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Some readers of this journal will know that British philosopher Anthony Flew is one of the best-known contemporary atheists and philosophical critics of theistic religion.
It is now public knowledge that he has lost his faith--in the possibility of a strictly naturalistic, evolutionary explanation for the origin of life, that is.
It is important to note right off the bat that he is far from converting to some theistic religion like Christianity or Islam. He is calling himself a deist for the time being. This is not some coup for a particular organized religion. It is, however, a development of profound importance to the debate on intelligent design, since Flew now regards intelligent design as the best (and perhaps the only plausible) explanation for the complexity of life:
My one and only piece of relevant evidence [for an Aristotelian God] is the apparent impossibility of providing a naturalistic theory of the origin from DNA of the first reproducing species ... [In fact] the only reason which I have for beginning to think of believing in a First Cause god is the impossibility of providing a naturalistic account of the origin of the first reproducing organisms. [Letter to Richard Carrier; emphasis in original]
I don't think Flew is troubled by the Darwinian and neo-Darwinian accounts of speciation; rather, the problem he sees is in the origin of the first replicating life from pre-biotic elements.