David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Zygon 45 (3):665-684 (2010)
The argument from design stands as one of the most intuitively compelling arguments for the existence of a divine Creator. Yet, for many scientists and philosophers, Hume's critique and Darwin's theory of natural selection have definitely undermined the idea that we can draw any analogy from design in artifacts to design in nature. Here, we examine empirical studies from developmental and experimental psychology to investigate the cognitive basis of the design argument. From this it becomes clear that humans spontaneously discern purpose in nature. When constructed theologically and philosophically correctly, the design argument is not presented as conclusive evidence for God's existence but rather as an abductive, probabilistic argument. We examine the cognitive basis of probabilistic judgments in relationship to natural theology. Placing emphasis on how people assess improbable events, we clarify the intuitive appeal of Paley's watch analogy. We conclude that the reason why some scientists find the design argument compelling and others do not lies not in any intrinsic differences in assessing design in nature but rather in the prior probability they place on complexity being produced by chance events or by a Creator. This difference provides atheists and theists with a rational basis for disagreement
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Helen De Cruz (2014). Cognitive Science of Religion and the Study of Theological Concepts. Topoi 33 (2):487-497.
Willem B. Drees (2011). Classifications in Contexts. Zygon 46 (1):3-4.
Similar books and articles
Daniel C. Dennett (2007). Atheism and Evolution. In Michael Martin (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 135--148.
Philippe Gagnon (2005). Remarques Sur la Théologie Naturelle Anglo-Saxonne Aujourd’Hui. Connaître. Cahiers de l'Association Foi Et Culture Scientifique 22:83-108.
Jonah N. Schupbach (2005). Paley's Inductive Inference to Design. Philosophia Christi 7 (2):491-502.
Elliott Sober (2004). The Design Argument. In William Mann (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Religion. Blackwell Pub..
Andre Ariew (2007). Teleology. In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press.
Elliott Sober (1999). How Not to Detect Design. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 66 (3):472 - 488.
Branden Fitelson (1999). How Not to Detect Design. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 66 (3):472 - 488.
Bruce H. Weber (2011). Design and its Discontents. Synthese 178 (2):271 - 289.
Graham Oppy (2002). Paley's Argument for Design. Philo 5 (2):161-173.
Added to index2010-08-11
Total downloads87 ( #21,547 of 1,696,431 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #139,058 of 1,696,431 )
How can I increase my downloads?