The fine-tuning of the universe may be, for many, the most persuasive evidence for God. Fine-tuning is accepted by almost all top scientists, and you don’t have to deal with the fanatics of Darwinism. In this post I return to fine-tuning and why God is the only plausible explanation. If you want to challenge an Atheist or Agnostic with science, you might start with the fine-tuning of the universe.
Embedded in the laws of physics are dozens of fixed numbers—“constants”—that have been measured by experiment. Examples include the ratio of the weight of the electron to the weight of the proton, the energy density of space, and the strength of the gravitational force. These numbers create the structure of our universe.
Scientists have found that these and many other constants of physics are set with fantastic precision to allow life to exist. If they were just slightly different, by the tiniest bit, there would be no life.
Gravity is a good example. If gravity were slightly weaker, the universe would have expanded too fast, and stars and planets would not have formed. If gravity were slightly stronger, the universe would have collapsed, and again no life. It turns out that the permitted variation is less than one part in 1060—less than one part in a number with 60 zeros. If you had a ball of 1060 marbles, it would be 600 trillion miles in diameter. You put in it one million trillion balls the size of our solar system. What are the odds that you could blindly reach in and pick out the one special marble that would allow life to exist?
Lists vary, but at least 30 constants of physics are “fine-tuned” for life, some to even more fantastic precision. It has been compared to walking into a control room for the universe and finding that all the dials had been set exactly for life. You would not think it was a lucky accident. The most likely explanation would be that some intelligent being had adjusted the dials.
Fine-tuning is accepted by almost all top scientists. Here’s Atheist Stephen Hawking:
The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron … The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.
Physicist Freeman Dyson writes:
The more I examine the universe and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming.
How do we explain fine-tuning? These constants can only be measured by experiment; they are independent and not derived from a formula. Does fine-tuning reveal a designer God, a magnificent Creator, or did we just get very lucky?
Those who deny God usually claim the latter. They imagine an infinite number of universes, each with different constants of physics. If that is true, they say, then in some of those universes the constants are set to allow life, and since we are life, in our universe the constants of physics are set just right. They call this unwieldy collection of universes the “multiverse”.
Although scientists write articles about the multiverse, this theory of a multiverse is not scientific in any way. It cannot be proven, measured, or observed. There is no scientific evidence the multiverse exists, and there never will be. By definition, we can only measure and observe things in our universe.
The multiverse theory has other problems. In 2003, three leading scientists proved that, even if it exists, the multiverse cannot be infinite. That makes it hard to ignore fine-tuning, and leads to a second question— if there must be a first universe, who but God could have caused the first universe to exist?
Another problem is that multiverse fans imagine some sort of universe-generating machine that creates new universes. But any machine or mechanism capable of building universes would itself have to be impossibly fine-tuned. A bakery is more complex than a loaf of bread. So the multiverse actually doesn’t eliminate the need for fine-tuning, it just pushes it back one level to an imaginary mechanism that creates new universes.
Scientists have found that the laws of physics themselves, and the properties of space, are also set precisely to allow life to exist. Why does the force of gravity exist so that matter will gather into clumps? Why is there an electrical force to power the reactions and machines in our body? Why are there nuclear forces so that atoms can form? Why do we have three directions of space? In a universe with two space dimensions (like an endless sheet of paper), the necessary connections of life could not be made, and in a universe with four or more space dimensions (don’t even try to imagine this!) gravity and electromagnetism would not follow the inverse square law (the force is weaker in proportion to the square of the distance), and planets and electrons would not have stable orbits. Are we supposed to imagine a universe-generating machine powerful enough to change the laws of physics and the dimensions of space?
Fine-tuning is a scientific fact. The only plausible explanation is God. Here’s a cute video:
Thanks for reading.