Beliefs about Arguments from Design

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Please note: there are various arguments from apparent design that are intended to prove that a Creator exists, but they are often confused, and the term intelligent design frequently leads to misunderstanding.

This page attempts to represent the various beliefs fairly to the extent of reflecting their confusion at times; but for clarification see the following pages:

  • Arguments from Design — for the difference between the Aesthetic and Rational versions of the Design Argument, and the difference between intelligent design and Intelligent Design with capital letters
  • The "Intelligent Design Movement" — for discussion of the political movement in the USA

See also:

Evolutionary Creationism Old Earth Creationism Young Earth Creationism
without "gap" with "gap"


Young Earth Creationism (YEC)

Old Earth Creationism (OEC) with "Gap"

Old Earth Creationism (OEC)

Evolutionary Creationism (EC)

Intelligent Design "notions" as a problem for "mainstream religions":

Intelligent design (ID) — the latest incarnation of religious creationism — posits that complex biological features did not accrue gradually via natural evolutionary forces but, instead, were crafted ex nihilo by a cognitive agent. Yet, many complex biological traits are gratuitously complicated, function poorly, and debilitate their bearers. Furthermore, such dysfunctional traits abound not only in the phenotypes but inside the genomes of eukaryotic species. Here, I highlight several outlandish features of the human genome that defy notions of ID by a caring cognitive agent. These range from de novo mutational glitches that collectively kill or maim countless individuals (including embryos and fetuses) to pervasive architectural flaws (including pseudogenes, parasitic mobile elements, and needlessly baroque regulatory pathways) that are endogenous in every human genome. Gross imperfection at the molecular level presents a conundrum for the traditional paradigms of natural theology as well as for recent assertions of ID, but it is consistent with the notion of nonsentient contrivance by evolutionary forces. In this important philosophical sense, the science of evolutionary genetics should rightly be viewed as an ally (not an adversary) of mainstream religions because it helps the latter to escape the profound theological enigmas posed by notions of ID.

— John C. Avise, Footprints of nonsentient design inside the human genome PNAS May 11, 2010 107 (Supplement 2) 8969-8976 Abstract




An excellent presentation of an atheist response against arguments from design is found in the speech A Designer Universe? given by physicist and Nobel prize winner Steven Weinberg at an AAAS Conference on Cosmic Design held in April 1999.