The Designer’s Designer Objection

Above is a five minute video addressing the commonly cited objection, “If the universe was designed, who designed the designer?” This argument is unique because it presupposes the notion that we cannot logically assume anything is designed unless we know the explanation of the designer. Would you marvel at the beautiful carvings on the side of Mt. Rushmore and conclude they were a result of geological metamorphosis? Anyone that is of sound mind would realize that the faces located within the rock were sculpted by a sculptor. Would you require an explanation for who created the sculptor to logically infer that Mt. Rushmore was sculpted? Clearly not, and the reason why we do not ask such a silly question is because it does not matter.

For a moment, we’ll get creative. Pretend aliens from another planet sculpted the faces of the presidents in the side of Mt. Rushmore. Apparently these aliens had an affinity for US history and decided to dedicate their appreciation to us in the form of a monument, aka Mt. Rushmore. Would we look at Mt. Rushmore any differently even though we failed to acknowledge the aliens were the sculptors the entire time? The answer is no. We would not look at Mt. Rushmore any differently because we know Mt. Rushmore is the product of an intelligent being and not a natural process. Whether the designer is a sculptor or an alien is irrelevant because we acknowledge that it is designed regardless of who designed it.

This idea that we can only acknowledge intelligent design only if we can identify the source of the designer is patently illogical. You would not come home from work and demand to know who designed the builder of your home in order to be convinced that your house was designed. You would not open a book and demand to know who designed the author in order to know that the book was intelligently written. You would not open your car door and demand to know who designed the maker of the car in order to know that the car was intelligently engineered. These are the absurdities that we face as Christian theists. Somehow the rules of logical inference change when we encounter a universe with the qualities of design; a design so intricate that it would put any man-made design to shame. Why is the universe exempt from the traditional rules of logic under an atheistic worldview? In my opinion, much is left to be desired under a worldview that fails to rationally account for the intelligibility of the universe in purely materialistic terms.

I hope I am not being misunderstood as providing a caricature of their actual argument. My goal is not to misrepresent their atheistic views in any way; however I would like to gently yet accurately point out the fallacies of their logic. As Christians, our commitment to sound reason and thought should reject this fallacious argument which is being paraded around in “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins as the primary thrust of the book. As I’ve heard Christian Dinesh D’Souza once humorously say concerning Richard Dawkins, “That’s what happens when you let a biologist out of the lab”. I happen to agree.

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