Holy Spirit Activism

Home » Evangelism & Missions » The Fine Tuning of the Universe and the Existence of God

The Fine Tuning of the Universe and the Existence of God

Join the Jesus revolution! Write your email adress to follow this blog and get updates about new posts via email.

Archive

Networks

Scientifically speaking, why the universe exists and why it looks like what it looks like is still a mystery. We don’t know why anything exists rather than nothing, or why energy-matter works as it does. Furthermore, there is still no explanation to why the universe’s force constants are as they are.

Christian apologist William Lane Craig, among others, talk about the universe being fine tuned for life, planets, stars and even atoms to exist, as you can see in the video above. The cosmological constant, Λ, has a value of approximately 10−122, and if this would change by less than a trillion’s trillionth of a percent, the universe would either be sucked back into a black hole right after big bang or disparse so quickly that stars would never form.

Leonard Susskind, professor of theoretical physics at Stanford, explain the fine tuning of the universe in more detail above. Now, if the universe was caused either by nothingness or from something unintelligent and non-designing, as atheists would argue, the fine tuning becomes really hard to explain. Our universe where the cosmological constant and other constants like the gravitational constant are suitible for stars, planets and life to exist, is ridiculously unlikely. Susskind is not a theist due to his lack of faith in miracles, but he isn’t an atheist either because of his inability to refute the idea that a divine entity caused this complex universe, and so he remains agnostic.

However, Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist, disagrees with the idea of fine tuning. He rebutes the argument saying that we’re not the centre of the universe, no matter what religious people believe, and if things were different we would simply have this conversation on another planet, maybe with an extra eye or two, or nobody would have any conversation whatsoever.

Galaxy cluster. Photo from Wikipedia

Galaxy cluster. Photo from Wikipedia

Now, I get the impression that Mehta doesn’t really get the argument. Maybe he’s simply heard a very bad version of it, but the fact that he mixes the fine tuning of the gravitational constant with “If Earth were slightly out of orbit, we’d be screwed” makes me think that he has heard two different arguments and mixed them up. I agree that it’s not an argument for God’s existence to say that the earth is in the perfect spot to breed humans, because if it wasn’t we may have just been in another solar system.

However, you cannot simply say the same about the universe, which is nothing less than all of time and space, that is, everything that exists. While we have billions of hospitable planets in the universe, we have just one universe – that could have been totally inhospitable if certain constants were different. Some try to explain this with the theory of multiverses, where there are numerous universes where constants may be different (which probably would make most of them inhospitable for life). And Susskind explains in his video above that he even believes that these constants may vary in different parts of our universe.

We have to remember though that when we speculate about these things, we are entering the arena of faith. Which isn’t a bad thing – I as a Christian like faith very much – but then atheists cannot blame theists for believing in things that cannot be empirically measured. Multiverses or different cosmic laws in other parts of our universe cannot be empirically measured either.

And if countless universes exist – what caused them to exist? If their constants vary, why do they do that? This is the constant question that constantly brings us back to God’s existence. And I think that He is a very good explanation to the fine tuning of the universe, not the least because I have come in contact with Him and seen miracles, prophetic visions and have heard His voice. When I hear that it is extremely unlikely that the universe came into being by chance, my faith in Him is strengthened even more.

Advertisements

13 Comments

  1. suri says:

    A thought: “inhospitable” is a relative term. If God exists and is God, philosophically speaking He must be all-powerful, which means that He can put life on any planet, even though it is according to our science as you say inhospitable. That life would probably rely on something else than the fine-tuned environment on this planet, but it would be life nonetheless… 🙂
    peace / suri

  2. Another thought: the fine-tuning idea of the universe does not preclude the idea that there may be other intelligent life out there… it COULD be that Jesus came to Earth as he did because we are particularly screwed up… Consider C.S. Lewis space trilogy where he points out that Thulcandra (Earth) is “controlled” by a being who has rebelled from the creator. But Perelandra (Venus) and Mars (Malacandra) are actually still in line with the creator.

    So, it MIGHT just be that we humans AREN’T the center of the universe… but we MAY just be the center of the Jesus-story… and that there MAY be other “stories” of God’s interaction in other places that aren’t as screwed up as Earth (or, perhaps, screwed up in ways we can’t comprehend).

  3. Excellent synopsis. I like too the play on words in the closing, ” constants vary, why do they do that? This is the constant question that constantly brings us back to God’s existence”

  4. bratrekim says:

    A common kind of response to fine tuning argument is the analogy with a puddle, which thinks that the ground beneath was created just for it’s purpose. It was obviously not, that puddle just poured itself into that hole.

    Now I recognize the theological value of this argument as it tries to emphasize goodness of God’s creation. I am a little bit reluctant to use it in apologetics.

    • Hello brother!

      Yes, the Friendly Atheist uses that argument in the video above. But that’s part of what I think is his misunderstanding of the argument of the fine tuning of the universe. It’s a good argument against the fine tuning of the earth, but the fine tuning of the universe isn’t about how a puddle fitted into the ground, it’s about that it is ridiculously improbable that grounds and puddles exist. The existence of an eternal created is far more probable than our universe popping up from nothing by mere chance.

      Blessings!

  5. […] reality we witness does not (yet) contain fullness in the utopian sense, but when thinking about the amazing fine tuning of the universe and the insane improbability that our physical laws would allow atoms, stars and life to exist, our […]

  6. […] The Fine Tuning of the Universe and the Existence of God […]

  7. […] 3. The universe is fine-tuned for life. […]

  8. sekharpal says:

    Fine tuning argument is not at all necessary for proving the existence of God, because it can also be proved even if there is no fine tuning. For this please see the link below:

    https://sekharpal.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/is-fine-tuning-actually-required-for-proving-the-existence-of-god/

  9. […] for God’s existence such as the cosmological, teleological and miraculous arguments are all logically valid and, I would argue, sound. Logic has never been an […]

  10. […] in a volcano?” When they acknowledged that its complexity requires design, I talked about the fine-tuning of the universe and how the creation that surrounds us carry all the characteristics of intelligent […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The author

Micael Grenholm - a Swedish charismactivist residing with the Jesus Army in the UK.

Micael Grenholm - a Swedish charismactivist residing with the Jesus Army in the UK.

Check out my YouTube channel!

A Living Alternative

God vs Inequality

Goodreads

Facebook Page

%d bloggers like this: