I’m delighted to announce that Dr. Robin Collins has written a thought-provoking paper titled, The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability, which develops a new fine-tuning argument for the existence of God, to the effect that some of the laws, initial conditions, and the fundamental parameters of physics were set in order to make the existence of an Intelligent Designer of the cosmos more easily discoverable by the embodied conscious agents (such as human beings) living in the cosmos. I should point out that Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards first drew attention to a striking correlation between habitability and measurability in their book, The Privileged Planet, back in 2004. As Richards put it in a conversation with lawyer and apologist Lee Strobel: “What’s mysterious is that the same conditions that give us a habitable planet also make our location so wonderful for scientific measurement and discovery” (The Case for a Creator, Zondervan, 2004, Chapter 4, p. 231). However, Dr. Collins’ new paper goes further, arguing that the laws, fundamental parameters, and initial conditions of the universe as a whole must be just right in order for the fine-tuning of the universe to be discovered by agents like us. Dr. Collins also addresses specific topics, such as the fine-structure constant (alpha), radiometric dating, the low entropy of the early universe, the cosmic microwave background radiation and dark energy, and he makes a strong case that their values can be scientifically explained in terms of their being fine-tuned for discoverability.
Here’s an excerpt from the Introduction to Dr. Collins’ draft paper:
One of the most persuasive evidences for the existence of God from the cosmos is the argument from the fine-tuning of the cosmos for the existence of life, the so-called anthropic fine-tuning… The most commonly cited case of anthropic fine-tuning is that of the cosmological constant. If it were not within one part in 10^120 of its theoretical possible range of values, either the universe would expand, or collapse, too quickly for galaxies and stars to form. There have been a variety of challenges to the fine-tuning evidence itself, and whether it supports the existence of God or a multiverse. I have developed a detailed argument elsewhere (Collins, 2009) that the fine-tuning evidence does provide strong confirmatory evidence for theism over naturalism. Here I primarily want to explore another kind of fine-tuning and its implications for this debate: the fine-tuning of the universe for being discovered. By this fine-tuning, I mean that the laws, fundamental parameters, and initial conditions of the universe must be just right for the universe to be as discoverable as ours. After presenting examples to illustrate this kind of this fine-tuning, I will argue that if this kind of fine-tuning exists, in general it cannot be explained by a multiverse hypothesis – by far the leading non-theistic explanation for anthropic fine-tuning. Further, I will show how the idea that the universe is fine-tuned for discovery answers some other commonly raised objections against the fine-tuning argument, and finally I will look at its potential predictive and explanatory power.
Finally, to be absolutely clear, my project in this paper is not so much to argue for the existence of God, but to explicate where one might look for new evidence one way or another. This is in keeping with the spirit of scientific inquiry.
So, is the universe designed in order that its fine-tuning can be discovered more easily? What do readers think?