (way to few zeros.)
Viola Lee @26
It is not an assumption, the concept is forced upon us by logic. If the laws are produced bottom-up by “how nature acts”, then the laws would change every minute. If physical processes produce laws, then different physical processes would produce different laws, but that is clearly not what we see.
– – – –
It is determinable by logical argument.
“It’s fun to skip past Seversky, Sir Giles, and Chuckdarwin”
I felt you were missing something so I corrected it, hope you don’t mind.
Jerry, that was absolutely not the point I was making.
And Origenes, that is not at all a “logical consequence”, and not at all what I said.
Flew’s statement is interesting:
First, and most telling, is that Flew insists he follows the argument wherever it leads. Not the evidence nor the data, but the argument. All of the evidence that Flew needed was available decades before 2004 when he went down his road to Damascus.
Second, Flew’s conversion from atheism to deism is a monumental “paradigm shift.” I don’t think Flew completely understands what Kuhn meant by a paradigm shift. It is the replacement of one model by another which better explains the accumulation of increasing evidence (data). It is not a change in methodology.
Flew was in his 80s when he made these statements. I simply think he was out of touch with the sciences by that point in his career. Additionally, he candidly admitted that, because of his advanced age, the book was written mostly by Varghese.
Third, he refers to his position as a “philosophical” explanation, not a scientific one. He was clearly looking for some type of intellectual closure. No one is trying to denigrate Flew or his long career as a philosopher. However, it is important to not re-create history.
What we see is not exactly a death bed conversion, but it comes close….
CD at 32,
You think, you think, you think this or that about Flew? Based on what?
Ooops. I shouldn’t have posted anything. My bad. Please ignore my comments.
I think a fourth point is important. Flew very explicitly defined his position up to his death as deism. He rejected Christianity and was particularly harsh towards Islam. He also eschewed organized religion.
At least I’m thinking. I think, therefore I thought……
CD at 36,
Ah, the old ‘I read what you wrote but I’ll just brush it aside’ non-obvious defense. I study history. Either something actually happened or it didn’t. Either someone actually said something or they didn’t. As a working editor, manuscripts written in British English have words and turns of phrase that are obvious, and which would translate poorly or incorrectly to someone not raised in the Queen’s English.
So, guessing what someone might be thinking is rewriting history a bit.
CD at 35,
The old, somewhat acceptable standards: Deism and the rejection of organized religion. Religion is OK if you keep it to yourself…?
I thought it was the King’s English…..
CD at 39,
Not when Flew was around.
No, religion is OK as long as you don’t try to impose yours on others. Going back to Thomas Jefferson, in his 1787 Notes on the State of Virginia he wrote,
The laws of nature are real top-down ‘skyhooks’:
To CD @9: You ask, “why would a perfect, eternal and transcendent being have the need to create lesser, imperfect beings, knowing full well that he or she or it would be consigning the lion’s share of those beings to eternal damnation? Seems pointless to me………”
It’s hard to know where to begin with answering your objections. Are you an atheist because you disagree with what you think you know about God? It seems like I also disagree with what you think you know about God. You imply that God’s creation of humans seems pointless. I encourage you to undertake a careful reading of the Bible, which you have maybe done already. But maybe you’ve missed some essential elements. First of all, “God is love.” He consigns no one to hell who loves.
Is it pointless to love? To love can open one up to experiencing pain, but I would say that it is still better than not to love. The existence we have on Earth is not the end of the “love story.” We are given just a glimpse of a “happily ever after” that so far transcends what we experience here that it will cause the deepest pain to seem a “light, momentary affliction.”
Seversky at 41,
What is forcing? Can you force someone to love you? God will not force you to love Him.
Why do electrons follow the laws?
Sev, ideology is okay; so long as, you don’t impose it on others. Including, while dressed in a lab or a doctor’s coat. See the problem now? The issue as always is duty to truth, right reason, warrant etc. Hence, the issue of worldviews and analysis on comparative difficulties, especially bearing in mind the tricky nature of self referentiality. KF
PS, I draw attention, for pivotal record, to Dallas Willard:
So, note especially: [k]nowledge, but not mere belief or feeling, generally confers the right to act and to direct action, or even to form and supervise policy. The pivotal issue is warrant and your attention is drawn to 24.
CD, 25: There is a substantial issue at 24, which — maybe, predictably — you have ducked. Such evasiveness and associated subtexts of ideology pushing rather than actual engagement are an implicit admission of defeat on the merits while clinging to what is flawed . . . often, for agenda driven reasons. KF
CD, argument includes reasoning, evidence, assumptions, etc. This, would be strong background for a philosophical thinker such as Flew. So, the attempted contrast you make in 32 fails. In addition, we separately know that he specifically pointed to the growing weight of evidence in the cosmos and in the world of life that points to intelligently directed configuration. KF
F/N: Newton, General Scholium to Principia:
Food for thought.
