DARWINISM RECONSIDERED article from 2005 quotes Antony Flew, Richard Dawkins, Jonathan Miller, and Phillip Johnson

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William Lane Craig versus Eddie Tabash Debate

Uploaded on Feb 6, 2012

Secular Humanism versus Christianity, Lawyer versus Theologian. Evangelical Christian apologist William Lane Craig debates humanist atheist lawyer Eddie Tabash at Pepperdine University, February 8, 1999. Visit http://www.Infidels.org and http://www.WilliamLaneCraig.com

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Antony Flew on God and Atheism

Published on Feb 11, 2013

Lee Strobel interviews philosopher and scholar Antony Flew on his conversion from atheism to deism. Much of it has to do with intelligent design. Flew was considered one of the most influential and important thinker for atheism during his time before his death (he’s a much better thinker than Richard Dawkins too – even when he was an atheist). His conversion to God-belief has caused an uproar among atheists. They have done all they can to lessen the impact of his famous conversion by shamelessly suggesting he’s too old, senile and mentally deranged to understand logic and science anymore.

News on Antony Flew’s conversion:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1e4FU…

Interview and discussion with Antony Flew:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53REH…

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Kalam Cosmological Argument – Douglas Groothuis, PhD

Published on Jul 13, 2012

Doug Groothuis gives a lecture on the Kalam Cosmological Argument. What’s interesting about this lecture is that Groothuis did not accept the Kalam Cosmological Argument at first but was later convinced by it.

Notes:

http://www.relyonchrist.com/Lecture/1…
http://www.relyonchrist.com/Lecture/1…

Kalam Cosmological Argument

(Moreland, Scaling the Secular City; see also William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith [Crossway, 1994]; Paul Copan and William Lane Craig, Creation from Nothing [Baker, 2004]; William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, God: A Debate Between a Christian and an Atheist [Oxford, 2004])

Preliminary: concepts of (a) the actual infinite and (b) the potential infinite

1. The universe had a beginning
2. The impossibility of the actual infinite (distinguish from potential infinite)
3. The impossibility of traversing an actual infinite (even if it exists); forming an actual infinite through successive addition, piece by piece…
4. Scientific confirmation from Big Bang cosmology (absolute origination). See also John Jefferson Davis, “Genesis 1:1 and Big Bang Cosmology,” in The Frontiers of Science and Faith (InterVarsity, 2002), 11 — 36; and Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers (revised ed., 1992).
5. Scientific confirmation from second law of thermodynamics.
6. Astronomer Fred Hoyle (who once advanced the steady state cosmology) argues against the universe being infinitely old in virtue of its hydrogen consumption. The argument can be stated as a modus tolens deduction (denying the consequent).
7. Can everything come from nothing without a cause? The “pop theory” (biting the metaphysical bullet)
8. Philosophical critique of everything from nothing…
9. God and time (see Greg Gansell, editor, God and Time: Four Views [InterVarsity, 2001])
10. Argument against an impersonal cause
11. Argument against God needing a cause (Bertrand Russell)
12. Quentin Smith’s acceptance of Big Bang cosmology and denial of God’s existence.
13. Unitary: Ockham’s razor
14. Incorrigible, inextinguishable (having existed, God cannot fail to exist)
15. Personal, volitional (“personal explanation”—R. Swinburne)
16. Omnipotent: nothing is a greater expenditure of power than exnihilating the entire cosmos. This is rational to hold, given the argument.
17. Supplies the necessary conditions for impeccable and omnipotent goodness: (1) – (4). Need (5) moral argument and (6) the Incarnation for the final necessary condition, which, with (1) – (4), make for necessary and sufficient conditions.

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Darwinism Reconsidered by Colin Dye

The Tour

Charles DarwinCharles Darwin

In October and November 2004, Prof Phillip Johnson, a leading proponent of Intelligent Design (ID), and Dr Andrew Snelling, a geologist, toured the UK giving lectures questioning popular scientific views of origins. Across the country, over 8,000 people attended the lectures, which included their visit to Kensington Temple. One year on, what has developed in the UK?

