3 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Flew is not an atheist.,
This review is from: Atheistic Humanism (The Prometheus Lectures) (Hardcover)
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?
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 25, 2008 7:20:16 AM PDT
James Yanni says:
This "review" said absolutely nothing about the book that it purported to review, but it did provide some interesting information so I will refrain from giving it an "unhelpful" vote. I agree that it is not unreasonable for the subject of the dispute to be taught in the schools; the problem is that it needs to be taught openmindedly and with fair balance, presenting evidence as evidence and specualtion as speculation, and I doubt that there is any way to present it that will satisfy individuals on both sides of the dispute on that score. And the fact that Flew has repudiated his atheism only indicates that an individual has changed his mind; it is no more proof of the invalidity of atheism than the fact that John Shelby Spong, Episcopal bishop of Newark, is re-examining some of the basic tenets of his faith is proof of the invalidity of those tenets.
In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2009 7:06:31 PM PDT
M. Bast says:
I would go further, and say this deserves an unhelpful response. Reviews should review the book, this doesn't. I grow increasingly tired of Amazon "reviews" written by people who don't read the book, or whose reviews are about something other than the book.
Posted on May 12, 2010 10:08:19 AM PDT
R. Doyle says:
It's contemptible to post this kind of non-review.
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