As Hume states the relevant rule of analogy, "wherever you depart in the least, from the similarity of the cases, you diminish proportionably the evidence; and may at last bring it to a very weak If we see a house,…we conclude, with the greatest certainty, that it had an architect or builder because this is precisely that species of effect which we have experienced to proceed from that species of cause.
As Hume states the relevant rule of analogy, "wherever you depart in the least, from the similarity of the cases, you diminish proportionably the evidence; and may at last bring it to a very weak If we see a house,…we conclude, with the greatest certainty, that it had an architect or builder because this is precisely that species of effect which we have experienced to proceed from that species of cause.David Hume is the most famous critic of these arguments.
All these various machines, and even their most minute parts, are adjusted to each other with an accuracy which ravishes into admiration all men who have ever contemplated them.
The curious adapting of means to ends, throughout all nature, resembles exactly, though it much exceeds, the productions of human contrivance; of human designs, thought, wisdom, and intelligence.
Thomas Aquinas; (2) the argument from simple analogy; (3) Paley's watchmaker argument; and (4) the argument from guided evolution.
The more contemporary versions include: (5) the argument from irreducible biochemical complexity; (6) the argument from biological information; and (7) the fine-tuning argument.
Richard Bentley saw evidence of intelligent design in Newton's discovery of the law of gravitation.
It is noteworthy that each of these thinkers attempted to give scientifically-based arguments for the existence of God.Since the world, on this analysis, is closely analogous to the most intricate artifacts produced by human beings, we can infer "by all the rules of analogy" the existence of an intelligent designer who created the world.Just as the watch has a watchmaker, then, the universe has a universe-maker.The scriptures of each of the major classically theistic religions contain language that suggests that there is evidence of divine design in the world.Psalms 19:1 of the Old Testament, scripture to both Judaism and Christianity, states that "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork." Similarly, Romans -21 of the New Testament states: For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.Pursuing a strategy that has been adopted by the contemporary intelligent design movement, John Ray, Richard Bentley, and William Derham drew on scientific discoveries of the 16th and 17th Century to argue for the existence of an intelligent Deity.William Derham, for example, saw evidence of intelligent design in the vision of birds, the drum of the ear, the eye-socket, and the digestive system.As expressed in this passage, then, the argument is a straightforward argument from analogy with the following structure: Hume criticizes the argument on two main grounds.First, Hume rejects the analogy between the material universe and any particular human artifact.According to this explanation, such operations evolve through a process by which random genetic mutations are naturally selected for their adaptive value; organisms that have evolved some system that performs a fitness-enhancing operation are more likely to survive and leave offspring, other things being equal, than organisms that have not evolved such systems.If this explanation is possibly true, it shows that Aquinas is wrong in thinking that "whatever lacks knowledge move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence." The next important version of the design argument came in the 17th and 18th Centuries.