I don't mind that this thread has gone a bit off course -- they always do. I think the off-course discussion is much more important than what I brought up in the OP.
My main point is how the Watch Tower Society, in its Creation book, dishonestly quoted a scientist through TWO LEVELS of bogus sources -- a young-earth creationist and then a paranormalist. Then in 2004, after 19 years of the book being in circulation, and who knows how many complaints to the Writing Department, the Society finally corrected HALF of the misquote. My husband AlanF was appalled and amused when he found this back in 1992. JWs have been stunned when we've pointed this out. Either they deny that there was any misrepresentation, or they run away.
The Society is notorious for misrepresenting authors, and its reputation has suffered. Such constant misrepresentation is good evidence that, on some level, Watch Tower writers usually know when they're misrepresenting something, because it's almost always accompanied by weasel language designed to cover their tracks if they're called to account. AlanF has documented nearly a hundred such instances in the Creation book alone ( https://corior.blogspot.com/2006/02/part-1-disagreements-about-evolution.html ).
ip1692 mentioned that JWs do accept evolution -- albeit sped up by a factor of a million after Noah's Flood -- but they almost never think far enough to realize it. We have yet to find any JW or other Fundamentalist who even tries to tackle this problem.
As for "The Argument from Personal Incredulity", a book reviewer for Richard Dawkins' "The Blind Watchmaker" said ( http://www.2think.org/tbw.shtml ) that the argument "is where one attempts to make a case from a proposition on the basis of our inability to fathom or to explain a certain phenomenon or set of phenomena." Of course, Dawkins had in mind serious scientific disputes such as the case where creationists deny the Theory of Evolution based not on real science but on personal prejudices such as religious belief, and perhaps other cases of carefully thought disagreement.
Dawkins certainly did not have in mind silly cases like "I can't believe in Santa Claus!" He had in mind cases where solid scientific evidence points to certain conclusions, like evolution by natural selection, but some dismiss that evidence by merely saying, "I can't believe that!"
This brings up the definition of atheism. As Dawkins pointed out in "The God Delusion", one can make a scale of belief ranging from 100% certain belief in gods on one end, to 100% certain disbelief in gods on the other end. Since no one knows everything, an atheist cannot logically be 100% certain that NO gods exist. He can, however, be 99% certain of that, based on his perceived lack of evidence for the existence of any gods.
Some will argue for the old aphorism that "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". But that is not always applicable, because in some cases where there ought to be evidence but there is not, that lack is certainly evidence of absence. If I claim that last week I was burned to a crisp in a house fire but survived, but you look at me and see nothing but my beautiful pink face, you'd know that I most certainly was not burned up last week. What would you attribute my claim to? Certainly not that I was burned up but somehow miraculously got better. Most likely that I was pulling your leg or deliberately lying or just plain mad. This is a case where your arguing that my skepticism about your burning is just an argument from personal incredulity would be just plain silly.
Applying all this to the argument for the existence of the Christian God, who according to the New and Old Testaments is the Supreme Creator, no one can point to any solid evidence for his existence. That he exists is certainly stated in the Bible, and is believed by billions. But without solid evidence, that is nothing but hearsay, a claim based on faith without real evidence and on religious feelings solidified mainly in early childhood. This is possibly THE classic case where absence of evidence is strong evidence for absence. It's also a case where claiming that the so-called "design of life", etc., is evidence for God and against the Theory of Evolution is just "The Argument from Personal Incredulity".
Given the complexity of the universe, one would EXPECT there to be lots of evidence of the Christian God if he really exists. But what we observe is at best faint footprints of a Creator, footprints emphasized by the Intelligent Design community and their young-earth creationist forebears, footprints claimed to be found in "the design of life" by theistic evolutionists, and so forth. But the best one can get out of this is some kind of Deistic god or creative entity -- far from the God of the Bible believed in by Christians and Jews.
On the other hand, there is a great deal of evidence against the notion of any intelligent creator at all. What sort of intelligence would insert genetic defects like ERVs (Endogenous RetroViruses) into virtually all genomes? ERVs are the buggered remnants of viruses that at some point infected a sperm or egg cell and managed to become inserted into the genome of the fertilized egg, which then managed to survive and pass the buggered remnant into all descendants. In the line of humans and chimps, for example, there are dozens of ERVs in exactly the same place in the DNA. The farther back you go in the primate lineage, the more differences there are in what ERVs there are, and where they are. This points solidly to evolution by natural selection, which has the random component of mutations. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7HBMWfRqSA for some fascinating details. An intelligent creator would have to be a very sloppy biological engineer to come up with such results over the roughly 60 million span of primate existence. Yet Genesis says that everything God made was "very good".
As for the existence of a loving God according to biblical notions (God is love), that contradicts both the description of God in the Bible itself (see Dawkins' take: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/23651-the-god-of-the-old-testament-is-arguably-the-most ), and the events of some 600 million years of the existence of multicelled life. I think that the notions are completely irreconcilable -- just as irreconcilable as my claim of being burned up last week and your observation of my fresh pink face. Predation has existed for virtually the entire 600 million years, along with the associated pain and suffering accompanying being a prey animal. A creator of such conditions obviously is unconcerned with pain and suffering by his creation, which directly flies in the face of the notion of "the God of love". That God, after all, is supposed to know when even a sparrow falls to the ground. Again, such a creator is consistent with the existence of some kind of deistic god, but not the supremely loving creator God of the Bible.
This fact, that if a creator exists, he is a monster by all human standards, is hated by most theists, because they can't resolve it logically. I've seen theists argue that animals feel no pain and cannot suffer. The classic theist rejoinders are "Who are you to question God?" and "God works in mysterious ways." These are no more than excuses and special pleadings.
I don't think anyone can rightly accuse me of using "The Argument from Personal Incredulity" in the above.
Finally, Earnest said:
<< jukief raised a very interesting question as to whether an atheist can be logically consistent in acknowledging that "the apparent perfection of organisms" is the "chief evidence of a Supreme Designer"? It would be interesting to get some views on that. >>
Here is my take: It is entirely consistent for an atheist to acknowledge that an atheist can be so logically consistent, because all she is doing is acknowledging that some people hold views at odds with science. Not exactly rocket science, that.
That said, as Richard Lewontin explained in his 1978 "Scientific American" article, and as countless writers on evolution have explained, "the apparent perfection" of organisms is an illusion on several levels. For one thing, organisms are in no sense perfect -- they are merely "good enough" in an engineering and survival sense. Think about ERVs, for example. For another, Lewontin used "apparent" to emphasize that the "design" is actually just an ILLUSION of design produced by long ages of trial and error by mutation and natural selection. He probably should have used "seeming" rather than "apparent", since the latter can be (and has been) misunderstood.