Why do atheist try to deny the fine-tuning of our universe?

Embedded within the laws of physics are roughly 30 numbers (parameters)—including the masses of the elementary particles and the strengths of the fundamental forces—that must be specified to describe the universe as we know it. The fundamental numbers, and even the form of the apparent laws of nature are not demanded by logic or physical principle, meaning they could have taken on different values. The problem is changing just a few of these parameters would have resulted in a starkly different universe: one without stars or galaxies and even without a diversity of stable atoms to combine into the fantastically complex molecules that compose our bodies and our world.


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Book references

"Just Six Numbers." Martin Rees .

"Cosmic Coincidences." John Gribbin & Martin Rees

"The Cosmic Landscape". Leonard Susskind

"The Universe: a biography". John Gribbin

"The Accidental Universe". Paul Davies

"The Mind of God". Paul Davies

"The Emperor's New Mind". Roger Penrose

Paul Davies, George F. R. Ellis, Martin Rees, Lee Smolin, John Barrow, Frank Tipler, Frank Wilczek, Leonard Susskind, John Wheeler, Andrei Linde, Stephen Hawking, Luke Barnes, John Gribbin, Freeman Dyson, Thomas Hertog, Rodney D. Holder, and many other leading scientist say the universe is fine-tuned

Top atheist responses that try to get you to sit around in ignorance and not find an explaination for the fine-tuning...

1) if we weren’t here we wouldn’t notice it

Luke Barnes response to this by saying “What if someone asked "why are quasars so bright" and suppose someone else answered "because otherwise we wouldn't be able to see them". Well this answer is true, but it is no explanation at all and expects us to not try and find an answer to why quasars are so bright. It is the same thing with the fine-tuning. We need to seek out an explanation to why the universe is so fine-tuned instead of ignoring it.

2) The Universe is massive, and we can't live in a space.

Our claim isn't that this universe contains the most amount of life that you could fit in it. We're saying that if fundamental parameters were slightly different, there wouldn't be any life at all. Saying how horrible things are and will become doesn't change the precision of this fine-tuning.

3) Life adapted to conditions

We're not talking about what life can adapt too, that's not the issue here. The issue is what the universe needs to do before any form of life is even possible. The fundamental parameters are finely balanced on a razor's edge, and if they were slightly different you wouldn't have the ingredients for life.


We should note that the preceding arguments are not ‘God of the gaps’ arguments; it is advance in science, not ignorance of science, that has revealed this fine-tuning to us. In that sense there is no ‘gap’ in the science, The question is rather: how should we interpret the science? In what direction is it pointing?

5)How do we know this isn't the only way the universe could have been

Why would a universe that doesn't care about us (life) have constraints on its constants to make it life permitting? You would have to believe that a life-prohibiting universe is physically impossible, but a life-prohibiting universe is logically possible and there is no evidence suggesting otherwise. If the parameters couldn't have been slightly different, then that would be even more evidence for God.

6) The odds are 1:1 because we're here

The odds arn't 1:1. The cosmological constant alone makes the odds 1:10^120. We need to find an reason for why we got so lucky instead of trying to get people to not find and explanation. (The Cosmological Constant is causing the universe to expand at an accelerating rate, such that if the cosmological constant were larger by 1 part in 10^120 it would have prevented stars and galaxies from forming.)


@Celt, Cosmologist Laura Mersini-Houghton has argued that since eternal inflation (the Multiverse) had a beginning (via the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem), it can imply that eternal inflation must of had very special initial conditions in order that bubbles are not destroyed. She, and later with the Cambridge cosmologist Malcolm Perry argued that eternal inflation will stop after a finite time, and so cannot produce an infinite number of bubbles.

So if the Multiverse exist it would need fine-tuning of its own.

Update 2:

@BRYAN, no we don't believe anything close to what you just said.


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Update 3:

@Narathzul Arantheal see #5

Update 4:

@ /\, Watch "Gods hand was NOT forced" on youtube.

17 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes. I agree that there is no way around it.

    You're essentially illustrating that evidence has nothing to do with their decision to reject God.

