Fine tuning

I’ve been thinking a little bit about why I am convinced of the truth of Christianity a little since Mark Driscoll’s Jesus based apologetic made me question the way I approach “theism”, and Dave’s thoughful series on atheism concluded with Jesus as a foundational reason for rejecting atheism and adopting Christianity (not theism). I tried my hand at defending Christian belief on the basis of the historicity of Jesus and the veracity of claims made about him in the Bible here.

I’ve been thinking that while my adherence to Christianity as an accurate representation of a monotheistic God hinge on Jesus and his claims – there are other reasonable reasons to believe in a God who creates and sustains the universe.

The Fine Tuned Universe argument, the idea that conditions in the universe are extraordinarily balanced and complex, has its detractors. It has its scientific explanations – like the anthropic principle (that things could only be this way for life to exist – ie that life couldn’t possibly have happened in any other way). And it has its Christian proponents – like William Lane Craig.

I find it pretty compelling. Atheists using a frame work of naturalism find it mind blowing but explainable. And once they have an explanation they don’t need a cause. Because to add a creator to the mix would create something else that needs a creator. I think it’s an odd paradox that none of their equations of chance – including the whole multiverse concept – ever factor in a universe with an omnipotent God. Surely if multiple universes exist then each one has a probability of developing a God powerful enough to destroy all the other universes? Monotheism is the natural outcome of this school of thought.

On a side note – I want to ask Dawkins or any evolutionary biologist a question. Given infinite time will humans eventually evolve into shapeshifting aliens? That would seem, based on Transformers, to be the evolutionary pinnacle.

I’m happy to accept much of the science of evolution. But I wonder what happens when you do that and remove God from the picture. What does the end point look like? How long before we can fly?

The quote below is the reason for this post. And it seems particularly dumb. To me the idea that there are a lot of things in the universe that can kill us, and want to, is a case for an intervening creator, not a case against…

I want to do a fast tirade on stupid design. Look at all the things that just want to kill us…
Most places in the universe will kill life instantly – instantly! People say that the forces of nature are just right for life. Excuse me? Look at the volume of the universe where you can’t live. You will die instantly. That’s not what I call the garden of Eden.

This is all stupid design. If you look for what it intelligent, yeah you can find things that are really beautiful and clever – like the ball socket of the shoulder – there are a lot of things you can point to. But then you stop looking at all the things that confound that revelation. So if I came across a frozen waterfall and it just struck me for all its beauty, I would then turn over the rock and try to find a millipede or some kind of deadly newt, put that in context, and realize of course that the universe is not here for us – for any singular purpose.

So now nature is not right for life which makes life less probable, not more, and the atheists embrace it. I would have thought the greater the improbability of life the greater the case for God. Am I missing something? The fact that bad stuff happens naturally – and that there are things out there that can kill us fits with Christian doctrine rather than contradicting it…

I love the part of the quote that equates the concept of Eden – a safe haven – with the whole universe. It’s just dumb.

These arguments come from this video – and I found them here. Be warned – this video contains a frame depicting abnormal and aborted fetuses.

Even without the specifics of Jesus I find the argument for a creator much more compelling than a naturalistic understanding of things.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

2 thoughts on “Fine tuning”

  1. These are exactly things I've been thinking about – I'm going to read all the links carefully. I go through periods of not wanting to believe and I can't not believe if that makes sense. But it doesn't feel like that's a good reason for believing. I welcome any discussion at all about that.

  2. Hi Brokensaint,

    Thanks for commenting. Hopefully the links will be helpful.

    I think the idea that Jesus is central to Christianity is a helpful starting point.

    And I think the extraordinary complexity of the universe and the fact that we are still alive (as a race), and able to question things like the meaning of life, lends itself to the idea that there's a God.

    Putting those two points together brings me to where I'm at as a Christian.

    I'm yet to hear a more compelling argument. Read Dave's series though. Hopefully you'll find it helpful.

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