ATHEIST CONVERSION? Antony Flew has been a champion of atheism for over 60 years. Flew was a professor of philosophy at Oxford and has written many books promoting atheism. Many of our readers will remember Flew from his poor showing in a debate with Thomas Warren many years ago. In recent months there has been a flurry of reports that Flew has been converted out of atheism in various religious publications. This is only partially true. What has happened is that Flew has admitted that the complexity of DNA cannot be explained in naturalistic terms. His exact statement is "What I think the DNA material has done is show that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements together."

Flew has made it clear that he does not believe in a personal God who is concerned with the affairs of this world, who is behind miracles, or who has given mankind any kind of revelation. He does not believe in any afterlife and has made it clear that he rejects Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. One has to be reminded of Francis Crick, the famous co-discoverer of the helical structure of DNA who admitted the same belief about life and then explained it by saying that aliens had seeded DNA throughout the cosmos.

Flew's change of heart is important. It shows that open-minded, intelligent, well-educated people can be shown that chance is an invalid mechanism to explain what we see in the world around us, but it is not a conversion in the biblical sense of that word.

DUTCH EUTHANASIA LAWS ADVANCE. The Netherlands has been a world leader when it comes to physician-assisted suicide. In 2001 the Dutch instituted a law in which a physician could assist an adult in terminating his life, and since that time there have been 5,700 cases of adults being terminated by their doctors. Now a new proposal called The Groningen Protocol is being considered that would allow doctors to terminate those who have "no free will." This would include babies, severely mentally retarded, and people left in "an irreversible coma" after an accident. There have been reports of physicians who have already terminated people in these groups but now the Dutch parliament is being asked to make it an acceptable legal procedure.

It is not hard to understand the thinking behind The Groningen Protocol. Wesley Smith has said "The slippery slope in the Netherlands has descended already into a vertical cliff." What he means by that statement is that from the very beginning, critics of the Dutch euthanasia law have said that the killing of humans would not stop with the law that made it possible for a responsible adult to make a decision to end his own life. In less than five years we now have a law to end the life of those who are claimed to be incapable of deciding whether they want to live or not. It is a very small step from this to a law that makes it possible to euthanize someone who does not want to die, but who requires enormous maintenance to live. The question of who makes this kind of decision and how good any judgment can be is exceedingly difficult, and can be impacted by money, politics, and selfishness.

The subject of the ending of life is one of the huge issues facing all of mankind in today's technical world where the mechanical extension of life is becoming more and more sophisticated. Decisions are hard and the basis of decisions has to be made on solid evidence. We would suggest that the most fundamental problem is the view of what a human is, and what his worth is. If all humans are special creations in the image of God, the viewpoint will be very different than if humans are viewed simply as one of infinite number of products of mechanical chance. References: "Netherlands Hospital Reports Cases of Infant Euthanasia,"

AP, December 1, 2004; "Netherlands Debating Euthanasia Proposal," Science and Theology News, January 2005, page 31.

HITLER AND EVOLUTION. One of the major problems with explaining all of human experience on a chance, mechanical basis is where the result of such thinking can take you. Very few people seem to understand that the basis of Hitler's brutality and attempts to dominate by claims of Aryan superiority were rooted in Darwinism. In Mein Kampf Hitler writes "Whoever wants to live, must struggle, and whoever will not fight in this world of eternal struggle, does not deserve to live."

Richard Weikart has written a new book titled "From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics and Racism in Germany" in which he documents how Hitler used evolution. Weikart says "Evolution provided a scientific justification for the Holocaust, in Hitler's view." Hitler subscribed to two offshoots of evolution: Social Darwinism, which claims that the races that flourish are biologically superior, and eugenics which claims that the human race can be improved by controlling reproduction. We want to emphasize that this is Hitler's use of evolution, not what all evolutionists believe. The problem is that when man is reduced to a purely mechanical explanation, a philosophy like Hitler's is easy to legitimize.

DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS VIEWS ON WHEN LIFE BEGINS. In Science and Theology News, December 2004, page 34, Jennifer Cousins lists views of different religions on when life begins and how this relates to stem cell research. We feel our readers may find this to be interesting and useful:

Islam: The embryo is a not a human until after the 40th day of development. The fetus does not become a human until after the blastocyst stage.

Classical Hindu and Buddhist: Personhood begins at conception when the soul is rebirthed from a previous life. Some modern Hindus would say the incarnation occurs later--a few going as late as seven months.

Judaism: Human status is not given to an embryo until it has reached 40 days of gestation, and full human status does not occur until birth.

Roman Catholicism: Life is sacred from the moment of fertilization no matter where it exists. Every embryo should be given the opportunity to develop into a mature human being.

BIBLICAL VERIFICATION. One of the challenges of atheists is that the Bible we have today has been altered and modified so that it does not have any credibility. Archeological discoveries continue to contradict that assertion. Recently a verification of Numbers 6:24-26 has been discovered. The passage is called the "Priestly Blessing" and is familiar to most of us because it is in a hymn. "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." In Biblical Archeology Review (January 2005, page 12) is a report of amulets found in Jerusalem that are much older than any other Biblical text--some 300 years older than the earliest of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The text is exactly as quoted above proving that another part of the Old Testament has not been altered through the centuries, but is in fact reliable.

QUESTIONS ABOUT CALENDARS. Throughout the years we have tried to get our readers to understand that time and age are human constructions and not biblical issues. God created time and man's ability to use it is based upon how it was designed, but God is outside of time and not limited by it. It is interesting to learn how individuals, religions, and cultures have manipulated and measured time and set up devices to keep track of time. Here are some interesting facts for you:

Reference: National Geographic, January 2005

NEW CATASTROPHISM EVIDENCE. One of the major issues in questions about evolution is the question of how the earth has functioned throughout time. Evolutionists assume that uniformitarianism is true--that the processes operational on the earth right now are the only processes that have shaped and molded our planet. Catastrophic changes like a worldwide flood would not work in most evolutionary models. New research is showing a number of events that are not uniformitarian in nature, but which have evidence to support them. Here is a list of them and some of the evidence.

Asteroid impact-- elements of extraterrestrial origin, fragments of meteorites, huge impact craters.

Methane explosion--spikes in carbon 12 isotopes best explained by a methane belch in the ocean.

Slow methane leak--low oxygen animals seemed to thrive during the geologic period when this is claimed to have happened.

Hydrogen sulfide expulsions--sulfur bacteria found in sediments.

New data will support or reject these models, but what is interesting is that the assumption of uniformitarianism seems to be poorly supported.

REMINDER OF NEW MATERIALS. We would like to remind you that we have added a number of new materials in the past several months. Bound volumes of articles in this journal are available now in books titled Evidences of God ($4.00 for the most recent one, $24.00 for all seven books ppd). Our children's course teaching material has been redone and is available for $5.00. We have our new book by Phyllis Clayton on living with diabetes for $2.00. Any of these materials can be borrowed. Contact us if interested.

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