Friday, December 9, 2011

Finely-Tuned, an inconsistent claim on Christianity

William Lane Craig (and other Christian apologists) often present a Fine-Tuning argument which basically alledges that the universe is so incredibly fine-tuned for life that the only way to explain this is to appeal to a God-creator of the Universe.

Never mind that actual physicists, such as Victor J. Stenger, strongly disagree with this assessment, in A Case Against the Fine-Tuning of the Cosmos.

But as we know from Genesis 9:12-13, it is claimed that God establishes the Rainbow as a sign of his covenant:

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

But, as we have discovered through modern science, the rainbow is intimately tied to the precise laws of physics at the Quantum level that produce the precise refraction and reflection properties of water droplets which produce a Rainbow. So, for God to have established the Rainbow in the age of Noah as a sign of his covenant with the Earth, the laws of physics would necessarily have had to have been substantially different prior to this event. And since life existed prior to this time, on Christianity, the laws of physics we observe today cannot be so Finely-Tuned as life apparently existed in a world in which water droplets had neither refraction nor reflection, the propagation of photons must have been profoundly different than we find today.

So this claim is internally inconsistent (or must resort to Special Pleading), as well as failing to be established as factual as Stenger, et al. have shown. And furthermore, until we have a well established final theory of Everything, such claims are extremely tenuous at best because they extrapolate WELL beyond the realms in which current theory has actually been tested.

This is the intellectual equivalent of someone in 1850 observing how well Newton's Law of Gravity fits the observations (in the energy realm in which it had been tested to that point) and concluding from that, that Nature was non-relativistic. Nor today can we assume that the premises of Relativity are PROVEN by the success of the Theory when there are unknowns (how to integrate the theory with the Quantum, and what happens at extremes of energy that are inaccessible to us). These extrapolations from the Theory serve as TESTS of the theory; to misinterpret them commits a very grievous error.

Craig is hiding his semantic game behind numerous implicit premises that are not at all sound assumptions.

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