Thursday, August 14, 2008

Anthony Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

"My one and only piece of relevant evidence [for an Aristotelian God] is the apparent impossibility of providing a naturalistic theory of the origin from DNA of the first reproducing species ... [In fact] the only reason which I have for beginning to think of believing in a First Cause god is the impossibility of providing a naturalistic account of the origin of the first reproducing organisms."

In another letter to Carrier of 29 December 2004 Flew went on to retract his statement "a deity or a 'super-intelligence' [is] the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature." "I now realize that I have made a fool of myself by believing that there were no presentable theories of the development of inanimate matter up to the first living creature capable of reproduction."

In 2007, in an interview with Benjamin Wiker, Flew said again that his deism was the result of his "growing empathy with the insight of Einstein and other noted scientists that there had to be an Intelligence behind the integrated complexity of the physical Universe" and "my own insight that the integrated complexity of life itself – which is far more complex than the physical Universe – can only be explained in terms of an Intelligent Source."

-Anthony Flew, confirmed Deist, which means he rejects the notion of a persaonal God. Not to mention, the state of his aging mind and his relationship with Christian apologist Roy Varghese are somewhat suspect.


SuiginChou said...

His "one and only piece of evidence" is outright wrong! And you don't need an evolutionary biologist to tell you this: anyone who knows anything about biology from a high school level on up should know that scientific models have not only been put forward but have lent credible, reproducible experimental evidence to the spontaneous generation of what we refer to as "the essential organic building blocks" -- amino acids, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipids -- not only in a pre-Earth environment (the oft-cited tests of the 1950s) but even in the cold reaches of space.

I hope that he is merely confusing "apparent impossibility" for "certain improbability." Otherwise, we must select between the two distasteful alternatives of "he is senile" or "he is unabashedly lying."

Critics of abiogenesis point to the statistical improbability of spontaneous generation of all these essential ingredients at the same place and at the same time, but these juvenile attacks were rebuked decades ago and continue to be rebuked today by men and women who know anything about "scales of astronomy", i.e. the sheer vastness of the galaxy, of the observible universe, etc.

He makes several assumptions whose order of magnitude I disagree with, but your man Carl already had something to say on this matter over 20 years ago: Carl Sagan on Advanced Civilizations

GOD DAMMIT do I hate "we can't explain it with what we know today, ergo proof of God" arguments and the arguers who invoke them. LOGICAL FALLACY TO THE EXTREME!

que rediculo! said...
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que rediculo! said...

The idea of "origins" is flawed in itself; at some point something has to come from nothing... talk about logical fallacy "to the extreme."

Just try imagining the tenth dimension:

(have you seen this yet?)