of temperature, pressure, saltiness, or
“... the extremes of parameter space
... are disintegrating atoms, the
cessation of all chemical reactions,
the crush of a black hole, and
the eternal loneliness of life in a
universe where particles collide
every trillion years or so” (p. 244).
Some dismiss fine-tuning,
claiming that all examples involve
changing just one variable and
keeping the others fixed. Hence, they
say, life-permitting universes might
be common if the dials controlling a
number of parameters were changed
simultaneously. In response, the authors
“... spinning multiple dials is usually
as destructive as spinning one. ...
Sure there are many dials. But there
are also many requirements for life.
Adding more dials opens up more
space [i.e. more possible universes],
but most of this space is dead. We
see no trace whatsoever of a vast
oasis of life” (pp. 256, 261).
This they illustrate for the case of
masses of the electron, down quark and
up quark. (See figures 4 and 5, both of
which show fine-tuning requirements
independent of big bang theory.)
Barnes leans towards the view
that the fine-tuning is not accidental
but purposeful. To him the universe
“contains good things, like free moral
agents and all that they can do and
learn and appreciate”. These, he feels,
reflect the intent of a creator (pp.
347–348). Barnes is quite well read
on theistic arguments from a largely
Thomistic perspective as well as
atheistic responses. On his blog, he has
been very critical of atheists such as
Victor Stenger, Neil deGrasse Tyson,
and Richard Carrier.
Lewis is more sceptical and argues
that the presence of evil and suffering
makes God’s existence unlikely: “I
would expect a morally perfect being
to create a morally perfect universe”
(p. 346). He sees a multiverse as a
more probable explanation for fine-
“Ours is but one of a vast sea of
universes, and each with differing
laws of physics and properties of
matter, set at their birth through
some cosmic roll of the dice ...
we find ourselves in one of the
extremely few universes that
can support life—the anthropic
principle in action” (p. 353).
Lewis, however, does not appear
to have done his homework. The Bible
makes clear that the presence of evil
and suffering is due to man’s sin which
led to God cursing an original perfect
creation. Realistically, multiverse
thinking can have no place in science.
Apart from being unobservable (and
therefore untestable) it logically leads
to the view that no data set should be
regarded as evidence for anything.
In a multiverse it could always occur
by chance! In essence, the “anthropic
principle in action” requires the universe
to be finely tuned for life as, otherwise,
we wouldn’t be here to observe it.
However, this is really just a truism
and fails to explain why it is so.
A life-sustaining universe requires a
number of fundamental physical constants to be very precisely determined,
and creationists rightly view this as
evidence of intelligent design.
In addition, the big bang could not
produce a life-sustaining universe
unless many additional characteristics
were exquisitely fine-tuned. This is
Figure 4. Consideration of the fine-tuning
requirements of the fundamental particle
masses—step 1. Outside of the thin shaded
region, there are only hydrogen universes,
neutron universes, universes without chemical
reactions, unstable atoms etc (Lewis and
Barnes, figure 42, p. 258).
Figure 5. Consideration of the fine-tuning requirements of the fundamental particle masses—step 2.
Removing more parameter space associated with stellar instability from figure 4 leaves a tiny life-permitting region (Lewis and Barnes, figure 43, p. 259). If plotted using normal linear scales, we would
need a block at least 10 light years high for this to be visible to the human eye.