Antony Flew

December 2004 saw a flurry of interest in ID in the British press, as it became public knowledge that Antony Flew of the University of Reading had become a theist. For over 50 years Prof Flew had been a leading atheist, but had changed his views because of evidence of design in the natural world. On the December 17th he was interviewed on the Radio 4 Today programme, where he said:

“I believe myself that there are signs of intelligent design… the thing that shows intelligent design is the development from inanimate matter to living matter to the very, very big step of producing a creature capable of reproduction… I have always followed in my philosophical life the principle that Plato’s Socrates accepts, we must follow the argument wherever it leads and I have followed the argument to see this intelligence at the stage before the origin of species. I think it’s an insoluble problem to show how bits and pieces of inanimate matter might have become living matter and then have developed this enormously complex creature.”

The Radio 4 programme followed with a discussion led by Prof Steve Jones, geneticist and author from University College London and Stephen Meyer, Director of the Discovery Institute Center for Science and Culture in Seattle, who holds a PhD in the philosophy of science from Cambridge University. While Prof Jones dismissed advocates of ID as “cranks”, Dr Meyer cited recent advances in biochemistry and molecular biology as evidence for the theory and recommended a new book published by Cambridge University Press, titled Debating Design.

Controversy in Nature

In spring 2005, controversy over how to deal with Intelligent Design broke out in the pages of Nature, the world’s leading science journal, based in London. On April 28th its editorial urged scientists to engage with Intelligent Design, and “point to options other than intelligent design for reconciling science and belief” in science classes. The issue, which devoted its front cover to the debate over evolution, also had news articles on ID clubs in American universities.

On May 19th, leading evolutionists including Richard Dawkins, Steve Jones, Lewis Wolpert and Peter Atkins responded with a letter in Nature maintaining that the editor’s “…suggestion is misguided: the science classroom is the wrong place to teach students how to reconcile science and religion. For one thing, many scientists deem such a reconciliation impossible because faith and science are two mutually exclusive ways of looking at the world… students who cannot handle scientific challenges to their faith should seek guidance from a theologian, not a scientist.”

This generated the following response from a Princeton physicist: “They take the naive viewpoint that religious and scientific thought must be in conflict. That is not the only, in fact not even (historically) the most prevalent, mode of addressing these two important subjects. Most of the founding fathers of western science had no difficulty reconciling their religious beliefs with their scientific pursuits. In fact, the latter grew out of the former.”

School education

In February 2005, the subject of ID was raised in the House of Lords. Lord Pearson asked Lord Filkin, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Education and Skills “whether the scientific theory of Intelligent Design could be taught in UK schools.” Lord Filkin replied:

“In all aspects of the science curriculum, we encourage pupils to consider different ideas and beliefs, and how scientific controversies can arise from different ways of interpreting evidence. Intelligent Design theory is not part of the National Curriculum. The National Curriculum for science states that students must learn that the fossil record is evidence for evolution and how variation and selection may lead to evolution or extinction. Intelligent Design theory could be discussed in schools, but only in the context of being one of a range of views on evolution that students might consider and evaluate against the evidence.”

The Emmanuel College controversy continued to be mentioned regularly through the year. On May 5th, Prof Steve Jones launched an attack on the school accusing it of “lies’ for teaching pupils that there is an active debate over Darwin’s basic ideas: “To tell students there is an active debate within biology about the subject of evolution is simply false”, he wrote.

Steve Jones’ comments contrasted with those of Terence Kealey, biochemist and Vice-Chancellor of Buckingham University who wrote an article for The Times: “What is…Intelligent Design?” Though he dismissed the theory of ID as “transparently absurd”, he wrote: “I have no objection to ID being taught in schools as long as Darwinism gets equal time”. (December 18th, 2004).

In June 2005 Focus magazine published results of an online poll where 35% of voters said that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in our schools.

Richard Dawkins

The end of 2004 saw the publication of Dawkin’s God (a devastating critique of Richard Dawkin’s atheism) by Alister McGrath, Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University.

