Is The Universe Fine-Tuned For Life?

Astrophysicist Hugh Ross and his organization Reasons To Believe have done quite a bit of research into how the world around us is structured to support life. The basic idea is that life, and specifically intelligent life, could not exist if factors in the world around us were different. Ross has compiled several hundred factors, all of which must be within a very close range of tolerance for human life to survive. Ross’ basic list can be found here. A few of them are:

  • The distance of our sun from the center of the galaxy: if too great, not enough elements to make a rocky planet; if too close, the density of our planets would be too great.
  • Mass of the sun: if too great, luminosity would change too quickly; if too small, distance of earth to sun would be too small, tidal forces would not support life.
  • Color of the sun: if too red or too blue, photosynthesis would be insufficient for life.
  • Distance of earth from the sun: if too great or too close, temperatures would not allow water to support life.
  • Tilt of earth’s axis: if too great, temperature changes would be too great; if too small, temperature changes would be too small.
  • Rotation speed of earth: if too long, day/night temperature differences would be too great; if too short, winds would be too great.
  • Magnetic field of earth: if too great, electromagnetic storms would be too great and solar radiation reaching earth would be too small; if too weak, atmosphere would not be sufficiently protected from solar radiation.
  • Carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the atmosphere: If too great or small, life would not survive.

Ross goes on to list many other factors, such as water vapor in the atmosphere, rate of heat loss, seismic activity, volcanic activity, gravity of the moon, size, mass, and position of Jupiter, atmospheric pressure, and many more. He lists over 400 factors, all of which have very close tolerances to support life. The basic idea is it is not reasonable to assume that so many factors would have such small tolerances without some sort of intelligent guidance, which we call God. Ross has calculated the likelihood of all of the factors aligning, and states “Thus, less than 1 chance in [10 to the 390th] exists that even one planet containing the necessary kinds of life would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.”The argument has been used by Ross and other science-oriented Christian apologists to show that it is reasonable to conclude that God exists and created the universe, and as we learn more about the world around us, it is unreasonable to conclude that it happened without an intelligent cause. The argument has been called the teleological argument for the existence of God.

Atheists have, of course, not been silent, and have developed a response. One atheist friend gave what is a typical response: if you look at a room  full of people sitting in seats, what are the odds that they would all sit in exactly those seats? If you look at a theater with 300 people sitting in seats, the odds of them sitting in exactly that pattern is astronomical. Therefore any pattern that we observe in the universe is equally likely as any other pattern, and therefore looking for an intelligent cause is merely the equivalent of seeing images in the clouds. A second common response is to claim an infinite number of worlds — if we assume an infinite number of possible worlds, one of them will result in life, and we happen to be in the one that does. No big deal, just chance. A third response is that while it is unlikely, it happened, and however unlikely the possibility of the current universe, it could happen this way by chance, and the argument is not an ironclad proof for God.

The problem with the atheists first response is that it misses the point entirely. Yes, it is true that any combination is equally likely as any other, but the point is that all those other possibilities do not result in life. We do not do science based on highly unlikely scenarios coming to be by chance, but rather by making conclusions based on what is repeatable and predictable and regular, and without God, the current universe is none of these. Concerning the second argument, we have no evidence of any other world but this one. The logical possibility of an infinite number of worlds does not prove anything about whether they came to be. The only evidence we have is based on the one existing universe we see and experience, and it is more than astronomically unlikely.

Of the third argument, the atheists are correct in that this argument is not a proof in the same way that the cosmological argument is a certain proof for God. However, this response does not defeat the original teleological case for God for several reasons. First, merely saying ‘it could happen’ does not present a defeat of the argument for God, for ‘it could happen’  does not present a logical defeat of anything. Second, the teleological argument does not claim to be a logical proof in the same way that a math formula is a proof of something, but rather in the same way we do any empirical investigation. We look at the evidence and make a logical conclusion, which is how we make any conclusion based on all historical scenarios that we cannot repeat. If the police investigate a crime, they make conclusions based on the evidence they see before them. Third, the atheists are well-known for accusing theists of being biased due to their foregone conclusions about God. The atheist response to the teleological argument reeks of the same problem, namely that in spite of the vast amount of empirical evidence for the existence of God, they cling to ‘that’s not a logical proof, and it could happen by chance’ and continue on their merry way. If a man were to win the lottery, then go on to win every lottery every week, the police would launch an investigation after about the fifth or sixth time he won. It would not be reasonable to say, ‘yes, I know he’s won 10 to the 390th times in a row, but it could happen.’ It appears that however likely, however reasonable the conclusion becomes that the universe was caused by God, they clench their fists and refuse to budge.