If I recall correctly, the difference between skyhooks and cranes is just the difference between unexplained explainers and explained explainers. A skyhook is a deus ex machina*, whereas a crane is an explained explainer.
Dennett’s general method is, “wherever possible, turn skyhooks into cranes” — or, don’t allow for unexplained explainers to the greatest extent possible.
We probably have no choice but to allow the laws of physics to be “skyhooks”, because we have no way of conducting any measurements beyond the confines of our universe. Since we don’t know how to do that, we can’t confirm any hypothesis about the origin the universe and hence of its laws. Without that, we have no way of explaining where the laws of fundamental physics come from, or why the laws of physics are the way that they are.
So I would say that treating the laws of physics as skyhooks is the best we can do, with our current understanding of the limits of scientific methods.
* In ancient Greek tragedies, the actor playing the god was lowered onto the stage from a crane or in Latin, machina. But the audience didn’t see how the crane actually worked, so they were able to pretend that the god was descending from Mt. Olympus.
Yet KF does this all the time in his responses to those who don’t bow to his proclamations.
This is true. I just finished a two year stint on a working group that was revising an ISO standard. An inordinate amount of our time was spent ensuring that the words and phrases we used could be properly translated into the other languages.
Here’s the thing that I can’t quite wrap my head around: why did Flew need evidence before accepting a deistic God?
Spinoza’s argument for the existence of God is wholly a priori — it follows logically from the definition of substance (that which can be conceived of through itself) and of God (as an absolutely powerful being). Once we understand the initial axioms and definitions, it follows as a matter of logic that God must exist.
One rather nice advantage of being a Spinozist (as I consider myself) is that it would not be a problem for my view if at any point scientists were to establish a naturalistic theory of abiogenesis.
I don’t expect for you to answer my “objection;” it was addressed to Querius.
I do want to clarify something. I am not an atheist. I have pointed this out numerous times, but it falls on deaf ears. One unfortunate thing about evangelical Christians is that they are talkers, not listeners. Simply look at the disproportionate amount of ink spilled in these comments by your Christian brothers and sisters.
Like Flew, I subscribe to deism. The difference between me and Flew is that it didn’t take me 80+ years to get there nor did I feel the need to bare my soul to the world on the matter.
“Happily, ever after” is a myth that we tell children. If that and “God is love” comprises your view of God, I would suggest that your theology doesn’t run very deep…..
CD at 54,
So, all those Christians here don’t listen. Really? You think I reply to anything you write by not reading it first? Second, I think what you mean by listening might actually translate as “YOU – meaning anybody – are not agreeing with me.”
In everyday life, how does deism differ from atheism?
PM1 at 53,
So, you’re one of the science faithful. The first life just poofed into existence. But, nonsense you say. ScIeNcE will figure it out and well, … maybe … one day… And so on. While you’re thinking about that, remember – The Universe just poofed into existence too.
I think Flew likely felt that if he simply made the jump from atheism to deism without paying lip service to “the science” he’d be even more pilloried than he was. Afterall, he was 81 (I believe) when he first disclosed, and I think it was part pretext to give him cover and avoid the hassle. My 2 cents…..
It would not be a problem for ID either.
If you believe it does pose a problem for ID, then you don’t understand ID. ID just points out that the so called science (OOL and natural Evolution) that people use to mock ID is actually nonsense.
If they find a way to do it, ID wouldn’t be affected. ID endorses every legitimate science finding/conclusion there is. Nearly every university in the world practices bogus science but ID doesn’t. How ironic is that.
Remember ID is science+
Let’s go Finches!
As nothing else is a problem for ID. It predicts nothing, explains nothing.
Whilst I freely admit I don’t understand ID, I can see why nothing is a problem for ID.
Trying to be charitable here, I can’t see that ID achieves even that.
if at any point scientists were to establish a naturalistic theory of abiogenesis, can we ascertain if it is or is not a result of design.
Whilst there are many hypotheses about how life got started on Earth, none are yet testable. Evidence is required to strengthen a hypothesis into a theory. That evidence is unlikely to be found on Earth but space exploration may hold some surprises.
Can anyone who understands “Design” give us a clue as how to detect it? And how we decide something is “designed” without asking how the event or process took/is taking place and at whose or what’s instigation?
AF: “Can anyone who understands “Design” give us a clue as how to detect it? And how we decide something is “designed” without asking how the event or process took/is taking place and at whose or what’s instigation?”