Richard Dawkins hit the headlines on January 5th 2005 for declaring “faith” in Darwin. When asked: “What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?” he replied, “I believe but I cannot prove that all life, all intelligence, all creativity and all “design’ anywhere in the universe is the direct or indirect product of Darwinian natural selection”.

Prof Dawkins twice stepped into the ID debate, once in The Times, with an article “Creationism: God’s gift to the ignorant’ (May 21st 2005), and in The Guardian “One side can be wrong’ (September 1st 2005). “The seductive “let’s teach the controversy’ language still conveys the false, and highly pernicious idea that there really are two sides.” He claims than acceptance of this idea “would be the end of science education in America”.

Anthony Latham, a Scottish doctor, published a book length critique of Darwinism titled The Naked Emperor which includes a rebuttal of Dawkin’s work The Blind Watchmaker.

Dawkins’ faith position on the matter of natural selection was made clear in a BBC 2 documentary by Jonathan Miller screened in November 2005. Miller was discussing natural selection as the evolutionary mechanism and questioned Dawkins on the evolution of the feather. Dawkins made the point that all mutations that led to the formation of the feather would have to have been advantageous. If we couldn’t think of what these series of advantages could be it would not be a problem to the theory as the theory of natural selection is so coherent and powerful in itself. He admitted that this was “a matter of faith’ on his part. A telling admission indeed!

Events in the USA

Much media coverage of ID in the UK concerned events in the USA. In May, a school district in Cobb County, GA, was ordered by a judge to remove stickers stating that “evolution is a theory, not a fact” from its science textbooks. In November, the Kansas State Board of Education adopted teaching standards that support ID.

Most attention went to the small town of Dover in Pennsylvania, were a court case was held to determine whether or not ID could be taught in science lessons. This was mentioned in most newspapers at least once, and featured on Radio 4 “Crossing Continents’ (March 3rd). British magazine New Scientist called for the attempts in Dover to be “challenged” claiming “The education of America’s schoolchildren and the future of American science, depends on it.” (October 1st 2005). Prof Steve Fuller, of the University of Warwick, was an expert witness for the ID side.

Though most coverage of ID in the USA by the British media was negative, The Mail on Sunday ran a very balanced review by Peter Hitchens (August 21st) “Get used to hearing the expression “Intelligent Design’ as an alternative explanation for the origin of the species and man” he wrote, “What we all believe may not be true.” The Guardian published a surprisingly fair interview with Prof Michael Behe, leading ID scientist, on September 12th 2005.

To very little media coverage in the UK, on August 5th 2005, US Office of Special Counsel concluded that Dr Richard Sternberg had been seriously wronged by the Smithsonian Institution and its Natural Museum of Natural History, when efforts were made to sack him or force his resignation, after he published a paper on Intelligent Design in a journal which he edited.

The controversy over evolution also featured on the front pages of National Geographic (“Was Darwin wrong?’ November 2004), Discover (“Testing Darwin: Scientists at Michigan State Prove Evolution Works’ February 2005), Seven Days the magazine of the Sunday Herald, Scotland (“Was Darwin wrong? The new war on evolution’ September 4th 2005) and the New Scientist (“The end of reason: Creationism’s new front in the battle of ideas’ July 9th 2005).

Controversy amongst Christians

ID was also debated in the Christian world. Prof Simon Conway Morris wrote against ID in the Church Times on 25th Feb 2005. He said, “In my opinion, ID is a false, misleading attraction”. Both sides of the argument were published in the monthly newspaper Evangelicals Now and the magazine of the Evangelical Alliance, IDEA.

Blogs

There are now three weblogs which follow ID debate in the UK: exilefromgroggs.blogspot.comidintheuk.blogspot.com idpluspeterswilliams.blogspot.com

Conclusion

While significant debate of intelligent design has occurred in the UK over the past year, leading evolutionists continue to deny that any such debate is occurring. Academics and scientists and others with an acute interest in the philosophical implications of neo-Darwinism and its other face, Naturalism, are not watching passively. Active consideration is being given to encouraging further debate following the Darwin Reconsidered autumn 2004 speaking tour.

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