Simply put, The Universe is so complex that
it must have been designed. That designer is
Socrates "With such signs of forethought in the design of
living creatures, can you doubt they are the work of design?"
Cicero "What could be more obvious when we look
up to contemplate the heavens, that there is some
divinity or inteligence?"
Psalm 19 "The heavens declare the glory of God, the
skies proclaim the work of his hands"
Richard Dawkins "One of the greatest challenges to the
human intellect has been to explain how the complex
improbable appearance of design in the Universe arises
The possibility that the Universe was designed
does not mean that the Universe was designed by
God. This world is imperfect and full of misery
which doesn't point towards and all loving and all
powerful God (problem of evil)
No evidence to disprove that the Universe
could be the work of pure chance
A machine requires a designer whereas a
plant doesn't. The Universe is not like a
machine thus doesn't require a designer.
More comparable to the
rock than the watch
John Stuart Mill "Nearly all the things which men are hanged or imprisoned for
doing to one another are nature's everyday performances. “Even the love of 'order'
which is thought to be a following of the ways of nature is in fact a contradiction
of them. All which people are accustomed to deprecate as 'disorder' and its
consequences is precisely a counterpart of nature's ways. He believed that the
existence of so much suffering in the world could mean one of two things: Either
God is not Good Or God is limited in some way (i.e. God is not omnipotent)
Charles Darwin's theory of evolution states that over the course of millions of
years life adapts to its environment by process of random mutation. This we can
tell by the tests done of the Galapagos islands by Darwin himself. This theory
defeats the teleological argument as it suggests that rather than a designer
making everything the way it is, everything came to be by chance. The Universe
may be a complete mess however after billions of years plants and animals have
adapted and evolved to the world they live in resulting in the world we see today.
Supported by Richard Dawkins in his writing, The Blind
Watchmaker, Genetic mutation takes place when
damage occurs to genetic information stored in DNA
molecules. Where this mutation promotes the chances
of survival, the carrier is able to pass on the mutation
to its offspring. Where the mutation is not beneficial,
the carrier has less chance to pass it on. These changes
are entirely random and not designed.
Swinburne begins by distinguishing
between spatial and temporal order.
‘Spatial order’ is the subject of Paley’s
argument – how parts are fitted
together in an orderly way by a
designer. Swinburne regards this
argument as defeated by Darwinism.
Swinburne claims that scientists are
able to define laws, say how they
work, and discover new ones.
However, what scientists may never
do is find a basis for the most
fundamental laws in the first place.
Epicurus- Order can come from Chaos so while it may seem at the
moment that the Universe is ordered it may not always have been
that way. Does a chaotic universe point to a designer?
is often correct
Researchers should avoid 'stacking' information to
prove a theory if a simpler explanation fits the
observations. Occam's razor is the process of paring
down information to make finding the truth easier.
Why should we
believe in God when
it is simpler to
The analogy of the watch on the heath
Paley asks us to imagine that we are walking on a heath, where we trip on a rock.
Next to the rock we can see a watch lying on the floor. When we look at the rock we
can see that it serves no purpose and has no complexity to it, thus it could have
occurred by chance. The watch however is made up of an assortment of different
parts which are each made of different materials. The watch is a complex object so
we know it has a designer and cannot have occurred naturally by random chance.
From the watch Paley then moves onto to compare it to a human eye saying that
the eye is also a complex object and thus has a designer. Paley then goes further to
say that the Universe is a complex thing and thus it too has a designer.
Some people would argue that making the jump
from an eye to the Universe it too big and thus
can't really be used as a definitive argument
Premise 1: The watch could not have come about by accident (unlike a rock or
Premise 2:The existence of the watch is proof of a watchmaker
Premise 3: The universe is intricate in its design (e.g. molecular structure of ice, the position of the Earth
from the Sun…etc.)
Premise 5: The universe could not come about by accident
Conclusion: The universe itself is proof of an intelligent designer
William Paley defined a complex thing as
something which fits 5 criteria
The materials used cannot be changed in order to function
properly. For example a watch needs to made of metal or the
cogs wouldnt work effectively with the battery and the glass
pane needs to be glass or you wouldnt be able to see the time
while protecting the machinery of the watch.
Cannot just be one thing e.g. a rock. Must be
made of a number of parts to become one
thing. For example a watch has cogs, hands
and a strap of some sort.
Works for a purpose or goal
Does it have a purpose which it aims to
achieve. For example a watch's purpose is
to tell the time.
Is it constantly fulfilling its purpose.
For example a watch is constantly
turning and telling the time.
If any of the parts of the object were different the object would
not fit its purpose. For example if you replaced the cogs of a watch
with a shoe it wouldnt work because, well its a shoe.
Design qua Regularity
The argument that the Universe
appears to behave according to some
order or rule e.g. Newton’s laws of
motion, Keplar’s three laws of planetary
motion – points to a mechanical universe.
"The marks of a designer are too
strong. Design must have a designer
and that designer must be God"
The Anthropic Principle
Stephen Hawkins "the
remarkable fact is that the
Universe seems to be very
finely adjusted for our
The Goldilocks enigma
If the big bang had been
stronger/weaker by one part
in 10 to the power 60 then the
result would be an
unhinhabitable universe or no
universe at all.
The probability of the Universe developing as it is by chance is 1 times 10 to
the power -60, or
Then the probability of the Universe happening not by chance is
0.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 (60 nines)
If the only alternative to the Universe occurring by chance is the Universe occurring by
design, then there is a
chance that the Universe was created by design
"The Universe is just right for life"
Whilst this may seem like almost definitive proof that the Universe was created by design the popular multiverse
theory defeats this argument. The multiverse theory states that there is an infinite number of Universes so whilst
the probability of the Universe occurring as it has may seem extremely low, when you account for the infinite
number of Universes that probability suddenly becomes nearlly inevitable.
St Thomas Aquinas
"The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack knowledge,
such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always,
in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that they achieve their end, not
fortuitously, but designedly. Now whatever lacks knowledge cannot move towards an end, unless it
be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is directed by the
archer. Therefore, some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end;
and this being we call God." —St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica: Article 3,