According Dawkins himself, we intuitively recognize design simply by looking at an object and recognizing the ‘purposeful arrangement of parts’.
Dawkins is hardly the only Darwinian atheist to be ‘overwhelmingly’ impressed with the ‘illusion of design’ in biology.
Elsewhere Dawkins states,
There are two fatal problems with the Darwinian atheist’s claim that the Design, i.e. the ‘purposeful arrangement of parts’, that we overwhelmingly see in biology is only an ‘illusion’ of design, An ‘illusion’ that is produced by the ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection.
Number 1, natural selection is found to be grossly inadequate in its role as the supposed ‘designer substitute’:
Darwinists simply have no empirical evidence for natural selection ‘designing’ anything,
The second fatal problem for Darwinian atheists in their claim that the Design, i.e. the ‘purposeful arrangement of parts’, that we ‘overwhelmingly’ see in biology, is only an ‘illusion of design’, is that for there to even be an ‘illusion of design’ in the first place then there necessarily has to be ‘real’ design in the universe somewhere, or else there is simply nothing ‘real’ for the ‘illusion of design’ to be an illusion of.
Yet, Darwinian atheists deny that there is any ‘real’ design anywhere in the universe. For the Darwinian atheist, there is simply no ‘real’ design to be found anywhere in the universe for the ‘illusion of design’ to be compared to. There is simply nothing ‘real’ for the ‘illusion of design’ we see in biology to an ‘illusion’ of.
Some may say, “but hey, we know for a fact that the artifacts produced by men, (computers, i-phones, cars, airplanes etc.. etc..), are ‘real’ design” and that they are not merely the ‘illusion of design’. But alas, for Darwinian atheists, and via their denial of free will, men do not really design anything, but the laws of physics do. So thus, even the artifacts produced by men are to be considered merely an ‘illusion of design’.
As Granville Sewell noted, “to not believe in intelligent design, you have to believe that the four fundamental, unintelligent forces of physics alone,, could have rearranged the fundamental particles of physics into encyclopedias and science texts and computers and airplanes and Apple iPhones.”
Shoot, for Darwinian. atheists, you don’t even write your own sentences but the laws of physics do. As Paul Nelson explains, according to Atheistic Naturalism, “You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact.”
Thus, even the design that humans produce, and sentences we write, are not ‘real design’, but are, according to Darwinian metaphysics, only an ‘illusion of design’ produced by the laws of physics.
To go further, in the following article Behe explains the only way in which we can ascertain that another intelligent mind has been at work is precisely by the ‘purposeful arrangement of parts’. Specifically he states , “we can recognize that a mind has acted by perceiving a purposeful arrangement of parts. There is no other way that I can think of by which we can recognize another mind.”
Yet again, and to reiterate, an intelligent mind producing ‘real design’. i.e,. the ‘purposeful arrangement of parts’, can simply find no purchase within the Atheistic Naturalism of Darwinists.
As Michael Egnor explains, “It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts.”
So thus in summary, as Darwinists themselves have honestly admitted, we intuitively recognize the ‘illusion of design’ in biology simply by the ‘purposeful arrangement of parts’. Yet ‘teleological purpose’ in our thoughts, and in nature, can find no purchase within the metaphysics of Atheistic Naturalism. i.e. There simply is no ‘real design’ for the ‘illusion of design’ in biology to be an illusion of. “Real design’ simply does not exist anywhere in nature for the Darwinian atheist. In short, the Darwinian atheist is, once again, found to be in catastrophic epistemological failure in regards to his worldview ever giving him a coherent, and sane, explanation for the supposed ‘illusion of design’ that he himself readily admits ‘overwhelmingly’ seeing in biology.
There’s something quite admirable about deism. I consider myself a Spinozist at heart (with liberal dollops of other influences), which is quite close to deism.
You might be interested in The Scientific Spirit of American Humanism. The first few pages are all about Thomas Paine’s deism and how it influenced 20th century religious and secular humanism.
I prefer not to apply a label to myself. I just go with the flow. And at present, the flow is not going with an all-knowing, all-loving god.
Over the years there have been dozens if not hundreds of anti ID people here making inane remarks.
None but one has contributed anything positive, especially the current hyper skeptics whose main MO is to make sarcastic remarks about ID. I have been gathering some past comments and came across this one from 18 months ago.
So the basic takeaway from this comment is that there isn’t one science study in history that contradicts ID.
Aside: The really interesting issue is why this isn’t known and why the science community continually lies about ID.
You still don’t get it? I’m surprised. A little comparison to explain the lying.
Evolution: Nothing made you.
ID: An intelligence made you.
