Moria Refugee Camp on Lesvos

Moria Refugee Camp on Lesvos
Moria Refugee Camp on Lesvos

Monday, 1 February 2016

Does a fine tuned universe put pay to God?

I have written before that physicists have long argued that life exists only because the conditions are or were exactly right. I hadn't realised just how precisely right they had to be.

A wonderfully gifted Lecturer in Philosophy from Hull (see below) explained the issue quite brilliantly at the Drill Hall on Saturday. Just how was it that the conditions were just right? Was it by the design of some superior being. Was it by chance? Or was this universe one amongst perhaps an infinity and so was the one to have the right conditions. Ockham's Razor was the 'technique' used to choose between the explanations. It holds that the choice should be that which require the addition of the least new elements. So the plethora of universes wins.

We went on to talk of God.

If we reject the idea of 'God' behind the creation of the universe, is that an end to any idea of God?

We can still look at the world's great religions for moral guidance, for a framework of how life may be lived. Or do we now know it all? Has the secular world taken on all that is helpful and so can put forward its own moral framework. I have argued elsewhere that perhaps the Church has been too successful in enabling this. Perhaps we can look at Jesus, for example, and look to follow his teaching. We would need also to look at Jewish teaching to achieve a reasonably comprehensive framework. We could equally look to Islam, Buddhism and other faiths.

We could do this, but does the faith rather fall apart once the creator God is removed?

We can talk of a spiritual dimension, something removed from the measurable world, something that can neither be proved or disproved by science. Richard Dawkins might suggest that this world is none other than our own unconscious mind. Yet the Bible itself talks of the Kingdom of God being within. Can we conceive of God in us, rather than out there? If we can, can we also communicate such an idea and leave in place the Bible, for example? We can explain that it represents the thinking of man over millennia and our thinking has simply taken a good few steps further forward with the benefit of science.


Daniel Came is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Hull. He received his BA and MPhil degrees in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge and his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Oxford. He has held a Junior Research Fellowship in Philosophy at Worcester College, Oxford and a College Lectureship in Philosophy at St Hugh’s College, Oxford.

Fine-Tuning, Theism, and the Multiverse Hypothesis

Physicists have calculated that, if the laws and constants of physics had been even slightly different, the universe would have developed in such a way that life would have been impossible. This apparent “fine-tuning”, some say, is best explained by theism. Multiverse theories are typically offered as naturalistic rivals to theism. If there are vastly many universes which vary ¬perhaps randomly ¬in their relevant parameters, then it is not at all surprising that at least one universe is life-permitting.
In this talk, I evaluate the adequacy of the multiverse hypothesis relative to classical theism in explaining the fine-tuning of the universe.