Blog Post

Man Who Preached Atheism Dies a Believer

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist The famous one-time atheist academic, Antony Flew, who experienced a profound conversion after studying research into genetics and DNA, has died at the age of 87. The Archdiocese of Sydney reports that the renowned British intellectual, who died April 8, continues to receive accolades from around the world, including theology professors from Franciscan University at Steubenville, noted rabbis such as Rabbi Brad Hirshfield from New York and renowned philosopher Dr. Gary Habermas. Flew, who was the son of a Methodist minister, abandoned belief as a teenager because of the problem of evil. "It just seemed flatly inconsistent to say that the universe was created by an omnipotent and perfectly good being. Yet there were evils in abundance which could not be put down to a consequence of human sin," he was quoted as saying in a 2004 interview with the Sunday Times. He spent most of his life denying the existence of God until six years before his death when he suddenly changed his mind after studying the latest research into genetics and DNA. "The almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce life, show that intelligence must have been involved," he announced in 2004. Unlike modern atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens who claim there is no scientific proof of the existence of God, Flew found enough “empirical evidence” of the reality of God that he abandoned beliefs he had held for more than 60 years. "How can a universe of mindless matter produce beings with intrinsic ends, self replication capabilities and ‘coded chemistry'?" he asked. Flew believed that the only possible answer to the increasingly complex discoveries of science, from sub atomic particles to the human genome, proved that the origins of the Universe lay with an intelligent Creator. "The most impressive arguments for God's existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries." he announced. His conversion, which took place in his 81st year of life, shocked his fellow atheists who dismissed him as suffering from dementia in his old age. But Flew refused to back down and clung to his belief in God. Even though he believed there was considerable evidence to support the resurrection of Jesus, he never became a Christian and remained a deist until he died. “With an academic career spanning 60 years with stints at universities across Britain and the US,” the Archdiocese writes, “Antony Flew will be remembered not only as one of he outstanding philosophers of his time, but as the man who preached atheism but died a believer.” © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®