Flew had become well known to a generation of students as an official atheist philosopher, much to the chagrin of his father, a Methodist minister, who is said to have prayed for him every day. In an early, seminal essay, Theology and Falsification (1950), Flew tried to show that the hypothesis of an almighty and loving God was unfalsifiable and therefore empty. He claimed the "endemic evil" in theology was that, however terrible the world, religious folk continued to believe in an all-powerful, benevolent deity. For them, no horror was, even in principle, allowed to count against this. But then, how could there be meaningful evidence for God's existence? Thus, theism suffered a "death by a thousand qualifications".He is preceded in death by Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein, also of this persuasion. Flew's review of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins a year and a half back is not to be missed.
Thus, it came as shock to some of his humanist friends when in 2004, he confessed to a change of mind concerning God. He announced in a video entitled Has Science Discovered God? that aspects of biological order, especially in DNA, had led him to believe in intelligent design after all. Commentators seized on this, but the revelation was less dramatic than it appeared. He still disbelieved in revealed religion and immortality. He did, however, express concern about the damage his writings on the subject could have done.
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