About these ads

About humblesmith

Christian Apologist & Philosopher
This entry was posted in Apologetics, Atheism. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Is The Universe Fine-Tuned For Life?

  1. Allallt says:

    There are 100 billion stars in our galaxy (the Milky Way) and 100 billion galaxies (our closest galactic neighbor being Andromeda). Despite that there are 4 places in our tiny solar system alone where we think life could exist; our own planet, Mars and Jupiter’s moon Europa are the water based ones. Saturn’s moon, Titan, would replace water with liquid methane (it is that cold) and life is still possible.

    The “designed for life” argument (teleological argument for God’s existence) is more convincing in the “physical constants” form: the relative strengths of the weak and strong nuclear forces, electromagnetism, gravity and the Cosmological Constant (or repulsive force that acts like Einstein’s Cosmological Constant).

    If you ever look at design on that scale, I warn you of two things: 99% of the universe is made from a matter we cannot detect and is completely different from the baryon based matter you and I and all the matter we ever see is made from (a universe made for us indeed… we appear like residual), and that the universe is destined to heat death (which didn’t have to be so).

    May I equally remind you that 70% of the Earth’s surface is uninhabitable by us: it’s water. So it’s not a planet made for us. I’d also like to mention that both poles (North and South) and many deserts are biologically (nearly) bare… what kind of design is that?

    Equally, most of the points you brought up bring something else into focus: the universe is mostly inhospitable to us (and according to Hugh Ross, life in general). Solar and cosmic radiation, near-absolute zero K temperatures etc… no, on a universal scale we live in a very rare set of conditions that are not the universe’ purpose…

    • humblesmith says:

      Ross’ research and calculations figured all this in, I believe. I would simply refer you to his research, which I have linked to some of it in the blog. The point still stands.

      • Allallt says:

        The distance of our sun from the center of the galaxy: if too great, not enough elements to make a rocky planet; if too close, the density of our planets would be too great.
        The numbers, and basic probability remove the significance of this point. Plus the assumption that later generation stars are in the outer part of galaxies is just wrong.

        Mass of the sun: if too great, luminosity would change too quickly; if too small, distance of earth to sun would be too small, tidal forces would not support life.
        Tides are caused by our moon, not the sun.

        Color of the sun: if too red or too blue, photosynthesis would be insufficient for life.
        This is just ass-backwards. Green is the highest energy wave-length emitted by the sun, hence evolution favoring evolution of green plants.

        Distance of earth from the sun: if too great or too close, temperatures would not allow water to support life.
        Given the number of stars (sun) there have to be some planets in what we call the ‘Goldilocks’ zone. And it is from those places that life arises.

        Given the number of stars (sun) there have to be some planets in what we call the ‘Goldilocks’ zone. And it is from those places that life arises.

        Tilt of earth’s axis: if too great, temperature changes would be too great; if too small, temperature changes would be too small.
        Untrue. The only thing that Ross can be talking about here is the effect on life that has already evolved to exist in very particular set of circumstances. If the conditions were more extreme (or less extreme) we already have examples of extremophilic and of high sensitive species that demonstrate life could live in the range of conditions

        Rotation speed of earth: if too long, day/night temperature differences would be too great; if too short, winds would be too great.
        Untrue. It’s the same thing again: if we change the ecological conditions of species that already exist they might not survive well. But we have only good reason to believe life would be as able to propagate in windier and lighter conditions.

        Magnetic field of earth: if too great, electromagnetic storms would be too great and solar radiation reaching earth would be too small; if too weak, atmosphere would not be sufficiently protected from solar radiation.
        True. But a large number of planetary bodies have the same feature; it is not unlikely or particularly unique.

        Carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the atmosphere: If too great or small, life would not survive.
        Wrong. This is wrong on many levels. Life needs a completely different set of chemicals to start up: ammonia, free hydrogen, carbon dioxide (in huge volumes). After that, life creates its own equilibrium.

        Plus the universe is made of stuff we don’t need, we exist as an ~1% residue in the universe. And our own planet is mostly uninhabitable by us. Most of the universe is hostile to life (because it’s full of radiation that reduces compounds to their component atoms). This is a universe fine-tuned for us?

