Posted by on Feb 26, 2013 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

# Mapping the Fine-Tuning Argument: The Argument Stated

This is the first installment of my blog series “Mapping the Fine-Tuning Argument” in which I state my version of the argument and compare it to othe statements of the argument that I have seen and why I believe my statement is better.

I was warned by a fellow blogger that stating the argument my way might get me into trouble. However, I believe that my argument is clear, fair, and I am more than willing to consider revising it if someone thinks differently. Moreover, I believe that the following three syllogisms are a clearer and more valid exposition of the argument than has been seen to date. Take William Lane Craig’s version: The fine tuning is due to chance, necessity, or design. It is not due to chance or necessity. Therefore, it is due to design. This syllogism does not spell out the reasoning of why design must be inferred. It does not even attempt to argue that the fine-tuner is God. Anyway, I am spelling out the argument and I will consider how proponents could support the premises in further installments:

(A) 1. It is conceptually possible to change physical laws and constants from observed values.

2. Conceptually changing some constants from their observed values (independently) would make the universe uninhabitable for life as we know it. NOTE: What I mean by changing “independently” is when someone changes the constant value in their equation without changing the value(s) of any other constants.

3. The constants have an extremely large range of conceptually possible values.

4. Therefore, the number of values that permit life is very small.

5. Applying the principle of indifference (assigning equal probabilities to possibilities which, as far as we can tell, are equal) leads us to conclude that any one particular value for these constants only had a small probability of occurring in our universe, because there are so many possibilities.

6. Since any one specific value has a low probability, and life friendly values are limited to one or a few possibilities out of all the possibilities, the probability of a life-friendly universe is extremely small (since we are assigning all possibilities an equal probability).

(B) 1. Theories which predict a very specific state of affairs (which would otherwise have a low probability of occurring) gain probability for themselves when this state of affairs is verified.

2. The hypothesis that God exists predicts a life-friendly universe.

3. A life friendly universe is an improbable state of affairs.

4. Therefore the God hypothesis predicts an improbable state of affairs.

5. A life-friendly universe exists.

6. Since the God hypothesis predicts an improbable state of affairs (a life friendly universe) (4) which has been verified to exist (5), this increases the probability that the God hypothesis is correct (1).

(C) 1. When multiple hypotheses predict the same state of affairs, we judge them by other criteria, such as simplicity, explanatory scope, explanatory power, etc. If there is a hypothesis that outstrips its competitors in these criteria, then we judge that it is probably correct.

2. There are multiple hypotheses that explain fine-tuning, but the God hypothesis outstrips them all.

3. Therefore, the God hypothesis is probably correct.

• Stefano S.

I don’t understand why is life as we know it considered the only possible form of life? Why can’t a different, unknown form of life emerge from an universe with different physical constants?

Also determining the probability of an event that has already occurred is wrong reasoning.

As in, let’s say a leaf falls off a tree and it falls down in my backyard. Considering the area of our planet, 510,100,000 km², I could say that it had a 5 out of 5.10100 × 10^18 cm² chance of landing in that specific place in my back yard. It is way too small a chance for it to happen naturally, so someone, someone like EOLUS, THE GOD OF WINDS (Praise His Name!) must have directed it to that place, right?

The same non-sequitur logic is often applied here for the fine-tuning argument. They say that the chance is way too small, and thus cannot be natural. It comes from a misguided interpretation of chances and statistics.

• D Rizdek

“I don’t understand why is life as we know it considered the only possible form of life? Why can’t a different, unknown form of life emerge from an universe with different physical constants?”

In fact, most theists already believe life can exist under different conditions. Most believe there is a “spirit” world where angels and demons dwell and even do battle yet do not depend on the fine-tuned parameters of the physical world. Christian theists also believe they themselves will live in this, or some similar, spirit world after they die. IOW their soul/spirit does NOT depend on this physical world to exist, live and even move about. I suppose they would maintain that there are “fine-tuned” parameters in that spirit world. But clearly the parameters are different in that plane of reality…or whatever, than they are in this manifestation of our universe.