Hume and the argument for biological design

Biology and Philosophy 11 (4):519-534 (1996)
Abstract
There seems to be a widespread conviction — evidenced, for example, in the work of Mackie, Dawkins and Sober — that it is Darwinian rather than Humean considerations which deal the fatal logical blow to arguments for intelligent design. I argue that this conviction cannot be well-founded. If there are current logically decisive objections to design arguments, they must be Humean — for Darwinian considerations count not at all against design arguments based upon apparent cosmological fine-tuning. I argue, further, that there are good Humean reasons for atheists and agnostics to resist the suggestion that apparent design — apparent biological design and/or apparent cosmological fine-tuning — establishes (or even strongly supports) the hypothesis of intelligent design.
Keywords Hume  Darwin  Dawkins  Sober  Mackie  Penrose  argument for design  biological design  cosmological fine-tuning  world ensemble  chance  theism  God
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