        • humblesmith says:

          I do not claim to have the background to defend these things, so I’ll stop with this and gladly defer to those with more expertise in these areas than I. If the research is wrong, I will stand corrected.

          However, even as a layman in these areas, comparing Ross’ points and your comments, you’ve not disproved much, if anything. For example:

          Re: life would have evolved differently if conditions were different, such as color of the Sun or tilt of the earth: as to light color, the visible spectrum goes from red to violet, with blue near one end. The point was what would happen if the light moved in that direction. As to whether evolution would have caused life to evolve differently, this is a priori question-begging. If it were different, it would be different. But it’s not, which is Ross’ point. Saying evolution would have worked things out differently is an argument commonly used by evolutionists….the problem is that it creates a non-testable argument (see here: http://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/is-evolution-falsifiable/
          and here: http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2011/02/28/is-darwinian-evolution-falsifiable/

          Re; the golilocks zone and magnetic fields — this is just the point, the factors he adds up uses these as separate items. Ross gives these a factor of .01, which would seem to align with your general agreements of not being impossibly rare. If any one of these were the only item considered, your comment would hold. (of course, with those who already have their minds made up, nothing is ever impossibly rare, which is the point of this blog post.)

          Re: life needing a different atmosphere to begin, then becomming self-regulating: My understanding of the current views of origin of life theorists would not have unviversal consensus on this, let alone being able to prove anything in this area. As for the self-regulating part, well, I’ll have to do a bit of research on that before I comment, but forgive me if I’m a bit skeptical. I’ve seen too many explanations that are hat tricks to explain pesky problems. In the end, based on how he presented it, yes, it is fine-tuned for life.

          So in the end, I’ll readily admit I’ll have to defer to others to evaluate much of Ross’ claims, which is why I did not mention the majority of the 400-plus items he mentions. You seem to be knowledgeable in the field, so I would encourage you to go to the link, read his research, and if you feel it is flawed, ask him. He’s actually a fairly approachable guy.

        • Sarah Salviander says:

          Allallt,

          Ross makes a good case, but I agree that the argument from the physical constants is stronger. That said, there are several errors in your response.

          99% of the universe is made from a matter we cannot detect and is completely different from the baryon based matter you and I and all the matter we ever see is made from

          Not quite correct. About 85% percent of matter is in the form of dark matter, while about 95% of the total mass-energy of the universe is comprised of non-baryonic stuff, including dark energy.

          (a universe made for us indeed… we appear like residual),

          A residual? We could not exist if the proportions were any different.

          and that the universe is destined to heat death (which didn’t have to be so).

          Interestingly, the Bible says as much.

          Plus the assumption that later generation stars are in the outer part of galaxies is just wrong.

          If you are talking about late-type, i.e. spiral galaxies, then it’s not wrong. Older, population II stars tend to be in the halo and the bulge of galaxies, while younger, population I stars are in the disk.

          May I equally remind you that 70% of the Earth’s surface is uninhabitable by us: it’s water. So it’s not a planet made for us.

          The conclusion does not proceed from the premise. If I build a house for you and you find that the roof, the inside of the walls, and the crawl space are uninhabitable, it would be erroneous to conclude that, therefore, the house was not built for you.

          the universe is mostly inhospitable to us (and according to Hugh Ross, life in general). Solar and cosmic radiation, near-absolute zero K temperatures etc… no, on a universal scale we live in a very rare set of conditions that are not the universe’ purpose…

          This is a category error. The universe is undeniably tuned for life, so much so that it has led to a crisis in modern science to explain it in purely naturalistic terms. That most of the universe is uninhabitable by life as we know it does not suggest that we are not part of the universe’s purpose; quite the contrary, life as we know it can only exist under a very specific set of conditions, which includes the vastness of space, the low temperature, solar and cosmic radiation, etc.

          Tides are caused by our moon, not the sun.

          Wrong. The respective gravities of the Sun and the Moon are equally responsible for the tides.

          This is just ass-backwards. Green is the highest energy wave-length emitted by the sun, hence evolution favoring evolution of green plants.

          ? You’ve just supported Ross’ point.

          Plus the universe is made of stuff we don’t need, we exist as an ~1% residue in the universe.

          Again, baryonic matter accounts for about 5% of the stuff of the universe, not 1%. But why you say the rest of the stuff is not needed is puzzling. The universe could not have produced life as we know it unless the proportions of baryonic matter, dark matter, and dark energy are as they are measured to be.

