analysis of the watch and the watchmaker
The Philosopher's Zone is produced by Kyla Slaven with technical production by Charlie McKune. Now consider the statement that a certain coin has a probability of .5 of landing heads when you toss it - it's a fair coin. This is not what the theory of evolution or biological theory has anything to say about. Elliot, we've been talking about intelligent design, we've been talking about whether intelligent design is a way of smuggling in creationism. So the way I was describing naturalism a few minutes ago was it's a doctrine about what exists. In The Watch and the Watchmaker, William Paley argues through analogy that since an intelligent designer must be assumed for the purpose-revealing watch, an intelligent Grand Designer may be inferred in explaining the purpose-revealing world. A teleological argument is otherwise known as an “argument from design,” and asserts that there is an order to nature that is best explained by the presence of some kind of intelligent designer. There is a position which is known as naturalism, and naturalism basically amounts to the observations of science, the observations of the natural world, are fully explanatory of everything we want to explain. Uncover new sources by reviewing other students' references and bibliographies, Inspire new perspectives and arguments (or counterarguments) to address in your own essay. ‘In crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there; I might possibly answer, that, for anything I knew to the contrary, it had lain there forever: nor would it perhaps be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer. Elliot Sober - speaking in Sydney 22 April 2010 (event details), Download The Watch and the Watchmaker: Philosophy and Intelligent Design (11.26 MB), Philosophy in a nutshell pt 6: Becoming a woman. If people want to believe that for religious reasons, I have no problem with that, but the idea that this is an alternative to evolutionary biology I think is preposterous. The Watchmakers Analogy has been used throughout history to justify the existence of intelligent design. Walter Kovacs/Rorschach 9. Saint Kitts, November 17, 2020 — Bitcoin.com, the go-to web portal for everything bitcoin, announced the launch of a new Franck Muller luxury watch called “Free the Money, Free the World.” The watch is the first-ever Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Franck Muller “Encrypto” brand timepiece. It would be fascinating to learn why. [From Natural Theology, or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity Collected from the Appearances of Nature (1802), pp. It's a problem that has a philosophical dimension, it calls for thinking about what science is, what testability is, Popper pro and con, these are all philosophical questions. No probability statement will be falsifiable in the technical sense that Popper defined. This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins. Evolutionary theory is a genuine scientific theory.' Alan Saunders: Elliot Sober, thank you very much indeed for joining us. Alan Saunders: What about God? Alan Saunders: Hi, I'm Alan Saunders, this is The Philosopher's Zone, and we begin with some musings from the very early 19th century. W hat keeps theists from being naturalists is that they think that God is a supernatural being. Watchmaker definition is - one that makes or repairs watches or clocks. Parts costs and availability will be researched, and an estimate will be emailed to you for your review. He accidently finds a watch and wonders about its origin. In The Watchmaker, a puzzle-adventure game, players take on the role of Alexander. There's actually no serious intellectual issue to be addressed here? And that's a doctrine about knowledge, not a question about what exists or not. Alan Saunders: So we're talking here about people like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchins and so on? So I'm drawing a very sharp distinction, someone might not like it for that reason, maybe it's too sharp, between explaining why we believe something and whether what we believe is in fact true. And it comes from the philosophy of mathematics. There's a non-chance element in the theory of natural selection that's very important. He argues just as the function and complexity of a watch implies a watch-maker, so likewise the function and complexity of the universe implies the existence of a universe-maker. That's not a matter of chance, that's driven by our greater survival and reproduction of some traits, lesser in others. We can say that it's basically about the way in which we, natural beings, with spatio-temporal location, the way we manipulate ideas, the way we manipulate symbols, that's the story.'. Elliot Sober: Exactly. Aquinas espoused a version of it in the Middle Ages, and the difference is that when Paley and his predecessors wrote in 1809, they didn't know anything about Darwin's theory. I think there's room to believe in God and to think that evolutionary theory is a good scientific theory, the best we have now. Here are some ways our essay examples library can help you with your assignment: Read our Academic Honor Code for more information on how to use (and how not to use) our library. Stuhrling. I don't personally believe that this is true, but I think someone who does believe that God at certain times in human history has intervened in human affairs, should realise that that's not inconsistent with scientific theories in physics or in biology. So you can see where the Popperian idea of falsifiability goes wrong. We'll take a look right away. He's Elliot Sober, Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and author of Evidence and Evolution: The Logic behind the Science. The essays in our library are intended to serve as content examples to inspire you as you write your own essay. It has nothing whatever to do with the existence of God, but it's another dimension about naturalism, and it's not obvious that a naturalistic account of mathematics is going to be better than a Platonistic account of mathematics. For more information on choosing credible sources for your paper, check out this blog post. See the similar, but more thoroughly elaborated, design argument presented by Hume in … Alan Saunders: Well there's of course quite a lot of activity these days by people trying to discover the evolutionary basis for our ethical beliefs, but putting them to one side for a moment, I suppose if I wanted to defend a naturalistic position, I could say Yes, there are moral beliefs that we have, and moral impulses that we have, they arise from human sympathies, they arise from our sympathy with our fellow human beings, our sense of being a member of a community, we can actually give a naturalistic explanation for that. He published a paper in the 1970s saying that evolutionary theory was not a scientific theory, but was a scientific research program and I think he said a metaphysical research program. The mini part is you don't use the G-word, you don't say God made organisms and their adaptation, you say an intelligent designer whose identity my theory is officially neutral about, you back off from God to an intelligent designer, that's the modesty of mini-ID, and secondly you drop a lot of other standard creationist claims for example the idea that the earth and life on it is less than 10,000 years old. William PaleyThe Watch and the Watchmaker. Are any of those beliefs actually true and can science tell us which of them are true? One thing that naturalism sometimes is taken to mean is the idea that everything that exists, exists in nature. Paley claims that the design of making a watch could only be explained by the watchmaker. That's not a subject for science now, and as I understand it that's just not on the agenda for scientific research. Please check your internet connection or reload this page. There's another dimension to naturalism. Elliot Sober: Well I completely agree that there is a naturalistic account of how our moral feelings and convictions arise. Till today, watchmaking has been considered as an art and a skilled profession. And some of the things that go beyond what science is describing are acts of divine intervention. Can you be a naturalist and a believer in God? His other best-sellers include River Out of Eden (1995) and Climbing Mount Improbable (1996; Penguin, 1997). In 1802, British theologian William Paley imagined himself finding a watch on the ground while he was out for a stroll. This week we meet a philosopher who argues that though the Intelligent Design camp is wrong, the philosophical Darwinians are not always right. Alan Saunders: Although presumably I could if I wanted to, defend naturalism, I could say 'Well we can give a sort of reductionist account of mathematics. Elliot Sober: This is an interesting episode in Popper's career, which I'd like to know more about. If the estimate is approved, we will ask for your credit card at that time or send you a link for online payment. Popper didn't change his mind very often in public, that's one of the few cases. But here's a more puzzling problem, at least puzzling to me. Email. One very important view about the nature of mathematics is that mathematics describes things like numbers which do not have spatial temporal location. Many people think that Darwin was an atheist, and I'm happy to come back to what Darwin's personal religious views were, but the so to speak, official position described in The Origin of Species is that he's investigating these laws of nature that govern biology the way Newton was investigating the laws of nature governing physical objects and matter in motion. And creationists hated that idea, and mini-ID is officially neutral on that one, too. It's also logically possible for a fair coin to land 100 tails in a row, and 50-50 is possible, 49-51 is possible, all possible observations in this experiment are consistent with the statement that the coin is fair. Elliot Sober: Well if 'arguments against' meaning, Can I prove that it's false? Henning Hammarlund (1857–1922), Swedish watch producer, Svängsta, Halda. I might possibly answer that for anything I knew to the contrary, it had lain there forever. Elliot Sober: OK, mini-ID , like maxi-ID, rejects evolutionary theory as an adequate explanation of what we see in the living world, and so in that respect it's not any different from creationism. In his steampunk world of giant clock mechanisms, Alexander’s routine involves repairing his precious clock tower every day, adjusting its mechanisms, oiling the gears and polishing everything down to the smallest piece. I don't see that as a kind of problem that the sciences are addressing. Alan Saunders: Well just to close, you clearly are addressing very significant and pressing philosophical issues, but