The most famous statement of the teleological argument using the watchmaker analogy was given by William Paley in 1802. Paley's argument was seriously challenged by Charles Darwin's formulation of the theory of natural selection, and how it combines with mutation to improve survivability of a species, even a new species. In the United States, starting in the 1980s, the concepts of evolution and natural selection (usually referred to as "Darwinism") became the subject of a concerted attack by Christian creationists (see creationism). This attack included a renewed interest in, and defense of, the watchmaker argument by the intelligent design movement.The Watchmaker argument
The watchmaker analogy consists of the comparison of some natural phenomenon to a watch. Typically, the analogy is presented as a prelude to the teleological argument and is generally presented as:
- If you look at a watch, you can easily tell that it was designed and built by an intelligent watchmaker.
- Similarly, if you look at some natural phenomenon X (a particular organ or organism, the structure of the solar system, life, the entire universe) you can easily tell that it was designed and built by an intelligent creator/designer.