Cloyd B. Frock, Jr.
Over the past few months I have undertaken the task of “proving God” (of course, God has done a fine job proving Himself without my assistance). In last month’s segment I expounded upon that which is often called “the moral argument” for God, in which I sought to show the folly of the Atheist’s argument, “If humanity originated from dead, lifeless, matter, then it necessarily follows that human morality originated from dead, lifeless, matter.” I believe that I sufficiently addressed the issue, but will allow our readers to decide. This month I will address yet another “proof” for the existence of God by, again, setting out the Atheist’s erroneous line of reasoning, which states: “If humanity originated from dead, lifeless, matter, then it necessarily follows that human design originated from dead, lifeless, matter.”
What the Atheist, Dr. Anthony Flew, “KNEW”
Among the books on my bookshelf is a worn and battered book entitled, “The Warren-Flew Debate on the Existence of God,” featuring, on one side, brother Thomas B. Warren, affirming, “I know that God does exist,” and on the other side, one of the most prominent (if not THE most prominent) Atheists of his day, Dr. Anthony G. Flew, affirming, “I know that God does not exist.” I have not only read the transcript of this debate, but I have also watched the video recording (as of this writing, the videos can be found at http://www.thebible.net/video/warrenflewdebate).
What was unique about this debate was not the subject matter; this matter is well documented to have been debated as far back as we can look over the course of recorded history. What was unique about this debate would be found 32 years thereafter, in the form of a book written by Dr. Flew entitled, “There is a God.” To my knowledge, there are few staunch Atheists who have had the intellectual honesty to truly “follow the argument wherever it might lead,” as Dr. Flew seemed committed to do concerning the existence of God.
In his book he mentioned that his “first exposure to a mass audience in the context of a debate was my encounter with the late Professor Thomas B. Warren, a Christian philosopher…held on the campus of the North Texas State University, now the University of North Texas, in Denton, on four consecutive nights starting on September 20, 1976.”1 He went on to say:
“…A few of my very declarative statements from that debate may be of interest in depicting the fervency of my atheist convictions at that point:
‘I know there is no God.’
‘A system of belief about God’ contains the same ‘sort of contradiction’ as ‘unmarried husbands or round squares.’
‘I myself am inclined to believe that the universe was without beginning and will be without end. Indeed, I know of no good reasons for disputing either of these suggestions.’
‘I believe that living organisms evolved over an immeasurably long period from nonliving materials.’
“I was impressed with the hospitality of my hosts, but the debate ended with both Warren and I sticking to our guns.”2
Wherein Dr. Flew affirmed in his first public, “I know God does not exist,” he stated that in his last public, in May, 2004, which took place at New York University, “to the surprise of all concerned,”3 when asked “if recent work on the origin of life pointed to the activity of a creative Intelligence,” he responded:
“Yes, I now think it does…almost entirely because of the DNA investigations. What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements to work together. It’s the enormous complexity of the number of elements and the enormous subtlety of the ways they work together. The meeting of these two parts at the right time by chance is simply minute. It is all a matter of the enormous complexity by which the results were achieved, which looked to me like the work of intelligence.”4
If a Code, then a Coder…
What was it that changed the mind of the most prominent Atheist of his day? It was a little something called “deoxyribonucleic acid,” or “DNA,” for short. For a brief description of DNA, we turn to the “Genetics Home Reference,” published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
“DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA…The information in DNA is stored as a code…Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases, and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people. The order, or sequence, of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences…DNA bases pair up with each other…to form units called base pairs…Together, [they are] called a nucleotide. Nucleotides are arranged in two long strands that form a spiral called a double helix. The structure of the double helix is somewhat like a ladder…An important property of DNA is that it can replicate, or make copies of itself. Each strand of DNA in the double helix can serve as a pattern for duplicating the sequence of bases. This is critical when cells divide because each new cell needs to have an exact copy of the DNA present in the old cell.”5
Can you see why “DNA” changed the mind of Dr. Flew? Notice that if “nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA,” the information of which is “stored as a code,” and if a person’s body is entirely composed of cells containing this coded information, then it necessarily follows the coded information within each cell of a person’s body must have been WRITTEN and COMPILED by some entity with sufficient intelligence to WRITE and COMPILE such an intricate, self-replicating, code of information. To my knowledge, rocks, dirt and primordial sludge do not have sufficient intelligence to both WRITE and COMPILE such an intricate, self-replicating code – at least none of the rocks, dirt and primordial sludge that I have met. This leaves us with only one reasonable option: DNA was both WRITTEN and COMPILED by an “intelligent designer,” God.
1 Flew, Antony; Varghese, Roy Abraham (2009-10-13). There Is a God (p. 67). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
2 Ibid., 67-68.
3 Ibid., 73.
4 Flew, Antony; Varghese, Roy Abraham (2009-10-13). There Is a God (p. 75). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
5 What is DNA?. (n.d.). Genetics Home Reference. Retrieved June 30, 2014, from http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/basics/dna