In the Times today, the mathematician John Allan Paulos' new book Irreligion is reviewed. It is another critique of theism, a la Hitchens , Dawkins, Harris. While I'm on his side, here is an argument against ID I wish he hadn't used - although I've used it myself. He says, according to the reviewer, that the idea that we can infer a designer from a design is refuted by Darwinian natural selection and "free market economics" (e.a) It's the last clause I take issue with.
Of course the idea is that the spontaneous order exhibited by a laissez-faire economy is an instance of design without a designer. The trouble is that I can't think of any spontaneously ordered economies for which intelligent design (and I don't mean the Deity!) isn't implicated to some degree in the order achieved. A judicial system able to underpin a complex economy doesn't come into existence spontaneously. The Bretton-Woods system had intelligent designers - and so on and so on. The "market" is not a natural fact. It is embedded in institutions and to the extent that it functions with any kind of order, the intelligent designers of these institutions deserve some of the credit. We saw the fallacy of the belief in the spontaneous ordering of the market as a natural fact in the tremendous disorder following 1989 in Russia.