God’s Not Dead, Chapter 4 – The Fine-Tuning of the Universe (pt47)
THE FINE-TUNING OF THE UNIVERSE
One of the most astonishing pieces of evidence for the existence of God is called the fine-tuning of the universe.
Only if a Designer had specifically created our universe with the intention of supporting life would we exist.
The author has made up this fact about a designer being needed. In an easy thought experiment, leaving out the idea of a creator/designer, we can imagine an infinite number of universes to have existed before ours that by simple numbers would eventually come up with the right conditions for life to exist. The only universe that would come to the conclusion that it had been designed for life to exist is the one where life emerged.
The author continues by quoting Richard Dawkins from The Blind Watchmaker, but doesn’t actually show the context of the quote. The quote is:
The physicist’s problem is the problem of ultimate origins and ultimate natural laws. The biologist’s problem is the problem of complexity.
The quote as shown above makes it seem like physicists have a “problem” explaining the natural laws of the universe and that biologists have a “problem” explaining complexity. This is completely the wrong presentation of the word ‘problem’, Dawkins may have done well to use a thesaurus but who am I to tell such a man as he what to do. When we are working on a “problem” in math we don’t explain it as that equation is hard to explain or work out (it may very well be but that isn’t the definition of the word problem in that context). The word problem can be used pertaining to something difficult or a dilemma but it can also be used for a puzzle, mystery, or question. If you read the quote in context below you are clear that Dawkins uses the word problem pertaining to an enigma not a complication.
Universe Starter Kit
You can imagine the tuning of a piano or an instrument as another example of the necessity to calibrate something to a precise position for it to function properly.
What if the piano didn’t exist? Would we then understand the necessity for a piano to be tuned? No, just as in the thought experiment above if the physical constants of the universe didn’t allow for life in another instance of the universe we wouldn’t be asking these questions. The only way for us to be able to answer these questions is in the universe where the constants are able to support life. What about another universe where some of the constants were different than ours but a different type of life emerged? Can you imagine that civilization debating the same thing as we?
Astrophysicists tell us that there were dozens of physical constants (such as gravity) and quantities (such as entropy) that had to be carefully adjusted (fine-tuned) in order for there to have been a life-producing universe.
As much as this sentence seems correct one, single word throws it to the ridiculous; adjusted. I won’t say many or most but I have great confidence that there are very few physicists that would use that word when speaking of the physical constants of the universe. It is more likely that they would say ‘there were dozens of physical constants (like gravity) and quantities (such as entropy) that had to be carefully in sync in order for there to have been a life-producing universe.
The author explains many of the physical constants using an analogy of the creator god at a table with dozens of knobs as he/she is fine-tuning the creation of the universe. The author of course states this all as fact when there is no way for him to know any of this, but he takes this moment to again point out that anyone who doesn’t believe his specific supernatural claim is wrong.
For intelligent people to dismiss such overwhelming odds proves no amount of evidence can overturn their predetermined stance that there is no God.
The anthropic principle states that the universe was designed for the emergence of conscious life. “The universe was made with humans in mind.” The author presents this with the following analogy.
Imagine you arrive at a hotel room and all your favorite things are there already: your clothes, your favorite foods, pictures of your family. It would be safe to say that someone knew you were coming to that room and prepared it for you.
It is easy to see that the anthropic principle is accurate because our houses and businesses were provided and furnished even before we had evolved into homo sapiens. It is great that the entire surface of our planet supports life, that we wouldn’t die in the void of space on our way to one of the other life supporting planets throughout the infinite universe.
Hopefully you can understand the ridiculous nature of this principle. The universe, our planet even, is not able to support life in every aspect. The only way you should believe this principle is if you believe something like ‘Last Thursday-ism’, in which the entire universe was developed last Thursday with everything we have now produced perfectly for us, memories and all.