  • 7 years ago

    "Top atheist responses that try to get you to sit around in ignorance and not find an explaination for the fine-tuning..."

    My argument is that I am not a theoretical physicist and not smart enough to find an explanation. I am interested in the possible explanations put forward by physicists, though, rather than just saying "I cannot think of any explanation, therefore goddidit." That is exactly what makes this a god of the gaps argument, despite your denial.

    "it is advance in science, not ignorance of science, that has revealed this fine-tuning to us"

    Indeed it is, but that does not mean that there are not gaps in our knowledge which you are attempting to fill with a god.

    "5)How do we know this isn't the only way the universe could have been

    Why would a universe that doesn't care about us (life) have constraints on its constants to make it life permitting? You would have to believe that a life-prohibiting universe is physically impossible, but a life-prohibiting universe is logically possible"

    That is a very sneaky way of trying to reverse the burden of proof. No, I do not have to believe that a life-prohibiting universe is impossible. There may be many (or even an infinity) of them as far as I know. True, I do not think there is any evidence to support such an idea, but there is none against it either, so I am not going to rule it out and accept your god theory.

    I would be quite happy to think that the universe was created by some being whose power we cannot really imagine. Just present some evidence to support that, rather than assuming it because you cannot think of an alternative explanation.

  • 7 years ago

    Thank you for asking this question. If you'd like I would be happy to explain why we do that.

    We think the fine-tuning argument is quite simply a bad argument since we think there is no way of telling whether our universe even is fine-tuned. It's an argument from ignorance.

    The idea in the fine-tuning argument is that if the constants of nature were even slightly different then life wouldn't exist. The conclusion it wants to draw is that this means it would be infinitesimally unlikely for the constants to have these values unless some intelligent being made them have those values.

    The only problem is, that conclusion doesn't actually follow. People who make the fine-tuning argument simply assume that the constants of nature are determined randomly and conclude it is unlikely for them to have those values. But is it unlikely for them to have those values? What do we know of the mechanism by which they were determined? Nothing at all. How do we know they were determined randomly? We don't, there's no way to empirically test for that. We don't even know if the constants can have any other values from what they currently have.

    Edit: Trooth - Looking sharp as usual ;)

    Edit 2: I have trouble grasping how that is supposed to be a counter-argument. What I mean is this: I) What do we know of the process by which the constants were deteremined? Nothing. So why assume it was unlikely?

    II) The constants were determined somehow. Either they can have different values or they cannot have different values. In the absence of evidence why assume that we know the answer and that the answer is that they can have different values? Please answer this question and not just cite pre-made points.

    III) You talk of the universe having constraints that make life possible. But what evidence is there anything that could be called "constraints" on the constants even exist? None. Maybe this is just the natural way for universes to be. This might be how universes are, no special constraints needed. Again it is simply assumed constraints exist.

    IV) As for the constants not having different values, that again is either for some reason or there is no reason why it's so. If it's for some reason, why in the absence of evidence assume the reason is that a god determined that they can't have different values and not something else like a natural process? I hope this helps you grasp why the fine-tuning argument is an argument from ignorance. It relies on simply assuming things upon things that we know nothing about which is why it's at its core no better than simply assuming one's conclusion.

  • Arnie
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    I think it's very sad that if someone does not have faith they would want others to agree with them!

    The mystery's of faith an GOD are beyond human comprehension.

    Faith concerns questions which cannot be settled by evidence.

    How can the universe create itself out of nothingness? Given the fact that the universe began to exist, it must have had a “cause” that originated it.Doesn't it make more sense to assume the existence of a Creation.

    The question is tricky because it sneaks in the false assumption that God came from somewhere and then asks where that might be. The answer is that the question does not even make sense. It is like asking, “What does blue smell like?” Blue is not in the category of things that have a smell, so the question itself is flawed. In the same way, God is not in the category of things that are created or caused. God is uncaused and uncreated—He simply exists.

