Star Seeker (jurann) wrote,
Star Seeker

Evangelicals Play Fine-Tuning Harp

     So the latest in a long string of Evangelical attacks on atheism and the scientific denial of a "sky daddy" seems to be focusing on the fine-tuning of the universe. In other words, the argument that had the Universal Constants (weak nuclear force, strong nuclear force, gravity, speed of light, cosmological constant (dark energy)) been even a billionth off from their current values, our current universe would not exist, and life as we know it could not be possible. They make this argument as some sort of evidence that the Universal Constants were specifically set at their current values by a supreme being in order for life as we know it to exist. But they're way wrong...
     First, this is an argument that falls strongly victim to the Anthropic Principle. Which simply states that being humans and thinking from a human perspective, there's a logical fallacy that's too easy to fall into in which we can ONLY think from our perspective such that we are the center of the universe - or at least the perception of it. And based on that principle, their argument falls into the pit of feeling that the current universe's fine-tuning was designed specifically for us. We certainly could not be what we are without the precise tuning that our universe has, there is no denying that. However, is this even important? Does the precise tuning preclude any capability of intelligent life or some sort of living things? Which segues into the next point...
     Secondly, a change in the tuning of the Universal Constants would not necessarily preclude a lack of structure or the ability for life to develop - somehow. The rise of structure and form amidst a universe doesn't seem to be hinged on WHAT VALUE the Universal Constants have, though it certainly affects HOW that structure forms and is distributed. Who's to say if you had a theoretical universe where the weak nuclear force were slightly stronger and the strong force slightly weaker that some sort of matter would NOT coalesce and give rise to structure which could eventually harbor some sort of natural evolutionary mechanisms that could lead to life? Certainly not life "as we know it", that's obviously clear because the universal parameters are different, but to say no intelligence can rise in a different system? That's preposterous.
     In conclusion, the Evangelical argument that the precise Universal Constants we have in our universe provide proof of a higher power is an argument that carries no weight but rather plays on human instincts to fall into the logic pit of the Anthropic Principle. Frankly I don't even see where their argument about science needing M-theory to explain things is valid - M-theory is fascinating but still theoretical and only works on paper - for the most part. Even if all we have is this one, finite universe it's not to say that a skyhook is necessary to explain the constants that dictate the way everything works. It is what it is. =)


     Yes, Richard Dawkins says that the constants are hard to explain - any honest scientist would say the same. Just as it's hard to explain where the Big Bang originated and why. They are questions currently beyond our understanding, like MANY topics in science over the centuries. We're finding new answers every day, and some took thousands of years to find. Just because we don't have definitive answers doesn't mean an answer isn't out there - just that we don't know it yet. So just because science cannot answer the question doesn't mean that there is not an answer (which does not require a convenient ultimate being). Once again "God of the gaps" is hard at work...
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