EXPLANATION SIX: THINKING CREATIVELY OR REWINDING THE WATCHMAKER
alschroeder on Aug. 31, 2014
Continuing down the list of six possible explanations for the “anthropic” coincidences in nature which allow intelligent life to evolve…largely inspired and derived from George F.R. Ellis' brilliant brief book, BEFORE THE BEGINNING. He is NOT responsible, though, for the liberties I've taken with his logic or how I've chosen to illustrate it.
The Watchmaker illustration would be brought up when I look at this anyway, so I might as well get it out of the way. Actually, Paley STILL had cogent points–he was one of the ones (Kant was another) to point out that life if only possible in three dimensions, that circular orbits would decay in anything else–which ranges from planets in solar systems to electrons around the nuclei of atoms.
Of course, some will say that the idea of a Designer is a priori absurd, and refuse to consider it. But it's certainly a logical possibility.
The kinship that Dawkins felt for Paley's wonderment at nature, and the statement quoted, is in the first chapter of THE BLIND WATCHMAKER. When Dawkins talks about biology and evolution, few can touch him, and I always listen to him with respect.
We'll address the pros and cons of the idea of an Originating Intelligence (how I wish the term “Intelligent Design” hadn't been co-opted by those who disagree with evolution) in the coming weeks.
We'll address Dawkins' opinion on the anthropic coicidences–as well as other criticisms, such as David Hume's, on the whole Designer idea…a little later.
Next time: THINKING CREATIVELY: APPROACHES AND LIMITS