Re: teleology in terminology

Bill Payne (
Mon, 10 Aug 1998 22:24:23 -0600

McCarrick, Allan wrote:

> Didn't Richard Dawkins attempt to define biology as "The study of systems
> that appear to be purposely designed but are not." ?

"Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of
having been designed for a purpose." (Richard Dawkins, _The Blind
Watchmaker_, p 1)

"Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not
see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the
living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the
appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the
illusion of design and planning. The purpose of this book is to resolve
this paradox to the satisfaction of the reader, and the purpose of this
chapter is further to impress the reader with the power of the illusion
of design. We shall look at a particular example and shall conclude
that, when it comes to complexity and beauty of design, Paley hardly
even began to state the case." (Ibid, p 21)

"When he contemplates the perfidy of those who refuse to believe,
Dawkins can scarcely restrain his fury. 'It is absolutely safe to say
that, if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that
person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not
consider that).' Dawkins went on to explai, by the way, that what he
dislikes particularly about creatioinists is that they are intolerant."
(Phillip Johnson, _Darwin on Trail_, p 9)

Bill Payne