Non Fiction

A Brief Rumination on Paley’s Watchmaker Analogy

The problem with Paley’s teleological argument making an analogy between a watch and nature rests in assuming that the universe is clearly designed with purpose. Paley claims the intricacy of nature, (i.e. adaptation to environment through macro-evolution) in the development of life implies the involvement of an intelligent creator who designed life to have an effect, and that “the effect results from the arrangement”. That would mean that because there is life that is so complex in construction, then that in itself essentially proves the existence of a creator.


The gap between observing that there is intended design in the world around us and knowing that there is a creator still involves a leap of faith in assuming that just because there is some order in nature then that means it had to be designed by an intelligent creator. Quantum mechanics, and other advanced areas in science seem to reveal that there is more chaos than order in the universe in the first place. Yet Paley takes this thought into consideration, he claims that if there is imperfection or superfluous oddities in the design then that does not necessarily mean there is no creator. Paley goes on to defend against any similar objections to his watch analogy, and goes in depth in doing so, making his teleological argument more tangible and believable than ontological arguments.


Paley also makes the watch analogy less exclusive than previous ontological arguments because he does not argue for the existence of a being in which nothing greater can be conceived, but he simply argues that creation was designed with purpose, requiring that there must be an intelligent creator.




Paley insists that because a creator designed the universe, then there must not be an independent natural law that works without the existence of a creator. Paley states, “that the maker of the watch before him, was, in truth and reality, the maker of every watch produced from it; there being no difference (except that the latter manifests a more exquisite skill) between the making of another watch with his own hands…” Paley is only able to deny the idea of natural order without a creator because he rejects mathematical infinity. Paley’s argument would be less tantalizing if mathematical infinity was put into play, as this would negate creation to ever have happened.



Piecemeal Existence

each tendon

in detached heaps

flesh on burning pavement


you are not insane

pulling on your own intestines

another skull caved in


burnt out cars and broken glass

a bellicose shard in bowels

humans selling emotions


liquidate the language you create

leaf through the solid waste

writhing in oceans


beginning and end

both melded gates

your fetus saw your corpse


the waves they flattened into strings

and continued on their course


Each Asteroid Looms

a thousand breaths

sinking tongue

moons chasing their lovers

why and how

mutual death

He has a beard

sheep falling

where she found food


just let Him weep

inside His cave

and then the lamb

will shift the grave

(into silent space)


Comprehending Hypocrisy

Another predilection

The same human

In a different monster

I’ve said I loved her


Denying it existed

Americans and Pharisees

Passing through

A gutted gold mine


If any word could help

I’d save it for my final gasp

Ice calming poison soothing

White steel linen brooding


Murder in the Cathedral

…’the highest form of treason: to do the right thing for the wrong reason’- even when you do the right thing, you do it in order to counteract, and thus conceal, the basic vileness of your true nature.

Slavoj Zizek quoting T.S. Eliot in Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism?