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Table 3 The structure of teleological explanations; the difference is in the underlying consequence etiology

From: Students’ “teleological misconceptions” in evolution education: why the underlying design stance, not teleology per se, is the problem

 Observation1st inference: Teleological inference2nd inference: Consequence etiology
Misconception/illegitimate explanationOrganisms have structure A that performs function BStructure A exists in order to perform function BStructure A exists in order to perform function B because a designer intentionally designed it for this purpose (design teleology—external)
Misconception/illegitimate explanationOrganisms have structure A that performs function BStructure A exists in order to perform function BStructure A exists in order to perform function B because it is necessary to its bearers for their survival/reproduction (design teleology—internal)
Legitimate explanationOrganisms have structure A that performs function BStructure A exists in order to perform function BStructure A was selectively favored because the function B that it performs confers an advantage to its bearers for their survival/reproduction (selection teleology)