Anthony Flew on the source of life

In December, 2004 this Associated Press headline sent shock waves throughout the scientific community: Famous Atheist Now Believes in God. “A British philosophy professor who has been a leading champion of atheism for more than a half-century has changed his mind. He now believes in God—more or less—based on scientific evidence. At age 81, after decades of insisting that belief (in God) is a mistake, Antony Flew has concluded that some sort of intelligence must have created the universe.”

In 2007 Flew produced a book, There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, outlining his intellectual journey and the reasons for his new conviction. “I must say that my discovery of the Divine has thus far been a pilgrimage of reason. I have followed the argument where it has led me. And it has led me to accept the existence of a self-existent, immutable, immaterial, omnipotent and omniscient Being.”

One strand of evidence that triggered Flew’s “new conviction” is discoveries from the Hubble Telescope. Hubble, named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble, was launched into low Earth orbit in 1990 and remains in operation today. Here is a summary of its shocking findings:

  1. The universe is expanding continuously ever since its creation and the speed of expansion is picking up continuously (imagine a balloon being blown up faster and faster).
  2. Hubble’s law implies that at some time in the distant past (about 13 billion years ago) the entire mass (or energy) of the universe must have been concentrated at one point (the balloon was totally deflated).
  3. There was a momentous event (Big Bang), which must have created the universe and initiated the process of expansion.

“When I first met the big-bang theory as an atheist, it seemed to me the theory made a big difference because it suggested that the universe had a beginning and that the first sentence in Genesis (‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’) was related to an event in the universe. If the universe had a beginning, it became entirely sensible, almost inevitable, to ask what produced this beginning. This radically altered the situation!”

Did Flew embrace the Bible? NO! Did the professor get connected to Jesus? NO! In any sense did he become a Christian? NO! He merely said that, based up scientific evidence, he could no longer embrace his former belief in atheistic evolution as an explanation for The Source of Life!