If we look at the universe, we should see signs of either an intelligent Mind or mindless matter. However, there have been remarkable scientific discoveries that give indisputable proof of a Creator that aligns with the Word of God. Psalm 19:1-4 says: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”1 Let us look at our universe to see if it truly is the product of a Mind or the result of a naturalistic process.
Before the advent of modern science and cosmology, the popular consensus was that Darwin had destroyed any notion of there being a Designer God. Science has come a long way since then, and has actually reaffirmed Christian Theism in a marvelous way.
The Fine-Tuning position has often been misstated that our planet Earth is fine-tuned for human life, but there still exists a whole universe with billions of galaxies and planets. Therefore, the skeptics say, it’s not too improbable that we happen to be on a planet that is designed for us to be here given the vastness of the universe. In addition, our planet will be destroyed one day, since everything in the universe is decaying.
This is a straw-man argument, since not only is our planet designed, but the whole universe is set up in such a way that life may exist. We will now find out what fine-tuning really is and state the argument in its most logically airtight form.
The fine-tuning argument for God’s existence states that: 1. The universe runs according to certain laws, quantities, and constants. 2. If these parameters were changed in the slightest, either the universe would not be here, or no life could exist in the universe (this is what is meant by fine-tuning) 3. This fine-tuning is due to either physical necessity, an intelligent mind, or chance 4. The fine-tuning is not due to physical necessity or chance 5. Therefore, it is due to an intelligent mind 6. This mind must be outside of nature since the laws, quantities, and constants came into being when the universe did (Cause is greater than effect) 7. Thus, the fine-tuning is due to a supernatural Mind
The reason that the fine-tuning must be the result of a supernatural Mind is because for every effect there must be a sufficient or greater cause. Since all of nature and its laws began to exist, their cause must be outside of nature. The only immaterial cause with creative powers is a Mind. This is evident in everyday life as well. Matter either comes from a mind or chance. In this case chance has been ruled out, so nature and its laws are the product of a law-giving Mind.
So what are some examples of fine-tuning? Let’s start at the very beginning of the universe. Stephen Hawking says in his book A Brief History of Time that if the rate of expansion of the universe had been smaller by one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed on itself.2 From the literal start, the universe was designed with precision. Picture this, there is an explosion of light and energy that is set to a certain rate as to not explode into a hot fireball. It expanded at just the right rate to allow galaxies and stars to form. This is not just a random explosion but a precisely designed creation event.
That’s not all, there are even more examples of fine-tuning which affect our universe. If the mass density of the universe varied more than 1 in 1059, there would not be a single habitable galaxy or planet in the universe. Even the ratio of mass and numbers of electrons to protons must be precisely adjusted. If the value of this ratio differed more than 1 in 1037, the universe we see today would not be here.3 In addition, if the gravitational force was different by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001%, our sun would not exist, and consequently, we would not either!4
There is no shortage of examples of fine-tuning. Our planet is perfectly placed eight light minutes from the sun, it has the perfect ratio of gases, the placement of the moon is just right, our orbit around the sun is designed so we don’t crash into other planets, etc. The case has been made, our universe is an incredibly designed place!
Now let us explore why the fine-tuning is not due to physical necessity or chance. The hypothesis that fine-tuning is due to physical necessity is ruled out immediately because the numerical value attached to the law and the law itself are separate. In other words, the quantities are simply boundaries under which the laws of nature operate. For example, light travels at roughly 186,000 miles per second in a vacuum, but it could travel at 5 mps, or 300,000 mps. The numerical value is separate than the law that causes light to travel. The law that causes light to travel is separate than the number 186,000 mps (the constant). So there is no reason the universe should be fine-tuned out of necessity.