          And our own planet is mostly uninhabitable by us. Most of the universe is hostile to life (because it’s full of radiation that reduces compounds to their component atoms). This is a universe fine-tuned for us?

          Yes. Again, you are making a category error. The properties that make particular regions of the universe uninhabitable make the rest of it habitable.

          • Allallt says:

            Our dependence on the proportion of baryon-based stuff and non-baryon based stuff (including dark energy) is unknown because we simply don’t know enough about dark matter or dark energy. There is no way you can make that assertion.

            Do you have a citation for where the Bible predicts the heat death of the universe?

            The universe is not “undeniably fine tuned”. You cannot demonstrate that the physical constants of the universe could be any other way, and we don’t know whether they are the result of something else. Any claimed probability against the constants being what they are are entirely made up; there is no way of establishing probability.

            You might want to reconsider the sun’s effect on the tides: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/tide.html#stid

            The profile of the electromagnetic spectrum emitted by the sun, combined with which energies are filtered out by the atmosphere lead to “green” light being the most energetic of the lights that reach the surface. That is why and how natural selection picks for green leaves. Green leaves evolved, they were not designed. That does not support Ross’ point.

            Lastly, please explain to me (a) how lethal radiation (and other things that seem like waste to the critical eye) is essential to us living and (b) why a Designer couldn’t possibly have set it up any other way…

          • humblesmith says:

            I appreciate your professional tone……thank you.

            If I understand the point correctly about what matter is detectable vs. non-detectable, your argument appears to be an “it could be …”-type of argument….something like: It could be that someday we’ll discover something that contradicts the evidence we now have, therefore I’m going to reject what the current evidence is telling me. Such an conclusion is not valid, and certainly would not fly in any other field.

            As to citations of what the Bible predicts, I’ll have to think about the heat death part — haven’t thought of it that way — but it is rather clear that the Bible does predict an end of the existing universe, as opposed to an endless continuation of what we have now. It regularly speaks of the end of the age (or end of the world, end of the earth), the last day, the end coming. Matt. 13:39-40; 24:14; 28:20; Rev. 21:1; Dan. 12:4,9.

            Your last comment appears to be telling us that we cannot demonstrate that any of Ross’ hundreds of supporting points could be any other way, then criticizing the Designer because he didn’t do exactly that. Perhaps I’m missing your point.

            As to the light being responsible for green leaves evolving, you appear to be making the same flaw that we are often accused of: assuming the cause, then drawing the conclusion. Since green leaves evolved, why then they evolved and no designer is needed. If you’re again saying that a different colored light would have evolved a life different than what is possible now, my previous comment still stands: this is a priori question-begging, and is not built upon empirical evidence. It’s like saying, “Why, if it were different, it would be different….somehow. We must have faith that it would be that way.”

            As to the probabilities, the link I provided in the post goes over several hundred individual variables, each with separate probabilities. If you look at the lists, some are highly probable (.9) while some are much less (.0001). They also give several hundred citations of technical publications to support their numbers.

            I submit that some of the things we see in the universe are indeed not necessary for life. The Bible tells us the world was originally created perfect, but is now flawed and imperfect. But logically, even if we were to find some things which are not necessary for life, it would not negate the things in Ross’ argument which are. Things outside of the argument are not relevant.

          • Allallt says:

            My point is not that we could get evidence that contradicts our current evidence, so I’m going to withhold from trusting the evidence now. My point is that any comments about our dependence on dark matter and energy are speculative at best. No one knows enough about these things to say their absence would affect us. Therefore the claim that we depend on them is unsupported guesswork.

            If you look at aquatic plants from varying depths, you can see the change in leaf colour based on the light that penetrates that deep. I am not saying ‘it would be different if it were different’. I am saying that we can see differences based on the environment, which are explicable by natural selection.

            In siding with Ross’ article, you are neglecting Occam’s razor. You are accepting the explanation that you prefer, even though it is the more convoluted and speculative answer, even though simpler answers that are directly compatible with empirical evidence (e.g. natural selection).

          • humblesmith says:

            Occam’s Razor is misunderstood and often misused. It does not show formal logical fallacies, and as at best an informal prinicple. It is not true that the the simplest explanation is always true. If Occam always proved what is true, then God causing everything (occasionalism) would be the case, not natural selection.

