A fine tuned universe

I was wondering if people agreed or disagreed with this statement. It’s something I’ve often wondered.

By stating we see God’s handiwork in a fine tuned universe are we really just using a type of “ god of the gaps” and “ god of the unlikely probabilities” to gloss over unanswered mysteries?


To a certain extent I agree. This is why I think Alvin Plantinga’s analysis of the fine-tuning argument in Where the Conflict Really Lies, is more or less on target.

I think as a foundation for theism it is feeble. How impressed we are with the world may be an artifact of our biology and may not be dependent on ‘god’ in any way. However, within a pre-existing thesitic framework its possible to interpret our impression of things as having been the result of God’s handiwork through biology or otherwise.


Absolutely agreed all round, what fine tuning?

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I’ll have to get the book. I’ve not heard of it.

The alternative to the fine tuning argument of a single universe is the proposition of a multiverse, which is, as I understand it, untestable. So you end up with the atheist multiverse proposal as a statement of faith vs the alternative faith statement that it is God who has undertaken the fine tuning. Neither is a conclusive proof, but both are rational proposals to deal with the evidence. However, as the multiverse is untestable its not clear how the ‘gap’ would to be closed - you will, as far as I can see, always have 2 alternative faith statements to choose between. You then have to go on to ask which one is most likely to be true…

I don’t read it that way at all. It’s not what we don’t know that impresses me and leaves me awestruck, it’s what we do know.

The list of fine tuning for me isn’t just the short list in physics. It just keeps going and going all along the line - so much had to line up for life to occur to the level of consciousness and humanity. I’d be writing for hours if I lined them all up i think. And let me stress - I’m not even looking for it or banking on it - it’s just what I keep hearing from the unfolding sciences.

I agree that there is a lot of evidence for the fine tuning argument (love it as a Christian). The argument I was making was about whether fine tuning could come to be seen as having been a ‘god of the gaps’ argument when new information comes through from scientific discovery. This can only happen if the multiverse argument can be proven to be true - and as I understand it, this cannot happen as we cannot receive any scientific information from another universe to show it exists. Therefore fine tuning as an argument for God at work and the multiverse which doesn’t require God will always be alternative rational arguments to explain the observed fine tuning of this universe. Fine tuning as an argument for God will therefore not become a ‘god of the gaps’ argument in the future, and so shouldn’t be seen as it today. Probably not very well put, but I hope you understand the line of thinking!

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It doesn’t need testing. It’s a rational fact. And it isn’t needed to counter the illusion of fine tuning.

Interesting, I don’t understand your logic - when you say a rational fact, rational on what basis?

Also, I’d be interested to know what the illusion is in fine tuning?

Even without a multiverse what I said stands true. What about this universe can scientifically be used to prove a creator? I personally see it both ways.

Ecology is perfectly able to stand on its own without a creator. We can explain most of the processes through natural science. At the same time, by faith, I can overlap ecology with philosophical ideas rooted in religion.

Such as when it’s really hot outside and I’m hiking and I’m 12 miles away from getting back to base and I’m hot. I’ve ran out of water because I only expected to go 5 miles out and on a whim I went further. This is a true story by the way.

I had 12 miles to go and it was so sunny and hot I felt like I was going to have a heat exhaustion. I prayed to God to help me remain encouraged and get back well and to help. 20 minutes later, a giant cloud that covered miles and miles and miles came into view. After an hour that cloud begin to cover the sun and kept it covered almost the entire time. Also while this was happening I came across someone camping who set up since I passed that spot originally. They gave me two bottles of water.

I felt very thankful to God. I prayed and a cloud came and I got water. I’ve hiked out there hundreds of times and very rarely come across another person. It’s off the main trail.

However, I know this happens to hundreds of people a year. Similar things have happened to me. I’ve been out there and saw someone who looked thirsty and offered water and they were so thankful as well.

So I can work that out as just coincidence. That cloud begin to develop way before I prayed. It developed over the coast and made its way there and I was surrounded by 80 foot tall trees on top of 20 foot slopes and so I could not see it. That person made plans to go hiking and drove hours out of state to get there.

I can still say what a coincidence. What timing! I can explain it away naturally 100%. I can also glorify God for it. What I can’t do is use it to prove God exists. I am feeling he same way about fine tuning.

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I agree with you, God is beyond proof - we can know him and we can experience him but we cannot prove him by experiment. He is beyond being contained in that way by his creation. Fine tuning is not conclusive proof but it is good supporting evidence, it has some weight.

On the basis of rationality. There is no fine tuning. Only self tuning. Order does not imply meaning.

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The problem is consciousness which we really don’t understand. You may think that you do but our ability to perceive the universe is dependent on our consciousness. You might want to look at Don Hoffman’s work on consciousness.

What do you mean by self tuning universe?

Consciousness is not a problem resolved by the existence of God any more than the emergence of life is.

I mean self tuning physics. Particularly the dimensionless constants.

Right. I can empathize–I was stuck in a very hot volcanic rock area with no water for quite some time, and was grateful to make it home safely! The point at which I seem always to run into problems with miracles is explaining why some “deserving” people get them (like you), and why others don’t–for example, the families who died of thirst in the Sahara while trying to escape to a better life.

A counter argument may be that God’s “not a tame Lion,” as with Lewis. However, that doesn’t really answer the question of why some would get help, and why not.

As a proof for God’s existence, one would have to prove that it was out of His goodness that He did it–but if it’s not consistent, it’s hard to deduce that from the facts.

Good example!

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Very valid point. We take care what we hang our ideas on, lest…
In that day," declares the LORD Almighty, “the peg driven into the firm place will give way; it will be sheared off and will fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut down.” The LORD has spoken.
Ultimately for me fine tuning is not a peg, it’s an adornment. If it falls, so be it. Roll on truth, wherever it leads us.
The God I believe in would want me to face even his non-existence if that was what reality revealed.

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