4. The Fine-Tuning of the Universe

Fred Hoyle was an atheist astrophysicist and cosmologist.  Despite not believing in God, he said our universe is so precisely tuned for life that it looks like "...a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology...", and that "...there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature..."

Hoyle compared the random emergence of even the simplest cell to the likelyhood that "a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials..."  And he compared the probability of obtaining even a single protein by chance combination of amino acids to a solar system full of blind men solving Rubik's Cubes simultaneously.

What are the chances of our universe being so well adjusted for us to live in it?


This video highlights the various constants and quantities that determine the structure of our universe.  These numbers are finely tuned within an infinitesimally small life-permitting range.  If just one of these constants were slightly different, there would be no stars, planets or life anywhere at all.

Atheist and physicist David Deutsch said,

"If anyone claims not to be surprised by the special features the universe has, he is hiding his head in the sand.  These special features are surprising and unlikely."

What is the best explanation of this incredible reality we enjoy every day?  We have 3 live options...

- NECESSITY: The universe MUST be finely tuned and life-prohibiting universes are impossible.
- CHANCE: We just got really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really lucky!
- DESIGN: It was done on purpose by an intelligent, powerful Creator.

The first one is false because life-prohibiting universes aren't impossible - they're actually a lot more likely.

The second is false because the chances are so extremely small.  So people dial up the odds by suggesting there could be a multiverse - like a bubblebath of universes - many without life and a few like ours that do have life.  But:
- There's no evidence for this
- Whatever generated these universes must itself be finely-tuned
- Laws of probability mean that you would find patches of simple life scattered within some of the universes and not an entire universe like ours which is so finely tuned throughout to make life possible.

This leaves the third possibility.  The reason our universe has the appearance of design... is because it was designed!  Created by God.  The most obvious answer is sometimes the right one.  And when we compare it to the alternatives in this case, it certainly seems to be the most plausible explanation.


1. Why do you think it is that our universe is so finely tuned in so many ways, so that if just one of these constants were a tiny bit different, there would be no stars, no planets and no life?

Or to ask it another way...

The atheist scientist Stephen Hawking said, "The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life."  What or who could possibly be responsible for this "remarkable fine-tuning"?

2. Which of the three explanations do you find most plausible?  And why?  What do you make of the objections to the first two?

3. Do you think it's possible our universe has the appearance of design because it's been designed?  Why or why not?

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
  the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
  night after night they reveal knowledge.

Psalm 19:1-2

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