Can one infer design without knowing the function or purpose of a thing?
Alexander R. Pruss
March 23, 2004
It is highly plausible that to infer that some object, say Paley’s watch, is designed one needs to figure out something about the function or purpose of a thing. Unfortunately, there appear to be counterexamples to this plausible claim. See Figures 1 and 2.
Figure 1: Photograph taken in Vancouver, May 11, 2003.
Figure 2: Photograph taken in Vancouver, May 11, 2003.
It may be that some version of the principle survives the counterexamples—indeed, I am inclined to think it does—but the counterexamples seem quite powerful.