Post by michaelw on Mar 2, 2017 6:24:27 GMT -5
This should fall under philosophy, I suppose.
This idea of a fine tuned universe is something I've been thinking about recently. I wanted to try to flesh out a thought I had, and maybe get some feedback.
So, as I'm sure we already know, the basic idea is that the physical constants of the universe are set up in such a way that if they were even slightly different, life in the universe could not exist. Therefore, only a fine-tuner (god) would be able to make sure all the physical constants line up properly. But this strikes me as kind of a curious argument, when coming from a theist. It seems to me that once you bring god into the equation, you don't even really need fine-tuning in the first place. The need for physical constants being set up a certain way would itself be something god could either have or not have, depending on whatever he felt like doing.
I can think of similar examples of the same basic idea, but going beyond physical constants like gravitation or electromagnetism. Just take the distance of the earth from the sun, as a simple example. The earth is 93 million miles from the sun, and if it were much closer or much farther, we'd all be dead instead of reading this. A theist might say: good thing god put the earth 93 million miles from the sun, and not 5,000 miles. But I don't see why a god would really need to do such a thing. He could've just as easily made humans (and other life forms) more resistant to heat. So from a theistic point of view, the need to be at 93 million miles distance should just be arbitrary and not really a "need" at all.
The other thing that interests me here is a more theological angle. If you ask, what is the universe fine tuned for, a proponent of the fine-tuning argument would normally see human life, specifically, as the primary intended beneficiary. It's essentially a solipsistic view of things where people are the apotheosis of a divine plan. It's so improbable that we could just come into existence naturally without a creator, therefore the universe is designed with us in mind. But there are so many species that require much narrower parameters to live than what humans require. For example, there are viruses that need us in order to live, even though we could do perfectly well without them. So that virus would need a universe just as specialized and unlikely to occur as the universe we need, but with the added need of a universe that could evolve homo sapiens and thereby provide a sustainer. So one could just as easily say the universe is specially designed for the virus, not for humans.
Just something I've been thinking about.