Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Paley on whether perfection is necessary for design

II. Neither, secondly, would it invalidate our conclusion, that the watch sometimes went wrong or that it seldom went exactly right. The purpose of the machinery, the design, and the designer might be evident, and in the case supposed, would be evident, in whatever way we accounted for the irregularity of the movement, or whether we could account for it or not. It is not necessary that a machine be perfect in order to show with what design it was made: still less necessary, where the only question is whether it were made with any de- sign at all.


1 comment:

StardustyPsyche said...

OP "For this reason, and for no other, namely, that when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive -- what we could not discover in the stone -- that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose, e.g., that they are so formed and adjusted as to produce motion, and that motion so regulated as to point out the hour of the day; that if the different parts had been differently shaped from what they are, of a different size from what they are, or placed after any other manner or in any other order than that in which they are placed, either no motion at all would have been carried on in the machine, or none which would have answered the use that is now served by it. "

--Paley was wrong.

It is not the detection of purpose in design that tells us there is a difference between the discovered watch and the discovered stone. The Teleological argument is nonsense.

It is what modern day IDers would call irreducible complexity, which is the lack of any plausible unintelligent construction process. A rock has a known natural formation process, be it igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic. A pile of snow is enormously complex if you consider the geometric details of every bit of snow in the pile, but we can plausibly explain its formation from simple unguided unintelligent natural processes.

A watch is different. There is no such thing as a watch seed, or droplets of watchstuff that condense out of the air, or any unguided unintelligent natural process that can produce a watch, and this necessity of intelligence can be deduced from a structural analysis of the watch and tells us therefore the watch was intelligently assembled.