            As for the light spectrum, in your comments you have said that both lethal radiation destroys life and is evidence against God, and that a change in light spectrum is not lethal since life will adapt, therefore evidence against God. Since this is all electromagnetic spectrum, we are into absurdities now. Further, it does not address Ross’ point, which was not minor adjustments, but too much of a change, to which he gave a factor for his equations. This is avoiding the points in the blog and fallen into self-contradictions. It appears I can do no more here, so I’m done with this one.

          • Allallt says:

            If you think all radiation is electromagnetic and that God really is the answer after applying Occam’s razor, it is probably best that we end it here. Nice talking with you.

          • humblesmith says:

            I stand corrected. You did say radiation. I was thinking of X-rays and microwaves. As I said in an earlier comment, I’m open to correction on the areas which I claim no expertise. Other points still stand solidly.

          • Allallt says:

            It is simply not true that God–which is an assertion of an entirely new types of existence (wp.me/p3ZODa-cc)–is a simpler explanation than a system that integrally supports explains itself.
            This is what we see: genetics explains inheritance and variation, natural selection explains evolution… on the body of evidence we have, natural answers are simpler than God.

  2. Sugel says:

    Many criticisms can be leveled against the Teleological Argument, it has it’s many flaws. A prominant skeptic take on it can be found in David Hume, a rational skeptic who refuted the Teleological Argument. He wrote a book called, “Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.” The main character was Philo who does the talking for David Hume. His argument is that we were not around when the universe was created, we did not see it, so how do we know that it is built around design. Furthermore, the universe is so vast, and we only live in a small part of it, how are we to tell the the outer reaches of the universe have the same kind of design we perhaps falsely ascribe to it here? Another proposition raised is that nature itself could be causing the appearance of design. Furthermore, if there is design, how are we to posit an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolant, God according to the standard model, the western Abrahamic God of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims? There is no real clear reason why not to equally posit a committee of gods. Furthermore, Hume brings up the Argument from Poor Design, as well as The Problem of Evil Argument, as grounds for suspicion.

    • humblesmith says:

      Ah, yes, our old friend Hume. Quite persistent, isn’t he?
      First, all these questions do not answer Hugh Ross’ list of items and his corresponding calculations. They merely say ‘it could be that….’ and present no disproofs.
      Second, we can know a cause from the observation of the effect. The laws of causality tell us that if the effect shows a characteristic, it must have existed in the cause, at least in potentiality, for an effect cannot have something that was not generated by the cause. If the effect shows purpose or movement toward an end, then we know some things about the cause. Our friend Hume knew a thing or three about studying causes and effects, but seems to have conveniently missed this point.
      Third, regarding the areas of the universe we have not yet discovered, this can only be an argument from silence. We cannot override what we do know by postulating something we do not yet know. Further, as Ross’ research shows, what we do know is significant and continually points toward an end. Thus the teleological conclusions are based on what we do know, and are rather solid.
      Fourth, as to whether the design is merely the appearance of design, Ross again deals with this. The teleological argument is not an ironclad logical proof but an inference. The calculations are overwhelming, as his numbers show. The burden of proof now shifts to the skeptic, who will need to explain why it is reasonable to conclude that there was no design, when the overwhelming evidence shows otherwise. But of course, our friend Hume was never much for making conclusions based on empirical evidence, now was he? His strong skepticism turns on himself here….he cannot deny knowledge based on cause and effect, then turn around and try to use this same knowledge to refute teleological conclusions. Hume can state that we cannot know whether dropping a stone could extinguish the sun, but he cannot show how it is reasonable to live our lives with this level of skepticism. Even Hume admits that we must eventually put our skeptical game back in the closet and go on with living life in a reasonable manner. Ross’ reearch is reasonable, and the burden of showing reasonbleness shifts to the skeptic.
      As to the committee of gods, the argument does not make a case there, so it cannot be leveled as a criticism. However, there is a follow-on….once we get to a first cause, we can make several reasonable conclusions that eliminate a multiplicity of first causes. But that is another arguemnt for another day.
      As to the problem of evil, I have several posts on that, and just completed a rather lengthy one. As it turns out, it’s a greater problem for skeptics than theists. See here: http://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/problem-of-evil/

      Also, I’ve done a few posts on our friend Hume. One of them is here: http://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/hume-miracles-a-complication-of-blunders/

  3. gold price says:

    The ancient hypothesis of a universe that cycles through every conceivable arrangement of particles and the more modern “many worlds” cosmology do not suffer this defect. But it must be confessed that they are very strange theories — as strange if not stranger than the theological hypothesis, which has at least the advantage of being familiar. I will leave it to you to assess the cogency of the argument from design when it proceeds from facts about the fundamental laws. Obviously we cannot even begin to assess the argument until we have a clearer sense of how remarkable the observed values of the constants really are. And even then, the fact that you and I cannot think of a non-theological explanation of some fact of this sort should probably count for very little. We are not trained to think about these things; so what really matters is what a competent physicist or cosmologist might say in response to the challenge to explain the relevant facts. It might be interesting if some of you looked into this matter.