as far as you're concerned, would it be true to say that intelligent design is just a sideshow, when we're talking about these things? The Watchmaker, also known as Nash, is the main antagonist in the 2015 film Survivor. There's a philosophical dimension which I find interesting as a philosopher, but people who aren't philosophers of science probably won't, and for them it's really a political question. To strengthen his argument, life is immensely more complex than a watch. Both products, the world and watch, reveal an intricate and positive design; thus, each has to have its own intelligent designer. It's very different from this question about what exists, and it's the idea that the only things that are true or that can be known are the things that can be known through the methods of natural science. Creationism of course needs a creator. And now we're doing philosophy. So it's not testable because there's nothing that's really making a prediction there. One way to do this which is kind of obvious, but it needs to be remembered is the idea that God starts the universe, he creates the universe, he creates the laws that will govern the universe, and then he mostly stands aside and lets natural processes play themselves out. If he dropped out, you could be a naturalist. They're not intended to be submitted as your own work, so we don't waste time removing every error. That's the concern of my guest this week. Byron Lewis/M… Elliot Sober: Here's one thing that's wrong with it. When citing an essay from our library, you can use "Kibin" as the author. Laurie Juspeczyk/Silk Spectre II 3. And if you're prepared to say that God exists inside of space and time, you are a naturalist. What they don't have is a theory that makes predictions about what you should find or what you should not find in the natural world. So Spinoza thought that God and the universe were identical. So what I agree with is that intelligent design advocates do not really have a substantive theory, and in that sense their theory can't be tested because they don't have a theory. Eddie Blake/Comedian 10. I think the theory of evolution is true, is that all there is? Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. And many philosophers of science, myself included, think that when you look at the details of what Popper meant by 'falsifiability,' it turns out that it's not a good account of what testability really means, it's not a principle that really succeeds in separating science from non-science. Is a belief in the theory of evolution by natural selection, is that consistent with a belief in God? It's a political problem. Alan Saunders: In writing about intelligent design, you distinguish between the full theistic version of intelligent design and what you call 'mini-ID', mini intelligent design. Even then, two plus three would still equal five. Milton Glass 6. Say for example a naturalist in this kind of methodological sense might think that mathematics is fine, because the methods used in mathematics are the methods of natural science, so there's no puzzle about naturalism about mathematics in this sense, though of course there is in the first sense I was just describing where naturalism is a doctrine about what exists. Alan Saunders: I suppose something one might want to say to somebody who accepts the natural selection and also believes in God, might be, Well what's your God been doing lately? This is a very important idea in evolutionary biology from Darwin down to the present, that everything alive now on earth traces back to common ancestors. Alan Saunders: So what position is the rational one to adopt towards the world? This is part of the history of human culture and biology, so this is something that science will continue to investigate. That's a statement. Reading example essays works the same way! I'm Alan Saunders, and I'll be puzzling my way through the world again next week. So that's an anti-naturalistic philosophy of mathematics. Alan Saunders: In fact Popper himself was very, very interested in evolution, but he had serious problems with Darwin, didn't he? Suppose we discover that the watch discussed by Paley makes some errors, or does not work perfectly. Basically, it was the watchmaker analogy that was used, “To support argument for the existence of God and for the intelligent design of the universe in both Christianity and Deism.” His analogy was couched in a story. There's a more detailed idea that comes along with the phrase, 'falsifiability'. Sign up Both of these traits created a culture that was ideal for creating fine timepieces requested by the elites of the world at that time. We have to be careful to distinguish a theory as being true, from its being complete. That's a naturalistic subject through and through, and naturalists will say that I completely agree. So if you think that God is a supernatural being, something that exists outside of nature, you're not a naturalist. Cause, effect, action, reaction. 