Breeched Wales Bloviating in the Hot Sun

Location: Long Island, New York, United States

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Live Deathbed Conversion

The Witt article is bringing more gleeful claims that an atheist has recanted.

To salivating Christians, "I say, don't get too excited". There's an old atheist saying, "There's only one difference between you and me. I believe in one less god". Flew isn't talking about a Christian or Muslim god. He has some other notion in mind. He's still an atheist and heretic as far as any popular religions go.

Be careful, he might just be setting you up for some book sales. His only concession is that he lacks the imagination to understand how life could have originated. He isn't a biologist and has admitted to not keeping up on the subject.

The god of Spinoza, Aristotle, or Einstein is not necessarily of the kind that is going to restore forced prayer in public school.

There is certainly more to the universe that we understand. Seems to me that giving the label "God" to whatever we are ignorant about the world is not something that Christians should aspire to. It's an ever-shrinking notion of God.

The notion of God that Flew is toying with would evaporate at the first experiment where a scientist gets a batch of raw chemicals to form any sort of replicating agent.

BTW, if Witt is quoting Flew correct here: ""Richard Dawkins constantly overlooks the fact that Darwin himself, in the 14th chapter of 'The Origin of Species,' pointed out that his whole argument began with a being which already possessed reproductive powers." then Flew is really out of touch with the writings of Dawkins. Dawkins makes it quite clear he is aware of this.

I am not so sure Witt is quoting correctly thought after reading this: "If we trace evolution backwards, we reach a primitive single cell from which nothing simpler could survive and reproduce. How did it come to be? This first cell must be produced by something other than natural selection — a point Darwin readily conceded." That's a Michael Moore quality paragraph. He is trying to imply that Darwin believed that nothing simpler than a cell could replicate. I don't recall every reading any such thing from Darwin.

That is exactly the point Dawkins gets into in his book "The Selfish Gene". He brings up the issue of the possibility of simplier replicators. The fact that no advanced life would have existed on the planet at that point would make the issue of survival all that more simple. After all there would be no competition for even the simplest replicator. Dawkins covers this in great detail along with many interwined issues.

All I can say to Witt is "Open a book".

UPDATE: Flew states "I have not changed my views"

UPDATE: I think the above statement is bunkum after reading this interview. He has made plenty of statements lately that would lead people to think that he has changed his views. I don't think it is a hearing problem either.