Is rice allowed on the Paleyo diet?
February 12, 2015 § 24 Comments
The big beef with William Paley’s watchmaker argument seems to be that it involves an inference to a watchmaker as opposed to a farmer or cultivator. Watches are artifacts while living things are not, and this (supposedly) invalidates Paley’s argument. I propose the following update to his argument to eliminate this objection:
In [exploring the moon], 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 [crop of rice which, when its DNA was analyzed, revealed the (statistically impossible as random chance) message “Genetically modified by Monsanto for lunar cultivation” in the DNA code], and it should be inquired how the [rice] happened to be in that place; I should hardly think of the answer I had before given, that for anything I knew, the [rice] might have always been there. … There must have existed, at some time, and at some place or other, an [cultivator or cultivators], who formed [the rice] for the purpose which we find it actually to answer; who comprehended its construction, and designed its use. … Every indication of contrivance, every manifestation of design, which existed in the [genetically modified rice], exists in the works of nature; …—William Paley, Natural Theology (1802) [my updates]