1-6.] Alan Saunders: What's wrong with Popper's idea of falsifiability? The art of making clocks and watches is known as horology, and watchmaking truly is an art as well as a craft. Watchmen Analysis. But this philosophy of mathematics called Platonism holds that numbers exist, they just don't have spatial temporal locations. Essays may be lightly modified for readability or to protect the anonymity of contributors, but we do not edit essay examples prior to publication. Statement of the Argument. Where is the number 13? It counts probability statements as unscientific, where it's perfectly obvious that they are scientific, they are testable, and at some loose sense that philosophers struggle to characterise clearly, but they're not falsifiable in strict sense that Popper defined, which means that the statement is logically inconsistent with some possible observation. Blind Watchmaker, was translated into all the major languages. So that to me is the fundamental fact about intelligent design, quote 'theory'. For me, what's unsatisfying about that naturalistic reply is it seems to me that mathematical propositions would be true even if we didn't exist, even if there were no thinking things in the universe. Elliot Sober: And what he meant by that is that the theory of evolution is not really a scientific theory, but it's suggestive, and helps scientists to think of other theories, other more specific hypotheses that are themselves falsifiable and therefore by his lights, scientific. These days, the proponents of what is known as Intelligent Design argue that there must have been a designer and that the theory of natural selection cannot tell us how we and other animals got to be here. Nelson Gardner/Captain Metropolis 11. William Paley is the developer of this analogy, who gives a detailed explanation of the existence of God by means of watch. Check out our Privacy and Content Sharing policies for more information.). So that's a fundamental difference. The watchmaker`s analogy is one of the theories discussing the issue of existence of God. The watch will then be inspected by an expert watchmaker. In his unique account he described a person walking through a forest. And in both cases it's emphasised that these laws must come from somewhere, and that's where God comes in. That imaginary timepiece, though there was nothing intrinsically valuable or distinctive about it, ended up being probably the most celebrated and notorious ticker in the history of theology and philosophy. There's a second way to reconcile belief in God with the theory of evolution, which is not as visible and perhaps not as obvious, but I think it's logically consistent, and let me emphasise, I'm not saying that it's true or that I believe it, but I'm mentioning it because I think it's an option that people who believe in God should consider. This was the view that Darwin himself defends in The Origin of Species. It's unlike evolutionary biology which makes many testable predictions. The watchmaker analogy or watchmaker argument is a teleological argument which states, by way of an analogy, that a design implies a designer, especially intelligent design an intelligent designer, i.e. By End-User, study covers revenue generated through women, men, and unisex. The Ancient Greeks thought that the Gods lived on Mount Olympus, they were naturalists too. Because Paley conjured it… How to change the future." So I regard that as a serious philosophical question. Kibin does not guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of the essays in the library; essay content should not be construed as advice. Alan Saunders: Elliot Sober is giving a lecture as part of the Sydney Ideas Series at the University of Sydney. Your information is handled in accordance with the ABC Privacy Collection Statement. Richard Dawkins is Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University and he is the author of seven books, including The Selfish Gene. The analogy has played a prominent role in natural theology and the "argument from design," where it was used to support arguments for the existence of God and for the intelligent design of the universe, in both Christianity and Deism. You also drop a standard creationist denial that all living things share common ancestors. And here I have to part ways with a group of individuals that are now being called the neo-atheists who argue that the theory of evolution is just inconsistent , logically inconsistent with the proposition that God exists. Over-simplification. What hooks you? It's an old question: could there be a watch without a watchmaker? No-one would have been able to think of it, but these mathematical propositions seem to have a kind of mind independent objectivity to them that to me stands in the way of that kind of naturalistic reduction you describe. Paul Berner (1858–1942), Swiss watchmaker and teacher, longtime director of the watchmaking school in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The watch shows clear evidence of design because of the way the components are put together to achieve a purpose. How illogical! The Watchmaker is one of the most infamous assassins in the world, known for his precision work and as the culprit behind a bombing in Paris in the past. