A while back on this web site I posted a series in which I debated with myself about the existence of God. “Pastor Chris” and “Dr. Schriner” argued about various aspects of this topic, including the claim that the laws of the universe are fine-tuned for intelligent life. In playing Pastor Chris I reported that if certain basic cosmic laws had been infinitesimally different, you and I could never have existed. So the cosmos was carefully designed as a home for intelligent beings.
As Dr. Schriner I replied that this is just “speculation on top of speculation.” Modern physics has only been around for a century, and we are continually learning more about cosmology. Besides, the idea that tiny changes in the laws of nature would wipe out all life is actually controversial. A philosopher named Bradley Monton has researched this issue, and he says no one knows whether most theoretical physicists would endorse fine-tuning.*
Monton has written a book called Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design. A more accurate subtitle might have been An Atheist Sincerely Considers and Then Rejects Intelligent Design, but that’s a bit cumbersome. And he does indeed defend the legitimacy of some key I.D. arguments, even though he ultimately finds them flimsy.
I’ve decided to write more posts on this topic because “The Closet Atheist” has recently discussed fine-tuning, and she’s received many interesting comments. Check out her site if you like, and in a few days I’ll continue this series.
Roger Christan Schriner
For my main web site, click Schrinerbooksandblogs.com.