The Fine-Tuning Design Argumen Essay, Research Paper
The Fine-Tuning Design Argument for God s Existence
The laws and constants of nature are so “finely-tuned,” and so many “coincidences” have occurred to allow for the possibility of life, the universe must have come into existence through intentional planning and intelligence. In fact, this “fine-tuning” is so pronounced, and the “coincidences” are so numerous, many scientists have come to espouse “The Anthropic Principle,” which contends that the universe was brought into existence intentionally for the sake of producing mankind. Even those who do not accept the Anthropic Principle admit to the “fine-tuning” and conclude that the universe is “too contrived” to be a chance event. Here are some examples of .finely-tuned x
Concerning the weak nuclear force:
If significantly stronger: fusion at the big bang would have proceeded directly to iron, giving us a
The weak nuclear force must be extremely weak compared to the strong force, yet just strong enough
to make supernovas possible.
Concerning the strong nuclear force:
If 2 percent stronger: this would prevent the formation of protons.
If 1 percent stronger: all carbon would have been turned into oxygen.
If 1 percent weaker: no carbon would have been formed from beryllium.
If slightly stronger: all red stars, no supernovae
If slightly weaker: all fast-burning blue dwarves
Much more attention has been directed towards the apparent “fine tuning” of fundamental cosmic parameters: the strengths of physical forces, the masses of elementary particles, the expansion speed and degree of turbulence at early moments in the Big Bang, and so forth. For example, it appears that electromagnetism, gravity, and the two main forces which control the atomic nucleus, had all of them to have strengths which fell inside very narrow limits if there were to be any stars of the long-living, steadily burning sort: the sort which encourage life to evolve. For they re to be life of any readily imaginable kind, anything up to several dozen factors can appear to have needed fine-tuning. Because the number of factors to be listed seems so large, this supposed evidence of design could survive many doubts about what exactly should be on the list.
If by “universes” you mean Absolutely Everything, then there must be just a single universe. However, people often picture the cosmos as containing numerous huge domains, very varied in their characters and largely or entirely isolated from one another. Now, .universes x is what they typically call them nowadays. Understood in this way, universes can be used to explain any observed fine-tuning without introducing a divine designer. While most universes could well be hostile to intelligent life, observers would clearly have to find themselves in the life-permitting ones. Numerous universe-generating mechanisms have been proposed. Universes could be successive cycles of an oscillating cosmos (Big Bang, Big Crunch, etcetera). They could be huge areas of a gigantic, perhaps infinite cosmos. They could be the worlds of Many-Worlds Quantum Theory, which says that reality continually branches, every alternative allowed by quantum laws occurring in some branch or other. They could be quantum fluctuations in a pre-existing space or in space-time foam. Or form bubbles in which expansion speeds had slowed inside a cosmos that was perpetually inflating. They could even be born in the depths of black holes, then expanding into spaces of their own without disturbing their parent universes. All this could help an opponent of divine design only if the universes differed widely so that sooner or later, somewhere, one or several of them might be expected to be fine-tuned in life-permitting ways.
Anthropic Principle Objection
In the early 1970s, Brandon Carter stated what he called “the anthropic principle”: that what we can expect to observe “must be restricted by the conditions necessary for our presence as observers” (Leslie, J. (Ed.). (1990). Physical cosmology and philosophy. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co). Carter s word “anthropic” was intended as applying to intelligent beings in general. The “weak” version of his principle covered the spatiotemporal districts in which observers found themselves, while its “strong” version covered their universes, but the distinction between spatiotemporal districts and universes, and hence between the weak principle and the strong, could not always be made firmly: one writer s .universe” could sometimes be another s gigantic district. Moreover, the necessity involved was never — not even in the case of the strong anthropic principle — a matter of saying that some factor, for instance God, had made our universe utterly fated to be intelligent-life-permitting, let alone intelligent-life-containing. However, all these points have often been misunderstood and, at least when it comes to stating what words mean, errors regularly repeated can cease to be errors. Everything is thrust into confusion when people say that belief in God is supported by the anthropic principle, meaning simply that they believe in fine tuning and think God can explain it. As enunciated by Carter, the anthropic principle does not so much as mention fine-tuning.