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties. A year later he published a retraction of this paper, and said, 'Oh, no, no, I got it wrong, I was misunderstood. Max Stührling (1859–1932), Swiss watchmaker, Biel. He encountered this stone during his walk and wondered how it came about (Paley, 1802, 196). He established the ground rules and then he went off, and hasn't been very active, and also everything that you believe about the natural world indicates a more or less self-sufficient natural world. But I'll tell you what I know about it. If I say that, is there a bigger story that I'm not telling? Elliot Sober: The fundamental idea driving both Creationists, the philosophical ideas, the argument from design, which has a long history, Paley wrote at the beginning of the 19th century and gave the famous argument about the watch on the heath that you just described, but it goes back centuries before that. Swiss watchmaking married together the aesthetics of a watch’s design with the precise attention to detail required to ensure its quality. So naturalism is - there's nothing else, that's it, just the things that exist with spatial temporal location. Dawkins’ selects things that look like something recognisable and then he claims that what he gets is the result of blind selection (The Blind Watchmaker). That is to say that you cannot specify a finding that would prove it to be wrong. Tone Genre What's Up With the Title? What for you are the knockdown arguments against the minimalist version of intelligent design? The theory that Darwin invented and which is still all the standard picture that evolutionary biologists have now, is that mutations arise by chance, but then there's a non-random, non-chance process called natural selection in which characteristics that help organisms survive and reproduce are going to be spread in a population, and less fit traits will disappear. 1. It doesn't exist in a place and it doesn't have a temporal location either. If you think there are facts about right and wrong, but science can't find out about them, it's some other kind of knowledge that we have, it's not scientific knowledge but ethical knowledge; a different thing. Therefore, Popper is obliged to conclude that the statement about probability, that the probability of heads when you toss the coin is one half, is unfalsifiable, and according to him, that means it has to be unscientific. Its sequel, The Extended Phenotype, followed in 1982. And Popper to his credit, did not simply use the word 'falsifiable' in a kind of informal vague way, he was very precise about what that meant. The report also studies the market fragmented by price-range as low range (Price Up To USD 500), Mid Range (Price 501 < USD 1,000) and Luxury (Price > USD 1,001). Now you might think that that's a testable statement, we can just toss the coin a bunch of times and see how frequently heads occurs in that run of 100 tosses, let's say. But there's a problem with this kind.. if I could just mention this is another dimension. It's logically possible for a fair coin to land 100 heads in a row. Elliot Sober: I think it is. If the perfect creator that Paley alludes to was responsible for the universe, then his creations, too, should be perfect. As the watch is the design of a watchmaker, nature is the product of a designing intelligence, or God. Can you simply say, 'Well God is one of the forces in nature, he operates in a way that we cannot explain in the way that we can explain force or gravity or something like that, but nonetheless, in principle, we could'. There are no supernatural beings, and let's define nature as the totality of events and processes and things that exist inside of space and time, they have spatial- temporal locations. Elliot Sober: I personally do not. In other words, could there be a universe without a god who made it? This preview is partially blurred. He didn't go into a lot of details about why he changed his mind, and I think it would be fascinating for a historian of recent philosophy to find out why did Popper say what he said initially, and why within the space of a year, did he back away from that? Watches and clocks symbolize the carefully-ordered universe, with its complex laws of nature and physics, which gives the illusion of a watchmaker—presumably God—being in control of it. To protect the anonymity of contributors, we've removed their names and personal information from the essays. He'll be speaking on the 22nd April on Darwin and Intelligent design. You would suppose that at some point in time, a watchmaker designed and created it for a purpose. I don't think the theory says that. Hans Reichenbach Professor and William F. Vilas Research Professor Department of Philosophy University of Wisconsin - Madison United States. But science is filled with probability statements, including the theory of evolution, which is a probabilistic theory. "If you can understand the complexities of a watch you can understand anything. It looks like you've lost connection to our server. Well no, I think that it's so flimsy and modest that the main flaw is not that it's demonstrably false, but that it's not a scientific theory. What makes you cringe? Watchmaking itself requires strong mechanical reasoning skills. Let’s assume a self-replicating molecule is possible. Another answer. So I agree that if that's the thought when people bring up falsifiability, I certainly agree that that's an important criticism. You know how looking at a math problem similar to the one you're stuck on can help you get unstuck? Alan Saunders: On ABC Radio National you're listening to The Philosopher's Zone, and I'm talking to Elliot Sober from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, about evolution and intelligent design. Paley’s analogy came about from the concept of a stone. Janey Slater 4. And it's ethics. Richard Gläser (1856–1928), German watchmaker, Glashütte, pocket watch.
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