What is so "fine-tuned" or "unique" about the state of our universe? "Fine-tuned" and "complexity" and all those other adjectives are merely manmade concepts which describe our perception of the universe. They have NO basis in science, nor are they objective like math. They are merely sentiments of our thoughts and feelings--our attempt to apply manmade, relative qualities to an objective, non-manmade object. It doesn't add up to me.http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/fibonacci-fractals-and-inorganic-teleology/
What really makes the state of our cosmos any more special than any of the other countless possibilities? We only see it as special merely because we feel that it is special--we cannot scientifically prove that it is special because concepts like "fine-tuning" are not scientific. Our universe had an equal chance of being different, what makes its present state special at all?
Among the most philosophically challenging scientific data of the last half century are those relating to the physical constants of the universe (listed below) which allow it to be a cosmos instead of utterly disordered chaos. These constants were “finely tuned” to their present values when the universe came into existence out of absolutely nothing roughly 13.7 billion years ago. You cannot derive their values from something more basic; they simply occurred as “givens” from the first second of our universe’s existence. These values did not develop but were present full-blown at singularity. They did not evolve: they simply were.
Cosmologists Barrow and Tipler wondered what would happen if they were slightly different. Tinker ever so slightly with the values of any of the basic physical constants, and life would have been impossible, not just life of our kind, but life of any kind that involves complexity.
Because of their highly ordered nature, random origin of the constants has been widely conceded to be effectively zero probability (cf. physicist Donald Page
has calculated the odds as 1 in 10,000,000^124 By comparison, there are "only" 10^18 seconds since the creation of the universe and around 10^80 atoms in the observable universe).
Mathematician Emile Borel
affirmed that anything with odds of happening less than one in 10^50 is impossible (Borel is best known for creating the the first effective theory of measuring sets of points beginning the modern theory of functions of a real variable). Random origin of the constants is well beyond this threshold -by orders of magnitude; selection by lottery would only overcome this statistical obstacle if there were an infinite number of unobservable universes from which ours was selected, yet a universe generating “machine” would also have to be exceptionally highly ordered too, and contemporary physicists have recently suggesting that multiple universes would be clones of one another rather than infinitely variable as the infinite unobservable multi-universes lottery selection theory requires.
Many physicists and philosophers have been attracted to similar arguments in the last thirty years (during which the ramifications of the delicately balanced physical constants first came to our attention; cf. the lecture by Dr. Francis Collins (PhD, & MD)
, first and long-time director of the Human Genome Project, here
. Collins’ PhD is in Quantum Mechanics, though his focus now is on genetics). It was this issue which former leading atheist and world famous philosopher Antony Flew cited as convincing him to abandon atheism for belief in God (many atheists claim it was rather because Flew must have become senile!).
Contemporary thinkers who remain atheists attempt to escape this conundrum in the only way left to them: they postulate a hypothetical infinite number of unobservable universes from which a highly ordered one could have been a random occurrence. Contemporary atheism is thus forced to argue for the actuality of an essentially zero-probability event by postulating something in principle unobservable (non-scientific/metaphysical).
“‘I can’t believe that!’ said Alice. ‘Can’t you?’ the Queen said in a pitying tone. ‘Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.’ Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said: ‘one can’t believe impossible things.’ ‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice, said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’” -Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
The slightest alteration of the following physical constants would result in a universe incapable of supporting life -not just life of our kind, but life of any kind that involves complexity, and in a universe that would be chaos rather than cosmos:
Gravitational Coupling Constant
Strong Nuclear Force Coupling Constant
Weak Nuclear Force Coupling Constant
Electromagnetic Coupling Constant
Ratio of Protons to Electrons
Ratio of Electron to Proton Mass
Expansion Rate of the Universe
Entropy Level of the Universe
Mass of the Universe
Uniformity of the Universe
Stability of Protons
Fine Structure Constants
Velocity of Light
Distance Between Stars
Rate of Luminosity of Stars
8Be, 12C, and 4He Nuclear Energy Levels.
An infinite number of unobservable universes -even were it the case- would not, of course, necessarily “belong” to our atheist friends who need it so badly to account for zero probability of random origin of the universe’s physical constants at singularity; in fact it would be a perfect case scenerio of the ancient Augustinian cosmological theodicy of pleroma, which posited all possible varieties and ranges of entities might actually exist; we will leave that subject for a possible future post; let us now move along to consider the central topic of this essay.