- The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. - Psalm 19:1-2
The classic illustration of the Teleological Argument is the ‘Watchmaker Analogy’. William Paley states, “[S]uppose I found a watch upon the ground, [...] when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive […] that its every parts are framed and put together for a purpose e.g. that they are so formed and adjusted as to produce motion, and that motion so regulated as to point out the hour of the day; that, if the different parts had been differently shaped from what they are, [...] or placed after any other manner, or in any order than that in which they are placed, [then] no motion at all would have been carried on in the machine ...”2
Consider two examples of arrangement and intelligence in the created realm. The sun is ninety-three million miles from the earth. At that distance, it provides a climate which sustains life. A little farther from or closer to the earth and life on earth would not exist. The moon is two hundred and forty-thousand miles from the earth. At that distance, it creates the tides of the sea. The tides clean the shorelines, keep the ocean current circulating, and prevent the ocean from stagnation. These are but two examples of arrangement and intelligence in the universe that give evidence to God’s existence.
- Henry C. Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, revised by Vernon D. Doerksen (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1977), p. 28.
- William Paley, Natural Theology: or, Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1862), 5.