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The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe Is Not Designed for Us

The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe Is Not Designed for Us


Drawing on the findings of modern physics and cosmology, numerous authors have argued that it would have taken only slight changes to some of the universe’s physical parameters to make life, as we know it, extremely unlikely or even impossible. But does the seemingly “fine-tuned” nature of the universe also suggest that there must be a creator god who intentionally calibrated the initial conditions of the universe to assure that life on Earth and the evolution of humanity would inevitably emerge? Some influential scientists, such as National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, think so. Others go even further, asserting that science “has found God.”

In his in-depth and highly accessible discussion of this fascinating and controversial topic, physicist Victor J. Stenger looks at the same body of evidence and comes to the opposite conclusion. He states at the outset that as a physicist who is dedicated to the scientific method he will go wherever the evidence takes him, even if it leads him to God. But after many years of research in particle physics and cosmology and careful thought about their implications, he finds that the observations of science and our naked senses not only show no evidence for God, they provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that God does not exist.

Dr. Stenger argues that many of the claims made by theists are based on misunderstandings of the science. He looks at the specific parameters that brought about our universe and the life forms that inhabit Earth and shows that plausible reasons can be found within the existing standard models of physics and cosmology for the observations of science and the conclusions it has reached about our origins. These models are introduced in detail so that readers will gain the background needed to understand the role of the cosmic components that theists claim to be fine-tuned and to judge the veracity of the arguments on both sides of the issue.

He also sheds much-needed light on related topics such as whether or not the universe had a beginning and what quantum mechanics implies about the involvement of human consciousness in affecting reality.

Although Dr. Stenger has touched on the subject of fine-tuning in other books, this is his most thorough exploration of the topic, one that continues to intrigue scientists and the lay public alike.

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