What Is Intelligent Design?

Suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place ... There must have existed, at some time, and at some place or other, an artificer or artificers, who formed [the watch] for the purpose which we find it actually to answer; who comprehended its construction, and designed its use. ... Every indication of contrivance, every manifestation of design, which existed in the watch, exists in the works of nature; with the difference, on the side of nature, of being greater or more, and that in a degree which exceeds all computation.

— William Paley, Natural Theology (1802)

Podcast of the Day

It's an old question: could there be a watch without a watchmaker? In other words, could there be a universe without a god who made it? These days, the proponents of what is known as Intelligent Design argue that there must have been a designer and that the theory of natural selection cannot tell us how we and other animals got to be here. This week we meet a philosopher who argues that though the Intelligent Design camp is wrong, the philosophical Darwinians are not always right.

Listen to The Watch and the Watchmaker: Philosophy and Intelligent Design

Video of the Day

Short Article of the Day

When Charles Darwin introduced the theory of evolution through natural selection 143 years ago, the scientists of the day argued over it fiercely, but the massing evidence from paleontology, genetics, zoology, molecular biology and other fields gradually established evolution's truth beyond reasonable doubt. Today that battle has been won everywhere--except in the public imagination.

Embarrassingly, in the 21st century, in the most scientifically advanced nation the world has ever known, creationists can still persuade politicians, judges and ordinary citizens that evolution is a flawed, poorly supported fantasy. They lobby for creationist ideas such as "intelligent design" to be taught as alternatives to evolution in science classrooms...

Continue reading John Rennie's article: 15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense

Further Reading

Design arguments are empirical arguments for the existence of God. These arguments typically, though not always, proceed by attempting to identify various empirical features of the world that constitute evidence of intelligent design and inferring God's existence as the best explanation for these features. Since the concepts of design and purpose are closely related, design arguments are also known as teleological arguments, which incorporates "telos," the Greek word for "goal" or "purpose."...

Continue reading the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Design Arguments for the Existence of God by Kenneth Einar Himma

Related Topics

  Existence | Metaphysics | Faith | Pascal


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