Sunday, January 4, 2015

Finetuning the universe by luck, because there is no God.

It turns out that the Wall Street Journal published some religious guy's article claiming to be all sciencey. And I've had to use my go to explanation of the Fine Tuning Argument and it's flawed a couple times. So since I put my stuff here for boilerplate purposes. Here's why it's actually an argument against God.

The Fine Tuning Argument's biggest flaw is that it's generally looking at the math wrong. The proper four question to any such thing are:

1) Given the universe as we know it, what are the odds it got this way given atheism?
2) Given the universe as we know it, what are the odds that it got this way given theism?
3) How many other ways could the universe be if atheism is true?
4) How many other ways could the universe be if theism is true?

Those are the proper values for a Baysian analysis. And interestingly enough the argument for Fine Tuning is almost always limited to saying the odds for #1 are vanishingly small! But, that doesn't actually seem to be true. However, the more serious problem with the argument is that #3 is basically very few. And #4 is pretty much every single universe imaginable if God could just magick it into being functional.

The universe is vast, like hugely hugely vast. And old, very very old. If it were the case that, there was no God, the only way to get life like ours would be random chance followed by evolution. And for that to work we'd need a vast universe with lots of chemicals and eons of time to mix them randomly to churn up something that could replicate. And against all odds, we have that. -- If God existed, he wouldn't have to make a universe that looks exactly like one that should exist if atheism were true, he could literally just make one star and one planet, or one planet that is made magically warm enough to allow things to work out, etc. Only atheism needs billions and billions of years and 100 trillion planets. Theism could poof anything as a solution, and certainly would have no need to make the universe look exactly as the universe would need to be if there were no God.

Contrary to how the argument is often offered, the Fine-Tuning argument if properly looked at under a Bayesian lens, is a fantastic argument for atheism.

1 comment:

sekharpal said...

Fine tuning argument is not actually required for proving the existence of God, because it can also be proved even if there is no fine-tuning. For this please see the link below: