The Argument From Fine-Tuning
William Lane Craig often presents the fine-tuning argument. The values of the fundamental constants are fine-tuned because if they would differ just by a tiny fraction, life would not exist.
The argument in detail:
- If the fundamental constants of the universe (e.g. the gravitational constant) would differ by just a tiny fraction, life would not be possible
- Life exists and therefore the constants all have special values
- Special values are unlikely
- Unlikely things are fine-tuned
- Fine-Tuned things can only be explained by a creator
- The universe as-is is unlikely (from 2 and 3)
- Therefore the universe is fine-tuned (from 4 and 6)
- Therefore the universe has a creator (from 5 and 7)
There are multiple counter arguments:
- Where does “tiny fraction” start? When would a fraction not be classified as “tiny”?
- Every interval in the real numbers has uncountably infinite values, so the possible interval for life-containing universes has the same amount of possible values as any other interval (like -infinity..+infinity). So the classification of “tiny” does not really make sense.
Given an uniform/even distribution of values for the constants (any real number has the same probability) then every value is unlikely, whether a special value or a regular value. Even every finite interval is unlikely (improper prior).
The event “1 million radioactive atoms in 1 m³ decay at the same time” is very unlikely. Does that mean that it is fine-tuned? Rolling a dice a thousand times with only sixes is unlikely. Does that mean it was fine-tuned?
I do not accept that without further proof. Wouldn’t the fine-tuning argument apply to the creator too?
Here are more general arguments:
- Why is it only allowed to vary the constants of physical formulas? Why not exponents? Why can’t one make up completely new formulas, particles, fields, …?
- What about zero as a value for a constant? This can eliminate a physical force. It also has a very interesting implication: If zero is allowed as a value for a constant, then there could be infinitely many other physical laws which constants just happen to be zero in our universe.
- There is a hidden assumption in the proof: No other universe exists.