The Fine Tuning argument is a type of teleological argument, most famously employed by Christian ‘thinker’ William Lane Craig. The argument draws attention to the astronomically delicate balance of initial conditions necessary for life in the Universe as we know it. The scientific study of astrophysics in the past 50 years or so has brought attention to examples of these fractional details of the Big Bang. For instance, the life permitting range of the relationship between the force of gravity and the weak force of an atom is so minute that the chance of it happening is 1/10 to the power of 10, to the power of 123. William Lane Craig says that this is evidence of the fine tuning of the Universe by a designer.
Among Atheists, this teleological style argument is well respected. Even the revered self proclaimed ‘anti-theist’ Christopher Hitchens admitted in a documentary he made with Bishop Douglas Wilson that it was the least trivial of all the theistic arguments. The Atheist response is usually one of three:
- Pointing towards the cosmological anthropic principle. This states that the fact that we even exist shows that no matter how unlikely it is, it is the case that these numbers are in the fractional balance that they are.
- The Multiverse theory. There are different versions of this theory, but they all point to a situation in which either a) there have been a number of failed Universes and ours is simply the mathematical eventuality of this process or b) Universes can only be life permitting, so the multiverses are just different variants of the same formula for the possibility of life.
- The acceptance of fine tuning but not the acceptance of the designer. This rebuttal is the most common among atheists. They highlight the missing link of logic between the realisation that the universe contains marginal balances, and the assertion that it was an omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent, personal God that designed the universe.
My argument is one rarely pointed out in debate. I point out that we cannot say that the different laws of physics and values pertaining to necessary balancing forces are the same in every universe. The whole nuance of different Universes is that they don’t have to contain life “as we know it”. I think it to be a rather selfish view that Human life, or life of any sort, is the reason behind existence of anything at all. Even asserting the need for a reason requires the need for something driving the Universe to have intelligence.
The point of the Fine Tuning argument is to ridicule scientists early ideas that evolution of life or evolution of some kind would happen in every and any universe. In my opinion, the argument does not actually do that. It just establishes the fact that an exact same evolution chain as ours could not be repeated if the basis of what our universe is grounded were changed. When you put it this way, the Fine Tuning argument argument is actually making quite an obvious and logical statement.