I will like Descartes in his ‘First Meditation’, put these preconceptions to one side and present an essay that explores both sides of the argument in an attempt to reach an independent conclusion.
William Paley (1743-1805), an Anglican priest whose textbooks were required reading at Cambridge until the twentieth-century, put forward the most famous version of the design argument in his book . In his autobiography, Charles Darwin (1876/1958, p. 19) cites Paley’s book as one of his favorite undergraduate texts:
Paley design argument essays - Valon Shqipja
In the first section of this essay I will describe the most famous version of the design argument—William Paley’s argument by analogy. Analogical arguments are perhaps the weakest sort of arguments one can offer without committing an outright fallacy. As we will see in section II, the analogical version of the design argument has come in for some heavy fire over the years. A contemporary reformulation of the argument, which I will call the ‘Inference to the Best Explanation’ (IBE) version of the design argument, claims to be able to escape the criticisms that are leveled against the analogical version. The IBE version will be explained in section III. It eschews the analogical form of the first version and uses evidence from contemporary science to back up its claims.