Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Religion vs Reason.Richard Dawkins, Charles Darwin and the Creation of Life

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Religion vs Reason.Richard Dawkins, Charles Darwin and the Creation of Life

Article excerpt

THE WATCHMAKER ANALOGY MADE famous by William Paley the analogy is a teleological argument - an argument for the existence of God or a creator based on perceived evidence of order, intelligence, purpose, design, or direction. It is something Richard Dawkins has become synonymous with - in terms of his opposition.

It is an argument which has been taken up by the creationist movement - who believe evolution is not a science and will one day be proven false.

The argument is: The complex inner workings of a watch necessitate an intelligent designer.

As with a watch, the complexity of X - a particular organ or organism, the structure of the solar system, life, the entire universe - necessitates a designer.

Paley wrote: "In crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there; I might possibly answer, that, for anything I knew to the contrary, it had lain there forever: nor would it perhaps be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer. But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place. I should hardly think of the answer I had before given, that for anything I knew, the watch might have always been there.

"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. …

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