Sep 27, 2011

86 Did God make and well tune the cosmos (2)

Believer says: With regard to cosmic forces, such as gravitational force, science has discovered that the universe’s energy forces have been finely tuned. If gravity strength were universally changed a tiny fraction, our cosmos couldn’t support life. Scientists can’t explain this amazing fine tuning! Only God could have wrought such fine engineering. This isn’t a “God of the gaps” argument, either.  

But skeptic says: Oh, but it is a “God of the gaps” argument (“God did it”). An apologist might claim that only God’s power could fine structure the energy forces; but it’s merely an assertion. The apologist doesn’t really know.  

If a scientist claims that mere chance fine tuned the cosmos, it would be a “chance of the gaps” argument, a mere assertion; the scientist doesn’t really know.  

Or a scientist might want to increase the chance by positing the existence of multi-universes, each one with its own set of laws of physics. Our universe owes its existence to the odds, the role of the dice if you will, which brought about our cosmos’ set of physical laws. This, too, is a “chance of the gaps” argument; the scientist may assert it. But he but doesn’t really know.  

And another scientist might claim that the cosmos’ physical forces can't exist in any other way; ours, a life-supporting cosmos, is the only possible kind of cosmos. This is the “physical necessity” view. But I call it the “physical necessity of the gaps” argument. It’s a mere assertion. The scientist doesn’t really know whether it’s true.  

Thus none of the three--physical necessity, chance, or design--are testable views, and so neither the astrophysicist nor the theologian has tangible or empirical evidence. All are “gap” arguments--the theological one included--period. So the religious apologist's claim falls back on the “God of the gaps” argument although he may deny it.

Related post:
56 Atheist asks how God made the cosmos come

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