Hi and welcome back to part 4 of the 5 arguments presented by William Lane Craig for the existence of god. Are you guys and gals sick of him yet, or me for that matter? I do hope not the latter. Hang in there as after this there is only 1 more instalment to go.
You can visit part 1 by clicking here
By the way if you have someone’s argument you would like to see debunked then please comment it at the bottom of this or any of my articles or use the contact us page to drop me a line.
Enough of these pleasantaries, I have work to do!! 😉
Lane Craig starts out like this:
We now come to the teleological argument, or the argument for design. Although advocates of the so-called Intelligent Design movement have continued the tradition of focusing on examples of design in biological systems, the cutting edge of the contemporary discussion concerns the remarkable fine-tuning of the cosmos for life. Before we discuss this argument, it’s important to understand that by “fine-tuning” one does not mean “designed” (otherwise the argument would be obviously circular). Rather during the last forty years or so, scientists have discovered that the existence of intelligent life depends upon a complex and delicate balance of initial conditions given in the Big Bang itself. This is known as the fine-tuning of the universe. This fine-tuning is of two sorts. First, when the laws of nature are expressed as mathematical equations, you find appearing in them certain constants, like the constant that represents the force of gravity. These constants are not determined by the laws of nature. The laws of nature are consistent with a wide range of values for these constants. Second, in addition to these constants, there are certain arbitrary quantities that are put in just as initial conditions on which the laws of nature operate, for example, the amount of entropy or the balance between matter and anti-matter in the universe. Now all of these constants and quantities fall into an extraordinarily narrow range of life-permitting values. Were these constants or quantities to be altered by less than a hair’s breadth, the life-permitting balance would be destroyed, and no living organisms of any kind could exist.
By Zeus he is right…. Well kinda.
Yes the universe can be described mathematically in the most sexy equations ever(physics geek, excuse me I need to grab some wet wipes).
Yes if the weight of an electron were off slightly or protons were bigger then life or the universe would not have existed.
But that is the point, simply put if things were different then things would be different or else not exist at all. We know a universe expanded and kept expanding. this we can and do observe. Science makes predictions such as gravity waves, we wait and wait and wait and pow 100 years later we observe them. Religion starts off with a tall tale and assumes it to be true. Not via deductive reasoning but through presupposition. Einstein didnt guess there would be gravity waves he deduced it through mathematical equations and application of models based on what we already know.
For example, a change in the strength of the atomic weak force by only one part in 10100 would have prevented a life-permitting universe. The cosmological constant which drives the inflation of the universe and is responsible for the recently discovered acceleration of the universe’s expansion is inexplicably fine-tuned to around one part in 10120. Roger Penrose of Oxford University has calculated that the odds of the Big Bang’s low entropy condition existing by chance are on the order of one out of 10^10(123)
And what would happen William. Would the universe collapse on itself ready to expand again and again and again until the glorious moment everything is right? and this is where we are now, in a universe where everything was just right. Where the first quarks and anti quarks collided to cancel each other out, but some didnt, and thos quarks and the gluons and other tiny particles that didnt destroy each other went on to form the first elements and over time those elements went to form the first stars which in turn collapsed on themselves and created heavier elements and exploded and went on to form the heaviest of elements. I would urge readers to check the links below. they really do manage to explain how a universe could form from a single spontaneous event and grow and form matter, all of which led to what we see today. We dont know it went down like this for sure but it is by far the most likely answer. Magic never is.
These are all naturally occurring events. They do not need a god. I will admit this doesnt mean there is not a god but when a creationist says, “It could only happen by a gods hand”, then at least science has armed us with other viable explanations.
And so to the actual argument;
1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.
2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.
3. Therefore, it is due to design.
Premise 1 simply lists the three possibilities for explaining the presence of this amazing fine-tuning of the universe: physical necessity, chance, or design. The first alternative holds that there’s some unknown Theory of Everything (TOE) that would explain the way the universe is. It had to be that way, and there was really no chance or little chance of the universe’s not being life-permitting. By contrast, the second alternative states that the fine-tuning is due entirely to chance. It’s just an accident that the universe is life-permitting, and we’re the lucky beneficiaries. The third alternative rejects both of these accounts in favor of an intelligent Mind behind the cosmos, who designed the universe to permit life. The question is this: Which of these alternatives is the best explanation?
Hmmmm, To assume the universe is necessary seems rather arrogant to me. It exists and there are constants which from the links above and knowing the universe would simply fold or be different to me shows no necessity. We are here to reason not assume. Although it would be wonderful to have a theory of everything it is not a necessity, or perhaps it is for a certain demographic and they are happy to see a gap and fill it with god did it as an explanation. They need an answer so they will accept magic as the cause. Not a logically sound argument I am sure you will agree.
By chance is a much more reasonable explanation however this degrades the theists view of themselves. That the universe was created around them and they are special creatures. Well yes we all are as for conditions to be just right for life to form is improbable, yet here we are and the wonderful work of professors such as Jack Szostak on how the first simple ancient cell could form shows us how we are most likely here. You can watch one of his vids here and another by Prof Rob Hazen here. Strangely neither mention magic or a god. I see in debate forums quote mining of astrophysicists saying they cannot fathom how everything is as it is without a designer yet I dont see any papers presenting a designer posted by them in any reputable and established science journals showing this designer to exist. Why ever not I wonder? Quoting a scientist on theology is dumb by the way, an appeal to false authority. Unless they are using science to prove it and not expressing an opinion it is pointless!!
By design? Quite a leap, we exist and can show how this can occur naturally yet we will assume and presuppose a designer to fit with our belief system put forward by ancient superstitious men that didnt know where the sun went at night. Really, you are putting your eggs in that basket? I can understand why less educated people in the field of science may go for this but have been bewildered by the professors and such like still holding on to their belief. I came across this video early last week by the fantastic DarkMatter 2525. it explained a lot to me. Please take the 7 mins it runs for to watch this video. He is most excellent but this is one of his best pieces yet.
I cannot agree with premise 2 for the above reasons.
Conclusion: Based on the fact we can explain how a universe for the most part could exist naturally the need for the designer is decreased if not eradicated. If we look at the universe we see chaos. We dont see a lovely place designed by a perfect being. We see galaxies formed over millions of years scarred by planets and other large bodies crashing into each other, we see orphan planets thrown or bumped from their solar systems by larger planets. We see the crater pitted moons bombarded by comets and debris. We look closer to ourselves and see a lack of design. A key factor of design is simplicity and we are not simple, nor perfect. Ladies, always make sure to wipe from front to back as the 2 exist parts placed next to each other are bad for each other. Everybody please chew your food well as there is an air pipe plonked right next to your digestion tract, bad design(if it were designed). Ever been kicked in the balls? Much better to have them on the inside, wouldnt you agree fella’s. Ok I forgot about tea bagging!!
I could go on and on about bad design but I will let you have a read of another article at your own pace here. And that is just in the human body. Spare a thought for the poor giraffe!!
To sum up, we dont need a designer and I would say the bad design argument trumps the fine tuning designer argument. The claim is that this designer is all knowing and perfect yet he creates an imperfect universe and imperfect biological organisms? This designer does not fit the bill and exists merely in the minds of the faithful.