Argument #1: Paley
- Paley was struck by the complexity of a watch and made a direct comparison from this to the complexity of the natural world (not 'alike', a direct comparison, this is not an analogy*).
- He assumed then, that like the watch, the natural world MUST have a deigner.
*Arugment form anlogy says the artefacts we create exhibit the same purpose and order that nature does.
Objection to Paleys theory:
- Paley is relying on the principle that the properties he takes as evidence for design cannot be produced by natural means, but this is exactly what nature does....produce natural things.
- Unlike watches, natural things don't show signs of being manufactured.
- Darwinism *(can help show how nature can show degin like properties (natural selection, evolution).
*Evolution is god's "fine tuning" - the fine tuning argument.
Support for Paley
Support for Paley:
- Biochemist Michael Behe said that Paley is arguing on the premis that it is the irreducible complexity of nature that suggests it has a deginer.
- As an example Behe says that it takes over 40 parts all working in harmony in order for a ceratin type of bacterium to move it's tail.
- He says evolution does not provide a sufficient explanation for this, without one of these parts the tail would not function as a tail, it's all or nothing, evolution is gradual.
Objections to Behe's argument:
This idea makes two assumptions
- 1. That each part in the system has always been that part in the system.
- 2. It ignores that intially minor improvements can become essential: Lungs for example didn't evolve all at once, they intitally exsisted to prevent fish from sinking.
- Yet again, natural selection can explain away this arguement.
Argument #2: Swinburne
- Science does not provide a sufficient answer as to why the universe has it's laws.
- Science assumes the laws of nature in order to provide any explanation at all. It can't say where they come from or why they are the way they are.
- We use another sort of explanation all the time: "personal explanation"
- 'God exsists and intended life to evolve'.... This provides us with a personal explanation for why the universe is such that life can evolve.
Objections to the design argument.
Objections in general:
Natural selection and evolution can display design like qualities. It can explain why we and all natural things have come to function as we do.
Chance could be a good explanation for why the universe exsists, there doesn't necessarily have to be a reason why. Improbability does not mean impossibility.
Even if there is a designer, it is a huge step to assume that it is the omnipotent good God that we naturally associate with the term.
Objection to Swinburne:
- Hume said that even if you could show that the universe has a designer it is a huge step to assume that the deisgner is God as we know him; the omnipotent christan god we are all aquanited with.
- The argument does not show that there is only one cause.
- It does not show that this cause is perfect, omniscient, omnipotent or cares about people.
- It does not say anything else about god.
Support from Swinburne:
- He now encourages us to think about what the best explanation for design is.
- He argues that the best explanation is that which is the simplest.
- He says that God as we know him is the simplest explanation for life and the universe.