As William Dembski describes the distinction: a system or structure is cumulatively complex “if the components of the system can be arranged sequentially so that the successive removal of components never leads to the complete loss of function”; a system or structure is irreducibly complex “if it consists of several interrelated parts so that removing even one part completely destroys the system’s function” (Dembski 1999, 147). …the argument from design (or teleological argument) is that of the worth and purpose, or apparent design, to be found in the world. If John wins a 1-in-1,000,000,000 lottery game, you would not immediately be tempted to think that John (or someone acting on his behalf) cheated. Caputo, a member of the Democratic Party, was a public official responsible for conducting drawings to determine the relative ballot positions of Democrats and Republicans. Nevertheless, this more modest interpretation is problematic. Taken together, these two characteristics endow the watch with a functional complexity that reliably distinguishes objects that have intelligent designers from objects that do not. A posteriori is a term first used by Immanuel Kant and it means "from below" or "bottom-up". As we will see, however, all of the contemporary versions of the design inference seem to be vulnerable to roughly the same objection. Theories of chemical necessity are problematic because chemical necessity can explain, at most, the development of highly repetitive ordered sequences incapable of representing information. While the argument from irreducible biochemical complexity focuses on the probability of evolving irreducibly complex living systems or organisms from simpler living systems or organisms, the argument from biological information focuses on the problem of generating living organisms in the first place. Organisms that have, say, a precursor to a fully functional cilium are no fitter than they would have been without it, but there is nothing in Darwinian theory that implies they are necessarily any less fit. A great number of men join in building a house or ship, in rearing a city, in framing a commonwealth; why may not several deities combine in contriving and framing a world” (Hume Dialogues, Part V)? I mean that the contrivances of nature surpass the contrivances of art, in the complexity, subtilty, and curiosity of the mechanism; and still more, if possible, do they go beyond them in number and variety; yet in a multitude of cases, are not less evidently mechanical, not less evidently contrivances, not less evidently accommodated to their end, or suited to their office, than are the most perfect productions of human ingenuity (Paley 1867, 13). As Meyer rightly observes by way of example, “[a]rcheologists assume a mind produced the inscriptions on the Rosetta Stone” (Meyer 2002, 94). What proponents of design arguments for God’s existence, however, have not noticed is that each one of these indubitably legitimate uses occurs in a context in which we are already justified in thinking that intelligent beings with the right motivations and abilities exist. Scottish philosopher and empiricist David Hume argued that nothing can be proven to exist using only a priori reasoning. The argument from biological information is concerned with only the second of these problems. False. For example, consider the following syllogism: * All multiples of ten are multiples of five. This natural line of argument is vulnerable to a cogent objection. At the end of this period, it compares all of the sequences with the target sequence METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL and keeps the sequence that most closely resembles it. The phrase a priori is a Latin term which literally means before (the fact). If having a precursor to an irreducibly complex system does not render the organism less fit for survival, the probability a subspecies of organisms with the precursor survives and propagates is the same, other things being equal, as the probability that a subspecies of organisms without the precursor survives and propagates. And many people find themselvesconvinced that no explanation for that mind-resonancewhichfails to acknowledge a causal r… If we already know, for example, that there exist beings capable of rigging a lottery, then design inferences can enable us to distinguish lottery results that merely happen from lottery results that are deliberately brought about by such agents. Design arguments typically consist of (1) a premise that asserts that the material universe exhibits some empirical property F; (2) a premise (or sub-argument) that asserts (or concludes) that F is persuasive evidence of intelligent design or purpose; and (3) a premise (or sub-argument) that asserts (or concludes) that the best or most probable explanation for the fact that the material universe exhibits F is that there exists an intelligent designer who intentionally brought it about that the material universe exists and exhibits F. There are a number of classic and contemporary versions of the argument from design. Just as the purposive quality of the cumulative-step computer program above is best explained by intelligent design, so too the purposive quality of natural selection is best explained by intelligent design. Second they argue that some feature or features of the