Title
Where the design argument goes wrong : auxiliary assumptions and unification
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Arts. Philosophy
Publication type
article
Publication
East Lansing, Mich. ,
Subject
Philosophy
History
Source (journal)
Philosophy of science : journal of the Philosophy of Science Association. - East Lansing, Mich., 1934, currens
Volume/pages
78(2011) :4 , p. 558-578
ISSN
0031-8248
1539-767X
ISI
000295735100002
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Abstract
Sober has reconstructed the biological design argument in the framework of likelihoodism, purporting to demonstrate that it is defective for intrinsic reasons. We argue that Sober's restriction on the introduction of auxiliary hypotheses is too restrictive, as it commits him to rejecting types of everyday reasoning that are clearly valid. Our account shows that the design argument fails, not because it is intrinsically untestable but because it clashes with the empirical evidence and fails to satisfy certain theoretical desiderata (in particular, unification). Likewise, Sober's critique of the arguments from imperfections and from evil against design is off the mark.
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