Benz Patent dilemma

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The Benz Patent dilemma is a type of informal fallacy. It states that because automobiles or other technological items are intelligently designed, it must be that natural things or organisms were also designed well. The fallacy is named after the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the first recorded automobile.

Examples[edit]

The dilemma stems from bias deduction. It usually concludes that organisms or the universe are perfectly or intelligently designed. It is also an informal fallacy due to the false comparison of natural phenomena to technological infrastructure, which gives the leading assumption that organisms and/or the universe or Earth are intelligently designed. It is common that a false comparison is made through automobile parts, such as the wheels or steering wheel.

Examples:

  • A car's steering wheel is perfectly placed, and our eyes are perfectly placed. Thus, humans' eyes are perfectly designed to be in the perfect place.
  • The parts of a car are perfectly designed, and the way our body works is perfectly designed. Thus, humans are perfectly designed.
  • A house is perfectly built for human habitation, and Earth is perfect for humans. Therefore, Earth was intelligently designed.

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