world exhibits P. Third, they conclude that the design explanation is significantly more likely to be true. Accordingly, the argument from irreducible biochemical complexity is more plausibly construed as showing that the design explanation for such complexity is more probable than the evolutionary explanation. Second, some physicists speculate that this physical universe is but one material universe in a “multiverse” in which all possible material universes are ultimately realized. At the outset, it is crucial to note that Collins does not intend the fine-tuned argument as a proof of God’s existence. Similarly, life would not be possible if the force binding protons to neutrons differed by even five percent. A priori arguments 2. The Design Argument is a good example of an a posteriori argument. By the Prime Principle of Confirmation, then, John’s winning the lottery provides a reason to prefer the Theistic Lottery Hypothesis over the Chance Lottery Hypothesis. It is noteworthy that each of these thinkers attempted to give scientifically-based arguments for the existence of God. For example, life would not be possible if the force of the big bang explosion had differed by one part in 1060; the universe would have either collapsed on itself or expanded too rapidly for stars to form. Evolution is, on this line of response, guided by an intelligent Deity. It is clear that John’s winning the lottery is vastly more probable under the Theistic Lottery Hypothesis than under the Chance Lottery Hypothesis. A city is cumulatively complex since one can successively remove people, services, and buildings without rendering it unable to perform its function. During Caputo’s tenure, the Democrats drew the top ballot position 40 of 41 times, making it far more likely that an undecided voter would vote for the Democratic candidate than for the Republican candidate. You’re probably more familiar with the other type. The stronger construction of the conclusion (and argument) incorrectly presupposes that Darwinian theory implies that every precursor to a fully functional system must itself perform some function that makes the organism more fit to survive. The argument proceeds as follows. (Hume 1779 [1998], 35). As a logical matter, the mere fact that some existing thing has a feature, irreducibly complex or otherwise, that would be valuable to an intelligent being with certain properties, by itself, does not say anything about the probability that such a being exists. Because processes involving chemical necessity are highly regular and predictable in character, they are capable of producing only highly repetitive sequences of “letters.” For example, while chemical necessity could presumably explain a sequence like “ababababababab,” it cannot explain specified but highly irregular sequences like “the house is on fire.” The problem is that highly repetitive sequences like the former are not sufficiently complex and varied to express information. For example, it would be reasonable to infer that some intelligent extraterrestrial beings were responsible for a transmission of discrete signals and pauses that effectively enumerated the prime numbers from 2 to 101. Since, for example, a cilium-precursor (that is, one that lacks at least one of a cilium’s parts) cannot perform the function that endows a cilium with adaptive value, organisms that have the cilium-precursor are no “fitter for survival” than they would have been without it. It is worth noting that Aquinas’s version of the argument relies on a very strong claim about the explanation for ends and processes: the existence of any end-directed system or process can be explained, as a logical matter, only by the existence of an intelligent being who directs that system or process towards its end. This version of the fine-tuning argument proceeds by comparing the relative likelihood of a fine-tuned universe under two hypotheses: Assuming the Design Hypothesis is true, the probability that the universe has the fine-tuned properties approaches (if it does not equal) 1. The first theist widely known to have made such an argument is Frederick Robert Tennant. Given that we are justified in inferring intelligent design in the case of John’s winning three consecutive lotteries, we are even more justified in inferring intelligent design in the case of our winning two dozen much more improbable property lotteries. Arguments are psychologically unconvincing: proof is convincing only when people are already predisposed to believe. The mere fact that it is enormously improbable that an event occurred by chance, by itself, gives us no reason to think that it occurred by design. Since the works of nature possess functional complexity, a reliable indicator of intelligent design, we can justifiably conclude that these works were created by an intelligent agent who designed them to instantiate this property. Richard Bentley saw evidence of intelligent design in Newton’s discovery of the law of gravitation. Contemporary versions of the design argument typically attempt to articulate a more sophisticated strategy for detecting evidence of design in the world. The latter implicitly argue that objects in the world do not have inherent dispositions or ends, but, like Paley's watch, will not naturally have a purpose unless forced to do some outside agency.