Intelligent Design In William Paley's Watchmaker Analogy

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An English clergyman in 1908 reasoned that just as a watch is made up of several different parts, “framed and put together for a purpose,”(cit) so too are natural objects--ranging from the minutest antenna and delicate wings to the larger human body--made up of parts that combine to serve a higher function. As a watch is the handiwork of a watchmaker, nature is the product of a designing intelligence, or God. Thus goes William Paley’s ‘Watchmaker analogy’ from his book Natural Theology (cit) that started off the modern debate on Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design is the belief that the complexity found in nature could not simply have been the result of natural selection and evolution, but had to have been designed by a superior creator …show more content…
He points out that creation stemming from natural selection is more logically probably, especially when considering the vast timespan over which evolution occurs. He says, “We need a ‘crane’, not a ‘skyhook’; for only a crane can do the business of working up gradually and plausibly from simplicity to otherwise improbable complexity.”(cit) According to him, the most ingenious and powerful crane discovered so far is Darwinian evolution by natural selection. Darwin and his successors have shown how living creatures, “with their spectacular statistical improbability and appearance of design, have evolved by slow, gradual degrees from simple beginnings”. (cit) Now, Occam’s razor states that among competing hypotheses, the simplest one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. In this case, the belief that there is an infinitely complex being who is responsible for designing every single aspect of the universe involves far more assumptions than belief in the extended and continuous process of natural selection. Thus, since the very basis of intelligent design is a relatively absurd assumption, it can be said to be

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