Instead of keeping things constrained to the comment section, I wanted to make a new post answering a couple criticisms of the design argument I've just laid out.
First, from Craig:
I could construct a parallel argument for animism, the belief that all physical objects are alive, with souls and wills. Would this be an equally strong argument for animism as yours for design? If not, what's the distinction?
I don't think it's an equally strong argument for one reason: the particular animism argument outlined is very specific, whereas my argument is general.
I'm inferring design for all things - but A) the inference is not a proof, and (more importantly here) B) the inference places no bounds on the designer(s). 'All physical objects are alive, with souls and wills' would be a pretty specific claim - it's assigning a unique will, life and/or soul to each and every physical object, if we interpret the claim strongly. But if we interpret it weakly - that it's reasonable to believe that all things (with no particular objects or even structure of objects delineated) are broadly subject to some kind of life, soul or will (maybe one, maybe many), then you're pretty much back to the design argument anyway. To argue that various physical objects are reasonable regarded as conforming to a will of someone's, somehow, somewhere is so close to the design argument that it's hard to see the difference.
Animism arguments of that type are also complicated by the fact that there's testimony available on the part of at least some of those objects - you know, humans and all.
Now, someone can rightly argue that the type of design I'm inferring is incredibly broad in and of itself, and there are a ridiculous number of exclusive possibilities of design and designers which are compatible with the inference - and there are. But I've already bitten that bullet.
Syllabus has another criticism:
You have to either distinguish design from not-design by qualitative or quantitative metrics. I don't see how it could be quantitative - what would the units of design be? How would you measure them, and so on? Qualitatively, I think it's still kind of problematic. OK, specified complexity (or whatever the term was) was the attempt by the ID crowd to try and distinguish that, but it's still - to my mind - somewhat pseudoscientific.
Well, for one thing, the pseudoscience argument just won't work here - since I'm not even pretending I'm offering a scientific argument.
More than that, though, I don't need specified complexity here, because I have something more basic: direct, first-person experience of acts of design. In fact, I'm doing it right now - and whoever is reading this is recognizing it. I can multiply this experience many times over, depending on how much design I've done or am aware of. But you're going to need something on the order of an eliminative materialist commitment to dare deny the kind of design I'm talking about - and if it's not denied, then I've got the initial evidence for design (indeed, undeniable, first-person experience of it) I was talking about.
Which, going back to the start, puts me in the following position:
I know some things in the world are designed. I know this, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
I have no equally undeniable evidence that there exists anything - no object, no event - which was utterly undesigned.
Yet all those objects and events are possibly designed.
Therefore, on these terms alone, if I conclude anything about the design or non-design of the world at large, I should conclude in favor of design - in the very broad sense.
The difficulty of gathering evidence - maybe even the impossibility of gathering evidence - for the 'it was not designed in any way' view does not give that view a handicap. It just further weighs against it.