At Stand to Reason, Tim Barnett reminds us of an argument against fine-tuning of the universe Douglas Adams (1952–2001) offers in one of the Hitchhiker books (he Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time):
This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an interesting world I find myself in—an interesting hole I find myself in—fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!” This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.
In the puddle analogy, the puddle—Doug—can exist in any hole. That’s how puddles work. The shape of the hole is irrelevant to the existence of the puddle. If you change the shape of the hole, the shape of the puddle changes, but you always get a puddle.
The problem is, life doesn’t work like that. Life cannot exist in any universe. The evidence from fine-tuning shows that a life-permitting universe is extremely rare. If you change certain conditions of the universe, you cannot get life anywhere in the universe. For instance, slightly increase the mass of the electron or the up quark, and get a universe with nothing but neutrons. No stars. No planets. No chemistry. No life.Tim Barnett, “Why the Puddle Analogy Fails against Fine-Tuning” at Stand to Reason (April 22, 2021)
It’s a good argument. But in reality, any argument against fine-tuning will be accepted, whether it makes sense or not. It is only the defenders of a rational universe who need to make sense. And that’s not for the other guy; it’s for you.
See also: What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter?