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Fine-Tuning of the Universe (part 8 of 8): Wrap-Up of Fine-Tuning of the Universe

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Description: Divine creation is the most compelling explanation for fine-tuning of the universe after looking at all other possible explanations. 2. Science is limited by its nature and thus cannot provide definite answers. 3. Similar reflections from ancient camel riders to modern-day thinkers tell us that the ‘evidence’ for God is equally accessible to everyone.

  • By Imam Kamil Mufti (© 2014 IslamReligion.com)
  • Published on 21 Apr 2014
  • Last modified on 04 Jan 2015
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1.    After exhausting all possible mutually exhaustive causative explanations, fine-tuning of our universe is best explained to be the "design" of an immensely knowledgeable and powerful Creator. Divine creation, not chance, is the most compelling and reasonable explanation for the fine-tuning of the universe.

2.    Multiverse hypothesis is highly speculative, but even if true, it would not conflict with belief in God.

3.    The reason that evidence from fine-tuning is extremely compelling and reasonable, but not definitive is that science is limited by it’s nature. To be more precise, all scientific endeavor is limited by definition. Obviously, what we can learn from science will also be limited at a certain level. To understand this statement, we need to know that there are two generally accepted, major types of reasoning: induction and deduction. Science is based on induction, mathematics is based on deduction.[1]  By definition, inductive reasoning is uncertain. The well known ‘problem of induction’ led the thinker Charlie Broad to say, ’induction is the glory of science and the scandal of philosophy.’[2]  Thus, science cannot deductively prove God because science is an empirical endeavor based on induction. Furthermore, science by itself cannot be certain that it has considered all possible data for a complete explanation of a particular phenomena, let alone the universe itself.

But, science does enable us to identify the exceedingly high improbability of a random occurrence required for life to exist in the universe.

4.    That is why when we describe fine-tuning evidence as compelling, we don’t mean that everyone will be convinced by our explanation of every bit of evidence, or that we have made such a definitive and irrefutable case for the evidence that no one will be able to resist the conclusions. The evidence is compelling in and of itself, but our articulation of that evidence will only be as good as our grasp of it.

On the other hand, if someone does not want to believe in God, no amount of evidence can force such a person to accept God’s existence as fact.

5.    Finally, we need not depend on science, complex logic, or a high level of education to ‘see’ the evidence for the Creator. The creation points to its Creator. This knowledge has always been available to human beings regardless of their level of education. After all, an illiterate man has as much right to know God as modern-day scientists and philosophers. To think otherwise, is the height of arrogance.

Following are reflections of an Arabic poet, and conclusions of a modern-day theologian and some notable physicists. They show that knowledge of God’s existence has been equally and easily accessible to those who choose to ‘see’ God in their immediate environments:

Arabic poet, ‘Camel dung indicates the presence of a camel and footsteps indicate that someone walked here. So the heavens with their stars and the earth with its mountains and valleys must indicate the existence of the "All-Knowing," the "All-Aware" (two Names of God).’[3]

Keith Ward said, ‘There may be no proofs of God in physics. But it is no longer true that physics has rendered God superfluous. On the contrary, it is the strongest indicator that our physical world is founded on universal principles so elegant and beautiful, so ordered and interrelated, that it suggests to the mind with almost overwhelming force that the basis of this world is one rational and conscious Creator, who has imprinted in the heavens and on the earth the manifest marks of His handiwork.’[4]

John Polkinghorne commented, ’When you realize that the laws of nature must be incredibly finely-tuned to produce the universe we see, that conspires to plant the idea that the universe did not just happen, but that there must be a purpose behind it.’[5]

Allan Sandage who determined the accurate value for the Hubble constant, the age of the universe, and also discovered the first quasar, wrote, ‘I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery, but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.’[6]

Vera Kistiakowski, professor of physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, summarized the implications of the evidence,

‘The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine.’[7]



Footnotes:

[1] Tarski, Alfred. 1994. Introduction to Logic and to the Methodology of the Deductive Sciences. New York: Oxford University Press. 112.

[2] Broad, C.D. 1926. The philosophy of Francis Bacon: An address delivered at Cambridge on the occasion of the Bacon tercentenary.  Cambridge: University Press, p. 67.

[3] 1. al-Ashqar, Dr. Umar. 2005. Belief in Allah. Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House. 120.

2. Wazir, Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim. 1930. "Tarjih Asalib al-Quran ‘Ala Asalib al-Yunan. Cairo: Matba’a al-Ma’ahid bi-Misr.  p. 83.

[4] Ward, Keith. 1986. The Turn of the Tide: Christian Belief in Britain Today. London: BBC Publications. 57.

[5] Polkinghorne, John. 1998.  Science Finds God. Newsweek, 20 July.

[6] Dr. Allan Sandage quoted by Wilford, John Noble. 1991. Sizing Up the Cosmos: An Astronomer’s Quest. New York Times. 12 March, B9.

On-line. Available from Internet, http://www.nytimes.com/1991/03/12/science/sizing-up-the-cosmos-an-astronomer-s-quest.html?src=pm&pagewanted=3, accessed 10 Mar 2014.

[7] Kistiakowsky, Vera. 1992. The Exquisite Order of the Physical World Calls for the Divine. Cosmos, Bios, Theos, ed. Roy Abraham Varghese. Chicago: Open Court. 52.

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