So, what happens with people who hear that “an intelligence made you”? Nothing? Of course not. They name the designer – it’s God. And then the fun starts. Atheists are running for the hills. They keep hearing “God made me” over and over and where do they get this from? Science. ID is science and NOW people start telling their kids, ministers start preaching it from the pulpit… Isn’t it obvious? There’s a big revival of religion.
Atheists, meanwhile, have nowhere to hide. Their BELIEF in evolution has been shattered. A few might – maybe – even start thinking that the “science” they love is pointing to God. But that’s bad. REALLY BAD. Because instead of living their lives however they want, they realize that God is real and they are responsible for their actions. They are actually responsible. And they HATE the idea of GUILT. Hate it. They want to do whatever guilt free, but that train has just been stopped on its tracks.
“According to Dawkins the appearance of design is overpowering” this is the clever slight of hand. They use the term design themselves without rigorously defining it or how it’s detected, then proceed to declare by fiat what is “real” design and what is only “apparent design. Free ride.
Alan Fox: Can anyone who understands “Design” give us a clue as how to detect it?
SETI spends millions of dollars a year looking for coded information. We have a fantastical example of it right here under our noses in the DNA/ribosome (etc) replicator. Not to mention the sophisticated systems going on within cells built upon high levels of functional complexity that depend on the replicator system.
Nobody can prove beyond all possibility this is a designed system. But I feel sorry for the OOL researchers who are irrationally committed to an anti-design philosophy and spout all sorts of silly, misleading, and unsupported conjectures and wishful thinkings, instead of being open minded and accepting of what the evidence is really saying at this point. The deck is seriously stacked against them. I feel sorry for them. I really really do. Okay, not really.
The science community largely ignores ID and gets on with its work. That’s not the fault of the scientific community. ID has nothing useful to offer them.
SETI spends millions of dollars a year looking for coded information.
What if SETI received a 4 letter based code, and after analysis observed it matched the human genome? Would they accept that it was designed at that point?
Without reference, AF claims, “The science community largely ignores ID and gets on with its work. That’s not the fault of the scientific community. ID has nothing useful to offer them.”
Says the man who ceaselessly promotes a pseudo-scientific theory that has been worse than useless as a heuristic, and/or guiding principle, in science and medicine. (a theory, I might add, which has also had horrific consequences for human societies in general in the 20th century).
Science, real science, not the myth-making, ‘just-so story’ telling, science of Darwinian evolution,,
,,, Science, real science, not the myth-making, ‘just-so story’ telling, science of Darwinian evolution, owes absolutely nothing to Darwinian evolution.
Even Jerry Coyne himself honestly admitted that Darwin’s theory has been practically useless as a guiding principle, and/or heuristic, in science,
And just in case you think that Jerry Coyne was just having a bad day when he dissed Darwin’s theory in the preceding article, elsewhere Coyne honestly admitted that, “In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics.”,,,
Darwin’s theory, (as Coyne himself, in a moment of rare honestly, conceded), simply fails to qualify as a hard and testable science.
In fact, in so far as the pseudo-scientific claims of Darwinian evolution have been taken seriously by the scientific community at large, Darwinian claims have stifled scientific research (junk DNA), has led to widespread medical malpractice (vestigial organs), and has even, (via Eugenics), led to widespread sterilization and death.
Moreover, in so far as Darwinian pseudo-scientific claims have influenced world politics at large, the influence of Darwinian ideology on human societies at large has been nothing less than catastrophically bad.
And whereas Darwinian atheism has been worse than useless as a scientific theory, (and catastrophically bad as a political ideology), Intelligent Design in general, and Judeo-Christian theism in particular, on the other hand, far from having ‘nothing useful’ to offer science, (as Alan Fox tried to claim), has been very fruitful for science.
In fact, you simply can’t even ‘do science’ in the first place without presupposing Intelligent Design to be true at some deep level. All of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of intelligent design and is certainly not based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism.
Again, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of intelligent design and is certainly not based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism.
In fact, assuming methodological naturalism, instead of Intelligent Design, as the supposed ‘ground rule’ for doing science, (as Judge Jones falsely claimed in the Dover trial), drives science itself into catastrophic epistemological failure.
Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist and/or Methodological Naturalist may firmly, and falsely, believe that he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for naturalistic explanations over and above God as a viable explanation), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists themselves are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.
2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.
Alan Fox: The science community largely ignores ID and gets on with its work.
By “science community” I’m going to assume you mean evolutionary biologists and OOL reseachers. Not impressed.
Well, thankfully a free people can ignore their biased, idiotic productions. More holes than cheese.
P.S. I understand why you ignored my last reply to you.