Sunday, January 24, 2016

Design, or Chance – are there no other options?

Obviously you already heard about the “Watch Challenge,” right? No, it’s not the William Paley argument. It’s also known as argument from improbability. Ok… it goes something like this: If you put some watch parts in a box and shake it, will it produce a watch? As a witless Christian would probably think – the argument is a dead end for atheism. You see, if a simple watch cannot be created by chance, what more a complex human or the universe itself. Therefore, there is a great designer AKA God!

The watch argument (argument from improbability) states that complex things could not have come about by chance.

That is true!

Unfortunately for this witless Christian, he had critically made a mistake when he assumed that there are only two possibilities to consider, design and chance. He forgot to consider that there are other possibilities like well… everything is an accidental by-product from some freaky experiments by more advance sentient beings from another universe or that we developed from a progression that we call as “natural process.” To define, natural process is a process existing in or produced by nature (rather than by the intent of human beings).

Let me illustrate.

Get a large jar and fill it with sand, stones and water and then shake it. Let it stand on a table and let the inside settle by itself. Now, notice that after some few hours, all the solid objects inside the jar will settle to the bottom of the water – large objects will be at the most bottom part (obviously, because they are heavier) and fine dust particle will be on the top of the slurry. Well, don’t tell me that I tried picking those heavier objects and then burying them in the muck inside the jar hahaha! Heavier objects sink to the bottom because of its weight, that’s it! That’s natural process.
A snow flake gets its beautiful, unique patterns when water vapor freezes. Natural bridges and caves were formed by erosions, coral reefs were formed by corals and stalactites/stalagmites were formed from the natural drops of mineral deposits inside a cave. Nope, they were not created by chance and were not designed by God – they were formed through natural process. 

Complexity is defined as the quality of being intricate and compounded. I once read somewhere (I forgot) about this Christian apologist saying that God is simple – yeah, something like that. However, I was just wondering, if humans are the likeness and image of God and humans are complex, then that makes God complex too. Specially the biblical god, in which this guy can also feel the same complex feelings that humans have: jealousy, rage, happiness, sadness, remorse, repentance.

So going back, according to this witless Christian, the complexity of humans makes chance impossible. He’s right – that is “if” humans are created by chance. The problem that this witless Christian have to face is the option that humans developed due to natural process. Evolution is a good example of natural process and natural selection is the key.
We have lot of evidences pointing to complexity via natural selection: Anatomical vestiges, transitional fossils, molecular evidences, you name it. 

Man-Made vs. Nature
Hence, if you place some watch parts inside a box and shake it, will you get a watch? No, all you get are junks – man made junks. In order to build a watch, someone must first think of a purpose of a watch. A chair is a chair because someone first think of the purpose of the chair before building it, same with a table, a TV, an iPad and even a watch.  Every watch parts that you placed inside that box – the nuts and screws, the springs, the hand of the watch, the metal parts, the leather bracelet – everything was designed with a purpose. It has a blueprint and the watch and its parts were assembled by different people following the blueprint to form its purpose, which is to tell time. That makes a watch man-made. 

Now, can you compare that to nature? What is the purpose of that natural hole on that rock? Who designed that sinkhole that swallowed that building? What was the purpose of that small pebble near the edge of that creek? Where’s the blueprint of Mars? Analogies are cool “if” they’re almost the same with the one you are trying to compare. Duh!

By looking at how the analogy works and those wrong assumptions, the “watch challenge” is a big laugh.

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