    We know that from nothing, nothing comes. So, if there were ever a time when there was absolutely nothing in existence, then nothing would have ever come into existence. But things do exist. Therefore, since there could never have been absolutely nothing, something had to have always been in existence. That ever-existing being is what we call God. God is the uncaused Being that caused everything else to come into existence. God is the uncreated Creator who created the universe and everything in it.

    You can't see the wind, but you know it is there because you can see what the wind is doing. You can know that the wind is there because you can feel it.God is like the wind, you can't see him.


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  • /\
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Actually, the fine-tuning argument

    is a great argument for atheism.

    The argument centers on the necessary parameters

    needed for the Universe to develop to allow for life.

    But this narrow range is precisely the required range

    needed for life in this Universe to occur naturally;

    if there weren't any gods.

    If there were a god,

    there would needs be only one planet

    instead of more than there are grains of sand

    on all the shores on all the beaches on Earth.

    There wouldn't be a need for the vast amount

    of time the Universe has existed either.

    If life occurs randomly and without

    any sort of influence by magical beings,

    then this Universe needs to be this vast

    and this old just to allow the chemicals needed

    for complex life to form and evolve naturally,

    and with enough chances to occur at all..

  • Mia
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    When people start throwing about odds and stats for the probability of conditions of the universe you can safely call BS. No one knows all the variables necessary to make such assertions. What exactly is your math and basis for the claim the cosmological constant makes the odds you allege?

    This aside your whole argument is as bogus as asserting there must be a sentient deity with a plan or else how would all the variables necessary to create a mud puddle of exactly this shape, depth, width occur in one particular spot.

  • 7 years ago

    Life evolved because the universe has laws that allow life to evolve. Weak anthropic principle - a puddle looks at the universe and observes the hole it is in is the perfect shape for the puddle and therefore "The Hole Was Made For Me!!!"

    At the Big Bang many different things could have happened that precluded life - yes and so what?

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Yeah... it's miraculous how that water fits so perfectly into that puddle... huh?

    That is the Argument from Personal Incredulity.

    = I don't understand how stuff happens..

    = therefore GODDIDIT (A baby murdering book god did it).

    "...it reveals that you presume, for yourself, a form of omniscience... thinking that goes like this:

    "If this were understandable, then I should be able to understand (or imagine) it.

    I do NOT (can not) understand (or imagine) it... therefore it is NOT understandable... and since it is NOT understandable (by me), it logically follows that it cannot be 'true'.

    Therefore... God did it”."


    (1) If evolution is false, then creationism is true, and therefore God exists.

    (2) Evolution(and science in general) can't be true, since I lack the mental capacity to understand it; moreover, to accept its truth would cause me to be uncomfortable.

    (3) Therefore, God exists.”

    Hundreds MORE ‘Proofs’ of God’s Existence: http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/GodPro%E2%80%A6

    ‘Gods’ and magic are the most simplistic excuses ignorant primitives have ever imagined explaining anything.

    We could just as well suggest The Rainbow Serpent, with or without the assistance of a mob of gum booted Pixies, did it cos there’s the same amount of evidence... NONE.


  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    It's fvcking chaotic out in the universe.

    Things happen every day in the universe that we would deem impossible.

    How do you know there is not a multiverse?

    Have you seen how our universe is expanding?

    Do you even understand a quarter of the stuff you posted? Probably not since you copy and pasted.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    No one is going to read this.

    I have seen this argument thousands of times.

    How do you know how probable this universe is when we only have one universe to look at?

    How do you even know its possible for matter and space to react in fundamentally different ways then they do now?

    @Narathzul Arantheal

    Great minds think alike my friend! ;)


    Sorry it doesn't work that way. This is a typical "Heads I win, Tails you lose." argument.

    how do you know its "Logically possible"? What is logically possible is based on how reality works.

    But you aren't basing it off of what we actually see, you are ASSUMING! that its "Logically possible".

    And then saying that if it isn't well that proves god! no it doesn't, get back to school...

  • 7 years ago

    Rather than asking "why", which is inherently assumptive that there is a purpose behind it, asking "how" is a much better question. Finding out the process behind how it came to be is what science is for... Not answering your pathetic need for a purpose.

    Source(s): atheist
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