How the Incredible Fine-Tuning of the Universe Points to God


Many non-believers claim, “Science has buried the idea of God.” But is that true?

Not according to contemporary science itself, which continues to reveal extraordinary support for belief in a super-intelligent, transcendent, creative power standing at the origins of our universe—what most people call “God.”

One example is the apparent fine-tuning of the universe. The initial conditions of the universe, in the Big Bang itself, appear to have been exquisitely calibrated for the existence of intelligent life.

For example, take the cosmological constant. If this constant were changed in its value by just 1 part in 10120 parts, the universe would expand either too rapidly or too slowly. In either case, the universe would be life-prohibiting.

Another example is the mass and energy of the early universe. If it were not evenly distributed to an incomprehensible precision of 1 part in 1010123 parts (note that that is 10 to the power of 10 to the 123rd power!), the universe would not be hospitable to life.

Top physicists today, including many atheists and agnostics, affirm this incredible fine-tuning:
[endorsement cite=”Sir Martin Rees” byline=”atheist astronomer, President of the Royal Society”]Wherever physicists look, they see examples of fine-tuning.[/endorsement]

[endorsement cite=”Stephen Hawking” byline=”agnostic physicist, University of Cambridge”]The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.[/endorsement]

[endorsement cite=”David Deutch” byline=”atheist physicist, University of Oxford”]If anyone claims not to be surprised by the special features the universe has, he is hiding his head in the sand. These special features are surprising and unlikely.[/endorsement]

[endorsement cite=”Richard Dawkins” byline=”atheist biologist, author of The God Delusion“]Why did [our universe] have to be the kind of universe which seems almost as if, in the words of the theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson, it “must have known we were coming”?[/endorsement]

In light of this extraordinary fine-tuning for life, we must all ask the question: what explains it? There are only three possibilities. Either the fine-tuning is due to physical necessity (in other words the constants must have had the values they do), or it’s due to chance (the constants randomly settled on these values), or it’s due to design.

Which of these options best explains the evidence? William Lane Craig answers in this clear and helpful six-minute video:

For more on the argument for God from fine-tuning, and many other arguments for God backed by contemporary science, check out Trent Horn’s new book, =Answering Atheism: How to Make the Case for God with Logic and Charity and Fr. Robert Spitzer’s fascinating (but challenging) text, New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy.