amanda phil wrote:
The arguments put forth by religious philosophers fall down when they insist on things like natural theology and intelligent design. E.g. Paley. They imagine God to be a real being (in the image of man) playing some large-scale version of Spore™ .
I agree in some ways. I think many people regard God as a kind of Uber-Speilberg, standing behind the cameras and directing the show. So I agree that inference fails when it attempts to argue for the existence of God, because it reduces God to a player on the stage. All of these kinds of arguments are only effective for those who already believe what the argument is setting out to prove.
Incidentally I don't think Darwin wanted to 'leave any room' for God, or anyway that if he did, it was a concession to popular sentiment. (In a famous passage at the end of the First Edition of the Origin, he made no reference to 'the Creator', however, it was added to later editions to soothe the feelings of the religious.) Einstein, however, always believed in God, even though he was never conventionally religious.