The Design Argument

St. Thomas AquinasThe original argument from design (teleological) was by Saint Thomas Aquinas way back in 1224! Aquinas came up with 5 different ways he believed of proving the existence of God. One of these was the argument from design – the ‘teleological argument.

The best modern example of the TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (design) is probably by William Paley (1743-1805) who also argued that God exists by looking at the design of the Universe. He said, imagine finding a watch in the street, if you had never seen one before, on examining it, you would see the workings are very complicated and there must have been a watchmaker who designed and put it together. It hasn’t happened just by chance. He then said, it’s the same when you look at the world. It could not have been made by chance. It is so complicated yet everything fits perfectly into place, someone had to design and make it and that some one was God. William Paley & the Design Argument

People have said countered this argument by saying the world does not need a designer. The world has happened by chance and has evolved over millions of years. People who are for the design argument have said this is not the case and have given examples to show why they believe the world has not happened just by chance.

Nerve Cells in the Brain?
‘There are more than 10 billion nerve cells in your brain. Each one of the 10 billion cells sprouts between 10,000 to 100,000 fibres to contact other nerve cells in the brain creating approximately 1,000 million million connections or 10 to the 15th power…. Hard to imagine… it’s the same as taking half of the USA , 1 million square miles and covering it with forest, with 10,000 trees per square mile. On each of the 10,000 trees on each of the 1 million square miles there are 100,000 leaves. That’s how many connections you have in your brain. Did this happen by chance?

Below is a diagram showing the argument that it is God who has designed all the complex structures in the world, can you come up with any additional examples of natural design in the world?


Against the Argument?

How then do people say that the world was created if it wasn’t God?

Charles Darwin and the theory of evolutionThe Big Bang theory – The answer Scientists come up with is the BIG BANG. The origins of the Universe and ultimately how life was formed on earth.

The person who caused the most problems for people who believed in the argument from design was a man called CHARLES DARWIN. Darwin wrote a book called ‘The origin of Species’ (1859) which laid down his THEORY OF EVOLUTION. Darwin ’s theory was that life evolved from simple structures, through a process of natural selection to create the complex world that we live in. It had nothing to do with God being the designer. Religious believers tried to counter this view by saying that God started the process of evolution and knew what was going to happen and therefore was still the designer.