What's befuddling is why any of these considerations are supposed to provide any support whatever for the God hypothesis. To think that they do seems to rely on a kind of ignotum per ignotius: We have no satisfying account of complex phenomenon X, so we explain it in terms of, even more complex phenomenon Y, a mind capable of consciously producing X. Why is this supposed to be satisfying? Why, in the absence of a culture in which religion is pervasive, would anyone resort to this kind of explanation? Indeed, why would anyone count it as an explanation at all?Just to be fair to Flew, this sort of thing happens to be fairly common in both philosophy and some sciences. Think of dynamic systems theory (let's substitute equations we don't understand for phemomena we don't understand) or quantum theories of consciousness. Still, Cole seems to be exactly right. Flew is no scientist, and his knowledge of biology should by no means be taken as authoritative. He's just a philosopher who became mildly famous for being an atheist, who has decided not to be an atheist anymore, and for what appear to be bad philosophical reasons.
Which brings me to my favorite comments, which are from Sean Carroll of Preposterous Universe. There he writes:
First, I had barely heard of Flew before the current dust-up, so I'm certainly not an expert on his views. Second, who cares?The answer to the question seems to be evangelicals, and not many others. I did see a mention of Flew's conversion, and its importance, on a Mormon blog, but all the other mentions have been by evangelical Christians. The first sentence, however, seems to me to be more appropriate. I've barely head of Flew, as well, and I can't find any reason for anyone to take his "conversion" seriously.