I have been thinking a bit about the so-called Intelligent Design argument for the existence of god and have wondered if the question I raise here is a viable criticism of the argument. I find the argument problematic, in particular, because of the idea or notion of “design” itself. It seems to me that “design” is a construct that human beings employ to explain what we perceive, or maybe infer from what we perceive, in observing the universe. We look at things and perceive order, or some kind of harmony and consistency to them; this is the way our minds happen to work. It is possible, however, that beings elsewhere in the universe observe it and have no conception of “design”, or see no such order or harmony. If design truly is an inference relative to human minds it seems like it would hardly point to the existence of a designer; from the premise that design is a human construct perhaps the most we can infer is that design is not a “feature” that is intrinsic, or built into the structure of the universe, it is just the way our minds work in apprehending it.
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