Intelligent Design Convinces Atheists

Atheistic scientists who support the teaching of Intelligent Design principles help to convert one atheist.
by Brendan Roberts | Source:

Intelligent Design Theory is currently hotly debated among scientists, the media and the public. The secular media often portrays the theory is incompatible with science. But there are atheistic scientists who support the teaching of Intelligent Design principles and have even helped to convert one atheist.

One might picture the upholder of Intelligent Design Theory to be a middle aged man wearing John-Lennon like glasses and flared trousers showing his outdated fashion sense. The secular media might caricature such a person this way while also portraying him as being against the Big Bang Theory and generally anti-evolution.

This typical portrayal of the believer in Intelligent Design is rapidly changing. Now atheists are joining the ranks. When Dr. Antony Flew, a renowned Professor of Philosophy announced in 2004 that he believed in the existence of Creator it was a like an earthquake rattling the atheist ranks. He was labelled senile and that he was merely hetching his bets. Youtube interviews show him accepting the principle of such a Being as eternal, omniscient, omnipotent but not personal. Therefore he mainly rejects that God acts in our world today and therefore discounts the occurrence of miracles.

Intelligent Design Theory is according to proponent Dr. William Dembski, a cluster of arguments. They include such concepts as high information content, specified complexity and irreducible complexity. The latter concept holds that a process is so united and complex that if you take away just one component then the whole system will collapse. Such processes like the human cell are held to be irreducibly complex.

Dr Flew has debated and dialogued with prominent religious people for over five decades, including the famous Christian apologist, CS Lewis.  What has brought him to the precipice of belief in a personal God is the exploration of DNA by biologists. He believes that intelligence must have been involved in complexity or arrangements needed to produce life. He says that his change of heart is attributable almost entirely to DNA investigations.

It is claimed that the universe and ourselves are the product of blind chance. The famous Thomas Huxley devised a famous analogy that if you had six monkeys tapping away mindlessly on their typewriters for millions of years they would eventually write all the books in the British Museum!  Updated renderings have the monkeys coming up with the complete works of Shakespeare. 

The British National Council of Arts tried to put the theory to the test. The results astounded them.  After a month of tapping the keys and using the computer as a toilet the six monkeys produced fifty typed pages. Someone else had to print the pages for them. But the monkeys did not produce a single word – not even “a” or “I”. The single letters are only a word with a space on either side of it.

The Physicist and Biologist, Gerald Schroeder using 30 characters of the keyboard deduced that to get a one-letter word is 30 times 30, or one chance out of 27,000. But when he applied the theory with only a Shakespearean sonnet such as “Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Day” he deduced the likelihood of getting all 488 letters in sequence to be 10690. But in comparison the number of protons in the universe is believed to be much less, approximately 1080. Therefore he concluded that it would be impossible to come up with the complete works of Shakespeare by chance in the millions of years claimed.

Dr. Antony Flew believed that Schroeder had effectively debunked the monkey theorem and that it was absurd to suggest that life could originate by chance.

Thomas Merton first converted intellectually.  Then after one and a half years he was able to convert through faith. He was able to believe in a personal, loving God. It seems that Dr. Flew is on the edge of such a discovery himself.

The second atheist to find reason within Intelligent Design is another Professor of Philosophy, Dr. Bradley Monton. He is a Professor at the University of Colorado. While he still claims belief in atheism he holds that Intelligent Design can legitimately be viewed and taught as science, including in public schools.

Professor Thomas Nagel, Professor of Philosophy at New York University is a current atheist who also supports the Intelligent Design Theory. He has published ten books and more than 60 articles. He doesn’t believe there is sufficient evidence in DNA and the systems in living things to rule out Intelligent Design. He disbelieves the claims of evolutionary biologists that chance is enough to explain these processes.

However he doesn’t believe this compels one to accept Intelligent Design but that it does not exclude support of the theory. He agrees that Intelligent Design could possibly be correct and that it could be taught in schools but not by fundamentalists.  The scientific community is largely fearful that fundamentalists will hijack the teaching of Intelligent Design. Therefore he supports including teaching principles of Intelligent Design by teachers who are impartial.

So the common thread that these scientists hold is their profession, philosophy. The meaning of philosophy is the love of wisdom. As humans we have a love of the truth and thus a love of wisdom. These philosophers have been open enough to dialogue and after an amazing journey Dr. Flew can now admit that for most of his life his atheistic views were wrong.

The secular media portray that all atheists are against the Intelligent Design Theory. They expound the myth that only Creationists give any credibility to the theory. But there are atheists who support the theory being promulgated even as science.

So the secular media distorts the Intelligent Design and evolution debate. The John-Lennon like glasses can be dispensed with as the philosophers have shown. Intelligent Design is a theory that should not be discarded so willy-nilly. In fact it is a theory that should not be feared but taught as a scientific theory.

Brendan Roberts, a writer and Catholic author of three books is from New Zealand. He has a passion for religion and theology. His latest book “God: Fact or Fiction?” explores the relationship of science, religion and the origin of life. His websites are and

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Post a Comment
Published by: Trooper Keeton
Date: 2011-09-04 17:37:12
Heard Brenden on Catholic Radio. I was moved by his courage to rebute the smart set. I just finished My Meditations on St Paul and realizing all he and others went through, you would think we could take courage and not like like frighten children when challenged on the Love of God. Thank you Brenden. Tk

Published by: JVB
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
How about just the words of the Pope?

Published by: JVB
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
How about just the words of the Pope?

Published by: JVB
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
How about just the words of the Pope?

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