What do people think of the “unreasonable success” arguments as prima facie evidence? I find them more compelling, on a relative scale, than cosmological fine tuning. Here is what I think, FWIW, taken from an old blog post of mine:
Interesting quote from Feynman:
What is it about nature that lets this happen, that it is possible to guess from one part what the rest is going to do? That is an unscientific question: I do not know how to answer it, and therefore I am going to give an unscientific answer. I think it is because nature has a simplicity and therefore a great beauty. Richard Feynman, “Seeking New Laws,” pp. 143-167, in Richard Feynman, The Character of Physical Law, New York: Modern Library, 1994. Quote is from p. 167.
At the risk of quote-mining, since I don’t have the book, this appears to be Feynman’s version of Wigner’s famous Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics argument. Wigner wrote:
The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
Both Feynmann and Wigner, in my reading, conclude that science can never answer the question as to why science and mathematics work as well as they do.
If you consider all the talking points in ID–irreducible complexity, privileged planet, cosmological fine-tuning–some of which I find useless (irreducible complexity) and some of which I find interesting (the apparent sensitivity of life to the values of constants) no one observation from the world of science or mathematics has ever struck me as a more powerful apologetic than Feynman’s and Wigner’s point.
The world is not only governed by orderly laws, but those laws are expressible in simple enough terms that we can make sense out of them and use them to make astonishingly accurate predictions. As Feynman suggested, if I read him correctly, science can never explain why this is so. It is, in fact, unreasonable that this happens.
I often think of it this way. The dawn of modern science arrives with Newton. Newton’s Second Law is a simple linear differential equation. (Probably trivial is a better word–speaking not of Newton’s insight–which was genius–but of the degree of difficulty of his equation.) One can only speculate in a What if Eleanor Roosevelt could fly? manner what would have happened if Newton’s Second Law had been a complicated nonlinear differential equation (or even a simple nonlinear differential equation)–but it is not far-fetched to argue that science would have been stillborn.