The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning

Author Stenger, Victor
ISBN 978-1-61614-443-2
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Review

I only wish I could follow the physics better. I am glad that someone like Stenger exists to counter the more abstruse arguments the brighter among Creationists may occasionally raise.

The only thing I found curious is that the objection I have encountered that seems most obvious, as well as reasonable, was not mentioned: To wit and to summarise: When someone argues that the fundamental constants of the cosmos are balanced with improbable precision, this implies that they could have been otherwise. To say that a constant (such as the strength of a fundamental force) is balanced to within, say, 0.001% of its actual value, is to imply that there is a range of values that the constant might have had in our universe; the wonder is that it has its particular value—from, the argument clearly but never explicitly implies, the range of values it could have had. However, this range of values is nowhere specified. I am not aware of any argument that provides a range of values that, for example, the weak force might have had—let alone any account of mechanism to allow it to very. If we have no evidence that these values ever could vary, then it follows that we have no evidence that they might ever have had any other values. If the fundamental constants have the only values that they conceivably could ever have had, then it is no miracle that they are not different! Furthermore—and Stenger might be said to obliquely hint at this—these values are always assumed to vary independently; conceivably the variation in one might necessitate variation in the others that cancel it out as far as possibilty of life is concerned.

Be that as it may, though; Stenger deftly disposes of other arguments, without ever (it may be said) resorting to the above argument that the question may be ill-posed to begin with.

Notes