I have read the Wikipedia article on the Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit, first published by Richard Dawkins, and it seems to me that there is a very obvious problem with the argument that isn't mentioned on Wikipedia.
Below is Dawkins’ argument against complexity of life being used as evidence in favour of God, and in fact as an attack against God's existence.
- One of the greatest challenges to the human intellect, over the centuries, has been to explain how the complex, improbable appearance of design in the universe arises.
- The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of design to actual design itself. In the case of a man-made artefact such as a watch, the designer really was an intelligent engineer. It is tempting to apply the same logic to an eye or a wing, a spider or a person.
- The temptation is a false one, because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer. The whole problem we started out with was the problem of explaining statistical improbability. It is obviously no solution to postulate something even more improbable. We need a "crane", not a "skyhook"; for only a crane can do the business of working up gradually and plausibly from simplicity to otherwise improbable complexity.
- The most ingenious and powerful crane so far discovered is Darwinian evolution by natural selection. Darwin and his successors have shown how living creatures, with their spectacular statistical improbability and appearance of design, have evolved by slow, gradual degrees from simple beginnings. We can now safely say that the illusion of design in living creatures is just that – an illusion.
Here is my proposed refutation. Edit: Please note that I am not attempting to justify belief in God. I am merely trying to show that Dawkins' argument that the designer hypothesis raises the larger problem of who designed the designer is flawed if God always existed. I have edited the next paragraph to make this clearer.
Complexity only is claimed as evidence in favour of a Creator because we have reason to believe that life didn’t always exist. We then ask how it originated and developed, and this leads us to a Creator (according to the designer hypothesis). In the case of the Creator, the Creator is believed in many religions to have always existed, so according to these religions it is meaningless to ask how He could have come to exist: He always existed according to these religions! In summary: Complexity of A only could conceivably indicate the existence of a creator of A if A has not always existed, while God is claimed to have always existed by many religions.
Is there anything wrong with my counterargument?