Posted by Jeff

From our very first radio program.

Teleological Argument:

1.            All designs imply a designer.

2.            There is great design in the universe.

3.            Therefore, there must be a Great Designer of the universe.


Romans 1:20

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.



John MacArthur

“Even in the most ancient of times, long before the telescope and microscope were invented, the greatness of God was evident both in the vastness and in the tiny intricacies of nature. Men could look at the stars and discover the fixed order of their orbits. They could observe a small seed reproduce itself into a giant tree, exactly like the one from which it came. They could see the marvelous cycles of the seasons, the rain, and the snow. They witnessed the marvel of human birth and the glory of the sunrise and sunset. Even without the special revelation David had, they could see that “the heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1).”

(from The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (c) Moody Press and John MacArthur, Jr., 1983-2002)



1.        All designs imply a designer.

List things that have some type of “design”

For example à rocks, motorcycles, poems, snowflakes, skyscrapers, river paths, brain


Norman Geisler wrote:

“Any time we have seen a complex design, we know by previous experience that it came from the mind of a designer…

It is important to note that by “complex design” is meant specified complexity. A crystal, for example, has specificity but not complexity. It, like a snowflake, has the same basic patterns repeated over and over. Random polymers, [a type of molecule] on the other hand, has complexity but no specificity. A living cell, however, has both specificity and complexity. This kind of complexity is never produced by purely natural laws. It is always the result of an intelligent being.”

Geisler, N. L. (1999). Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics. Baker reference library (Page 278). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.






Specificity – to have specificity something must contain a certain amount of “purposeful direction in its design.  I.e. it must be specific.


For example, a sound board is specific because all the sliders are attached to wires that correspond to the numbered plug in back of the board.  Each of those is rerouted to another slider that sends the signal to a speaker to produce sound, and not by coincidence the sliders control the volume.  It has a very specificied reason for being that way.


Complexity – to have complexity something must contain a certain amount of “more than basic” structure in its design.  I.e. it must be complex.


For example, if you threw 100 marbles on the floor and let them roll until they stopped they would form a very complex “pattern” if you connected them with lines.  It doesn’t necessarily have any specificity to it, but it is very complex.





There is great design in the universe.


Robert Jastrow, an astrophysicist and was the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has said:


Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the biblical view of the origin of the world …. The essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same. Consider the enormousness of the problem: Science has proved that the universe exploded into being at a certain moment. It asks what cause produced this effect? Who or what put the matter and energy into the Universe? And science cannot answer these questions…



The Book “20 Compelling Evidences That God Exists

“On a multiplicity of levels, life exhibits a highly complex, specified order that cannot be explained as the inevitable outcome of natural processes.  The point may be illustrated with DNA.  A DNA macromolecule uses a complex structure that looks a bit like a very, very long spiral staircase or ladder.  Each “step” or “rung” is formed by pairing up two of the four nucleotides found in DNA called adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G).  When cells reproduce, the two rails or strands untwist and separate from each other, then reconnect to other strands to form exact duplicates of the original.

For DNA to work, it is not enough to have lots of As, Ts, Cs and Gs strung together.  That would be like having Scrabble tiles lined up to spell nonsense words.  The nucleotides must be strung together in a precise order and the two strands matched up to convey information to the rest of the cell that determines its overall structure, properties, and functions.  In other words, the nucleotides must be arranged in a highly specific and highly complex order that conveys meaningful instructions.  They function just like letters in a sentence – except that, given the length and complexity of a typical DNA double helix, a better comparison would be the letters that form a chapter or even a book.”



Bertrand Russel

  1. The adaptation of means to end in the world is either the result of evolution or else the result of design.
  2. This adaptation is the result of evolution.
  3.  Therefore, this adaptation is not the result of design.


Is this argument valid?  No.  1 and 2 do not flow to 3.
Design could be the result of both evolution and design.

Furthermore, if there is any adaptation which evolution cannot explain the Design argument is either proven better or at least given more credit!

Conclusion: Russel’s argument doesn’t hurt the Teleological Argument but in some cases helps it.  At best it forces a slight modification.


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