Eyes That See

“I Once Was Blind”

“Misrepresentation of Alternatives”

I came across a book title that interested me yesterday:

“There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind” by Anthony Flew and Roy Abraham Varghese

Flew is the “World’s Most Notorious Atheist” mentioned in the title.  He has written some of the more influential works on atheism, was the atheist side of some famous atheist vs. christianity debates, and has recently converted from an atheist to a theist, on the basis of intelligent design.  However, he does not believe in any of the available revelation theories- i.e. The Divine Creator revealed Himself in a way believed by major religious groups such as Christianity, Islam, etc.

I watched some videos on youtube yesterday of Flew, both before and after his conversion, and he is without a doubt a man of great intelligence.  He is 84 years old, and one criticism that I thought opponents might suppose is the “I’m at the end of my life, so I’ll hedge my bet and convert” theory.  Meaning that Flew doesn’t really believe there is a God, but just in case he is saying so and/or has convinced himself just in case there is.  However, I think the fact that he has not agreed with any major religion suggests against this.  What I mean is that if he was indeed just “hedging his bet,” he really hasn’t done so.  He says that Christianity is the most plausible of the revelation theories, mainly on the basis of the apostle Paul, but does not believe it likely that the Divine Creator has revealed Himself in the form ascribed to by any of the major religions.

I was doing some more research on Mr. Flew today, and came across a very interesting website.  I was searching for information on Flew, but I am not sure if there is any relationship or connection between Flew and the “Truth in Science” organization.

If you are like me, a product of American public schools, then you know about evolution.  You may have even struggled to some extent with evolution and creationism, as I have.  If so, then the Truth in Science website will be as interesting to you as it has been to me.

Of particular interest was the Evidence for Evolution page, which is a bit misleading. The evidence there is actually evidence against evolution, but I guess the implication of the title is that the information there addresses the evidence for evolution, albeit from the perspective of the opposition.

One of my favorites that I read there, which inspired this blog, was Misrepresentation of Alternatives.  This particular page proposes some reasons for the widespread teaching and acceptance of evolution.  I think this is very important.  Evolution has lost a lot of steam in recent years, but as far as I know is still being taught in public schools.  Everybody knows that it is a theory, but I don’t think it is necessarily presented as a theory, or at least it was not presented that way for me.  Yes I always heard it referenced as “The Theory of Evolution.” But was it presented as a theory?  Was it presented alongside other theories of similar levels of acceptance and evidence?  If alternatives were presented, were they presented as alternatives that were purely religious and had no scientific merit?  Was evolution presented as an all-or-nothing issue?

These are issues that are addressed on the “Misrepresentation of Alternatives” page by Truth in Science.  The page also points out that the common understanding of evolution vs creation as merely a science vs relgion debate is misleading.  The page also acknowledges that there is good evidence for small-scale evolution, but that this evidence is wrongly used as evidence for the entirety of the theory of evolution.

Here is the conclusion:

The ways in which some textbooks present evolution and its alternatives are neither fair nor scientific. Rather than teaching pupils to think critically,  these textbooks are indoctrinating them using poor arguments. School children should be given the opportunity to properly understand different views on our origins, so that they can come to well informed conclusions about this important issue.

I also think that Lee Strobel, in “The Case for Faith,” at least raises some serious doubts about the theory of evolution, if he doesn’t actually poke gaping holes in the theory, as I honestly thought he did.

(As I was writing that last sentence I almost said simply “evolution” rather than “the theory of evolution.”  I think that simplifying and shortening to simply “evolution” has at least a slight effect on our thinking; therefore I chose to say “the theory” rather than “evolution” there at the end.)

November 7, 2007 Posted by | Anthony Flew, Atheism, Charles Darwin, creationism, evolution, Intelligent Design, Lee Strobel, The Case for Faith, theism | 62 Comments