Intelligent design and the fine tuning of the universe. Part 1

Intelligent design proponents often cite the apparent fine tuning of the universe as circumstantial evidence for intelligent design. For reference please google. But before I can start the discussion we have to be clear on the terms. For the purpose of the discussion when I talk about intelligent design (ID) I will limit it to biological systems. But what does the fine tuning of the universe mean? For the moment we will stick to what Martin Rees suggested in “Just Six Numbers” that six fundamental constants in the universe need to be fine tuned or life might not be possible.

But we need to clarify this. There are four stages to life: First life as to be enabled, than life has to be produced, than it has to be sustained and than it can evolve (change). The other question is what does the fine tuning of these constants mean? It essentially means that the natural laws that utilise these constants are fine tuned and that the natural processes that are governed by these laws are also fine tuned.

Now here comes the important point: Intelligent design explicitly includes the claim that natural processes are unable to account for the production and the evolution (change) of life. But natural processes could potentially be fine tuned to just do that. So ID is only compatible with what I will call “limited fine tuning” meaning that only the processes that are needed to enable and sustain life but not the processes that are needed to produce and to evolve life are fine tuned. ID would ultimately refuted by what I will call “comprehensive fine tuning” that the laws of nature that enable, produce, sustain, and evolve are fine tuned.

Possible objections:
The laws to procure or evolve life were simply not created. This situation is essentially the same as when the processes were created but not fine tuned.

Even if it would turn out that the fine tuning of the universe was limited this would not be circumstantial evidence for ID unless there would be a good scientific reason for these laws to only be partially fine tuned.


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