Scientific evidence for any fine tuning?

I feel like in various ways I keep seeing arguments that are essentially just “ fine tuning” reworded. I personally don’t believe in fine tuning. Not from space, to energy, or cells or to evolution or even to humanity. So I was curious to see if those that do could present it.

Is the location of earth fine tuned?
Was meteors manipulated by God hitting earth causing mass extinctions opening up the pathway for mammals and eventually to humans?
Is the cell so complex that it must require a designer?

Just in general what scientific aspects do you believe showcases some sort of design as opposed to just a gap in knowledge?


I tend toward the “imperceptibly guiding everything, making occasional deviations for a specific purpose”. So yes, all are fine-tuned, but not in detectable way.

As a side note, the fine-tuning argument is untenable if one is advocating for changes in radiometric decay rate (makes everything disintegrate), or the speed of light (messes with quite a lot of things, among others making the Planck length decrease by a factor of 10^35)


Should that be the case, it follows that nature is not fine tuned to allow for the emergence of life.

I agree. For the YEC tent in particular, use of The Fine Tuning Argument is a score on its own net.

The FTA is the argument that the fundamental constants, such as mixing parameters for quarks and neutrinos and the cosmological constant, are tuned allowing for the emergence of life. As expressed by astrophysicists Livio and Rees: That is, relatively small changes in their values would have resulted in a universe in which there would be a blockage in one of the stages in emergent complexity that lead from a ‘big bang’ to atoms, stars, planets, biospheres, and eventually intelligent life. One of the earlier such examples offered was the triple-alpha process for the stellar nucleosynthesis of carbon. The balance of carbon and oxygen production in stars is sensitive to variation of the strong nuclear force, with one paper concluding that a deviation of even 0.4% would tilt to almost entirely one or the other.

There also exist features of the universe which do not necessarily classify as fundamental constants, but are also found in a narrow band leading to the universe as we know it. The temperature variation of the CMB is sufficient to allow matter to clump in a timely fashion. A still higher variation could work, but might result in denser, more chaotic and disruptive galaxies. The FTA examines the principles of nature to ascertain the latitude permitted to result in an universe of enough stability and age to permit the generations of stars required to produce rocky worlds with water and carbon, with a sun of sufficient radiance and lifespan stability to nurture an earth-like planet.

It was not apologists, but physicists who framed the FTA, and many of them were actually quite antagonistic to religion and sought resolutions outside of theism. From a YEC perspective, who cares if over the course of millions of years stars can synthesize carbon or produce metals? For them, Adam was not fashioned from stardust, but created de novo.

YEC is often antagonistic to the very attributes of the FTA which are featured as tuned to be favorable to life. For instance, in the FTA the aforementioned CMB variation, rate of cosmic expansion, and strength of gravity all factor into the formation of stars, but YEC deny that stars can naturally form at all. Similarly, the FTA examines the balance of nuclear forces and gravitation required to have stars such as our sun burn for billions of years. Ignoring this, for years YEC made a case that the sun was powered principally by gravitational collapse, and this was supported by observation of a shrinking sun and missing neutrinos, until the whole idea was thoroughly discredited and they were forced to retreat, albeit with the protest that the sun was not proven the be older than 6,000 years. Then there is the speed of light, the “c” that permeates physics and is embedded in the fine structure constant, which YEC is forever engaging in fantastic flights of fancy to make none-constant. Finally, YEC advocates for accelerated radioactive decay, but isotope half-lives are not independent but are determined by quantum mechanics, nuclear geometry which is by definition, and fundamental forces which are at the heart of the FTA. In promoting that accelerated, vastly accelerated, radioactive decay occurred without catastrophic results, YEC essentially is making a case that fine tuning is exactly not essential for life.

So not only does YEC regard fine tuning as superfluous to existence, but is actively hostile to the uniformitarianism of the FTA, to use their favorite misnomer. The FTA is compatible with some variants of ID which largely accept conventional cosmology, although the design and mind detection blather constitutes extra baggage. In this vein, Robin Collins, professor of philosophy at Messiah College, is the most extensively published Christian scholar on the FTA.

In summary, regardless of one’s stance generally regarding the FTA, anthropic argument, theory of everything, or multiverse, it seems to me that the FTA has no legitimate place beneath the YEC canopy; and therefore, can only serve a cynical, out of context, rhetorical role when appealed to by such creationist organizations. Which means, of course, it’s perfect for them.


Just like design. I think our intuition is correct, that there is intelligent design, but it is not something that is scientifically detectable, so lowercase ‘id’, not ‘ID’. Knowing God’s providence like I do, or at least the ‘hypernatural’ M.O. he uses that does not violate natural law, I think fine tuning may be analogous, since it is not scientifically detectable.

But I do enjoy this response to the self-selection effect argument:

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If anything can happen and keep happening, everything - life, mind - can, will. There is no scientific need for fine tuning, only self tuning, if that.

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There might have been a beginning event.

There is no beginning of beginning events.

That rather depends on the presuppositions you base your infallible rationality on.

I guess I can’t make the home argument work because we can tell what’s a home and how it was built. We know for sure hikes are built. I build them a few times a year.

Seems like most are in agreement that there is no concrete evidence of id. It’s a theological belief, not a scientific belief. Which is fine.

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Leastwise, not unless there is. While I lean toward the same conclusion I don’t think our opinion is privileged in any demonstrable way. While considering things rationally is often useful I don’t think the reality of the cosmos is obliged to make sense to our species.

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God or no there can’t be. Not all opinion is equal. Considering things rationally is always useful. The reality of the cosmos as nothing special makes perfect sense.

It’s just an analogy. If you’ve hypothetically only ever lived in one house and are unfamiliar with other constructions…

That’s what I was saying.

It still depends on your presuppositions what conclusions you rationally draw. You, for instance, presuppose that time had no beginning, contrary to what scientific relativistic equations imply.

I agree. That’s what I originally stated in my OP and so far seems to have been supported throughout everyone’s post. We all seem to be mostly in agreement. Which is good. But maybe we will all still find a way to debate on how we express our agreement lol.

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I just said that I enjoyed the home analogy :slightly_smiling_face:, not that it was a compelling argument to anyone inclined to disagree, and certainly not a scientific one.

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I only have the presuppositions of rationality. Sorry, I’m cognitively biased, fundamentalist that way.

You have an irrational bias and believe what you want to believe. :slightly_smiling_face:

An irrational bias for rationality that I want to believe?

That be irrational.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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