Atheism- Theism – The Fine-Tuning argument for God

In the Atheism-Theism debate, the claim a god exists is put forwards due to the apparent fine-tuning of the cosmos.

There are several universal constants, such as the speed of light, that have specific measurable quantities. If these constants varied by the slightest amount, stars would not form and there could be no life. The chance that all those constants happen to be exactly right for intelligent life to develop on Earth is so infinitesimal, the constants must have been preset by designer, a God.

I find it unconvincing, firstly, firstly no one knows whether it’s even possible for physical constants to differ, let alone how likely that would be. Perhaps our universe had to have those exact constants.

Cosmic Homeostasis

The Buddhist/Daoist in me questions the idea of Fine-Tuning itself. It assumes the cosmological constants are separate from each other; that is, if we change one, the whole cosmic edifice collapses, but is this the case?

In a self-organising system, changing one, for example, ourselves, if we get too hot, we have a biological feedback loop that makes us sweat. Water evaporation cools our body, bringing our temperature back to a more comfortable range is life-perpetuating: biological homeostasis.

The cosmos is a complex system that might work similarly—a Cosmic Homeostasis. The cosmological constants are not independent; they influence each other. Changing one will mean the other could change, keeping the cosmos in a balance conducive to life. It means any calculations and claims we have about the implausibility of life are in doubt.

For the theists to say the cosmos has to be fine-tuned doesn’t hold water either. You can’t conclude a sample size of one – we only have one cosmos to examine. But there might be other universes, those that never grew and formed. That would make this universe just one among many.

The fine-tuning argument doesn’t because it assumes too much and is too quick to draw spurious conclusions from limited data.

Reductionist science

Reductionism is a method of separating things into their parts to examine and study. However, separating things give the false impression things are separate even as they are interconnected.

Such a practice can give us knowledge, but it can also be misleading as we don’t examine things and how they relate.

The further point is that theists will rightly criticise reductionism because it’s dehumanising, leading to a reality of just parts, atoms and energy. But they will, with a straight face, use reductionist science (the apparent fine-tuning of the cosmos) to argue for a God.

If you can’t get to a person with just chemicals and atoms, how can you get to a God from just cosmological constants?

They point out the limits of reductionism and then ignore them. Reductionist science dehumanised humans, and the same reductionist method ‘de-godifies’ God.

Does God have limits? Can God create life in any configuration of constants? If so, then there is no fine-tuning, no design; there’s no specialness to our cosmos; God can create life anywhere, in any way. But if God is limited to nature’s laws, to the constants, then God has limits and therefore is not all-powerful and not God.

Lego Set

The argument assumes that the stuff of the universe is inert, just as a Lego set needs an agency to push all these blocks together to make more complex things.

But the cosmos is not made of separate things; it’s all interconnected. So the argument is based upon a false assumption. Who is to say an interconnected cosmos can self-organise?

Magnetic fields arise between two polarities, that is, the attraction or repulsion between them. There is no need for a creator to make the magnetic field. There are forces involved in the mind, the need to survive, be safe, procreate, etc. On larger scales, there are forces within the behaviour of herds, tribes, and society.

The Aseity, or ‘property by which a being exists of and from itself’, is not from God, but itself. There’s no need for an agency to push stuff together it already is together. There is no need for an agency to be the first cause to push stuff into motion; it’s’ already in motion (See Kalam argument).


Another point of convention is miracles, events that break the laws of nature. Het how can it be argued for fine-tuning if god can just do miracles that break those laws. There’s no need for fine-tuning if miracles are possible. Otherwise it would be God breaking his own laws or nature.

Are Long odds long?

Theists say the odds of our cosmos exist to be very unlikely. It might be claimed there’s a one in a billion chance of something occurring. But that’s only half the equation. What if the dice are rolled a billion times? Then the chances of it occurring become much higher to a 1:1 certainty.

It’s called the Law of Large Numbers. Roll the dice enough times, and even the most unlikely possibilities will occur. Something rare or unlikely doesn’t mean impossible, or it’s supernatural. The Lottery Fallacy arises when we erroneously infer x must be designed because x is improbable. Such as, a lottery winner must have cheated because winning the lottery is so unlikely.

Also, where’s the threshold between the natural and the supernatural? If 1 in 6 chance is natural, and 1 in a billion is supernatural, then there must be a transition point between them, natural and supernatural. Where is this threshold? How do they know it exists, why there, and how do they know where?

It’s also worth pointing out that life is made from oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen, making up 96% of our bodies, mainly in the form of water. They are some of the most common chemicals in the cosmos. Hydrogen is the most common. To say life is unlikely fails to accept so many building blocks are all around, and life only has to begin once.

The cosmos and the number of places for life to evolve are huge, million of galaxies, with million of planets, even if you only take just 5% of them as viable, that still leaves millions of planets where life can arise. The absence of life is a more plausible argument for God than life.

Closing Thoughts

The Fine-tuning argument happens when you mix up the method with the result. Here, we are mistaking the method of inquiry, i.e. reductionism, for the facts. Separating things into their parts must mean they are only separate parts.

Oddly theists will criticise scientific reductionism, but ironically, they’re using it to formulate an argument for god.

The network because there are far too many unknown about how the cosmos works to come to any firm conclusion. Believers are seemingly unaware of the flaws in their arguments.