What about the second hypothesis, chance? This seems extremely improbable as well considering how narrow these values must be adjusted to in order for life to exist at all. Physicist John Barrow gives an excellent analogy why chance would be an impossible hypothesis. Take a red dot that represents our universe and put it on a sheet of paper. Then, change a constant or quantity of our universe and see if a life-permitting universe would exist. For instance, change the mass density of the universe and see if there would be any life-habitable galaxies or planets. If there would, put a red dot on the paper, if there wouldn’t, put a blue dot. Keep repeating the process using different laws and quantities until the paper is filled with dots. In the end, you come up with a paper that is almost all blue dots with only a few specks of red. The fact is that our life-permitting universe is extremely unlikely to exist when compared to all the other possibilities.5
Secular scientists and atheists try to cop out of this conundrum by appealing to the multiverse. The multiverse theory states that there might be many universes or even an infinite amount of universes that exist besides our own so we shouldn’t be too surprised to be living in a life-permitting one. This is what I would call faith-based atheism. Not only is there not a single shred of empirical evidence for any other universe besides our own, but it only begs the question, “Where did those universes come from?” In addition, an infinite amount of material things causes self-contradictions. For example, what is infinity minus or plus infinity? Physical, material things cannot be infinite. Infinity only applies to abstract or immaterial things such as a set of numbers. Thus God, as immaterial, can be “infinite” (that is to say, transcendent of nature). For more on infinities and God, see the videos at the end of the article.
The other objections to fine-tuning include that God is not a good Designer, and that the universe is a terribly created wasteland. These are not really objections to the argument, but rather opinions. The Designer is free to design however he wants. The fact that our universe is running down or that there are billions of light years of wasted cosmos is irrelevant to the argument. Finite man in his small section of the universe is not one to tell Almighty God that He did a terrible job. The purpose of the laws of physics and narrowly designed parameters is to allow a life-permitting universe to exist. All objections that do not specifically address the argument are red herrings. It is irrelevant how much lifeless cosmos there is, or how vast the universe is, or that the universe will come to oblivion one day. They do not change the fact that our universe contains precisely tuned constants which allow us to be here. And by the way, as Christians we know why the universe is going to end. Jesus will return as the Judge of all and redeem His fallen creation to make a new heaven and new earth. In addition, all things with a beginning must end, so this is not much of an argument but rather a complaint.
Another accusation that advocates of a Designer often face is that they are using God of the gaps reasoning. Secularists often accuse Christians of using God to fil in gaps of knowledge, and prefer to wait until a naturalistic explanation arises. The problem is, there are no reasonable naturalistic explanations for fine-tuning as we have already seen. To assert “we don’t know yet” and then act as if you are acting reasonable and scientific is preposterous. This is atheism of the gaps! Only a truly hubristic person would declare that God didn’t design the universe, but not offer an explanation that fits the data.
The last accusation against the fine-tuning argument is that it only provides evidence for a vague Creator God and not the God of the Bible. This is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of the gods of many religions. Only the Judeo-Christian God is seen as both the Designer or Creator. Some religions, like Buddhism, believe that the universe is eternal. Other religions, like Islam, attribute God as the Designer, but not to the extent that Christianity does. We read in John 1:1 that God is the Logos, which means that God is logic or reason. In addition, we read in Hebrews 1:3 that the Logos (Jesus) upholds the universe by his power. Islamic theology does not stress God’s designing power or rationality like the Bible does.
Overall, the fine-tuning argument is undisputable proof of God’s existence. To deny that there is a Fine-Tuner would be to commit intellectual suicide. God has made his presence known in the light of modern science which is another reminder that He is always reaching down to His creation. When witnessing to others who are unsure about God’s existence, the fine-tuning argument is a powerful way to introduce them to our powerful Creator. We can then lead into how the Designer Himself, Jesus Christ, became a man and died for their sins and ultimately redeemed His Creation by rising from the dead. If they repent and trust in Him as Lord, they can experience forgiveness of sins and eternity with the Creator forever.
1 The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Ps 19:1–4.
2 Hawking, Stephen A Brief History of Time. (New York, NY.: Bantam Books, 1998), 126.
3 Wallace, J. Warner God’s Crime Scene. (Colorado Springs, CO.: David C. Cook. 2015), 52.
4 Geisler, Norman L. and Turek, Frank I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. (Wheaton,IL.:Crossway,2004), 102.
5 Craig, William Lane. On Guard. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook.2010. pgs.107-114.