  4. silver price says:

    The telos of a thing (ancient Greek: purpose or end) is “the endpoint, goal, or purpose at which it is directed).” For instance, if I am walking to the store to buy some milk, purchasing milk is the telos of my walking to the store. A teleological argument for God’s existence is so named because it argues, in so many words, that the material universe is purposeful, or goal-directed, in nature and from that it reasons to God’s existence as the architect, or designer, of the material universe.

    • humblesmith says:

      As Aquinas pointed out, we see in nature things working toward an end. The only way we can have things working toward and end is to have an agent being the efficient cause. Raw matter is not an agent working to an end.

  5. Sarah Salviander says:

    Our dependence on the proportion of baryon-based stuff and non-baryon based stuff (including dark energy) is unknown because we simply don’t know enough about dark matter or dark energy. There is no way you can make that assertion.

    On the contrary, that assertion can be made with reasonable certainty. And, despite our ignorance of the nature of dark matter and dark energy, we do have a pretty good idea of what the universe would look like with and without non-baryonic stuff through observation and cosmological modeling. The prevailing cosmological model, Lambda-CDM, indicates that the measured proportions of dark stuff — dark matter and dark energy — to baryonic stuff is what’s needed to account for the large-scale structure of the universe. Galaxies are not only the building blocks of the cosmos, but they are the chemical factories from which life arises; without dark matter, we wouldn’t have the necessary clumping of baryonic matter to make the large-scale structure and the individual galaxies. If dark energy comprised a different amount of the mass-energy density of the universe, it would not be in the proper balance with gravity and we would not have the structure we observe today.

    Do you have a citation for where the Bible predicts the heat death of the universe?

    There are several passages in the Bible referring to the increase in entropy of the universe and the world (e.g. Psalm 102:25-27, Hebrews 1:11, Romans 8:20-21), the ultimate end of which is the heat death of the universe.

    You cannot demonstrate that the physical constants of the universe could be any other way,

    Why not? Otherwise you have to invoke the argument from necessity, and there is no support for it. You cannot show that anything in nature requires the constants to be the values we measure them to be, which means they either arose by either chance or design. This is why the multiverse hypothesis is so popular—it’s the argument from chance. Out of the panoply of possible universes out there, only the ones with the “right” physical constants, like ours, will produce life.

    … and we don’t know whether they are the result of something else.

    Like what?

    Any claimed probability against the constants being what they are are entirely made up; there is no way of establishing probability.

    Sure there is. You simply calculate the ratio between the range of values of a particular constant that permit life to all possible values of that constant.

    You seem to be speaking out of both sides of your mouth. On the one hand, you claim “The “designed for life” argument (teleological argument for God’s existence) is more convincing in the “physical constants” form: the relative strengths of the weak and strong nuclear forces, electromagnetism, gravity and the Cosmological Constant (or repulsive force that acts like Einstein’s Cosmological Constant).”, indicating you do believe there is fine-tuning, and on the other, you say there is not.

    You might want to reconsider the sun’s effect on the tides

    Thank you for the correction. However, the point still stands — it is not the Moon alone that affects the Earth’s tides.

    The profile of the electromagnetic spectrum emitted by the sun, combined with which energies are filtered out by the atmosphere lead to “green” light being the most energetic of the lights that reach the surface. That is why and how natural selection picks for green leaves. Green leaves evolved, they were not designed. That does not support Ross’ point.

    What are you saying, that if the Sun were another color, we would have plant life of another color? Ross’ point is that if the Sun were any other color, the photosynthetic response would not be sufficient to produce plant life as we know it.

    Lastly, please explain to me (a) how lethal radiation (and other things that seem like waste to the critical eye) is essential to us living

    Take, for instance, supernovae, which produce radiation that would be lethal if we were directly exposed to it. That radiation is involved in the process of nucleosynthesis, which produces some of the elements necessary for life. Without supernovae, there would be no life on Earth as we know it.

    and (b) why a Designer couldn’t possibly have set it up any other way…

    What does this matter?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s