Talk:William Paley

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The link to Dalston in this article looks wrong — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:37, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Many thanks, fixed. It's Dalston, Cumbria of course. Chiswick Chap (talk) 12:01, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

This article indicates that Paley was known for having an extra toe, a fact which was not revealed until after his death. This seems contradictory and is also without citation. If it is only a grammatical error and Paley IS known for having an extra toe, it would make sense; though I don't know anybody that is aware of this 'fact'. (talk) 23:46, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Does anyone have an arguement against William Paley? The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 09:12, 3 May 2004 (UTC).

What's interesting about "design" arguments are the implications on time. A "good' design points the time arrow forward and allows for an increase in entropy. Reductionist suggest everything is the result of chance mechanism, resulting in entropy decreasing. Likewise with general evolution, that is evolution of Kind, complexity increases with no explaination of system architecture authorship.

To exist, the complexity of the universe must have had a creator. However, one could argue that the creator himself must have been created, as he himself is complex. Therefore, there is an everlasting paradox; who created the creator of creator, etc? This then leads to the idea that the (original) creator cannot be all powerful, because he himself was created. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 09:02, 9 November 2004 (UTC).
Paley's work fascinated Darwin, which he did not concur with. However the above suggestion that the creator was created is a fallacy because in monotheism God by definition is eternal and uncreated. To ask who created the creator involves the fallacy of the eternal regress. This problem was posed by Bertrand Russell and was answered by Frederick Copleston, and also by Alvin Plantinga. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 02:47, 26 August 2005 (UTC).
The assertion that the complexity of the universe must have had a creator is an argument from personal incredulity (as is every other creationist argument), so Paley's argument is illogical on its face. Microtonal...(Put your head on my shoulder) 19:51, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
A religious argument cannot be judged on whether it is logical. Rather, the question is what it inspired. Belief in a God that designed the universe is not necessarily the same thing Intelligent Design means today. The crucial question is whether his philosophy stayed within religion, or whether like today it tried to work its way into science. By the way, belief in a Creator does not in itself constitute Creationism. It depends on whether he was simply thinking outside of science or whether he was denying specific scientific claims. Please see for further information. (I have no involvement with the production of this site. I am merely someone who found it and posted a small message on the forum.) Collin239 08:10, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
The Watchmaker analogy is not at all a logical argument, since it assumes arbitrarily that there must be an uncreated creator. It is an argument, yes, but of the aesthetical variety, not logical. Luis Dantas 16:33, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

This page should discuss the article not the merits of the subject. -- SECisek 18:18, 14 October 2007 (UTC)


In more modern times, William Paley popularized the design argument with his great book, Natural Theology, first published in 1802, profoundly influencing the English speaking world of his day—even including Charles Darwin! The book began with a detailed description of the "irreducible complexity" of a functioning watch, noting that even the most rabid skeptic would acknowledge that the watch—or at least its prototype—must have been designed and made by a skilled watchmaker. Just so, he argued persuasively, the much more complex universe required a universe-maker. These themes of intelligent design are compellingly developed at great length in Paley's 402-page book. [1]

William Backhouse[edit]

William Backhouse is listed as supervising Paley's doctorate. However, following that link, it turns out that Backhouse died 80 years before Paley was born. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:48, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

What is the title of his 1789 speech against the slave trade?[edit]

It has the famous 'pigeon' analogy in it, is there a link to it anywhere? Also the article makes reference to a 'book', but does not say what book. (talk) 17:06, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

"Relevance" section as WP:OR?[edit]

There's a lot of opinion delivered in the "Relevance" section. I thought this was frowned upon generally, plus it does not read like an encyclopedia entry. --Wesley R. Elsberry (talk) 02:39, 13 March 2010 (UTC)


There doesn't appear to be any place named giggleswick, is it vandalism? (talk) 08:57, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

No. --James O'Callaghan 04:04, 19 May 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by JDOCallaghan (talkcontribs)

Giggleswick Grammar School has long been renamed Giggleswick School. The village and the school are in the Yorkshire Dales, and very easily found via the internet. The village is at least 1000 years old (and quite possible more), and the school is about to be 500 years old. Perhaps you could use google to verify things first in future? CYL (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 11:55, 24 June 2011 (UTC).

Cicero Reference[edit]

I've been unable to locate the relevant info claimed in the article using the google books links below, regarding this statement: "These types of examples can be seen in the work of the ancient philosopher Cicero, especially in his De natura deorum, ii. 87 and 97 (see Hallam, Literature of Europe, ii. 385, note.).

Hallam, Introduction to the Literature of Europe, Vol. 2, p. 385, indeed has a note, but it's about Shakespeare, etc.

Cicero, De natura deorum, Book 2, has numbered sections but none of the books (i, ii, or iii) have sections that go as high as 87.

Paley himself does quote Cicero, in Natural Theology, p. 46 of this google books copy, on "the insatiable variety of nature."

Any suggestions? Should that sentence therefore either be updated with references that are actual links to those texts, or should that sentence be removed for now? Bob Enyart, Denver radio host at KGOV (talk) 17:33, 7 March 2013 (UTC)