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Atheist Experience
finding a watch on the beach

I have watched the show on youtube for sometime now and i gratly enjoy it. On one of the episodes you had a caller, who mention finding a watch on a beach was proof that there is a higher being. You calmy disagreed and had a very good counter argument. My friend has recently used he finding a watch on the beach remark, and i couldn't remember your response. f you could post your response to the statement, i would be very gratefull. thank you for your time.

It might have been this:

The watch is an example of design. Finding one on the beach presumes that the watch stands out from its surroundings, which are natural or not designed. This assumption, slits the throat of the argument because it assumes that the beach (and the universe) is not designed. The watchmaker argument then goes on to try to "prove" that living things (and presumably the universe) IS designed.

Another argument is a reduction to absurdity. If complex things need an even more complex designer, then who designed the designer? And who designed that designer? Etc.

For more arguments, check out an article I wrote, titled "Does Intelligent Design Require a Creator?"

William Paley was a British theologian during the 18th century. He presented the watchmaker argument as proof of the existence of god in 1802.

The opening passage begins like this: "In crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there; I might possibly answer, that, for anything I knew to the contrary, it had lain there forever: nor would it perhaps be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer. But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place; I should hardly think of the answer I had before given, that for anything I knew, the watch might have always been there."

I am sure you could find the entire argument if you want to read the entire argument. But, believe it or not, I have read articles written by creationists advocating using Paley's argument in science classes.

Paley didn't know the difference in a watch and a stone, or human artifacts from works of nature. It also appears that some of the creationists don't know the difference either.

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From the officers:

The ACA Lecture Series continues Sunday, February 4th, 12:15pm at the Austin History Center, 9th and Guadaupe. Chase Hunter will speak on "Inside Scientology 2: the Sea Org". The lecture is free and open to the public. The building opens at noon.