Two Types of Design Argument:
Type I: The Classical (“Old School”) Design Argument:
-This version is an argument from analogy.
-It typically appeals to living organisms and their parts as cases of apparent design
1. Human artifacts are intelligently designed.
2. Living organisms and their parts resemble/are analogous to human artifacts (in that they both are complex and their parts that work together to perform a function).
3. Therefore, probably, living organisms and their parts are intelligently designed as well.
-Paley’s version is the most important version of the classical version of the design argument.
-However, this form of the design argument is seldom used today, due to the criticisms we’ve discussed. However, philosophers have come up with a new version of the design argument:
Type II: The Contemporary (“New School”) Design Argument:
-This version is not an argument from an analogy. Rather, it's formulated either in terms of confirmation theory or an inference to the best explanation.
-According to this version, certain features of the universe are treated as data, and then various hypotheses are offered to explain the data
-It typically appeals to non-living aspects of the universe as cases of apparent design
-The two hypotheses typically proposed are (i) intelligent design and (ii) non-intelligent, natural causes. The argument can then be expressed as follows:
Let ‘D’ denote some range of data that needs explaining. For example:
D: The universe is fine-tuned for the existence of life (i.e., there are a large number of fundamental constants of nature. The value had by each of this is independent of each of the others. Each value is just one among an extremely large range of possible values, and each constant had to be assigned the value it has or no life would have arisen in the universe.)
Let ‘H1’ and ‘H2’ denote competing hypotheses offered to explain D:
H1: The fine-tuning of the universe is due to intelligent design.
H2: The fine-tuning of the universe is due to non-intelligent factors, such as chance and necessity.
Then the argument runs as follows:
1. We’d expect D if H1 were true.
2. We wouldn’t expect D (or at least not as much) if H2 were true.
3. If we’d expect the data if H1 were true more than we would if H2 were true, then H1 is more probable than H2.
4. Therefore, H1 is more probable than H2.
Review of Draper and Schellenberg (eds.), <I>Renewing Philosophy of Religion: Exploratory Essays</I>
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